Use these 11 Photography Prompts for Groups to Achieve Amazing Group Poses

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Use these 11 Photography Prompts for Groups to Achieve Amazing Group Poses

Every photographer gets an opportunity (or the challenge) of shooting a big group of people.  Let’s be honest; it can be intimidating to find group poses for a big group of people looking your way and waiting for direction.  Try using Photography Prompts for groups to help your clients focus on having fun and interacting with one another.  The list of prompts below is guaranteed to get genuine expressions on your clients’ faces and leave them with happy memories of the day!

#1 – Photography Prompts for Groups

The Group Hug For A Crowd!

I spend a good long time getting everyone all lined up and in position.  Once your people are in place, double-check that everyone’s face is showing and snap the posed smiling group pose.  Then surprise the group with, “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 misty eyes and smiles all around.  It also works if you’re doing an extended family shoot, and you have grandma and grandpa in the middle, and everyone leans in to hug the grandparents.

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.

4 women, 3 hugging mom

#2 – Photography Prompts for Groups

Prompt Everyone to Look At

When you get the crowd gathered around, you can throw out a couple of rapid-fire prompts to get them looking at one another.  Here are some foolproof photography prompts for a group options 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.

Family Photo with husband and 3 boys looking at mom

#3 – Photography Prompts for Groups

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

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

#4 – Photography Prompts for Groups

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!  Prompt 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!

#5 – Photography Prompts for Groups

Let's Play Group Telephone

For this 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 him or her 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!

#6 – Photography Prompts for Groups

The Walk and Talk Prompt

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 (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.

Here, a simple, alternate option is 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!

#7 – Photography Prompts for Groups

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.

#8 – Photography Prompts for Groups

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 especially 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 together 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.

A wedding party jumping by prompt
Be prepared for some bloopers when you use the Jump for Joy prompt!

#9 – Photography Prompts for Groups

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 again in 2016, now with our four boys.

Dad and 3 boys posing as Charlie's Angels
5 men posing like Charlie's Angels
Photo Credit: Sam Vargas

#10 – Photography Prompts for Groups

The Group “Smooch” Shot

An excellent photography prompt for a group including families or some couples and some singles is the smooch shot!  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 have the singles prepare 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.

#11 – Photography Prompts for Groups

Group Compliments

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.

So many families I’ve worked with have expressed appreciation for a relaxed and fun session.  Group poses can be challenging, but if you 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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