This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Group Of Four. The figures in the group of two may be still further separated, the third figure being moved sufficiently to one side to permit the introduction of a fourth figure. In the group of four shown in Illustration No. 65 it was necessary to depart from this rule on account of the height of the fourth figure. For that reason this figure took the place of the second figure in the group of three, the latter figure being introduced as shown. This arrangement is very pleasing, and although a group of four is one of the most difficult to arrange, it will be found, by following out this idea of placing the subjects according to heights and individual adaptability to certain positions, that most satisfactory effects can be secured.
529. The heads of two subjects should never be on a level. If one figure is taller than another, this difficulty will easily be overcome, while, if of the same height, one figure should be seated on the corner of a table, or other support, to bring the head a trifle lower than that of the standing figure. This principle was employed when arranging the group shown in the accompanying illustration.
Group Of Five. Being composed of an odd number of figures this is an easy group to pose. First, arrange the group of three as shown in the right hand side of the upper group in Illustration No. 66. Then to the left of these place the group of two, and the group of five will be ready for the exposure. If the two figures to the right were removed there would still be a perfect group of three, so that the analysis of this particular group shows that it well constructed. As a matter of fact, it is simply necessary to pose three subjects properly, then introduce on one side the two other subjects. The central figure should be the most prominent member of the group and it is usually advisable to have the other four turned in such a way as to face this figure.
531. Do not forget to pay particular attention to the lighting of the face of each subject. This is important, as in commercial work it is necessary to satisfy each person. Invariably each person in a group is of the impression that he or she appears at a disadvantage as compared to the others; so exercise every effort to produce a good likeness of each member.
Group Of Six. A group of this number may be constructed by arranging two groups of three each, but do not arrange both parts identically the same. It is also possible to take the group of five and introduce an additional figure, moving the two outside figures a trifle from the center, permitting the introduction of the sixth figure between these two members and the other three. There are numerous other ways in which this group can be formed, and by using individual taste little difficulty will be experienced in easily and quickly securing a perfectly satisfactory arrangement. See the lower group in Illustration No. 66.