Family portrait help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by addie, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. addie

    addie Guest

    Someone I know is expecting a baby in May, and they asked me to take family photos of the family (basically the pregnant mom, the dad and their 8 year old son).

    I have a Nikon D60.
    The photo shoot will be done in their own living room.
    They want the pictures to look somewhat like these:


    I'm not anyone professional, just love photography.
    I don't have any fancy white curtain to hand in the background.
    What I have to work with is basically:
    wood floors
    plain beige wall in the background

    Now my questions for you are:
    What settings on the camera would I use to obtain these results?
    What kind of lighting should I use?
    How to I position the camera?

    and any other tips you have would be useful.
    thanks so much

  2. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

    Sep 12, 2009
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    Upstate NY
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    Check out this site, it's a great primer on lighting.

    I also found a video on YouTube called the portrait masterclass (or something along those lines) that went over basic portrait lighting techniques. I can't get youtube here or else I'd find it for you.
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Oct 21, 2004
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    Southwest Virginia
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    Really, that's much like asking how long is a string? You use whatever settings are necessary to properly expose the image and to obtain the depth of field you are looking for. These examples you posted don't really set the bar too high as they are rather haphazard in their composition. I would guess these are probably shot around an aperture of f/8 to f/11 to get everyone in focus. The shutter speed would then be whatever was necessary to avoid camera shake, likely something around 1/180 or 1/250. Do you know how to use your camera's built in light meter? If not that is something you need to learn by then.

    Do you have a king size bed sheet? That's pretty inexpensive and makes a decent background. You could use some sort of lighting at least a speedlight off camera, unless there is a lot of good natural light inside.


    Mar 2, 2010
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    Myrtle Beach SC
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    Johnboy gave you some suggestions. The only thing I might add is if you don't have proper lighting or mulitple strobes and are proficient at using them, go outside. Use natural light.

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