Little Known Way to Use Group Photos in Reunion 9

You’ve got some group photos of ancestors, right? Do you use Reunion 9 for Mac as your genealogy software? If so, I’ve got a tip you’ll love! You can quickly select a parts of a group photo to use as head shots for multiple ancestors without duplicating or changing the image file. Each person in the photo can appear to have their very own, individual photograph while the original file on your Macintosh remains unchanged.

This “magic” is possible thanks to two features in Reunion 9 for Mac. Firstly, Reunion doesn’t copy your image files into the family file when you add them to records; it leaves them alone, right where they were, creating a pointer (called a “link”) to that file. Secondly, it enables you to zoom in and out and or change what part of an image shows in the “picture window.” It saves this information along with the link to the file, so the image can appear different for any record you add it to.

In this video, Taking Headshots from Group Photos in Reunion 9 for Mac, I show you how it’s done. Choose a group photo, open your family file in Reunion 9 for Macintosh, and follow along.


  1. Laurie says

    Marvelous tip, I had no idea that it would be that easy … I’ll be “adjusting” lots of photos! Appreciate all you have shared.

  2. Matthew says

    Love this one! I was spending way too much time editing photos in Photoshop. This will save a ton of time!

  3. Karen says

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you! This tip solves a problem I’ve been worrying about. I have so many group shots of cousins.

  4. Betty Jane Hylton says

    Hi Ben,

    Great tip! Wish I had known about this method before I did a family of 11. It would have saved a lot of time and space.


  5. Karen Trearchis says

    Ben, my computer is Mac OS X version 10.5.8 and for some reason I am only hearing your voice on your videos and not getting the picture. My quick time is up to date. Would you have any idea why this is happening? Thanks.
    Karen Trearchis

    • says

      Hi, Karen.

      Thank you for reporting the problem. I restarted the plugin that streams the videos. Please try it again. You may need to close your web browser and reopen it.


  6. Karen Trearchis says

    Ben, I did close my browser and reopened it when I saw your email and I am still only getting the audio. Can’t figure out the reason why this is happening. Thanks anyhow. Have a nice holiday!

  7. Ted Cooper says

    How can I save a copy of my Family tree along with all the photos I have assigned to each person so a family member can add this data for their Reunion 9 file?

  8. Larry says

    Thanks Ben, slick tip. However, when I create Web Family Cards, Reunion 9 picks up the image filename and shows it as a ‘caption’, so I’ve been naming the images with that in mind. Using the same image for different headshots might then create confusion when reading the ‘captions’ on the Web Family Cards… Any ideas? Thanks!

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