Freestyle Event Photography recently photographed Absolute Value, an inner city property valuation company. The actual time spent photographing a team of 10 people was around 40 minutes, which may not seem like much. What clients don’t see is the behind-the-scenes preparation and post-production that goes into taking a group photo.
Members of our team will be sent out to scope the area around the clients offices to find suitable locations for photos. Many of our clients have smaller offices where there is limited space for group photography. Because each client is in a different location, it is often necessary to scout the neighbourhood nearby to find a suitable photographic space. It could be an outside shot, near greenery, inside the lobby of a building, or in a public square on some steps.
The next thing we do is check the time of day for the shoot, and, for outdoor photography, review the direction of the sunlight to watch for undesirable shadows. For interior shots, we need to set up strobe lighting. We always do some test shots in the location of choice.
When we are ready to shoot, we arrange people ensuring that everyone can be seen by the camera—kind of like the way theatre seats are arranged. Once arranged, we adjust clothes, tidy hair, and arrange posture, in particular hands. We take a dozen photos, accounting for some to be discarded due to the fact that eyes will be closed.
Once the images are taken, we return to the studio and carry out post-production work: adjusting exposure, dodging and burning, removing artifacts, touching up people’s faces, and so on.
Photographing a group is often a two-person job. One person arranges, while the other takes the photos. Like everything, there is often more than meets the eye!
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