A couple of family portraits

Discussion in 'People' started by JeffKohn, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    My mom wanted to get some family pictures while everybody was in the same place over the holiday weekend. I find photographing my family difficult because they don't want to take posing instructions and seem to think that I can just snap a few quick shots and come away with winners. We started outside for the first few until it started raining, then had to move inside. Wasn't nearly as happy with the indoor shots but here are a couple of the outdoor shots I'd like to get some feedback on.


  2. Hi Jeff, thanks for asking for comments on these fine portraits. For starters I would not let the head push quite so hard on the top of image #1. I might also consider cloning out the bright spots in the nicely diffused background. Skin colors look pretty good although there are some fairly hot spots on the face in image #1 that could be toned down a little. I like the highlights on the hair in image #2 and the expression is pleasing. A little more room on the right side of the image to sort of equalize the right and left side would improve this image IMO. All in all they are nice shots and I would think your family would be pleased with them.
  3. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Gordon thanks for the feedback. Point taken about the crops, in the first shot I'll have to revisit it because I think there may actually be a bit more available room above his head in the original. That first shot was overexposed a bit and I had to try and fix during Raw conversion.

    Second shot unfortunately I think that's the original framing on the right side. I need to work more on my framing when shooting handheld shots like these, sometimes I go in a little too tight and don't leave myself much margin for error if the framing is off a bit. Some of the shots I took I'm going to have a hard time cropping for 8x10 if anyone one asks for prints in that size (although I think the second one here willl actually make a better 8x10 than 5x7).

    Thanks again,
  4. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    BTW if anybody is curious about the lighting setup. Even though these were outdoors the ambient light levels were very low because of the heavy overcast skies and the shade from all the trees. So I used a remote SB-800 firing through a Softlighter II umbrella as main, triggered by an on-camera SB-800 acting as fill (1 stop below main).
  5. Jeff, when I am shooting portrait type shots I do so with 8x10 prints in mind since that is what most people want in a blow up. I always try to leave some room above their head for this purpose which will allow me to crop in an 8x10 format. Just a thought.
  6. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  7. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Nice images, I'm sure your family will like them. I also agree with Gordon on leaving more space around the head in #1, and standing back or zooming out a little on #2.
  8. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Heiko - thanks for the feedback, I appreciate your looking.

    Gordon and Paul - Yeah, leaving room for an 8x10 crop is something that I know to do, I just don't always remember to do it. :smile: So much to think about when shooting portraits... the tip about using the HSC lines is a good one though.
  9. Thanksgiving, you say?

    Isn't that about the end of November?

    If so, why is this little feller holding a ginormous Easter egg?


    Joking apart, I feel your pain. I have a family bash scheduled for 18/12 (that's 12/18 to you) and I'm anticipating the kind of problems you mentio, so I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone and dreading having to photograph them.
  10. Terri French

    Terri French

    May 5, 2005

    Hi Jeff,
    Looks like you are doing the same thing as me--fixing up family photos from Thanksgiving. The folks with the trained eyes here can find small things for you to fix, but I bet your family members will just be thrilled. They are very nice. I know I have been working on some family pictures and have been getting help here from the forum, but actually my kids were thrilled with the photos right out of the camera. It's just me that wants to get them perfected. I think you did a very good job.
  11. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    LOL. His Dad is already prepping him to be an athlete. :smile:
  12. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Thanks Terri. You're right, the family thinks they're great. For me it's a learning experience, seems like each time I do this I learn a little more so hopefully I can do even better next time.
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