While working with Insight Communications, I was responsible for putting together the Executive group photo.
Here are various covers and pieces created for Export Development Canada’s Annual Report (x4 years)
As is always the case with group portraits, the hardest part is capturing everybody’s perfect expression. With a group of executives, another challenge is getting them all together in the same room at the same time. With a group like EDC, there are usually scheduling limitations that make it impossible to shoot the portrait in one session.
It always best to at least use the same room, lighting and camera setup - it makes it easier. However, sometimes geography makes it impossible.
Needless to say, these types of portraits need to look as natural as possible and appear genuine.
The first thing to do is select the image that contains the highest amount of good elements. This includes lighting, hand position, shirt folds etc. But the most important part is to find the image that has the most faces that are acceptable to their owners. Once we have a base image, we can start to build the portrait, adding the better faces, expressions as we go along. Of course with a group this large, there is usually one person that needs to be dropped into the image completely.
Group portraits for annual reports are something I find fun. It is a challenge to get *all* the executives at this size of company together at the same time. So when the portraits are taken, we leave some room to *drop* people into the shot later.
I always like these jobs.
You will never get a group of people to have the perfect expressions, postures etc all at the same time in one image. That is when Photoshop comes to the rescue. Prior to the digital workflow, this used to be a very labour intensive process. Now it is a layer intensive process. When all is said and done I generally have 20+ layers for group portraits such as this.
A stock image, blurred.
Groups portraits are tricky things. Is it really possible to get many people to do their best face all at the same time?
Way back in photography school I learned that no published image is untouched. It’s true. These group photos are always a mishmash of different heads and bodies all composited together.
The real trick is making the images believable.
Multiple faces, composited onto the best image is how we do it here in annual report world.