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Posing a Group in Front of a Window

I am photographing a 25th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks, in a venue with big windows overlooking the water right outside Boston. When I asked the client if there were any special shots she wanted, she told me she would like to have group shots of some of the immediate family members. My head went right to "let me set them up in front of the windows with the water/skyline as a backdrop". Now my question is "how do you do this without seeing the flash in the picture reflecting off the glass". I am asking for advice in anticipation of doing this, as I have never been to this place.

"Expose for the background, and light the subject(s)", is what I'm thinking, especially if the Boston skyline and water are in view.

If the groups are big enough - 7 to 10+ - I would imagine using at least one off-camera light with umbrella. But, I know that would be visible. Would I bring in two lights, set wide enough apart, so the group is lit and I can crop out the reflection? Would I put the light lower, so the group is blocking it? I would plan to be low myself, so my reflection would be seen.

I would love to be able to do this successfully, while minimizing an unwieldy setup, because I don't know how much room I would have.

Thanks - Dave


  • rs_eosrs_eos Member
    Your other thread involving eyeglasses would address some issues (see the link I provided on dealing with reflections).

    One thing I would strongly recommend is using a polarizing filter as that can help with reducing reflections too.
  • dbrunodbruno Member
    RS - thanks, but I'm worried about successfully lighting the group without seeing the off-camera lighting reflection in the window. Sort-of similar to the reflections from eyeglasses because they are both reflections off glass, but I think it really may be more of a different problem.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    You might find this most recent Tangents post interesting: 

    With your situation, you have to find a way that you don't see the light from the flash in the windows. Somehow hide it - have the flashes really high up and at a distance - this way you don't see it in the frame when you shoot with a longer lens.

    Or have the flashes off to the side ... and shoot with a longer lens to compress the perspective so that you see less of the background. 
  • dbrunodbruno Member
    Thanks. I'll have to work on it, and read the article you sent. I don't have studio flashes (a couple of 580EXs), so separation distance could be an issue. But yes, off to the sides so they won't be in the shot, or crop them out later.

  • dbrunodbruno Member
    Ha, the date of your post, such a coincidence!
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