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Photography QnA: Studio, Still, & Personal Portraiture Photography

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Category: All About Photography : Photographic Field Techniques : Studio, Still, & Personal Portraiture Photography

Read about techniques for personal portraiture photography, tricks for still photography and studio photography techniques here.

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Photography Question 
Sharon K. King
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sharon
Sharon's Gallery

member since: 4/2/2005
  31 .  Action Portraits
I have been doing a lot of portrait photography indoors and out. During these sessions, the clients are sitting still and I am able to use a slow shutter speed. I have been asked to do more candid outdoor portraits and am getting a lot of motion blur. Oh, I will be using a Canon 24-105 F4L IS USM lens. I also have a Canon 50mm fixed lens. Thank you so much!

10/12/2007 6:52:53 AM

Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/2/2004
  You'll need to kick in your flash in combo with a slow shutter speed. Use a balanced fill setting so the flash does not become the dominant light. This will produce some "action" with blurring but the flash will freeze the subjects as long as your shutter speed is not too low.
I use this method when I photographing paramedics in the back of the ambulance. I use a slow sync setting on the camera that pulls in the ambient light and then triggers a small burst of flash to pull in some detail and freeze the action. Sometimes I get some hand-motion blur, etc., but this does heighten the action which I like (as well as my publishers!).
I would recommend that you experiment with different settings with a friend or family member first. Then you'll be ready when you shoot the real thing.
Good luck!
Ray

10/12/2007 8:04:54 AM

Jeff Coleman

member since: 2/5/2005
  Sharon, You just need a faster shutter speed! I think you should open up your aperture and if need be bump up your ISO. At F/4 you should easliy be able to stop action.

10/16/2007 4:02:24 AM

Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/2/2004
  From the thread title "Action Portraits" I assumed Sharon wanted to depict some action but was getting too much motion blur and needed to tone it down a bit. If she needs to freeze everything, then Jeff's suggestion would be the way to go.

Ray

10/16/2007 6:16:11 AM

  Thank you Ray and Jeff. I played with the ISO during some sessions over the weekend, and it did make a big difference. My problem was the lighting, it was dark in the woods where I was shooting. However, the portraits came out much better this time. I didn't want any blur at all in the portraits. Your paramedic shots Ray are great and I do agree, some motion blur adds to the feel of your shots. Thanks again for both of your help.

10/16/2007 7:28:20 AM

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Photography Question 
kasey d. ales

member since: 1/31/2006
  32 .  Backgrounds for Family Pics
I am helping my church with the family photos for the church book. What color of background would work best for families of all ages? Thank you!

10/7/2007 12:55:02 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Kasey,
If you're going to shoot for photos in the Church Directory, then I would suggest using the traditional blue.
If the photos are just for regular family portraits, then brown is wonderful for bringing out the skin tones.
I believe there may be a example of both in my gallery.
I hope this helps,
Debby

10/7/2007 7:18:33 PM

kasey d. ales

member since: 1/31/2006
  Thank you for you help. I am just leaning, were would I buy my background, and what kind? Again thank you for your help.

10/8/2007 6:18:47 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Kasey,
You can find some nice antique (traditional) Muslins on Ebay.
Here's a link:
Brown:

http://cgi.ebay.com/MUSLIN-6x9-PHOTO-BACKDROP-BACKGROUND-3-BROWNS-NEW_W0QQitemZ200158443956QQihZ010QQcategoryZ30079QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


Blue:

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-OLD-MASTER-PHOTO-CANVAS-BACKGROUND-BACKDROP-C010_W0QQitemZ230175006627QQihZ013QQcategoryZ79004QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Keep in mind you will need a back light as well for a really Nice look.
I hope this helps,
Debby

10/8/2007 7:32:08 AM

kasey d. ales

member since: 1/31/2006
  Thank you so much. I really apreciate all your help. What is a back light for and are there certain ways to use it. KC

10/8/2007 5:10:28 PM

Joan Bellinger

member since: 9/6/2001
  Kasey, when doing the same thing, I used the church santuary with walls of off white and a circular stained glass window with a dove in the center.

10/12/2007 6:51:51 PM

kasey d. ales

member since: 1/31/2006
  This is a very old small church. There are no windows, all old panel. Thank you very much.

