Group Posing Guide

Posing a group is something that will be learned mainly by observing your lead photographer.  When at a school where a group photo is being taken, it's important, when possible, to observe and pay close attention to the details in posing and group arrangements.

Your first step to ANY photo is to make sure your camera is centered, the subject or group is centered, and LEVEL. When using risers make sure that they are centered to your background and even on both sides. 


ACT Groups

Posing a sports group can be fairly simple. Most teams will easily fit 2 to 3 rows.  Larger groups are usually posed in bleachers.  Some schools will provide chairs, but in many cases, kneeling the front row with a row standing behind them will be sufficient.  If you need 3 to 4 rows, either sitting in front or standing on your stools in windows behind the row standing on the floor will work.


Class Groups


Class Groups vary in size, but all of them follow basic key steps to create the best group composition.  Aim for the following:


  • Arrange the students tallest to shortest.

  • Build from the back row to the front. The tallest should be centered in the back row. The other students should be arranged by descending height, alternating one to each side of the person in the middle 

  • The front row should be the widest

  • Make sure that all faces are visible, this can be achieved by skipping a step between rows or by utilizing windows

  • Blend adults into the group 

  • Standing students should hold their hands low behind their back. Seated students should have their hands neatly folded in their lap

  • Teachers should pose with their hands relaxed at their side. 

Faculty Group

Faculty groups are similar in composition but slightly different when posing.  Arrange the staff shortest to tallest, build the group from the bottom up, the first row should be the widest, avoid short skirts for seated staff, and turn the front row slightly toward the center.  Make sure that all faces are visible by utilizing windows. Standing staff should pose with their hands relaxed to their sides, while seated staff should have their hands folded in their lap. Make sure that feet are flat on the floor, feet and knees together for women, and knees about shoulder-width apart for men. 


Posing large groups can seem intimidating.  There are a lot of faces and details to which one must pay attention.  A few schools request all-school groups or large 8th-grade class groups.  If these are done in unique areas such as playgrounds, using the available structures is key to making the group look both fun and professional.  In some cases, you may need to raise yourself by standing on a ladder or chair to get the best picture.  We also may need to bring benches or extra stools to properly accommodate the larger groups.  It is important to look at photographs from previous years and speak to your fellow photographers to know what is expected.  

Large Groups