Photographer Interviews

How Chris Patey Composes and Directs Dynamic Group Portraits

November 16, 2017

By David Walker

© Chris Patey

Chris Patey used assistants as stand-ins for a recent Hollywood Reporter assignment—they are cloned to fill all the seats. Patey says he usually spends more time working out the positions of his subjects than he does lighting them.

Like other photographers who excel at shooting group portraits, Chris Patey says he owes much to the influence of legendary photographer Irving Penn. “He was one of the masters of composing group shots, and I find myself pulling references from him almost every time in a creative conversation with an editor about group shots,” Patey says. Penn’s soft lighting of...

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