Group Portraits on Location

URS Corporation, responsible for enormous projects such as the Hoover Dam and the Panama Canal has trusted me for over 15 years to photograph their engineers in dramatic settings around the world. Rather than depicting people in working situations they allowed me to take a more interpretive approach, featuring their people and projects in group portraits. Over the years, group portraits have become a strong point of my photography.

URS Corporation, responsible for enormous projects such as the Hoover Dam and the Panama Canal has trusted me for over 15 years to photograph their engineers in dramatic settings around the world. Rather than depicting people in working situations they allowed me to take a more interpretive approach, featuring their people and projects in group portraits. Over the years, group portraits have become a strong point of my photography.


74 of the URS people responsible for engineering the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, photographed early on a Sunday morning in the courthouse’s cavernous lobby. To get the detail and quality required my four assistants and I spent hours setting up hundreds pounds of lighting equipment.

74 of the URS people responsible for engineering the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, photographed early on a Sunday morning in the courthouse’s cavernous lobby. To get the detail and quality required my four assistants and I spent hours setting up hundreds pounds of lighting equipment.

Overview of the entire lobby. The biggest challenge was getting everyone placed perfectly and lighting this enormous space without having our lights visible in the frame.

Overview of the entire lobby. The biggest challenge was getting everyone placed perfectly and lighting this enormous space without having our lights visible in the frame.

URS engineers off the coast of Southern California with an offshore oil rig that they designed. We arranged for a good sized yacht that would be stable and high enough to line up visually with the rig. Fortunately, it was a beautiful, calm day on the water.

URS engineers off the coast of Southern California with an offshore oil rig that they designed. We arranged for a good sized yacht that would be stable and high enough to line up visually with the rig. Fortunately, it was a beautiful, calm day on the water.

A temple in New Delhi was chosen as the backdrop for URS engineers. My assistant and I went to the location the day before the shoot to carefully plan out the positions of all our subjects, taking into account the direction and quality of the light at sunset. With only the two of us to rehearse the group portrait, my assistant stood in for each of the 15 anticipated subjects and then used Photoshop to combine the different positions.

A temple in New Delhi was chosen as the backdrop for URS engineers. My assistant and I went to the location the day before the shoot to carefully plan out the positions of all our subjects, taking into account the direction and quality of the light at sunset. With only the two of us to rehearse the group portrait, my assistant stood in for each of the 15 anticipated subjects and then used Photoshop to combine the different positions.


We used two enormous electronic flash units to help the subjects stand out against the background. Our URS hosts graciously helped keep them steady in the wind. Packing just the right photo equipment and lighting for our international shoots is a critical part of planning. One must plan for many unknowns without getting bogged down by too much weight, exorbitant excess baggage fees, and customs documents.

We used two enormous electronic flash units to help the subjects stand out against the background. Our URS hosts graciously helped keep them steady in the wind. Packing just the right photo equipment and lighting for our international shoots is a critical part of planning. One must plan for many unknowns without getting bogged down by too much weight, exorbitant excess baggage fees, and customs documents.

I strive to keep our shoot time to a minimum, especially because group photos take so many people away from their demanding jobs. Shooting near sunset further complicates the timing. Just before the golden hour ten additional, unplanned subjects showed up. We shifted gears quickly and fit everyone in nonetheless, even leaving room in the center for a double page spread with a gutter in the print version of their annual report.

I strive to keep our shoot time to a minimum, especially because group photos take so many people away from their demanding jobs. Shooting near sunset further complicates the timing. Just before the golden hour ten additional, unplanned subjects showed up. We shifted gears quickly and fit everyone in nonetheless, even leaving room in the center for a double page spread with a gutter in the print version of their annual report.