Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
I like this picture for the composition and the feel of it but, as someone who has "posed" hundreds of groups I find this has a "you look here, and you look here" kind of feel to it. It seems a bit contrived on where the people are looking.

To some it may seem "more natural" than everyone looking at the camera but to me it still has that contrived feel, mainly because there is no real reason for the subjects to be looking where they are looking.

However I do like the compostion, clothes attitudes etc.

I think that Strand deliberately chose and utilized the eye directions as an ingredient in the overall composition. The various eye directions are what one would typically observe in a group of people of this size in a natural setting. There are normally not only one relational conversation going on in a group of five people...not for very long, that is.

The direction of the two that are gazing inward (center of the image) serve to give emphasis to the position of the mother. If one would have all gazing at the camera position it would have been highly unnatural considering the natural setting. At least that is my take on it.