Staff Portrait Final Product
This is the staff portrait that I created for Pinnacle Pain & Spine, a doctors office in Scottsdale, AZ which specializes in pain management solutions. Look how great they all look! Everyone is smiling and looking into the camera. Not one person is blinking. I’m very proud of this image. Let me tell you about how I captured it.
Behind the Shot
This staff portrait is a lie. Well, actually not entirely, but I lied when I refer to it as a singular image. This is a composite group photo. I captured each staff member individually in front of a green screen and digitally composited each person into the final group staff portrait you see here. This allowed me to capture each person with their best smile, and to use that same exposure for both the group photo and the individual portraits.
Here is a gallery of the original images:
I setup a studio inside the doctors office, andeach staff member came to have his/her portrait captured while only missing a minute or two of work. I was able to capture the portraits I needed before they realized we’d begun, and I think that accounts for the great smiles. “Wow! That was painless!”, they’d say.
Because each portrait session moved so quickly, I was able to capture genuine smiles. A genuine smile can be hard to hold and quickly becomes a fake smile if you wait too long. Often with a group photo, the time spent posing people, and taking multiple shots to avoid any blinks, causes the genuine smiles to fade. Instead each person puts on their best fake smiles, which are never fully convincing.
This green screen composite group photo method allowed for a better final product but required quite a bit more post-processing than shooting the group altogether. The post processing was time consuming, but not difficult. I opened each image in Photoshop then selected the green areas using a few clicks of the “Magic Wand” tool. Using that selection I created a mask so I wouldn’t loose any pixels, in case I found out I needed some of the back later. (This is a basic rule of non-destructive editing.) Hair caused some issues for the magic wand and required a bit more finesse, and manual attention to detail, but eventually I was able to preserve their hair styles too.
I created a mask for each person and saved out transparent files, as well as individual portraits on the blue background for use in their company directory. Then I gathered all the images with transparent backgrounds and carefully placed each person into a pleasing composition, with care given to scale each person evenly, getting smaller according to row.
So what do you think? Did you think this was a standard group portrait before I broke it down? Was it obvious that something was just a little off about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you a business in the greater Phoenix area? You can hire me to create a composite staff portrait for your business too. I’ll also create individual portraits of each staff member. You’ll be able to use these on your company’s website or printed in your promotional marketing materials. Use my contact page to let me know about your project so I can give you a quote.