3 bad sessions in a row...confidence shaken

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by eyeye, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    So I have had 3 so/so photoshoots in a row. The parents like them, but not anyone else (well my husband tells me I am brilliant and my mom thinks I am the most talented person on earth. But only few good reviews from non-biased parties and some so/so or bad reviews as well).

    Now 2 were with the same kids, who are soooooo hyper and really hard to photograph and the mom who just gets so hyped up and stressed out and dances around behind me no matter how many times I ask her to sit back and relax. But the other was a twins shoot that I thought went well. I think my lighting was not great.

    Anyways, it isnt the end of the world. You learn and move on. But I feel down. So what do you do when you have lost your photo mojo?

    Here is a little taste of my suckage

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  2. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

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    When I lose my mojo I go out and shoot more pics. Yours aren't bad but I can see where you're coming from. They could be much better. The top one suffers from focus errors or two slow a shutter speed. Also, the family doesn't "pop" out of the shot. A faster shutter combined with a wide open, or nearly wide open aperture would blur the background and isolate the subjects. Also, using a flash to fill in the shadows a bit would help too.

    The other two pics are nice captures of the kids expressions, the cropping is ok ( a little too tight on the girls) but the lighting is not the best. Some hair/backlight would have worked wonders on these shots.
     
  3. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    yep. The first one I learned the limits of my camerea really fast. Its the noise mostly. Between uncooperitive kids and the low light, it was just a bad shoot from start to finish. And I have been trying to do a back/hair light on the cheep and it isnt working. I am looking for advice on hair/back lights for people who move alot?! Also, I have black muslin and am thinking about black paper instead. Any thoughts?

    But these are all fixable issues. This is how I grow, right? I just feel like...I suck. And that is not a good feeling. So get out and shoot more? Ok, will do :)
     
  4. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It looks to me like your photos are all very well composed and framed, only the first one is lacking clear focus.

    I can understand why you may not have been happy with the first one where the children aren't exactly posing for the camera, but, hey, they're displaying their true personality.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I think you first of all need your monitor calibrated, I don't know what the prints look like, but these images look green-not a very flattering color for skin tones.

    The first image is fine, it just needs the color balance tweaked maybe a little less vignette, and more contrast.

    For the studio shots, I'd keep the wide angle tucked away for location work. It's alot cuter when you can see the enviroment, with a non-existent background, it doesn't look right, they're also really difficult to use right. Speaking of the background, the black is overwhelming. Black is too...edgy for kids, and with flat lighting like what you're using, doesn't work. Black commands contrasty and directional light and doesn't communicate a light and cheery mood like what the twins are in. That's the biggest problem that I see. A light gray or white, seamless gelled would be more suitible in my opinion.
     
  6. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't worry about changing out your backgrounds, I be more concerned about getting the proper equipment to do the job. if you want to set up some hair lights for "people who move alot" it's not difficult. You have to set some limits on where the subject will be in the frame first of all. Then, get a decent studio strobe light with a small strip softbox and a boom pole. I found one on Craigslist for $150 total.

    Trying to do the job "on the cheap" often leads to more frustration than anything else.

    I also agree with the above poster that a white or gray background is better suited for kids shots.
     
  7. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    I see what you mean about the black background. I have a white one that no one ever wants to use and a blue grey one. I did a really good shoot of a very light haired girl on the black and it turned out beautiful...all the moms have wanted that look but I feel like it is falling short.

    Thanks for the advice on the color...I havent heard the green comment but will surely get on that. Suggestions for calibration products taht dont cost an arm and a leg?
     
  8. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    I, by the way, really really appreciate all this feedback! All very valid and very helpful. Thanks everyone, so much.
     
  9. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    Not to be a total moron, but what is "seamless Gelled"?
     
  10. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

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    I agree. Really saving up for a better camera but if I am going to try studio, I better just get the light, huh? LOL I hate studio! Its kicking my butt.
     
  11. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

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    He means using a seamless paper background and adding some colored light to it with a color gel over your light source.
     
  12. seaain.gray

    seaain.gray TPF Noob!

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    I have to agree as to white background. It works well for me with kids. Adding color is doable with gels as well, and this is a nice idea that I have been playing with as well of late. Since I am new to it, I can't give you specific advice other than that so far I see a lot of potential.

    Mostly I just decided to comment on you being down. First: you don't suck. I think what might be happening is that you are about to have a breakthrough. A plateau and some discouragement usually happen to me when I am at a place where I need to grow and am, in fact, about to take the next step ... UP. The pain is just that. Growing pains.

    My advice... for what it is worth... go out and do some shooting for yourself, by yourself, on whatever ELSE you love to shoot. Blow it out. Try to develop that form a little. That way, the thing you love to do will continue to be the thing you love to do, and it will help dispel these (little) frustrations and put them more in perspective. Undoubtedly there are things you've forgotten or are yet to learn in that form that will add value to your paid shooting as well.

    Keep moving. Your best photo ever is only a click away at ANY time. Look for it. It's there. You'll find it.

    Respectfully,

    Seaain
     

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