This photo is one of my favorites -- it is the photo taken the day my grandfather was presented with his 50 years of service award. My mother is the only one looking at the camera. My grandparents are looking off in different directions and my aunt's eyes are closed.
This is not unusual when taking photos of a group -- large or small. The photographer should have been more focused on the subjects, making sure the photo of such an occasion is a good one. When you are shooting, as you look through the lens, make sure all elements of a photo look the best to you. Tell people where to look. If you have a blinker, keep a sharp eye on that person. Take plenty of shots to have a few to pick from.
The original of this photo is a black and white. The original copy is starting to show its age. The photo is discoloring and taking on a bronze look. Some photos age better than others. I believe this original spent time on a wall and perhaps the light did some damage to it. I corrected the digital file and tweaked the contrast to make it as close to the day it was printed as possible. The original is now in an archival sleeve in a notebook away from light.