The challenge of photographing large groups

I am used to photographing large groups at weddings but it’s always a challenge. Most hotels and wedding venues let you go to the floor above that provides a fantastic vantage point, if they have one. I don’t like heights so ladders are out of my comfort zone!

Some years ago I photographed a large group at Wotton House in Surrey. The shot below was taken from a hill close to the flat lawn and, as you can see, it provided a perfect vantage point. I am blessed with a loud enough voice to communicate to the group. My wife, who jus my assistant at weddings, ensures that the large group is not spread out. For some reasons people do that otherwise.

Wotton House wedding photographer

However, sometimes we don’t have either of the above two options mentioned above. I am not good with ladders and also they can be cumbersome to manoeuvre if you have access to them.

So, I came up with this idea and this is where Fuji XT-1 and XT-2 are invaluable. I used my Portaflash LS-35 Studio Lighting stand and mounted the lightweight but sturdy head from MeFoto Q1 head. I then raised the camera up about 9ft high on the stand and with trial and error adjusted the camera to compose the shot. It was fiddly but achievable.

Photographing large groups

The next step was to trigger the Fuji XT-2 remotely using my iPhone Plus 6 using the Fuji Remote app.

Fuji Remote App

The clever technology in XT-1 and XT-2 creates its own wi-fi hot spot. By pressing the Fn button on my XT-2 I made the Wi-Fi communication with my iPhone 6 plus. Within a few seconds I was able to view on my phone screen what the camera was seeing. The great things about this app is that it lest you adjust ISO, aperture and shutter speed remotely.

Large group photography

I then got everyone to line up and got the shot. So simple!