What is the first thing you do when you get a secret organization of people together, be they heroes or villains? After all, this is supposed to be something that no one else can know about for various reasons, so you can't have matching uniforms, and secret passwords can be cliche.

Of course! You get everyone in one generalized location and throw a party of some sort. Maybe the heroes have some laughter and drinks to celebrate a victory, or the villains get to glower at each other.

Then somehow everyone is called together for a group picture that gives away the connections between every member at a glance, from a glowering glance to a fond smile, and the professional photographer says 'Cheese!'. They even stick around long enough that everyone there can get a copy for their nemesis, children or investigators to find!

These often crop back up at plot points, either as a method of finding the next 'clue' or a hit list by the group's enemies.


* One appeared in episode 14 of Anime/TigerAndBunny, showing Barnaby's parents along with several other scientists (including the MadScientist who comes to [[ChekhovsGunman play an important role in the last few episodes of the series]]) and Barnaby himself as a child.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Every graduating class of ComicBook/XMen takes such a picture in uniform. While the X-Men do wear uniforms, they are generally considered a secret society because the world at large has no idea who they are, where they come from, and where they go. And they are not a ''recognized'' superhero group like ComicBook/TheAvengers or the ComicBook/FantasticFour.
* ''ComicBook/LeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'': The League that comes together at the beginning of the series doesn't do this (that we see), but their headquarters has a group portrait of an earlier League.
* When Franchise/{{Batman}} is investigating the [[ComicBook/NightOfTheOwls Court of Owls]], he finds several hidden lairs, all with photos taken of Court members with their [[LegacyCharacter latest]] [[TheDragon Talon]]. Though everyone's wearing masks, so it's probably okay.
* In the first ComicBook/{{Grandville}}, Inspector Lebrock finds an old photo that contains the (then) future French Prime Minister, his main CorruptCorporateExecutive supporter, his (then) future ministers of military and secret police and the GadgeteerGenius whose death Lebrock was investigating. It is one of the main pieces of evidence that ties the case together. In this instance, the photo was from a hunting party where a group photo would be a logical thing to happen. It just happened to contain all main players of the conspiracy.
* Creator/AlanMoore's ComicBook/{{Providence}} has a photograph of the Order of the Stella Sapiente taken by Ronald Underwood Pitman. Pitman notes that he was chosen by the group because he was a man of discretion (he has enough ghoulish secrets of his own to hide). The people in the photo are Garland and Leticia Wheatley (as a young girl), Edgar Wade, Henry Anneseley and at the center of the picture, Van Buren (aka Whipple Van Buren Phillips, Lovecraft's maternal grandfather [[RaisedByGrandparents who helped raise him]]) and next to him, a travelling salesman with an English accent identified by Pitman as "Winston something" (he is in fact Winfield Scott Lovecraft, HP's Dad).

* In the film ''Film/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', there was one as well. The children find it while looking through Aunt Josephine's album.
* The initial seven agents who dealt with NBE-1 are shown in photographs on Sector 7's walls in the first ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie.
* This becomes the huge reveal of the movie ''Film/TheVillage''.
* In ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'', the expedition team pose for a photograph in front of their spoils. The next scene reveals that the whole thing will be covered up. There is also an earlier photo of the team that found the [[BookOfShadows Shepherd's Journal]].
* Used in ''Film/TheGhostWriter'' together with EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether to help the Ghost connect the dots.
* In ''Film/TheFactsInTheCaseOfMisterHollow,'' an OccultDetective and his eponymous source correctly presume Hollow's {{Spooky Photograph|s}} depicts a MysteryCult operating in Ontario, but the atypically rustic environs, the jocularity of some of the figures, and several odd details heavily hint not only at its membership, but also its typical practices and methods of worship, including HumanSacrifice.
* The film of ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' loves this trope. During the opening credits alone we see a sepia toned photo of the original 1940 era Minutemen, the photograph taken at the first Silk Spectre's leaving meal and a picture of the new generation of Watchmen standing in front of an American flag.
* In ''{{Film/Hellboy}}'' The Professor and the army personnel all take a photo with the title character even though he is later denied to exist.
* At the end of ''Film/NowYouSeeMe2'', when the Horsemen are welcomed to the secret headquarters of the Eye, Dylan finds a framed photograph of two of the Eye's senior members. By this point, it's no surprise that Dylan's father is one of them; the identity of the other is rather more of a revelation.
* An early scene in ''Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy'' features Smiley visiting a retired colleague who has an old picture of the team from [[SecretIntelligenceService the Circus]].

* The Order of the Phoenix in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series has one, though its members were openly against Voldemort, and only their location was hidden.
* ''Vitals'' by Creator/GregBear has one of these. Late in the story the main characters find an old photo of the evil secret society that's been pursuing them. Cue shocked recognition, as one of the other main characters is in the photo and is revealed to be part of TheConspiracy.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/ToSailBeyondTheSunset'', a photographer takes a photograph of Maureen Johnson, her daughter, her granddaughter, her great-granddaughter, and her great-great-granddaughter at a family wedding. One of the Howard Family Trustees points out that it could endanger the Howard Families' {{Masquerade}} if a photograph of five suspiciously young looking generations of the same family were leaked to the press.
* In ''Literature/LemonySnicketTheUnauthorizedAutobiography'', members of the V.F.D. pose in a picture during the Second Annual Code-Breaking Picnic.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Throughout ''Series/TheXFiles'', Mulder found one or two photos of TheSyndicate, which also featured his father, motivating his quest for the Truth. This is partly justified by the fact that the group that became the Syndicate existed as a relatively benign government agency well before it turned evil, and all their photos come from that time.
* There was also the group picture 'hit list' in ''Series/{{Heroes}}''. That one seems to have even been made in duplicate, making one wonder if they were handed out as Christmas gifts that removed all chances of plausible deniability.
* The 1974 Dharma Initiative group photo in ''Series/{{Lost}}''.
* One clue that leads Series/{{Dexter}} to the BigBad and his gang of rapists/serial-killers in season 5 is an old childhood photo showing all of them together, even though some of them denied knowing each other. Kind of justified as only someone who knew them anyway could identify everyone as children.
* In ''Series/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents2017'', there is a group picture of members of the secret society V.F.D., including the Baudelaires' parents.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' has a few group pictures, where only one is used for this, the picture in Gant's office.
* In ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors,'' there is a group photo depicting the four masterminds behind the first Nonary Game.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the animated series of ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'' an episode focused on the founding members of MIB. The photo is both this and a of the founding itself, since it shows them meeting for the first time ''and'' experiencing FirstContact. It's used as a reference for Jay, who is on the trail of someone who is using time travel to kill the founders before they can get together.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* During TheWildWest era, one gang decided to get a group picture taken. The copy displayed by the photographer wound up allowing the detective following them to find the gang.
* During TheWarOnTerror, some of the [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks American military staff]] at the infamous [[HellholePrison Abu Ghraib prison]] in UsefulNotes/{{Iraq}} had the bright idea to photograph each other inflicting ColdBloodedTorture on prisoners. This came back to bite them in the ass once these photos ended up aiding the prosecution during war crime trials.