advice needed!! Big Family shoot this weekend


TPF Noob!
Jun 23, 2010
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I've been asked to photograph a baptism party this weekend. Not the ceremony, just the party after. Outside, hot and sunny, lots of small kids, and three month old star princess.
The family asked if I could get some group shots of the children (in town for the baptism) they don't get them all together often.
It will be informal, I'll take tons of candids. I would apprieciate any input on shooting the groups, adults too. I've got bubbles....... any trade secrets???

I'm still volunteering myself to senior pictures, baby pics, etc, while I'm practicing my skills. Hope to be confident enough to start charging soon ;)

thanks in advance!!!

In my bag: Canon 7D, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.4
Bubbles are great. You'll get ALOT of mileage outta that. As a matter of fact, you just added something my prop list, thanks never thought of that.

That many kids, hopefully you have something that shoots alot of fps lol.
How relevant, theres a great article from the professional photographer magazine back in May 2010 on large family shoots and how to help with shooting large groups. If you want, you can contact me and I might be able to scan and send you the article, which was great btw. One piece of advice they offered was telling a funny little story to get their attention on you for a few moments.
If you are shooting bigger groups and in smallish areas, you'll need a wider lens than 50mm. Think about renting a 16-35 or something similar.

Look at shooting from higher up for adults, you can cram more heads in a space like that

Have the kids make faces at you...have them all look and say "make a funny face!"... then follow by angry, then happy...

The rest, if you are doing candids, is you shooting what is going on. Dont move around too much, stick to one spot and watch the area, ready with the camera. The kids will get comfortable with you and your camera and after a bit, will forget about you
Agree with the comment about wider glass being likely necessary. My favorite tool for big groups, whether adults or children is my birdie - I've got a slightly smaller than life-size robin-shaped plush bird on about a 2' stick. I hold that up, YELL "Watch the birdie" and actually get pretty darn good results. Whether you use a birdie or something else, a focus point that everyone can look at is a huge benefit.
I have to find out how many little ones they have. If there are less than 8-10, I could use the big lens or the 50? otherwise, ill rent a wide lens. I was also thinking when they started getting restless, how bout a big Peek-a-boo from everyone? I think the kids are all under 8

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