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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Kids & Family Talk
Thread started 16 Mar 2016 (Wednesday) 14:29
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Cake smash pp help

 
little_mcturtle
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Mar 16, 2016 14:29 |  #1

I did a diy cake smash for my baby girl but I'm getting some negative feedback. I'd appreciate any tips to help with processing and any tips in general (setup etc) if I decide to try it again.

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ksbal
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Mar 17, 2016 08:43 |  #2

I think the results look great, only the angle could be improved, getting her to bite front and center instead of from the side, but sometimes, enjoying the moment is way more important! Plus, you get what you get with kids, and I think anyone that doesn't like them needs to give it a try themselved! *LOL*


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neacail
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Mar 17, 2016 09:17 |  #3

Hmm. I'm not excited about your results, but it is kind of hard to put my finger on why.

Focus looks like it might be a bit soft in the first one, and focus is off on the second one. Did you shoot in aiservo?

The framing seems off to me. I might like them better in landscape: with the cake beside her in the first one and seeing all of her and the cake in the second one. There might be too much space at the top of her head.

I don't know if that helps at all. I think it is a good first attempt, but that there is also room for some improvement.


Shelley
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little_mcturtle
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Mar 17, 2016 21:10 as a reply to neacail's post |  #4

I was shooting on one shot, not aiservo, but I had my aperture set at 1.8 or just a bit higher, so if I moved the wrong way I lost focus. I was trying to get as much of the light from the window as I could.

I'll try a few different crops and see if I can come up with something a bit more appealing.

I really appreciate the feedback!




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ksbal
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by ksbal. 4 edits done in total.
Mar 18, 2016 08:46 as a reply to little_mcturtle's post |  #5

The only other thing I can think of is her dress is wonderful, but kindof blends in with the background... so maybe a solid bg of a complement or contrast color would work better to isolate your subject. Solid color paper would be my go-to. The first picture is a great portrait and stands on it's own well. I'd allow for a looser crop, JMHO.

Strobes are good... window light is great when there is enough, but strobes with a fast recycle are wonderful in this type of situation.

Also, when you can get a cat to photobomb, well..

I should have taped down the blue better, but still I think these are fun.

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neacail
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Mar 18, 2016 10:06 |  #6

little_mcturtle wrote in post #17939097 (external link)
I was shooting on one shot, not aiservo, but I had my aperture set at 1.8 or just a bit higher, so if I moved the wrong way I lost focus. I was trying to get as much of the light from the window as I could.

I'll try a few different crops and see if I can come up with something a bit more appealing.

I really appreciate the feedback!

Since Easter is around the corner, and that is such a pretty dress, maybe you could try an Easter themed shoot next instead of a cake smash (which is messy and can get expensive) to fine tune things? You could use an Easter basket or a fluffy stuffed bunny for props. :)

I'd suggest a slightly wider DOF. I like to see her face and the bow in her hair in focus. I'd also shoot in aifocus or aiservo with BBF, so that if she does move she'll stay in focus.

The framing that ksbal utilized is probably closer to what I'd like to see: to see all of her, and her dress, and the cake/props.

I think I'm okay with the background. It does match the dress and the cake, but with the shallow DOF there is good separation of subject and background. A solid colour might be nice to try, however.

The cake smash photos I did of my youngest son are dreadful. He didn't like the feel of the icing on his fingers, developed a look of horror on his face as he stared at his sticky fingers, and then burst into tears and started to scream.

It looks like your little one enjoyed her cake, so that counts as a significant success IMO. :)


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AuryGlenz
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Mar 20, 2016 23:44 |  #7

The backdrop looks like a draped sheet, because that's kind of what it is. I think that's primarily the thing that's bothering me. I usually use a white seamless for it, and I think close framing works better than full body:

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Nathan
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Mar 21, 2016 11:29 |  #8

I'd love to do one of these some day.

Not sure what the rest in the series look like, but these crops I think are too tight. Even with cake smashes, there's a story to be told from beginning all the way to the messy end. You'll want to capture the reactions and the joy of diving into that cake. You also want to feature both subjects - the baby and the cake.

That said, it's always about composition, lighting and technique. Feel free to share the rest of the photos for compositional critique. If you were to reshoot this, then consider a solid background (the mottled background is too adultlike and dated, in my opinion). Consider the color and pattern of the background and floor in relation to her outfit. In terms of lighting, I think window light here looks a bit flat. It's not bad lighting, but nothing pops. In terms of technique, I might not shoot at f1.8. There's no reason to, really. You want most of what you're shooting in focus. For post processing, up the contrast and vibrance/saturation to make colors pop.


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neacail
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Mar 21, 2016 11:40 |  #9

AuryGlenz wrote in post #17942659 (external link)
The backdrop looks like a draped sheet, because that's kind of what it is. I think that's primarily the thing that's bothering me. I usually use a white seamless for it, and I think close framing works better than full body:


thumbnailHosted photo: posted by AuryGlenz in
./showthread.php?p=179​42659&i=i16045505
forum: Kids & Family Talk

The white seamless is nice, but I don't think your framing really captures the event. If is a nice portrait of a baby girl eating cake.


Shelley
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AuryGlenz
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Mar 21, 2016 15:35 as a reply to neacail's post |  #10

The unfortunate thing about cake smashes is you never really know how the kid is going to react. If they're not Hulking out and smashing it (and in my experience that's pretty rare) I think messy portraits are the way to go. Of course, variety is the spice of life and all that, so be sure to get every perspective possible as you'll have time:

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neacail
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Mar 21, 2016 16:01 |  #11

AuryGlenz wrote in post #17943371 (external link)
The unfortunate thing about cake smashes is you never really know how the kid is going to react. If they're not Hulking out and smashing it (and in my experience that's pretty rare) I think messy portraits are the way to go. Of course, variety is the spice of life and all that, so be sure to get every perspective possible as you'll have time:


thumbnailHosted photo: posted by AuryGlenz in
./showthread.php?p=179​43371&i=i136814181
forum: Kids & Family Talk

I think this one is much more appropriate, as the context is very clear.


Shelley
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mannetti21
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Jul 01, 2016 23:12 |  #12

I would agree that there is just something missing from these. The white balance might actually be spot-on, but I would warm it up a bit and see what it looks like. I would also bump the shadows and or exposure some more. Again, they may be technically exposed properly, but lately I've been finding that clients gravitate towards bright images.


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Cake smash pp help
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