BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 

Studio Photography or The Cooked Husband Part 2


As a group we have decided to create Part 2 of this the first thread.

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17534

Please start at part 1 for Our lighting examples. And have FUN!



Betsy Labuschagne
Contact Betsy
Betsy's Gallery

member since: 6/3/2005 Studio photography


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8/17/2005 11:15:27 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  To continue with your sizing question Laura, I don't size most things when recording them to disk. and here are the measurements I use to send things to print:
4x6-1280x1920

5x7- 1600x2240
8x12- 2560x3200

11" x 14" Enlargements
1600x1143


12" x 18" Enlargements
1600x1066


16" x 20" Posters
1920x1536

20" x 30" Posters
2272x1500


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8/17/2005 11:31:12 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Debby, since you need to resize sometimes to meet those dimensions do you have any advice for in-camera cropping? For example, do you leave "room" on a certain side of the subject to allow you to crop to different sizes later?
I found I had trouble with some of my shots when trying to print 5x7 from a shot I loved at 4x6 since I was stuck cutting out part of the subject.


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8/17/2005 11:45:45 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Debby, you folks need to rent a large suite at a nice hotel and have your own convention. (I'll bring the coffee pot.)


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8/17/2005 11:51:56 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
LOL,LOL- WE COULD HAVE SO MUCH FUN- AND THEN IN THE EVENING WHEN THE POT IS STILL WARM WE CAN JUST ADD KALHUA INSTEAD OF CREAM.LOL

WHEN I FRAME I USE A IMAGINARY GRAPH TO GIVE ME A OUTLINE OF THE FRAMED AREA.


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8/17/2005 11:57:41 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
LOL,LOL- WE COULD HAVE SO MUCH FUN- AND THEN IN THE EVENING WHEN THE POT IS STILL WARM WE CAN JUST ADD KALHUA INSTEAD OF CREAM.LOL

WHEN I FRAME I USE A IMAGINARY GRAPH TO GIVE ME A OUTLINE OF THE FRAMED AREA.


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8/17/2005 11:58:07 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Uhhh...Did I hear talk of coffee? I could smell a fresh pot from here!

Hi guys, I found you!

Kerry, are you our "lurking" member of the thread? ;) Join in with some of that wit and helpful info!

I'm going to save the other thread as a pdf file for anyone who wants me to e-mail off a copy.

So, Debby, imaginary graph? Is this something only you can see???? LOL! So you don't actually do 8x10's then? What do customers do with the 8x12 image, or do you use an outside printer who then prints them to 8x10? You would still lose some of the images though, no?

Please excuse me and my lack of intellectual capability this afternoon, I've only had one very weak cup of McD's coffee so far today. I think I need to make a pot.

Debby, on the other thread, you had said you were going to post something about backdrops????


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8/17/2005 12:09:11 PM

 
Tina Edwards
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/12/2005
  Debby, Great idea on making a part 2 even with DSL it takes a little while so I could just imagine what it takes with Dial up.

I also want to say thanks for posting about the sizing on this thread, I was wondering about that.

This group is great, I don't post everyday but I have been trying to keep up with reading the thread every other day.


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8/17/2005 12:12:50 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
  Hi guys,

I just wanted to say hi and I have really learned a lot from reading this thread. I have a photo shoot this weekend for a 3 month old, so I'm really excited. I'm planning to use a bean bag and a boppy pillow for the poser. Debby, do you have any good suggestions for poses using the bean bag (I just bought it the other day). Laura, could I get the e-mail containing the pdf file from you. I would like to store this info - so much good stuff here. Also, as for the sizing, I use the crop function in photoshop for 8x10 and under at 300 ppi. For 11x14 and larger, I still use the crop function, but let ps fill in the ppi dimensions. When I then send the prints to a printer, I specify the print size, which should match the file size I have sent along with it. I have great luck, and my pictures usually comes back looking the same as the sent file, since they have been presized already. Hope this helps.


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8/17/2005 12:21:32 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  oh gosh!! this will be as large as the other in no time!
Laura, when I print I just send the orignal size through- but when I send out to print-I have been doing it on line though ,Costco(I really like them and they will print your studio name on them) then I resize to those dimentions. I do hope this helps.
the back drops, ahhh should I make you wait till you've had a pot like the rest of us???lol,lol
no here- a friend ( on another site ) emailed me this link from BP:

http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/MakingBackDrops.asp

it's really good.
I will be back later this afternoon with poses-got to go.


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8/17/2005 12:34:02 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  When I upload my pictures they are sized at 8 x 12. I very rarely have anyone want larger than 8 x 10. I upload the 8 x 12 so when I go to print I have all of the picture there to go from. MPix shows you where the cropping will occur and allow you to adjust. If you upload an 8 x 10 and then the customer decides later they want a 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 then you have more cropping . . . by keeping it at the 8 x 12(or 12x18 if you know they will want larger prints) you don't have to worry about that and can adjust however. . . I'm not sure what the dimensions are on the 8 x 12(2000x 3000 I think). I'm like Debby when it comes to taking the shot . . . I try to visualize the imaginary graph in side the camera so when I do the post editing I don't lose important parts because I got in too close. . .

I have a sitting for a 10month old coming up . . . I need ideas . . . we are going to do some indoor stuff so I can "practice" with the lights and also some outdoor where he is much happier. . . I'm going to have a pedal John deere tractor there and a big stuffed dog. . . but I'm really blank as to what else . . . I want some kind of flow with these photos . . . and again I'm thinking I'd like to get between 15-25 shots(good ones)?? is that acceptable for this age or is 10-15 probably more likely?


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8/17/2005 3:20:26 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
 
If the child can stand while holding onto something you can use a toy to make them seem to be doing something. For a girl you could use a baby carriage and have her seem to be pushing it. We have some great photos of our daughter at 9 months with a wicker baby carriage. For your shoot since it's a boy I am thinking lawn mower or a radio wagon red wagon with the handle set in one position so he can hold himself up on it.


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8/17/2005 3:35:31 PM

 
Ruben L. Wade
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2005
  Hey guys. If you would like to meet Debby in person and plan on being in the San Diego area, E-mail her and she will definately respond. I personaly have and also have her four CDs. They are really worth any investment! Thanks Debby!


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8/17/2005 7:44:46 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Thanks, Ruben. I WISH I could be in San Diego (I LOVE IT THERE!) to meet her, but won't be any time soon. She's been SO GREAT taking up so much of her time on us. I've spoken to Debby and conversed with her through the threads for a while and she's a GREAT lady! Thanks for visiting our thread! Stick around and share some of your knowledge! Laura


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8/17/2005 8:00:52 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
Ok,
That's enough of this junk!
get back to work!!!lol,lol
Hey I would love to do a big class in Texas- Laura, what do you think!
Any way- Betsy you have a 1 year old to do-Michelle a 10 mo. old ok lets see what I have on this computer-if not I'll have to look tomorrow.
Body poses: Take full body on same color . then the approvals on same back ground 1) head shot and 1 ) arm pose. thats 3.
then change things around.
1 year is about the end of the naked baby time-
so see if you can get those shots.
here are a few for you.
Thanks every one for your kind words- I am haveing so much fun with all of you.
and wishing all of you the best in all your ventures,
Debby


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8/17/2005 8:32:52 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Hi all. this is Merlin, Betsy's hubby. I've been saving your link everyday to my mem stick and taking home for Betsy to follow. We should have our connection problem sorted out shortly - hopefully - just to let you know - cheers


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8/17/2005 8:48:30 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  WOW, Merlin!!
what a great guy!!
To be this supportive of your wifes venture- hats off to you and our "Cooked Husband" Tim.
what great friends you are.


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8/17/2005 8:51:24 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
when presenting the package - giving blk & white and vintage should increase your dollor amount .
here is a example of 2-3 year old posing for what would be a naked shot


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8/17/2005 9:11:01 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Good Morning,
I recieved a email from someone and like Betsy they are running full steam into thier venture.They however are feeling a little discuraged.
Guys this takes some time! Betsy had clients she was practiseing with and now is trying to fill her schedule.
Please don't get discuraged because your books aren't full just because you open your doors-
the easy part is putting it all together so you can shoot-
the hard part is building a clientel to shoot-and one you'll keep.
also, just because everything has balanced out in the camera room(lighting and such)doen't mean it's all together - now is the time to keep working on your posing and getting comfortable with children and posing your subjects with out touching them ,but with your voice alone.
also work on framing.
How did I move so quickly in studio work?
I posed stuffed toys, family - practised my lighting on them.
I built theames and praticed a shot sequience: full body, head shot , arm pose, change color a nother set add a theame. I practised until I was fast and moved about in a way that showed I was at ease.
Ruben- he is sooo nice and sweet- he said a few times - you do this so easily? well I have at least 14+ years of studio work on him- it just takes some time.(almost 30+ years of camera work)
I had to find my way-there were no computers(I here you out there,no laughing)lol,
No BP,or digital-you learned by printing your mistakes and at that time the quickest you got a print was maybe 3 days-come on Kerry - where are ya ? you remember this?
You have so many advantages, what you must have is patience.
I do hope this helps,


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8/18/2005 8:04:49 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I'm here, drinking straight out of the pot! Three days? It still takes me 10 days to get my proofs back from the lab!


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8/18/2005 8:08:43 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  LOL,LOL
Maybe I need another cup-I can only remember back as far as the 80's this mornin'
lol


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8/18/2005 8:28:52 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I remember the 80's like they were yesterday - the 1980's that is. The 1880's are becoming a little faint. My memory just ain't what it used to be!


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8/18/2005 8:44:32 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  lol,lol you just need another pot of coffee.goofball,lol


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8/18/2005 8:48:23 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Debby, I think you have some great words there and I agree that anything you want to do well will take time. Although I am not trying to do this professionally (yet) it can get frustrating. Photography has always been something I enjoyed but in the past few years I have become more serious about it as an outlet. The one thing I can say is no one gets worse by practice...it may be slow but you will always have more "good shots" as you learn more and get more experience. I realized the other day while looking at some photos I took 2-3 years ago that my very good images were rare then and I had very little repeatability. With a few courses and many many practices I know see many more photos come out how I envisioned instead of the rare few. And I can't agree enough about the difference digital makes, I was very reluctant to switch from film to digital but when I did I got much better much faster because of the lower expense and immediate visibility.

Anyway, I finally broke down and bought a flash meter so I will be practicing again tonight or tomorrow on some portrait work...expect to see some more of me soon.


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8/18/2005 12:40:57 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
 
 
 
Hi Everybody!

IíM BACK!!! Boy is this going to be a long postÖ

Firstly, Iím really glad you started a new thread. Iím also honoured that you used my name Debby, although I think that EVERYBODY makes this thread special, even if itís just a quick note to tell us how goofy we are!

Liza, I loved your sand dune shots, you are so talented and creative!

I am having a great response on my ĎSpring Promotioní brochure. I think itís because I mention prices (Iím going in relatively low), I mention the sizes and amount of prints that the people will get and I also say ĎLimited bookings available, please phone asap!í Everyone that has phoned so far is expecting that I will be fully booked (Iím running it for August and September). I had a shoot on Wednesday night and scheduled another two this morning for next week, HOORAY! Liza mentioned a while ago that it might put people off to know that youíre working from home, but I find the opposite. In the week I only work in the evenings, (my older boy goes to chreche half day, and the youngest one is still at home), but most mommies in SA work and they love the idea that they can bring their babies after work. All my bookings so far have been for the evening. Iím actually glad that bookings are coming in slow, that way I can plan better for the shoot, it would be unnerving for me if I had to get really busy right now, I feel I still have too much to learn.

So, I did my second shoot last nightÖ. I think it went ok, the mommy loved her photos. I canít wait until these first two years are past, Iím too overcritical and see to many mistakes in my photos, and some are mistakes that can only be fixed if I improve on my set-upÖ.more shoots to earn money first, itís really frustrating! In any case, I saw quite clearly last night that I definitely need another lens, soon! Iíve got too much backdrop on the top and bottom (full body, sitting shot) and I tried to crop closer and managed to cut his toes in just about every shot! I only saw your photos after the shoot, unfortunately Debby, but did recommend my angel and bath theme to the woman as well. I didnít really pose him, I know, I must really look at that, but at least tried to keep him at an angle, itís baby steps for meÖShe decided to go with the cowboy and farmer. The cowboy shots I wasnít too happy with. I actually tried them with Ronan (my little one) the day before and thought they looked sweet, but heís already 2 Ĺ and this baby was one. I think the other themes would look nicer; at least I had a one year old little boy in my studio now and will know for next time! Itís incredible how much you learn with every single shoot, so here I come with my few silly questions for the dayÖ

I am quite surprised that people let their children sleep in the car on the way to a shoot. It happened last night and when I did my first shoot. So, you wake up poor overtired baby, who is obviously then not in the best of moods, and then youíre supposed to get their best! I have noticed (especially last night) that babies are expected to smile, all the gums and two teeth showing, in every single shot. I donít think thatís natural and must admit I have never much tried to get a smile out of my babies when I photograph them. I like the pensive, serious look as well, they look more intelligent and natural. So, my first question is: Do babies have to smile in every single shot? The mommy and granny was very helpful last night (Iím glad to see you donít always have to make a fool of yourself alone), but then you battle to get eye direction. Which brings me to my second question, what to do if a baby is slightly squint?

Iím posting some examples in the hope that someone might learn something; I couldíve really done a better job with my cropping! I wish I were rich so that I could give people free photos until I got better at this!

Ok, I think we need to start a new thread again! 



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8/18/2005 1:04:32 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Hi Betsy. Wow, you are critical of yourself...I think these are great. I think the smiling or no smiling thing is a personal preference. I know that we always preferred the natural shots of my daughter and found every photographer tried to get the big smile before taking every picture. Of course some smiling pictures are great but I was always more interested in the whole look. It looks like you did a great job getting the smiles though so I think you can give the customer what they want. I especially like the one where his head is framed by that nice round straw hat...


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8/18/2005 1:48:06 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Betsy, WELCOME BACK! Sounds like things are picking up pace a little for you, but not so much you're losing your focus! Great work! I'm with Tom on this one. I think your photos are great. Smiles are great for some images, but not a requirement in my book. I like just capturing them interacting, with someone or a toy, or whatever. Capturing that look they have of amazement, enjoyment or deep love and affection for the mommy trying to get their attention is worth 1000 smiles in my book. Not sure if our resident Pro, Debby, will agree, but those are the shots I like to take. That said, I haven't even picked up my camera in a week! Everyone is really coming along here! Great shots by Tom and Liza recently, too! Love those sand dune shots, girl! Great movement and flow in those!


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8/18/2005 1:55:57 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Thanks for your kind comments Tom and Laura! I wouldnít say Iím too critical TomÖI might have a bit of a perfectionist streak, I just believe that something is either right or wrong, and if itís wrong you must fix it. Perhaps I am expecting a bit much of myself with my no training and little experience...I do think that I will improve quicker if I am honest with myself and can see my mistakes.


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8/18/2005 2:28:21 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Hey everyone. Betsy, good to see you back again. These shots are great. As I scrolled down I found myself, saying, "oh, that's the one what a great shot, oh no, that's the one," Each one was better than the one before, I couldn't decide which one was my favorite. You are on a roll.

I know I mentioned moving all of my studio equipment back to the house and trying to do it all from here, I'm so undecided about this. I've come to the conclusion that if people like your work I don't think they'll care much about where you shoot. Before I thought that if I was in a storefront I would be taken more seriously. That idea may have worked if I had been in a place of my own. However, I have a studio set up in my husband's comic book shop. I don't think I can expect to be taken seriously in that atmosphere:) So I take my stuff back and forth for the time being depending on what kind of shoot it is.

Thanks for the kind words from everyone here on the belly dancer/sand dune shots. I spoke with her today and she was thrilled when she pulled them up on my website. I think most of you have it, but if not this is it:
http://www.orgsites.com/nc/lizafrancophotography/
Up until today she had only seen them on the camera so she was really excited to see them larger. This shoot was a freebie by the way, to add something different to my portfolio and to create some advertisements for my friend. However, she thinks all of her friends in FL are going to see them and want some done. My point to all this is that sometimes a few freebies pay off. I won't be making any prints, just giving her a cd to do with as she pleases. Just an idea. I get carried away sometimes because I'm a softy, don't give too much away.

I'm dying to show you guys photos from a bridal shot, but it has nothing to do with our original thread. I feel like if I post them on here it would be turning the thread into our own private forum, lol The thing is, I've really grown to value all of your opinions.

Just curious, and don't no if I've missed this somewhere in the thread. How many of us here are self-taught photographers. I get asked this question a lot, people always want to know if I've gone to school, the answer is no, that's why I'm glued to my computer screen to learn from Debby's words of wisdom.


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8/18/2005 3:10:39 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I am self-taught, and boy, did I have a lousy teacher!

Seriously, the limited skills I have were gleaned from a lifetime of reading, listening to other photographers and looking at the work of others. I still try to learn something new almost every day. Since there is so much I don't know, that isn't hard to do.


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8/18/2005 3:28:12 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Betsy, if you post the photos I am sure we will all get something out of it and that's the point of this thread. I have learned a lot at BP from threads between other people.

I have taken 1 course here at BP, otherwise I have learned from books, magazines, and practice. And of course discussions like this one.


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8/18/2005 4:12:44 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  DEFINITELY self-taught through reading books, web sites and what I've learned on BP! I'd love to see the bridal shots. Even if you put them in your gallery, if you'd rather, and point us to them!


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8/18/2005 5:00:29 PM

 
Tina Edwards
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/12/2005
  I am also self taught, mainly learning from BP and lots of mistakes... LOL
I have shot one wedding and it was a Wedding gift for my nephew. I would love to see your bridal shots Liza.


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8/18/2005 5:26:56 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
 
 
 
Here is a thought for you all, I got a really good break by just trying out an idea. I took a picture of a gorgeous bed and breakfast and made sure to get the sign in so that it could be used for advertisement. I approached the owner with a gift 5x7 in hand and she fell in love with it. Before I knew it she was recommending me for weddings that are held on her property. I also worked a trade with her where I gave her a cd with plenty of pictures for her to use for her website, postcards or brochures. In exchange, she waived the $50 photographers fee if I want to come shoot clients photos on her incredible grounds. I gave her the cd a month ago and have already heard from two new clients who had wonderful recommendations from her. These were some of the bridal shots from her property. The B&B idea is a great one if any in your area offer weddings. Just a thought. I'm trying to pass on anything I can think of that may help anyone else. There are so many opportunities that get overlooked. Take a chance, what have you got to lose.


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8/18/2005 5:39:04 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
 
 
  Jen's Day
Jen's Day
© Liza M. Franco
Sony Cyber-shot DS...
 
