3. STAND TO THE SIDE of the spot where you want them to stand.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve asked someone to take a photo, and they take ONE. One in which one kid is inevitably licking another. It’s easier to just tell them to take as many as they want. You can always delete later.
Most people we’ve asked will ask you to take a look to see if the photo is okay. I used to say, “Oh, I’m sure it’s fine!” and not bother looking, only to realize later it was…definitely not fine. Usually people are more than happy to take another! I’ll usually say something like, “Oh, do you mind getting more of the building to this side of the photo in?” Or, “Do you mind shooting up a little higher so there’s less ground in front of us?” It’s usually easier to adjust with someone who’s already taken one rather than starting over.
But if it’s really so far off that there’s no hope, just find someone else! We’ll usually wait until the first person walks off, then just ask another. Try, try again.
No one owes you a photo. Ask politely, thank them if they say yes (and don’t be offended if they say no), and offer to take one for them, too. And pat yourself on the back knowing that THEIR family photo won’t have any heads cut off.
And here are a few bonus tips if you’re shooting with a DSLR!