Children's Clothes Modeling

RxForB3

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My babysitter and her mom are designing and creating clothes for little kids. They asked if I could do some pictures to help show off the clothes. Of course, I'm not the best at portraits, so this is what I got. Unfortunately the weather wasn't optimal, nor the location, and I don't have any equipment such as reflectors, soft boxes, etc. These were taken with my new Canon 6D, a 580 EX II, and an off camera 430 EX II. Thoughts, suggestions, harsh critiques? I need to learn, so let me have it!

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IMG_0030 by RxForB3, on Flickr

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IMG_0059 by RxForB3, on Flickr

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IMG_0070 by RxForB3, on Flickr

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IMG_0076 by RxForB3, on Flickr

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IMG_0095 by RxForB3, on Flickr
 
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RxForB3

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Just realized I cropped the girl's dress on #4. Easily fixable, though...
 

pixmedic

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why am I suddenly thinking of Julie Andrews in "The sound of music?"
 
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RxForB3

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Heh heh. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but you certainly have a point :)
 

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What I've learned; having the subject close to the background=very harsh shadows. If you have an off camera flash just go buy a peice of white board to use as a reflector, it would help with the shadows too. The WB seems to be different in all the photos, also I would try to find a less busy background so you could showcase the outfits more. The girls look super happy, so I'm sure they would love to do it agian!:)
 
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RxForB3

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Thanks for the suggestions. I think a little planning in advance would have helped. This was a spur-of-the-moment thing. I'm sure we'll do it again once she has some more clothes, in any case. I'll have to get a piece of white posterboard. I'm assuming that the more reflective the better? I'll try to find a better location, better natural light, etc., as well. Would it maybe be best to use just a completely plain colored background indoors since the idea is to show off the clothes? Perhaps even just a white sheet as a background since I certainly don't have any backdrops or anything...Any other suggestions?
 
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RxForB3

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Interesting. Thanks for the link!
 

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If I were the consumer (the mom buying these dresses for my daughter), I would not be impressed or inclined to make a purchase. The clothes themselves are adorable, but it looks like these were taken with a Point-and-shoot. Reshoot, no flash, morning light, agree with allison regarding moving your subjects further from the background. And lastly, focus, focus, focus. . . . none of these appear to be in focus - eek! Best of luck, would love to see reshoots of these.
 
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RxForB3

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Hm...well that's why I post :) So I can learn.

I guess I need to get my eyes checked or something. At first I thought they were in focus, but on closer inspection on some of them, I can see at least some of them are not. But, do you think the first two are out of focus as well? I can see that the 4th and 5th are, but the more I look at the others, the more my eyes seem to play tricks on me. The third seems slightly off, but it seems like the first two were in focus. Maybe not? I'm use to landscapes and whatnot. Not people :)

These were the first shots I've taken with my 6D. Maybe I should check on microadjusting the focus. Since these were with the 50mm 1.8, I can't adjust focus while in autofocus. I used individual focus points and always tried to place the point over the eye. In all cases, it gave the confirmation light for focus. Any suggestions? Guess I've got some playing around to do tomorrow...
 

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I really cannot even look at 1 and 2. . . the artificial tree in the background, the odd draping of the cloth under their feet. . . . it's just not looking good. Glad you are open to learning, and I swear I am nice (this is what happens when wine is involved). . . reshoot, morning, outdoors, think an open field, or treed area. . . if you've got snow, use it, but not against a chain link fence. As the photographer, be in control of your where/when.
 
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RxForB3

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Will do. Not sure when, but sometime. Like I said, this was very impromptu (which is not really an excuse, but hey...I'm still learning). There are lots of great locations around here we could go. Just have to plan in advance!
 

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Will do. Not sure when, but sometime. Like I said, this was very impromptu (which is not really an excuse, but hey...I'm still learning). There are lots of great locations around here we could go. Just have to plan in advance!

keep firing away. impromptu or not. performing and getting feedback for any shots (planned or unplanned) WILL make you better. you'll get a better/faster eye for impromptu situations, and more creativity + vision for planned shots.

that said I'm going to have to agree with PinkDoor's comments. i hate to be harsh, but if these were put up as actual product photos, it'd be pretty clear that this is a new-ish/small-ish company that doesn't have the money or time for professional shots. chain link fence is a terrible backdrop, and the draped furniture and indoor background are way too messy/distracting (the tree is coming right out of their heads for these shots). I'm super budget when it comes to studio stuff, so i understand the difficulties of setting things up. but IMO you'd benefit a lot by spending some effort to simplify the background, especially with product photos.
 
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RxForB3

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Thanks! So what is a good, simple, hopefully easy set up for a background? At my house I at least have enough open space to set SOMETHING up, but what/how?

I'd prefer to do an outdoors shoot, but that doesn't exactly fulfill the goal of simplifying the background...
 

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I'd start with browsing children's wear catalogs and see how they distinguish the clothes are the subject versus the child themselves. When outside, ensure you have good distance between the subject and the background (like, lots of distance to isolate your subject). The background and it's impact on the image should always be in your mind before you raise the camera to your eye.
 

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