 
Oops, here is the photo


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8/18/2005 5:40:09 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Beautiful photo collage and GREAT idea! The images in my gallery of the pink bench and bike were in front of a Shabby Chic style store. She couldn't imagine why I'd want to take a photo of her rusty old bike. I've been meaning to take her a framed print of each to show her why and hoped to get her to hang them and hold some of my cards for referrals. I guess I should get on that, huh?


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8/18/2005 6:58:55 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Very Beautiful Collage Liza!!!!!

I love fast turn around . . . I can never go back to film LOL . . . I just delivered an order of Football Pics tonight that I took on Sunday .. . that impresses customers tremendously. . . I am most definitely self taught. . .

My latest Collages are in my gallery if anyone wants to look . . (Stevie). I hate trying to post pics in threads!


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8/18/2005 8:47:46 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Thanks Laura, glad you liked it. I'm telling you, I'm a photoshop geek all the way. I have to take a look at the bike and bench pictures.

Michelle,I took a look at your collages last night and they are great. I find that I really make my money off of that type of work. People seem to want it because it is different. I made this one because I just have to play and plan on giving it to her parents. They are kind of extended family and I thought it would be a nice gift for them. I shoot the actual wedding on 9/24.

I agree, I am spoiled rotten with digital. Oh I love the instant gratification, I am so impatient and its great to see photos right away. (I get to play with them sooner.)


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8/18/2005 8:59:16 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Hi,

Just woke up and can't really chat. Just wanted to say:

Liza your wedding photos look great!! Do you often do wedding shoots?

And Tom and Laura, you are confusing me, as if I'm not enough already. The shots that I referred to in my note was the ones that I posted. Didn't plan to post any other ones. Those are the ones that I want people to learn from...


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8/18/2005 10:14:11 PM

 
Tina Edwards
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/12/2005
  Oh, my goodness! Liza those are wonderful bridal pics. How long have you been doing photography? What a great idea to take a pic of the bed and breakfast, There is a beautiful bed and breakfast here, but they contract with one photographer and will not allow any other photographers to take pictures.

What time of day is good to take outside photos. I took some at a lake here aroung 10:00 in the morning but the pics turned out looking like a very cloudy day. What time did you take your bridal pics?


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8/18/2005 11:18:47 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Betsy, my mistake I typed your name instead of Liza (referring to the wedding shots)and she has since posted the collage.
By the way, I did learn from the photos you posted. Although I still think you are being critical of yourself I guess I am the same way. Although the images are great, I do see what you mean by being able to improve on them (cutting toes out, etc). I guess that is why I participate here, friends and family will say "what a nice picture" and I see many things I can do to improve.


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8/19/2005 5:00:19 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  I guess I got confused, too, somehow. I must not have read everything! I did look at your photos though, and I think they're great! What is it about those pesky little baby toes?? They always pop off the frame! LOL! I have the same problem. I'm trying to be quick, while checking everything the best I can, and end up either getting the toes and missing the moment, or cutting the toes and catching a great expression. I've always really liked and done full frame portraits or busts. I've really never concentrated on full-length portraits. Tom, I know what you're saying! I always get "Great picture" or "cute!" and that's just not what I'm looking for, I'm glad they like them, but I need more validation than that, I guess. I'm still afraid that I'm really not very good and people will laugh and refuse to pay me...recurring nightmare.


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8/19/2005 5:28:58 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Well to be honest we are all probably our own worse critics. . . I know I am . . . I have people look at my pics and say WOW or whatever and I'm thinking but that one has this problem or that problem. . . the general public do not have a clue what a "GREAT PHOTO" is really . . . they aren't usually looking at backgrounds necessarily they are looking at their family, son, daughter, etc and the expression or those toes(or wrinkles LOL). .. however. . . that doesnt' make me want to be less critical because as you all have said we learn from those things. . . and occasionally you will come up against one of those "parents from you know where" who are critical of EVERYTHING even the shots that ARE GREAT!!! so in my mind I have to be prepared. . . I still struggle with light in some scenarios and hate it when I can't get it just right. .. That is the reason I like the collages because they are unique and something that most parents will not do themselves at home obviously so you can offer them something very unique and creative. .. I think I have sold at least one collage for every sitting I have done. .. they are kind of like Gravy because if your regular prices are a bit low you can offer this to them and usually charge more very easily. . .

I was able to get my hands on a proof book of a girl who had her Sr. Pics taken by one of the BEST photographers in our area. . . he is really wonderful . . . Anyway it was great to be able to see different poses, props, etc and to also get an idea of how many proofs he provided (touched up or not). . . and also see a pricing structure just to see if I was on target or not. .. there were 76 proofs in a proof book he makes, none of them appear to be touched up except the one he used for the cover. . . they were all cropped to a 4 x 5(8x10) ratio. The pics were great but it made me feel good about the work I've done because I think that my customers have gotten good results from my work. . . His prices were comparable . . .some higher some lower actually . . . He states in his literature he does a general retouch of 8 x 10 and larger images and gave an example of how it would look . .. also goes on to state that eyeglass glare and hair removal are available but will be extra. . . as well as braces removal. . . doesn't give an exact price either but states varies with requests depending on how extensive the work is needed. . . He doesn't offer packages though but gives perks with BIG orders. .. my packages kind of give those perks up front so I think it just is a matter of what works for you. . .

Okay I think I got a bit off topic here. . . I've been doing sports pics the last week . . . I did our football team on Sunday night and it went really well . . . Did the tennis team yesterday and it went well and did well as far as $$ considering there were only 9 girls. . . go to the volleyball team individuals today(26 girls) and then our Cross Country and some team pics on Tuesday! Definitely a market for this kind of thing. . . I am under a bit of pressure though because the last year or two they have had a company come in and the pictures haven't turned out . . one year they took the cross country team outside looking into the bright sun and evidently didn't use any kind of fill flash . .. well a couple of the kids ended up having NO EYES. . . and I am not kidding . . . all you could see were great big huge black blobs where eyes were supposed to be. . . soooooo . . . I told them I would do them but would have to do them where we coudl see EYES LOL . . . the football ones turned out great because it was overcast. . . I took the tennis girls to shade yesterday . . . and the VB will do inside.

WOO Just had a Sr. Pic Inquiry . . .

Okay . . need to get something done!


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8/19/2005 6:24:51 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  GOOD MOOORNING!!!
What wonderful portraits Betsy!!!!
these are wonderful and I will look at them and write you a note if there are correctons that will help the poses if you would really like-*note- I will do this if you will post them and write me that you want help with them.
about those pesky toes- well this could be fixed in camera- turn that little guy around towards the apple basket and do one of two things *1) put the basket in between his legs or *2)turn him toward the basket, left leg is straight and right leg is turned in towads the other leg,bring basket as close to the turned in leg as possible. this way tends to make him sit straighter, then the other.
and Put a apple in his hand.Now with him facing the basket and it closer it looks more like a entended theame- instead of a stray basket just sitting there-see what I mean?- you want to show this is not random but intended. GREAT POST BETSY!!
It is commenly done and these things are simple changes that when learning posing , you start to see - it's what makes you different then some of the other photographers- your portraits will always look -tied together- not random- and the more this stuff is in your head- the more you start noticing it in "others" work.You'll be able to spot who knows posing and who doesn't.
and VERY important guys- they are not pictures!!!!!! very important they are PORTRAITS!! here's why- your nieghbor takes pictures, your friends, family, your kids all take pictures-You are a professional who takes PORTRAITS!
thats why people pay you.
Ok as for yeasterdays question,
I AM SELF TAUGHT (with camera)-
I set up studios in my home , then in my Grooming Shop. But it wasn't until I learned posing that I started to consider myself a professional- but that is because I didn't see much that I was doing really selling.
With corp. of course I started to see myself improve and also sell, get repeat clients-
Once, I was teaching this and seeing my own and other's portraits change ,I could then see my real growth.
Thats why I teach and share this-It helped me become different then the average camera pro.
if I can do it anyone can- but I found no one is teaching it.
hope this helps,


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8/19/2005 6:35:51 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
i think I have one


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8/19/2005 6:41:02 AM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Thank you so much, it is awesome to have all of you. I think we are all so critical of our work and it is nice to get validation from others whose opinions we respect. I think we are all trying so hard to just "get it right."

I felt comfortable with this shoot and was happy with the poses. As I was packing up my equipment and thinking how well it went I thought, Oh no, I forget to check my settings,what if this whole shoot wasn't shot on the right setting and the bride has to get all her makeup and hair done again. That's just me I guess, can't just enjoy the moment, gotta always wonder what I may have done wrong. The settings were fine.

Now to answer some questions. I don't do weddings often, usually a few a year only because I wouldn't shoot any until I had a digital, I needed to see what I was getting before I felt comfortable with that kind of responsibility. But now I take everyone I can get.

Tina, I was a child when I got my first camera and have been clicking away ever since. I started trying to be professional about it 3 years ago. I had a couple of years before that where I would just practice on friends. I started trying to build a portfolio. I find now that there aren't a lot of those old 8x10s that I keep in my portfolio now. This is good, it lets me know that I've gotten better and learned from some mistakes.

About the Bed & Breakfast, this place, I found out afterwards had 2 other photographers that she was using. I didn't know this at the time that I approached her. Business is Business, she saw my work and liked it and started giving me immediate recommendations. If we are in business, we have to think that there is competition. I wasn't trying to steal anyone else's job at the time. But just as I was fortunate with this, I have to be prepared for someone else to come along who's work is better than mine one day and not get my feelings hurt if I stop getting calls from her. I guess my point is that if you would like to do some work there, give it a shot. Mine started off as a photo gift to the owner in hopes that she may hire me to do some ad work for her. Besides, photographers get busy the owner might want to have someone as backup. Offer yourself as backup and sound confident. Go for it, it can't hurt to try.

The remote for our camera worked great, I used it on the bridal shots. Very easy to use and the company I ordered from sent it on Sat. I received it on Monday. It is a Sony product that is made to work with our camera and video cameras. Let me know if you would like more info.

Oops, I almost forgot the time of day. I live in NC and took these photos between 3:30 and 5:00. Normally I would have sceduled for a bit later so the sun wouldn't be too harsh. However, this property had a lot of tree coverage and the sun wasn't so much of a problem. I also had to think that if I waited until later the trees would block the sun as it got lower and I'd have no light to work with.

Laura, I understand that recurring nightmare. My son always tells me, "Mom you stress too much over this stuff, people like your work, what are you worried about." Its strange when you realize your kids have grown up and make valid, concise points.

My answers become like mini novels. I'm going to just shock you all with a one-liner one day.


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8/19/2005 6:44:20 AM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  You guys are great, evidentally we were all typing mini novels one right after the other.


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8/19/2005 6:57:33 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  I agree, thank you so much for everyone's comments.

You've probably noticed by now that I'm not the sharpest pencil, I was just skimming this morning and realised afterwards that you meant Liza, Tom. In any case, there's lots of people to keep up with in this thread.

I promise I won't respond again before my first cup of coffee in the morning!

It was interesting to learn that everyone is self taught, and also have some anxieties and uncertainties about their work.


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8/19/2005 8:17:56 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Debby,

Thank you so much for all the photos you posted before I did the shoot (I will remember them for future shoots), and thank you for the ones you posted today. The father portrait redone is great. I thought they had to be centred in the shot, but from your example I see you should leave a bit more space on top. I could try that with Ronan, just to see if it looks better. I also thought about bringing the legs together, but didnít think about the prop to hold, clever! I also like the idea of a sturdy prop to hold on to for this age group. I wanted to ask, what are you using in your bath portraits that look like bubbles? I should start using something for my seated photos, sitting on the backdrop doesnít look right. Is it my lens or just me, do you think I would have better results with another lens perhaps? I'm still using my standard lens.

I also wanted to ask: my flashes take a while to reset after every shot. I do have a sync cable, but if I take a shot and the baby is doing something in the next split second that you donít want to miss, and you take another shot too soon, then it comes out dark. My developer fixes it for me, but you do lose some quality. Is there a way to prevent this?

Questions, questionsÖ.I really appreciate everyoneís help!


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8/19/2005 8:52:00 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  HEY BETSY,
THATS BUBBLE WRAP USED TO MAKE BUBBLES.
AND THE LIGHTS TAKE TIME TO REFILL- DOESN'T SEEM TO MATTER WHAT TYPE YOU USE-THEY ARE REALLY MENT FOR POSED PHOTOGRAPHY NOT CANDID (CANDID WOULD BE CATCHING THOSE SPLIT SECOND SHOTS)
THE REDONE PORTRAIT POSE WOULD STILL BE CONSIDERED CENTERED- DUE TO THE WIDTH OF THE POSE THE CENTER OF THE FRAME IS LYING AROUND THE LEFT EYE I BELIVE(THIS IS HARD WHEN THE PORTRAIT ISN'T RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU ,LOL AND YOUR MEMORY SUCKS,LOL)
IT MIGHT HAVE A SLIGHT TO MUCH TOP-BUT WITH POSE YOU CAN'T FRAME ANY TIGHTER AND MOVE THE FRAMING DOWN WOULD GIVE YOU A TABLE CUT.
I'LL TRY TO FIND SOME EXAMPLES LATER.
I DO HOPE THIS HELPS,
DEBBY


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8/19/2005 9:40:37 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Thanks Debby

This helps a lot. I will replan some of my themes over the weekend, to include something at the bottom, so that I don't place everything, including my subjects on the backdrop. Forgot to mention, I put the basket next to the baby, so that his mom could hold his back without her arm sticking out. I'll test a bit over the weekend, I'm so glad I have guinea pigs!:-)


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8/19/2005 9:49:28 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
 
 
  No backlight
No backlight
ISO 200, 1/200, f11

© Tom Sheridan
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  With backlight
With backlight
ISO 200, 1/200, f11

© Tom Sheridan
 
  3/4 pose
3/4 pose
ISO 200, 1/200, f11

© Tom Sheridan
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
OK, here goes my novel for the day...

I have an actual assignment setup and I want to prepare. I am volunteering my time for my Knights of Columbus council to take portraits of the past few years of Grand Knights. If you don't know what I am talking about it is just the guys who have been the head of the Council (the Grand Knights) each year for 4-5 years. There are portraits in the meeting hall of everyone from the beginning but they need to catch up for the past few years of no portraits.

Anyway, the portraits they have are various levels of quality but all are head and shoulder portraits (maybe a tiny bit more, just down to the mid-chest) and the new portraits will need to match them. All subjects will be men, dressed in tux or black suit and tie and background is more or less up to me.

I took a few practice sessions (self-portraits) today to experiment with the lighting and have posted them here. I also have many more on my personal website at this address:
http://www.thesheridanfamily.com/photo.htm
My question to the "class" is whether the lighting looks right, specifically when I use the backlight. I have posted one paired example above and I keep debating whether the backlit background is too bright or not. I want to make decision about this before I do the session at the council as well as work on posing, etc. I am waiting patiently for education materials on posing from our renowned expert Debby :) and will work on posing a bit before the session.
I also included an attempt at a more 3/4 portrait that I have mixed feelings about. I like the longer length but I don't think it looks natural.

Anyway, I am looking forward to my "booking" since I am happy to do this and I want to portraits to be good enough to make everyone happy. It may even lead to some actual business...

Thanks in advance for any advice and direction.


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8/19/2005 1:32:04 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  First of all, Tom, CONGRATS on this great booking! Boy what a lot of great practice this will be for you! This is just my humble novice opinion, but I like the first one without the backlight for some reason. Am I nuts? No, don't answer that. To me, the background in the second looks too light. I have the same problem with my blue backdrop, though, it gets SO bright with the backlight. Then again, you're talking to someone who hasn't even picked up her camera in over a week!

Debby, I SERIOUSLY need to know if you have any posing suggestions for a very ACTIVE 4 yr old who either won't sit still or only wants to give me a big goofy CHEEEEEEEESE face and a two yr old who would rather be behind the camera WITH mommy and bringing her all the props than be in front of it? Patience is a virtue...


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8/19/2005 1:47:36 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  My, my, Tom you are lookin' pretty spiffy. As I sit here in my t-shirt and torn blue jeans I'm feeling like a slacker. Before I even read Laura's post I had made up my mind that I really like the top photo without the backlight best. You are doing absolutely wonderfully on these shots. The K of C's are lucky to be getting you. I have a 93 year old grandpa-in-law who belongs to the group and I grew up in the catholic church so I'm familiar with them. How excited you must be. Be ready, if you give them portraits that look as good as these, word will spread. You're going to get busy. Keep us posted on how it goes.

Debby is so right, we all most call them "portraits" I was told this years ago by another photographer. Portraits are a work of art created to capture a person's essence, not just a snapshot like anyone else can take. We are all working very hard to create these works of art, I think they are deserving of being called portraits.


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8/19/2005 7:37:20 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Thanks Laura and Liza for your opinions and encouragement. I will need to play a bit more with the lighting until I am happy but I agree that the darker background looks better. It may be because it is a formal portrait and the lighter would be better with children and casual shots.
And I agree with calling them portraits. I have always tried not to call any of my work "pictures" but until recently I was not doing much portrait work. So although I didn't call my landscapes "pictures" I did say photos all the time to be a little different from everone's vacation pictures.


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8/20/2005 6:39:49 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Hi Tom!

These really do look great! I like the colour of your backdrop for the formal shots you will be taking. I like a little bit of backlight, but if I had to choose between to much or no backlight, I would also choose the latter. Iím trying the same settings as what you are using, I think we have the same camera if I remember correctly from the previous thread, a Canon 350D? Iíve changed everything that Iím doing, and even took a few portraits of my son today without chopping his toes. Will try to post a few photos tomorrow, I still need to play around a bit.


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8/20/2005 10:50:39 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Hi all . .. it's been busy here lately. . .

Tom . . I like the no backlight in this case. . .

