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Old Nov 14, 2010, 6:08 PM   #1
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Default One year old portraits

These are some photos I did for a friend. I did them for free, so no pressure there, but I wanted to know what you guys think.

These are my favorites. Full album (with larger rez) here.

#1


#2


#3


And my favorite:
#4


Overall I had a blast. The dress ones were obviously for the grandparents; she was a bit grumpy then so I was happy to get the one with her laughing. Oh, and note there are one or two that are (to me) obviously OOFocus, but the parents still wanted them, so don't blame me for that.
Edits are only a bit retouching (removing a scab on her nose), cropping, and a bit of light editing with Picasa.
How well do you think I did if they were paying? (obviously I wouldn't charge much anyway, but still...) Should I have had a few more standard shots?
Unfortunately the room I did the indoor shots in was really tight, so I couldn't really get wider (with a 50mm prime).
This is actually one of the first times I've ever done portrait session for someone else, so I still need to work on several people things (like being more assertive) but I still think it went pretty well.
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 6:54 PM   #2
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They look pretty good to me. But if this was a paid shoot, they'd need to look GREAT!!! Maybe it's the way you cropped but 1 and 3 are too centered with a tilting chair in 3. 2 is good, and not that i know, but wouldn't a small amt of fill flash have helped the eyes? 4 is iffy to me. oof hair, in focus eyes looking down...

i know parents and especially grand-parents would be plenty pleased with these images. so you're doing fine. more practice. makes perfect. did you work from a list of child standard shots or make it up as you went along? i'd look for or make up my own list.

thanks for posting.
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 8:48 PM   #3
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Edward,
Perhaps it is fortunate for me that I am beginning my endevors in photography as I have yet to develope a photographers eye and can give you a point of view that might be construed as a candid public opinion. That said
#1. I like this shot as it gives a great facial expression. Parents love seeing their children with expressive faces while being photographed.
#2 Relates the intelligence, and curosity that parents like to see in their childs eyes. I would not have chopped off the top of the head as for some reason I do not think it gives me my money's worth, unless I asked specifically for this type of shot.
#3 I like this even if it is not in a perfectly lined up chair. I feel it gives some fun to the photo, and even if it wasnnot shot at the beach it looks like a front porch at the beach scene. There for it makes the child look well traveled.
#4 Even with the oof hair, (which would have made no difference to me as obviously it wasn't an expensive hair cut or style to start with), I love the eyelashes in this photo, and would accept what ever shortcommings it may have just because I like the pose , the hug and the innocent look of a baby in love with it's bear.

All in all, I have seen a whole lot worse coming back from "professional" studios that do charge for their pics. I would have paid something for them if asked and the price was reasonable. Any way thats just my humble opinion, keep it up and I am sure you will find that you improve with practice and technique. Good job...
Frank

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Old Nov 15, 2010, 5:38 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I agree that I have much to learn (hey, this was my first try).
The reason the composition was a bit off was because she was moving so quickly, and I, being poor, only have a 50mm that was fast enough. Since I was using that lens I wasn't able to back out fast enough to get her whole head. (that is also the reason her hair was oof- you can see movement in her left arm on #4)
Good point about the fill flash Frank. I have always VERY much disliked using flash (except external) and so naturally stay away from it, especially since the lighting was nice otherwise, so I didn't have to worry about shadows.
How would I use fill flash in this case? I guess I would manually set fill flash to lowest level, but wouldn't the camera on Auto (P) mode compensate for the flash being up? I guess I could use manual settings. Still not very comfortable with using M though (not enough at least for this).
Unfortunately google didn't yield me many tips on how to photograph toddlers (I should have asked here). Plus, since this was largely informal, I didn't know where she liked to play, etc, and therefore couldn't predict poses. So yea, I winged it. Next time I'll ask you guys.
Is there a place that has resources for doing all sorts of portraits? I have been asked to (eventually) take portraits, like some Christmas family shots and some senior pictures (for free- I know I need practice).
Thanks again! I will enjoy practicing! (there's something a lot more exciting about doing people than there is doing flowers and bugs)
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 5:39 PM   #5
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well, it looks like the knowledge center here has loads of good stuff. I gotta read it all! w00t!
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 6:49 PM   #6
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Just moved these to People Photos as the Photo Critique section is for a single photo at a time.

For a first time out I would be very happy.

A few things that come to mind (some have been mentioned), try to get out of central composition. I find that when shooting kids who are moving, I go to an outer AF point with servo mode on. Yes, there will be some OOF shots, but you will get those when trying to focus and recompose when they are moving so it works best for me.

Just because you have a fast lens, don't always shoot wide, or nearly wide open. Stopping down sometimes works well. I'm actually a fine one to talk as I usually shoot kids at f3.2 or f4 with the 70-200mm f2.8 on full frame so this is a case of do as I say, not as I do LOL.

Watch for cropping hands. In the first a switch to portrait would have fixed this, in the third then moving closer or further away (landscape would sort it too) would allow you nicer framing.

The 3rd is a nice shot btw, I like the clean white look to it so sorting cropping/vertical would make it a winner.

The last doesn't do much for me at all.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 7:19 PM   #7
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Thanks Mark! The more I think, the more I know you're right. I guess I should work on my orientation. To be honest I've come from doing a lot of nature stuff, and a lot of that is fill the frame macro stuff, so I need to break my habit. The funny thing is that I always shoot landsape, and since this was a portrait thing, I tried to remember to shoot vertical sometimes. But I'm sure you know how it goes; You choose the wrong orientation and bam the moments gone when you realize your mistake.
Good point about the hands. I guess this is another result of nature stuff: focusing on one element and ignoring others. I guess I could crop it so that she is off center and just howing her upper body to hide my mistake.

Lol, I think the last one is the one her mom likes the most. Also ironically I think two others she really liked were oof. I guess I had a good client.

Hearing all this makes me want to try again. I guess I should email her and show her this thread to prove I need to play her daughter for another hour.

I do have to say I had to shoot pretty much wide open for the indoor stuff to get decent sspeed. I should have stopped down outdoors though (actually, it's only been this past month I've been using A mode instead of P)
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 9:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpete View Post
...
Good point about the fill flash Frank. I have always VERY much disliked using flash (except external) and so naturally stay away from it, especially since the lighting was nice otherwise, so I didn't have to worry about shadows.
How would I use fill flash in this case?...
you need to have your tool-box full. it's too late to develop a new technique in a shoot. i don't have much experience with fill, but one way i practiced was to have a 4X4 piece of wood standing upright on a table outside. i put a hat on it creating a shadow and then played with adjusting the flash intensity to open up the shadow a bit. you have some reading to do, but i started with the flash being a stop or so below ambient. in real life, i chimp the shot and if i start seeing indications that the flash is overpowering the ambient, i dial it down a bit.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 10:12 PM   #9
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Sounds good. Thanks!
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Old Nov 16, 2010, 3:33 PM   #10
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I do like this crop of #1 better
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