Corporate Photography: How to Take Group Shots

When working in the field of corporate photography you will often find yourself planning and shooting group shots. Group shots are all about the team. In the group shot everyone is equal and no person is more prominent than anyone else. Everyone in this photo should be able to point themselves out and be happy to have been a part of it.

Location

Depending on the size of the group you're going to need a large space for everyone to stand in. Ideally, you want something with bleachers or levels because you want to block the group in rows according to height order. You also need to have space for people to place their coats and bags because you don't want that in the picture. Bathrooms should be nearby because you don't want anyone to get up when it's time to shoot.

Aside from being practical, your location also has to be visually appealing. An abandoned warehouse is the size you need, but is not appropriate for photographing a team of corporate banking executives. Choose a location appropriate for the content. Sometimes your client has already picked one out and as long as it's practical, you should agree that it is appropriate.

Have a Wide Lens

You should have a lens that is wide enough to get the entire group in your frame. You should also know which lens you're going to use before you shoot, because you want the group to be in and out as soon as possible. After all, you do not want to waste your client's time and money.

Blocking

This is and should be the most time consuming part of the group shot. The most efficient way to do this is to have the group line up in height order with the shortest people in the front and tallest in the back. Have them walk in and fill up the area. Then rearrange people accordingly so that no faces are obstructed from view.

You may also consider placing folding chairs in the front row so that some people can sit. This gives you one less row to worry about and it also creates a photo that introduces bosses, managers, and other important people.

Lighting

The lighting on a group shot needs to be evenly exposed. Use a couple of powerful lights raised high in the air and diffuse them so that the beams are wide and soft. Your goal is to create enough light that won't be overpowering yet it should fill in the shadows.

Shooting

Make sure you shoot the same shot a few times. This way you'll have at least one good photo where everyone is looking forward with their eyes open. Your goal as the photographer is to create a group shot where everyone can be satisfied with the end result. 

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