Okay everyone I have a situation . . . I went today to get the order for my 2nd Sr. Pic sitting .. . after I was there for a few minutes the mom showed me these "posters (8 1/2x11)that her son had made using Paint and the images of his sister that I had taken . . . she is trying to launch a music career (and she does sing absolutely beautiful I might add). Anyway needless to say I was a bit caught off guard about it and didn't quite know what to say . . so at that time I just smiled and said nothing . . . well through the course of the ordering session I realized that they had taken the proof CD and transferred ALL of the images to their computer. . . I did mark them ©Proof across the bottom . . however that must not have been good enough to keep him from altering them . .. anyway . . . at the end of teh session I politely reminded them that the images were copyrighted and that technically I was entitled to compensation for using them. . . they placed a $464 order for these Sr. Pics so I really hated to say anything, however, I wanted them to realize what they were doing was wrong and I"m not sure they would have ever asked me for permission to use them. I told them that I would work with them in the event that they decided to use them for CD covers, etc. and that I wasn't interested in a per sale fee but more of a one time fee and then that would give them the rights to use it as they saw fit. This really has me caught between a rock and a hard spot .. . on one hand I'm very flattered they felt the images were suitable for this purpose. . . but on the other I just wish they had asked me first and it bothers me the most that they just transferred the images to their computer despite being given a CD.. . I'm also kind of convinced that they "planned" to do this all along . . . I"m not sure how "good" paint is(I don't think it's the PSP version) but I guess it's just the principal of the matter. . . I may never see any additional money from these people and certainly wanted to leave on a good note since they placed a nice order but I did at least ask that I be given credit if the images did get used. . . so I guess we'll see. . . I have now learned a vital lesson . . . I thought I had made the images low resolution enough but when I looked again I realized that I did put them to 72 dpi but forgot to resize them down to a 4 x 5 . .. so they will easily be able to print small sizes. . . but again using Paint and saving over a JPEG will cost them some resolution . . . sooo I guess I need advice. . . did I handle this properly at all . . should I have said nothing???? I don't really have a disclaimer in my brochure regarding copyrights but will definitely put it on future things. ..

Okay .. sorry this is kind of off topic for this thread. . .but I just had to vent!


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8/20/2005 1:49:13 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Michelle...now again..I'M NOT AN EXPERT HERE... But a copyright is a copyright and if the image was marked, they violated a copyright LAW no matter whether you had a disclaimer or not! I think you handled it very well. You didn't fly off the handle, you were professional and let them know that if they use your copyrighted image as a sales tool or CD cover, you are entitled to at least get compensated by them purchasing the full rights to that image. If they don't pay for the rights, then you are entitled to royalties for it's use. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong here!!!


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8/20/2005 2:04:53 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  The more I think about this Laura the more I"m not wondering if that isn't why they CHOSE me to do these pics thinking I wouldn't be aware or maybe wouldn't care about this . . . the two major main photographers around here WOULD care and I'm not sure they would grant the use . . plus the one doesn't give a CD for proofs but uses a book instead. . . the other one I think uses a CD ... I guess I was just more flabbergasted than anything about the whole deal because I was naive to think no one would do it and the fact that her 12year old brother is the one who did it . . . I'll just see what happens I guess, but if I start seeing the images on CD covers(demos and stuff) I'm just not sure how I want to deal with this . . .just starting out I certainly don't want to ruin my reputation before I even get established, but like I explained to them this morning . . . I can't let everyone to do something like this and asked them to not let anyone know about it!! I am preparing a "slide" to include on the CD that states the legal issues on this. not that will stop them but at least they can't say they didn't know!


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8/20/2005 2:23:22 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Thanks for your opinion Michelle.

As far as your issue, I would have all the same feelings you are expressing. It doesn't sound as if the people are being too sneaky (since they actually showed you what they were doing) but I agree they may have had the idea all along. I believe this will be an issue whenever digital images are provided to people and I have a hard time feeling too mad about it since it is such a natural thing thing for people to do with the tools available on everyone's PC. I am not saying it isn't wrong, but I know that if I emailed image files to friends and family some of them are guaranteed to print them, most likely poor copies on cheap desktop printers.
I am also not an expert but have seen posts of this kind before on BP and elsewhere. First thing is that I have always read that the copyright applies to all images from the second you push the shutter release whether you print a copyright on the print or not. The second thing is that fighting for your copyright protection can be a pain. If your customers were selling prints you took you would have standing to sue them for your copyright violation and get that money. If they are printing copies for their friends and family you could still sue for copyright violation but it would probably cost you money in the long run. I don't know the law about reprinting or copying for "personal use" like screenshows on their PC, etc but I expect you would have trouble getting anything monetary.

What is interesting in this case is they want to use it for promotion which would also be clearly violating your copyright but unless she is the next Britney you probably won't see much value in pursuing it.
I don't use them but there are supposed to be good watermark programs that make it much harder to Photoshop (or Paint) out but if they are only using portions of the image that might not help either.

I am not too surprised they copied the CD to the computer, that is something I might do just to view the images faster. The issue is that they then feel they "own" the files and started editing, etc. Provideing only low-res files is about the only way I can think of in reducing people manipulating and using the files. That isn't a perfect bet either, I have one relative who insists on printing web-page level resolution files on their desktop printer and plastering their refrigerator with these horrible quality prints. I can't explain enough times that it is cheaper for me to give them real prints from the real image file which won't make me cringe every time I visit...anyway enough about family ;)

One other suggestion that I have no experience with but seems a good way to go is an online proffing and ordering system. I have seen several of these companies in magazines that will let you upload your photos and let your customer order directly (at your rates of course). I suppose that may take away some of the sales made from personal contact but maybe if you sat with them and accessed from a website or cd that you don't leave with them?

Anyway, good luck in sorting this out.


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8/20/2005 3:25:56 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Thanks for your thought Tom . . they are appreciated. . . I guess I wasn't exactly surprised about them copying them to their computer but the fact that they had a copyright on them and then proceeded to do their thing just kind of floored me. . . The fact that they showed them to me DID make me feel better rather than totally hide it from me, but I guess my thoughts are still that if she does truly intend to make this dream come true that is something she will have to consider when it comes to her promotional avenues. .. in the event that she uses the images it won't be worth the money probably to pursue it . . but it is my hopes that they will at least ask me for a release and give me proper credit if they do proceed with it. . .

Your family sounds like mine. . .I cringe when I see "pictures aka portraits" printed on paper let alone on photo paper . . . I've tried to convince my mom and husbands family that I can print them for them but they insist on their home printer methods. . . if my business continues to build I will definitely look into an online order system, but in this case today they have a computer but since we are so rural they have no internet access at this time. So it could have cost me more to print the proofs for them to begin with . .. and if they were wanting to make these copies for friends and relatives I wouldn't have been so hurt by it either . . .but the fact that they might use it to make more money was really more the issue I had. . . I don't even care if they use the images for screen savers and what not . . ..

but as I said a lesson learned and from this point on I will just prepare the CD's in even lower resolution and also include my disclaimer on the CD as well . . . never anything foolproof though . .. I'm grateful they wanted to even give me the chance to do the portraits so that's why I didn't make a big stink about it. I left on good terms and with a check so I'll just put my feelings aside for now and pat myself on the back for a job well done in the fact that they felt my work was good enough to use for the promotion of her dream!

Thanks again for responding!


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8/20/2005 3:46:22 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  If you decide to give them a proper release I guess a positive is that you can give them better quality images and have your name credited.

I would also say that giving someone printed proofs is no better since most computer packages include decent scanners these days. Someone would have no trouble scanning a physical print and using it however they want.

This brings something to mind that I didn't appreciate at the time. When we were married our photographer gave us every negative from the day in addition to the package we bought. She did great work and charged a fairly high, but appropriate sum for eveything and I wondered why she would give away the ability to reuse and reprint all her work. She said it was too much trouble hanging onto everyone's negatives and they very rarely came in for additional prints at a later date. She also said this way she could feel she was paid for her work at the time of the event and didn't have to worry about it again. I can sort of see her point now, especially in a more digital imaging world. The value of a good photographer is in the creation and not as much in the printed products that are becoming easier and cheaper to produce.

Sorry for joining you outside the topic with even more "novels" but I have enjoyed the fact that this thread seems to have captured several people's current experiences and that includes more than the original "how can I improve this lighting..."



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8/20/2005 4:00:11 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Time for me to chime in here. Michelle, most people just don't get it. Most of the general public gets their portraits taken, pay for them and then think they own the portraits. Well, they own the prints that they've purchased, period. I have had such a hard time with this myself.

I did photos for a "dancer" and these were supposed to be photos for her to sell when she went to other towns. She bought about 6 of them. The next time I see her, she tells me that she was so excited about how great they turned out and she went to her dad's and started printing them out on his printer. Without giving it a second thought, I explained that she shouldn't do it because she was breaking the law. I then explained that she dances to make money and I take and sell portraits to make money.

After that incident and a few others I decided to type up a form for my clients to read and sign so that there is no question about it. They understand that they are purchasing a print and that the portraits are copyrighted and any type of reproduction is prohibited and punishable. It sounds harsh, but you have to protect yourself and many people really do not understand this whole issue.

I know this is not as aesthetically pleasing, but it may be worth it to print proof across your portraits in PS. I tried this once and then went to work trying to remove it from one of my own photos. Keep in mind that I am pretty proficient in PS, however, it still took me a good hour and a half to remove it all. So you will still have folks that may be good enough with PS to remove the word proof, but it will give you more of a fighting chance. You can lower the opacity of the word "proof" layer so that it will still be seen, but not be so apparent that you don't see the portrait well.

Another thought, you can send an entire body of work to the copyright office for registration. You don't have to pay for each individual photo. I think it is really worth the nominal amount to do this for your own protection, just in case anyone does ever make it big.

I was sitting here thinking about it and you know, they were probably so proud of what the little 12 year old had accomplished and maybe hadn't even thought about the fact that it wasn't legal. You never know, they may have know or may not. Having them sign something ahead of time I believe is your best option, make it clear in the beginning and don't be like me and feel like you have to explain yourself. Just get used to making it part of the photo session.

I really don't think any of us here mind anyone going off topic. I think we have created a great group of friends here and it is really nice to have eachother's input. Hope this helps.


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8/20/2005 7:17:47 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  I agree, if we can get constructive input on something this important, I don't think it matters which topic it's on! Liza, would you mind sharing some of your wording on that form? I' just putting together my web site and studio business details and would love to include something like that to avoid the frustration that Michelle is going through right now! Liza is right, though, the mom may have just been so proud of her little boy, she may have thought that you'd be flattered that they used your photo for something so important to them. It still doesn't mean they should get away with it without a polite lesson on the copyright laws, especially if Jr. is so good with the computer at this young age, it's a lesson he should learn now! If nothing else, you've educated them and learned a lesson yourself! I just got an e-mail chain-letter thing (I hate those!) the other day and it had some really good short quotes on it. Here are two of my favorites that pertain to this:

When you lose out; don't lose the lesson.

Remember the three R's in life: Respect for Self, Respect for Others, and Responsibility for your actions.

Just thought I'd share.

On a personal note...I've been working on my new web site, so I haven't been in the studio much (kind of frustrating and counterproductive, don't you think? I'm too busy setting up my business to practice so I can be good enough to stay in business!) I'm working on some photo collages to add to my list of offerings. What would a photographer/artist charge for something like that? Anyone know?


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8/20/2005 7:44:08 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
 
 
 
Hi!

Did my third shoot tonight,any comments welcome!


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8/22/2005 12:01:13 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  BRAVO! VERY SWEET! I especially love your bath one!


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8/22/2005 2:50:22 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  BETSY,
THESE ARE WONDERFUL!!!! CONGRADULATIONS!!! SEE IT WILL PICK UP!
THE ANGEL IS SO CUTE - GREAT WINGS- I USED TO SWIRL LIGHT PINK ,BABY BLUE AND WHITE TOULLE TOGETHER- MAKES A GREAT CLOUD IF YOU WANT A CLOUD EFFECT WITH OUT BUYING THE ONE I SAW ON EBAY.
I BET YOUR HAVING A GREAT TIME,
WE ALL WISH YOU WERE CLOSER SO WE COULD CHAT BY PHONE.
I BET YOU'RE JUST FULL OF EXCITMENT!
KEEP HAVING FUN!:-)


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8/22/2005 2:59:26 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Beautiful job Betsy. I love the coloring in the bathtub portrait. Is the surface under the tub a table or the floor? It looks like the same backdrop material but lighter, was it just the lighting that gave that effect or is a different piece of material?


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8/22/2005 4:13:51 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Hello Everyone,

Betsy, these are absolutely adorable. I agree with Tom, the colors are great. I really like the nice neutral color of the towel with the baby's hair color. You must be thrilled with the way these turned out. I think you can tell, we are all very proud of you.

Everyone else in our "Mini Forum" I received Debby Tabb's cds in the mail today and have been glued to my computer. I had to force myself to stop in between cds because I thought, Wow!!! I have to let everyone else know how awesome these are. Her experience and knowledge really shine through. As most of us here know, Debby has a winning personality and is so willing to help everyone. The instructions on her cds are precise, easy to follow and approached with her easy going attitude and humor that we have all come to enjoy. I know some of you are just starting out and there is always so much to purchase when getting started. But, this is a wonderful tool that will help you perfect your money making endeavor. Besides, it is an expense, which therefor makes it a tax write-off. I highly recommend these cds.

Alright, back to the last 2 cds, these are so cool, I feel like a kid at Christmas excited over a new toy.


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8/22/2005 6:49:14 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Speaking of Table or floor??? For safety reasons I"d rather do most children work on the floor. . . however. . .there are times when it would be beneficial to have the up higher. .. so my question is . . what size of a table do you use and as mentioned what do you cover it with? I realize if you are using a black background you would probably want black . . but what about colored backgrounds???


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8/22/2005 6:59:16 PM

 
Tina Edwards
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/12/2005
  Wow! Betsy those look very good. I really like the tub one. They are both adorable. Congratulations

Tina


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8/22/2005 7:14:05 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  MICHELLE,
THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION AND ONE WE HAVE NOT COVERED.
YOU CAN USE ANY TYPE OF TABLE SIZE- BUT WHEN PICKING ONE I WOULD TRY TO GET ONE THAT FITS AT LEAST 3 KIDS AND HAS LOCKING LEGS FOR SAFETYS SAKE.
AS FAR AS THE COLOR GOES- THE COLOR SHOULD ALWAYS MATCH THE BASIC COLOR OF THE BACKGROUND-WHITE WITH WHITE, BLACK WITH BLACK- BLUE WITH BLUE- BROWN WITH BROWN OR A TAN- BETSY DID THE PROPER THING AND WITH HER MODLED BACK GROUND SHE PICKED THE NUTURAL COLOR.-WITH WHITES OR BLACKS- YOU CAN ADD A GEL.
AND WITH SMALL CHILDREN AND BLK ON BLK YOU SHOULD USE A COLOR GEL.
AND LIZA . I AM SOOO HAPPY YOU ARE HAVING A GOOD TIME!!
I DO HOPE THE CD'S WILL HELP! IF NOTHING ELSE GIVE YA SOME IDEAS.
REMEMBER THE HIGHEST PRISE YOU CAN GIVE A PHOTOGRAPHER OR DESIGER (LIKE LIZA- WHO I STEAL IDEAS FROM )
IS TO STEAL FROM THEM -
SEE A POSE YOU LIKE GO AHEAD COPY IT!
IT JUST TELLS THEM THAT THEY HAVE GIVEN YOU A GIFT!LOL,LOL
AND YOU HAVE RETURNED THE FAVOR WITH A COMPLIMENT.


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8/22/2005 7:28:59 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  SORRY FORGOT TO ADD- YOU CAN USE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING- FLUX FUR IS THE BEST-STURDY AND WASHABLE(PLEASE DON'T PUT THE LONG HAIRED ONES IN THE DRYER THOUGH-THEY WILL MATT)
SATINS ARE BEAUTIFUL-BUT IF CHILDREN ARE IN A STANDING POSE THEY ARE DANGEROUS.
AND OF COURSE WHEN DOING NAKED BABIES BABY BLANKETS ARE GREAT .
SECRET WITH NAKED BABYS- USE A DIPER FOLDED SMALL UNDER THE BABY- OR IF USEING A RUG AND A BABY BLANKET-PUT A PLASTIC TRASH BAG BETWEEN THE RUG AND BABY BLANKET-THAT WAY IF THE BABY HAS A ACCIDENT IT WON'T GO THROUGH TO YOUR RUG.


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8/22/2005 7:35:03 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Next Question??? I"m doing a group of Volleyball girls tomorrow . .. there will be about 30. . . We will be doing these indoors in the gym which usually puts off a golden color no matter what it seems. . . I used my studio lights to do the individuals and think I will need to use them for the group one as well . . .but how do I situate my lights for a group this large? I have a 3 light setup but one of the bulbs is out on the 3rd one so I will only have two? I will be shooting into umbrellas? Any recommendations??


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8/22/2005 8:18:51 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  you may need a fl filter-
but use your lights into your unbrellas as to main lights one on either side of the camera.this should keep the light quite even.
Try staying around 4 rows=9-8-7-6
the front row could be on one knee or something.
I hope this helps-i can't wait for you to post this one .
have fun michelle!


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8/22/2005 9:09:43 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
 
 
 
Hi Debby . .. I don't have a fl filter but just used the flash white balance on my camera for the individuals and they turned out okay . . nothing to brag about really but okay .. . if I could get an example to post I would . . . anyway . . . I will need 4 rows I need that . . . I will have two lights? are you saying to use the lights both as main . . on on each side of the camera?? that was what I was thinking of doign . . .but do I position them so they are outside of the girls on the ends of each row?? and what angle should I point the umbrellas. . . I usually try to point the umbrella toward their chest?? they are white ones.


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8/22/2005 9:32:43 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  use your camera line as a imaginary line to split the group-the find the ceter of each half and place a light there-same as in any studio lighting about a foot over the tallest persons head hieght-at a 45 degree angle to the chest of the tallest person-this should work fine , it will mostlikly look as if it is pointing straight on- test-you can also use them on full power but bring them back a little more.
i know this is hard to explain in text.lol


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8/22/2005 10:42:31 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Okay I want to make sure I am reading this .. . let my main light to the right of the camera . .. set the fill light behind the camera which will be centered to the group. Have the umbrellas a foot over the tallest person and point them at a 45 degree to that person's chest. . . how far to the side to I put the main light?? just outside of the group's edge??

thanks for all your help!


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8/23/2005 4:43:35 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  I'm sorry michelle,
as I said sometimes it is hard to explaine this way-let me try again.
forget you have a Fill Light-
you now have two.
your camera is the middle of the group.
put a main light on each side of the camera-to spread the light evenly over the group.
( you can set each light to full power to give you more light,but then place them back just a bit further so that no one is washed out-but this will help to give you a wider area in witch to work with)
test-
you may need to lower one light and bring, it a tad closer to the camera-if you are seeing shadows-
but for 30 people-
try the first placment way first.
I do hope this helps,
I can try to make a graph if you need, I know sometimes it is easier-email me.


