Use These 11 Fun Group Poses for the Best Prompted Group Photos

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Use These 11 Fun Group Poses for the Best Prompted Group Photos

Every photographer gets the opportunity (or the challenge) of posing groups for photos.  Let’s be honest; group posing can be intimidating.  But if you have some group posing ideas in your toolbelt, you need not be afraid!  Posing group photos can be so much fun!  This list of photography ideas for groups is guaranteed to get genuine expressions on your clients’ faces and leave them with happy memories of the day!  And bonus – you might get a funny group photo or two along the way!  Try using some of these group photo ideas to help your clients focus on having fun and interacting with one another instead of stiffly standing and plastering on a fake smile.

A Variety of Group Pose Ideas for a Variety of Groups!

You may be shooting a large family group or photographing a group portrait of coworkers.  Perhaps you’re shooting a wedding.  Wedding photography will give you a whole bunch of opportunities to shoot large group photos, from the family photos of each side (bride and groom) to the wedding party to the pack of friends having a hoot at the reception.  Large group photography is unique and special and requires a specific level of comfort.  These excellent group photoshoot tips will have you shooting family photos and group pictures like a seasoned pro, even if you’re a beginner!

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #1

The Group Hug For A Crowd!

I take my time getting everyone lined up and in position with my natural light source to my back.  Remember basic composition rules and keep your faces on the top thirds line.  Don’t cut off feet or heads unless you do it with purpose.  Once your subjects are in place, pay attention to your models and make sure that everyone’s face is clearly visible.  If you have a very large group, you may need to place people on different levels, such as steps or hills.

Once you have everyone lined up, snap one great posed smiling group photo.  Then surprise the group with this unposed group prompt, “Now everyone put your arm around the two people closest to you and hug!  Group hug!”  A group hug relaxes the tension, and you will get a group shot with misty eyes and smiles all around.  This prompt also works if you’re shooting an extended family and you have grandma and grandpa in the middle.  Everyone leans in to hug the grandparents.  Grandparents love this kind of portrait photography because it is so new and different from the old-fashioned stiff poses they used to have.

The group hug works great for a big family with lots of kiddos, too.  “Everyone, hug mom!”  Mom, after all, is usually the star of the family.  It’s a perfect group pose.  Click HERE for more great family photo ideas! 

Related: 5 Ways Fear-Based Thinking Holds You Back from Becoming a Better Photographer

A mom and 3 grown daughters pose for the camera while hugging

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #2

Prompt Everyone to Look At

When you get the crowd of friends, coworkers, or family members gathered around, you can throw out a couple of rapid-fire group prompts to get them looking at one another.  Here are some foolproof group prompts that will produce laughter and smiles all around!

Everyone look at the person here with the stinkiest feet!

Now, look at the person here who took the longest to get ready!

Everyone look at the person here who is least happy to have his picture taken!

Now everyone look at your favorite person!

Some other options are to have everyone look at the oldest person, the grumpiest person, the goofiest person, etc.  Use your imagination and watch your group come alive.

Fun group photos of a family with hands on hips all looking at one another

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #3

The Sign of the Times, aka “Selfie” Shot!

This little trick is one of my favorite group poses!  Have someone from the front get their camera out and take a group selfie.  The selfie group pose is fun and a great way to get everyone squeezed in close together while making happy faces.  Go ahead and capture the whole thing.  Can you imagine your clients looking back at these portraits in 10 years and seeing what kind of phone they were using for selfies?  These details have the power to create the best memories!

Related:  The Ultimate Guide to Photographing Big Groups of People

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #4

The Switcheroo Prompt

Now is a great time to start mixing things up and let your group get some air, so bring on the Switcheroo!  For this unposed photography prompt, warn everyone that you’re going to count to 3 and say GO.  When you say GO, everybody should switch places very fast.  Remind them that if they don’t see the camera, then the camera doesn’t see them!  You are guaranteed genuine smiles here, and it will liven up the party!  If you have grandparents in your group, place them in the center of the frame and tell them that everybody switches places, except for them.  They have earned the right to stay in the middle and be the stars of the show!

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #5

Let’s Play Group Telephone

For this unposed group photography prompt, you’ll want to space your people out just a bit.  Have someone on the left start by whispering a favorite movie line or song lyric into the person’s ear next to them and then have the listener pass the phrase along.  You get to photograph them as the words move through the crowd.  Playing telephone puts everyone at ease and allows you to focus on the photos while having fun together.  Be prepared for some exciting expressions.  You can also take this time to photograph closer shots of some of the couples or smaller groups.  Once the phrase reaches the other end of the lineup, be sure and have them say out loud exactly what they heard!  You are guaranteed laughter and genuine smiles with this one!

Fun fact! In America we call this game Telephone. Wikipedia tells us that “in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, the game is typically called “Chinese whispers”. Who knew!?

