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Old Aug 20, 2008, 7:35 AM   #1
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I've been hired, if you can call it that, by a coworker to photograph her twosons for their senior pictures. I had enjoyed doing a "photo shoot" as a lesson in a class I took last year and figure this might be good experience for me. And, she's willing to take a chance on me. Let's hope we're still friends afterward. She doesn't want anything printed any larger than 8 x 10, which I assured her was fine with my camera.

Any tips before I do this? Which lens should I use, how to control the flash, etc. Any place to go look for possible poses. We'll probably do it in the local cemetery/park as it's got some nice props. (Not the stones! Just the cemetery wall, a gazebo, nice shade trees and grassy area.)

My equipment:

K100D; lenses: Pentax 18-55, 50-200, Sigma 20-80, Tamron 70-300; Pentax AF360FGZ flash.

Any tips appreciated. There are three other coworkers with seniors this year that don't want to pay the mega bucks the local photographers charge.

Thanks, Patty
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 1:01 PM   #2
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Hi Patty

I have never done this for pay, So I will just put in my thoughts. As with most of us i am the family photographer, and as such do all the portraits.
I would try the 18-55 and maybe the 20-80. I happen To like outdoor shots. So i try to find a Scenic Area and as you said use trees/ walls etc. I never had to use a flash, so i cannot help you there.
My favorite place to do family portraits is at our local state park, which has Waterfalls. Makes a great background.

Hopefully someone with a little more experience will help you out.


Phil
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 2:15 PM   #3
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Check this PDF file. Explains quite a bit and is one of the most useful, help, online that I found on portraits.

http://www.focusingonflorida.com/Doc...ortraiture.pdf
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 2:20 PM   #4
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For a long time 70 - 100 mm was considered ideal for portraiture in full frame 35 mm format so that range with the digital correction would be 105 - 150 mm, which would be too much. A digital range of 46 - 70 mm would be an ideal working range working range, equating to the 70 - 100. Anything shorter would distort facial figures (enlarge the nose, for instance), and any thing longer would tend to flatten features. If you use flash, either use bounce flash (if indoors) or a diffuser to avoid harsh lighting and use preflash to avoid red-eye. Off camera flash can be used in combination with the built-in flash, but that will take some experience - you should practice beforehand with any unfamiliar techniques. Outdoors, shade is preferable; open midday sun casts harsh shadows on the face and causes squinting. Pros use more elaborate lighting setups for portraits which you would probably not want to even try to get involved with. Good luck and have fun.
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 8:18 PM   #5
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vIZnquest wrote:
Quote:
Check this PDF file. Explains quite a bit and is one of the most useful, help, online that I found on portraits.

http://www.focusingonflorida.com/Doc...ortraiture.pdf
Tom,

This "tutorial" is excellent. I like the examples shown with the various rules being used and broken. I do not do any serious portrait work, but I'll definitely be saving a copy and using the rules for even for my family pictures. Thanks for the link!

Jay
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 9:00 PM   #6
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vIZnquest wrote:
Quote:
Check this PDF file. Explains quite a bit and is one of the most useful, help, online that I found on portraits.

http://www.focusingonflorida.com/Doc...ortraiture.pdf
Tom

I have been reading the article and thanks for sharing. I am the type of people taking action first before reading any manual. I believe I broke significant part of the "don't do" rules . Sheer wakeup call to me.

Daniel
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 9:15 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. Tom, I am printing out the web page now to do some "light" reading before bed.

Yes, I definitely don't have time to learn any extensive lighting techniques. This request came out of the blue. She just remembered what I'd done with my son and his fiance a while back. I do have an 80th birthday party this weekend I could experiment at. Although, it will be indoors. But, with lots of windows in the building. So, maybe somewhat comparable to outdoor lighting.

Patty
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Old Aug 21, 2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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You're welcome everyone! I have and will always enjoy the Pentax dSLR forum here. Simply the best anywhere. The exchange of ideas and experience of users of Pentax has been by the far the greatest influence in my pursuit of this hobby.

This tutorial is by far and away the most helpful and easy to understand. The fact that it is free is awesome. Invaluable to me, and the shot ratio is going to go way up for anyone who follow this. Also, it builds some confidence in knowing how to take that shot you always wanted to take.

Happy Shooting!

I would use the Tamron 70-300 for head shots starting at 70mm. The Pentax 50-200mm also is a good choice for that. The Sigma 20-80 would be good to get the full body as well as the Pentax 18-55. Keep in mind that at 18mm there will be some distortion so I would most likely do what you did with your prior shots that got you this photo shoot.

Have Fun!
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Old Aug 21, 2008, 10:04 PM   #9
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My best portrait work has been with longer focal lengths that maximize the bokeh, my absolute favorite is a Tamron 180mm f/2.5. For lighting I have had the best luck with late afternoon "golden hour" sunlight. I am certainly far from an expert (and far from an advanced amateur either) and I also would like to learn more. The link Viznquest posted seems to be dead. Did anyone save a copy by chance?

Tim
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Old Aug 21, 2008, 10:21 PM   #10
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I thought so too, at first, but it is not dead - you have to scroll down past the blank area.
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