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8/23/2005 6:06:34 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  i messed up it should have read:
forget you have a Fill Light-
**you now have two MAIN lights.
I forgot the word Main.-sorry


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8/23/2005 6:08:59 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Okay Thanks Debby . . that helps alot . .. I thought it would probably work best to have two main lights. . .they won't be up against a wall so that should help with the shadows. . . I will give this a whirl. . . and how far outside of the group to I set the lights? When I"m doing one person the main light is usually to the side of them about 5 feet(visualizing here and it may not be that far. . . )


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8/23/2005 6:34:13 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  X X X X X X X X X
X X X X X X X X
X X X X X X X
X X X X X X

L C L
WOW HOW DO YA LIKE THIS- I HOPE IT HOLDS TOGETHER-
NOW YOU MAY NEED TO MOVE THEM BACK FURTHER TO GET MORE LIGHT TO SPREAD.
TEST!


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8/23/2005 6:51:38 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  RATS!!RATS,RATS!*&^%^&%e$^^$$^^
IT DIDN'T HOLD TOGETHER- SO PLEASE NO ONE USE THIS GRAPH -IT JUST A MESS.


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8/23/2005 6:53:11 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
TA DA!!!


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8/23/2005 7:01:26 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  BRAVO! Thanks for posting that! Much easier to follow! Good luck Michelle!


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8/23/2005 7:05:58 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  OK WELL IT LOOKS LIKE A LITTLE TO MUCH OPEN SPACE BETWEEN THE GROUP AND THE LIGHTS-BUT YOU GET THE JIST-RIGHT?
I STILL GET THE
TA DA!!!!!
LOL,LOL-OK I'M LOOSIN' IT -NEED COFFEE!
AND I'M GOIN' TO GET IT.
SHOOT SAID THE "C" WORD TO A THREAD WITH LAURA AND KERRY,LOL
GOOD MORNING


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8/23/2005 7:06:47 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  JUST sat down with my first cup! ;)


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8/23/2005 7:10:47 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Thanks again Debby! That helps alot. .. I really don't like these kind of group shots LOL . . . I would prefer to do outdoor ones . .. but for volleyball it needs to be indoors .. hopefully this is the only one I'll have to do indoors. ..I'm doing Cross Country and Cheerleaders too but there won't be too many of them!


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8/23/2005 7:17:44 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  GLAD TO BE OF HELP- HAVE A GREAT TIME!!
AND NOW I AM A HAPPY GIRL WITH 1/3 OF THIS CUP DOWN.
LAURA, THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HELP YOU HAVE GIVEN ME AND TAKING TIME OUT TO EMAIL ME THOSE LINKS- THANK YOU!!!
SO VERY MUCH-I WILL TAKE A LOOK AND I AM SURE THEY WILL HELP.


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8/23/2005 7:30:35 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  THANK YOU EVERYBODY!!!! You know your opinions mean so much to me and I really am glad that I seem to be getting better at this! Iím sorry Iím always a day behind you!

Tom, yes, I do use a different piece of fabric for the tabletop. I was working on all my themes over the weekend, and since I cannot get my hands on some fur, I decided to minimise expenses and just use what I have. Before I was using my backdrop over my table top, but the backdrop creases a lot like that, and I just didnít think it looked professional, especially after Debby posted that perfect photo of the Ďremake of a fatherís portraití when we were discussing the leg posing. I LOVE this photo! I donít know if itís the little boy, his expression, the fact that the same portrait was taken of his father when he was a baby, this photo just really inspired me!! I canít work on the floor, then I canít use my tripod. My husband made me four rectangular boxes, 2 smaller and 2 larger ones. You can push them all together and make two different heights. I decided to use 2 at a time, and actually bought a door that fits on top, that gives me a nice big surface to work on (no table corners). Itís almost like a little stage, and for bigger kids I use the lower boxes (for the standing poses). It really works well for me; itís quite sturdy, but also light enough so that I can move it myself. If anybody would like dimensions for the boxes please let me know. They are also handy for when you want to get brothers and sistersí faces at the same height for a group portrait, then youíll let the smaller kids sit on the higher boxes.

Business is really starting to pick up. Iíve got three shoots booked for the rest of this week, and one for next week. It is really very exciting! When I finished with last nightís shoot, and we had a look at the portraits, the mommy said that sheís so sorry that she didnít bring her baby for photos with me when she was smaller. That was a huge compliment!! They picked up their photos tonight and the granny was with, and they asked for a reprint of all the photos with the same enlargements that I chose. Iím really so chuffed! Thank you so much for everyoneís encouragement!

Good luck with your shoot Michelle.


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8/23/2005 11:50:16 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Betsy,
just a note:Ďremake of a fatherís portraití
that was done with the baby in the exact suit his father was waring -in a picture they carried in with them-
we posed the baby exactly like dad was posed and then flooded the scene with a little more light then nessisary to make it look older-like the other.
thank you -i am so glad you like it.


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8/23/2005 10:09:29 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  WAY TO GO BETSY!! I'd LOVE dimensions for those boxes! My husband said he'd make some for me, but he's waiting on me for dimensions, which I had NO clue on. If you could send me the dimensions and maybe a photo of them??? THAT'D BE GREAT! The shoot with the baby...are those the ones you posted above, or a different one? I'm SO PROUD OF YOU!! Now if I could just get someone in here for a shoot!! I have some pavement pounding to do to start handing out flyers. Anyway...off for coffee! Talk to you all soon!


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8/24/2005 7:10:48 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  I would also like dimensions and/or pictures of these boxes. . .


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8/24/2005 10:17:08 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
 
 
 
Hello, I have posted a few portraits from today's session with my daughter. I was trying for some first day of school and fall themes.
I have tried to put together all that has been discussed about posing and lighting so please let me know what you think. I think I am getting it for the most part although getting cooperation from a three year old isn't easy.

As always I have posted others to my personal website, www.tomandchristine.com under "Photo Gallery"


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8/24/2005 10:32:57 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
 
 
  Starting School
Starting School
ISO 200, f16, 1/200

© Tom Sheridan
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  Ready for the School Bus
Ready for the School Bus
ISO 200, f16, 1/200
© Tom Sheridan
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  Fall Fun
Fall Fun
ISO 200, f16, 1/200
© Tom Sheridan
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Trying to upload photos again...


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8/24/2005 10:34:12 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Great job, Tom. I like the second one best. The other look a little dark to me. Gotta LOVE those bags of fall leaves, though! I got a few of those myself. I did some with fake apples and those leaves against my brown backdrop. Their in my gallery and on my website under Galleries, in Portraits under Candid and Fun.


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8/24/2005 10:41:38 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Thanks Laura. I am having some printed up because the brightness seems to vary depending on the program I am using (that problem again!) and I posted the lower res and quality version to keep the size down so that might be causing some issues. I did go a stop smaller than the meter specified since the ones that were 'correctly' exposed seem to bright and washed out.
I like the leaves too. I bought 2 tiny bags of the leaves to see how they looked and I will be buying many more for the Halloween portraits I am planning. I will also be picking up some decorative hay bales, pumpkins, and corn stalks.
We live on a loop of houses with about 20 kids between one and six years-old and we all know each other very well. I am planning to have the scene set and take a costume portrait of each of the block's trick-or-treaters as they come by. Nothing very time-consuming, just a few "shots" per child and I will give them to the parents when I print them. I just want the practice and potential business from people who like the work.
Our family photographer does this in his studio every year and mails his clients a 4x6 of their child for free. I always liked this and thought I would try it. Again, don't get me wrong I am not thinking of doing full sessions per child nor every trick-or-treater in town...just a nice portrait of the kids we know on the street.


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8/24/2005 11:01:14 AM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
 
 
 
Wow...I kid you not. I have spent over three hours dwelling on these threads, trying to suck every inch of knowledge out of every sentence. What a great resource for me :). Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I have appreciated all of your ideas, vulnerability, creativeness. It's really inspiring :). I did a shoot with my friend's babies...had a hard time, but I thought they turned out okay since I had only natural light and a muslin sheet for background...so much to think about...Anyway, here are some of the photos. I wouldn't mind some kind of critique, although I have already learned a ton from reading this thread. I am anxious to try another set of kids.

I am hoping to purchase a light kit from Steve Keasy (thanks to you, Deby :) ) after I book at least one more wedding (that was my husband's agreement to ward off the tendency of impulse buying!). What a great group! Thanks again!


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8/24/2005 12:23:51 PM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
 
 
  Just a Boy
Just a Boy
© Cyndee Wanyonyi
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  Little Boy Blue
Little Boy Blue
© Cyndee Wanyonyi
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  Vignette
Vignette
© Cyndee Wanyonyi
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  Brotherly Love
Brotherly Love
© Cyndee Wanyonyi
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Wow...I kid you not. I have spent over three hours dwelling on these threads, trying to suck every inch of knowledge out of every sentence. What a great resource for me :). Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I have appreciated all of your ideas, vulnerability, creativeness. It's really inspiring :). I did a shoot with my friend's babies...had a hard time, but I thought they turned out okay since I had only natural light and a muslin sheet for background...so much to think about...Anyway, here are some of the photos. I wouldn't mind some kind of critique, although I have already learned a ton from reading this thread. I am anxious to try another set of kids.

I am hoping to purchase a light kit from Steve Keasy (thanks to you, Deby :) ) after I book at least one more wedding (that was my husband's agreement to ward off the tendency of impulse buying!). What a great group! Thanks again!


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8/24/2005 12:24:11 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
Well to start - Welcome Cynthia!!!
Tom great job-I agree with Laura.
and try to start using your posing angles and remember to try to get on eye level.-But over all your doin' great-you just seem to be running toward your goals and thats great.
And remember eneryone- you sould start working on getting your examples shot for your christmas poses-
Hey with that holloween candy-
tape a business card with a christmas picture to it.
every one will know your in the nieborhood!!


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8/24/2005 12:31:51 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
how strange upload problems


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8/24/2005 12:37:27 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
had up load problems


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8/24/2005 12:39:06 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
 
 
 
I have a few Autumn ones I put on my web site...


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8/24/2005 1:05:29 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Laura,
WOW!!
you are really workin'-I love the new collages!!!
and I see you sudated the 4 year old!,lol
oooppps did I just tell every one?

just kidding-Laura has two active kids-who sometimes don't enjoy sitting for mommy's habit.lol


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8/24/2005 1:10:07 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  I have more, but didn't want to have to RE-LOAD them all.

Thanks, Debby. I guess we were typing at the same time. :)

Thanks. I REALLY love how those collages are coming out. I did the panel of Tim and Liam today. Been wanting to do that for a while (we took those pictures on Father's Day) but now that I've figured out that whole collage thing, I was able to get it done in a snap today! I ordered a 5x15 mounted and framed as a surprist for Tim. :)

Hope you like my Fall shots. The ones of Liam aren't technically perfect, with hand placement and eyes away from me, but the colors were just so great I had to post them! :)


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8/24/2005 1:13:34 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  OK...so the ones I posted here also posted to my web site as duplicates and I can either make them public and show them here and TWICE on my web site, or not anywhere at all! UUUGGGHHH!! I'm having serious issues lately with all the kinks and quirks on this site! Sorry, you'll have to visit my site or my gallery for the Autumn photos. I guess I can't post photos here anymore without posting to my site, too. :(


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8/24/2005 1:42:56 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  WOW! Just when I was wondering when weíre going to see some more portraits from youÖ

Tom and Laura, your autumn leaves photos look GREAT! You really have such adorable little girls, I wish I could do a shoot with them; Iím looking for girls their age! And Laura, I love your sharing apples portrait! The little bench they are sitting on looks great.

Welcome Cynthia! Iím glad youíve joined in the thread! Your photos look great! I love the first one, thatís really a nice angle, and the second one is just adorable, such a sweet face!

I have done so many shoots with my own kids to try and prepare for customers. Iíve noticed that when you do a new theme with them, they actually work with you quite well, itís just when they get boredÖMy little one, 2 Ĺ years sits for one photo, then jumps up and says: ĎOk, finished!í My older one, almost 5 is quite good, but after a few minutes starts pulling faces and then you can forget about the session. After one such a face pulling session, I said thanks to him, and added that I got a few really good pictures even with all his face pulling and he said thatís because the face pulling is also him; I think he meant that it just shows the silly side of his personality. What Iím trying to say is: it might seem difficult to try and take portraits of your own kids, but when you do shoots, the kids that come to you have never seen your studio or props or experienced a session with you, and theyíll probably enjoy it, and it will go a lot easier than you expect, hopefully!



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8/24/2005 1:51:14 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Laura I love the collages. . . I especially like the of one of Garrett. . . I'm doing a 10 month old on Tuesday and I have a John Deere Pedal tractor that I am going to use. .. I don't know what else to put with it . . . Haybales are so messy . .. and I"m not sure they would like that in the house I am going to use. . . anyway .. . I love the backdrop you are using too . .. is it Muslin or what??


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8/24/2005 3:39:13 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Thanks, Betsy and Michelle! The backdrop I'm using is a GREAT muslin I bought from Steve Kaeser's e-bay store! It's really nice, but even better in portraits!! For the tractor...Walmart sells "decorative" hay bales...basically hay glued to a form. They'd last longer, be less messy and probably wont smell. Just stack a few of them. I want to get those too, but I need some paying clients in here to justify it first! I saw them in the fabric/craft area where I got my artificial fruit, pumpkins and leaves! Also with your tractor, overalls and no shirt or a flannel, a straw hat, a pumpkin or two on the hay bales with some of the leaves...what an Autumn scene!! I just may have to go get those bales anyway now. NOT FAIR, YOU COST ME MONEY!! LOL! ;)


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8/24/2005 3:47:12 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
  Wow,
I have fallen behind with this thread and spent over an hour last night catching up. I have learned so much from all this.

Michelle,, when you took your shots in the school gym setting, does the lighting from the surrounding area affect your lighting on the subject. For example, I would like to take some shots at a local store for a promotion and I have a 2 strobe set up, would the flourescent lighting in the store effect my shots at all, or would the light from my strobes overpower the store lighting?

Laura, I love your autumn pictures. You now have me hitting up my local Walmart for some props!

Tom, great idea for the Halloween shots - your neighbors will really appreciate that!!! BTW, your photos are looking great!

Also, does anyone know where you can get portable Christmas/winter scene backdrops - the kind that are like window shades that you roll up. I have not been able to find any on the net.

Thanks so much!


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8/24/2005 4:20:23 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  You are costing me money too Laura LOLOL . . . I'm not sure the mom will want autumn pics for this sitting . ..she was planning on overalls of some sort though and she also has a john deere outfit for him . . . My son has a ton of JOhn Deere replica tractors(the bigger ones) so I thought I'd also bring one along for a prop and to keep him occupied. . . I had already thought of the straw hat. . . but I'm not sure I will have luck in finding one . . . I have a list ready for hobby lobby LOL . . .I ordered my remote thing and it should be on it's way . . . hopefully by next Tuesday . . . I have one flashhead that isn't working .. . I think it was broken when I got it(well I know it is) but now it won't even fire . .. the modeling light still works though and that's what I primarily used it for as a backdrop light . . . I have the flashheads that you can't just pop in so they have to be soldered. .. ugh . . $65 plus shipping to have novatron do it but I figure in the end it's better then doing it myself. .. I have a relative that has a 3 light set up but the power pack is bad. .. I think I will see if she will sell me the lights! I would like to have some spare ones anyway for backup. . . okay I"m off to Steve Kaesers's Ebay store. . .


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8/24/2005 4:26:36 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Hi Lynn . . just saw your question to me . . . I really don't know how to answer you on the light subject. . . at our school they use those funky lights that aren't really tungsten but aren't flourescent either . . . it's weird. . . the light work okay .. . It was kind of a rushed deal so I really didnt' have time to make the adjustments I wanted. .. I think the color of the surroundings makes more difference in terms of the subject then really the light . . . the individuals I took I got the prints today and they turned out great. . . considering the color and stuff. . . I think you would definitely want to attempt a white balance. . . speaking of . . .I asked this question in another thread. . my camera has a setting which allows me to white balance based on the temperature of the light source. . . so is that the setting I should be using for my studio lights????? the default temp is the 5500 which I see referred to alot in regards to the flash tubes that are in my flash heads. . .


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8/24/2005 4:31:13 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Guys,
forgive me if I am straight off the cuff-not feeling real good right now-but I forget to post to this and you won't get the info.
concerning your post Michelle- part of studio work is taking charge of your sittings- when you do a series of portraits Please remember the more veriaty you give your clients- them more they will most likely order.
a good set should have 2-3 approval sets in it.
approvel set: at least 3 portraits matching the main one.(boy this is hard to explain )
******A SITTING OF A SMALL CHILD******
boy: lets say this is on white:do a full body(sitting or other wise) then angle the boy and do a arm pose, turn him in the oppisite dirrection and take a head shot-thats 3-
then do a theme shot -he's in overalls, you have a tractor do a full body scene of that, same background, do a head shot with a straw hat, then a arm pose holding a pumkin-thats 3of a farmer scene(now you have 6)
now keep the pumkins in and add a jackolantern or black cat and theres your holloween-and then bring back the white backround-add a snowman and give him a styrofoam ball-you have a winter scene and the overalls still fit-
now you have 8 poses-how many of those do you think she will buy??
espeicaly if you start now- before everyone else is talking christmas-you have not only put it in your clients brain to come to you for family poses- you have them attached to what you do AND they are showing it to thier friends and getting them thinking.
yes you did winter-make SURE YOU ALWAYS- let them leave thinking" oh, that was so fun,I can't wait till you come back and WE do christmas!!"
and when they pick up- add those cards with of thier childs shot with your studio name and number on them- for those of you useing film and not much PS-just type up a sticker and order extra wallets and put the sticker on the back.
WELL- How does that sound-Think you may increase your sales?
I know you will- cause I have seen it work.
best of luck,
Debby
**right now is the perfect time of year- you can still do bathing suits, fall, holloween, winter-try to think into the next season.


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8/24/2005 4:50:31 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  You can blink and miss a dozen posts here!
Thanks for the comments on the fall shoot. I am having a bit of trouble getting my daughter to pose now, she is too used to the process and starts to do her own thing. I will take a break from her for a bit. I am happy with the first day of school portraits though and this will take the pressure off the real first day in two weeks. I can just take a few of her getting ready and heading into school to document the day but I will have this nice set of portraits.

Michelle, the settings on most cameras are for the type of lighting (tungsten, etc) and if you pick flash or strobe and use most strobes you should be ok. The lights probably had a spec sheet that listed the temperature, mine did and they were standard (5500). I have also used custom white balance sometimes and that can be better than using the defaults in some situations. On my camera you shoot a white card and then use that photo as the custom white balance.


