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Photogenic chosen to light the first-ever formal portrait of 189 world leaders

A top-notch photo team recruited by Eastman Kodak Company has made the ultimate group photograph: A first-ever formal portrait of 189 world leaders. The photo, commissioned by the United Nations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, has appeared in major magazines, including Time and People, and newspapers throughout the world.

At Kodak’s request, Dallas photographer Paul Skipworth coordinated and made the portrait with the help of photographer Greg Lorfing, members of the U.N. staff and a lighting crew from Photogenic Machine Company (based in Youngstown, Ohio).

“We knew the shoot would be in good hands with a professional such as Paul Skipworth in charge,” says Terry J. Deglau, manager of trade relations at Kodak’s Professional and Printing Imaging.

“His stature as a portrait photographer and his experience photographing the annual meetings of Professional Photographers of America made him a perfect choice for this assignment.”

Skipworth’s Dallas studio, Gittings/Skipworth, Inc., also operates studios in Houston and Fort Worth, and has licensee studios in Atlanta, Memphis and Little Rock. He is well known for his photography of the Washington scene, including several inaugural balls and portraits of prominent political families, including the Clintons and the Quayles. In addition to his studio work, Skipworth regularly photographs large family groups, as well as CEOs and corporate boards of directors.

When he received the U.N. assignment, Skipworth set out for the United Nations headquarters in New York for a trial shoot several weeks before the actual event. full article→

“The main issue for us was to light evenly,” says Shirilla. “We did a lot of testing to have every area in the photograph read at f/22. That took a lot of light.”

Details of the design of our shoot

  • 6,000 – 9,000 watt seconds of light
  • 4 16-inch parabolas at key
  • 3 16-inch parabolas on each side for fill
  • 2 hair light kickers, or “garlic lights,” were placed at the back of the group to provide definition of heads and shoulders.
  • Fill lights mounted on six custom-made 23-foot Photogenic light stands
  • Sinar 4×5 camera
  • Shot from 100′ with a 150mm lens
  • Fill lights diffused with Photogenic Eclipse umbrellas that have a flat center for efficient light spread