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08-13-2010, 05:40 PM   #1
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(solved) I need a crash course in outdoor event and outdoor portraiture

(solved)

Kelby training videos are great

Also books are great

NYIP course books (new York Institute of Photography)
Bryan Peterson books (like Understanding Exposure),
and
Kodak books (like Kodak's complete book of Photography)

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(original post)

Hello from Maine

As one who studies photography I am always one to give free snapshots for practice. But gosh I got invited to a big event! My chiropractor's family reunion which will include, likely, his wife's mother's last family photos!

Gosh.

I also get to be a photographer's assistant and photograph two equestrian events with as many as 200 riders soon - but that one is not too scary because I will have a "boss".

But this outdoor family reunion I will be alone. It has me thinking I should study and practice when I have some time (I have non-photography work and a child that keep me rather busy).

So for practice and study I'll probably refer to my books, but I wonder if you guys have any advice ?

I'm glad I'm not charging and I made is crystal clear that I am a computer repair guy and not a real photographer. So they say they don't have outrageous expectatoins but I owrry that when they see a dSLR with a big zoom lens they'll assume I'm making perfect portraits.

I like to look at the Zeltsman approach and Benji's rules of portraiture :

Benji's Tutorials - The Rules of Good Portraiture

RapidShare: 1-CLICK Web hosting - Easy Filehosting

I also have the New York Institute of Photography books and Kodak books.

Any tips for me ?

Thanks!
Craig


Last edited by spystyle; 01-14-2011 at 06:41 PM.
08-13-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
Hello from Maine

As one who studies photography I am always one to give free snapshots for practice. But gosh I got invited to a big event! My chiropractor's family reunion which will include, likely, his wife's mother's last family photos!

Gosh.

I also get to be a photographer's assistant and photograph two equestrian events with as many as 200 riders soon - but that one is not too scary because I will have a "boss".

But this outdoor family reunion I will be alone. It has me thinking I should study and practice when I have some time (I have non-photography work and a child that keep me rather busy).

So for practice and study I'll probably refer to my books, but I wonder if you guys have any advice ?

I'm glad I'm not charging and I made is crystal clear that I am a computer repair guy and not a real photographer. So they say they don't have outrageous expectatoins but I owrry that when they see a dSLR with a big zoom lens they'll assume I'm making perfect portraits.

I like to look at the Zeltsman approach and Benji's rules of portraiture :

Benji's Tutorials - The Rules of Good Portraiture

RapidShare: 1-CLICK Web hosting - Easy Filehosting

I also have the New York Institute of Photography books and Kodak books.

Any tips for me ?

Thanks!
Craig


try to get an assistant to help you, get a reflector, and maybe a cheap off camera flash with wireless triggers- you can use the reflector to fill in, or use it as a diffuser to soften the sunlight- off camera flash dialed right down will give a nice effect and balance out the exposure too
08-17-2010, 11:00 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
Hello from Maine

So for practice and study I'll probably refer to my books, but I wonder if you guys have any advice ?
Hello from Pennsylvania!

Somethings can't be learned from books. You just need to go out and shoot shoot shoot. Good luck!
08-17-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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I work as a portrait photographer and photograph children familes and very large groups. One thing to think about is that portraits are never going to be perfect. I think that is ok. Some may not agree though and thats fine. I feel that the imperfections give a real and genuine feel. Some things to consider though to help get good portraits are 1. make sure your lighting is as even as can be. If you could have a nice large light source on each side left to right of you it will help keep the light even. 2. Try and keep immediate familes together. This will help to make the people feel comfy with each other and help each family feel apart of the photo. It works well with what I do. 3. Tallest in back and shortest in front. May seem simple but it is sometimes the hardest part. Group photos are like a huge puzzle. 4. Try and angle people at 45 degrees. This makes the people look thinner and thats always a good thing. The angle also helps to fit people in the photo better. 5. Be careful of the background. Their have been times where that has made a photo as well as broke some too. Details are important. 6. When working with children act like one. Try not and ask the kids to smile it makes them give fake cheese smiles. Laughing making farting noises help hold the attention of everyone including the children. 7. Last but not least shoot more than just one family photo. Shoot at least 3 to 5 to make sure you have a good one. Where I work we shoot a min of 3 photos of any one pose to make sure we have a saleable shot. Also have fun have fun have fun!!!! If you need any more info or tips please pm me or email me at alhpro@live.com

