Indoor shoot? New. Help.


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Oct 8, 2015
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I offered to shoot from some friends and family just to help me get some experience. One of my friends who took me up on the offer has a 6 month old with a trach so its takes a lot to transport her and the weather has to be exactly right for her to be able to go outside.
The point is I need to do the shoot entirely in their home. Any recommendations? Again I am just starting out so I will bring the very limited lighting stuff I have but I appreciate any other tips.
Two parents and an infant in the home? Easy-peasy. All you need is one speedlight (ideally a bit off camera), bounce it off a nearby ceiling or wall in the livingroom (or other large-ish, relatively open space), and you're good to go.
Yeah, I wouldn't get too complicated or get into a long involved session. I'd think about having some poses/positions in mind, maybe write down your ideas, and talk with the parents and go with ones that they think will be workable with their child. I'd probably have the parents where they can see the shoot so if needed they can adjust equipment or positioning, and allow for breaks for that or for suctioning etc.

My background is as an Early Intervention Specialist so I of course look at it from that viewpoint. I'd go with positions that are appropriate for the child's age and ability. (Some baby photography videos may not always use the best positioning so make sure you check with the parents on any poses you're considering.)

I'd use any blankets or toys they may want in the pictures and use whatever infant seat etc. they use with their child. If you use blankets make sure they're loose enough to allow leg movement. I would probably not use buckets and whatnot - if it isn't something you'd put a baby in then I probably wouldn't use it for a picture. (Possibly a fairly flat basket if it's sized so the baby lying on the back still has plenty of head and leg room.)
Thank you both! I appreciate your input.
Covering an infant's car seat or bouncy seat with a nice, thick throw (fur, chenille, etc.) makes a safe baby-poser. You can also drape the mother or father's folded arms and chest with a throw, and have them hold the baby in a way that the infant can be seen. Since you don't have a lot of experience or reps, those two methods would probably feel comfortable for you,and can be done without a lot of risk or hassle. When the baby is in a three-person, family shot, the biggest issue is to get the infant elevated, so the baby can literally be seen, head to toe, in the shot. The baby must be "shown" cannot have a half-baby-body type shot, or just the head and neck of an infant that age--the baby needs to be "up and in the shot".

As far as what TIrediron mentioned, yes, one single flash is ample. have the light coming in at about 30 degrees from one side. If you do not have an umbrella or softbox, you can actually bounce the flash off of a wall, or a wall/ceiling juncture, or off of a corner of a room, and in that way create a large source of reasonably soft light, with the people placed about 8 feet away from the light, so you get soft, fairly even light, without too much fall-off in intensity. You do however want a little bit of shadowing, to create some dimensionality. There's not really an absolute need to have that flash be off-camera; in fact, in can easily be mounted right in the hotshoe, and swiveled off to one side, and angled upward, so that you get a good bounce off of the wall or wall/ceiling juncture. Quite often at the wall/ceiling juncture, you want to have the flash head zoomed to 75 or 105mm, for a good bounce that delivers a decent flash power level on the bounce; DO NOT, in most situations, have the flash set to a wide-angle setting...the results are typically less than stellar in a living room type scenario.

Do not be surprised if you end up in a situation where the flash is pointed sideways at the 11 o'clock angle or the 1 o'clock angle, and also angled upwardly, or even angled up and backwards-facing, while aimed at a wall or ceiling/wall juncture. Give this a try before the event. Spend an hour trying this at home before the evewnt. And PLEASE, think very strongly about using ISO 320 or 400 for this!
Good suggestions. TI is absolutely spot on...if you shoot in a room with some large white walls and you bounce your speed light off the ceiling or a wall, you're going to have a lot of nice soft light that compliments flesh and hides skin flaws. Derrel's tips on ways of positioning the speed light are very good ones as well.

Here are a couple of additional hints...
1. When you set up the posing area, don't back them up against a wall. And shoot with a narrow DoF (so you get foreground and background as a hazy blur). Something like f2.0 should do it.
2. Watch for clutter. Lamp cords, ashtrays, a coffee cup, a discarded sweater...police all that crap a photo it's distracting.
3. There will be formal shots (they're all looking at you and attempting to look pretty). But look to shoot some informal candids as well. For instance, parents focused on the infant who is reaching out to touch a toy they're holding. Anything to get the parents to relax and not look stiff or posed is a big positive.
4. If you're going to get in closer or take individual portraits, wear a white becomes a natural reflector (bouncing soft light off the front of your subject).
5. With someone who is new (i.e.: not a veteran model), it makes sense to print out a couple of poses or "looks" (like an expression or body pose) to use as an example...not to copy exactly but to provide direction and clarity on how you want them to pose.
thanks all!
what lenses do you have?
shooting a crop frame, a 50 1.4 or 1.8 would be great or even an 85.
have a look at to judge potential depth of field
I my scenario, I am totally NOT thinking of shooting at f/2 at ISO 320 or 400 with a speedlight bounced off the wall/ceiling or wall/ceiling juncture...I am thinking indoors, lens set to f/7.1 or f/8--those two apertures. I bought a brand new lens today, and in fact before dinner I shot some frames of my son lying on the couch and watching videos on his iPhone, using my now-ancient Nikon D2x at 320 ISO, f/8, flash zoomed to 105mm, aimed BACKWARDS and up at the wall-ceiling juncture. I was shooting all the way across the room, so I dialed in + 1.3 EV flash compensation,and things looked PERFECT.

At f/2, the depth of field will be very,very shallow...and that could easily lead to a lot of out of focus areas in many real-world posing scenarios. For close-range, posed shots, I really think you need to be at f/8.

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