Group shots are often requested along with executive portraits and other corporate photography. While group shots are useful to show the teamwork you value, for the team-building purpose for execs that are scattered over multiple offices, and for historical documentation purposes, it is, however, harder to achieve useful and effective results without careful planning. Below are common challenges and issues that you want to think about at the level of your company’s internal discussion.
- Group shots require a large space with visually pleasing background
The space should be large, both in width and depth, to accommodate people without overlapping much, and enough distance for camera placement. The backdrop needs to be non-distracting because it will be in rather sharp focus (shallow depth of field does not work for group shots). Just because space can hold all the people, it doesn’t mean large enough.
Individuals who stand near either side of the picture tend to look bigger (wider) than the individuals who position near the center. This phenomenon amplifies when the space is not large enough.
The space should receive no direct sunlight.
- Group shots are difficult to use
The way people are assembled determines the shape of the picture. There is little room for cropping to force into a shape and size allocated on the layout unless you plan carefully or have complete freedom in layout. (If the group is less than eight people and space is very large, we can arrange people in a single row, in which case there is more cropping freedom. This configuration works best for horizontally wide space on modern design websites.)
The PR value of a group shot of executive is often limited, especially for a large corporation.
- Looks rather formal
A group shot means people are either assembled in a row, rows, or in the case of very many people, scattered randomly. Except for the last, the pictures will look rather formal, which works for industries where traditional and conservative look works. Scattered group shots are good for more organic and active look and look less formal, but it is not very common except for grown startups and consumer-oriented industries.
- Looks less perfect
You might have seen a clean, slick, modern looking group shot in corporate collaterals or professionally designed websites. Many of those shots are stock images taken by carefully assembling models on a studio set. In reality, your employees are likely to have more variations in their heights and body shapes, and your office space is a lot smaller with a lower ceiling, limiting lighting options. So, when you plan a group shot, refer to real group shots of real companies (like samples you see on this page).
- Employee turnover
We’ve seen cases where company shot many group shots but used only some or none at all because they didn’t want any image of fired former employees on their website. A similar issue arises when new employees join after shooting.
- Fighting against people’s limited patience
Trying to get many people in one place simultaneously requires a lot of patience from each member of the group. Then we need to get a picture where most people’s facial expressions are nice, or at least, with eyes open. That is not easy.
- Missing execs
There may be missing execs who can’t make the shoot day. If it’s just a headshot, we can do a makeup session, but it is impossible for a group shot.
Either way, if you have to do it, we’ll figure out the best way to do it. The best way to do it is, of course, to plan ahead. If you have any question or unsure about the feasibility or value of group shot in your situation, we are available to discuss.
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