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What makes a good group portrait?

Group portraits can be effective in giving an idea of the size of the organization or the relationship between the members.  
 For larger groups the portrait will probably have to be done on location.
Layout of the group is a key in sending your message.  Here are some general rules.
  • The closer people are together the closer their relationship appears.
  • The further away they are, the more formal or distant they seem.
  • As a rule people have to stand closer to one another than they normally would feel comfortable. 
  • The arrangement can be determined by either their height or relationship.  Ex. Parents in center, children down front, CEO or partners in center, etc.
  • When you have more than one row, each row must be on a different level, either on a higher step, sitting, or even kneeling in some situations.  The exception is if the photo can be taken from a balcony or very high ladder.  However that might not have the look that you want.
One person familiar with the group should assist in grouping and organizing based on their knowledge of the members of the group and the purpose of the photograph.