Canon 6d Mark Ii Portrait Settings

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How practise you get such sharp family and group portraits?
It’s one of the virtually common questions we get from photographers — because information technology’southward one of the almost normal technical challenges new photographers take. A few specific focus tips can brand all the divergence in walking onto a session with confidence. We retrieveexactlywhat it felt like to be nervous at a session, acting calm and positive in front of the client
(Everything looks great, guys! Perfect!)while within we were secretly scared to death, because someone had finally PAID US to have their pictures… and nosotros were realizing the group images weren’t fifty-fifty IN FOCUS. In those moments, the doubts that had lingered in the dorsum of our mind for months got louder. Nosotros felt the opposite of professional person.

Have you lot been there? We desire to change that for you today!

Or, maybe you’re in a unlike boat. Maybe your imageslookprecipitous on the back of your screen, only when you lot get home they’re a little soft. That was Then HARD for perfectionists like u.s.! It however is today. We’d be lying if we told you lot that
image we take is tack precipitous. Information technology can’t be. That’s not a realistic expectation for anyone. Especially on wedding days when we’re shooting wide open, at lower apertures like f/1.2 – f/2.0,  with a bride and groom who are moving — and that’s okay! Because we have a lot more time with the couple than we exercise for family photos, for example, where nosotros only get the fire the shutter a few times. And then if a few shots of the couple are soft (hither and there) in society to get some perfectly well-baked ones with the flossy groundwork that f/ane.ii – f/2.0 gives u.s.a., and so it’due south worth it. Every. Unmarried. Fourth dimension.

Family and group portraits? That’s a different story. We only become one crevice at those, and they have a completely different purpose.

  • Couple’s portraits are more artistic.
  • Family and group portraits are a little more utilitarian. There’southward not a huge creative license — considering in that location’due south rarely time for it.
  • The goal of family portraits is to get every member of the group in sharp focus, then when the family prints the photos for their wall or an album, they look beautiful and professional person.

Lastly, the larger the grouping is, the more combinations they want and the less time in that location is to work with (which is basically all wedding ceremony days!), the more force per unit area and room for error at that place is — which makes information technologyactuallyimportant for the technical function to be 2d nature to the photographer, and then the lensman can focus (pun intended) on giving the clients a fantastic experience. We tin aid with that!

Here are our summit focus tips for getting sharp family unit and grouping portraits on a wedding mean solar day or during a large grouping family session.

1. One Shooter, One Organizer

We e’er divide and conquer family and grouping portraits to expedite the process. Amy stays about the group, reads off combinations, poses and positions each person(click
to picket a costless posing class with us!)
and looks for annihilation that’s out of order. This gives Hashemite kingdom of jordan the hazard to focus on his composition, settings and getting the pictures in focus. Splitting up the roles has really helped us execute this well, considering trying to do both isa lot for one person — especially if it’due south a large group or challenging family — and tin can lead to mistakes with the photographic camera. If you lot’re shooting a wedding solo, nosotros recommend asking the nuptials planner or the least intoxicated, virtually responsible-looking family member to assist with the shot list.

If y’all’re shooting a family session lone and don’t take the luxury of a second shooter/assistant,  nosotros’d recommend putting your camera down while yous instruct and organize the grouping, step back, take a jiff, look at the entire grouping before you bring the camera up to run into if y’all need to make corrections and
bring the camera to your face up to get the shot.

two. Line Upward Their Anxiety

Groups take a tendency to whorl in on the ends and make a U-shape without even realizing information technology! We all do information technology — even photographers! — but it’s a problem when trying to get everyone in focus because as the people on the ends ringlet up, they’re unintentionally stepping out of the focal plane, so when you focus on the person in the heart (like you e’er should), the people on the ends will exist out of focus. The fastest, easiest mode to correct this is with a preset in Photoshop that sharpens everyone that’southward our of focus. JUST KIDDING. Like we teach in our
Shooting & Editing Course, the fastest, easiest way to correct issues is IN-CAMERA. In this case, Amy uses the simple direction,”Let’due south line up your toes,” to help them get straightened out and back on the aforementioned focal aeroplane.

Focus Tips for Sharp Group Portraits for Photographers

iii.Endeavor to Avoid Multiple Rows

If you’re able to get everyone lined up on the same focal plane, that’southward best. If you lothave
to do two lines, one of our best focus tips is to make sure and remind the people in the back row to get uncomfortably shut to the people in front of them. The farther apart the subjects are (from front to dorsum), the more difficult it will be to get everyone in focus. The closer they are together, the easier it volition exist.

4. Focus on the People in the Front

If you take a ii rows of people standing, make certain to focus on the person who’due south front and eye. Aperture, like a lot of things in photography, works in a system of thirds. Then, if your discontinuity is f/four, and so within that focal airplane, wherever yous focus, 1/3 of that volition go forward and 2/3 will go backward. In other words, when y’all focus on someone in the forepart, you just need them to be in focus, and nothing in forepart of them, but yousdoneed the people behind them to be in focus, so you’ll have a ameliorate gamble of doing that if you lot give them the extra 2/3 of that aperture’s focal depth. In this photo below, we focused on the bridesmaid sitting in front, and you’ll observe the helpmate in the 2nd row is completely in focus, besides.

