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11-13-2019, 11:54 PM   #1
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How do you manage family pictures?

I want to start documenting moments that family spend together on trips.
Of course some are just point and shoot.
But I want to do those staged ones for the walls without being left out.
I will like to do this with less of a hassle as possible.

What lens do you normally go with?
How do you compose your shoot on the go?
Admitted a phone on a selfie sick will be the easy option.
But the front facing camera is terrible.

Any ideas?

Culture.

11-14-2019, 03:27 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I use my little K-S1 with the SMC Takumar 24mm/3.5. It's such a small and harmless looking combination that people just relax in front of it, making for more natural and spontaneous photos.

Exposure is either Sunny 16 or a spot reading taken off the palm of my hand. I meter whenever the light changes, so that the camera is always pre-set to the right exposure for when I want to shoot. And I set the lens to f/8 or f/11 and keep it zone focused to cover the approximate distances that I'll be shooting within.

It's an approach that means that 90% of the time I can shoot instantly without giving a moment's thought to focus or exposure, and it means that I tend to capture those moments that other family members and friends usually miss while they're struggling to override their cameras' automation.
11-14-2019, 04:49 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteQuote:
want to start documenting moments that family spend together on trips.
Of course some are just point and shoot.
But I want to do those staged ones for the walls without being left out.
I will like to do this with less of a hassle as possible.

What lens do you normally go with?
How do you compose your shoot on the go?
Admitted a phone on a selfie sick will be the easy option.
But the front facing camera is terrible.

Any ideas?

Culture.
I find the best family pictures are captured on the spur of the moment, not that staged pictures are of less value. It just seems that you capture personal, special and sometimes very funny moment on the fly. I shoot family pictures with whatever lens I have attached to my camera. If I know I'm shooting something staged then I may select a lens for that moment.

Something like this was completely on the fly. I was testing an old film camera with a 50mm lens attached. My granddaughter was making a mess with chalk. I just walked over and called her name and she looked up. She even had chalk on her face. This may not be a special photo to others, but to me it captures a very special moment. In my opinion that's what family photo's are about. Have fun and please post photo's.


Last edited by kevinWE; 11-14-2019 at 05:00 AM.
11-14-2019, 04:53 AM   #4
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For family events and trips, I usually use a standard zoom at average aperture. The goal usually being to rapidly nail a decent shot and not an artistic or creative one. The onboard flash is often used to fill up shadows at -1 or -2 FEC.

11-14-2019, 05:10 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks guys. But as I mentioned the point and shoot part is not a problem. Well because I am behind the camera.

I want to be part of the pictures when we travel. Decades from now, my kids can remember that I was part of the trip. Not the photographer who followed them around.
A zoom obviously will be ideal. But I am trying to go a little compact, taking into consideration that I am not going for a photography trip. But yes I tripod will be taken.

As for the staged version. Its just a preference for the walls.
11-14-2019, 05:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
I want to be part of the pictures when we travel.

Oops, I missed that bit. I'd suggest having a cheap and fully automatic compact camera with you, one that really does work with just one click of a button, and use the age-old method of asking a sensible looking passer-by to take a snap of you and your family all together. Most people are perfectly happy to oblige if you ask them with a friendly smile -- and if it's someone carrying a good quality camera of their own then they're likely to get a decent result for you. But it's best to give them a cheap and pretty much disposable camera for the job, in case they either drop it or run away with it.

Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 11-14-2019 at 05:43 AM.
11-14-2019, 06:00 AM - 1 Like   #7
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It doesn’t matter what your plans may be, the family will tell you what to keep, what to display and what is not to see the light of day again, EVER.
11-14-2019, 06:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
use the age-old method of asking a sensible looking passer-by to take a snap of you and your family all together. Most people are perfectly happy to oblige if you ask them with a friendly smile -- and if it's someone carrying a good quality camera of their own then they're likely to get a decent result for you
This is pretty much what I've done. The average DSLR will overwhelm most folks, though, unless as DartmoorDave says - they are toting one of their own. We usually hand them the Canon G15 that my wife carries. The biggest problem is they don't wait for focus, so as DD also notes, it's best to have everything preset as much as possible.

