Conference / User Group Member Photographs

Here is an idea I picked up at AYE and again at ETech; I mentioned it at the Ruby UG last month, and am writing it up here to encourage its use.

A common problem at growing and changing groups of people (such as user group members, conference attendees who see each other rarely, etc.), is remembering names and faces. To make it easier for everyone to remember everyone else, it’s very helpful to have a photograph of each person on the group’s web site. Sorting and labelling such photos can be a lot of work, so here is an approach to get it done with very little work.


  • Digital camera
  • Blank paper
  • Wide-line markers

At a meeting, during a break or at the start/end, all of the willing attendees write their name on a blank sheet of paper, in letters at least 1 inch high. Then they hold up the paper and have a photo taken with the digital camera. A low-res, head-and-shoulders shot works best.

Afterwards, transfer the images to a page on the group’s web site. By taking them low-res, no scaling will be needed. Because each person is holding a sheet of paper with their name, noone needs to sift through a pile of images, associating photos with names. Simply post them as-is, unsorted. This works amply well enough for at least several dozen people, and probably well enough for up to 100.