If the lighting was asymmetrical and consistent between shots, then the lighting will be flipped as well and this might easily make the shot look simply awful or so awful its funny.
This may not be appropriate for their brand.
There are no hard and fast rules in art. You are free to follow your heart. If flipping some of the images assists in the symmetry of the final presentation, then go for it!
Few if any will recognize their image was flipped. After all, they see a flipped image when they shave or put on makeup. Yes, the dressing, shaving, and makeup image in the mirror is ...
Lighting a large group "evenly" with flash requires a powerful flash placed far enough away that the distance between closest and furthest subject is a small fraction of the distance from the flash to the closest subject. Consider the diagram Where A is the light source and B-E are subjects:
The distance A->B is 4. The distance from B->F is also ...
What I did in the end
Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. You all really helped me decide what to do.
Just to clarify, I wasn't aware that they wanted this before the shoot and they were very happy with the photos, they just wanted some taken from the opposite angle (with the subject turned to the right rather than to the left).
In the end I ...
The setup is relatively simple but to do this as one shot you will need space. An awful lot of space. Doing this indoors in a regular sized house is not going to work, the walls/ceiling are going to reflect light back filling in the shadows and you wont get the fading-into-black effect.
The easiest way to shoot this (short of renting a studio) would be to ...
I recognize this exact picture - I've seen it before. There are two photography magazines that I read that showed how to do this exact type of family portrait.
This was done in a home with a simple black background. One article uses a softbox slightly off to the side and behind the subject. The other article uses a speedlight with a simple grid straight on (...
If you use an off-camera flash for the group shot (and you should), the key concept will be light feathering : you should point the light directly to the person farthest from the flash, while the others (who are closer) will only get the edge of the beam.
Here's a whole strobist article, with this diagram:
This method helps a lot in order to get an even ...
According to the photographer himself:
No ND filter
Tripod and long shutter speed, something like f8, 2s, ISO 100...
Contrast adjustment is the only post processing
All we had to do was to ask the photographer :)
Thanks to @Unapiedra and @dpollit for figuring out the photographer's identity and twitter account
To me this looks like a composite - the family members look too close together to not be clashing shoulders.
If it is a composite then you can use the trick @Math-grum mentions of using a smallish softbox very close up on each person in turn and you'll need much less space for the light to drop off to black.
It will also be easier to get a shot where ...
In addition, unless you lit each subject with exceptionally flat frontal lighting, your composite shot will have two apparent key-light sources which do not affect all of the subjects. In other words, it will look weird, even if the viewer can not place their finger on exactly why.
From a content perspective
Last time I had a photoshoot, I asked the company to flip some pictures. They firmly refused because it would not be 'good'.
I don't know the rationale other than 'it looks less natural', but I guess it is safe to say that flipping would be a compromise on quality.
From a business perspective
This brings us to the business ...
Use Bounce Flash
As other answers have noted, the problem is the inverse square law. The intensity of light drops off with the square of the distance between the source and subject.
By bouncing your flash off a nearby object, such as the ceiling, you can decrease the ratio between the squares of the distances. For example, say you have two subjects at 3 ...
It is so you don't block the faces of the people behind you. Of course, the best way to do this is just sort people based on height, but often group photos are rushed, and you get what you get. People are polite enough to know when they are blocking someone behind them, and they bend down in many different ways. If everyone has grabbed their knees, that's ...
It's because the photographer isn't giving them any helpful feedback, and based on their experience with photography, they think they need to adjust in a certain way to fit the frame, or in this case to make sure people in the back are visible.
Of course, the subjects are in totally the wrong position to do this in a useful way except by luck, but it ...
Honestly the higher quality Third Party Lenses have really upped their game in terms of quality, focus speed and sharpness. I recently got a Tamron 15-30mm F/2.8 which I have now used to replace my Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 and it just gives me what I look for. I find generally, when looking for a wide angle, I rarely wish it could go longer, but I always wish ...
Your competition is not other photographers, it's a teacher with a point and shoot.
Schools care about the quality of the education, and the relatively minor quality difference in a staged group shot is worth very little to the school. The school may use it for their magazine or website, but they're working on a shoestring. They may pay for 1 or 2 images.
There is a lot going on in your question that raises red flags. I would suggest reading up on the topics you mentioned on this site before the shoot and come back with any follow up questions. In particular:
Which focal-length lens is usually used for portrait photography, and why?
outdoor group photo - depth of field, other concerns?
What is a portrait ...
First, those terms aren't exact synonyms. A 3/4 shot is any image where subject has been cropped at around the knees. American shot is sometimes used to specifically refer to composition where several subjects in interaction (e.g. partners in dialogue) have been cropped that way; and sometimes, it is indeed used more loosely as a synonym for 3/4 shot.
Depth of field shouldn't be an issue if you are far enough back to fit groups of 15-20 people in the frame and have plenty of daylight. Anything over f/4 with about a 50mm lens should be good.
This photo was shot using a full frame camera and 50mm lens at f/3.5 from a ladder about 1/3 of the way across a dimly lit basketball court (and then cropped slightly)...
Generally the subject is the focus, but it really depends on your creative vision as to how you balance the background and the subject in frame. How blurry the background should be, how wide the frame should be beyond the subjects and where in the frame the subjects should be are all artistic choices that don't have a "right" answer.
Close up shots focus ...
Don't be afraid of higher ISO. It's unlikely anyone will be printing posters from this (right?) and you can afford to use high ISO in order to get a deep enough aperture and fast enough shutter speed. You should be able to use manual mode — find the value for the correct version of the lighting and just keep it there.
You definitely should shoot RAW or RAW+...
Just to keep on track what's happening on the event and how was the result:
Lens 24-70mm f/2.8 - FX AF-S G ED NIKKO
Flash in 75º pointing to the ceiling
The location was, as expected bad to take pictures, with the giant dinosaur in the middle, making ...
-Since your SIL is asking for your help, I assume the groom is your brother. For clarity, I would also chat with him before the wedding to make sure he also understands your wedding experience limitations. Family weddings are sensitive - family wants "pro quality" photos for one of the most important days of their lives - for "free." Maybe this can be your ...
You should go there ahead of time. Gather as much information as possible.
Try to get access to the room before the group arrives. Try asking the hotel employees.
Google the hotel, maybe they have a group shot of their employees or of a previous conference on their website.
You should definitely find out if this is seated or not.
If the people are not ...
On this specific picture one thing happened to you.
You are crouched next to two standing people. That has no sense. It was probably because you wanted to be "too" inventive, because you are too worried of doing something cool.
Depending on how really close the group are (and I do not mean spacing) the interactions reflect that. Probably ...
First off I will disagree with using a tripod. The canon 24-105 has a minimum of 3stop Image stabilisation (the Mark II L and IS STM have 4). The shutter speed you will need to avoid motion blur (generic people motion and mouths) will be more than adequate. You will be contending with parents getting pictures of their own children and it will just get in ...
I've been shooting similar photos for quite a while. Although a lot depends on the particulars of the venue, here is what I have found works for me.
Shoot the full group shot from as far back and as high up as is feasible. If the facility you are in has a projection room, elevated sound booth, or any other similar alcove or raised platform near the rear of ...
Here's a handy tip that uses an application of the inverse square law.
The f/ #s on the barrel of a lens can be used to judge the depth of light fall-off - without a calculator - due to the application of the inverse-square law.
From 2.8 to 4 feet, the light will fall off 1 stop.
From 4 to 5.6 feet, the light will fall off another stop
From 5.6 to 8 ...