Conversely, if you are the one toting the big iron, you may get asked to shoot somebody else. I don't mind, and often, either way, a pleasant chit-chat results, too.

11-14-2019, 07:11 AM   #9
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I've given up on having my pictures taken when traveling, or with a group.
If I give my camera to anyone, somehow they manage to have me out of the frame, or everything else is in focus and not me.
So if I really want my picture, i keep it with cell phones.

its an issue with being a photographer, and i've grown to accept my fate. Even my photographer friends cant seem to get it right, so whatever.

But I once used to have an ULTRA wide camera lens, and also a moderate wide lens. So the 14mm Rokinon, and 24-70mm pentax do a decent 'selfie' if you flip it around, and shoot. It may distort things, but it also adds a bit of fun to the image. Thats the only way I was able to use my DSLRs to take my images in a group setting
11-14-2019, 07:28 AM   #10
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The OP specifically expressed a desire for group pictures with the photographer included. Why not get a GRIII? Small, with the functionality and quality of a DSLR?
If you already own A DSLR, I suggest a DA 40mm XS lens. Compact with high IQ on any camera.
Get a remote trigger, or get very proficient using the self-timer. Get a bean bag to prop the camera on almost anywhere and very quickly stabilize the camera.
Most important, get used to composing shots, at least in your mind, and get used to expressing how and where you want people to stand . This is where practicing self portrait can help, unless you have very patient subjects .
I agree with using an aperture above f8 and zone focus for group photos, depending on the lens
11-14-2019, 08:08 AM   #11
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I must admit that I just let my wife take family snaps with her iPhone.
11-14-2019, 09:02 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
...But I want to do those staged ones for the walls without being left out.
I will like to do this with less of a hassle as possible...
To me this implies you will put some amount of thought and setup into the shot. If your family is like mine, they probably think you are the "expert" family photographer and don't mind allowing you a little time to set up the "professional" photo. I normally just carry one of those pocket sized flexible legged tripods and look for a large rock, ledge, picnic table, etc. that I can set the camera on and still make the shot work, then use the 12 sec. timer. Gives me plenty of time to get in the shot. When composing just make sure you have a spot in the frame you can easily get to for yourself. Also, the beeping and/or flashing light can keep everyone's attention, especially young children.
11-14-2019, 09:04 AM   #13
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I usually just hand my smartphone to a nearby stranger and ask them to take a picture.

Otherwise, I put a normal lens on my APSC camera, prefocus in Av mode with f/8, set it on a tripod, and start the 12-second timer. Normal lens for me: either the F28 or the FA20-35. If I knew that I wanted to do this on a regular basis, I suppose I'd program one of the user modes with the camera mode, aperture, and timer ready to go.

You might also want to chose your lens based on the size of your family and the anticipated distance at which you would like to take the pictures.
11-14-2019, 09:07 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinWE Quote
I find the best family pictures are captured on the spur of the moment, not that staged pictures are of less value. It just seems that you capture personal, special and sometimes very funny moment on the fly. I shoot family pictures with whatever lens I have attached to my camera. If I know I'm shooting something staged then I may select a lens for that moment.

Something like this was completely on the fly. I was testing an old film camera with a 50mm lens attached. My granddaughter was making a mess with chalk. I just walked over and called her name and she looked up. She even had chalk on her face. This may not be a special photo to others, but to me it captures a very special moment. In my opinion that's what family photo's are about. Have fun and please post photo's.
I think that is a very wonderful photo!

I also tend to capture family in the spur of the moment. I prefer them doing activities while I take pictures. They seem to come out far better. I use whatever lens I have attached, but I'll usually go for the DA 35mm f/2.4 or the DA 50mm f/1.8.
11-14-2019, 09:16 AM   #15
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If you had something like the K-3 II and s Pentax 16-85 lens you would have some wide angle capability plus some mid telephoto capability in one zoom lens. If you do plan on an aps-c camera type, you may want to wait for the newer aps-c camera that is said to be released soon (Pentax).
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