Family shoot help

lfoush

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I am planning to practice shooting on a family, and I had a couple questions. First of all should I should with my kit lens, or my 50mm, which I would have to manually focus? Secondly, when shooting a family, where should I place my focus point? Also, what would be the sharpest aperture to use?
 

TimothyJinx

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I have no real experience to share with you as I am scheduled to shoot a 6-person family for the first time next week. When choosing your lens keep in mind you will need is a fairly deep depth of field so you can get everyone in focus.
 

20belowphotography

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your focal point will change depending on the depth of field, aperture, and lens of choice. selecting the sharpest aperture will also depend on your lens of choice and your environment, i.e. indoors or out. i'd suggest, as a starting point, using your 50mm (manual focus shouldn't be a problem if you're doing portraits), f8 or f11 if outside, preferably not direct sunlight. at that aperture your depth of field is large enough to overcome placing your subjects within a few feet of each other, but you can always check a depth of field calculator for exact numbers. as a general rule of thumb i try to focus at a point a third into my frame and adjust accordingly.
 

cgipson1

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Online Depth of Field Calculator

It always amazes me when people ask a question, and don't give adequate information?

Camera Body??? It makes a difference... full frame or crop sensor?
What KIT lens? There are a lot of them.... what lenses do you have?
Probably lighting? Indoors, outdoors, flash, shade, WHAT? That is a factor on what lens to choose!
 

vintagesnaps

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Go out in the backyard or a park or wherever you can, maybe with a friend who you can practice on; or use what you have available, to set up a shot and figure out what aperture could work, and how to get the depth of field you need. Try out both lenses, do some practice shots, learn how to use the focus points, etc.

I think on a message board people can offer a suggestion but we can't teach you how to become a photographer in a few brief comments. The questions you're asking seem more about how to use your camera; if you're not able yet to know what lens or aperture to use it seems like you still need to learn more about how your camera works. It takes learning and practice on the part of the photographer to be able to learn how to do portraits or photo shoots - you might have the ability to do it but it takes time to develop the skills needed to become successful at it.
 

tirediron

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Since a family can be anything from three to 33, a bit more detail would definitely help. Let's assume that it's in the 4-8 member range, and that your camera is a APS-C/DX body w/ 18-55 for the kit lens. The 50 will likely be a little narrow, but, depending on the situation and poses it could work. As mentioned, depth of field (DoF) is the key. Once you've posed the group, then estimate the distance to your shooting position, and w/ your DoF information (Linked to in previous posts) determine an aperture that is appropriate. I would generally expect this sort of shot to "two deep" so we'll say for the sake of argument you need 24" of DoF minimum and you're ten feet back. With a focal length of 35mm and an aperture of f4, you have almost 4' DoF - focus toward the back of the heads of the front row and you should get everyone in sharp focus.
 

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