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01-04-2016, 02:32 PM   #16
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I only have some white umbrellas I got as part of a cheap kit. They may work though

01-04-2016, 02:32 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by TinaS Quote
It's at the soccer field they use.
My advice is not on lighting, it is how you line the 14 players up (realistically, herd them into a specified area). Put the keeper on the ground holding a ball like s/he was stretching out to make the save and have the other baker's dozen stand in two rows behind her/him. That way the standing players don't have to touch shoulders without the group stretching so wide that it looks like you are 100 feet away and it should help keep the group centered. If there are full-sized goals at the field, then you might be able to get them to stand between the goalposts, otherwise you have to find a background that won't result in brightly coloured objects protruding from players' heads. It's basic, I know, but soccer fields make lousy studios and you really don't want all the players to be sitting on the grass. The problem with ambient light near dusk is that if it is bright enough to be useful, you will have long shadows everywhere. Getting your flash(es) off your camera will make it much better for fill-in. I said I wouldn't offer advice on lighting, so I'll throw this in for free. Hope you got your money's worth!
01-04-2016, 03:22 PM   #18
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Absolutely! Thank you. Any advice is greatly appreciated. The coach knows I haven't done this before and doesn't have grand expectations, but the other parents will. I don't want anyone to be disappointed.

I feel like I always come to you guys with questions to which the answers should be obvious or easily found (i.e. Dumb questions), but y'all are great about it. Each time I tackle something new, I know there are folks here who know the answers. Seriously, the people in this site are awesome. You guys help me grow as a photographer. Thank you!
01-04-2016, 04:01 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by TinaS Quote
Absolutely! Thank you. Any advice is greatly appreciated. The coach knows I haven't done this before and doesn't have grand expectations, but the other parents will. I don't want anyone to be disappointed.

I feel like I always come to you guys with questions to which the answers should be obvious or easily found (i.e. Dumb questions), but y'all are great about it. Each time I tackle something new, I know there are folks here who know the answers. Seriously, the people in this site are awesome. You guys help me grow as a photographer. Thank you!
If I may add a few more, one thing that can get challenging when taking group photos of kids this many is their attention to the camera. You take what looks like the winning shot, lighting is perfect, focus is accurate, composition is great but only to find out one or two subjects is hidden behind another one’s head. There’s also the parents on the side who tells their kids to smile just as you fire the shutter, you take a shot and the kid is smiling…looking at their parents on the side and away from your camera. Last time I did a group shot was two 1st-grade classes combined of about 20+ 6-year-olds at the Denver Zoo field trip. I did manage to get “the group photo” - but needed BP medication after that. However, those were 1st graders. 5th graders may not be as hard to control.

What works for me is having a loud voice, not yelling, but just enough to get their attention. And I always ask them to make sure they can see the camera with both eyes. If they can see the camera, the camera can see them. This may not be an appropriate suggestion but if you make some sort of farting sound (real or not), kids will always, always laugh and smile.

01-04-2016, 04:11 PM   #20
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i watched my neighbor flail around with team/league photography for years, he shot nikon for a living, and he hired random nikon shooters to help him when there were multiple teams involved.

since it's dslrs, and they were nikon guys, all that they knew how to do was shoot af and autoexposure, so there would always be random mis-focused blurred shots, and a few failed exposures... reshoots were normal, if for no other reason than some kids always failed to show up.

the better way to do it is to use manual focus for the individual shots... put tape or something on the ground, so the kid can put his toes on a line, and if you set your manual focus up correctly, by chimping test shots in the lcd, shot from a fixed distance(perhaps off of a tripod), every shot will be in focus.

at least 50mm focal length, on a crop sensor? depending on the lighting... you could do some test shoots from the location the day before, perfect your lighting setup.
01-04-2016, 04:18 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
If I may add a few more, one thing that can get challenging when taking group photos of kids this many is their attention to the camera. You take what looks like the winning shot, lighting is perfect, focus is accurate, composition is great but only to find out one or two subjects is hidden behind another one’s head. There’s also the parents on the side who tells their kids to smile just as you fire the shutter, you take a shot and the kid is smiling…looking at their parents on the side and away from your camera. Last time I did a group shot was two 1st-grade classes combined of about 20+ 6-year-olds at the Denver Zoo field trip. I did manage to get “the group photo” - but needed BP medication after that. However, those were 1st graders. 5th graders may not be as hard to control.

What works for me is having a loud voice, not yelling, but just enough to get their attention. And I always ask them to make sure they can see the camera with both eyes. If they can see the camera, the camera can see them. This may not be an appropriate suggestion but if you make some sort of farting sound (real or not), kids will always, always laugh and smile.
Lol. A group of 14 boys. Farting sounds will definitely get their attention and smiles. I'm thinking I'll have the front row of boys on one knee, so that I won't have to worry about any little faces disappearing on me. I hate when that happens in group shots! That is a good idea to tell them to make sure both eyes see the camera. I'll remember that.

I don't have much of a loud voice - at least around a bunch of people I don't know. Sometimes at a wedding, I recruit someone with a loud voice to help. Lol I'm working on it. It's getting better.