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8/24/2005 4:54:26 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  see I forgot what I was saying Michelle- by taking charge-
that means over Mom also-
do it nicely-
heres the way I do it- during the sitting I laugh and try to keep them in some sort of conversation-ESPEICALY - when I am changing sets-keep thier mind off what your doing or I would just
"ohh,ohh I know what I'm doing next and start right into it, before she has a chance to say much.
when you book you say right off the bat-"great I can't wait to see you guys- now I am doing a 5-8-10 pose sitting (witch ever you not mom prefer)
for you when you come in and if you'd like to bring one change of clothes that would be great"
then repeat that you will be taking
5-8-10 shot today as you take them into your studio area.


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8/24/2005 4:59:57 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  I understand what you are saying Debby . . . in my mind I kind of think
"series" when I do my shots. . . for like the Seniors I try to give them at least enough proofs per change/location that they could choose 8 for a portfolio. . . So when you are saying 5-8-10 pose sitting is that how many you "take" or how many "proofs" they end up with . . . I charge $35 for a sitting fee so I definitely want them to feel they are getting their money's worth ... although it states in my brochure that the "sitting fee" covers expenses such as preparing proofs, etc. which for me can include the PS work. We will be doing some outdoor stuff also so some of the same things can be done but with the outdoor background it will look different . .. just got email from adorama today and my remote shipped wooo hoooo


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8/24/2005 5:12:47 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  yeah


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8/24/2005 5:40:07 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  yeah


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8/24/2005 5:40:11 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  yeah Michelle,
that was a for instance.
Now your sitting fee is $35.00
so, if you want to add more just add more and add 1-2 more approval sets- but the closer you get to christmas, the more familys you do- then the approvals just happen-grand parents - mom and dad- kids-dad w/ boys- mom w/girls-
maybe do all the studio ones and then say ok, lets take it out side-to snow or something.
but if you state the least amount you will be taking , like 5- then Mom won't fight it-she knows she's doing 5.
some people will try to get you to do a min.-even 1 shot-"just get one shot ,thats all I want."
well that is because they have a predetirmined amount they want to pay and they feel if you give them more they WON'T be able to pick and end up buying more.
if you do it(the one) -you are bound to find out that if they didn't like the one you did- they are complaining to you or others she only did one .
Your reputation is importrant- so set a standard.
You will work your rear off at christmas no matter what- and if you set a standard others will here from thier friend- she does 8- or 10.
if you don't you may end up with those that keep you there all day too.
this helps you set a sceduale as to how many you can or want to do in a day also.
and don't worry anyone can tell by your work that you are well worth 35.00- and that you DO A JOB!


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8/24/2005 5:56:18 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  i'm sorry guys- my computer cut out the twice??????????stupid box,lol


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8/24/2005 5:59:41 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  I know what you mean Debby. I just got these VB pics back today and although they are much less "stressful" in the terms of what parents expect. . they still want them to be good . . . one girl the VB turned a goofy color and so luckily I had another order going in today and I simply just reworked it and reordered. . . our school has had a poor sports photographer in the past and the last thing I wanted was that reputation . . . this mom may or may not have cared about the blue spot on the volleyball but I did . .. people know I"m picky . . .almost too much of a perfectionist sometimes. ..but for now that's how it has to be until I get my repution and business built up . . not that I can slack off then but I think the skills will come more naturally and I won't have to concentrate so much on proving myself as much as I will just be able to concentrate on taking those awesome shots and creating those irresistable collages, etc. and you are so right . . they say only one or two shots. . but then if those flop you are the bad photographer. . . LOL . . . I think $35 for some sittings is milk and cookies . . and sometimes $35 the milk goes sour LOL . .. so all in all some may end up paying for the headache sittings. . .but as long as you give them several choices and a qualty product I Think most would actually prefer fewer choices. . . I think both of my Seniors were a bit overwhelmed at the number of proofs, but at the same time I think they were glad they had them.. . out of around 100 proofs for each girl one chose 5 poses to use for her wallets, enlargements, etc and then chose 8 for a portfolio so about 13 poses in all . . . plus the bought the proofs of the poses they picked. The other girl chose about 7 poses to make her choices from. .. I am working on trying to drop the number of proofs down to around 75 for girls and probably between 30-40 for boys. we'll see what happens. . . for the baby/toddler/children stage I'm thinking if they have 10-15 proofs then they will be satisfied. . . the one lady I did of her son and his dog just didnt' want alot and didn't want to go alot of places so there weren't alot of options and she ended up with only about 7 proofs. . . but she told me up front she wanted a collage so I couldn't really use that as a bonus like I did with the other sittings. . . all in all though she was happy with her choices.


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8/24/2005 6:54:03 PM

 
Laura OConnor   OK...All I did was go to dinner and it's taken me a half hour to catch up!!! SLOW DOWN' Y'ALL!! We're going to need a 3rd thread pretty soon! LOL!

Debby...thanks for all of that info above! BTW- I changed my initial offer on my flyer to be through Oct 15th. That's what I originally had, and changed it. Since you said the same date, I decided I should have gone with my gut, so I changed it back.

Michelle...Your senior portraits are SO GREAT! I've been meaning to tell you that! Gorgeous girls, too! I don't know how they possibly narrowed them down to so few! You did SUCH a wonderful job! What did you do for lighting/settings for your outdoor shots? They are just SO perfect and clear! Did you use fill flash? Reflector? Spill it! LOL!

Welcome back, Lynn!

Welcome, Cynthia!!! Sorry I missed you above! You've got some great shots. LOVE "Just a Boy"!!

WOW, there's so much to remember! Settings, lighting, approval sets/planned poses, props. I think my head just finally exploded!!! LOL!


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8/24/2005 7:23:22 PM

 
Laura OConnor   That's interesting. It seems to have wiped out my mini pic and links! Hmmm... More trouble with my BP info today. I just can't take it!


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8/24/2005 7:31:04 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
 
 
 
Thanks for the compliment Laura. On the Senior Pictures I opted to not use fill flash . .. I just HATE using flash . .. I didn't use a reflector either although if I would experiment a bit with that it might cut down a little bit on my post processing ... but what I have found works really well "so far" is to just use my light meter which has proved to work well in the outdoor settings. .. in fact better than the indoor stuff. . . and that gives me a starting point . . . I still have to adjust sometimes because my LCD wants to show darker than what it is when I get it home. . . but anyway . . . what I do is adjust the lighting in PSE 3.0 the best I can taking into considering the colors of clothes, background, etc. and the exposure I ended up with(sometimes my whites in clothes get a little blown still but are salvageable). Anyway . .. if I can't adjust any more to get the face where I want it I lasso around just the face and make a layer copy .. . I then go to screen in my tool bar and this makes the face VERY bright . .. I then adjust the opacity to around 10-20 depending on the skin tones. Both of these girls are both naturally dark complected . .. the fair skinned people don't usually need as much adjustment. . . I always sharpen at the beginning of my process. . . then I actually do any of the touch up work, etc . .. then I go and add a noise reduction filter on. . . this reduces some of hte color things intheir face as well as some of the blemishes and I do this AFTER the touching up because it tends to blend it. . . the noise reduction does a nice job(kind of comparable to the neat image). Anyway . .. then if necessary I make any other touchups but try not to do anything after I put the noise reduction on . . .THen that is when I go in and make sure the lighting is where I want it and stuff. . . sometimes I have to adjust the saturation of the face too and add some color in. . . so far my monitor has been true to me and that has helped.

For family pics I usually do use my accessory flash if doing outdoor stuff because it's too hard to light everyone and I'm usually farther back too so it's not a big deal . . I find that if it's too bright I just adjust the aperature and it usually works good. . . I can't always adjust the shutter speed with the accessory flash. . . I don't have the family pics on the website because I never did get a release from them to put them on . . . I'm doing another family sitting this weekend. . .I hope the weather holds out. .we've been getting rain . . .

When I took the football pictures I lucked out and had a nice overcast evening . . . I used flash on those and somehow it was just perfect. . . only a few the exposure was a bit dark . . .but they were all on the dark complected kids. . . Here is one of my son. . . hopefully it will upload!

Okay that was a way long ramble . . .


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8/24/2005 7:48:03 PM

 
Laura OConnor   WOW! Thanks for all that info!


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8/25/2005 6:52:43 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  I need to try this again to see if I can figure out why my info is missing. Sorry to clog up the thread...


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8/25/2005 6:57:42 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Is it time for Thread # 3? LOL I'll keep the coffee brewing!


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8/25/2005 6:57:53 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  lol,lol
we're gonna need it!


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8/25/2005 6:59:23 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  My fault...wish I could blame it on my stupid box like Debby! LOL! But I logged in under a different e-mail address and it shows me as a non-member that way! OOOOOPS!


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8/25/2005 7:00:38 AM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Debby, thanks for the kitty cat and pumpkin "portrait." Yes, everyone, pets have "portraits" too. :) When I saw that one on your cd it made me smile. Just a really cute shot.

I'm going to try a pet portrait shoot this weekend everyone, I'm making flyers as we speak. I'm hoping it goes well. I'm going to set it up at the coffee shop as I've mentioned before. In our tiny town, it is the hot spot for the family type atmosphere. I think it will be a good place to give it a try.

Everyone's work is looking great. The best part is, you can see that we are all growing and enjoying what we're doing.

Cynthia, I'm glad you've joined this thread. I have to warn you though, this particular thread is addictive. There is such a fun group of people on here. We have been a great support system for each other. I really like your color/bw choices on "little boy blue"

I'm making saloon girl costumes for old west photos still, anyone have any helpful hints for guys costumes. I feel like I'm full of ideas for the ladies but having a harder time with the men. I would love to get my hands on a pair of men's long underwear. I have hats and might be able to get my hands on a long duster style coat. I'm open to suggestions.

I'm getting back to work now, I just wanted to pop in and say hello.


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8/25/2005 7:46:23 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
 
 
 
I wanted to show you guys my kitty from yesterday's post...


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8/25/2005 8:01:40 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Laura,
he is soooo cute-do a holloween one!
hey if he's not sick of your habit yet-Run with it,lol
I'd be chasin him around the house,lol,lol


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8/25/2005 11:19:17 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
 
 
  After Ballet Class
After Ballet Class
I was trying for a triangle shaped pose. This was one of the better portraits.
© Tom Sheridan
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  Elizabeth looking up
Elizabeth looking up
Trying to keep her on angle to camera.
© Tom Sheridan
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  Elizabeth up close
Elizabeth up close
Head shot cropped from larger, 3/4 pose.
© Tom Sheridan
 
 
Debby (and all others of course),
Here are a few where I was able to get mydaughter to stay at better angles. I know in your course and here it was mentioned to try to stay on level with the subjects eyes. I think the head shot is good above but she is looking up a bit...do you think that hurts the portrait or is it sometimes ok to show a small one looking up?

I also liked the triangle formed in the ballet pose but would like opinions and advice on improvements.

I am going to try out some collages with a few of the Fall, School, and ballet poses since I have been inspired by the work from everyone here...stay tuned.


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8/25/2005 12:14:20 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Tom,
I like the head shot quite a bit.
when helping others or teaching new portrait photographers it is VERY,VERY important that you first teach RULES-I know I'll hear from someone about this:RULES.
but let me tell you why: as portrait photographers if you practise just the rules and standard poses-before rushing in to everything else-
what you are doing is
*training your eye to see shoot to print framing.
* to see flaws (quicker, hopefully before exposoure)in a pose that you are doing and change it.
*to see in your mind the pose you need and the next you'll be doing.
and what happens is after working like this for a bit you have developed a pattern in your brain of standards- these will most always start your sitting .
and also, come to your rescue when your "stuck" creatively frozen-
your standards will always just POP into your head.
Most imoprtant they help you to become quicker and smoother at your job.
NO KIDDING they really do-
I had a couple on another site get on me about this- but when you have taught this stuff as long as I have
and you've seen others develop and the importance of trainig the eye first.You come to realilze that these practises help a photographer develope patterns and creativity that they will use for thier intire career.
You will always make mistakes- you have probubly seen posts from me where I tell you what is wrong with it-or what would make in better.
Do this with your work and others as you learn about posing-look and notice should they have tucked the foot diferently-are the bottom of the shoes showing-etc. actually go through my gallery,look at the studio shoots and find the ones with flaws-I'll tell ya if your right ,if it is a flaw, if it was intended and why- or if it is correct.I used to do this at meetings as a game
( I'll have to go through in the next few days-next week and post more portraits, this should be fun)
ok, your balarina- her pose is great! the little sad head tuck- but the portrait doesn't work-want to make it work? Please this will be great if you repost it.
**put here on a stool on the floor-or put I stool under her legs and crop it from the stool top up.
Tom, think ballarina- the legs out streched in mid air looks uncomfortable and forced-try it the other way-picture it now in your minds eye-with something to rest the feet on , she does't look forced to hold them up.
ballarinas are soft and flowing-
make it flow from the stool to the hair line of the portrait(it maybe horizontal this way?) or from the hairline to the floorand tips of her toes.
I do hope this is making sence to you- it is hard not being in front of you showing you guys.
try it and tell me if you see a diference, ok
but she is posed great( I can't remember I do think you even posed the leg closest to the camera over the otherPERFECT)
have fun doing it again-i can't wait.
Debby



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8/25/2005 12:50:48 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  here


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8/25/2005 12:52:38 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
here


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8/25/2005 12:53:14 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
here


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8/25/2005 12:53:50 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Thanks Debby, this is exactly what I was hoping for. As for your statement about learning rules, I understand and agree. I know that art and creativity are about expression and not always within rules, but I agree that without knowing the rules you don't know when you are breaking them on purpose. I hope that makes sense.

Ok, for the ballerina pose, thanks for the compliments on what went right. On what you are saying to improve, let me see if I get it...

Either have her sit on a stool where her feet touch the floor like in your shot...
or have her sit in a chair like she is with her feet on a stool.

I think I see what you mean, I will give it a try when I get her in a portrait mood again.

By the way, I have a question about camera height. I have been putting the camera at eye level of the subject whether they are standing or sitting as much as possible. I have noticed that a few full length portraits seem off this way, the head looks good but the body seems a little out of perspective. Should the position of the subject afect the camera height?


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8/25/2005 2:02:59 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  tis is where- teaching stuff like this is soo tricky- Please bare with me.
when training I and the photographer had the advantage of shooting through monitors that we just taped the graph on to with auto striping tape.
Now if you are digital you can still do that with your computer-just shoot into it.
all I can say on the thread is try to picture the graph- and I will see if I can come up with a example -but for now i'll try to explain-
oh Tom-I am hoping I do this well-
about mid frame is eye level- and you all are freakin now aren't you-hold on.
zoom all the way in and mid frame on a head shot is eye level line( your lens is in the middle (35mm slr)the hair line is the little line on the graph. your lens is in the middle of your camera body-ok if you frame the head shot, bring the camera up to the eyes, but to putthe eyes at eye level you have to tilt down- now when you put the eyes about mid frame and the hair at what should be hair line - then zoom out to your full body- you may have to tilt ever so slightly- but you hair line should be pretty close to there.funny how it works-framing with eye level does work.full or head shot.
I will try to develop a way to discribe this better-will work with my son tonight. and for those of you who can shoot through a lap top or computer- well email me-i'll email you the graph-DON'T stick tape on your screen but print it and use a maker and that clear cling plastic(walmart has it) and copy the graph on there.-then you can turn it horizontal or vertical.
Tom please let me know if you understand this-sorry it's so hard.


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8/25/2005 2:22:45 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
heres the graph again


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8/25/2005 2:24:25 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
heres the graph again


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8/25/2005 2:24:49 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  see this is hard- cuz I get messed up with what I am typing.
NOW I printed it out and have it in front of me- and I messed up, in explaining-
Bring the camera up till the eyes are at eye level-mid frame, then tilt down to put the hair on the hair line-and you will have eye level.
the eyes are only on the line in horizontal portraits.
it is so much easier to stand in front of you and show you what I am talking about - then zoom out keeping the hair on the hair line - this should be close if not perfect framing.
sorry- is this better? go try for me Tom.lol


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8/25/2005 2:31:52 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  I think I see what you mean. I'm not sure what you mean by putting the graph on the display. After I hit the shutter release I see the image on the camera display but not while I am taking it. If you mean on my computer monitor then that is only after I download the images.
I think I can imagine the graph when framing the shot. I will try it out.


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8/25/2005 5:27:37 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Debby, sorry but I am getting confused with the graph.

The cross midway from top to bottom on the right side of the picture is the midline, correct? If so, I start with this line level with the eyes.

The small lines a little bit down from the top on each side is supposed to be level with the hairline, correct? If so, then I tip the camera down and line those lines up with the top of the hair.
That should put the circle around the head and the oval's top at the hairline. Am I getting this?

I think I see how you are setting the frame no matter whether the subject is big, small, sitting, standing, whatever...then I can zoom out to have the portrait be a head&shoulder, full length, etc.

When I tried this out it seems the camera is always at roughly the height of the subject's eyes with a tilt that is either very slight when far away to about 20 degrees when close in. Does that sound right?


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8/26/2005 10:07:54 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  That is EXACTLY right-and did you have as much trouble writing that as I did?lol,lol


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8/26/2005 10:40:54 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  It was a bit hard since I couldn't use an actual graph on my camera. The circle and oval were also confusing me since I was getting hung up on lining them up when that happens naturally when you concentrate on the lines.


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8/26/2005 10:49:52 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Hi!!!

I had the most adorable baby for portraits this afternoon. I've loaded some in my gallary, please have a look if you get a chance. It's the first 11 images. Any comments welcome!


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8/26/2005 11:53:58 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Hi Betsy, they are all great but I love the sitting portrait of "Little Angel." The eyes are perfect, right on the camera. I'd be buying a large framed copy of this portrait if I were the parent...


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8/26/2005 12:33:40 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  WELL DONE BETSY!!!! Adorable shots!! I just handed out a bunch of flyers today. I guess now I've got to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak! I'm SO nervous about my first phonecall!!


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8/26/2005 12:33:43 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Thank you!

The angel sitting portrait was actually one that I chose to enlarge, I also like the eye direction. I'm still battling a bit with eye direction. Mommies help a lot to get the smiles, but that makes it even more difficult to get the eyes. I tell them to come and stand right behind me and try to attract the baby's attention, and use a lot of squeky toys. I must say that I've noticed from my previous shoots as well that I do need to get more eye direction. I honestly don't know what to try!!!


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8/26/2005 12:41:25 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  GOOD LUCK LAURA!!

You know, Iíve only done 4 shoots for paying customers, and I hardly get nervous still. Like Debby said, the first year or two will be a learning curve and you must just accept that you are bound to make mistakes, but you will also learn very quickly when you are charging people. Then you will only want to give your best.

I just wanted to check again on poses for a 3 month old baby. I know you said the sleeping baby on tummy pose and trying to lift baby as upright as possible Debby, Iím just looking for some more inspiration please!!


