Can I get some C&C on a family portrait session, please...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Edge100, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    I did a family portrait/candids session with some friends the other day, and I wonder if I could get some C&C from people in the know about these things. I've just recently started to get into people photography, and this is the first session that I've done that I've been generally happy with the final product, but I know there are things I could do a lot better. Anyway, do your worst...

    1.
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    2.
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    3.
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    4.
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    5.
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    6.
    [​IMG]

    The full gallery is here.
     
  2. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #2
    A bit too...

    Looks like there is a bit too much contrast for family portraits. I would try to soften it up. They look good though :)
     
  3. Edge100 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Great tip. Thanks!

    I'm coming from landscape/cityscape photography, so PP on portraits is a bit new to me. This will help in future.
     
  4. MichaelBarry macrumors member

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    #4
    really love photo 3

    I would perhaps add a bright pink filter and set the opacity to a very low number (see how it looks?)
     
  5. Maxxamillian macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Edge:

    1. What PP tools do you have in your toolbox?

    If you have something like photoshop then you will want to carefully clean up facial blemishes. This will help create a softer look.

    2. Have you invested in any screens or reflectors?

    Screens / reflectors can make a mid-day sunny shoot much more bearable. A soft gold used correctly with this family could potentially produce some fantastic results.

    Photo #3 is my favorite of the group. #2 has some great b&w potential--however, I fear you would then be dealing with "dead eyes" (eyes completely black) Try a conversion and see how this turns out. I would also edit mom completely out of the picture. The shot you have of the child in the foreground is great:D

    Overall--an enjoyable first step. Am curious to see how this new direction of yours progresses.
     
  6. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Out of the ones you posted, i think 2 and 3 are the best. The bokeh in 3 is nice. I think the colours are off, and the lighting isn't optimal in a few of them.

    #4 is a nice capture, but the fathers' head kinda ruins it, as far as being a portrait. #5, to me anyways, is kinda more of a snapshot, as the fathers' arms are cut off. There is too much openess on the left side as well...

    As others have said, it is a nice start!!
     
  7. Edge100 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    An excellent tip. I have done this in the past on the limited portrait work I've done, but I should make this a standard part of my Lightroom-PS CS4 workflow.

    I have a white reflector, but I find it difficult to use with toddlers, since they're constantly on the move. But your point is well-taken; my #1 issue with portraits so far is getting good lighting. These were done in mid-late afternoon, so not horrible lighting. Use of a good reflector will help.

    Mine too.

    Thanks. I find portrait work to be very rewarding, and I have a few other sessions booked for this fall with other friends and family; just trying to do as much of it as possible to really hone my skills.
     
  8. Edge100 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    I warmed them a fair amount by altering WB, so that could explain the colour issue. It's hard to know precisely when to stop, since I think more is less in the case of futzing with the light colour.

    Agreed. This was not really intended to be a formal portrait session at all; much more a "here is a family at the park", with a few posed shots thrown in. So for a portrait, I agree with you.

    Thanks. Again, good to learn all the compositional tricks in this style.

    Thanks again. I really feel like I'm a novice all over again in this style; it was a bit frustrating a while back when I was doing my first portraits, and I've been reading and practicing a lot to try to learn lighting, composition, and PP tips for portraits and candids. Nevertheless, it isn't easy, and my hat goes off to those people/wedding photographers who make it seem so effortless. It isn't.
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

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  10. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #10
    another tip

    For most of my portraits, especially the close up-full-face ones, Ialmost always use this technique, especially on women.

    enter quick mask mode, brush over the cheeks, forehead, all open skin areas with a super soft brush. select it, copy and past it over original, set to screen blend mode, and gaussian blur a bit, depending. then crank down the opacity to 10-20, depending. its a super fast way to add that airbrushed look. ;)

    experiment with it, and you can get some neat localized effects.
     
  11. Edge100 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Thanks. I've been looking for a good way of achieving this with layer masks, and this sounds like a great idea. I'll give it a try.
     

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