First Newborn Shoot - HELP!!

cortie0720

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Hi everyone, I'm pretty new to photography. It started out as a hobby, and has grown from there as many friends and family have asked me to take portraits for them. Mostly outdoors. In two weeks, I'll be doing my first Newborn shoot for my best friend and i'm freaking out!

I have the Nikon d3200 with the 35mm 1.8 AF-S prime lens. I am at a loss at what setting my camera needs to be in for natural lighting indoors. I've experimented with all the manual, aperture, and program settings. My photos come out either way grainy or really blurry.

My best friend asked me to take pictures of her newborn for her, she doesn't want to spend the money on a photographer and it would be good experience for me. I love kids! my goal.. at some point is to be family - newborn photographer. But, i've got a long way to go... i'm just starting out.

Anyway, if anyone can help me out it would be greatly appreciated! I'm just so frustrated now, I've tried adjusting ISO and White balance and everything.. nothing works. Also, my camera has options to change the ISO sensitivity, but i can't find where to adjust the shutter speed.

HELP?!
 

Tony S

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If I were you right now at this point I would just put it in auto mode and fire away. Try a piece of white foam core or poster board as a reflector.

Now, welcome to the forum....... spend some time reading as you would see this very subject was just brought up here a few hours ago. there is a handy search tool function at the top of the page, just type in newborn and you will get a lot of posts from here.

http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/333106-style-newborn-photography.html
 
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cortie0720

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Thanks. I wasn't keen on the idea of auto.. i don't want to use the flash. And without flash in auto, it's too grainy. I was hoping for someone who might also have the d3200 or d3100 to give me some tips on it's settings.
 

cgipson1

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You have a meter in the camera! Use it! That will give you all the settings you need.. as long as you know how to adjust ISO, Aperture and shutter to get what you want.

Or do like most other wanna be pro's do today... and put it in AUTO, like Tony said. Maybe even AUTO ISO... and AUTO WB! That way the camera can make all of the decisions... all you have to do is push the shutter button.
 
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cgipson1

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Thanks. I wasn't keen on the idea of auto.. i don't want to use the flash. And without flash in auto, it's too grainy. I was hoping for someone who might also have the d3200 or d3100 to give me some tips on it's settings.

Nobody can do more than give you a very rough idea of what settings to use.. we have no idea of the amount of light you will have, or the setting, wardrobe, or anything else. That is why Tony suggested AUTO... in the first place.

You either need to make sure there is enough light.. maybe outside? Or learn to use flash (and not that dinky pop-up flash)
 
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cortie0720

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I appreciate the feedback. This is going to be indoor, late morning most likely. Light would be coming from a back patio door, glass. The setting is simple, textured blankets as the backdrop.. soft colors. I've done a lot of shots using Guide on my camera. I like it a lot, because it's helped me learn; however, I'm trying to shy away from it. I want to explore and try new settings on the camera. I want to try shooting in manual mode. I'm doing this shoot as a favor for my best friend so she isn't expecting a pro photo shoot. I'm also not a trying to be a "wana be pro". I want to learn, and am just looking for some advice. I also do not have a external flash yet. It's on my shopping list when i can afford it. I don't like using the built in flash, I find it's pretty harsh in most of my indoor photos.

Any newborn photographers, using a similar model..I would love some suggestions based on settings you have used before in a similar situation.
 

cgipson1

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tell you what.. put it in M (Manual) F4, 1/125, and ISO 400. Take a meter reading... If the meter reads underexposure, increase the ISO until the meter reads dead center... Depending the light you have, that could be anywhere from ISO 400 to ISO 2000 or so.. if it is higher than that for any kind of decent daylight, then move the shoot outside under a tree.. in the shade.

Read up on what a reflector is.. and how to use one... make one out of piece of cardboard or foam.. or buy one...
 
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cortie0720

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Thank you, i'll try that. I have a reflector I've been experimenting with and plan to use with the newborn.
 

vintagesnaps

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If you can't find where to set the shutter speed on your camera that seems to indicate you need to develop a better understanding of how your camera works. Every time you're takings pictures you're going to be adjusting settings so you need to learn how to do that in a variety of situations.

You need to know how to adjust the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to get a proper exposure; how to use the meter to indicate when your camera's getting the appropriate amount of the existing light; and how to frame and compose images well. Those are basic photography skills that need to be learned and practiced to be able to do any sort of work in photography; it doesn't make sense to try to do portraits before you've learned how to use your camera properly.
 
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cortie0720

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If you can't find where to set the shutter speed on your camera that seems to indicate you need to develop a better understanding of how your camera works. Every time you're takings pictures you're going to be adjusting settings so you need to learn how to do that in a variety of situations.

You need to know how to adjust the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to get a proper exposure; how to use the meter to indicate when your camera's getting the appropriate amount of the existing light; and how to frame and compose images well. Those are basic photography skills that need to be learned and practiced to be able to do any sort of work in photography; it doesn't make sense to try to do portraits before you've learned how to use your camera properly.

Yes, I do need to learn more about the functionality of the camera. I've been doing a lot of research. But, as I've already stated, I'm doing this as a favor for my friend. There is no expectation of a professional photo shoot. I ENJOY photographing babies and kids, I got into this because i'm constantly taking pictures of my Nephew. This newborn shoot, is going to be a learning experience for me, and as I see it there is nothing wrong with my taking photos of my best friends baby and getting some experience. There is nothing wrong with taking portraits of my friends and family to gain experience. Never have I suggested that I was posing as a pro, or giving anyone the impression that I 100% know what i'm doing. I don't know what i'm doing, but I want to learn. For me, the best way to learn is to do it!!

I was just looking for some advice from some photographers who were willing to provide some setting suggestions.
 
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cortie0720

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KmH

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Pretty much everything David Busch covers in his book is included in the user's manual Nikon included as a PDF file on the software disc that came with your camera.
 

AceCo55

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You need to know how to adjust the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to get a proper exposure; how to use the meter to indicate when your camera's getting the appropriate amount of the existing light. Those are basic photography skills that need to be learned and practiced to be able to do any sort of work in photography; it doesn't make sense to try to do portraits before you've learned how to use your camera properly.

I was just looking for some advice from some photographers who were willing to provide some setting suggestions.

You keep asking for settings suggestions ... IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. That's why no-one has responded with them.
The settings depend on the level of light at the scene and the level of reflectiveness of the subject's surface.
cgipson1 gave you some numbers - try those

Or ...
Set ISO to 400
Use Av mode (Aperture priority). Set you aperture to say f2.8 -f4
Check what shutter speed you camera says you need for best exposure.
If the shutter speed is LESS than 1/125, raise the ISO until it is at least 1/125
IF the ISO has to be set higher than 1000, drop it back to 800 and then open up the aperture to f1.8

Don't get hung up on "Manual" Mode. It is NOT necessarily a sign that someone knows what they are doing.
Plenty of professional photographers use Av and Tv mode because they want to control one of the components of exposure and then they are happy to let the camera determine the other. Good photographers will know when to make further adjustments in Av or Tv mode because they understand the "exposure triangle"
 

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