Critique on photos of my daughter

ahcigar1

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Was hoping to get some critique for these photos of my daughter that I took about a week ago. I'm really wanting to improve on doing photos of her, and need some outside input because of course I think they are great of her because she is my daughter. I am not used to doing photos of people so this is a whole new realm for me, so I do ask that you are easy on me a bit. This was only my 2nd time photographing her myself. I realize that there are a couple of hot spots in her hair in the second photo (would like ideas of how to fix that either in post proccessing or even better when shooting). I took all these outdoors and in shade on sunny day. The only flash that I have is on camera which I hate the effects of, but do have a reflector.
 

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tirediron

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Overall, the exposure on these seems pretty good. You can do some nice work with your on-camera flash if you know how; using a diffuser to make the light less harsh helps a LOT (I recommend the photographer's friend diffuser, available in handy roll format in most homes)! The main issue I see with these however is missed focus. When shooting portraits, I always recommend using a single focusing point and placing that point over the area of critical focus (usually the eyes), and using an aperture which will provide sufficent DoF to enure good, sharp focus. You can check that here.
 
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ahcigar1

ahcigar1

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How exactly does one use toilet paper for a diffuser? Do I just tape some over the flash? I was really working on getting focus on the eyes. Was actually using spot focusing on the eyes but almost always missed the mark. Either it focused on her nose, on her ear, or on her eybrow. Last night I was doing some research on this issue and apperently with some lenses the focus point can be off when speaking with your camera? My camera allows to fix this and and make focus profile for individual lenses. Could this be part of the issue?
 

tirediron

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Just drape a single sheet over the flash; that's all there is to it. You can buy lots of special diffusers for pop-up flashes as well, but for the number of times you'll actually need it, TP works well.

It is possible that your camera is either back or front focusing, but that's not all that terribly common. If you want to check this, set up a sheet of large-print type (newspaper advert or something) at a distance of about 10-15', use aperture-priority and select your largest aperture (smallest 'f' #) and take a picture of the newspaper (or whatever), then load that into your computer and look at the centre of the image at 100% magnification.
 
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ahcigar1

ahcigar1

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Im not looking to buy another editing program just for portraits. I'm not doing anything serious just photos of my daughter and nieces and nephews. Would love some tips for PS and nik filters if you have any. I just don't see a point in the program you posted. I wouldn't get the amount of use from it to make worth it. Thank you for suggestion though.
 

Rachel141

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I think they are beautiful! I personally am guilty of over editing.
 

Angela Spangler

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I think these are really nice. Personally, I would brighten them up just a bit to make them pop. In the third one, try not to chop the chin. I really love the second one. Nice job!
 

paigew

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#1) I do not think this one works. It took me a while to get a profile shot of my baby that I liked. I think it is important to get more of the front of the face, and more eye(s). So I would try again being a bit more in front of her.

#2) would be my fave (great eye contact!) but honestly the thing in front of face very distracting. I know where you are coming from thinking it is so cute, her chewing on that toy. Honestly though, You want to see her face, not a big green unidentifiable toy. I think the back lighting in this one is awesome!

#3) is just too close. It would probably be stronger if you had shot it in portrait orientation (vertical) so it wouldn't just cut off at her neck.

Overall, I think you are doing well! Your focus and exposure look pretty good. Now just to work on composition :)
 
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ahcigar1

ahcigar1

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Sorry haven't replied yet have been rather busy, thank you for all the tips everyone. I am planning on going out and trying again sometime this week hopefully and putting what you all have said here into use. It sounds like I have the proper lighting idea just need to work on composition a bit more and also focus a bit. Which I think I solved that problem, my camera was front focusing a bit, adjusted and think is now doing better with that.

paigew I see what you are meaning by the third pic being too close. Will try backing up some more next time and also going to portrait angle. Also you are right about the second image. It is her favorite toy, it goes everywhere with her. And so may not be the best composition wise but for me is one of my favorites just because of what it is.
 

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