First Portrait Session

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by jmthompson, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. jmthompson

    jmthompson TPF Noob!

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    Here are some photos from my first portrait session. These were taken in our park on a rare day when the temperatures broke 40 degrees (barely!), in late afternoon. The mom wanted to try for a natural look, nothing looking to "posed", but we only had about 20 - 30 minutes before we lost the sun and kids started getting too cold, so we had to work fast! I would really appreciate any c/c! As a sidenote, they were for her Christmas card pictures.

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    This one was just snapped as we were walking into the park and the kids were running ahead, and the mom hollered "red light" to get them to stop.
    It ended up being one of her favorites because she thinks it shows his personality so well!
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    The little girl was really shy, but I told her if she let me take some pictures of her, then she could take a couple of pictures with a P&S that I packed along just for that purpose, and that did the trick! As soon as she got to take a couple of pictures of her mom and brother, she was ready for more!

    Thanks for looking!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The first one looks like a nice moment but it's too dark. I don't mind the desaturation but the darkness does bother me.

    #2 is cute, can you bring back those highlights on his head?

    #3 is also cute, feels a bit like a snapshot but if they like it, then it's all good.

    $3 looks pretty good. I like vignettes but I think this one is a little too strong.
     
  3. jmthompson

    jmthompson TPF Noob!

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    Mike,
    Thanks so much for your comments! I have attached the color version of the first picture ~ see if you like that one any better. That is actually the one they picked for the cover of the card, but both the desaturation and the vignetting is where I feel I need the critiquing the most (as you pointed out), so that was the first one I attached. I have also attached the inside of the card they chose. I tried to tone down the highlights on the hair of the boy and brighten up the shadows on the face, but it may be too subtle to notice. I did feel almost like they were "snapshots" just because we were in such a hurry, and we were trying to convey a sense of "playfulness" and not posing for the shots, and I wasn't really sure how to do that and still have them not look like snapshots. Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

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  4. DanPonjican

    DanPonjican TPF Noob!

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    I love the first one. What effect was that? It's almost B&W but just a hint of color. Love it!
     
  5. jmthompson

    jmthompson TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I just used layers in Photoshop and then desaturate to almost black and white, but not quite, you just want to leave a hint of color. But as Mike pointed out, I need to go back and brighten it up a bit, it is pretty dark.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I like the color version better...I'm even thinking that I might have boosted the color saturation and maybe warmed up the tones...to really give it some punch.

    I would suggest using flash for your outdoor portraits. If you balance it well with the ambient light, it doesn't look flashed but can open up the shadows and give the subjects some pop.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Here is a quick edit I tried on that one. Maybe a bit too far in the opposite direction, but it's along the lines of what I might try with it.

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  8. jmthompson

    jmthompson TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike ~ your version definitely adds more pop! When I have more time, I am going to play with the original some more and see what I can do with it. I have been practicing alot more with using the flash outside in daylight, so hopefully when my next shoot comes up I will be more adept at using it! I always swore I wasn't interested in shooting portraits, but I had no idea how much fun it was!
     

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