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Thread: My mom wants me to take 'professional' photos of the whole family!

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    mandiedavid's Avatar
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    #1

    Nutts My mom wants me to take 'professional' photos of the whole family!

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    Last edited by mandiedavid; 01-10-2010 at 08:29 PM.
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    #2
    Well I can't help too much with lighting as I only use natural light. But I do have to say I don't think I would necessarily go with a softer setting because you run the risk of the pictures appearing to be out of focus. I also have no experience with the camera you are using. But if you take your pictures sharp, and then afterwards decide that you want to soften them up a bit you can do that in post processing. Where as if you take them too soft it's tough to sharpen them up without them getting noisy.

    As for pictures of dogs, I have thousands of pictures of my dog, haha. My biggest question would be are any of the dogs black? If so you are going to have a really hard time getting them to not look like a blob. ESPECIALLY against a black background.

    As for what people should wear. Any dark clothing, like black, navy blue, etc is going to blend into your background around the edges. It's best to go with some lighter shades so that you get that crisp contrast between your subjects and the backdrop.

    For posing ideas just look at other photographer's websites to get some new ideas.

    I'm certainly no professional and I bet other people can give you some more pointers, but those were just some things that popped off the top of my head when i read your post.
    Last edited by thejibstah; 11-21-2009 at 02:23 PM.
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    I would reccomend using natural light if possible. If your wanting to go with the black background then you need to use black fleece it works great! Do you have an external flash? I have one and bounce it off the wall behind me or off the ceiling.

    here's an example of using black fleece and external flash...i had the black fleece on the wall and the dad was wearing a black shirt..in post processing it all cam out very well!



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    Is there any way you can do the shoot outside? I think that family shots taken outside have a greater chance of looking more natural. Also, it solves the problem of studio lighting and backdrops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RootysGirl View Post
    Is there any way you can do the shoot outside? I think that family shots taken outside have a greater chance of looking more natural. Also, it solves the problem of studio lighting and backdrops.
    I would agree with this.
    I think it would be a lot easier if you did them outside.
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    #6
    Agreed with the suggestion to take the photos outside! Outdoor family portraits are, IMO, simply nicer than indoor backdrop photos.

    That being said, shooting outside comes with its own set of challenges. Be aware of the time of day you're shooting. You don't want harsh afternoon light. You'll have harsh shadows and everyone will be squinting at you. Also, be very conscious of what's in the background no matter where you're shooting. If you're at a pretty park, make sure not to get cars or other people moving around in the background.

    Good luck!
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    Last edited by mandiedavid; 01-10-2010 at 08:29 PM.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mandiedavid View Post
    And glasses, what do i do so i dont get a glare? Im wearing my contacts but that still leaves about half the group with them. I know i could work around 1 or 2 but 5 is alot. And if theyre bent up should i just have them take them off?
    If you're not going to use proper strobes, then I'd ask everyone to take their glasses off. If you were using proper lighting (strobes shooting into umbrellas), there are techniques for avoiding glare in glasses (mostly the placement of the strobes and the tilt of the person's head). However, in your case you might just want to ask them to take the glasses off.

    When you do get your lighting and backdrop set up, take a lot of test shots. Use willing practice subjects to ensure you have even lighting. All I can tell you is to practice as much as possible.

    I guess i should lighten up a little or im gonna be a crazy mess by then! I just dont want to half-ass it and the pictures look terrible! BC then it will be all my fault and ill NEVER hear the end of it.
    No one better treat you that way. Are they paying you? Are you a professional photograher? If the answer to both of these questions is 'no,' they better be thankful you're even doing this for them in the first place. That's a lot of hassle and work to do for free. Especially now that you're spending money on this photo session (buying the backdrop).

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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    Last edited by mandiedavid; 01-10-2010 at 08:30 PM.

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