10/12/2007 9:29:44 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  If you can find a nice background in the church, go for it. An appropriate background and therefore much better than an impersonal bland background.
You would then need a minimum of 2 strong flashguns. One to light the background, the other as a hair/back light on the subject(s). This last one to spill over onto a reflector that is placed in front of the subject(s), just below the lens axis, illuminating their faces, for which you expose.

Have fun!

10/13/2007 12:16:17 PM

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Photography Question 
Julie C. Martin

member since: 3/31/2007
  33 .  Lighting for Family Portrait
I will be taking a family portrait and would love any tips I could get. I plan to do the sitting at 6-6:30 pm. Would I do best using side-lighting? Or backlighting? This will be my first job :) Do you usually use a tripod when doing outdoor portraits?

9/20/2007 5:47:27 AM

KIM SCHULTZ
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/15/2004
  You don't mention the number of people in this portrait, and that would make a difference. The more faces you have to watch, the more consistent the lighting needs to be. I use a tripod for 95% of any portraits that I do. It's just one less thing that could move to ruin a good image.
I prefer side-lighting, if the group is small enough. Backlighting is good if you have the ability to provide some soft frontal lighting - reflectors or even a flash.
Try both methods, you might be surprised!

9/20/2007 6:45:32 AM

Julie C. Martin

member since: 3/31/2007
  There will be a total of 6 people. Then I will do some shots with just the parents and just the kids. Thanks for your advice. I will try both lighting situations.

9/20/2007 6:49:42 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Yes, side or backlighting to prevent squinting. A reflector or fill-flash can open up shadows. Bracket your exposures. Shoot Raw if you can, and as many exposures as possible.
Try to avoid them standing side-by-side in a dull row. Sit a few down, with others behind them. Maybe one crouching next to a chair, and another bending over a bit. Make 'em come alive in the pic, like let 'em toast the central figure. Or you, the camera. Make 'em DO something!
If it's a festive occasion, you could bring a couple of confetti shooters (party shop?): you shoot one so that it falls into the frame from above and lands on the group and you expose while it does ... preferably with a sequential setting of 3fps or higher speeds. Hopefully, your camera's buffer allows that.
Tripod is a given, unless flash is the main light source. After composing and focusing, a tripod allows you to stand beside the camera and watch carefully for how the scene unfolds, like facial expressions - with your finger on the button to expose instantly.
Good luck!

9/20/2007 5:34:51 PM

Julie C. Martin

member since: 3/31/2007
  Thanks for both of your great advice. I will definately show you the pics when they are done. Anyone willing to post family photo's you have done? I would love to see them.

9/21/2007 5:39:37 AM

Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/2/2002
 
 
 
This is not my best work from a technical perspective, but here are a few from family sessions I've done that the clients really liked. And I like them for the variety in posing. I always like to do some w/ families tightly grouped, but then do some w/ them spread out, using the surroundings like in the one w/ trees.

9/21/2007 9:20:15 AM

Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/2/2002
 
 
 
got an error, trying again for the other 2 pics...

9/21/2007 9:22:06 AM

Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/2/2002
 
 
 
hmm, one more time, if it doesn't work I give up, lol

9/21/2007 9:24:11 AM

Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/2/2002
 
 
 
last one

9/21/2007 9:24:53 AM

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Photography Question 
Jean H. De Buren

member since: 9/19/2007
  34 .  Which Lens for Photographing Kids and Families?
Hi! I'm looking for a new lens and am wondering which lens is your favorite, and why. I typically photograph kids and families with my Nikon D50. Thanks!

9/19/2007 7:58:29 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/18/2005
  My favorite lens for shooting children and families (basically candids at varying distances) would be my Sigma 24-70/2.8 EX zoom. On my particular cameras (Sigma SD10/SD14), the lens is equivalent to a 40-120mm lens. That is a good range for portraiture, and the zoom lens lets you move around a little rather than being in people's faces. The large aperture also lets your camera focus very quickly even in low light, and isolates the subject from the background.
Now, if I'm just taking portraits of an adult who will do what I tell them, I pick a different lens. Maybe a prime, or maybe a longer zoom. Or...???

9/20/2007 8:39:36 PM

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Photography Question 
Mike King

member since: 12/19/2003
  35 .  How to Warm a Portrait
I would like to be able to warm up my portraits with a haze/softening effect. I'm shooting a Canon Rebel Xti and processing using Photoshop Elements 4. How can I achieve that effect?