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8/26/2005 1:02:52 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Betsy,
These are wonderful-You are doing fine . when it comes to eye direction:
Ok Guys,
you really have to try to be the one getting eye direction- mom should be at the side of the table.
and ask her to let you get the smiles, so you get those beautiful eyes as well.
and your using the right tools- go back and read thread one-You guys may have to do this now and then.
Laura, just down loaded it ,
witch is great!!
tiny babys BELIVE IT OR NOT respond best to (if mom is quite) and you just coo to the " your such a pretty baby" " your such a handsome little dude" " what a good boy or girl"
I really have often wondered what it is about humans that even as infants we crave this type of approval and love?
so why then do we grow up being mean or confussed when we hurt others,
that only want our approval as well??
If I knew I would have the PERFET marriage,yeah??
No, nothin' bad is going on- this is just stuff you start to learn and notice in family photography.
the funny things about humans.
but back to infants really try this you'll see -
I used to take a baby before photographying it, from mom and rock it and just coo and talk to them, until they either started to fall asleep or gave up that first gummy smile. This too would tell me where to go with this sitting- if they were falling asleep, then low lights and bed time poses, because chances were I was going to lose them midway through.
if they gave up the smile, I could do any thing with them.
Most Infant sittings are about body shots: the little hands holding dads or moms- the little feet in thier hands- the madonna poses- and then the Play room and crib shots.
Infant poses can be:
* besides standard body poses
* baby on top of a laundry basket full of towels.
* a tiny baby boy in side a catchers mitt-(make a outdoor scene, I posed the mitt against a rock, bat proped up against it and a ball in babys lap.)
* the crib poses
* baby in a mail box- with new delivery written on the side.


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8/26/2005 2:45:29 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
heres 2


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8/26/2005 2:49:38 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  and this sleeping pose is off- see how ackward the arm and hand look- I goofed.
I should have posed the little hand on top of the lamb- so it looked more comfortable and people looking at the portrait could see the little fingers.


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8/26/2005 3:01:02 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
  Betsy,
I love your new pictures! I especially love the first photo in your gallery, the Bathtime one with his big smile - what I great moment to capture!


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8/26/2005 3:08:48 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Your Baby shots are wonderful Betsy . . . congrats. . . I'm doing my first young child tuesday(10 month old) and I want one of those straw hats . . . looked everywhere today and not a one like that. . . I settled for one but I don't really like it . . . Anyway . . no strawbales either . . . guess I"ll just have to use the real thing and make a mess. . . got a feather duster to make them laugh and my remote came today . . . wooo hoooo . . sooo anyone know where I can get a straw hat like that . . .


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8/26/2005 4:57:04 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Hi Michelle,
The craft stores here have hay bales out for the Halloween displays. I will probably get a few soon. My wife has made it clear that no "real" hay bales are to come into the house :) She is worried about bringing in bugs from the fields and I know that even if there aren't any she will be uncomfortable. In the next few weeks there will be a lot more fall and Halloween decorations so I will have plenty of choices for "approved" set pieces.

A question for Liza and Cynthia: What are you using to create the collages you posted. I am playing around in Photoshop but not having too much sucess so far. Do you have templates or other programs that lay out the images?


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8/27/2005 7:24:48 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Hi Tom. . . I went to HObby Lobby yesterday thinking I would for sure find the hay bales. .. but they only had the real small ones which I debated about getting but didn't think they were really what I wanted. . . I don't really want to use the "real thing" either but may have to at first. . . Usually walmart has that stuff out by now too and they didnt' have it out either . . .


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8/27/2005 7:36:53 AM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
 
 
 
Hi Tom,
I just received some great links from "Katherine Kuck" here at BP. I also tried some stuff on my own. But rather than tell you how I did that (might be a little confusing :) ), I will give you the links. Here they are! Let me know if you have anymore questions about them...

http://www.digitalscrapbookplace.com/university/tutorials/ps_basicpage.shtml

http://www.escrappers.com/photoshopatoz.html

Here is an example of one I did from these pages...


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8/27/2005 7:47:55 AM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
 
 
  Emily K
Emily K
Another, thing...if you need to place one picture in another and it's not the right size, use the Transform Key under "Image" (for me, I'm on a MAC, might be different for PC...or on a PC use ctrl+T). Hope this helps.
© Cyndee Wanyonyi
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Hi Tom,
I just received some great links from "Katherine Kuck" here at BP. I also tried some stuff on my own. But rather than tell you how I did that (might be a little confusing :) ), I will give you the links. Here they are! Let me know if you have anymore questions about them...

http://www.digitalscrapbookplace.com/university/tutorials/ps_basicpage.shtml

http://www.escrappers.com/photoshopatoz.html

Here is an example of one I did from these pages...


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8/27/2005 7:48:11 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
 
 
  Ballet moments
Ballet moments
First try, hope to get better.
© Tom Sheridan
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Thanks Cynthia. The links are great, I figured out some of the functions but my results are a bit boring. I think I need to play with sizing and placement. The ballet montage above is not what I envisioned, it doesn't flow if that makes sense.
I guess to be good at portrait collages I need to know a little about what collages should look like! Oh boy, another thing to learn. I'm just kidding though, I like to learn new forms...


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8/27/2005 8:28:42 AM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
  Hi Tom,
One way that your collage could "flow" is to select a high number of feather pxls in PS when you use the selection tool. That way, when you transfer the other photo, it will kind of melt into the other phtoograph.

Scott Kelby's book, "The Photoshop Elements 3 Book for Digital Photographers" is priceless with information about stuff like that. I bought mine on Amazon for $23. Great stuff!


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8/27/2005 2:39:01 PM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
  Hi Tom,
One way that your collage could "flow" is to select a high number of feather pxls in PS when you use the selection tool. That way, when you transfer the other photo, it will kind of melt into the other phtoograph.

Scott Kelby's book, "The Photoshop Elements 3 Book for Digital Photographers" is priceless with information about stuff like that. I bought mine on Amazon for $23. Great stuff!

PS>>>> another way to make it "flow" is by adjusting the opacity of the new photos...


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8/27/2005 2:39:51 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Tom . . . When wanting to do collages I have found that I have to think collage when pressing the shutter and plan ahead so to speak . . . not that it can't be done without doing that but for me it does come alot easier when I've taken shots to use for potential backgrounds, etc. some come to me with ease and others it takes me a day or two . .. sometimes it stretches my creativity to the max LOL


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8/27/2005 3:00:46 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
  Hi guys,
I need help! I am going to take a family picture for my neighbors tomorrow morning. We are going to be taking it outdoors (it is supposed to be overcast, but it might also be sunny as we never seem to follow the forcast!) because they want to include their Golden Retriever. At first I thought, no problem, I take pictures of my two Goldens all the time. But now I am worried because I want it to look professional. I have been outside playing with my camera settings all afternoon. Does anyone have any suggestions for outdoor portraits that they care to pass on (ie camera settings, posing, anything of interest). Should I be more concerned with aperature or shutter speed. I ask this only because of the big moving dog. It is so funny, I have take literally hundreds of pictures of my dogs, but now that it is for someone else, I'm a little nervous because I want to make sure that the picture is the best it can be. Thanks!!


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8/27/2005 5:50:15 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
  Hi,
I have one more question for all of you guys that do outdoor portraits. Do you recommend using electronic flash, or just natural light in a shaded area? Any tips from your experience would be VERY appreciated!
Thanks.


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8/27/2005 5:55:37 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Hi Lynn. I'm obviously not an expert at portraits yet but I have some experience outdoors. You don't say what time tomorrow morning but my experience is the earlier the better. I like very early light right after dawn but that is probably too early for people (unlike ducks and bunnies I have caught at first light...)

Open shade is good lighting usually and you can use normal exposure settings if the light is even which it should be unless you have sun leaking into the scene. If the dog is sitting you shouldn't need too fast of a shutter to freeze it so I would use the aperature you like unles it needs a slow shutter.

If you are not in shade for some reason it is trickier. I have had mixed results in sunny spots. Sometimes it works well at can give a nice backlight but more often I get "washed out" areas where direct sun hit. If you have help and a large reflector/diffuser you may be able to use the sun. I have one of those flip-out gold/silver/white reflector combination things that I used once in the uncovered mode as a diffuser for direct sun. It worked nicely but I was using afternoon directional sun, it would probably work in morning too.
Sorry I can't offer more experience at outdoor portraits but I am not there yet myself.


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8/27/2005 6:50:25 PM

 
Sandy Landon
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/24/2005
  Lynn, almost all the portrait I have done have been outside and in shade. I usually try to only use the natural light because the results are not as flat. If I cant get a reading that is going to work, I will sometimes resort to fill flash. I have never used full flash because it washes people out. If you have a reflector, use it. It is amazing how much it can fill in the shadows. I am just beginning this whole thing so I am in no way an expert. This is just what I have had good results with. Hope that helps.


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8/27/2005 7:02:06 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
  Thanks Tom and Sandy for your help! I'm going to take your advice and try it without the flash, just using natural light in the shade. I do need to get one of the diffusers that Tom was mentioning. I hope the portrait goes nicely tomorrow, because I would really like to become more proficient with a variety of settings. Thanks again for getting back to me so quickly!!


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8/27/2005 8:18:47 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
 
 
 
When I do morning shoots I try to get by without flash and just do some lightening in PSE if I need to . . . Evening sessions are different at least for me . . . if it's overcast and cloudy and I"m pretty much in open sky area I use some fill flash and it works fine . . tonight though I did a shoot and it was getting dark and the flash was just not wanting to work . . . I tried the omni bounce and it was too dark . . . took it off and it was too bright or not even . . . I even used the light meter but it was wanting a shutter of 1/30 to get the aperature I needed. . . I was able to adjust levels and they turned out okay but I wish they would be better. . . POsing is a whole other ball game for me .. . I have all these thoughts in my mind before I go and then when I get there their heights and stuff just don't work with what I plan . . . I even took benches, foot stools. . . anyway .. .here is the shot from tonight that I felt was the best. . . I sure hope they like it too LOL . . .


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8/27/2005 9:17:21 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
 
 
 
sometimes the pics upload and sometimes they don't! ARGH!!


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8/27/2005 9:25:32 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
 
 
 
Okay maybe this time . . . if not I give up!


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8/27/2005 9:31:33 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
  Michelle, your family picture looks great! Good posing, good lighting - the family should be very happy!!

When using your flash outside, where do you aim your flash head. I was playing outside yesterday with my camera and flash in late afternoon shade. The flash kept giving me blown out areas when I had it placed facing full forward. Also, what aperature do you recommend for outdoor portraits - I was thinking 8-11, but would appreciate any advice.
Thanks again!


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8/28/2005 6:51:03 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  I haven't done outdoor shoots, yet, so I'm not speaking from experience, but if you don't have a diffusion dome (works GREAT to fill in shadows even in BRIGHT sunshine in a swimming pool!!!) try to rubberband a white index card around the top of your flash and point the flash up at about 60 degrees. It should work just like the LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer (I have one I've never used, so far I like the dome) giving you a broader softer light for fill. If anyone else can correct or confirm me, please do!


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8/28/2005 7:07:42 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
 
 
 
GREAT JOB MICHELLE!

I did a few shoots over the weekend and am happy with how they turned out. I had a 3 month old baby this morning and tried my hatbox theme with her. I really need all of your professional opinions, I don't really know what to do with such small babies, especially when they won't lie on their tummy! I'm posting one I did with a bigger girl today as well. Please tell me if the tiny baby looks awkward. I propped her up with blankets, I noticed her arm on the side afterwards and thought I should have rather put it in... Please Help!!!


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8/28/2005 8:31:39 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  I wouldn't say awkward but the older girl definitely looks more at home. I acn't offer professional critique as much as our resident experts, but as a consumer I would buy the baby portrait. If the eyes were toward me I would like it even more but it is still adorable.

I see what you mean about the left arm but it also looks like she is relaxing because of the arm leaned back.


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8/28/2005 8:56:51 AM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
  Laura, thank so much for the tips!

Betsy, LOVE the older girl in the hatbox. The younger girl is also very cute - it is VERY hard to get the very yound babies to pose. I would definitely buy the portrait if I was the mom!


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8/28/2005 9:05:42 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
 
 
 
Thanks. Here's some more where I got the eyes Tom.


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8/28/2005 9:12:09 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Lynn . .. I used an f10-11 when I could . . . I went down to f8 on a couple because of the light .. my flash just was NOT giving me the results I wanted. . . the dad was taller and so I was trying make it more even ... I've never had trouble with flash outdoors like this before. .. it was weird. . . I just kind of have to experiment and play with it . . . I took about 3 shots of each pose so I could hopefully get the lighting right . . .

Laura. . . can you explain further on this index card thing . .. I'm going to have to figure out something . . . or what about this lumiquest thing .. . the omni bounce certainly didn't offer many any help last night!!! :-(


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8/28/2005 2:51:10 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Here is the url for the "pocket bouncer" which looks just like the Omnibounce I have. It spreads your light more evenly. The index card trick basically is to make one of these. take an index card, cut it to round off the front corners, fold it around your flash like the "pocket bouncer" is and rubber band it in place. I've read about this trick in several photography books as a cheap alternative to the store bought accessories. They also recommended rubber banding a white plastic spoon over the top of the flash so the light bounces and arcs out. If I can find anything to explain better on the Internet, I'll let you know.


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8/28/2005 5:07:55 PM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
  EXCELLENT JOB, Betsy! These are such cute shots! It's so encouraging to see someone excel (sp?) in studio shots in such a limited amount of time. They are sooo beautiful!


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8/28/2005 5:19:13 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
 
 
BetterPhoto.com Editor's Pick   Stuck on Jonah
Stuck on Jonah
© Liza M. Franco
Sony Cyber-shot DS...
 
  Jonah
Jonah
© Liza M. Franco
 
  Fi Fi
Fi Fi
© Liza M. Franco
 
 
Wow, everyone's work is so beautiful. This thread has been great, congratulations to everyone. This thread is worth every minute that I have to spend waiting for my old dial up to pull it up.

I had a mixed shoot today, I set up a shoot at the local coffee house and it was supposed to be pet portrait day, but I took a few of a friends little boy too. It has been so hot here and the poor little guy had pretend fall leaves sticking on him as his mom and dad dropped them down from above.

Fi Fi is a hyper, prissy little min pin. Now, she was a challange. My hat is off to those who photograph pets. Whew, that was a workout.


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8/28/2005 7:49:03 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Good evening everyone!!!
just got back from san francisco,
I will have to catch up tomorrow- but first:
TOM, Liza is releasing a CD of collage templets- this work she has shared with me is absolutly BEAUTIFUL, in her normal style I might add! It is dueto come back from the publisher at any time -so please contact her about it.
Just a note we,re hoping to have a class on Posing an dDesign in South Carolina in the very near future.
LYNN,
When Posing groups it is very important to pose in dimonds and triangles- Since you are on a tight sceduale-if you email me I will send you more instruction and graphs if time.I need to know how many in the group.
ok , also your subjects in the same rows together,weather 2 or 10 - make them 1/2 a head difference in hieght from each other.
Then the 2nd row subjects should be a full head difference in hieghth from the first row. and only 1/2 a head difference from each member in thier own row.
the dog should be between to family members in the first row.
if you email me with a phone number I will call and give ya what I can with such short notice-so sorry I was away for sat.and sun.
well , I do hope this helps.
Debby


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8/28/2005 10:15:19 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  LIZA THESE ARE SOOOO VERY GREAT!!!!!!
you did a great job!


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8/28/2005 10:17:38 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  I agree with Debby, Liza, these are gorgeous! I love the little boy's hair colour with the autumn theme and the little dog looks great! These are wonderful!!!


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8/29/2005 9:56:46 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  BETSY
THE HAT BOX IS A GREAT IDEA- JUST USE BLANKET ETC. TO PAD THE BOTTOM, AND BACK OF BABY AND AROUND THE SIDES TO HOLD BABY MORE SECURE AND UPRIGHT TEN YOU CAN ZOOM OUT AND GET THE WHOLE THEAME- TILT THE LID OF THE HAT BOX AGAINST THE OPEN BOX AND IF YOU NEED TO HIDE THE BLANKETS USED AROUND THE BABY- JUST DRAPE MORE PERALS.
THESE ARE REALLY CUTE AND THEY CAN WORK.
i KNOW YOU WERE GONE A BIT - BUT UP THE THREAD A BIT I DID GIVE YOU SUGGESTIONS FOR BABYS- BUT TILL ABLE TO SIT YES YOU ARE LIMITED.
I DO HOPE THIS HELPS
DEBBY


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8/29/2005 10:33:12 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Thanks Debby, it does! I was planning to put a pillow inside and let the baby lie sort of on top of the hatbox, but she was too big...I wish something that I plan will work out! I stressed and tried the next best thing. I also did angel and rose petal shots, so the whole shoot wasn't messed up at least. I should try sleeping baby, I just always feel people will be in a hurry and don't want to feel like I'm wasting their time. I think babies don't enjoy lying on their tummies, but when they sleep you can put them how you want them!

Thanks again!


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8/29/2005 11:46:04 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Debby,

you mentioned earlier in the thread that if I wanted help with my poses and wanted you to look at them I must post them to you and mark what I want help with, did you mean via e-mail? I really would appreciate all the help that I can get with my posing, I need to work a lot on that!


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8/29/2005 12:00:12 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Betsy I just had an idea for you. I've mentioned before that I use bean bags and they are great for positioning little ones who can't really hold themselves in place yet. What about making a tiny version of a bean bag that would fit in your hat box. You could take an old pillow case and fill it half full with styrofoam packing peanuts. Maybe cut the peanuts in half so that they would be softer and mold to the baby's shape better. I just remember hearing someone say that they used to refill their bean bags with packing peanuts when they seamed like they needed more filling over time. I haven't tried this so I'm not sure how comfortable it would be.

Another idea. What if you took one of those neck rolls that are made for when you're traveling and placed that right under the baby's head and shoulders and then had the rest of your cushioning under that to raise her up. Once you have all of your cushioning and the neck rest in place cover the whole heap with fabric and then place baby in there and drape your pearls and net tulle around.

I think your recent photos turned out really well. I know its hard when you have a certain image in mind and want it to be a certain way, I understand. The little girl in the hat box is adorable. Her skin tone is beautiful and the portrait has such a soft look about it.


