Group photos can be difficult to get everyone looking their best. I will walk you through my easy/fail safe process to make sure everyone in the image is in top form.
Taking group photos can be a chore
Especially when dealing with children or executives and celebrities with busy schedules. It is also important to get everyone in the photo looking their best. The process I like to use for this scenario is to composite together smaller groups. This way you can light each group individually. They will be lit to look their best and also each person can pick their best looking image so the whole group is happy with the final outcome.
I took this photo of my family on Christmas day. None of the kids wanted to spend time away from their new presents to sit still. This method worked great because I could pull them in one at a time and take the image quick. I placed my camera on a tripod and composed the image. I then did a couple of light tests with my son. I used a 5-Foot Octa and the ambient light coming from the large window camera right for the fill. I then used a Photek SoftLighter and lit everyone individually as seen in the .gif.
While shooting, I had my Nikon D800 tethered to Capture One 11. This way I could see everything on screen and take the guess work out of getting the shot right. One trick to tethering to a MacBook Pro is to make sure you get the Tether Tools Power System if your tether cable is longer than a couple of feet. This will keep the signal between the camera and laptop going and not time out.
Once I had the images how I liked, I then stacked them in Photoshop and masked out each layer.