While group shots are useful to show the University works as a team, they don't tell a useful story. Always consider your audience. Will a static group shot tell the story of your department or college? A group shot is easy, but it doesn't market to your target audience-high school juniors and seniors. Showcasing your students, staff and faculty in action make for a better images when trying to attract your audience to your website.
Group shots take careful planning to be effective, whether you are putting it in a frame or on the web. If the group photo is taken outside, be mindful to where the sun is in the sky. By trying to avoid having your group smile into the bright sun and putting the sun at their backs, you will get a backlit shot, where the sky is bright and your people are dark. Or when you want the photo to look bright, you risk the photo where everyone is squinting or has their eyes nearly closed blocking our the sun which is right in their faces!
The best group shoots are not people assembled in row after row. With large groups, your audience can't make out the friendly faces that you want to showcase. A more relaxed group photo, where people are in various stages of sitting and standing is more desirable for a friendlier look. Imagine how a large group photo will look on all types of media, from the laptop to the cellphone compared to a small group photo.
The best place to shoot large group shots are on either side of the University Center. Late afternoons are perfect for the quad side of the University Center For large groups, we often place people on the small knoll past the fountain, facing the Liberal Arts Center.
For morning photos, the best place to shoot a group photo will be at the amphitheater side of the University Center across from the David E. Rice fountain. This area also allows for more casual, small groupings of people.
In the event of rain, the only place on campus that can accommodate large group photos is the atrium of the the Business Education Center. You must reserve the space with Special Events the day before your photo shoot.