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04-29-2015, 02:07 PM   #1
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1st Senior Picture shoot

A friend asked me to do her daughter's senior pictures. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. Also, I'm not charging. It'll be tomorrow, 6pm, in the woods. I'm thinking about taking either the dal 50-200 or sigma dg 70-300. I don't want to do lens changes unless I have to.
Anyone have any tips?

04-29-2015, 02:18 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by TinaS Quote
A friend asked me to do her daughter's senior pictures. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. Also, I'm not charging. It'll be tomorrow, 6pm, in the woods. I'm thinking about taking either the dal 50-200 or sigma dg 70-300. I don't want to do lens changes unless I have to.
Anyone have any tips?
I'd take the 50-200. 50 is handier than 300.

The only tip is not have leaf shadow/bright sun on her.
04-29-2015, 02:27 PM   #3
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Thank you! Yeah, I'm a little worried about leaf shadow. I hope it's not so bad since its in the evening. Should be interesting.
04-29-2015, 02:29 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Yeah, avoid harsh or spotty light, if you need to use a flash go with off-camera.
Don't use the built in flash.
Shoot at wide apertures and long(ish) focal lengths.
Check your exposures and focus onsite so if you need to re-do any shots you can do them right then.

04-29-2015, 03:03 PM   #5
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Awesome. Thank you!
04-29-2015, 03:34 PM   #6
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Assuming both lenses are similar in IQ, I think the 50-200 is more convenient. A good starting focal length is around 75~85mm Avoid the limits (50 and 200) as lenses are usually at their weakest in the limits. Use an aperture 2/3 to a full stop from wide open. Avoid using flash unless you have a way to trigger off camera. As others have mention, avoid harsh direct sunlight.
There are 2 very important points not related to equipment:
1- Get her trust. BOTH the model AND the photographer need to be relax. Take it easy and slowly build up step by step.
2- Location, location, location. Make sure the pictures focus on the person and not the background. Background should be nice but not dominant. Since you are not using a very fast lens most likely the background will still be in focus. Whenever possible, get her as far as possible from the background. Beware of things "sticking" out of her in the pictures like poles or branches.

These are of course starting points. You need to adjust on location according to your needs. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
04-29-2015, 03:58 PM   #7
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Thank you! Trust will be easy because she's known me for years. We also have similar personalities. Only problem is that she is camera shy. She is thinking about changing the location. Lol. That location is also kinda wooded though. Either way, I'll be prepared.
04-29-2015, 05:45 PM   #8
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Dont you have that 135 2.5? I would take it if I were you.

04-29-2015, 06:18 PM   #9
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I do have that. Don't want to do too many lens changes, but I'll stick it in the bag just in case.
04-29-2015, 08:39 PM   #10
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Use a tripod and remote release.
If you're going to be shooting in subdued, soft, flattering light, your exposures will likely be longer than you can successfully hand hold. Especially with that big honklin' zoom lens
If I was doing the shoot, I'd probably rely on one of my ancient nifty fifty's at about f4.
04-30-2015, 02:09 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
Yeah, avoid harsh or spotty light, if you need to use a flash go with off-camera. Don't use the built in flash. Shoot at wide apertures and long(ish) focal lengths. Check your exposures and focus onsite so if you need to re-do any shots you can do them right then.
totally agree with mattb, and if you have a very fast lens (ex : 50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.4) bring it with you, shadow is a good choice, but be aware of dapple light (impossible to correct in PP)

some humble examples of mine :
https://flic.kr/p/pCcTmF
https://flic.kr/p/pfWLqb
04-30-2015, 05:27 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone. Guess I'll carry the 50-200, 135 2.5, and 50 2. I was afraid I wouldn't get out of doing lens changes. Lol. And I'll keep an eye out for the shadows & dapple light. My only flash option is af280. I'll take that with me in case I need it.
Now I have to get through this day without being nervous. I wish I could get over the nervous part. Lol

---------- Post added 04-30-15 at 07:29 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by redcat Quote
some humble examples of mine :
https://flic.kr/p/pCcTmF
https://flic.kr/p/pfWLqb
Very nice pictures.
04-30-2015, 05:33 AM   #13
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Will you have a helper? I suggest you bring a collapsible reflector/diffuser such as this one.
Raya 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc (42") CR-51-42 B&H
The diffuser panel is perfect to hold up to block direct light on the face that is coming through the leaves. If you can't get one in time, maybe try to improvise with a thin white pillowcase.

For the lens, I recommend you use the 50/2 for the full body or torso shot, and the 135/2.5 for the face. Stop down slightly (f/2.8-4). The 50-200 will not give nearly as good a result.

Regarding the flash, it is OK to use it for fill if you must, but keep it dialed down 1 stop. You don't want its light to be obvious in the photo.

One last thing. It will save you tons of time and frustration if you white balance your camera. Have your model hold a gray card (or clean white paper) by her face, and use the custom white balance feature. Do it every time you move, as the light will be changing depending on the time of day and the amount of leaves it goes through.

Last edited by klh; 04-30-2015 at 05:46 AM.
04-30-2015, 05:52 AM   #14
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Ok. It's looking like my primes are getting the votes here. Lol. I do not have a diffuser. I would have never thought of a pillow case. Thanks for the idea. Hopefully, I won't have to use flash. I'm almost always happier with pictures without it.

Oh, I've never done custom white balance before. If I have time to learn how, I'll do that. I'll be doing this shoot a little over an hour after I get off work today.
04-30-2015, 06:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TinaS Quote
Oh, I've never done custom white balance before. If I have time to learn how, I'll do that. I'll be doing this shoot a little over an hour after I get off work today.
It's fairly easy. You enter the custom white balance mode using the buttons on the back, take a photo of your target, select the white/gray space on the preview screen, and the camera figures it out for you. Once you know how, you will do it all the time. If you can't do it, then at least take a photo with the white or gray target so that you can adjust in post-processing, and many people here can help.

Most of all, relax and have fun. For most of us this is a hobby, and since this is for a friend, you can always go back and try again. Be sure to let us know how it goes. Best wishes,

Kevin
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