Michael got his Inspiration for the panoramic portraits when flipping the pages of an art book – a collection of paintings from the Hermitage Museum. Some of the compositions like the "Family Portrait" by Daniel Schultz below and the Cornelis de VOS Self-portrait with wife and children, motivated Michael to create meaningful family photographs that carried the same statue as did these timeless masterpieces.
Innovation sometimes transpires out of equipment that doesn’t do exactly what you want. To take a wide angle or a panoramic shot of the family is doable, but not optimal when it comes to lighting or angles. At one exposure, surely some of the subjects won’t get the best light and if the family is large, some image information might look unnatural. You can, of course, make it a mega studio production with extensive lighting equipment and so on, but that’s not what Michael envisioned.
To preserve the softness of the light and to make sure that every subject comes out looking their best, he decided to take many individual photographs and then stitch them together in post-production. The result? A labor of love that won him a worldwide recognition from the First Place winner in the Group Category at WPPI, Silver Distinction WPPI Award to many more that followed in this genre. You will find all of Michael’s group shot winners in this gallery.