View Full Version : Challenge

4th of October 2008 (Sat), 07:40
I'm doing a shoot next weekend of a family. This usually doesn't bother me since I've done it more than a few times.

The problem is that while most of the family is very, very white, the youngest daughter is a very dark-skinned adoptee from Pakistan. The clients main goal is to get good pictures of the two daughters (12 and 9) together.

I am hoping that someone has some advice regarding exposure. The shoot will be outside at a park, unfortunately, and my usual work using buildings and walls to get good light will not apply. I do have a large reflector (gold/white), and the equipment listed below.

I wonder if anyone has had some good or bad experiences that they can share with shooting light and dark-skinned subjects together.

Please help.


5th of October 2008 (Sun), 04:17
My instant reaction is to go to the wedding forums and read up on how to shoot a bride in a white dress next to a groom in a black tux.

Their problem is 100 times as tough as yours. ;-)

11th of October 2008 (Sat), 20:07
We are a multi-racial family. My husband and I have very light skin and our sons are both African American. When exposing for blends of skins, I would definitely use the reflector on the side of the darker child. I also would expose for the lighter skin. If you blow out the lighter skin, it's difficult to get that back, however if you underexpose the darker skin, you can always bring it back in PS. I would definitely use fill flash and shoot in RAW. Be very aware of where the light is and make sure the darker skinned child is well lit and be very careful of shadows. These are all things that you probably would do anyway, so I don't know if it helped much. Here are two pictures of me with my boys. When I shot this, there is a window with natural light on the right side of the picture and I bounced the flash off of a white/gold reflector to the right as well. There is a soft box to the left. You can see in these two pictures how important posing is in relationship to light source. These are sooc just converted from RAW to JPG. We were goofing off one night.

Not so good

A little Better


I hope this helps some.