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Best modifier for group/family photos?

jdphoto

Well-known member
My experience shooting with strobes is usually with individuals. I'm curious what the best modifier would be to get the most throw and spread?
 
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stngoldberg

Well-known member
Depends on the size of the group
I’m anticipating taking a group of 32 men; I plan on seating half of them with the balance standing behind.
I plan on using two large umbrellas to light the group, but I anticipate the aiming the lights directly at the group will result in flat light; therefore I plan on feathering the lights from one side adjusting the output so the light is evenly distributed.
Stanley
 

msstudio

Member
Depends on the size of the group
I’m anticipating taking a group of 32 men; I plan on seating half of them with the balance standing behind.
I plan on using two large umbrellas to light the group, but I anticipate the aiming the lights directly at the group will result in flat light; therefore I plan on feathering the lights from one side adjusting the output so the light is evenly distributed.
Stanley
My usual go to is the elinchrom Octa, usually that’s good for 3-5/8 people, feathered of form the left, often ending up at a near 90mdeh angle away from the subject, once I need to shoot more people in one frame I actually use multiples of these and stager them in a similar angle and height to have a somewhat even spread, and some fill so I don’t loose the shadows.
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
Depends on the size of the group
I’m anticipating taking a group of 32 men; I plan on seating half of them with the balance standing behind.
I plan on using two large umbrellas to light the group, but I anticipate the aiming the lights directly at the group will result in flat light; therefore I plan on feathering the lights from one side adjusting the output so the light is evenly distributed.
Stanley
I would not worry about "flat" lighting as opposed to simply lighting the entire group evenly, metering edge to edge. This does not sound like a type of portrait where you have dozens of lights on set to create dramatic lighting. The difficulty with "feathering" light with a large group is where the shadows fall. If the faces are close together in the group, you need to watch how shadows will cut across the next subject. If you can, a single large (or two large umbrellas close together will become a large source) light source placed well above camera axis is the easiest way to light a moderately large group without worry about cross shadows. 32 is manageable. As the group grows in size, obviously might need to widen the throw/sources but take care to knock shadows down off faces.

Ken
 

fotografz

Well-known member
I've shot hundreds of large groups ... place two 72" umbrellas with diffusers parallel to the camera at the outer corner of the group angled inward a bit set up very high pointed down so the drop shadows drop down behind the subjects ... and shoot from a step ladder so the subjects are slightly looking up at you. makes it easer to accomplish DOF.
 
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