The Art of the Group Shot

It’s funny — what many photographers consider to be the least desirable or glamorous photo to take — the group shot — is the one most likely to hang on the wall or go on the website. Group shots can be a technical challenge, a social task, and a whole lot of fun. When the subjects are willing, you can have them fly through the air, wade into a cornfield, or dive into a mud puddle.

conversation with Luke Zahm, restaurateur/client:


“Can you take a group photo, of all of our café staff and their families, at the Christmas party next June?”


“Sure I can. Do you want to line everybody up neatly, and have them smile for the camera?”


“Eh, not really our style.”


“I didn’t think so.”


And so began our planning. On the day of the party 120 employees and family members from the Driftless Café showed up at Second Cloud on the Left farm, and were promptly dunked in a giant mud pit. There was all sort of merriment going on there, for about an hour. On their way to the hose, everybody, muddy or clean, stopped by the studio we had set up in the greenhouse, and had studio shots taken.


It’s not for everyone, but this was surely one of the most fun “Christmas” parties and photo shoots of all time.



“There’s just no way to tell people they are all walking around, shining, like the sun.” — Thomas Merton