08-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
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One important tip: Don't compose or frame too tight! Leave space around for different aspect ratios. When you crop for 8x10 you loose a good chunk of the sides of the image.
Remember that the sensor in a DSLR is 4x6 aspect ratio. What you see is what you get IF you print 4x6.
Your mileage may vary....
08-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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My .02: don't be afraid to try different angles. When shooting kids, get down on your knees at children's eye level to get shots from their perspective. (I've laid out completely flat on the ground to get shots of kids rolling in the grass).

Adults - they are more mindful of a camera pointing towards them, kids just don't care. My most valuable lens when shooting a recent birthday party was the kit 50-200mm, because I could stand back from the adult groups and capture their emotions without them reacting to a camera being stuck in their face.

Kids on the other hand generally love having their pictures taken, and sometimes a wide angle used within a group of kids can make for a great effect.

That's all my advice, don't just stand their and take photos at your eye level, look around and see if you can find different perspectives.
01-14-2011, 06:35 PM   #7
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UPDATE :

Hey in case anyone cares, it all went well

I used mostly an 18-55 and a little fill flash to put a sparkle in the eyes.

I told a LOT of jokes and tried to make it fun for everyone.

I didn't know what poses and scenes to do so I asked the lady of the house to direct, using all the photos from her album (she had previously showed me).

So she directed (for the most part) and I shot and told jokes. It all went well, they gave me a good review and nice tip.

For the most part I shot in "P mode" with an exposure compensation of minus 0.3 (I know my camera's exposure system), I used fill flash which just put a tiny light in their eyes on this humid and mildly sunny day, and it all went well.

I shot in RAW so I could adjust the exposure. I developed in Lightroom. I used Photoshop to remove scrapes and bug bites and acne. I simply gave them a CD with all the shots, even the bad ones, so they could simply choose which ones they felt were 'zingers'.

All together there were 271 pics, after we got warmed up we did big groups, small groups, couples, small families, several different locations around the property, and after the formal shooting I did candid shots while they roasted a pig and all hung out.

Here are the first 68 pics

I tried to shoot level and sometimes under my subjects for a variety. I also made them wave and it resulted in funny expressions.

I didn't charge them as we were acquainted and I'm not a real photographer (I am a computer repair guy). But later the man of the house, who is my chiropractor, gave me a tip in the amount I needed to fix my car which was very nice of him (250 bucks).


I leaned a lot !

I look forward to shooting another event I have been studying a lot more using Kelby training videos.

Cheers,
Craig
01-15-2011, 12:54 AM   #8
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Very nice pics. Good work!
Cheers

01-15-2011, 06:25 AM   #9
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Thank you
01-15-2011, 05:48 PM   #10
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I did a quick glance at the pictures. They look GREAT!
You did a good job.

Thanks,
01-15-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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Well thank you very much, it was my first event really. I learned a lot and we all had a good time.

What still puzzles me is how to pose my people - when a photographer is about to snap a photo he (or she) usually makes small changes to the subject's pose. I am still trying to learn that. I guess it is the difference between a portrait that flows and one that looks a little awkward.

I'll learn it eventually though

Here is a short funny story - This one is one of my favorites, the doctor (top right) would not smile so I said he looked as if he'd gotten an anal probe (!!!) everyone laughed very hard

The reason I was shooting up at them (in addition to level) was because I'd just watched the "OneLight workshop" with Zach Arias. In fact I was using an off camera flash and an umbrella at first. But when things started moving I ditched the umbrella, put the flash back on the camera and used it just to fill the eyes with a little light.

They weren't into any experimental shooting, I suggested jumping and dancing and things like that but it was a no-go, I could hardly get them to wave LOL.

Have fun!
Craig

Last edited by spystyle; 01-15-2011 at 07:22 PM.
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