Family Portraits -- HELP!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by DbyH, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. DbyH

    DbyH New Member

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    I've got a family who has graciously allowed me to practice my skills on their family this weekend and I have to admit I'm terrified now that I've agreed. It's the husband and wife and their SIX young children (1, twin 3s, twin 5s and 8).

    I have a Canon Rebel T2i with a standard 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and a zoom 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens. Will this suffice for this practice session? What should I start looking into as far as equipment for the future? Faster lens? Wide angle lens? Are my current lenses "fast" enough to capture all of these busy bodies?

    And, any tips for photographing families with young children? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. RockstarPhotography

    RockstarPhotography Active Member

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    If your going to shoot portraits you should look into lighting for the "future". Your gear will work, Its the photographer, not the equipment that makes good photos. I've shot some great photos using a flash shot through a shower curtain. Wide angle lenses are not really good for family portraits, but can be used "artistically" to give you some neat results. Biggest problem with families is getting skin tones correct since adult skin can vary so much from children. And with that big of a family you have to make sure that they are all exposed correctly. This is a rare occasion that you would want to move your light (if using flash) further away. The further away the light, the more distance between stops of light. Close to the light, it can be a full stop difference 8 inches away, further it goes the longer the distance where you can get a stop for 15' but it brings in a harsher light. If using multiple lights you don't have to worry about that, but you do want to make it look natural and not flashed from various points. It all boils down to lighting.
     
  3. KAikens318

    KAikens318 New Member

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    All I have to say is bless you and I will keep my fingers crossed for you. I do not photograph children if I can help it. After working at Sears...ugh...*shudder*....the memories. Lol. Of course, the parents were a good part of the problem. Make sure that you have good lighting, you are most likely going to need a faster shutter speed to keep the little darlings in focus. If you have off camera lighting such as a flash, try to use a strategically placed umbrella, or bounce the light off of the ceiling. At the least have a diffuser on it. If you don't have off camera flash, natural light will have to be abundant. Get them near a large window or outdoors if it is warm enough to do so. I would highly highly recommend bringing a children's toy that makes noise, or grab one from the parents before the shoot. You are going to need this to get the children's attention, but it works like a charm. Getting them to all look and smile at the same time..well, if you can do that, you are magic. :) Have fun though. Be relaxed, don't get stressed out and everyone else will have a good time too!
     
  4. ghaith.salih

    ghaith.salih New Member

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    They told friends like what you need to light sources and distribution of consistent and appropriate

    But this does not mean you do not think in lens

    Use of lens and wide angles will not serve you but you need to average lens and do not cause deformities of the limbs

    I My advice is lens

    nikon 17-55mm f/2.8
    &
    nikon 18-70
     
  5. DbyH

    DbyH New Member

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    Thank you for the feedback! Luckily, I'm shooting outdoors as I think a park may be more comfortable for the kids and natural lighting will be my friend as opposed to studio lighting. I'll have to share some work after the weekend and get feedback from there.
     
  6. KAikens318

    KAikens318 New Member

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    watch out for blown highlights in the skin if you end up with direct sun. Try shooting them under the shade of a tree if possible and bring a reflector with you if you have one if the sun is at an angle so you don't get shadows.
     
  7. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    Remember than a fast lens used wide open will have a very narrow depth of field. You'll want to stop down to keep everyone in focus. Because of this, you will probably want the background to be further away from them, to help keep it blurred.
     
  8. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Well-Known Member

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    They shoot Canon, bro.
     
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  9. kundalini

    kundalini Well-Known Member

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    Although it is not the optimal choice, don't be afraid to use the built-in flash to add some fill light to help remove the raccoon eyes usually seen in outdoor shots.
     

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