Just when you think everything is good, you have a catastrophic failure – of camera equipment. This shot was fine. Except for one other shot the rest were way over-exposed. I use flash. It ensures an even exposure and any movement by the crowd is lessened in the final shot. The flash or camera malfunctioned and the other shots got way over-exposed. I said that already?! This was completely unexpected since I have been shooting successfully for a long time. What went wrong? The obvious place to look – the flash. I checked the settings. I consulted the manual. The camera settings had not changed. Resetting the flash seemed to take care of the exposure problem. Next time I do a group I will check my exposure before letting the group disperse. I always shoot more than one shot of groups. Caution paid off this time. Pfewf!!


You shoot a group and then what? I am self-conscious. People are cooperative enough to gather for me. What’s different? So, point. Why not? It’s different. Funny?! Of course, on the uptake, everyone is slow to react. Ok! I got the shot. I posted it to the family. They got it. I hope someone smiled/laughed. It is a different pose. Now you know why. Will they in the future?


Someone is always self-conscious and reluctant to pose. This is a rare shot of three sisters. Brother is missing. It will be a more valuable shot as years pass. Meanwhile, it is not the only time or grouping. I try to shoot one whenever they are together. Legacy. Preservation. i don’t think about it. But these images will last long after I am gone.

A little different

So, let me explain…. We do a lot of group pics at this time of year. Family. You own a beach home and there is a lot of traffic in the house right about now. Ha ha. The price of admission is a group photo. Boring. I tried to get the group to jump as I pressed the shutter. I tried to make them raise up their hands. Now?! I asked them to point. It worked. I got a good shot. Everyone point with their right hand. Yeah, yeah, I got my left arm up. I’m left handed. The other problem – getting the crowd inside the picture. I have to open the lens wider. It seems the folks don’t like to crowd up so much. Hey, so far so good. I got them pointing. Right?

On a roll

I’m shy. As in, I do not like to ask people to pose. Of course they will – pose. But ya gotta ask. And, I’m shy. Everyone knows me and that I carry a camera around. And, I am the only one in the family to do so – mostly. Well, pretty much, only. And it’s easy. “Family picture.” They all gather up. I have to space them. Usually it means getting a little closer together. Covid is just done, more or less, so folks are less squeamish about getting shoulder to shoulder. So far no one I shot got ill. Good! Eh?


I wuz lazy. I did not Photoshop myself into the group. Colleen took the other pic. Same group different peoples.

I try to keep the focal length and position the same. And I assume you know enough basic photography to know what I am babbling on about. Of, course, Colleen changed things. It was not her intention. She, my wife – dear dearest wife – is not particularly camera adept. So we struggle over what she takes – pictures, that is.

The day is gray – rather it was a waning sunset, after dinner, but in shadow. The overall tint is blue, which is easy enough to fix in Lightroom. Again, I was lazy. A group shot was the goal. There is a preserved record of this gathering. Good. Good enough. Done.


After a long hiatus – ha ha – about nine years or so, give or take, I have revived this blog, sort of. My humor has not diminished. In fact, it’s probably more cracked than ever. I do not intend to publish with much regularity. Much of what I talk about will be how I got the shot and how the reader might learn. Tips. It’s about tips to improve your own photography – which is already perfect in every way.

Groups. First you gotta have one. Then you gotta herd them into position. Herding cats. Mostly folks are fairly cooperative. Ya gotta get them to look at the camera. Right!

At the end of the day, be sure everyone gets a copy. It will ensure cooperation when the next gathering comes next year.

I use flash. The bright “pop” gets everyone to notice that the camera is taking their picture. Someone always has their eyes closed. So be it. I do multiple takes. I do not overthink. And I do not Photoshop the image. I pick out the important people – me and Colleen – and make sure they look good. After that I publish one or two copies.

In this image I used a higher vantage point – staircase. I used a wide angle lens. It’s a group shot and they spread out! Flash helps to get even lighting and minimize shadows. More than one shot ensures that fewer people are caught with their eyes closed on any given shot.

See! Easy!? Right!