BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Jenny Stokes
 

Family portraits


How do I pick poses? I am new to photography and a friend of mine wants me to take some pictures of her, her husband and their 1 yr old. I am so nervous I won't take good pictures. And advice is appreciated!


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2/8/2007 8:42:17 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Jenny,
Please tell me about what you have available to use as lighting and backdrops ect. Are you attmepting indoor Studio or out door.
other then that, candids playing ect.
please try to look through the Studio Photography Threads (1-23) they will help alot.
I have been out sick the last week so I will check back later/ or better yet email me.
Wishing you th evey best,
Debby


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2/8/2007 9:08:44 AM

 
Jenny Stokes   Ah that would be helpful wouldn't it
:-)! They will be taken outside with a fountain behind them. Probably around 5:30 which is when the sun will be going down so the lighting would be pretty good. Any ideas...?


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2/8/2007 9:11:46 AM

 
W.    Hi Jenny,

Use a tripod.

Keep the sun behind them to minimize squinting, and use fill-flash to open up the shadows. You can control how much the ambient light influences your image by varying the shutter speed (but not shorter than the X-sync speed of course).

Instead of fill flash you can also try a reflector (http://www.lastolite.com/originalreflectors.php, D-I-Y, or foamcore) in front of your subjects.

TEST it in advance (with whomever you can trick into 'sitting' for you) at the same time of day and same angle towards the sun and something in the background to simulate the fountain. So you actually practice and get the technicalities down pat and won't trip over unpleasant, and unneccessary, surprises when it's curtain time. By then you'll have enough piece of mind to be able to concentrate on the posing and communicating with your subjects.

Posing tips? Make a ranked list of which you want to do, in order of 'importance'. You could choose from:
all three sitting/lap, dad standing and mummy with baby in her lap, just the parents, just the baby, just mummy, mummy and baby, mummy and baby close-up, just daddy, daddy and baby in lap, daddy and baby close-up, daddy bending over walking baby by the hands mummy squatting....

So on, so forth. I'm sure you can think up a few more.

Multiply those with variations like formal and informal, smiling and non-smiling, funny and serious.... and you can see that you would end up with hundreds of possible shots. Very confusing. Because you'll effectively have no more than an hour at most (fading daylight). 'It' has got to happen within that time span! That's why it's best to think about this beforehand and decide, and make that little list. It will focus your effective 'lens time' with the subjects to produce what both you and they want: good photos.

Most important, though, is that you guys have fun doing it!


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2/8/2007 12:29:27 PM

 
W.    Hi Jenny,

Use a tripod.

Keep the sun behind them to minimize squinting, and use fill-flash to open up the shadows. You can control how much the ambient light influences your image by varying the shutter speed (but not shorter than the X-sync speed of course).

Instead of fill flash you can also try a reflector (http://www.lastolite.com/originalreflectors.php, D-I-Y, or foamcore) in front of your subjects.

TEST it in advance (with whomever you can trick into 'sitting' for you) at the same time of day and same angle towards the sun and something in the background to simulate the fountain. So you actually practice and get the technicalities down pat and won't trip over unpleasant, and unneccessary, surprises when it's curtain time. By then you'll have enough piece of mind to be able to concentrate on the posing and communicating with your subjects.

Posing tips? Make a ranked list of which you want to do, in order of 'importance'. You could choose from:
all three sitting/lap, dad standing and mummy with baby in her lap, just the parents, just the baby, just mummy, mummy and baby, mummy and baby close-up, just daddy, daddy and baby in lap, daddy and baby close-up, daddy bending over walking baby by the hands mummy squatting....

So on, so forth. I'm sure you can think up a few more.

Multiply those with variations like formal and informal, smiling and non-smiling, funny and serious.... and you can see that you would end up with hundreds of possible shots. Very confusing. Because you'll effectively have no more than an hour at most (fading daylight). 'It' has got to happen within that time span! That's why it's best to think about this beforehand and decide, and make that little list. It will focus your effective 'lens time' with the subjects to produce what both you and they want: good photos.

Most important, though, is that you guys have fun doing it!


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2/8/2007 12:32:43 PM

 
W.    Hi Jenny,

Use a tripod.

Keep the sun behind them to minimize squinting, and use fill-flash to open up the shadows. You can control how much the ambient light influences your image by varying the shutter speed (but not shorter than the X-sync speed of course).

Instead of fill flash you can also try a reflector (http://www.lastolite.com/originalreflectors.php, D-I-Y, or foamcore) in front of your subjects.

TEST it in advance (with whomever you can trick into 'sitting' for you) at the same time of day and same angle towards the sun and something in the background to simulate the fountain. So you actually practice and get the technicalities down pat and won't trip over unpleasant, and unneccessary, surprises when it's curtain time. By then you'll have enough piece of mind to be able to concentrate on the posing and communicating with your subjects.

Posing tips? Make a ranked list of which you want to do, in order of 'importance'. You could choose from:
all three sitting/lap, dad standing and mummy with baby in her lap, just the parents, just the baby, just mummy, mummy and baby, mummy and baby close-up, just daddy, daddy and baby in lap, daddy and baby close-up, daddy bending over walking baby by the hands mummy squatting....

So on, so forth. I'm sure you can think up a few more.

Multiply those with variations like formal and informal, smiling and non-smiling, funny and serious.... and you can see that you would end up with hundreds of possible shots. Very confusing. Because you'll effectively have no more than an hour at most (fading daylight). 'It' has got to happen within that time span! That's why it's best to think about this beforehand and decide, and make that little list. It will focus your effective 'lens time' with the subjects to produce what both you and they want: good photos.

Most important, though, is that you guys have fun doing it!


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2/8/2007 12:32:44 PM

 
W.    Hi Jenny,

Use a tripod.

Keep the sun behind them to minimize squinting, and use fill-flash to open up the shadows. You can control how much the ambient light influences your image by varying the shutter speed (but not shorter than the X-sync speed of course).

Instead of fill flash you can also try a reflector (http://www.lastolite.com/originalreflectors.php, D-I-Y, or foamcore) in front of your subjects.

TEST it in advance (with whomever you can trick into 'sitting' for you) at the same time of day and same angle towards the sun and something in the background to simulate the fountain. So you actually practice and get the technicalities down pat and won't trip over unpleasant, and unneccessary, surprises when it's curtain time. By then you'll have enough piece of mind to be able to concentrate on the posing and communicating with your subjects.

Posing tips? Make a ranked list of which you want to do, in order of 'importance'. You could choose from:
all three sitting/lap, dad standing and mummy with baby in her lap, just the parents, just the baby, just mummy, mummy and baby, mummy and baby close-up, just daddy, daddy and baby in lap, daddy and baby close-up, daddy bending over walking baby by the hands mummy squatting....

So on, so forth. I'm sure you can think up a few more.

Multiply those with variations like formal and informal, smiling and non-smiling, funny and serious.... and you can see that you would end up with hundreds of possible shots. Very confusing. Because you'll effectively have no more than an hour at most (fading daylight). 'It' has got to happen within that time span! That's why it's best to think about this beforehand and decide, and make that little list. It will focus your effective 'lens time' with the subjects to produce what both you and they want: good photos.

Most important, though, is that you guys have fun doing it!


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2/8/2007 12:32:44 PM

 
W.    Obviously something went wrong there. Sorry guys.


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2/8/2007 12:37:30 PM

 
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