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Shooting Class Or Group Photos When Photographing Students And Such

16,405 posts (admin)
Mon Jan 29, 24 9:51 AM CST

When you are in a situation where you are photographing, say students for example, and then you have a class or group photo. 

Do you generally shoot the class or group photo right after the students that are in that class / group or is it at a separate time?

Meaning directly when you are done with the last subject do you immediately photograph that class photo?

Trying to understand that workflow and how to best assign a group or class photo to an individual. 

I've been working on for a couple of months now a QR Passcode feature in Sytist and trying to figure out the options on adding class / group photos. 

If you have student data ahead of time, we could take a Teacher field and say "those who have Mrs. Smith this is their class photo".

If you don't have student data ahead of time, would you be taking the class photo right after the last student in the class?

I have this where it will work with or without subject data ahead of time just trying to get the class / group photo worked out.

Tim Grissett, DIA -
My Email Address:
372 posts
Mon Jan 29, 24 11:04 AM CST


I probably don't need the ability to automatically link a class photo to an individual, but the US market is very different to the European.          

Long boring answer why...

Class photos in the UK are typically photographed in the Summer term shortly before the end of the academic year (Sep-Jul).  I don't know any that photograph classes on photo day.   

We do sometimes get student data ahead of time - this usually includes their class code (e.g. 3, 6, 7tw etc) rather than their teachers name.  We don't get teachers names - some schools might have more than one teacher per class.  We get: student first and surname, student DB ID and their class code.

When we take them, class photos are always proofed via their own dedicated passcode (own gallery and dedicated price list) rather than being an addition to their individual photo - i.e. a single passcode for the class photo.  

If they are sport team photographs, these can sometimes be taken on photo day, but they are taken on green screen and are always individualised as much as possible (to prevent 'one buys, everybody gets' sharing) and therefore use the same passcode as their individual photographs.  

Edited Mon Jan 29, 24 11:15 AM by Trailboy
52 posts
Mon Jan 29, 24 4:12 PM CST

This sounds interesting.  I take the group photo anytime during the day depending on the class (kinder) schedule but I also sometimes have 2 group photos for a group as some of my kinders have rotating groups.  So 3 groups of 15 kids with 2 groups in a day -  so Monday group 1&2, Tuesday group 2&3 and Wednesday group 1&3.   I have to photograph over 2 days to get all the kids and 1 of the groups will have a choice of 2 group photos.  
I mostly get the lists of groups ahead of times.  

129 posts
Mon Jan 29, 24 11:06 PM CST

Generally we shoot the team before the portraits as the other way around their concentration is dropping off by the time we get to the team shot. That being said if kids are running late we will often start the portraits first to give them time to arrive. Thats if we are not doing composite team photos. Currently we generate a team thumbnail for every child as some kids are in two or three teams. Interested to see what you come up with - Thanks Tim

16,405 posts (admin)
Tue Jan 30, 24 4:01 AM CST

Thanks for the feedback!

Safe to say it won't flow where the class / group photo is directly after shooting the subjects. 

Maybe the class photos would just be separate passcodes. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

I'll come up with something. This is my last big hurdle.

Tim Grissett, DIA -
My Email Address:
18 posts
Tue Jan 30, 24 8:34 PM CST

Hey Tim,

I mostly photograph Preschools (infants-K) and some small private schools (K-12).  Currently I create QRCodes for the individuals from the CSV file the school sends to me before picture day.  I print out Camera cards with the QRCodes on them and scan them with Foolography APP.  The QRCode only has the passcode info of the student.  I usually take the individuals first then do the class photos with another camera (no Foolography device) mostly done in a different location later in the day.   

I upload the individuals which have the passcodes in the metadata and works great when I remember to scan between each student. 

Currently I upload the groups in the same gallery and assign a group passcode and a different price sheet/no downloads.  I have text appear above the passcoded gallery that gives them instructions with the group passcode to view the group shots.

16,405 posts (admin)
Wed Jan 31, 24 7:23 AM CST

Thanks for the feedback!

Tim Grissett, DIA -
My Email Address:
21 posts
Wed Jan 31, 24 10:17 AM CST

We photograph teams, groups, classes, or grades on a separate camera. Sometimes before, sometimes after.

We almost always have student data before, including class, grade or team data.....

Thinking about your QR, can your group images be a "class" or other qualifier, that would allow you to prepend or append a flag or the qualifier within your QR?

246 posts
Wed Jan 31, 24 11:16 AM CST

Talking about sports or dance schools I normally start shooting the group or the class first then I start the individuals.In this when when one is finished he can go back training and he should not have to come back again for the group photos.

65 posts
Wed Jan 31, 24 4:02 PM CST

What your working on sounds interesting with the QR passcode and I cant wait to see what you've come up with.

We shoot individual students into Photolynx FLOW and the groups are photographed with a separate camera. What i do to track the groups is build a QR code and scan with an app on my phone. I use the "ticketcode" and "teacher" field in FLOW and use those as the identifier when we scan the QR before shooting the group. We then sync the group photos with the scanned QR code data and It names the file something like MrsSmith-XGDAGADA.jpg.

I then run a few settings in FLOW and the group photos are assigned to each subject that belong in that class. We then upload to Sytist.

Sytist is not actually looking for the group photo for the group photo for the subject as the images is assigned directly to the subject gallery.

Not sure if that makes sense but it all works very good!

16,405 posts (admin)
Thu Feb 01, 24 11:45 AM CST

Thanks again for the feedback. I have a few ideas of a couple of ways to do it. 

If you have subject data ahead of time, we could assign one of the extra fields to be a class or group, then select that extra field for the class photos.

Tim Grissett, DIA -
My Email Address:
417 posts
Thu Feb 01, 24 4:45 PM CST

Hey Tim - I LOVE THIS!  thanks for working on it for us!

Yes, I will have pre-shoot-data for my subjects, so a sort field I could assign "Mrs Jones" or "Penguin Group" to would be great!

292 posts
Fri Feb 02, 24 2:39 PM CST

For me, it all depends on the school or daycare center. There are times when we take the class photo before individuals so that the kids can go right back to there class after his or her individual is taken. And there are times when I take class photos after all individual of that class is done. And of course there are times when the class photos are done after the entire school individuals are done, allowing time for stragglers to show up for the class photos.

I try not to get too technical with my set up. I have a green banner that sits on top of my backdrop crossbar with each class name written across the banner. Use a washable marker to write the class names. The first shot of each class is a slate of the class name. Since the banner is green I dont have to remove the slate shot when I run my green screen batch.

Once all the backdrops have been removed, I upload to sytist and the banner slate tells me what class they are in. And I normally add the class photo in each class folder and name it so that it is the first image on top. I use a universal gallery password so every parent sees the class photo first when they go to their kid's class room subgallery.

I think unless a photographer has a strict set up on how groups are done, it can vary.

Edited Fri Feb 02, 24 2:57 PM by Bruce Pham
Bruce Pham • Forever Studio • School Pictures At Their Best
13 total messages
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