UNIS 30th Anniversary Groupshot


United Nations International School of Hanoi


Creative Direction & Photography:

Sébastien Löffler


Production & Post Production:

NOI Pictures


3D anamorphic rendering

Nguyen Van Thanh / g8a


UNIS Coordinator:

Emma Silva & Nguyen Hong Quyen



Group Shots are a wonderful way to showcase a whole company, community or an event gathering–the entire team comes together to act as one, while the particular shape or logo celebrates “This is Us!”


As part of UNIS’ 30th-anniversary celebration, they approached NOI Pictures to help create a group shot which would reflect this monumental occasion. Similar to five years ago when we spelled out UNIS across their sports fields for their 25th anniversary with their then, 1,200 students faculty and staff, we looked forward to collaborating with their communications team to define a new formation which would be suitable and meaningful.


Planning for a successful shoot:

-Defining the shape

-Creating the 3D shape with an architect

-Drawing the shape on the ground

-Effective communication between teams


Over the years we have honed our expertise in stenciling any shape for a clean beautiful final look, and the larger the group the more options there are, and so with UNIS’ now 1500 students, faculty, and staff we were able to go through many ideas with their communications team, eventually determining a 30 would be ideal to mark this special time. Ms. Nguyen Hong Quyen, UNIS Communication Coordinator expressed it was important to feel connected to the shape so that everyone could feel part of something they were all proud of.


With one week left before shoot day, we began calculations with Architect Nguyen Van Thanh of group8asia, who created an anamorphic 3D shape to help us determine the dimensions for our ground stencil to not only fit everyone within but also to take into account the camera lens angle and the height of the scaffolding. It took two days for the NOI team to draw it on the field.


Troubleshooting for Shoot Day:

-Ensuring people know where to go

-Managing weather conditions

-Creating a coherent shape (everyone in place, hands up or down, everyone looking at the right place)


To support UNIS’ communications team, who had the responsibility of orchestrating the event within the school, we provided mapping so they could communicate about where each grade and group should go on shoot day which would be clearly indicated in our stencil. As Ms. Emma Silva, Director of Advancement, mentioned, “communicating to the entire school required precise almost military precision logistics to get everyone ready and in place. We needed to find the perfect window to communicate to our community — not too early, not too late, but give just enough time to generate enough buzz without giving away the 30th birthday celebrations. We then could harness the natural excitement to get everyone together and wearing the school color for the photo.”


Luckily on shoot day, all stormy Hanoi weather had subsided and we were left with a beautiful day which ended up being quite hot so we made sure to take under 30 minutes to choreograph and shoot! “The attention to detail and having the lines drawn on the ground for each class was very helpful to make sure all the students knew where to go and had space to stand in their groups,” said Ms. Nguyen Hong Quyen.


For our team, optimizing time is essential on the day to ensure minimal shooting to make the event an enjoyable and painless part of the celebrations and keep the focus on coming together as one community.


The image ended up making a notable impact on social media around the UNIS community and beyond. Ms Emma Silva noted how this showed the efforts and outcome resulted from true teamwork – everyone felt they were part of something bigger and so shared it on their own social networks making for an exciting and lasting part of our 30th-anniversary celebrations.


group shot