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07-21-2011, 11:20 AM   #1
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MY first outdoor photoshoot, what do I need?

It's gonna be full sun, no clouds. Maternity pictures at a park. I also wanted to try other places, but she wants it at this particular park. I want to look at least slightly professional so what are the first things I need to buy? And know?

TIA!

07-21-2011, 12:17 PM - 1 Like   #2
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At the very least, I would say you need a camera, a lens, a battery and a memory card. The rest is up to you.

Let's start here: What do you have?
07-21-2011, 01:02 PM   #3
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How about a diffuser [isn't that what you call those big white disc things ] to soften the sun's harshness a bit? IMHO, maternity photos should have a soft feel to them—no hard sun washouts!

But yeah, Camera|Lens|Battery|Memory card are all necessities.
07-21-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
At the very least, .. you need a camera, a lens, a battery and a memory card.
+1

I would add to have a hood to reduce the risk of flare. (Important when you shooting outdoor.)

07-21-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
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if you cant get a diffuser, try getting a reflector (or a large white posterboard thingy)? if you can't do either, find some shade
07-21-2011, 04:09 PM   #6
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An external flash with High Speed Sync (HSS) for fill-flash would be very useful in minimizing or even eliminating facial shadows......in case a diffuser or a reflector isn't an option.
07-21-2011, 04:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
At the very least, I would say you need a camera, a lens, a battery and a memory card. The rest is up to you.

Let's start here: What do you have?
I have those, haha! Pentax K-r with the 18-55mm lens. 16GB card as well. I was part of a wedding and noticed the photographer had reflectors so that's the kind of thing I was thinking of.

07-21-2011, 04:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by randesigns Quote
I have those, haha! Pentax K-r with the 18-55mm lens. 16GB card as well. I was part of a wedding and noticed the photographer had reflectors so that's the kind of thing I was thinking of.
Well, there's such a huge spectrum of what you might "need", that it's a pretty vague question. It's largely dependent on so many things like, what kind of shots you're trying to take, what you location is like, what time it is, what the weather is like, how good you subject looks what your style is. You can take amazing shot with just what I mentioned, or you can take amazing shots with $10,000 of lighting equipment. It all depends on who's shooting, what they're shooting and when they're shooting it.

Like most have said, reflectors are a good place to start. But keep in mind that you'll likely need something or someone to hold them. Also, try to get on of the 5-in-1 kind, that have multiple surfaces, plus a translucent center that you can use to diffuse whatever your light source is.

The biggest thing you need is an idea of what you're going to do. There's nothing worse, especially as a beginner, than being on a shoot, desperately scratching your head for ideas. Look up maternity portraits on google or flickr and get some ideas so you're not going in cold.
07-21-2011, 04:57 PM   #9
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What Fullerton said. The other thing that I highly recommend (and it kinda fits in with the other advice) is to do a walk through of the site before the shoot (without the model, etc.). Think about the light, time of day, where you might have to deal with other people (sometimes a pain for you and a distraction for the model), etc.

I like to pick out several different settings at the location and figure out a logical way to go from one to the next. I'll verbally talk the model through that as we walk out to the first spot. Then you can start shooting and take it from there. Once you've exhausted the possibilities of one place (or find that it's not working for you) you can proceed to the next place.

Re: equipment, I'd say don't bother with anything other than your camera(s) and glass. Especially the first few times, you're better off concentrating on the images (the composition, lines of site, etc.) than distracting yourself with reflectors, off-camera flashes and triggers, etc. Thinking through the shoot, understanding the location(s), establishing a rapport with the model (i.e., making it a fun experience for them too), and then shooting - that's the main thing.
07-21-2011, 07:30 PM   #10
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Full sun. . . If your shooting in harsh sunlight I'd recommend getting a reflector like this: 43" 110cm 5-IN-1 Multi-disc Photo LIGHT REFLECTOR PANEL | eBay and having a friend to point it in flattering directions
07-21-2011, 08:43 PM   #11
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If you have any interest in using flash outside:
1. Plastic flash diffusers like stofen ones are always nice.
2. Try using high speed sync, Av mode with large aperture for background blur, and set ISO to 80-100.
3. Use exposure compensation to control the final result. With a diffuser I usually put this into negative, but outside sometimes I can leave it at zero.

You can achieve something similar with a reflector and no flash. The goal with either is to help remove harsh light such as peoples' eyes being black. A secondary benefit with flash will be "catch lights" on their eyes, which can look nice.
07-24-2011, 04:51 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Get a 5-in-1 reflector as A-Z mention. You could also use white or reflective cardboard or white cloth to get similar result.

And bring extra batter and memory card.
07-24-2011, 09:58 PM   #13
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Your best friend will be choosing the right time of day. Morning and afternoon are exponentially better than high noon. Full sun and no clouds can be gorgeous at 8am or 7pm. It looks awful at 12:30. Do everything you can to shoot when the natural light is good. Do that and you can pull off great photos with minimal gear. The further you get from ideal light, the more gear, skill, creativity and time it takes to pull off great shots.
07-25-2011, 02:03 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Like most have said, put your subject in a shaded area and use a reflector to soften the harsh shadows. Here's a video tutorial:

video episode 26, outdoor portrait photography tips #2 | pro photo life link

If you're really frugal, go to the Home Depot or Lowes and get a foam insulation board. One side is silver and the other is white. They range in sizes with the largest being 4'x8' (great for studio bookends). Buy a small one for about $5 and you have an instant reflector. Of course, they aren't collapsible, but they're great in a pinch.
07-26-2011, 03:16 AM   #15
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Please, why full sun? It's deeply unflattering and gives all sorts of exposure problems if she wears pale colours.
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