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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 21 Jun 2011 (Tuesday) 23:44
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Second family portrait shoot, C&C please.

 
Caffrey123
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Jun 21, 2011 23:44 |  #1

Hi everyone! A couple of weekends ago I did my second family portrait shoot. The family were lovely and the shoot was a lot of fun. I do not charge for my shoots as I am still learning and trying my best to improve.

I shot them all with a 50mm f1.8 on a Canon Rebel T1i. I used my new Speedlite 480ex for the first time...still getting used to it but felt it did help me a lot and helped me in situations with harsh lighting.

I have picked my 4 favourite pictures from the shoot and hope to get some helpful comments/criticism. For anyone who is interested or has the time to look at more images from this collection, here is the link; http://www.flickr.com …70565839/with/5​847559935/ (external link)

Thank you in advance. :)

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2440/5847559935_682c43c1a9_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/shtaylor/584755​9935/  (external link) Untitled (external link) by sh.taylor (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5263/5848102484_31e0c22b8c_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/shtaylor/584810​2484/  (external link) Untitled (external link) by sh.taylor (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2680/5848079618_150207d4dc_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/shtaylor/584807​9618/  (external link) Untitled (external link) by sh.taylor (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3268/5848117222_4909a1ce89_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/shtaylor/584811​7222/  (external link) Untitled (external link) by sh.taylor (external link), on Flickr

I wanted to add that I understand picture 3 is cutting off the father's elbow. I didn't have the heart to discard it because of the little boys adorable smile and I thought the lighting was very flattering.

~Samantha



  
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ModestJo
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Jun 22, 2011 05:12 |  #2

Samantha.Lovett wrote in post #12636562 (external link)
Hi everyone! A couple of weekends ago I did my second family portrait shoot. The family were lovely and the shoot was a lot of fun. I do not charge for my shoots as I am still learning and trying my best to improve.

I am by no means a pro and I felt the same way about charging. But, just a few days ago someone on this site directed me to a link that completely flipped my thinking. I really suggest you look at it here.:D

As for the pictures, I think you are off to a pretty good start. They look like they are really enjoying themselves which means that you did a good job at making them comfortable and happy. I like the intentions you had for the photos, and the use of the 50mm.

A point to work on: I looked through the album on Flickr and "cutting corners" (or joints in this case) seems to be a consistent issue you are having, not just the one you posted here with the dad's elbow sliced off. These missed details give the feeling that something just isn't right about those photos. Step back just a tad bit more and get the subject into the frame comfortably (I'm probably not one to talk, I have this issue too ;) ). When this problem is solved, you'll find it easier to be very critical of your own photos and throw out the ones that just don't make the cut. (Again, I have this problem. I have TONS of Raw photos that are whispering "no! don't delete me! I can be saaaved!" until I realize that it is time to just let it go and take a better picture from the beginning.

One photo that kind of bugged me in particular was the 2nd one you posted, the boy in front and the parents behind him. Because the parents are not standing side by side, it gives me the feeling that they are distant from each other and the poor boy is caught between them. Having the two close together would give more of a "Look at our boy!" feeling.

Like I said, I'm not a pro, but I hope I brought out some helpful tips! Keep trying and keep learning!


Laura Josephine
Rebel XS, EF-S 18-55 (for now)
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cpam.pix
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Jun 22, 2011 06:46 |  #3

ModestJo wrote in post #12637573 (external link)
One photo that kind of bugged me in particular was the 2nd one you posted, the boy in front and the parents behind him. Because the parents are not standing side by side, it gives me the feeling that they are distant from each other and the poor boy is caught between them. Having the two close together would give more of a "Look at our boy!" feeling.
!

Interesting how we can have such different points of view. With the boy away from Mom and Dad...especially with them out of focus...it gave me the feeling that the boy is exercising his independence by having some distance. Mom and Dad are being watchful and concerned parents...not sure if they are proud of this new independence or if they are slowly losing their roles as protector and caregiver.


1D-III with stuff to stick on it:
70-200L, 28-70L, 24-105L, 300L, 50, 10-17 fish, 2.0x TC
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Caffrey123
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Jun 22, 2011 11:52 |  #4

ModestJo wrote in post #12637573 (external link)
I am by no means a pro and I felt the same way about charging. But, just a few days ago someone on this site directed me to a link that completely flipped my thinking. I really suggest you look at it here.:D

As for the pictures, I think you are off to a pretty good start. They look like they are really enjoying themselves which means that you did a good job at making them comfortable and happy. I like the intentions you had for the photos, and the use of the 50mm.

