Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cody Family Portrait | davem photography

I had a family shoot over the holidays. I was contacted by Alison, a friend that I haven't seen in about 10 years. She wanted this to be a surprise gift for her mother-in-law.
This was the largest group that I've shot, and I learned a couple things that'll help the next time I shoot a family of this size or larger.

I was told that the kids would not sit still for long. The oldest girl wanted to wear her princess outfit instead of the dress they had picked out. I promised her that I would take a picture of her in her princess outfit if she stuck through all the photos.

One of the things I learned is to bring a tripod and set the camera up for multiple shots. When you have a group this size, not everyone is going to look at the camera or have their eyes open. The kids would turn or look away and the adults would try and get the kids attention, it's only natural. I may even get a remote trigger for the camera, so that I can engage the kids and step out from behind the camera.
Some of the group photos are composites of multiple photos. Which is why it helps to setup on a tripod, less work to do in Photoshop. Up to this point, I had not had to do any work in Photoshop, just some tweaks in Lightroom. I'm not surprised that with larger groups you'll have the occasional eyes closed or individual looking away, it's bound to happen. Lesson learned.

We also did smaller groups and got better results with very little compositing in Photoshop.

Once we were done with the group pictures, I made good on my promise to take photos in the princess outfit. I wouldn't break my promise to a little girl. She makes a lovely little princess and you can tell she was very happy in her outfit.

When the boys saw their cousin in her outfit, they wanted to change into theirs as well. You can't have a princess unless you have knights to protect her.
I really like the image above. The kids on the concrete wall looks as if they're standing on a castle wall overlooking their kingdom.

This is another favorite of mine. Although it was a cloudy day, I was able to get a nice blue from the sky when the sun set.

I had a great time on this session. It was great seeing Ali and meeting her family. Despite the things I learned, I still got some good images. It was nice being down in the Orlando area visiting friends and family.

I'll go over the technical settings and lighting in the next post.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.


robin shetler photography said...

Nicely done Dave. I hate to say stuff like this because it always sounds patronizing but each shoot looks better. Kudos!

DaveMPhoto said...

Thanks Robin. Always good to get feedback from a fellow photographer. You should try and make one of the Strobists meets.