Take Great Group Pictures

Eight tried-and-true tricks for making everybody look good.

Group photos are tricky—and not just because no amount of cutting-edge technology can make 12 humans look at a camera at the same time. Here’s how to make your friends-and-family pics really shine.

Bring your subjects closer

Encourage physical contact—it’ll give your photos a sense of warmth and connection. (You’ll notice we’ve done that with all the photos here.) No need for a group bear hug: Simply standing close enough so there’s no space between people will make a big difference.

Get in there!

A photo timer gives you plenty of time to jump into the shot yourself. Camera+ 2’s self-timer gives you up to 30 seconds, which is almost enough time to have a sandwich first.

Activate the Smile Detection Protocol

No, really: Smile mode in Camera+ 2 automatically detects when everyone is grinning, then fires off several shots at exactly the right moment. To enable Smile mode, tap the plus sign next to the shutter button, then swipe along the icons to find Smile. If you’ve ever tried to photograph a group of kids, you know what this can mean.

Be sure to leave some space for the photographer.

Embrace the outtakes

Everyone counts to three before taking a shot, so try this slightly shifty trick: Start shooting when you get to one. And two. And then three. And then keep shooting when everyone thinks you’re done. The idea is to get past the flat, plastic “cheeeeeeese” smile and into a more natural, relaxed state. Those candid/unguarded/goofy moments are gold.

The real magic lies in those unguarded moments.

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