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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 27 Jul 2006 (Thursday) 11:22
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Seeking advice for a potenial portrait shoot

128 posts
Joined Jul 2006
Location: Salt Lake City
Jul 27, 2006 11:22 |  #1

I have to opportunity to do portraits at my company. The company has never used a professional for this in the past, but a former employee used to bring in a backdrop, some lighting and shoot 35mm film.

I currently have a the 350d with the kit lens. Can anyone make a few recommendations for gear before taking this on? I will be shooting in an office enviornment under fluorecent lighting. We have a generic backdrop available.

Based on what I've read so far, my initial though was a nifty fifty with a 430ex flash set to bounce or diffused. I'm not sure I want to purchase lighting just yet, but a reflector isn't entirely out of the question. I'm just thinking out loud at this point. Any and all comments welcome, I'm a bit green.:p

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Senior Member
545 posts
Joined Jul 2006
Location: State of Confusion
Jul 27, 2006 12:17 |  #2

The nifty fifty with it's shallow depth of field may not be good in my opinion. Unless, it's an artsy shot of your boss! HA! :)

I'd use a long lens... 80 or 100mm at f4/5.6 maybe. Can you position them by an open window and make use of available light? then maybe just use the flash as a fill-in or not at all?

Here's a portrait I did of my daugher, outside using fill-in flash.

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Cream of the Crop
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Location: Portland, Oregon
Jul 27, 2006 23:26 |  #3

Under fluorescent lighting, you're going to have major problems with White Balance. If you can't afford lighting, at a minimum you're going to need an EX flash, bounced with a flip card or a Sto-fen diffuser. Be sure to do a custom white balance to before you shoot.

Use a tripod and a remote release. I wouldn't use a long lens if space is limited - so the nifty would be a good idea. Don't try to shoot wide open though - stop down to about f4 or so. For a portrait you want enough depth of field to render the entire face in focus (besides, that lens isn't the greatest wide open).


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frustrating as ....
1,478 posts
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Joined Sep 2005
Location: Toronto
Jul 27, 2006 23:47 |  #4

If you're buying a flash for this shoot, I see no reason at all to go with a 430EX when an off camera strobe bounced into an umbrella would cost the same and work far better.

And as for the 50mm, I like mine for full body or head and torso stuff, but for headshots I think a longer lense is more flattering than the 50 which tends to exagerate perspective a bit if your subject is real close. If you're not going to be doing headshots I think it would work great, but as I said a proper studio light would be a much better use of your money since those lights are designed specifically for portrait work, while a 430EX is not, and in fact you would be paying for features you don't need in a studio environment such as ETT-L.

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128 posts
Joined Jul 2006
Location: Salt Lake City
Jul 31, 2006 18:13 as a reply to  @ elTwitcho's post |  #5

Thanks for the feedback guys. I will definitly be looking at some lighting options. I will not have window light available so I'm going to have to tweak what is available. Any suggestions on a reasonable light kit?

http://www.fuzzysgraph​ (external link)

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Seeking advice for a potenial portrait shoot
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