Family Portrait Help

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Peanuts, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    (Oy.. Just deleted the first edition of this by accident, so this will be short)

    This weekend I am shooting a few casual portraits for some family members, and I have never even attempted anything like this before. They say they don't need anything "special", but I would at least like to give them one or two that could be put up in their houses.

    Here is the information:

    Cousin, her husband, 11-year-old daughter, 9 year old boy. Aunt, Uncle, and his mother. (Just wanted to say i have a wide range of subjects here so help on positioning them might be useful :D)

    The location(s) will probably be overlooking the city and the mountains facing east. I checked the forecast, and as of today, it looks like it is going to be partially cloudy, which I guess is good for avoiding harsh shadows. But what time of day would be best in this situation? Second 'location' is more of a country style with the white fence and fall colours.

    First question is which lens to use. As of now I have the EFS 17-85mm (4-5.6) IS USM, and 70-300mm DO IS.

    Second. I have the 580EX but am ashamed to say I haven't taken the time to read through the manual and really learn what it is capable of doing. So wondering if that will be useful and if so.. how? :blushing:

    Hopefully I can get another relative out earlier this week to be my 'test subject', as all I know from my reading is to have them 'looking natural' (Guess that eliminates the "1..2..3.. Cheese" thing), and to have their bodies turning 30 degrees or so away from the camera.

    To round it up. Any help, articles, links, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for reading all of this. I did do a quick search and got lots of information, but wondering if anyone could give more specifics for the situation I now find myself in.
     
  2. Reflexions

    Reflexions TPF Noob!

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    Wow, thats a bunch!
    Where to begin.....
    The time of day that would be best is in the afternoon (5ish?) depending on which way they will be facing for the shoot.
    You want to position them so that their bodies are 45 degrees (ish) from the camera and so that the light is striking them also at 45 degrees. I'd also have somone help by holding up a reflector as a fill. If you don't have one, a white piece of foamcore will do nicely. Expose for the sunlit side. Use as large an apature as you can which will render the background out of focus while keeping your subjects sharp.
    Make sure everyone in your photo is making some kind of physical contact...it shows a connection. If you can arrange it put them in a triangle.
     
  3. Reflexions

    Reflexions TPF Noob!

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    oops sorry...I'd use both...see what you like the best...I'd probably end up with the EFS 17-85mm.
     
  4. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for the reply! I will keep all those thigns in mind. Any other suggestions.
     
  5. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    Forget "cheese"...tell then to say "purple people eater". They'll start to say it, get tongue tied, and start laughing. Instant natural smiles.
     
  6. Reflexions

    Reflexions TPF Noob!

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    Try this site...it often has good info.
    Look for the video by Monte Zucker
    http://www.zuga.net/
     

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