Experiment. Take your basketball team photos from different vantage points. Especially when shooting a larger team. One great method is to elevate yourself with a ladder or other device. Your shooting angle will be down at the team, which will help to ensure everyone is seen in the photo. Also, the higher angle tends to provide a different and unique view of the athletes. Bleachers are another excellent device for posing your teams. You can use the seats to tier the group upward; however, you still don’t want to place the tall people down in front if you can avoid it.
Take Multiple Shots
This is one time you shouldn’t be hesitant to take multiple shots quickly. You wouldn’t typically switch the camera to continuous shooting mode, but it can often work well, catching them off-guard just as they are relaxing. In fact, we have found that the mere fact of the basketball team hearing your camera go off repeatedly and so quickly will generate a few smiles and laughs. Since it’s hard to get everyone to smile at exactly the right time, take many photos quickly. You will find that the first shot might not be that good, but the second or third will be better because they look a bit less posed and more relaxed.
Use this opportunity to change settings on your camera. Take multiple shots while changing the aperture, shutter, ISO, and white balance. Compare the differences and pick your favorites back at the house. With practice you will find you need to do less and less of this because you will know the best setting for any given circumstances.
If there is a chance at the basketball gym or location to do something unique, go for it. Along with the standard poses, try something different or fun, and your photos will stand out from others. Try standing your athletes in lockers looking out, or lined up in a single row, or lying in a circle. Look around. Take advantage of props unique to the basketball gym or location. Break the rules once in a while! We always do a "fun" shot where subjects can make silly faces and point at each other.