The Penn Law Journal, an alumni magazine, wanted a cover shot featuring six graduates from the class of 2009. The group photograph was shot for the cover of the magazine. The article on these students also featured a photograph of each of them with their families. The families were only available on graduation and both the group shot and the photos with the families had to be shot on the same day.
The day of Commencement we were under a time constraint and in a crowded public space where we had to create the high production value group portrait. The group photo was scouted with the art director and planned prior to the event. The art director helped select and approve the best view that would show six people in black gowns in the ornate setting of the Academy of Music, where the graduation ceremony is held. Because there was an event before the Law School graduation, our time to set up and shoot was limited.
Coordinating with each of the students and their families, we set times and locations to meet them.
Taking into account everyone's schedules and also allowing time for each setting, locations were chosen at the Law School and near the Academy of Music.
The settings switch from indoor to outdoor and because they were shot during different times of the day, a range of visual variety was possible.
It is worth noting that the Law Journal's piece succeeds in being a testament to the diversity of students that the school attracts. Each of the family groups is so different. While at different stages of their life's journey, all of these graduates are commencing their careers at the same time.
To read more about these students see the online version of the Fall 2009 issue of Penn Law Alumni Journal.