Portrait/Couples shoot tomorrow!

Revan46

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Hello all,
So I will be doing another couple's shoot tomorrow with one of my previous couple's and I'm curious what you think I should do to improve the shots. I've been taking a look at the Hot tips for Portrait photography and getting some great ideas but they also want to get some shots in front of a waterfall in front of their hotel. I've seen various waterfalls some where the water looks smooth while others you can actually see the water. But since it's a couple that's the focus would it be better to just make sure to have the water out of focus or have a few in focus. And if that's the case how can I keep the couple still featured but also have the water look stunning.
Any tips would be helpful for that or the shots in general :). Also the girlfriend (and one of my friends) constantly worries about a double chin, what's a good way to make sure she never looks like she has one. Some say chin down but wouldn't having the neck longer negate a double chin (though I don't see what she's talking about)?
Sean
 

Steve5D

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It would be helpful if we could see some of the shots you believe could be improved upon...
 

Derrel

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Keep the camera higher than her eye level to minimize double chin issues. Also, have her (and him) sort of push her chin "out". Watch this video and you can see


I have not shot that many people in front of waterfalls, but I did snap a few pics of a couple from Florida earlier this year, a couple who I just ran into, randomly,while waiting for my landscape shooting partner to come in off the trail. We had decent natural lighting coming in, as well as LOADS of spray from the 100+ foot tall waterfalls located about 75 feet behind them. This is Horsetail Falls, in the Columbia Gorge, and it is a fairly misty waterfall.

149854074.jpg


The biggest problem was actually the amount of spray the wind was blowing. In this shot, the spray between me and them,and on the lens front, caused a noticeable loss of contrast.

149854064.pCnSq9kd.2013_0422G_222013.jpg
 
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Revan46

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The good news is there won't be too much spray I don't think as it's more of a non-natural waterfall. It just continuously flows into a small pool in front of the casino hotel.

Steve5D, here are a few photos I did with them before the storm ruined out time:





 

Steve5D

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On of my pet peeves is cutting off the tops of heads. Sometimes it works but, most often, it doesn't. For me, it doesn't work in these...
 
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Revan46

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Well the second one wasn't cut off but I see your point. I'm definitely going to keep aware of this tomorrow.
 

table1349

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They don't call turning your camera sideways Portrait Mode for nothing. Helps with those chopped off head tops as well.
 

DGMPhotography

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On of my pet peeves is cutting off the tops of heads. Sometimes it works but, most often, it doesn't. For me, it doesn't work in these...

I actually think the cut off heads work in this. At least for me. These images seem a little soft, make sure you've got a sharp focus. Maybe switch to single point if you haven't already.
 
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Revan46

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Yeah, I'm going to be more likely switching between my 40 and 50mms. They have my lowest apertures so they'll hopefully work better. I know they're not the only thing that effects how sharp the photos are but they'll probably help.
 

tirediron

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18-55 and 55-200 kit lenses are PLENTY sharp at f5.6 - f8, which is where you will normally want to be when shooting portraits, especially couples. You can do it at f1.2, 1.4, etc, but it requires a bit of skill on your part, exact knowledge of your DoF and patience on the part of the subjects as you move them back and forth a couple of millimetres at a time (literally). I would not shoot regular portrait work with anything LESS than 50mm, and ideally get out to 80-100 mm.
 
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Revan46

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Hmmm ok. Why not the 40mm? I'm just curious cause I've heard it often referred to as a portrait and/or pancake lens.

Also I have a 75-300mm f/4-5.6. Would this work? I haven't had the chance to get a 70-200 type telephoto.
 

tirediron

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The shorter the focal length (esp. below 50mm) the greater the distortion that may be present. Have a look at this comparison, especially the first two (24, & 35mm and then look at the 135 & 165mm ones). Notice how much slimmer and more attractive the subject appear? If you looked at one on it's own, it might not be obvious at first, but you would know something didn't look quite right. The most common problem with short focal lengths is making the subject's nose seem bigger. Try different lenses and see what seems to look best; The 70-300 at around 150-200mm and f5.6 - f8 should perform well. Certainly this does not apply to all subjects, but I do about 80% of my portrait work with my 85mm and the remainder with either a 105 or the long end of my 70-200.
 

Tee

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Some basic thoughts:

-Before you raise the camera, look at what's behind your subject
-Know depth of field. f/1.8 isn't always the best option
-shoot with space around the subjects. You can crop later
- Google "Benji's Rules to Portaiture"

Good luck.
 

tirediron

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Some basic thoughts:

-Before you raise the camera, look at what's behind your subject
-Know depth of field. f/1.8 isn't always the best option
-shoot with space around the subjects. You can crop later
- Google "Benji's Rules to Portaiture"

Good luck.
All excellent points, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to over-state the importance of #1!!!!!!!
 

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