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As a photographer, you sometimes worry about how to get a large family photo to fit all in one picture.  What if you were commissioned to get the largest family photo ever, to be in one picture?  Say 500 people even?  What challenges would you have?

A Chinese clan of more than 500 relatives had the ultimate task of coming together in a reunion shoot for the ages.

After working on his family tree for more than two and a half years, Ren Tuanjie says he managed to track down at least 2,000 living descendants spanning seven generations. The family traces its roots back 851 years.

“In order to celebrate the completion of our family tree, we decided to have a get-together and photo session,” Ren told NBC News in Beijing by phone Wednesday.


© More than 500 members of the Ren family posed for a photo at Shishe village in China’s eastern provi… Image: China
The family gathered for its reunion in Shishe village, in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang, during the Chinese New Year holiday.

“The oldest was 94, and the youngest was 4 years old,” Ren said of the attendees.

Since the family is scattered across China, Ren said he got help from local police stations and used social media tools such as WeChat & QQ, China’s top messaging apps, to track down his loved ones.

It took over two months to spread the word about the reunion and get the family to descend on the village over the Lunar holiday for the photo shoot.

So how did they all cram in tight to say “cheese” in unison?

Zhang Liangzong, the photographer, told NBC News that he used a loudspeaker to gather the gang and deployed a drone to snap a wide aerial shot.

He added that he posed them in front of some basalt formations near the village “because it’s a famous local scenic spot.”

Article from NBC New and:
Eric Baculinao and Arata Yamamoto and Petra Cahill
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