Family Portrait Question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by GerryDavid, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A friend of mine asked me to do a family portrait picture for him.

    Since they will probably want large prints of this I will be using my Canon Rebel 2000 film camera since the negative has more info than my digital camera.

    There will be 5 adults and 4 kids.

    When my photographer teacher showed us how to do portraits he suggested putting the aperature on F8 and zooming out as much as our telephoto lense will do, which in my case is something like 86mm. This is done to keep the person in focus, but the background blurry.

    My main question is if I do this, wont the people on the sides be out of focus, or should I have the family sort of curve around the camera, so each person is the same length from the lense? also im wondering if F8 would give enough background blur, so if I should use F5.6 or maybe even F4.

    If it makes a difference, I will try to get the shoot to be outside, so I dont have to worry about studio lights since I dont have any. I should get a reflector but dont have the money for it right now.

    Im not sure how much to charge for this as well. Since he's a friend and ive been over there a bunch after Church for dinner, im thinking of giving it to them for 50% off, but keep the other price known so if they tell other people, the price will be there, hehe. So im thinking about charching x amount for the session, say $40 Canadian for an hour, to show up there at thier place and take some pictures. Which willend up only costing them $20. Then give fixed print prices, which will be 2 or 3 times that of walmart's prices, which gives me money for my time to order it and pick it up.

    How does that price seem? I dont have reflectors, studio lights, etc, so I cant really charge pro rates.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I use 2.5'x3.5' sheets of white foam core ($3 each), and clamp them together with spring clamps ($2 each) to make it larger. Usually 2 peices stuck together works good, and I can use extra clamps to hang it off a tripod, so I don't need an assistant. It doesn't fold up nice like a reflector, but it's dirt cheap.
     
  3. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    We shoot outdoor family shots the same way, with our telephoto. As for the blur, it will just depend on what the background is. Around here we have lots of trees and mountains so client like to see them.

    We use a digital SLR so we can immediately see the results and adjust if needed. Our packages range from $45-150 US dollars and come with the prints. We run about 2 to 3 times more than a Target or Walmart studio, but we offer a lot of things they don't. For example, we ordering a unit of 3 4X6 the pictures can all be of a different pose. Also, our higher package prices include specialty images like color accent and black and white for no extra charge. When we started out we did the 50% off just to build a portfolio. Making nearly no profit on your first shots will pay off in the end if you get satisfied customers! Good luck and share your photos when you're done!
     
  4. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks AlisonS.

    just wondering what color accents is. I prob know it just not by that name.
     
  5. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Like this, just some parts of the photo in color:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. pigpen

    pigpen TPF Noob!

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    I know it's probably a huge pain, but if anybody could explain to me how to do this in photoshop i would be deeply thankful.
     
  7. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    The easiest way is to open a new channel mixer adjustment layer. Click the "Monochrome" button at the bottom of the pop-up window and then adjust the Red, Green, and Blue channel sliders until the b&w image looks just the way you want it.

    Then put a mask on this adjustment layer and mask out the items you want in color. (I'm working from memory as I'm at work and don't have access to PS here, just in case I call something the wrong name.)

    This is assuming you are starting with a color photo.

    The process of colorizing a b&w pic in Photoshop is more complex. I have outlined my method here.

    Feel free to shout if you need more explanation.
     
  8. pigpen

    pigpen TPF Noob!

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    Hey Drlynn,
    Worked like a charm. THANKYOU!!!!!
     
  9. pigpen

    pigpen TPF Noob!

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    Spoke too soon....

    I'm not sure if i'm doing it corrrectly. How do you put a mask on the adjustment layer? I had it in standard mode, used the lasso to select the object i wanted in color, and then hit the "quick mask mode" button. That worked to bring color back to my selected area, but then it wouldn't let me select any more objects to bring out of the B & W. Did i do something worng?
     
  10. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Here's how I do mine...

    I first select the area that I want in color using the lasso tool
    Then I choose select inverse and then desaturate the area and adjust
    the contrast.

    I've never been very good with the masking tool, I really should learn how to do it!
     
  11. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    If you use the "Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer" at the bottom of the Layers Palette, PS builds that layer with a mask. The mask is the solid white box on the right side of the layer thumbnail.

    Click on that mask box. Your foreground/background colors should switch to black/white. Choose the paintbrush and start painting the areas you want to be in color. If you paint too much, switch to the eraser and erase the color you didn't want.
     
  12. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    The best thing about using the layer mask is that if you make a mistake, you can simply erase it. You don't have to undo and then redo.
     

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