9/19/2007 5:24:43 PM

William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/8/2006
  You could duplicate your background layer, and then, on the new layer, add a Gaussian blur to soften and adjust your color balance to enhance yellow and red to warm. The advantage of doing the adjustment on a seperate layer is that you can fine-tune the effect by lowering the opacity of the layer or even mask out the effect on portions of the photo if you desire. Alternatively, Nik Color EFX filters have a Midnight filter that both warms and blurs.
Bill

9/20/2007 10:00:55 AM

dennis w. mcclain

member since: 8/2/2004
 
 
  senior 2008
senior 2008
 
 
try this. open the image. fix any flaws, like blemishes, scares, hot spots. then use your noise reduction. after that, make a layer copy and change the blend mode to multiply. add a 20 gausian blur. do a image stamp ( ctl alt shift e) change the blend mode to screen adjust the opacity. add a hue/sat adjustment layer, then reduce saturation a bit. if the image is a little to dark, use the adjust shadow highlights. once you get it looking like you want, merge layers, then sharpen to taste. as a final step I like to focus in on the eyes. use your selection brush on the iris, feather the selection from 3-5px invert selection, then (ctrl alt j) this will put the iris on a new layer. unsharp mask with amount 200, 2px thr 0
see how that works.

9/25/2007 7:32:30 AM

David S. Nadal
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/14/2005
  ...or a soft/warm filter: you know, [i]glass[/i]. Cokin and Hitech both make an affordable version. Quaint and old-fashioned, I know, but think of all the keystrokes that could be saved.

Dave

9/25/2007 8:39:37 AM

Vishal Sharma
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/23/2006
  Excellent Dennis! I will try to play with some portraits.

Thanks
Vishal

9/25/2007 12:56:13 PM

Angie Ray
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/24/2006
  I would also recommend the NIK Software - it offers a wonderful 'Warmth&Brilliance' Filter as well as a 'Soft Gold Reflector' Filter which I use on a regular basis. You will never want to be without this software again!

9/26/2007 6:50:50 AM

Stacy L. Robertson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/26/2006
  Sometimes I use a "sweet spot" filter on my camera to get a nice soft portrait, then add a warming filter on the computer. It works very well.

9/26/2007 11:10:42 AM

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Photography Question 
Dee Augustine
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  36 .  Shooting a Silhouette
How do you shoot a silhouette portrait?

8/12/2007 9:55:20 AM

Michael A. Bielat
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/23/2007
  Expose for the background, like you are doing a landscape photo (it helps to have a light background for this, obviously). Then position the subjects in front of the landscape and shoot away. Make minor adjustments as needed from there.

8/12/2007 8:24:19 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Dee,
If you're using a studio set-up:
- Pose your subject in front of your backdrop.
- Make sure your backlight is at the lower back level between the backdrop and subject. It's beautiful using a colored gel for these.
- Turn off both main and fill lights.
- And expose.
I do hope this helps,
Debby

8/13/2007 5:32:50 AM

Dee Augustine
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Hi Debby,
Thank you for the information. I won't be using a studio, though. So can you help me out by telling me how to do it outside? Thanks again, Debby.
DEE

8/13/2007 7:40:42 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Shoot with sun behind your subject. No flash.

8/13/2007 7:58:05 AM

Dee Augustine
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  AWESOME DEBBY,,, TY so very much,,, I love all your photos.

8/13/2007 8:16:39 AM

Dee Augustine
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  OOPS,,, Hey Debby one more thing if I may,, Do I shoot in auto mode or landscape mode??

8/13/2007 8:22:08 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Your always welcome!
I hope to see a gallery soon that includes those silhouettes,
Thank you for viewing my gallery as well,
Debby

8/13/2007 8:22:41 AM

Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/21/2004
  landscape mode will work fine if you don't exactly center.
shoot with the sun behind!in some cases a very good point.
good luck dee.

8/13/2007 9:14:26 PM

Dee Augustine
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Thanks to ALL of you and your help, I was at a memorial yesterday and did exactly what you all told me to do, and it works great. TY TY TY so much you guys. This is why I love this internet site. :)

8/14/2007 7:31:36 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Dee,
I am sorry I had to run yesterday.
I am so glad you got your shot, I am sure we look forward to seeing it posted.
Just remember Auto settings will allow your camera to attempt to compensate for the lack of light.
Manual setting will allow you to take the shot with out any interferance.
So you'll get that very dark subject against the lit horizon.
Can't wait to see it,
Debby

8/14/2007 10:55:38 AM

Dee Augustine
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Debby,

Thats ok I understand. I did set it on landscape which I think made a big difference. It's nothing really special I just got the jashua trees and a cross that was built and a motorcycle. but TY so much for your help

8/14/2007 11:50:51 AM

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Photography Question 
Angela Azzinnaro
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/1/2007
  37 .  Posing a Large Group
I need tips on posing a large family group of 22 people (12 of whom are children). It will be outdoors at a park at 5pm. Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated!

