Question for Portrait Photographers

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by joeamy05, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. joeamy05

    joeamy05 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so after 2 years of playing with my camera and taking a few classes, I decided the area of photography that I would like to focus on. I would like to build a business around labor and delivery, and newborn photography. With this selection comes crappy lighting, fast action and non-repeatable moments and usually crappy vantage points....fun fun. So My question is about lenses and flash. I do not wish to be changing out my lens often, so what 'do it all' lens would you use...keep in mind, it needs to be kinda fast in crap light...
    Also, for the slower paced newborn photography I am looking into a softbox, but I am not sure I understand how it works...Is it a separate flash inside the softbox that is triggered by the camera? What all do I need to make that work? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Delivery: Full-Frame body with high ISO performance, and a 24-70mm lens.

    New-Born: softbox is just a big box with white fabric, you place the flash in the back of it. It's just a big diffuser, and makes really pretty light. You'll want to experiment with that a little, but it's really not rocket science.
     
  3. JenLavazza

    JenLavazza TPF Noob!

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    I rarely remove my 50mm 1.4. I LOVE it! Normally I shoot using natural light, but sometimes I have to use my flash. I have a sb600 I put on a stand and shoot through an umbrella. I also will use a continuous light behind on the opposite side to help decrease any harsh shadows. I just bought a D700 because it has such great high ISO performance!
     
  4. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    More than likely, you're not going to have room to set up a whole lighting kit, let alone one light and umbrella/softbox.

    Also, even if you did have enough room, the doctor is never going to like having flashed going off all the time.

    I have never done delivery for anyone since most will not want that done anyways. I focus mainly on the few hours after the baby is born. For actual deliver, most parents will videotape. Deliver is a special moment and chances are, you won't be able to get in there just as the photographer.

    These were all shot with a 50 1.8 on a D80 body and 3 hours after Bristol Emma Norris was born.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    D80 ISO 100 1/30 f/6.3 1/16 flash
    [​IMG]


    I then moved to a D300 body and while I still used that 50 1.8 for some shots, I mainly focused on the tiny parts of the baby with a 105D macro lens. This is something that you will never get again. You and the parents will know where the "tiny parts" were taken and that will make it even more memorable to have pictures of.

    In all of these, flash was popped. Once you get into the room where the parents will be until released, nerves are alot better and you have ALOT more room to work with.

    D300 105 Macro ISO 200 1/50 f/4
    [​IMG]

    D300 105 Macro ISO 200 1/50 f/4
    [​IMG]

    D300 105 Macro ISO 200 1/50 f/4
    [​IMG]



    Even though on the flash was used after delivery, I could bet you a 2.8 or faster lens like the 24-70 for Nikon would work. We don't know what you shoot with but full frame would be a big advantage.

    Hope this helps you

    ~Michael~
     
  5. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    as much as people rave about the 50mm, i have to wonder...will there be enough room to move around in order to compose well on the 50. especially on a crop body.
    i think I.F. has the right selection for lens.
    jen, i've heard nothing but wonderful things about that lens you mentioned, but i dont have it...would it suffice in a delivery room? or do you think composing would be challenging due to the lack of zoom?
    michael, that first shot is fantastic...and might prove me wrong about the limitations of the 50mm in that situation.

    good luck to you, OP.
    let us know what you decide.:thumbup:
     
  6. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    What I have found is that most rooms have enough room. What you're going for is separation. Go to something like the 35 or 28 2.8 and you're too wide for what you're shooting, the baby. I shoot two bodies now and have a wide (for me) lens on the D80 (18-135, not considered "wide" but wider than a 50) and either the 50 or 105 on my D300. Even on a crop body, I can either get the shot or I can't. The thing is, if you can't get the shot right, then you find a way to get it, if you can't you find another composition that works well for what you're wanting. You have to work with what you have, always. I usually shoot for about 2 hours after delivery and those go quick when you're trying to find everything to get a shot of. This day will never be here again - the first few hours of the baby's life.


    As stated above, YOU make the compositions, don't let tight spaces make it any different. I will agree that the 1.4 is a phenominal lens but the DOF is very small (we know that, DOH!!). I did PS and make the DOF narrower on the necklace shot and it's what you would get with a 1.4 lens.

    With a prime, you zoom with your feet. If you need to, change lenses - the baby isn't going anywhere and you shouldn't be in a rush when shooting a baby, you're on their time

    Thank you very much. At the time of the first shot, I just had to work with what I had. My 18-135 was too slow at 50mm (like 4.5 or so) so I had to use the 50 1.8 to the best of my ability. I hope they all come out as good and thanks for the compliment.

    ~Michael~
     
  7. joeamy05

    joeamy05 TPF Noob!

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    I forgot to mention right now I have a Canon XSi with the kit lens and a 50 1.8.

    I also have the added benefit of actually working in Labor and Delivery as my real job, so I know all of the doctors, nurses, procedures etc. I know how to stay out of the way, and where to stand to get a great shot. I shot my friends daughters delivery and made a video for them....if you can get past the music I think quite a few of the shots were pretty good considering it was shot with the kit lens and no flash. Also the only pp work was black and white conversion. I know people on here aren't big fans of links..but this was an assignment in my photography class (to post a video on youtube).

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4QMGIR8tlM]YouTube - Ava May[/ame]

    As for the lighting..I was only considering a lighting set up for in home newborn sessions, where there would be more time and area to set up some equipment. I really appreciate everyone's input. I will need to do some looking into a full frame body.
     
  8. pcacj

    pcacj TPF Noob!

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    I have the 50mm 1.4 and while it takes very nice photos, it is not very handy when I need flexibility. Many shots were lost due to not being able to back up enough and other shots just didn't POP because I was too far away. Fast quality glass zooms are pricey but if you are going to keep it flexible and simple I think Iron Flatline is correct....24-70 f/2.8L Watched your photo video and liked it. Brought tears to my eyes. I thought I saw the husband vomit once, though :)
     
  9. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I like the video and based on what shots you have from behind, I think you did a fantastic job!

    Here is what slideshow I did from my Bristol Emma shots

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTdNZLwzHxk[/ame]

    ~Michael~
     

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