Group Portrait

  • An outdoor group portrait (with a minimum of 4 people, preferably more).
  • Consider the positioning of the people within the portrait as well as the overall structure of the composition.
  • Considerations: Page layout, composition, focus, lighting a large area, dealing with lots of people.

Inspired by Zed Nelson’s ‘Love Me’ project:

“Love Me reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty.

Over a period of five years Zed Nelson visited 18 countries across five continents. The project explores how a new form of globalization is taking place, where an increasingly narrow Western beauty ideal is being exported around the world like a crude universal brand.”

Far right image: Brazil’s Peladão is one of the largest football tournaments in the world. Each of the 800 competing teams are required to field a beauty queen, who competes in a parallel beauty pageant. Rules state that if a losing football team is knocked out of the league, they can be reinstated if its beauty queen reaches the final rounds of her competition. Newly selected Peladão beauty queens gather at Manaus football stadium for pre-match judging and registration. Manaus, Brazil.

My Portrait


I chose to use only natural lighting in my group portrait as I prefer to work this way- flash is too ghastly a lot of the time and not to my everyday liking. The sunlight was glorious and available for only a few minutes before it disappeared behind clouds for the day. I brought the models forward from the shadows into the direct sunlight so that it would pick out their eyes and bring a more natural (ironic I know) feeling to the shot. I didn’t have them all looking directly at me as I wanted to represent how desperate they are to please and show off i.e look at every camera possible and hold a pose for anyone willing to capture it. I should have moved them all to the right a fraction more as I did not notice the lamp-post growing out of the far left models head, I didn’t make the most of the natural framing I had available to me between the two lamp-posts, definitely missed a trick there! I like the contrast between their outfits- some made up completely, some hair done makeup not, others with the correct shoes others in trainers… I feel it adds an element of comic value to the shot as they all compete with each other to be the most beautiful there.

C&G31Not quite sharp enough but a bit of fun!


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March 11, 2013 · 10:38 am

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