7/24/2007 2:00:13 PM

Angela Azzinnaro
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/1/2007
  Also I wondering what the best type of lens to use for this group shot. Thanks.

7/24/2007 6:26:25 PM

  Hello Angela,
I would use my wide-angle lens, and you will need to use more Depth of Field to get everyone in focus (like f/16), and you will need to use a fast enough shutter speed to prevent blurring as the adults can be as restless as the kids when it comes to getting a group to stand still and pose. I would try around 1/125s shutter speed. You may need to adjust your ISO to get a good combination of DOF and shutter speed.
Then you want to consider the background. I would try to position them in front of a tall stand of bushes or trees for a darker background and, if possible, have some space between the background and the group - unless there is a scenic background you want behind them.
Now you will have to try to get this to work with the lighting you have available. I would definitely consider getting a couple of reflectors and/or make sure you have sufficient fill flash capability with a shoe mount flash. (I don't know if the built-in camera flash would suffice). With reflectors, you can avoid having to position the group facing the sun (if it is a sunny day) and use them to reflect softer lighting back on the group. This will also prevent them from squinting their eyes and lesson darker shadows. You need to see where the shadows are and position the people in the group so that someone isn't blacked out or half of their face is dark. I think this may be the toughest thing with a large group - keeping everyone evenly lit. And don't forget the tripod.
Well Angela, that's my .02 cents - good luck and, hopefully, more BPers will respond with their experiences.

7/25/2007 3:27:58 AM

Angela Azzinnaro
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/1/2007
  Thank you Carlton for all of the information!!!

7/25/2007 9:54:56 AM

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Photography Question 
Jennifer N. Flaherty
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2006
  38 .  How to Eliminate Shadows in Portraits
How do I get rid of shadows behind my subjects in my photos?? Please help! Thank you!!!

7/22/2007 6:17:02 PM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  When you use flash, it will throw a shadow behind your subject. If they are standing close to a backdrop or a wall, the shadow will be very easy to see in your image. If you move them farther out from the backdrop or wall, the shadow won't be as visible.
If you're using a flash attachment, and not the built-in flash, then another method is to raise the flash up higher by using a flash bracket. This changes the angle between your flash and your subject, so the shadow will be thrown down behind your subject, instead of straight back to the wall.
Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com

7/22/2007 7:20:09 PM

Michael A. Bielat
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/23/2007
  I am very familiar with both Nikon and Canon's creative lighting systems. If you have one of these camera manufacturer's cameras, then you are in luck for what I am going to say. Essentially, you will want 2 speedlights - such as Nikon's SB-800 or Canons 580EX (ver. I or II). You set one flash on the camera and bounce the light off a wall or ceiling and use the white card up to reflect some of that light back to the subject's eyes and face. The second light will be set to "slave" mode (read the manual on how to set them up in the flash's menu) and it will be placed somewhere behind the subject to hit the wall essentially.
When the main flash goes off, the slave will read that and trigger at the exact same time so everything is evenly lit...
If one is stronger or weaker, set the flash's EV to give more or less power depending on the situation and weather or not your photos are too dark or too light still.

7/22/2007 7:25:41 PM

Michael A. Bielat
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/23/2007
  Now here is my "without spending money" fix to the problem you have... Get a reflector or some reflective fabric (white) and have someone hold it off to the side so it will bounce your flash's light behind the subjects.
There are 5-in-1 reflectors that are portable and cheap. Otherwise, get 1 nice speedlight like the ones mentioned in my previous post and work on positioning the flash head to bounce the light off walls and ceilings for a more ambient look. It basically diffuses the strong flash light so that it gets rid of the white head look and makes the room just look more lit up than it really is.
This is something that can be corrected pretty much by getting into better gear. A great photographer can take a great pic with whatever, but the better bodies just make the good shots more frequent and allow photographers to open up their artistic side. If you have a simple point and shoot, then you are out of luck for eliminating this in every photo from now on even with the tips and tricks...

