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  • Writer's picturebonniejheath

Group Shots 101

Good group photos are a little more challenging than you might think. They take some planning and skill. Here's a few steps I take to help get a group shot that will show your team in their best light.

Team numbers- Find out how many people need to be in the group shot. This will help me choose a location that will accommodate everyone. Let the individuals in your group know they will be in the group shot so that they can dress appropriately and tell them what time the photo will happen. No one likes surprise group photos! For leadership team photos we may want to color coordinate everyone's outfits.

Location- Picking a location can be one of the trickiest parts of the process. For photos of more than half a dozen people, an average conference room is not going to be big enough. If you try to squeeze too many people into a room that's too small for a group photo, the photographer will have to use a wider angle lens, which will distort/widen the people on the edges of the frame. We might need to use your building lobby or outdoor area. Please check with your office's building manager to be sure we have permission to take photos in those spaces.

Lighting- I will set up lights to be sure we have flattering light on everyone's faces. For big group photos, this might be two or three lights.

Posing- It's important to see everyone's faces in a group photo, so organizing everyone is more precise than just "short people in the front, tall people in the back." With an eye for detail and good communication, I will arrange and pose everyone to flatter the whole group.

Post processing- In my studio's workflow, group photos get the same editing and retouching as headshots do. I will remove blemishes, tame fly away hair and whiten teeth, if needed. I will take several shots of your group to be sure I have at least one good image with everyone's best expressions. If I need to, I will use Photoshop to swap out someone's face for a better expression in another photo.

Composite group photos- Another option is to take everyone's photos individually and then composite them together into a group photo. This can be a great idea for remote teams and during our current pandemic, when it might not be safe to have everyone stand shoulder to shoulder. Composite photos take their own type of planning, but they can be a great solution for team shots.

Group shots can be challenging, but with the right amount of planning, we can get a photo of your team that you'll be proud to display on your marketing materials!



Bonnie Heath, photographer, Atlanta


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