Question about Golden hour and planning a photo session

Directway

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Also be careful with red clothing. It can look great, but the eye is naturally drawn to this color so it really does stand out. Just be aware of this.
 
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Dmariehill

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Also be careful with red clothing. It can look great, but the eye is naturally drawn to this color so it really does stand out. Just be aware of this.

Thanks for the heads up. My daughter is wearing ruby red slippers - think Dorothy in the wizard of oz, but she was insistent. lol. My red and my son's red are both shirts but with jackets or cover shirts over them. So I'm hoping it will just be some pops of color. I'll double check as I'm shooting for sure.
 

beckylynne

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Also be careful with red clothing. It can look great, but the eye is naturally drawn to this color so it really does stand out. Just be aware of this.

Thanks for the heads up. My daughter is wearing ruby red slippers - think Dorothy in the wizard of oz, but she was insistent. lol. My red and my son's red are both shirts but with jackets or cover shirts over them. So I'm hoping it will just be some pops of color. I'll double check as I'm shooting for sure.
Red is an amazing pop of colour....in my humble opinion.
 

vintagesnaps

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I like the idea of the outfits, sounds great for the season, and red just being a pop of color. I'd just think about the off white being more contrast against reds and browns etc. and If you feel like you can work with that. (But of course you can't give up ruby red slippers! those must stay!)

All I could think when I read 2 &3 yr. olds was that I'd get there about 5 minutes (or maybe 5 seconds) before I wanted to start taking pictures! lol I'm kidding, but they won't obviously last too long at that age so I'd plan to not get there too far ahead with minimal waiting around.

Sounds like you've done some good planning if you have a list of shots etc. Maybe think about the order if you haven't, and probably go with the bridge or where it will likely be in more shade and getting darker first. If they're good with a play/toy break then maybe get those shots in brighter areas.

Is it possible to go there some day mid to late afternoon and see what the bridge looks like that time of day? I'm just thinking, my street has a lot of trees and it starts getting dark here seemingly earlier than in a more open area. That covered bridge could be dark a good bit earlier than elsewhere. Can you still get some nice photos with the scenery if it isn't close to sunset yet? I'm not sure if you can get basically indoor shots in a covered bridge where you might need it to still be sunny, and evening sunset photos, in the same day before they all poop out on you, lol so I'd maybe have an alternative game plan in mind (if it's too early for golden light, what scenery/settings do you have there to work with?).
 

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Also be careful with red clothing. It can look great, but the eye is naturally drawn to this color so it really does stand out. Just be aware of this.
From her description of the outfits, the choice of red for some items sounds perfect.

Perfect, as in; a splash of red color here and there is just what the designer ordered to keep the eye moving all over the composition.
 

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Yes I agree. It is great to add pop. We have just had some clients overdo it so I just put that up as a warning to be careful with red choices.
 

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A couple of thoughts...

1. Definitely agree, no later than 3:30.
2. If your area has trees or is in a valley with big hills or even mountains or buildings around, you'll effectively have sunset at 4:15 or 4:30.
3. Prepare for real extreme dynamic range the lower the sun gets...lots of shadow and (if it's not cloudy) a lot of direct sunlight. So a fill flash or a giant reflector would be a good thing.
4. Totally agree about scout out the day before same time of day. Look to see where the shadows fall, where you get dappled light.
5. Play with your WB. Do NOT shoot Average/automatic (which will reduce the glow and also reduce the color in the foliage).
6. Think of a prop that works for your family...a football, everyone with a beverage of their choice, different apples (people can be holding them, taking a bite)...something that will look unposed yet unifying...a common theme or element.

good luck and share results.
 
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Dmariehill

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Thanks everyone for the tips. We got rained out on the weekend we planned. Finally got to go yesterday, but it was cloudy all day, so we went at 3:30 and made it a little over an hour before the littles were completely done. They were not in a cooperating mood for group shots, so we just did what we could. I learned a few things that I'll change up for next time. It's hard to take a bad picture with these kids though. Here's just a few of my favorites from yesterday
1. This was my wagon so this one is a definite for the grandparents that kept it for me all these years.
IMG_0567crop.JPG

2. I wish I had used the 70-200 lens on this one, I think then I would have had Cassie in focus as well. I still like the photo though.
20151115-IMG_0601.jpg

3. My son has some social delays, so it's often hard to get him to engage for this type of thing. So there's something really neat about this one for me.
IMG_0659a.JPG

4. This is a repeat of one of the test shots I liked.

IMG_0703a.JPG

5. It's not a full smile, but this is engagement for him. He really liked the tree.
IMG_0864a.JPG


My take aways for me:
Having both lenses set up on different bases was a plus, but I needed to let go of my comfort zone with the 85mm and pick up the 70-200 more. There's a few shots that could have been awesome with the 70-200 lens.
Take 2 full sets of back up batteries. I didn't bring enough for both parts of my remote, so we couldn't use it. Fail on my part.
Break up the session a little more. So do 30 minutes of pictures, 5 minutes of play, etc.
And a family session is definitely doable for me. With the right planning, and a little more practice, we could have a great session.
Big tip: If the park is popular for photos and it's been raining for 2 weeks straight, expect a lot of traffic. There were 10 photo sessions going on at the same time. So being flexible and able to adjust the plan was crucial to having a successful session.

Overall, I'm proud of the good shots I got. I can see some areas I can improve on and I figured out a few of my weaknesses. Good experience and I think we'll be doing this again.
 

tirediron

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Not bad; I see some very minor focus and exposure issues, but these are excellent family memory shots and grandparents will go nuts for all of them!
 
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Dmariehill

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Not bad; I see some very minor focus and exposure issues, but these are excellent family memory shots and grandparents will go nuts for all of them!
Yes - I'm still working on the 85 mm lens. I'm finding that when it's on it's an awesome lens, but if I'm shooting too fast, it's really easy to miss focus with it. I meant to set just one focus point instead of leaving them all on. I think that would have helped and I'm going to try that soon.
 

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The exposure of f/2.2 at 1/100 is dangerous and is right on that marginal no-man's land type of border area where results can either be acceptable, or can easily slide right into camera shake or subject movement, or a combination of both. I think shot #4 of the little girl is one that has slid across the border into a range where the speed looks a bit slow, and the depth of field might not quite be adequate. Shutter speeds and apertures get very tricky this time of the year in many parts of North America, especially after 3:30 in the afternoons on cloudy or overcast days...there just ain't much light to shoot by! The kids look pretty adorable, in very stylish, classical clothing that will appeal to grandparents and others for many years. They look clean,cute,happy,and occupied with their little wagon and with being outdoors. Overall, cute pics of the little ones!
 

MRnats

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exposure and hand shake/focus issues aside, 4 is absolutely adorable.
 

charchri4

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It's not saying much to say this but if I was running the camera and they can out this good I would be thrilled! It's kind of cheating when your subject matter is so cute so I may miss some of the technical stuff but I think they look fantastic!
 

JoeW

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I appreciate you sharing results and also take-aways. We get so many threads where someone says...I've got this shoot on XYZ coming up, how do I????? And a bunch of people offer advice and then....nothing. So a follow-up saying "this is what worked, this is the curveball I ran in to , here is what I learned, what I'd do differently..." that is the best way to say "thank you" to anyone who posted advice in this thread. So....thank you for taking the time to share results and insights.
 

Designer

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OMG! they're so darned CUTE! The poses are precious!
 

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