7/22/2007 7:31:47 PM

Jennifer N. Flaherty
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2006
  thank all of ya'll so much for takin the time to get back to me on my question :D. really helpful hints. back up question... how about in photoshop? anytips for takin out shadows or makin them less visible. im tryin to learn all I can in Photoshop, so im very curious. thanks!!

7/23/2007 5:42:48 AM

Michael A. Bielat
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/23/2007
  As always, nothing can compare to the time saved by having a correctly exposed and eye appealing image as soon as it is sent to the memory card!

However, in times of need, Photoshop can most definitely help to reduce shadows.

I would research "dodging" and "burning". It basically lightens or darkens where you paint (you pick the brush size, opacity and how much you want what you paint to be +- exposed)

There are probably other canned filters and so forth but what I mentioned above is how it should probably be done for the best overall results without affecting the rest of the image. A steady mouse hand will be needed so you don't see any overlap!

7/24/2007 6:40:59 AM

Jennifer N. Flaherty
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2006
  thanks once again Michael, youre great :D

7/24/2007 7:07:02 AM

  Just for the heck of it you may want to look at this article here at BetterPhoto: www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=129. Information about using one light to control the whole portrait.
Thanks, John Siskin

7/25/2007 6:43:32 PM

  It's very simple and not at all complicated: Prior to pressing the shutter of a camera with a built-in flash, have your subject move about 7 feet away from the wall or object behind them.

If the wall behind the subject is white, it will bounce the light back to the subject and lighten the shadow. But, the key is still to have the subject as far from the wall as possible.

With a flash outside of the camera, use the flash attached to an off-camera-sync-cord, such as the 'Off Camera Shoe Cord2' made by Canon. Hold the flash above the subject and ever so slightly to the side about 45 degrees. Or, bounce the light off a white ceiling to softly light the subject from above. Hence, no shadow.

I prefer not to spend my life in Photoshop correcting mistakes. It's far better to shoot correctly in the first place, in my opinion.

This image was taken with an in-camera flash, but noticed the shadow is light in density. http://tinyurl.com/2ygfqa
If I am able, I set the exposure compensation dial to -1/3 with my TTL flash. By "dialing the flash down" helps to avoid the "overflashed" in my images and the strong shadows in the background.

Hope this helps.
Bunny

7/28/2007 8:19:04 AM

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Photography Question 
Ruth S. Ueland

member since: 2/19/2007
  39 .  How to Pose Wiggly Toddlers
I am going to be doing my first session with someone who I am not personal friends with. I am wondering if anyone has any tips and tricks for getting wiggly little toddlers to sit still for their portrait? Also what are some good ways to get kids you don't know to warm up for their photograph ... so they don't look horribly unnatural???
Thanks,
Ruth

7/14/2007 10:21:55 AM

Katie Parks
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/23/2006
  A ball. It's that simple, really. You have them sit and watch your magic show. You toss it up turn and it falls. It is funny every time. I also sing silly songs they might know and add their names (add funny animals to Mcdonald's farm). If they are a little bit too young for that, bubbles are silly. To keep them sitting still, you have to be their entertainment to stare at. I recommend some serious caffeine before you start! Good luck.

7/16/2007 11:41:11 AM

Shirley Fairley

member since: 3/18/2005
  Hi Ruth,
I have shot alot of young kids. If they are nervous start them off in their parents arms, then they relax and will be more fun.
Try to shoot in a park or somewhere where you can keep moving.
Ask the parents to bring some favorite toys to pull out when you've run out of tricks.
Get the parents to stand behind you and make their favorite goofy faces.
Shoot as much as you can because you will have alot of blurs and funny looks.
I'm sure not all of this is new but I hope it helps.
Shirley

7/17/2007 5:35:32 AM

Mary Lyn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/31/2004
 
 
  Sndney1
Sndney1
ISO 100
Shutter 1/125
Aperature 4.5
60mm
Nikon D1x
Studio
Shot in Raw

 
  Let me off
Let me off
ISO 100
Shutter 1/125
Aperature 4.5
60mm
Nikon D1x
Studio
Shot in Raw
 
  Oh maybe I'll get back on
Oh maybe I'll get back on
ISO 100
Shutter 1/125
Aperature 4.5
60mm
Nikon D1x
Studio
Shot in Raw
 
  okay take the picture
okay take the picture
ISO 100
Shutter 1/125
Aperature 4.5
60mm
Nikon D1x
Studio
Shot in Raw
 