Focus Tips for Sharp Group Portraits for Photographers

five. Pick the Right Aperture

One of the almost important focus tips when shooting groups of people is to make sure you cull the correct aperture. If we’re shooting a helpmate and groom and their parents, or a smaller grouping of bridesmaids or groomsmen (of near four-6 people), and they’re all on the aforementioned focal aeroplane, we can shoot at f/ii.8, get them all in focus and (depending on the lens we’re using, our distance to them and
altitude to the background) perchance some blur or bokeh, besides. If we’re shooting a larger bridal political party group (of near eight-10 people), and they’re all on the aforementioned focal aeroplane, so nosotros’ll bump our discontinuity up a total stop to f/4.0.
If that makes yous uncomfortable, you can e’er get to f/v.six, but we similar f/iv.0.
We’ll use f/4.0 if in that location’s a 2d row added to a small grouping, as long as everyone is very shut together, like we explained earlier.

If there’s a 3rd row, we’ll become to at least f/5.half dozen and mayhap even f/viii.0, simply nosotros rarely run into that because most of our clients usually just want immediate family in the photos: parents, siblings, and grandparents. As a dominion of thumb, though, we tend to hang out at f/iv.0 for near of family portrait time and keep the groupings smaller, considering even though we surrender some of the bokeh in the groundwork compared to f/2.viii, we’ll trade that for guaranteed in-focus family shots any solar day of the calendar week. Your client probably won’t appreciate the deviation between f/2.eight and f/4.0, just theyvolition
notice if they’re blurry!

Pro Tip: A lens’s
aperture isn’t actually its highest number (like f/22). For most lenses, information technology’s around f/8 – f/xi. So if you’re really worried about getting everyone in a big, multi-layered, generational group shot sharp and in focus, something in that range will definitely do the trick!

Focus Tips for Sharp Group Portraits for Photographers

6. Speed Upwards Your Shutter

As a rule of thumb, specially for new photographers, i of the nearly imperative focus tips is that your shutter speed should be double your focal length — at least. Nosotros shoot a lot of our family portraits with aCanon 70-200 f/2.viii at 70mm with a shutter speed somewhere between 1/200 and i/400. Can that lens handle a slower shutter? Definitely! At this stage in our career, if we’re non moving and our subjects aren’t moving, can our hands handle a slower shutter and avoid camera milk shake? Probably! We shoot it lower than that all the time, but not when and so much is on the line. It’s but not worth information technology. Bump upwards your ISO one full end to keep your shutter faster. Outside on a bright 24-hour interval (even if you’re in the shade), you’ll never notice the grain from a higher ISO — and neither volition anyone else — but youvolitionfind if someone’s confront isn’t in focus… and so will anybody else.

Focus Tips for Sharp Group Portraits for Photographers

7. Watch Out for Lens Flare

If the sun is hitting your lens directly and you run into lens flare (like a haze over the unabridged image), attempt to brand an adjustment before you outset family portraits. Lens flare tin can cause the camera to have problem focusing. Yous might non notice it right abroad, or until you become home, just if lens flare is there, it’ll exist a problem. We recommend lens hoods in situations like that. Sometimes nosotros’re express to where we can shoot family portraits, so if the merely spot available is somewhere that has light hitting the lens, a good lens hood will minimize or eliminate that. If y’all can’t get rid of all of it, you lot can ever accept a 2nd shooter or assistant concur something to shade your lens.

8. Check Your LCD Screen

Every time we take a set up of group portraits, we double cheque the LCD screen before we move on to the next combination. We have our cameras set to zoom in tight with 1 click so nosotros tin can encounter our client’s eyes rapidly. Fifty-fifty on a tight timeline, it but takes a few seconds to make sure anybody’south eyes are open and in focus; if they’re non, it only takes a few more clicks of the shutter to correct it. An easy correction to make on the spot, simply a huge headache to try to right later digitally!

Troubleshooting Tips

We hope that these focus tips help y’all go your big grouping and family photos in abrupt focus every time! If you try all of these tips and you’re still having problem with sharp focus, it might exist fourth dimension to send your lens or camera in for an inspection at a local photographic camera shop. Catechism and Nikon also have professional service programs where y’all can transport your gear for routine maintenance and, when needed, repair. Hither’s a link to a blog post we wrote near our experience with
Catechism Professional Services.

If you’ve eliminated all user fault
had your gear inspected by a professional, and y’all’restillstruggling with focus, it might be time to upgrade your photographic camera and lens to newer models. If you need help with that, click
to see a full list of all the gear that’s in our bag. Hint: If nosotros had to shoot a hymeneals with justonecamera andonelens, we’d choose the
Canon 5D Mark Three
and the
Canon 50mm one.2.

Focus Tips How To Take Sharp Group Portraits