I love shooting environmental portraits whether they’re part of a manufacturing photography project, a business portrait assignment or a medical photography shoot. But with today’s busy world, if you’re shooting a group of people it can be almost impossible to coordinate everyone’s schedule. A way around this scheduling nightmare is to shoot everyone separately and then combine them in post production. Here is an example of a group shot of six doctors that we photographed on a white seamless background on location at the hospital; the ad agency combined them to create this piece. I think the result looks very nice and allowed us to get the best from everyone. What I mean by that is when you take a group shot you may have a shot that you love except for that one person who looks better in another photo. Or maybe you wish someone had another prop in their hands or was doing something different with their arms.
The key to make these group shots look their best is to have consistent lighting from person to person, shoot with the same length of lens and shoot from the same height. I shoot these types of photos on a white background, but you need to keep in mind when doing this that you may need to separate a white lab coat from the background in post production. If that’s the case, I’ll let the light fall off a little on the background so it goes to a light gray, just enough to separate it from the white lab coat. I’ll also have each subject do a selection of photos facing left, right and straight ahead so we have options for doing the group shot. We will also create multiple options with different props, hand and arm positions and different levels of smiles from a mild grin to a full toothy smile. The key is to create as many options as possible and to do it as quickly and as effectively as possible. We usually have each subject in front of the camera for 15 or 20 minutes and if the budget and time allows, we will get them in a makeup chair for a few minutes before they step foot on the seamless background.
Thanks for taking a look!