A Challening Session: 3 Siblings

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by stellar_gal, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. stellar_gal

    stellar_gal TPF Noob!

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    I've been busy the last 2 weeks, but thought I'd share a few recent ones.

    The 13 year old was a doosie and wasn't too happy about her portrait being taken and she looks half mad in most of them (we know how that age is). She refused to take her hair down from the ponytail, wore a red t-shirt and only cracked one tiny smile (this is it-caught!)

    Then, the 10 yr old boy is severly autistic, which I'd never encountered, so no eye contact there. (I'm still tweaking the B/W conversion too)

    The 4 year old was mostly smiles and loved the camera. The wind was blowing horribly though and her hair is everywhere. Sadly, the parents did not read the part about making sure kids don't have gunky teeth. I'll spare you the ones I didn't fix (or post anyway)...

    The clients were very happy and so am I. These are my favs. Close-ups are what they and I both loved. Thanks for looking. C&C please.


    (I'm still experimenting with color-popping & curves on these first 2)
    1.
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    2.
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    3.
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    4.
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    5.
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  2. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The reflection on the eyes in the first picture is amazing. Wow...nice work. The second 4 year old picture... crop her legs out of there... the way her shorts are laying seems weird.

    The 13 year old girl... you could probably make that black and white, play with the contrast, give some vignetting, and make that look pretty sweet.

    The B&W pic of the boy is great, and I would never have guessed that he was autistic... (until I saw the second photo :))

    On another note,
    Did you use props with these kids for any pics? I wonder if you shot them again they'd loosen up if you gave them things to do...the older girl looks like "ahh, this is awkward" and her eyes are saying "yep the camera is still there, when does this get over" like a typical 13 year old would do... (shoot, i'd do the same thing now!).

    Overall, I like the 1st pic of the 4 year old, the 13 year old pic (better if photoshopped a bit maybe), and the 1st of the boy. Nice work.
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sounds like a bit of a challenging shoot. In the 1st and 2nd one, the little girl has little detail left in her face (at least on my monitor) which makes her face look a lot more 2-D. Not sure if you could get more detail in PS or not. In all of them, I would recommend getting down on their level physically so you're not shooting down on them. I like the details in the eyes and you did have some nice sharp focus here. You did well with the boy. Autism is a very challenging disorder characterised by poor to no eye contact and social isolation among many other things, but these are the details that would be relevant to a photog.
    just my .02
     
  4. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    I think the first two are amazing. The third is real, but a little tight. (I'm sure you have others not so tight, so I'm sure it's no big deal.
    The last two weddings I worked had autistic children in the wedding party, so I know exactly what you mean.
    Two tricks I learned from the parents though was.
    1. Autistic children do not like flash or bright light. It irratates them and they try to get away from it. Shady areas and indoor no flash areas work best.
    2. Oddly, autistic children (again according to the parents) are facinated with shiney things, like keys. Mom waved some keys over my head, and we got camera contact with the little boy.
    Hope that helps,
    Cindy
     
  5. stellar_gal

    stellar_gal TPF Noob!

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    Elsaspet- I appreciate the comments and thanks for those tips about the boy. He constantly carries around a blue plastic box with toy men and it was in nearly every image that wasnt a close up. I had to do all of his on the playground and just follow him around and get what I could, so most of his are closeups. He had on a black Spiderman logo t-shirt, which I cropped out of this b/w image on the playground.

    I don't use a flash for those imtimidating reasons with kids and he would not sit still for the shaded area by a pavillion where I took the girls photos. They were facing a small hill in front of wide open sky, so I got those great lights in their eyes. My silhouette is in the middle of those catchlights though.

    With the teenager, whew! I did crop that one in a little more than the original. I tilted the image because her eyes were too straight (level), so I had to lose some space around her. The rest of her photos have no smile. I rarely use props, as I work alone, but it would not have mattered to her. I had to rely on good old conversation, silly questions, ect. Not much helped her. The little one was easy. Too bad they had to cut the session short or I could have gotten some with them together.

    I do alot of portraits where I look down on the child. I love the way my 85mm nearly wide open blurs the rest of their body from that angle(like 1,2) and it makes the eyes stand out more. To me, too many image at their level look cookie cutter, so I like to get in close and show off the eyes. I like to be able to see those flecks in their eyes and count eyelashes and not be distracted by their clothes in some -like in #3. I always do a variety though.

    The 4 year old has very pale skin with few freckles. I adjusted it in curves and also pulled out a little shadow (which made her eyes even prettier), which seems to be very popular with modern kids portraits. I'm still learning it though- that's why the first two images are so different. I did have some issues trying to smooth out her little lips that were so dry. I tried several methods and this was all I could do.

    Thanks for the C&C. Any more?
     
  6. JimmyJaceyMom

    JimmyJaceyMom TPF Noob!

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    Oh that would be tough! I know everything elsaspet said is true about the flash and lights.
    I had one shoot with an autistic child - beautiful boy! but my lights were really distracting him so I took them away which created awful camera shake! And getting him to look was nearly impossible. He was only 3 then and is doing great and I am due back to do their family christmas pictures very soon.
    Teenage girls - ugh! LOL I have another one - well she's 11 but also going on about 30 - just got new glasses and a nice self confidence boosting case of acne. I'm sure I'll get a big smile out of that one! (can you sense sarcasm here?)
    I love the eyes in the first one. But I agree about the cropping of the bottom of the second one. It seems not as colorful as the first too but it's great expression you caught there!
    NICE JOB!
     
  7. BOUNCE!

    BOUNCE! TPF Noob!

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    I love the shots of the little boy,the parents must be thrilled!
     
  8. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    A great lesson I learned from David Williams. When shooting kids, shoot down. You did just what he taught.
    Also, flash on a child who isn't autistic can be great. They get all in love with the flash.
    :)
     
  9. stellar_gal

    stellar_gal TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone! Yes, the parents are thrilled and are putting in a massive order for Christmas (yeah for me!). They were especially happy with the boy's photos too. They are in a smaller town where no one does much location photography, especially in that style either. It's all studio type stuff.

    Thanks for that tidbit Elsaspet. I do love shooting down on kids, or anyone really. It's just extra special looking. I know they can look amateurish when shot incorrrectly, but I enjoy the look and no complaints yet. I'll keep that in mind about the flash. Maybe someday I'll use one when I dont really have to!
     

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