How to take good yearbook pictures

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bluemary, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. bluemary

    bluemary TPF Noob!

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    We don't really have a "Yearbook" so I explain quickly. Every year, the seniors make their own newspaper at the end of the school year, shortly before graduation with pictures and jokes and so on.
    We don't have a pro photographer to take our pictures and since I'm passionate about photography and everyone knows it, it's my job now.

    I don't have a lot of experience with portraits and I don't know about the light exposure etc.

    We don't have studio lights either so it's just me with my Nikon D200 and maybe a separate flash in an ordinary building /outside.
    How do I take good portrait pictures? Maybe there are 2 or 3 people in one shot and I have to make them look good because everyone knows that I want to become a photographer and I don't want to humiliate myself.
    so:
    - How do I do it that people are not strangely exposed to light (one side shadow, the other not)? I know the basics but even if I try, there's always one side much darker than the other and I don't want that.
    - What perspective do I use?
    - And what background? Would you shoot in front of a blank wall or with flowers in the background?
    - If the newspaper is in black and white (not decided yet), should I take b/w pictures in the first place so the print comes out better?
    - what clothes should they wear? whatever they like or something black or white?

    I'm sorry, it's so much and I sound like I've never photographed before but everyone will see those pictures and I don't want to fail.
     
  2. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Buy a lot of white foamcore boards (these are like, $2 a piece if you can find them on sale) and use that as a huge reflector, then shoot outside. Pick a clean background that is not distracting and it won't really matter what it is.
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    A corner in the school library near a window is a great location. Put the reflector on the opposite side of the student's face furthest from the window.

    skieur
     
  4. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I was in the same position as you and I actually bought a really basic lighting set that is getting me fantastic results.

    I just have a D90, some lenses, and an SB-800 but I bought a light stand, convertible umbrella, and cybersyncs and I'm getting great results. I'm not saying that the reflector ideas arent good, I'm just saying that the equipment I got is relatively cheap and very effective. Plus it'll make you look like a pro :)
     
  5. biancarose

    biancarose TPF Noob!

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    If you are printing them with the newspaper, in photoshop change the mode to CMYK and greyscale them.
     
  6. bluemary

    bluemary TPF Noob!

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    wow, thanks! I would never have thought of that! How does my assistant *hehe* hold it? I want a really soft light.:confused:
     
  7. bluemary

    bluemary TPF Noob!

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    haha, I like the pro aspect here!
    Great, I'm gonna go and see how expensive it is here.
     
  8. moodi_94

    moodi_94 TPF Noob!

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    The backround should be a solid color, and they should wear light color clothes ;P
     
  9. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    If you want I could point you in the direction of all the gear I bought for shooting modeling/portrait shots. Everything is in stock at B&H and their pricing is really fair.
     
  10. bluemary

    bluemary TPF Noob!

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    that would be nice! I don't know about the B&H thing though. I think I'm gonna buy it in a store in town here in Switzerland.
    But I'd appreciate it if you could tell me what exactly you bought.
     

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