Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Family portrait session

Over the weekend I had a family portrait session. It was a quick session where I had to put a person in front of a backdrop take shots and it's all good to go. It was supposed to be fun and quick...which is what it was. 

For this session I had to work with individual shots and then a group. I needed a lens that will allow me to shoot a group without giving me the unwanted distortion that wide angle lenses give you in close range. I also needed a multiple light setup for the group, but will need minimal lights for the individual shots.

I then decided to go for my Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. This lens attached to a full frame body will give you a normal view, something really close to what the human eye will see in real life with minimal distortion. The 50mm will also give me the flexibility to move back a bit for group shots to capture everybody in the frame. Me having a small studio space, I need all the room to back up in case I don't have enough frame space to capture everybody. My camera had to be set to full manual mode so I have total control of all settings. I used an f8 aperture with a 125/sec shutter speed. F8 will give me enough depth of field for the group plus it is a bit optimal for the lens I was using. All of the photos were shot using ISO 100.

For the individual shots, it was a pretty simple setup. I used one strobe on my right side equipped with a 
shoot through umbrella to give the subject a wide soft light. Opposite the light, I used a collapsible reflector to soften the shadows a bit. This prevents me from using multiple lights and it also gives the shot a bit of depth. I used the white cloth reflector instead of the silver one to avoid the harsh light bounce on the subjects face. 

The 18th birthday shot. I forgot to tell him to straighten the glasses. 

The angle of his face was perfect not to get glare in his glasses. 

 A happy subject is always a pleasure to take photos of.

 For a one light setup, I had to use a reflector opposite the light to soften the shadows.

Photographing a group is different. Since the reflector I was using can't bounce that much light into multiple subjects, I had to use a secondary strobe opposite to the one I already had. The secondary strobe will light the opposite side of the subjects faces with a softer, less amount of light compared to my main light. 

 Goofing around. I was running out of room to back up but it still came out ok.

Happy subjects always look natural when they are photographed.

It is always tricky doing a multiple person shot. All of them should be positioned perfectly so the faces don't overshadow the others. 

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