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How to do a company photo when you can’t get schedules aligned

There is nothing harder in business than trying to get calendars to align.

And that becomes another level of impossible when we are talking about trying to get the calendars of multiple senior executives to line up to get corporate photography done and get that all important team photo for the annual report or website.

It can take months of preparation and planning, and then that urgent, unavoidable meeting comes up and it all falls apart again. Either the CEO is missing, or everyone else needs to wait around for them to be free again.

What if I told you there was a better way?

Photographers have a trick that allows for less stress and a lot less juggling.

It’s called a composite.

What is a composite?

Take this photo for example. This could be done with one photo and all members of this team in position at once. That would be everyone’s best case scenario. However another option (and the one that was taken) was to photograph each individual separately and Photoshop them together later on to make it look like it was taken as one frame.

Each photo that makes up the overall photo is taken at different times, but using the same landscape or setting, and the same lighting style so it looks seamless.

What are the advantages of a composite?

Timing is the main one.

While it can be great to get everyone together in the same place, the reality is that it is not always possible. Not having to bring everyone in at the same time and making sure everyone is looking at the camera, smiling and not mid-blink is a huge advantage.

It also allows for editing in the future if one person leaves your organisation, meaning not everyone needs to be brought back together for another team photo. This can be an enormous time and money saver.

It also allows us to be a bit more creative with lighting. If we had wanted to make sure all three people in this photo were lit beautifully in one frame we would likely have lit up the barrels, background and lost a bit of the mood and interest in this shot.

The disadvantages of composites

Timing is also a disadvantage, but in a different way.

A composite photo may take the photographer longer to create and get the final product to you.

This also extends to cost. Both the length of time needed with the photographer on the day of the shoot (or days if they need to come in more than once), as well as additional time with editing. This needs to be taken into account when considering composite photography as an alternative to a single team photo.

You will also need to ensure your corporate or headshot photographer knows how to do composites well. It is not as simple as snapping a few photos. When composites aren’t done well they can look unrealistic (take this photo for example, Russell Crow’s oddly positioned hand and Tom Cruise’s unexplained extra height will always jar in it). Don’t be afraid to ask for examples of similar work before you bring a professional photographer in to do this style of corporate photography.

Ultimately both ways of taking a corporate team photo will produce excellent results. It will simply come down to your preference and ability to bring your team together.

edt. Photography are a Brisbane commercial photography studio that specialise in composites. If you would like to discuss your project feel free to reach out to us.

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