  I'm done  (15 seconds)
I'm done (15 seconds)
ISO 100
Shutter 1/125
Aperature 4.5
60mm
Nikon D1x
Studio
Shot in Raw
 
 
First thing I try to do is have a consultation/meeting appt. so the child will get confortable with me and if you are doing it in a studio, the child is given a tour.
Before meeting the client make sure your lighting is right, and your camera is set. Anytime you spend doing that is taking away from you 20 minutes shoot time.
You need an assistant. Parents are good for that sometimes but they can also be a distraction and they sometimes lose patients quicker then an assistant would.
Depending on their age you can put them up on something where their feet can not touch the ground. Mom standing close and your assistant behind you keeping their attention. It does not last long.
Also a piece of duck tape or double sticky tape in the palm of there hand will keep fingers out of there mouth and their hands together.
Lastly, you need patience, luck and lots of love of what you are doing. They only last about 20 minutes so shoot fast.
Hope this helps

7/17/2007 6:26:52 AM

Ruth S. Ueland

member since: 2/19/2007
  Thanks for all your ideas everyone!
They look like they may prove to be very helpful in my session!
Ruth

7/17/2007 8:25:29 AM

Dennis H. Hernet

member since: 2/14/2006
  I stumbled across something when attempting a family self portait, which included a wiggly one-year-old ... the blinking light on the timer totally fascinated him. I got four straight super photos (would have had five but dad blinked) and had the shoot done in two minutes.. Like the entertainment, my grandson found the blinking light on the Canon Rebel most entertaining.

7/17/2007 12:49:12 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Ruth,
Please let me add there is a whole lot of these suggestions on the
Studio Photography Threads as well.
Here is part #1:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=17534

also, Blow just a few bubbles and act as if your eating them, this cracks them up!
as if using a posing table, I set a pooh bear there with them and tell pooh to sit still and have his picture taken as I walk away I turn and tap pooh head so he falls from the table.
Turning and skoolding pooh" bad bear now sit still and have your picture taken, sitting him on the edge again.
do this once or twice they are loving it!
How ever, you really need to be using a remote to expose the shot.
I do hope this helps,
Debby

7/17/2007 10:21:45 PM

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Photography Question 
Beth McHenry
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/8/2007
  40 .  How to Shoot Portraits at an Angle?
I really like the technique some are doing by taking a portrait at an angle. Could someone tell me how to best go about doing this? I have a senior portrait shoot coming up and I want to incorporate some of these images.

7/2/2007 10:32:14 AM

  Hi Beth:
I would say the best way to go about doing so is to tilt your camera. Don't worry about always having the horizon line or other background feature level - just go with your artistic feeling and let go. You'll find that the more you play around with it, the more comfortable you'll like it and come up with your own techniques. I have had great responses with off-centered and tilted shots - they seem to sell more. Seniors love "out of the box" shots - especially angles.

7/2/2007 11:40:09 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Hi Beth:
Debra's answer is right on. I had been struggling with that for a long time after seeing one of the portrait greats, Donald Jack,with his dynamic images -- until I studied with him and found how easy it really was. As a senior portrait photographer I can tell you that they do love those shots but they also buy pretty traditional images. While I don't have a Better Photo gallery set up, I DO have a gallery at www.photosbydart.com with lots of seniors and others as well as the art and nature. Tip the camera in the opposite direction you want to have them lean.

7/10/2007 6:15:50 AM

Linda Buchanan

member since: 4/26/2005
  Beth, I downloaded Picassa from Google, it is a free download. I discovered a "straighten" feature which is helpful to straighten a horizon, but it is also an easy way to tilt the subjects in the photo. I believe I have one in my gallery that I used this feature on. Try it with some photos you already have and see what you think. Good luck.

7/10/2007 6:29:48 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
Beth,
This technique is very popular, in Glammor, Wedding and Grad Portraiture.
But, you will find that with grad you need that balance with traditional.
We are shoting this about 3 sittings a day right now and most of each sale is traditional.
wishing you the best in this venture,
Debby

7/10/2007 6:52:30 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/4/2004
  Beth,
This technique is very popular, in Glammor, Wedding and Grad Portraiture.
But, you will find that with grad you need that balance with traditional.
We are shoting this about 3 sittings a day right now and most of each sale is traditional.
wishing you the best in this venture,
Debby

7/10/2007 6:58:59 AM

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