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Taking a Group Photograph

Feb 12, 2017
Does anyone have any experiences taking group photographs? Below I found a similar picture of I'm looking to recreate on Google images. I may have the opportunity to do this in the near future. I'm decent at piloting the Mavic and framing shots, but I still would consider myself a novice with manual photo and video settings.

I am being selected to take this picture based on the fact that I have a quad copter, not my photography skills. My main concern is that I only have my cellphone (galaxy S7 edge) screen as a visual guide. It will be outside and very sunny and I'm not sure how well I will be able to see the screen. I don't have a sunshade for my screen either. I'm trying to rig something together because I won't have access to purchase one. Maybe I will have to use a dark sheet or blanket :)

Is the Mavic camera capable of taking a picture from this distance while still showing faces? Could the photo be printed on a larger print to be framed? I imagine the example picture below was taken with a crane, would anyone recommend a different height or angle? Do you think I could afford to fly back a bit to allow more people into the shot?

I'm going to shoot in RAW and I have a friend that is good at editing photos. I'm thinking numerous pictures at different shutter settings, combined with a few in auto, might give me some good options in post. I'm not sure how much time I will have to take the pictures but I imagine I would at least have a minute or so.

Thanks in advance for any advice and it is all welcome. I don't want to waste 100 people's time by taking pictures that don't turn out well :(

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If you're concerned about bad exposure, use the auto-bracketing feature, and also maybe the burst-shot mode. Give them a warning you're going to begin shooting but don't do a little countdown because you want to take multiple similar shots and people will start to look away once they think you got the first one.

I suggest you set up your shot so that the people are not looking directly toward the sun to see your camera. Have at least 30º direction and better with 40º off the sun for best lighting and most comfort for the people posing for the photo.

One trick: once you have two or three good shots from the same position, you can use them to edit out blinking or distracted people with their more attentive version in a separate photo.
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What halley said. And also, don't worry about resolution. If you frame the group in tight and set your focus, you will absolutely be able to see faces. The camera (I believe) is 12 megapixels. As for the sun, hover the quad then throw a coat over your head to see the screen. In addition to bracketing exposure, just don't forget to properly focus.
Thanks halley and SteelFlyer! This is the exact type of advice I was looking for. And thanks for quelling some of my fears. I'm going to add this to my checklist.
Best advice with digital photography is...

1. Take lots of photos
2. Take more photos
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 while messing with exposure, focus and composition - for as long as you can get away with it. Remember to say "oh no, I've left the lens cap on" while shooting some more candid reactions.
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