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8/29/2005 12:08:14 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  bETSY,
YES EMAIL IS FINE.
LIZA HAS SOME GREAT IDEAS-TRY THEM.
BOY, HOW I WISH YOU GUYS AND LAURA WERE CLOSER-WE COULD HAVE SO MUCH FUN!
AND LIZA MOST LIKLY THINKS I'M A REAL GOOFBALL-THOUGH SHE SHOULD, SHE'S TALKED WITH ME BY PHONE-LAURA, I HEAR YOU AGREEING,STOP THAT,LOL
BUT THE CLASS WE WERE LOOKING AT DOING IS IN NORTH CAROLINA,LOL
I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE I'M GOING HALF THE TIME.LOL


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8/29/2005 12:19:23 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Thanks, Liza your ideas are great! I have been going through my baby's photo albums to try and learn from the poses I did with them. I need to still put some thought into small babies, I'm comfortable with trying to pose bigger babies. When I stress up like this I just want to buy more props, but I have realised that even nice props don't help when you don't know how to pose the baby. I know, you mentioned about first learning my posing in the beginning of the first thread already Debby! I think I just need a few 'safe' poses, I'm planning to at least buy a moses basket and see from there. I think for now I also need to look through everyones gallaries to steal some ideas!!! Thanks for all the help, and Debby, if you're not too busy to help, I'll send you some that I am wondering about. Thanks again.


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8/29/2005 12:28:35 PM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
  what's a moses basket?


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8/29/2005 2:12:11 PM

 
Ruben L. Wade
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2005
  A Woven baby basket/crib.


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8/29/2005 2:35:14 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  The shoot went well today .. . some things I wish had been different but overall I like the images. . . the remote cord is a definite PLUS!!! Anyway .. I Posted the collage in my gallery ..will be posting more later one tonight hopefully!


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8/30/2005 1:13:20 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  GREAT collage!!! Looks a lot like my Country Boy collage!! What a great job you did! Can't wait to see more! Are the other photos with the golfer and tractor from the same shoot?


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8/30/2005 1:56:09 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Hi Laura. .. Thanks for looking . .. The other two are my boys that I took the other day! I couldn't wait to start on the collage. .I have the others worked just need to upload. .. :-)


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8/30/2005 2:36:54 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
 
 
 
Debby, I just read your note to me about the posing. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I had already taken the pictures on Sunday. It was supposed to be done in the morning, but they were done at around 3 pm instead. I had very limited shade to work with and the sun kept popping in and out of the clouds. I realy need to work on the outdoor portrait shots more. Here is one of the shots. I would appreciate any advice on lighting,etc. The dog should have been posed better - every time I do this I learn something new.


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8/30/2005 3:46:54 PM

 
Lynn Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/30/2005
 
 
  image 1
image 1
© Lynn Snow
Nikon D1X Digital ...
 
  image 2
image 2
© Lynn Snow
Nikon D1X Digital ...
 
 
Oops, I don't know what just happened. Let me try this one more time.


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8/30/2005 3:50:02 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
 
 
 
I think your shots look nice Lynn . . . dogs aren't always cooperative.. . everyone looks nice and relaxed. . . I got the rest of my pics from the shoot today in my gallery . .. it's easier for me then to try to get them to upload here but I will try one time to see if I can get them to go . ..


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8/30/2005 10:33:57 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Michelle, I really like "country boy"... how cute.


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8/31/2005 6:47:30 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Great job, Michelle! Makes me want to trade my little John Deere rider for a larger pedal version, though! Great shots. Nice collage work! Looks like we're all doing collages these days!! :)


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8/31/2005 7:56:54 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Thanks Laura! Went to a farm toy auction on Sunday and they had about 6 of the pedal tractors . . . they were made a little different though . . this one I have is smaller then the ones there. . . we were going to buy a new one because ours was all faded but didn't get one bought . . . so my husband just took this one apart and repainted it for me. We did buy a little red farmall one so hopefully I will get some use from it as well . . it's the one you see in those little boys in overalls pictures that say you been farming long . . . I love doing the Collages. . . it can be an endless journey of possibilities :-)


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8/31/2005 8:36:47 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  HEY! Anyone heard from Debby lately? Debby, where are you???


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8/31/2005 10:45:21 AM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Laura, I talked to Debby today. She isn't feeling well but is hoping to be back on tomorrow.

Ok, for tonight I am Debby's stand-in. Lynn, Debby asked me to let you know that the photos are GREAT! GREAT! GREAT! She said she has some suggestions for you, and that you did a wonderful job.

Well gang, I thought I had finally found my best lighting set up to date, put tape down on the floor to mark it and breathed a nice sigh of, "ahhhhh...." I went into my studio yesterday and found that someone had removed my pieces of tape the day we had my daughter's birthday party in the studio area. Like my husband said, someone probably was just trying to clean up and figured it was tape from presents. Back to the old drawing board.


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8/31/2005 7:06:41 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Thanks, Liza. If you talk to her again, let her know we're asking for her and miss her. I'll try to call her tomorrow. I meant to today, but time got away from me.

SORRY to hear about your tape!!! That stinks! When you get it figured out again...Take pictures of your setup!!! Take measurements from walls, backdrop, etc, write/type them right on the photos in PS!! Just an idea! You have the camera already... :)

I HAVE A MATERNITY SHOOT!!!! I talked the owner of my son's school into a shoot...just in time! She's due in like 3 weeks! She said to call her tomorrow and set something up. She's convinced she won't like the photos but is doing me a favor for my portfolio. I told her she doesn't even have to look at them if she doesn't want to, but if she changes her mind and likes them, I'll print her 8x10 and smaller prints for free for doing it for me. I'M SO EXCITED!!!! I have so many ideas for poses etc. I CAN'T WAIT!!!! Any tips or suggestions???


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8/31/2005 7:25:21 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
 
 
  Girlie Shoes
Girlie Shoes
© Liza M. Franco
Sony Cyber-shot DS...
 
  Waiting for You
Waiting for You
© Liza M. Franco
 
  The Fern Fairy
The Fern Fairy
© Liza M. Franco
 
  Soft Natural Glow
Soft Natural Glow
© Liza M. Franco
 
  Pretty Mommy
Pretty Mommy
© Liza M. Franco
 
 
Laura, that is exciting. I'm sending you some that have been favorites with the moms. I have more for you, I just need to get permission from the mom tomorrow before I put her photos on the internet.

I found something that was really special for the mom is to take a glamourous type portrait of her without her belly showing. After being pregnant for many months, some women just need a little reminder of who they are minus the belly. I try to take a nice shot from the shoulders up and let them decide if they want accessories or not. It usually makes them feel really good about their appearance again when they are feeling like they are all belly.


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8/31/2005 9:33:22 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  THANKS LIZA! I actually was out last night at Wal-Mart buying baby shoes in size 1 for exactly that type of image (your first one). I also have a faux mink/sable throw blanket I bought a while ago for shoots. I can have the mom both laying on it and have it wrapped around her shoulders like a stole for bust shots. I figured the same thing...who wouldn't want to feel and look galmorous at 8-9 mos pregnant! I'd love to see more! Thanks so much!!! Looks like I'm on the right track! I REALLY want her to see them and go "Wow!" and like them when she doesn't expect to. She says she just feels HUGE and would hate to see all that in a portrait. We'll see... :)


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9/1/2005 6:58:35 AM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hey everyone, thought I would join this thread as it has been thoroughly informative. Thanks Betsy for note on the move!
Ok so I am trying to get into this whole photography thing and have purchased a canon 20d with 17-85 isusm lens, a 50 mm 1.8 and a 420 flash. I need to buy some studio light but am at a complete loss as to what to get. Strobes or continous? What are all you guys using, please help out a newbie and give me ideas about what ot buy and where, and prices if you have an idea. I want to take pics of babies/kids/maternity etc and am really excited about it but want to have all the right equipment. I have taken great shots of my baby just playing around but would like to do more. Any suggestions would be helpful. Any everyone, thanks for being here, all your info has been great! Thanks, Debbie.


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9/3/2005 1:06:13 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Welcome Debbie, you found an informative thread here. I am also new to studio work as you may see above. I am still an amateur but may want to do this as a side business at some point. I went with a low-end strobe setup since I won't be using the lights constantly and balanced the low cost of a "disposable" light over higher costs of better systems. That is a choice based on my thinking that if I ever make money at my hobby I can invest in equipment. By disposable I mean that changing the flash tube is not a consumers option on some monolights like mine but would need to be done at a cost almost as high as the cost of the light. Better systems have user-changable flash tubes that you would just order and change yourself.

My choice of strobe over continuous lighting was based on my experimenting with workshop lighting (like Sears clamp-on halogen lights). I didn't like the heat they produced and could not get natural looking portraits. The strobes have been easier to work with since they do not add much heat to my living room/home studio. I have a set of 2 JTL J-160's with stands, umbrellas and a case for about $300 from Adorama.com but the pricing can go into the thousands for better systems. Hot lights start cheaper but can also climb with modifiers like softboxes, etc. I knew I would eventualy want the strobes so I skiped buying a hot light system.

Your camera runs rings around mine (a Canon Digital Rebel) and I think it has more options for controlling strobes. To fire mine I need a hot shoe adaptor to use a synch cord to my strobes. I think you have a port for that already on the 20D and you may even have some wireless capabilities that will fire strobes with that feature. You might want to get some advice from someone familiar with your camera before you buy anything.
As you will probably see elsewhere on BP forums, some popular places to shop are adorama and B&H Photo (both online) and for used equipment KEH is recommended but I have not purchased anything personally. I have purchased quite a bit on eBAY but the usual warnings apply, check the feedback on the vendor and especially read the negative ones. I have not had a problem with anything I have purchased but when I get something very cheap I expect it to be a cheap product if that makes sense... So if you buy a $1 light stand, expect it to be worth a buck.
One other thing that I did without for a short while but broke down and bought recently was a flash meter. If you decide to use strobes it is essential. Without one the camera's light meter will not produce the right exposure when using strobes and to set it correctly manually you need the settings from a flash meter. Or you can do it through trial and error, taking a photo at every aperature and seeing which one is exposed correctly. That was ok for me practicing on myself and my family but you couldn't do that with customers.

Hope this helps.


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9/3/2005 1:46:43 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
 
 
  Pregnant Sophisticate
Pregnant Sophisticate
© Liza M. Franco
Sony Cyber-shot DS...
 
  Pregnant Beauty 1
Pregnant Beauty 1
© Liza M. Franco
 
  Pregnant Beauty 2
Pregnant Beauty 2
© Liza M. Franco
 
 
Hi Laura, sorry, it took a while for the mom to get back to me, she's a busy lady. I tried to put to photos together to save some room on here. I couldn't believe you mentioned buying a mink, we obviously think alike. Mine came from my granny and has gotten lots of good use in my photos. She always told us all, "when I leave you all stuff after I go, use it or sell it." She didn't want us to keep it packed away in a closet not using it and trying to save it. I use the heck out of that mink. I hope I'm not too late getting these to you, I wasn't sure when you had scheduled your shoot. Let me know how it goes.


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9/3/2005 3:24:13 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  NOPE! You're not too late. She'll be in later next week. I have a TON of ideas. I bought just a fake fur throw blanket, it's satin on one side and mink on the other. It'll look a lot like the one you have in the photos! Just not quite as luxurious! :) Thank you so much for these! I just put together a whole 9 month maternity package today that I'm really excited about...now to get those pregnant women early.... can you say flyers in OB/Gyn offices??? :)


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9/3/2005 3:35:33 PM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Thanks for getting back to me Tom... Your info has proved useful and I will go look into those lights that you have. I was looking into the photoflex starlite kit but thats continious lighting, is this not good? Supposedly there are good at keeping cool etc but I know noone that has used this, better to go with what others use right? I may rent a batch of the two from my local store and see what suits me. I love the idea of a soft box and keeping the soft lighting but your pics look great with the umnbrella! Too much stuff to buy, jeez, what with the backdrops, props, light meters, I'll be broke before I get started!!!!! All in the name of doing something we love right??? Thanks again Tom...


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9/3/2005 8:10:06 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
 
 
 
Laura,

not that they are great ideas, but I had a maternity shoot that you can look at on my website.

www.photographicsgallery.net

under recent shoots

Kristin and Baby shoot

here are a couple posted for examples

If I might ask, what is your 9 month maternity package?

thanks for any info you might be willing to share.

amber


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9/3/2005 8:15:08 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
 
 
 
I hate it when I forget to sign in.

sorry!

amber


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9/3/2005 8:16:33 PM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Hi Debbie, I am glad it helps. I think the idea of renting first is excellent, you may find you like a certain type of lighting before buying it. As for hot lights keeping cool, the fans, etc on the lights will keep the light itself from overheating I suppose. The heat from the lights still has to go somewhere and will raise the temperature in the room at the very least. That was my problem, the subject got pretty hot and the entire room got warmer.
I am sure many people use hot lights and are happy with them but I decided to skip them and go straight to strobes.
Good luck on your decision.


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9/4/2005 4:36:18 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Debbie, I just recently bought a set of Britek strobes recommended by Debby Tabb. I'm the reason why she dubbed this the cooked husband thread...Lowe's hotlights and my poor hubby! We were trying to get my lighting corrected, and by the end of each 45 min - 1 hr session, my husband was bright red and looked like he had a sunburn! I LOVE my strobe set an cannot for the sake of your clients/subjects recommend hotlights. Just my two cents! :)

Amber, THANKS SO MUCH!! I actually found a link to your site on another thread and marked it in my favorites for future inspiration! I recognized your portraits immediately! I'll e-mail you what I have come up with.


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9/4/2005 6:18:55 AM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hey Laura, thanks for the imput. What light kit did you buy from britek and how many, I saw that there were two/three light kits with umbrellas etc!
I love your pics buy the way, it seems like it will take me forever to get to that point but start as you mean to go on right! I wanna set up studio in my house so need something that is pretty easy to set up and move around, do you like these lights? Where did you get them and how do they work with your camera? I have the 20 d canon! What lens are you using fopr the portrait kids shots, they are too cute!!! Thanks again, Debbie..


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9/4/2005 5:18:59 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Debbie, Thank you so much for your sweet words on my work! I've seen such progress since May when I joined BP, especially since I got my studio lights! I got them from Steve Kaesar on his e-bay store. It was a 4 light kit with an umbrella and softbox, a big bag and other accessories! VERY portable (although I haven't actually tried, yet LOL!) I LOVE THEM! Shoot me an e-mail and I'll e-mail you back some information (too much to put in here) I use my Nikon D70 with the kit lens (mine came with a 28-80mm) I don't have a special portrait lens, yet, but this one works great for now! The little blonde boy is my friend's son, the older boy and little girl are my little ones. No paying clients yet!!! Here's hopin! I put out a BUNCH more flyers today, so we'll see!


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9/4/2005 5:49:38 PM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hey Amber.....

I saw your pics of the maternity shoots and the others posted here on the forum. Do you use any studiolights for the studio pics or just your 580 ex. I have the same camera and lens and the 420 ex. Just wondering what I should go out and buy. Thatnks for the imput and keep up those fantastic shots.

Debbie...


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9/6/2005 8:05:48 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Debbie,

thank you for your kind words.

I do have a studio and I have 4 alien bee strobes that I use. (2 B400's and 2 B800's).

for the maternity pics on the black background I only used my front to lights though.

amber


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9/6/2005 8:51:05 AM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hey all, can anyone recommend a good light meter that won't break my bank balance, still trying to figure out what lights to buy. What were the lights that you mentioned Debby!?

Thanks everyone.

Debbie.


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9/6/2005 12:21:51 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Hi Debbie! Did you get my e-mails earlier today? Debby was actually the one who recommended the Britek lights from Steve that I sent you information on.


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9/6/2005 1:31:06 PM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hey Laura, forget that emails were going directly to me. Ok so I'll look into those. Can you recommend a good light meter? Thanks, Debbie.


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9/6/2005 1:45:21 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Sorry, I don't have one, yet! Let me know if you find a good one. I'll probably need one eventually, but not til I make some money back that I've already spent! LOL!


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9/6/2005 2:07:10 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  I just bought the sekonic L-308S Flashmate from Adorama and I like it. . . I'm still learning all the quirks with it and haven't figured out how to really use it when using my flash . . . but I like it for outdoor lighting as well as with my studio lights. . . it is both incident and reflective I believe! It cost I think $185.00(with shipping) from Adorama. That is high but it does really help!


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9/6/2005 8:03:44 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!
I had to direct my attention elsewhere for a time and look at this thread!!
Laura you and Liza have really kept it going.
Debbie, Please don't invest in a light meter. Invest in better lights instead
(the ones Laura mentioned are wonderful-I use them myself)-you have a digital camera, and really will not get much use of it.
I never use one. When you get your lights test at 200/f22 and then post.
I can see from those exact settings what may be needed.
I have truly missed you all, I just was not feeling well again and had to much to take care of.
Debby


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9/6/2005 9:40:55 PM

 
Ruben L. Wade
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2005
  Hi guys! About the light meters. A well known portrait photographer ( Monte Z') said in a lecture that since digital arrived he had no use for his light meter. As I have come to learn, if you buy a quality light system that can adjust to the settings of the camera you don't need a light meter. My favorite sets are made by Bowens for Calumet and are a great value! This set is the travelite strobe lighting system. Sure you spend $2000.00 but you will get what you pay for. A Three(750ws) main light system and 2 Radio control triggering system(litelink) Check it out (Calumet.com)


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9/6/2005 10:07:05 PM

 
Ruben L. Wade
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2005
  Attention! I am looking for exerienced Portrait photographers based in the San Diego Area to work full or part time as independent contractors. If interested please E-mail me.


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9/6/2005 10:12:25 PM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hey Debby, thanks for your imput. So the lights recommended after reading Laura's e mail are the britek 4 light kit that $579 from Steve Kaeser, there are so many on his web site. I don't have an y lights yet and am still trying to get to grips with my camera, (20d)17-85 lens and a 50mm. What do you reckon as good portrait lenses, can I get buy with these. My space at home is limited but I have yet to talk my husband into moving our room to the spare so I can have the big room. NOt sure how that one will go down! Maybe someone can just come here, move in for weeks on end teach me everything and wow that would be so much easier right!!!!? Lesson learned is to be patient I guess!!

Thanks All.

Debbie.


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9/7/2005 7:53:48 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  If that's in your price range, it's a great set, I think. There was another set that had the Pro-500 as the main and used the HS-1000 at the fill. The HS-100 is my main and I have a PS-200 as my fill. The better set is about twice the price, but includes a backdrop stand and 4 muslins!!! A great buy, I think, if you need all of that. (Wish he had that on there when I bought all of my equipment!!) Otherwise, he might have just the higher-power light set on there. I haven't looked recently.


