Secret to Posing Perfect Teams & Groups

One of the questions we get asked frequently is regarding the daunting task of posing teams and groups.

The key to building volume sports photography business is having standard procedures so you can produce consistent repeatable results. Unless you plan to be the one at every shoot, you must have a systems. You need systems for everything you do in the volume sports photography  business.  From, posing, lighting, and exposure of both teams and individuals. Systems is what makes your business scalable and allows you to grow.

In this article we will show you how to produce consistent reputable results  in posing your teams and groups regardless of the size.  Here are a few tips.


First, try to find and area that is close to where the individual player shots will be taken so they don’t have to walk very far.

Look for a background trees or bushes if possible and be sure to avoid buildings, streets, parking lots, playing fields, fences and the possibility of people walking through your background. A good photographic area is not always possible at every league, but a little imagination will produce a nice results.


While we are not going to detail about the lighting in this particular article, it is important to make sure the sun is not directly behind your players and will not shine directly into the lens producing lens flare.   You also want to avoid placing  the sun directly into the subject face to avoid squinting eyes. We will typically put the sun at 45° angle to the subject s back.

Photographing The Team

The key to consistent results when posing sport teams and groups is to have a posing guide (regardless of the size of the group). You can download our team posing guide in the box below this article.  The numbers of rows depends on the number of players and coaches on the team. The goal is to fill the frame (top to bottom / side-to-side) and at the same time stay within the cropping parameters for and 8 x 10.

Baseball / Soccer

Under normal circumstances, no more than three rows are necessary when composing baseball or soccer team pictures. When you pick up your group at the designated area they should be lined up shortest to tallest.  In these teams the coaches usually position on each side of the last row of standing individuals. If the team has numerous coaches, they will  typically be in the back row by themselves.

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Football / Large Groups

For football teams, you will typically use 4 or 5 rows to form a  well composed picture. If you are using bleachers or group risers, the coaches will typically  be behind the last row.

Although, we moved to the  Extreme Team method for large groups 6 years ago and haven't look back. In recent years this is also becoming very popular in the youth market and is also a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

You can download  our team posing guide in the box directly  below this article.

Hopefully this posing guide will help you with posing of your teams at your next shoot. Please let me know… would love to hear your feedback.



    1. It sent the download link to the e-mail address you entered. Check your e-mail (make sure it didn’t go to your spam or news folder).

  1. I disagree about your lighting information. I teach my photographers that in sunlight, lighting should be directly left or right and anywhere behind the team. Using a lens hood always!!!! Being aware and avoiding possible lens flare. In combination of a well educated knowledge of flash fill lighting. Done correctly in a lot of cases it looks like a lighting halo on the kids when we know most don’t qualify for the halo. 🙂 In the Pacific northwest in the spring we get more rain than sun, so that’s another story.

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