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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Kids & Family Talk 
Thread started 06 Mar 2015 (Friday) 09:41
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First family shoot - tips requested

 
RhodyPhotos
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Mar 06, 2015 09:41 |  #1

Hi, I have been shooting friends and family events for a long time, but this weekend I have my first paid gig and understandably i'm really nervous. It's ok to screw-up for free but for good money?

The family is a largish group, about 12 adults and a bunch of children. It will be mostly outdoors. I will be using a canon 60d with 50mm 1.8 and 70-200 f/4. I have a 430ex for fill. Will appreciate all the tips that you can offer.

Thanks a bunch in advance


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FarmerTed1971
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Mar 06, 2015 09:52 |  #2

Resist the urge to shoot wide open. Groups that large are a challenge on your DOF knowledge. One Speedlite may not do the job depending upon your location. 50mm may be too narrow on a crop... Do you have a lot of room to shoot? Can you rent/borrow a wider lens?


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drumsfield
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Mar 06, 2015 13:26 |  #3

Plan ahead... Plan ahead... Have a list of shots you need and a second list with shot you would like.

Know your location. Scout ahead and find the best spots. Avoid spots with high contrast that are bright and dimly lit and areas that will induce color cast into your shot like brightly color walls unless you know how to handle that.

If you're outdoors always always always shoot into the sun unless you have a diffuser.

Talk to your clients ask them what they like, but don't let them start posing themselves. (ie who would you like in the photo?... not how do you want me to take the photo)


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RhodyPhotos
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Mar 06, 2015 21:53 as a reply to  @ drumsfield's post |  #4

Thank you very much for the advice. Much appreciated. I shall scout out the location tomorrow. I have the 18-135 for wide shots, but I should have enough room to use the 70-200.

So, I should shoot facing the sun and use the fill flash? Do you mean a diffuser on the flash?

Thanks again


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MalVeauX
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Mar 06, 2015 23:58 |  #5

smallick wrote in post #17463242 (external link)
Hi, I have been shooting friends and family events for a long time, but this weekend I have my first paid gig and understandably i'm really nervous. It's ok to screw-up for free but for good money?

The family is a largish group, about 12 adults and a bunch of children. It will be mostly outdoors. I will be using a canon 60d with 50mm 1.8 and 70-200 f/4. I have a 430ex for fill. Will appreciate all the tips that you can offer.

Thanks a bunch in advance

Heya,

Scout the location. Look for the best placements during different parts of the day.
You need to know the time it's happening. Best time is morning or late evening. Not mid-day. But most people always want to do it mid-day.
This is why you need to scout the location to know your areas during the worst shooting light of the day.
These locations should really mostly be out of the sun.
You want to avoid direct mid-day sun typically. And you want to avoid squinty eyes. And avoid weird shadows from the environment on faces.
Shooting wide open for isolation is nice and all, but with a large group, it takes a lot of planning and posing. Be prepared to stop down for depth of field.
Again this is why scouting the location matters, you want to know your backgrounds when you're stopping down are not trashy or unsightly and instead provide context.
A single flash will not do much for 12 people. It's good fill for small groups of 2~3, assuming they are back-lit or in really dark shade.

I would plan some basic large family poses that you know will work, that have symmetry, and keep them in a good flat plane, so that you don't have to shoot at F8 just to get them all in focus, but shooting around F4 will probably be a good start even with planning. Don't try to do them at F1.8 as a group. Have the planned shots and planned group photos and pre-scouted spots to do them in. And keep the worst light of the day in mind, so they're not looking into the sun, having squinty eyes or being total back-lit (not enough flash to do 12 people in one go). You want them facing a direction that keeps the sun out of eyes, and from directly behind them. Again, look for shade with nice background context in case it's in focus (avoid parking lots obviously, power lines, garbage cans, etc).

And then do a lot of candids of singles, kids, couples. And just get creative with that.

Take several shots of each pose; micro-expressions matter.
Hands matter. Don't forget about them.

Very best,


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RhodyPhotos
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Mar 09, 2015 08:10 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #6

Hi MalVeauX, Thank you so much for taking the time to write in such detail. I really appreciate it. Went a lot better than expected, and I think that was because of all the good advice that I received from everyone.


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BLUEONION
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Apr 16, 2015 21:35 as a reply to  @ FarmerTed1971's post |  #7

This is a great tip especially with photographers' love with bokeh. I learned the hard way on a family shoot, and will learn from that mistake.

Bokeh and shooting at f1.8 and 1.4 is great sometimes, as in the case with a large group, you need to resist the temptation.


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First family shoot - tips requested
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