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9/7/2005 8:05:27 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Good Morning,
Yes the light set up that Laura mentioned is exactly what I would recommend- any set you pick with the britek lights will be a great set to work with.If you need I will take a look later, for you.Or Laura can be of great help.
The set Ruben Mentioned is a very good set and I am concidering using them, do to the work I am helping him with.
But , I do not recommend them at this time, due to the cost and the minamal set combinations-the Britek are just as good and versital and at a much more affortable price range, with as you know many, many combinations to choose from.
My suggestion is always "Don't buy what you do not absolutly need, when just opening up your company"
Now, Debbie, I don't know where you are located-But, there is a 2 day class forming in North Carolina : 1) day of Poseing and the 2nd day of Photo Shop and design-Taught by Liza(her work speaks for it self)
If that would be of intrest to you the e-mail one of us.Or Justin.
I do hope this has been of some help,
Debby Tabb


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9/7/2005 8:26:13 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Just a note: I have a 3 or 4 light system that I will be placing on ebay soon-every thing is included with the set. it should go for $1,000.00 +
but if someone is intrested, just email me.


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9/7/2005 8:36:42 AM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hi everyone! Ok , please forgive the newbie with the million questions but here goes. Debby and Laura, and someone else I think recommended these lights from stevekaeser on ebay, lots of greta sets to choose from but before I make my final expense I want to make sure I get it right. I have looked at the kits and am now confused. What does the whole 420w/s, 960w/s, 540w/s all mean. I know that its a power thing, I guess the brightness of lights or something but which do I buy? Does the amount of space that I have make a difference to what lights I get/power? He has a big set of 950w/s with muslins and stands etc but that seems too much especially on my budget. Is 480w/s enough? Why is this so confusing. I admit I am very new at this and just have passion for this so want to fulfill this for myself but I don't want to mess up on a big expense. iF anyone can just fillin the newbie, it will be much appreciated and I can get my order placed and not look at the check. Tnanks everyone... Debbie.


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9/7/2005 9:44:21 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Debbie,
If you give me the day- I should be able to find the time to look for you.
My set for sale is a complete set of britek from steve( main, fill back and possibley a hair light-all tri pods and snoots and barn door). With the back ground holder.
I can see what I can find that would be the best in your price range.
the size of room doesn't matter to much as these have ajustable power.
but , I'm sorry if this has been answered- but please give the dimentions again.?


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9/8/2005 5:53:53 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Deb,
sorry I have looked here and can't seem to find the amount you would like to pay for a light system??
could you give me a range?
thanks


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9/8/2005 6:36:14 AM

 
Angela K. Harter   hi ladies! what a great tread!!! there is so much info in here... hard to read it all in one sitting:) anyhow, I was wondering if you guys could give some advice.... I was just asked to do a wedding last minute but I have never done one before... what is a good price range for a newbie on this? a thing to keep in mind is i'm good at outdoor pictures but I don't have lighting for indoor... i'm really nervous to do this but she's in a pickle and needs some quick! any help would be wonderful!!! thanks a bunch, angie


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9/8/2005 7:27:50 AM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hey Debby, thanks for responding... The sets I was looking at all vary in price. Like there is a 480 w/s with a muslin and support for $499, a nice price range for me, then there is 540/60 or something w/s that is $579 or there abouts and one that is a $1000 with 960 w/s, four muslins and support but out of my price range considering other things I need to buy. So ideally I would like to spend $500-600 but I want to make sure I get the right stuff with the right power. I have no idea how to use studio lights but feel I should just get everything I need and get crackin! My camera is the 20d with 17-85 is usm lens and I have the 50mm f1.8. Would you reckon these are good lenses to have or is there another out there. Another photographer I know uses the 50mm all the time, kinda seems like the $600 I spent on the other for nothing sometimes but I love it!
I really apreciate all the feedback that I have been given from this thread.

Hey Debby, where are you located? I am in San Francisco!

Thanks all.


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9/8/2005 7:38:15 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  I have a Minolta camera and I use my 50mm 1.4 lens almost always when doing portraits. If I'm doing a group I will sometimes use my Tamron 28-75 2.8 one but most of the time I always use the 50mm and for me it works great. IT is probably the least expensive lens I have in my bag because I bought it used off of ebay for around $25.00


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9/8/2005 7:44:25 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Hi Anglea and welcome,
No matter how good you maybe with out door shots- Please keep in mind the HUGE responcabliity of a wedding-even those who have done them before have written me that they realized how much they were missing after theey looked over my cd on the required poses of a wedding.
My suggestion to those that are in the same position you are is to charge a min. 300.00-400.-for the first couple times, a price you would not worry about repaying is things did not go well.The idea is to build your portfolio-so though you do this cheap-take advavtage of the fact that you are giving them a deal- and get them to work with you on some of the extra shots you would like in your portfolio.
If you give me a idea as to what you are working with I will help you with some ideas of equiptment.
Hey Debbie,
I live in San Diego. And will take a look at the best deal in that price range- the things you have to look at when looking at lights is how many do you think you will shoot at one time- I do many large families and events, so my kit is capible of lighting 30+ people.
I will take a look and post some back- and I use many lens but my 28-100 is best for me-I go from full body to head shot with out moving the tripod-and that works.
I do hope this helps,
Debby


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9/8/2005 8:33:58 AM

 
Angela K. Harter   Debby, thanks for the advice! all I have is my cannon eos digital rebel:( not that it's a bad camera but I have no lighting at all other than the flash on that.... and a tripod... that is the extent of my equipment... I have till the 8th of oct. to get anything else I may need (and have time to figure it out lol) without a lot of spare change laying around... oh and I just have the lens it came with (i think it's 18-55) thanks again!!!!


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9/8/2005 8:49:47 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  If you don't have a spare battery for your camera I would say that is an absolute necessity unless it a very small affair of only a couple of hours. Regardless the peace of mind of a spare is nice. Also extra memory cards. I did a wedding in March and used 3 cards. 1 gb and 2 512k. They weren't full but I kept pre ceremony on one, ceremony on one and reception on one.


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9/8/2005 9:53:34 AM

 
Angela K. Harter   thanks! I never thought about an extra battery....or the extra cards!


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9/8/2005 10:00:46 AM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Thanks Debby, you are a gem. So I would probably only be lighting up to five people, mainly children, and their mommies and daddies! Some maternity shoots also when I get the hang of it, I have many friends who are expecting right now and have asked me to take pictures and are willing to be guinea pigs!! What brand is that 28-100, and in a small space is that ok! How far away from 2/3 people are you for full body, head shots. Guess I'll go check sopmething out at the local store.
Thanks alot Debby!


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9/8/2005 10:07:48 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Hi All! Been reading all morning, and thought I'd chime in! Welcome Angela!!! I'd also suggest a list of poses/shots! Find a list of traditional poses, talk to the bride and groom about what they want and don't want from that list and add others they may want. Then add some you'd like to try for your portfolio! Keep it on hand on the big day!!!

MY MATERNITY SHOOT FINALLY SCHEDULED!! She's coming in on Tuesday at 12:30pm! I CAN'T WAIT!! I have so many ideas...I hope she doesn't have any place to be afterward, she may be here a while!! LOL!


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9/8/2005 10:18:41 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Angela,

Welcome.

I don't mean to be at all a downer, but if you have never shot a wedding and you don't have much if any equipment, then you probably need to have a talk with the bride and groom.

Make sure that they know that the pictures that you take may or may not turn out as they hope they will.

At my first wedding, I made sure that the couple knew this and I also encouraged as many other people that wanted to take pictures during the formals to do so. It took a little while longer, but I wanted to make sure that they had good pictures from somebody.

I'm not at all saying not to do it, everybody has to start somewhere, just make sure that they understand that this isn't something that you have done before. At my first wedding, I didn't charge more than cost and at minimum I would buy more memory cards and and spare batteries, and an off camara flash.

good luck!

amber
www.photographicsgallery.net


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9/8/2005 10:30:36 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  I agree Amber. . . the first(and probably only) wedding I did came as a complete shock. . . I had did this couple's engagement pictures in December. The mom had tried to talk me into doing the wedding but at the time I didn't have a digital camera and said I wouldn't even consider doing it without one. After they got their engagement pictures back they loved them and about a week later they called and asked if I would do the wedding . . . I about choked. . . I told her I needed to do some research and think about it. . . anyway . . . I also told her that if I did do it that I needed reassurance from her and the groom (who were both delightful people to work with I might add) that they understood that this was my first wedding and really first major experience overall in photography and that some things may just not turn out like we wanted. .. they were wanting more of a photojournalistic approach and not alot of formal stuff. . in the end I agreed. . . the experience as a whole was wonderful and I'm glad I did it .. .the pictures came out okay in my terms but they thought they were great. . . all they wanted from me was a CD with the images on them. I did go in and edit a big majority of them because the lighting caused me some issues, but they overall were very satisfied. I'm not sure I will ever do another one . . .but the biggest thing is to let the couple know your reservations and your limitations so that they are aware of any situations that might occur!

Good Luck!


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9/8/2005 10:45:02 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  I'll try to post some examples this afternoon of my first paid wedding vs. my first actual wedding.

Can't believe I'll even claim responsibility for the first actual one.

Couple was fine with it though, because they knew it was my first. It was free for them and that's the price range they needed.

amber


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9/8/2005 10:52:45 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
 
 
 
okay, first 2 are the first wedding shot and then next 4 are from my first PAID weddings.

vast difference obviously. I didn't charge until I thought that they were worth paying for.

The thing is though, I thought that I was going to get great images that first wedding. I had all the same equipment, just shows you that just because you have expensive equipment, doesn't mean you know how to use it.

:)

Like I said though, eveerybody has to start somewhere, or they'll never get any experience.

amber


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9/8/2005 11:10:52 AM

 
Sandra 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/31/2002
  Hi, Debby, Laura, Betsy, I'm realy enjoying this thread, for us that still have dail up PLEASE start part 3.
Thank Ya'll so much!
Sandra


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9/8/2005 11:27:21 AM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  I'm with Sandra on that one. Debby please work your magic for us.


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9/8/2005 11:31:36 AM

 
Angela K. Harter   thank you all so much for the advice!!! you have all been so helpful... I spoke to the bride just a little while ago and she is FULLY aware that this is my first and I got lucky because it will be an outside wedding!!! now, as far as the pricing... I will have to drive almost 2 hours away to do this... I agree you can't charge a lot at all but i'm thinking I need to a little... and how much do you charge for a cd? that is a really good idea!!!


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9/8/2005 11:32:14 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  When the bride contacted me she offered me $500 to do it on CD. She was wanting me for about 7 hours of time. I ended up being there longer but that was my choice and I was enjoying the atmosphere. Of course she also said that was negotiable but like you it being my first I was willing to try it for that. I don't think I ended profiting much after I bought some of the things I needed to but it was good experience even if I don't want to do another LOL.


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9/8/2005 11:47:08 AM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  WOW!!! I've been a bit busy and when I looked in, I had a lot of catching up to do...

Welcome to everyone who has joined. You may think that you know little, but we're all learning a lot from each other!

I love the idea of maternity shots. Never thought I would do them, but after seeing all the great portraits I think I'll also give it a shot. Thank you so much, you guys are so inspiring! Please post some of your portraits when you've done your shoot Laura, I would love to see them!


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9/8/2005 11:58:36 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  One other thing you might want to visit with the bride about is Plan B . . . I just reread your post and saw it was an outdoor wedding . .. are you equipped and prepared for a Plan B. Not trying to give you 2nd thoughts or anything but planning ahead can be your biggest friend many times in situations like this . .. and although outdoor situations will be a great solution to having to deal with indoor flash you will still direct and indirect sunlight to deal with and that can be a real pain as well. . . what time will the wedding be? and will it be in a shaded area at all??


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9/8/2005 12:09:36 PM

 
Angela K. Harter   you have so many good points I would have never thought about... the wedding will be at a park near a waterfall... not sure how much shade there is! (guess I need to visit before hand) and i'm not sure if she has a back-up plan or not... i'm guess she would get married in the building her reception will be in... in that case, i'm in trouble:) but I did let her know i'm decent with outdoor and not sure on the indoor... I think i'm starting to regret taking this on lol


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9/8/2005 12:21:02 PM

 
Laura Clay-Ballard
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2005
  wow! a lot of info here .. I don't have the time right now to go through all of it, but, eventually I will get through it all. Fabulous information!


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9/8/2005 12:22:08 PM

 
Debbie Vega
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/23/2005
  Hey AMBER ....

Your wedding pics are adorable, congrats all around. What lens did you use for those pics. We have the same camera!!

Thanks

Debbie..


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9/8/2005 12:50:40 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Debbie,

Thanks for the compliment on the pics. I only posted them to show the vast difference in a first wedding which we were discussing above and then one where you have more experience. But of course, I always appreciate comments.

I have a 50mm 1.8, 85 mm 1.8 and a 17-85 mm, 18-55 mm all canon's and then I have a 28-300 mm tamron lens as well.

I am assuming I used the 50mm lens for those formals, but I'd have to go back and check.

Good Luck with starting your studio.

I have a website where I post about half of my shoots (the other half don't want them posted) and then I have some galleries too.

Take a look around for ideas if you want. They aren't the best, but it might give you some ideas.

amber
www.photographicsgallery.net


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9/8/2005 1:30:55 PM

 
Ruben L. Wade
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2005
  Hi! Just so you know, extra equipment can be rented at your nearest camera store. You don't have to buy. If you have a Calumet near by, they should be well stocked.


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9/8/2005 2:06:42 PM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  YES! I don't know why I didn't think of that, Ruben! Angela, you can rent equipment. I'd rent it well before the wedding to familiarize yourself with it, thought. You can try to make sure your costs are covered by what you're charging, if possible. Otherwise, even if you lose money on the deal, you have the experience and photos for your portfolio plus the chance to use new equipment before you buy anything!


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9/8/2005 2:15:07 PM

 
Angela K. Harter   great idea!!! now, any suggestions on what excatly to rent and where from (can you tell i'm completely new at this?!) i'm from indianapolis if anyone knows this area....

thank you guys soooo much for all the great advice!!!!


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9/8/2005 3:16:06 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  MY GOODNESS!!!
I was gone for the day to a fund raiser meeting and you all had a field day!- it will most likly take me till tomorrow to catch up.
but, Laura and Betsy I wiss you guys and see you have both emailed me, I hope to read those soon.
Yes, feeling a bit better, but Finding Photographers for Mr.Ruben is my next challenge-This venture of his looks to be a lot of fun for Photographers who want to learn family Photography.
You know Liza, Betsy,Laura, Michelle if ya'all loved me you'd get down here and help me out,lol,lol
As I get to know the rest of you,I'll start begging you to.
Hey Amber Your first(?) wedding shots are very good-just add a bit more body angles, but good job!! :-)
Debbie, And every one else, I geuss,
Have you all read the first thread and the 2nd ? are you really ready for thread 3? Shoot I don't know if I am caught up yet,lol,lol
Laura HELP!!!! have you copied all this yet and can I a copy,LOL
I do belive I am lost-Call me and catch me up.
I'll make you all a deal:
1) if I miss something you asked-please email me and remind me-ok
2) forgive me I will be running short of time in the days to come at least 4 mos. but I promise to try to keep up and send the answers I have, if you'll be a little patient with me.
my time free is at night and at 5:00- 7:30 am
thank you all for all the fun!!
I wish I could add ALL this to my books - you guys are great for interaction!and bouncing Ideas.
Ok that said-does everyone want thread #3? Tom, we need to here from you to .
hey , ya dude-you owe me some test pictures don't you,LOL


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9/8/2005 8:17:07 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  I'm game for part 3. . .

and where is it you are wanting us to come? LOL . . . I don't travel anywhere unfortunately!


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9/8/2005 8:23:02 PM

 
Ruben L. Wade
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2005
  Hi Angela! Try a local Photography store. If you can, find a calumet near you. try Calumet.com for locations near you.


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9/8/2005 9:07:38 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Angela,
The Canon Rebel is compatible with these speed lights:(550EX, 420EX and 220EX),
and as far as standard lens for a wedding ,I would have at least a
28-100mm
28-80mm
and maybe a 70-300mm
these will provide you with the ability to be just about anywhere and get your shot.
a tri pod also.
hope this helps,
Debby


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9/8/2005 9:42:21 PM

 
Betsy Labuschagne
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/3/2005
  Hey Debby,
you know if I was closer I would be there in a heartbeat!!! This sounds like a wonderful opportunity!!

I'm also game for a third thread.


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9/9/2005 5:03:21 AM

 
Angela K. Harter   thanks again everyone...you have all be such a great help!!!!


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9/9/2005 5:13:59 AM

 
Laura E. OConnor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/12/2005
  Debby, I've got it copied and saved for anyone who wants it!! Let's get that third thread going!


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9/9/2005 5:39:11 AM

 
Tom Sheridan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Hi all, I have been trying to keep up with this thread but it is exploding lately. I have been busy with work so I haven't done any new test shots. Also, my daughter just started school so I am giving her a break from modeling for a bit :)

The portraits everyone has posted have been great, I love the maternity shoots especially since they are different from what I do.

Angela, I have the same camera and you can do a lot with it. One of the functions that higher end cameras have that the rebel misses is a synch port for studio strobes but you can get adapters to add one via the hot shoe. As Debby mentions it works with the canon speedlites like the 550ex, etc. I have a 550ex and recommend it even though it is pricey. As you might see from my postings I am just a "serious amateur" but adding the 550ex has let me take better photos at events like family weddings. One feature of the 550ex is that you can control other flash units easily. I will probably add another 500ex or a 420ex to my bag at some point to be more flexible for portraits "in the field." The flashes synchronize through wireless channels so you wouldn't have to worry about other people's flashes setting your off.

If you are renting you might consider renting 2 or more flash units and a bracket to get the primary flash away from the camera as much as possible. Setting an attached 550ex to master and others to slave you can set the light ratios pretty easily from the manual on the 550ex. As I said I only have the one at this point but to avoid some of the lighting issues in reception halls I plan to add a second and try this feature.


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9/9/2005 5:53:31 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  OK GUYS HERE IS YOUR PART 3
"STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY RUNS WILD
OR THE COOKED HUSBAND IS A HAPPIER
CAMPER"(LOL)
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=19127

TO THOSE OF JOINING THERE IS A PART 1 , THIS PART2 AND NOW PART 3.
PLEASE READ PART 1 AS IT IS SOOO VALUABLE AND SOMETIMES IT'S NESSISARY TO GO BACK AND READ IT AGAIN.
***WE ALL WISH YOU A GREAT TIME AND ANSWERED QUESTIONS.


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9/9/2005 6:07:49 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  moving thread


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9/27/2005 11:14:34 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  due to recent intrest-moving the thread again


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9/30/2005 6:34:58 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 

THERE IS A PART #1:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=17534


AND A PART #3:

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=19127


HAVE A BLAST!!!!


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9/30/2005 2:08:31 PM

 
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