I can't imagine 20+ 6 yr olds. Ibwoukd be traumatized. Lol

---------- Post added 01-04-16 at 05:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
I was lucky to be able to take a portrait photography course with one of the masters of group photography, Neal Slavin (NEAL SLAVIN PHOTOGRAPHY). And although I don't do much group photography now (of humans, at any rate), I did pick up some tips from him. Here are a few suggestions:

1. See if you can borrow at least a few people before the photo shoot (maybe the day before) to test out your layout of people. You don't need the full team, but you want to be able to position some people at the edges of the group layout, so you can see how things look. If you are going to use artificial lighting, practising your set-up is particularly important.
2. Get a stepladder and shoot down (with their faces raised). That will make it easier to get everyone in focus even if your aperture is a little wider open than you'd like (because of lighting, etc.) You might only need to go up a foot or two on the ladder.
3. Enlist an assistant to help you with set-up and then, during the shoot, to watch carefully as you shoot to make sure everyone is visible. Of course, you should be carefully checking your shots (every few frames) to make sure you can see everyone's face and that no one is blinking, but it helps to have someone else looking, too.
4. Don't use too wide-angle a lens or you'll end up with distortion. If you have no choice, make sure you that you've got space around the people so that you can crop out some of that distortion.
5. Shoot on a tripod so that you can slow down your shutter speed, and also so that you'll have an easier time with face-swapping if you need to replace Ethan in shot 1 (where he's grimacing with his eyes closed) with Ethan in shot 2 (where Matthew is sticking his tongue out).
6. If you have the time, try to have some fun with the pose - like the kinds of images Neal has done. Incorporate props. Since this is a sports team, there are lots of possibilities. Check out the photograph of the women lawn bowlers in his Britons series, for example.
Great tips! Thank you! Guess I could use my tripod like a monopod while standing on the step ladder. Time will be tight, but maybe we will have time to try an extra pose or two. Thank you!

---------- Post added 01-04-16 at 05:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
i watched my neighbor flail around with team/league photography for years, he shot nikon for a living, and he hired random nikon shooters to help him when there were multiple teams involved.

since it's dslrs, and they were nikon guys, all that they knew how to do was shoot af and autoexposure, so there would always be random mis-focused blurred shots, and a few failed exposures... reshoots were normal, if for no other reason than some kids always failed to show up.

the better way to do it is to use manual focus for the individual shots... put tape or something on the ground, so the kid can put his toes on a line, and if you set your manual focus up correctly, by chimping test shots in the lcd, shot from a fixed distance(perhaps off of a tripod), every shot will be in focus.

at least 50mm focal length, on a crop sensor? depending on the lighting... you could do some test shoots from the location the day before, perfect your lighting setup.
These are great tips, as well. I better start making a list! Thank you!
01-04-2016, 04:53 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
This may not be an appropriate suggestion but if you make some sort of farting sound (real or not), kids will always, always laugh and smile.
I haven't tried farting noises, but I did cluck like a chicken to get the attention (and smiles) of my colleagues for a departmental photo.

And I can do a pretty good turkey imitation to hold the attention of cats and dogs.

One other suggestion: if the background you're photographing against has strong horizontal or vertical lines, make sure you align yourself squarely (or choose a set-up that eliminates the square lines) - or you'll end up with a bunch of ruined shots because of odd angles. I learned this the hard way photographing bulldogs on the "blue carpet" in front of a banner for a street party. So many great dog expressions - so many slightly crooked angles.

Look carefully for those lines - they can be seams in pavement, vertical lines in siding, etc. They might not be very noticeable when you're just glancing at the scene but they'll be horribly visible when you start reviewing your photos.
01-04-2016, 05:49 PM   #23
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Don't out think yourself here.I'd use the 50mm lens for all the shots since it's about as good as it gets stopped down a couple stops and is perfect for the group shot,just back up a little and avoid the distortion of the zoom.Good focus on the eyes and watch reflections on the glasses.Take some test shots before hand at different angles to the setting sun and see what works best.The ball is the perfect prop here,ask them questions about soccer while your setting up the shots to keep them relaxed and interested.

01-04-2016, 06:28 PM   #24
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I'm starting to wish I was shooting a wedding next week. lol.
All this advice is awesome. I do tend to over-think things sometimes. Lol. I think I will stick to the 50. It'll make it that much easier. Truly, everyone, thank you.
01-04-2016, 10:12 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by TinaS Quote
I only have some white umbrellas I got as part of a cheap kit. They may work though
White will work. You will just loose some of your light to it scattering. But the white is far better than bare flash. Like I said before, if the old flash can be triggered optically then set them both in the white umbrella. There will be a pre flash from your on camera flash. To be safe turn the second flash sensor away from the camera and toward the 540.
01-05-2016, 12:23 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by macman24054 Quote
White will work. You will just loose some of your light to it scattering. But the white is far better than bare flash. Like I said before, if the old flash can be triggered optically then set them both in the white umbrella. There will be a pre flash from your on camera flash. To be safe turn the second flash sensor away from the camera and toward the 540.
Got it, I think. I'll work on that. Thanks!
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