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Child Portrait Photography: Inspiration & Advice

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  #11  
Old 01-17-2009, 07:48 AM
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

Quote:
Originally Posted by igot2pman View Post
Gobsmacked,

Shooting on their level is most definitely a plus and a must (most the time). Would you recommend the photographer to sit (kneel, lay) or raise the child up on a table. Or would that be too risky with a 1 year old. What are your thoughts?

The mother is bringing lots of toys and im planning on using them to possibly frame or catch reflections off of. He loves his FAKE cell phone and im going to try and get some good ones from that too.

Thanks,
-Keven
I took pics. of a 1 year old a while back , I tried a few with him on the floor of the Studio , but naturally he wouldn't stay still !
The best shots were when I sat him in a Bar stool type seat , almost a high chair without the tray .
Both Parents were present , snag was I got a lot of shots of him looking off camera .I persuaded them to stand to one side so they wouldn't distract him .I built up a raport with him with a lot of laughing , he thought it was great fun !
Oh and I was on my knees ! Go for it , take plenty of shots , weed out the chaff ! Bill
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2009, 12:58 AM
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

Good advice Gobsmacked, and thanks for sharing. Well noted and I'm thinking about buying some knee pads or having a pillow handy.

-Keven
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2009, 12:25 PM
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

Tips

Below are some PDF's of tip's I found from some web sites. Mostly the same as what’s been said but here but there are some diffrent tips. Quick read.

I made a PDF of them so it’s forever on RTP just in case the web site goes down.

Will add more here as I find them

-Keven
Attached Files
File Type: pdf better portrait photography.pdf (85.2 KB, 19 views)
File Type: pdf child-portrait-photo.pdf (17.2 KB, 20 views)
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2009, 07:42 PM
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

As this is a retouching web site, is there any advice on how I should take the editing. I have seen both versions, raw skin look and soft glow. Also a lot of B&W.

I know the real decision is with the client, but optimally what would be the best direction to take things. D&B? Surface blur? Other?

All advice or opinions on any of the topics are still welcome and appreciated,
-Keven
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  #15  
Old 01-20-2009, 02:23 AM
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

Let's have a look at a couple (if you are allowed to post them of course).
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2009, 05:42 AM
HuBBa HuBBa is offline
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

igot. As for retouching, it all depends on the application really, you have both extremes represented here on this forum: from 100% untouched portrait to 100% retouched pageant look.

Me i prefere closer to the untouched than the retouched. I may remove small blemishes, scratches and bruises (which is common with kids but i will not do anything harsher than that since the very few times i shoot kids, its pretty much always in a portrait fashion.

On the other hand Jill Greenberg has a few that is retouched to a very heavy degree so my advice would be to check with the client first. They want their kids to look their best on the image, not like some otherworldly alien

... and then you have parents who want that.

As for the shooting i saw a nice setup on the pocketwizards blogg actually where the guy set up a camera with a fixed focus point (marked on the background) and triggered it with the pocketwizards (ie. triggered both camera and flashes). The benefit of this was that he was not hiding behind the big lens (which is the only thing you would see otherwise) but could communicate and talk with the kids. So when he had the shot, he could just press the pocketwizard he held in his hand and the picture was taken. *edit: You can watch it at http://pocketwizard.wordpress.com/20...ra-triggering/

Sometimes you can have parents be the focus point for the kid, but that doesnt work always. Also toys are great things to use so tell the parents to bring their favourite toys if possible.
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2009, 07:35 AM
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

Ziaphra,

I will most diffidently try to post a few. But the shoot is this Friday. I will try and get them up by the end of the weekend if I can.

Thanks for your interest,
-Keven

Last edited by igot2pman; 01-20-2009 at 11:37 AM.
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2009, 12:33 PM
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

Hubba,

Thank you for your replay, and opinion. As for the surface blur, I was speaking more in an artistic Jill Greenberg kind of way, not pageant. Or as a degrunge style quick edit. Or even to just soften the picture a bit. I’ll try and do a Jill Greenberg style photo if the child starts crying a lot.

I too think a natural look for a child would be preferred (minus the blemishes). But I have seen plenty of good quality slightly blurred photos. Also my fare share of bad ones. Have not decided yet, I guess i'd "let the picture speak to me"

And thanks for the video link, very insightful. I unfortunately only have a remote trigger for my D40x. But I did like the idea of not being behind the lens all the times. Thinking about just setting the focus and just pushing the trigger (assuming you don’t have to frame every time). A good idea as if the camera has to focus every time, you could miss the perfect shot. I need to save up for the D300 remote trigger... pocket wizard seems do be a good idea as is doubles as a wireless trigger for both strobes and camera.

Thanks,
-Keven

Last edited by igot2pman; 01-20-2009 at 12:38 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-20-2009, 12:58 PM
HuBBa HuBBa is offline
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

The Jill Greenberg retouch is a very harsh retouch though so make sure the parents know you are doing this to practise (since they may not like the results, looking "overdone"). If they know you are doing this to learn you can always first do a more normal retouch and then get creative That way they may even get double their worth (2 pics retouched / shot).

But important point here. Remember that when shooting a private person, specialy in a studio environment, you will need their consent (model release) to use it for your own promototion (showcase on the web). And since we are talking minors, that is not even optional but mandatory. If they don't like to see their kid show up on the web with your photographer/company name on it, you will need a paper showing their consent or you will be skinned alive in court. Remember that a verbal contract is worth the paper its written on

As for blurred skin, it is quite often done (and i must confess, i have done it) in batch processing or for a "glow" effect and it can work just as well for that kind of family picture. The skin of kids however is often pretty smooth as it is so usually not an issue. Teens with bad acne however can be a totally different issue =) Just a little note on acne teens though, make sure you don't overdo it. If you remove what you percieve as a blemish, that they maybe actually consider a part of their character they may not be too happy. Self-image is a fragile thing. Same goes with any form of slimming and such.

And finally (damn im starting to write a damn novell here the autofocus feature can be a boon but also a crutch. If you are shooting at say F8 on fullframe, and have the subject 7 m from you a 70mm lens will give you a DOF of 3.81 meter, from 4.65m to 8.46m so if you have set the focus once, unless the model runs halfway to you, it's pretty useless to set the focus again. So instead set the focus, and shoot away keeping a good pace and flow on the shoot.

(btw. if you want to play with the DOF figures, http://dofmaster.com/dofjs.html =)

Sorry for the long post but i tend to rant a lot
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  #20  
Old 01-20-2009, 01:28 PM
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Re: Child Portrait Photography: Insperation & Advi

Pocket wizard Plus 2 will cost you around 500-600$ for 3 (minimum needed to remote trigger plus one light). About 200 a pop. A very usefull divice but it may cost you a grand or more depending on how many lights you have. Go HERE for a 25$ off rebate, good through December 1st, 2008 - February 28, 2009.

-Keven
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