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Old Jan 18, 2005, 5:53 PM   #1
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Hello all.I am shooting a 90th birthday party for a friend (which I am know regretting). THey first requested a backdrop so the the individual families could get pictures taken together. I consulted with them and they decided on the color black. Well now they are saying that they need the backdrop to be big enough for a group picture of 130 people, and they are now second guessing the color black because everyone will be in a tux and black or white dresses. Does anyone have any other color suggestions for the backdrop?
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 1:13 PM   #2
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Wow. A backdrop for 130 people would be a huge backdrop.

I would think you should stay with a solid color, either black or white. If you are expecting a lot of black colored outfits, maybe a white backdrop would be better.

Maybe others would have ideas as well.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 1:18 PM   #3
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Well, people will be wearing both black and white and I am affraid that if I have a white backdrop it will wash people out. Is that right?
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 2:04 PM   #4
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Black, and white, are bad choices I would think... I have zero experience with this stuff but how about something like gray, or light green, or light blue, or something like that?
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 2:30 PM   #5
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I am affraid that a color would take away from the formalness of the pictures. It is a black and white tie event. My other problem is finding a backdrop big enough in a color.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 2:37 PM   #6
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I don't think a backdrop for 130 people will work logistically.

How are you going to arrange these people? One or two standing rows won't work-- the frame would have to be so wide you'd never see anyone's face.

If you arrange in some sort of square formation (like 7 rows of 20) you'll naturally have to include much of the ground surface to get everyone in. So unless you roll this background under everyone's feet, you'll see a backround behind a few rows, then whatever the ground is after that. And even then your background will have to be at least 50 feet wide.

How are you going to shoot these people? You'll need either some sort of tiered platform (like risers or bleachers or tables or something) or you'll need to be really high.

My suggestion: find the location you'll be shooting, and if it's during the day, shoot outside, in open shade, with as nice of a background as you can.

Ugh. Group photos. Of 130 people! My suggestion would be to find a group photo of a group that big online (look maybe for a corporate website with a "company wide" photo or maybe a school or choir photo or something like that) and show them how small everyone's face will be. If this is black-tie, then people will be hesitant to kneel or sit on the ground, which leavesfew posing options.Explain allof thedisadvantages, and ask whether they REALLY want this photo. If they say they do, then offer to hire a professional(who would probably give the same opinion).

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Old Jan 19, 2005, 2:39 PM   #7
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Color will not take away from the formal nature... look at people's business photos... there is almost ALWAYS a blue or green background, and sometimes even a splash of other color. White will wash out people, and with black you'd have guys' heads and collars floating in air... when you're doing portrait work, that can be overcome by using a backlight or a hairlight on the individual to separate him from the background. That's just not an option with a group pic this large.


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Old Jan 19, 2005, 2:45 PM   #8
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Well I think that with the group pic since it is at night, I will put black king size sheets on the ground and put them in the square like you are talking about but go up to the balcony and take a shot with people looking up at me in an angle (not straight up). Does that sound like it will work? This way the entire background will be black. And my backdrop is not as black as most. It is a tad bit lighter than most. I have put several people dressed in black up to it and the blacks are differant colors.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 2:49 PM   #9
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well, it sounds like a possibility. Just as long as everyone realizes how small each person's face is.

Here's a50-something person group shot from a high school choir...






Now imagine double that many people!

Good luck




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Old Jan 19, 2005, 2:52 PM   #10
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Oh trust me I know. I have tried telling them that you will not be able to see everyones face very well, but they want it anyway. THis will be the first time the entire family has been together. They are planning on ordering a 30 x 30 print, so it will be larger than most pictures.
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