Lesson 106: Putting it together

Putting it together for a group picture 

Smartphone Lesson 106 provides a checklist to take a group picture successfully. If you need more information regarding any step, please refer to lessons 101-105. 

Before we get started, grab a hold of your smartphone, open the camera app, and follow along.  All smartphone cameras will have the functionality I describe, yours might look different. If you know the functionality exists, you can find it, figure out how to use it, then practice it so it becomes an action you can take when the great picture you want to take presents itself.

Putting it together for a group picture 

  • Clean the lens
  • Ensure sufficient light without using your smartphone flash.
  • Place the smart camera in a rock-solid location. A tripod is ideal.
  • Compose the picture. Leave space around the group to allow future cropping and sizing of a print.
  • Refrain from using the digital zoom
  • Set the self-timer to 10 seconds
  • Touch one of the subjects on the screen to lock in focus and exposure.
  • Press the shutter button and position yourself in the group.
  • Inspect the resulting image and make adjustments if needed.
  • Take at least three images; two relatively serious poses and one fun pose.
  • Consider having a professional work the image to reduce noise and increase sharpness if printing the image.


Save and refer to the checklist when practicing before the day of the group picture.  Professionals always use the same steps to hardwire checklists in their minds and develop muscle memory to quickly go through the process to achieve a great image.  Practice makes perfect.  Practice setting up and taking group images so you are ready for the big moment.