First Family Photo shoot Please help

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by sopheachoun56, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Let me give you a bit of background so you understand where some people are coming from.
    Many of us have spent thousands of hours at this craft to gain experience, knowledge and skills and day after day we have people come here and say, essentially, I just got this camera and I'm going to go out and be a photographer.
    That does two things; it says that you think so little of the craft - and us - that you think you can do it without any effort and, in the eyes of the public, it diminishes the craft because someone without skills is practicing it.
    Yes, a modern camera gives you a tremendous leg up, and little tips help some but you know relatively nothing.
    You wouldn't buy a box of oil paints and expect to be doing portraits as soon as you buy your first canvas.
    Respect the craft, learn a bit and those here who can help will, I'm certain.


     
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  2. sopheachoun56

    sopheachoun56 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your insight. I agree, many people underestimate the craft.

    In all fairness I noted portaits is not my fortay. Landscape, on the other hand I have had lots and lots of practice on. I have spent thousands of hours on the craft whether it's reading all the way to practicing. I'm just simply here to ask for some tips on portaits, nothing more nothing less. In no way am I assuming I will become pro overnight. We all need to start somewhere right? I just want some tips people... That's it! Thank you to those who gave me some. I go forward with more confidence and knowledge. To those who wants to bash about a simple question for tips... You guys need to relax.
     
  3. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    No insult intended. All we know is what you've said here.
    Good luck with your portrait shoot.
     
  4. NancyMoranG

    NancyMoranG Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The famous saying along the lines of : walk in another mans shoes for 5 minutes and then you will know where he is coming from..
    Lew is right, you have no idea how many people pose the same question here, day in and day out. 'Just got a camera and my mom says I'm great, how do I make $ ? '
    So excuse some of the responses as they are not meant to be mean or insulting...as said earlier...
     
  5. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK, I had a studio back in the film days, ran it for about 15 years to make extra income from my daytime job as a full-time photojournalist. I say this not to say that I am "all that" or anything, but rather that I have "been there, done that."

    Since the session is already scheduled, I would advise you to "shoot what you know". Obviously, the people have some reason to believe you know what you are doing, so you must have shown them something... so shoot what you know. Don't try to be something you aren't. If what you know is shooting outside in daylight, do that... just do it LATE in the day, when the sun is your friend and not your enemy. Keep things simple. Concentrate on getting faces in focus. If you can get faces in focus, then pretty much everything else can be fixed later if necessary (to some extent).

    AFTER the shoot is over, please consider my next advice.

    STOP scheduling more paid shoots until you have more experience & knowledge. Geddy Lee, the fantastic virtuoso bass player/keyboardest/vocalist for the band Rush, was interviewed years ago and he was asked his advice on how to become a professional musician. He said that what he tells people is to "lock yourself in a closet with your instrument for a couple of years" so that, technically, you can play ANYTHING. Get the technical stuff out of the way first, so all you have to worry about is the creative stuff, the technical stuff comes as a matter of course.

    That's great advice for photography too. IMMERSE yourself with the technicals, and get them learned and out of the way. Once that's done, start taking pictures of friends or go onto some source like Model Mayhem and hook up with a couple local models willing to trade their time for your photos... or find some local reenacting group or steampunk club or whatever, and hook up with them to do shots... and use that as your learning tool...

    That's what I would do, anyway... were I in your shoes.
     
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  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Absolutely totally right on the button.
    I shoot for a small pro theater and shooting during tech or dress rehearsal is wonderful practice for street or candid photography. You have to understand where the shots will be, get to a position with settings cahnged en route and then shoot.
    Great advice.
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you.

    The thing about groups like your theater group, or armature models, or groups that do things like cosplay is that these folks LOVE to have their picture taken, and work well with being directed to get the shot. Not only do you learn photography skills, you learn how to direct people into natural looking poses and positions...

    I was shooting a cos-play shoot a couple of months ago and I was working with a woman who does three or four different groups (this was a post-apocalyptic "beyond thunderdome" kind of shoot, she also does horror/zombie and Lolita cosplay... anyway, I was working with her and after a bit she said "I've worked with like 20 photographers, you are the first person who has actually given me direction and feedback and act like you know what you are doing..."

    That just comes from experience, and working with folks like this (where there is zero pressure since you are not getting paid) is a great way to hone your skills.

    One more thing I want to add here: I understand that a lot of people want to make money on photography, and there's nothing wrong with that... but one has to understand the world today and not compare it to the days when I was in the business (the 1980's). Now, cameras are EVERYWHERE and cell phones are able to take pictures my $5,000 500C Hassy's couldn't have dreamed of (conversely, of course, the Hassy's can take pictures that cell phones could never dream of... in the proper hands, of course). In the 1980's, people shot 3, perhaps four rolls of film A YEAR. Now? 40 photos a day per person is common.

    Now, more than ever, you have to be a GOOD photographer to succeed in the business. In my little tiny county with 4,000 people in it (the entire county population) there are 4 "Mom's With Canon Rebels" photo studios, all of them pumping out scads of really awful "professional" pictures.

    Please, if you are reading that, don't be that person. Do it right.
     
  8. sopheachoun56

    sopheachoun56 TPF Noob!

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    I absolutely agree with Sabbath 100%. This is exactly what I am doing. The photo shoots that are scheduled are not for money. I am not in any way getting paid for this. This is for friends who has seen my work and love it.

    I just want to clarify with everyone... this is all practice for me. There is no "MONEY" involved. I have thousands of hours invested in landscape photography, I also do photo shoot events at my company and I also do videography.

    Everyone quit assuming I am here to become pro overnight or scheming
     
  9. sopheachoun56

    sopheachoun56 TPF Noob!

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  10. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It seemed like what was being asked would be needing instruction more than just some tips. I'd suggest considering a class to learn the lighting, posing techniques, etc. since it's quite different from the landscape photography you've been doing.

    It's probably more than what people could do on a message board to help you learn everything you'd need to learn about portrait photography. Once you were in the process of learning it then on here people could offer an idea or suggestion, etc.
     

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