Nami & Sachu got to photograph my lovely group of friends this weekend and it was amazing! It was the first time we had to photograph such a large group of people, but we had a blast doing it.
Tips on Senior Sessions:
1. Start Early!
By early, I mean as soon as the sun gets up (6 AM Roll Call). This minimizes the heavy sun shadows on the face and assures that there wont be a bunch of people walking about through your shots. This weekend was 85 - 90 degrees during the day, imagine if we started at 11? Everyone would be miserable! I find this to be the most important part of shooting.
2. Write up a Call Sheet.
With such a big group, its sometimes hard to organize everyone and get information across. This is why I write up call sheets that include information on.. Date, Time, People, Meeting point, Ride Shares, Dress code, Sample Images, and any other extra tidbits of info you want them to know! This also includes a shot-list (consult the client of all the places they want to shoot before hand) of all the places you want to shoot. Sometimes during the shoot, its easy to get distracted and forget things. If you have a list of places you want to shoot before hand, it's easy to refer to it in a pinch.
3. Color Coordination
I find that the best group pictures are when everyone is wearing similar colors (you can go for the mixed color look, but it becomes really hard to photograph). For ours, we picked light blue, white, and minimal black.
4. Shoot with a nice Lens
For this shoot, we shot with a 24-70 f/2.8 on a Nikon D800. The lens made an amazing difference in terms of quality and sharpness. The lens itself is expensive but you can rent out one for the weekend for as low as 35$! (check out Pix Rentals in LA).
5. Post Edits
If you're shooting on campus, chances are you will have buildings in the background. Make sure to post - edit in Lightroom / Photoshop and make those lines straight as an arrow! Nothing ruins a picture more than a warped perspective.
6. Have Fun!
Not every shoot will be serious, try and have a little bit of fun! This means reading into what people in the group want. If they are a silly bunch (like the boys in the pictures), encourage fun activities (jumping / climbing trees) and capture them in their moment. The worst pictures are when everyone looks tired and forced to be there, haha.