Related: Unposed Photography Prompts Instead of Poses for Natural Photos

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #6

The Walking Talking People Poses

Now that you have spread the group out just a bit have everyone hold hands with the person next to them and stroll away from the camera.  While they’re walking, have them tell their neighbor their favorite ice cream flavor or pizza topping.  Warn them that in a quick minute, you’ll shout NOW, and they should keep walking, but turn and look back at you.

Once they reach an endpoint, have them turn around, grab hands again, and walk back toward you.  You can have them all raise their hands high while holding them together or have them freeze in their best model runway pose.  Once everyone finishes posing like a star, have them look at their neighbor and make their best barnyard animal noise.  If your group isn’t into farm animals, have them make their best alien noise.  You will get great expressions with this group pose, guaranteed!

A variation of this photography prompt for a group or a family picture (if your group is both adults and small kids) is to have all grown-up couples hold hands and walk away from you.  Have the kiddos stay behind you, and on the count of 3, say GO and have the kiddos race to the parents.

This unposed group prompt allows you to send the adults a bit away from you and have them turn and face you.  Use the same technique with the kids – have them wait behind you till you give the “go” command and then send them running to mom and dad.  Bonus points for the parents that kneel to catch the kids in big hugs!

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #7

Piggyback Prompt

Here’s another fun group pose to add to the walk and talk.  It also works with your group standing still.  Piggyback rides are fantastic!  This prompt works great for older siblings, husband/wife duos, and even little kids with their parents.  The piggyback prompt will get heads close together and usually elicits a friendly interaction between the two piggybacking.  Don’t worry if you have any folks in the group who are not piggyback friendly!  This group pose is so much fun, with some piggybacking and others looking on with laughter.

Related: 10 Super Simple Unposed Photography Prompts for Families

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #8

Jump For Joy!

Everyone is fully relaxed at this point, so the timing is perfect for this photography prompt for a group.  The jump shot doesn’t get much simpler!  Tell your group on the count of 3 to jump as high as they can!  You might want to give it a few tries.  It can take some work to get everyone in the air, but it will lead to some great expressions and fantastic smiles.  This prompt works incredibly well for families with older kids, wedding parties, and groups of students dressed for prom or group senior photos.  Be sure and have your settings correct so that you can freeze that action.   It’s also fun to capture slight movement in the shot.  Either way, be prepared by understanding your camera’s settings

A bonus note here if you use Photoshop.  You can always take a few shots and merge them in Photoshop to account for some members of your group who jump higher than others.  Also, you can take a low jumper and raise them a bit if there’s a standout who can’t quite make it off the ground.

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Be prepared for some bloopers when you use the Jump for Joy prompt!

More great prompting and posing tips: How a Prompting and Posing Photoshoot Will Capture Natural Photo Poses of Anyone

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #9

The Group Album Cover

Have your group pose by bundling up into 3 or 4 smaller groups with just a bit of separation between them.  Prompt them to strike a pose in their mini groups as if they’re on their favorite album cover.  My family loves the “Charlie’s Angels” type pose with finger guns.  Below, my husband poses with our three boys in 2005 and 2016, now with our four boys.

A dad and 3 sons using family photography prompts shows a dad with 3 boys posed like James Bond
A dad and 4 older sons using family photography prompts shows a dad with 3 boys posed like James Bond
Photo Credit: Sam Vargas

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #10

The Group “Smooch” Shot

The smooch shot is an excellent photography prompt for a group including families or some couples and some singles!  You can use it with a bundle of friends heading off to prom or graduation or a family with some couples with kids and some grown kids without a partner.  The first step is to identify your couples.  Put them together in pairs and prepare the singles to make their best “ew” faces, eye rolls, or bored looks.  Have the couples share a smooch and capture those looking on with their various expressions.  For this shot, plan to set your aperture high (small #), so you can get the smoochers just a bit out of focus.  This adjustment to your aperture keeps your focal point on the kiddos with the lovebirds as a perfect backdrop.

Unposed Photography Prompts for Fun Group Poses #11

Group Compliments for an Unposed Family Shot

At this point, you may be getting close to the end.  Everyone should be having a great time and feeling relaxed for this group photography prompt.  Gather everyone back together for a final shot.  Be sure and get them all nice and close together, have them put their arms around one another, and lean in closely.  Tell your group that they are just about done, but first, they have to give a genuine compliment to someone nearby.  Once they’ve done that, then you can call it a wrap and send them on their way.

Related: The Great Big List of Christmas Prompts for Your Christmas Photo Shoots

Wrapping Up Group Poses for Photography

Be prepared for your next group shots by using these photography tips.  I promise you’ll walk away with some of your best images.  You will be excited about your next group session!  After all, posing groups doesn’t have to be hard!  Families and large groups will appreciate you taking the time to make them feel comfortable.  One of my best tips is to ensure that the clients have a good time when they’re with you.  The best poses for group photos are those that make your clients comfortable.

Portrait photographers need never be afraid of group photos.  Group sessions can be challenging, but if you use these fun photography poses and remember to have a great time while you’re working, you’ll send them on their way with good memories of the day and some fantastic photos to go along with them!

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