A point to work on: I looked through the album on Flickr and "cutting corners" (or joints in this case) seems to be a consistent issue you are having, not just the one you posted here with the dad's elbow sliced off. These missed details give the feeling that something just isn't right about those photos. Step back just a tad bit more and get the subject into the frame comfortably (I'm probably not one to talk, I have this issue too ;) ). When this problem is solved, you'll find it easier to be very critical of your own photos and throw out the ones that just don't make the cut. (Again, I have this problem. I have TONS of Raw photos that are whispering "no! don't delete me! I can be saaaved!" until I realize that it is time to just let it go and take a better picture from the beginning.

One photo that kind of bugged me in particular was the 2nd one you posted, the boy in front and the parents behind him. Because the parents are not standing side by side, it gives me the feeling that they are distant from each other and the poor boy is caught between them. Having the two close together would give more of a "Look at our boy!" feeling.

Like I said, I'm not a pro, but I hope I brought out some helpful tips! Keep trying and keep learning!

Thank you so much for your input! That link was very helpful. Luckily I have had no issues with anyone demanding things from me yet but I will definitely be changing my approach towards "building my portfolio" shoots. The idea of making them feel like they are competing for something is great! Mum's love to be told their kid is cute!

I couldn't agree more about my problem with cutting off random elbows/hands etc. I really need to learn to step back. (I should write this on my hand at my next shoot!) It's so irritating to have the shot/facial expressions/lighting you want and then I make the rookie mistake of cutting off a finger/toe/foot. I'm guessing that when the technical side of things become more second nature to me I will have more time to make sure I compose the shot correctly...rather than panicking about over exposing at the precise moment the kid smiles and looks at the camera!

I agree that if number 2 had the parents standing together it would have a different feel, but I also agree with cpam.pix in that it gives a different kind of feeling. The parents and I probably have different feelings towards the photo than both of you because the little boy was actually chasing bubbles at the time (I think you can see some if you look closely) so we were all laughing and having a good time. However, as a stand alone picture, I understand and appreciate your thoughts. Do you think that if I left the picture in colour it would give less of that distant feeling? Maybe with the colour it could portray a happier kind of atmosphere.

The RAW files do the same to me! I am ALWAYS having to persuade myself to delete a photo and admit defeat!

cpam.pix wrote in post #12637801 (external link)
Interesting how we can have such different points of view. With the boy away from Mom and Dad...especially with them out of focus...it gave me the feeling that the boy is exercising his independence by having some distance. Mom and Dad are being watchful and concerned parents...not sure if they are proud of this new independence or if they are slowly losing their roles as protector and caregiver.



Thank you, that is the kind of feeling I got as well...once I forgot that he was actually just running away from his parents chasing bubbles they had blown for him. Although, as you mentioned, it's amazing how many different feelings several people can get from one picture. It's really interesting!

~Samantha




  
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ModestJo
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Jun 22, 2011 12:31 |  #5

cpam.pix wrote:
Interesting how we can have such different points of view. With the boy away from Mom and Dad...especially with them out of focus...it gave me the feeling that the boy is exercising his independence by having some distance. Mom and Dad are being watchful and concerned parents...not sure if they are proud of this new independence or if they are slowly losing their roles as protector and caregiver.

I agree with this. I really like when the parents are OOF in the back. It is used in wedding photography too, having the parents in the back looking at their daughter all grown up. :)

Samantha.Lovett wrote:
I agree that if number 2 had the parents standing together it would have a different feel, but I also agree with cpam.pix in that it gives a different kind of feeling. The parents and I probably have different feelings towards the photo than both of you because the little boy was actually chasing bubbles at the time (I think you can see some if you look closely) so we were all laughing and having a good time. However, as a stand alone picture, I understand and appreciate your thoughts.


Right :) They have the memory of being there when the picture was taken so it has special meaning for them. I like it too, even though I wasn't there. I think the picture is successful because it makes the customer happy and reminds them of a fun day at the park with their son. I just thought that the difference of them standing side by side would be an extra little detail to make the picture one step better. You might try experimenting with several variations of placing people for a photo like that and see which one is most popular with the customers.
Over-all I think you made the customer happy and gave them some precious moments to save. :)

Samantha.Lovett wrote:
Do you think that if I left the picture in colour it would give less of that distant feeling? Maybe with the colour it could portray a happier kind of atmosphere.

Possibly. It's worth a shot!

Oh and one suggestion to deal with all those Raw pics: I was thinking of archiving all my past Raws with CDs or DVDs so that they would be off my computer and out of sight/out of mind but available if I ever wanted to look back at previous work... that way I'm not completely cutting the cord and saying goodbye forever.


Laura Josephine
Rebel XS, EF-S 18-55 (for now)
flickr (external link)

  
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elio79
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Jun 22, 2011 15:16 as a reply to  @ ModestJo's post |  #6

I like number 2 a lot! I think I'd like it in color even more. I also like the last of the bunch, but again, would love in color.




  
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Second family portrait shoot, C&C please.
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