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Family Portrait for CC

Discussion in 'Formal Portraits and Weddings' started by jimmyc1000, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. jimmyc1000

    jimmyc1000

    300
    Jun 14, 2006
    I've been working towards polishing my portrait technique. Please let me know what you think of the lighting, color, pose and composition. Lit with SB800 through a white 43" umbrella camera right. Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Okay, let's see. First off, I'm not a Family Portrait kind of guy so my comments are just of the general nature.

    My first reaction was the environment isn't the best... it just isn't doing anything for the image. I'm not suggesting shooting with the BG in focus, I'd just like to see something not quite so boring if that makes sense. And I don't think the line created by where the treeline meets the grass is doing anything to help.

    He looks completely awkward. Imagine the shot with him not there... That would be kinda cool but with him in it there's a whole new dynamic that's not working. Kneeling like that with his hand like that... a big distraction.

    Try again. See if you can find a park bench or a low wall somewhere and shoot closer at a wider aperture with your 28-70 to get the BG blurrier. Also avoid white clothing. It's so easy to over expose white with digital. I'd also try to avoid stripes.

    Shooting groups like this is a real challenge and the fact that you most of them looking in the general direction of the camera is an accomplishment in itself. Good use of fill flash too.

    Don't get discouraged. If this was simple everyone would be a pro. It takes a LOT of experience.
     
  3. Agree with Woody, the father definitely feels like an afterthought.
     
  4. Seneca

    Seneca

    Dec 4, 2006
    Texas!
    Ok well...hand placement seems to have gone a little wrong here...and the little boy in the green shirt is squinting. Dad just doesn't seem comfy.

    Not sure if this works for you...but all I did was darken the edges a bit. You can see BEFORE & AFTER

    family_portrait_web.gif
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    View attachment 238528
     
  5. jimmyc1000

    jimmyc1000

    300
    Jun 14, 2006
    Thanks for all of the comments Woody. Now I can definately see that the dad is too high above the rest of the family and sort of out of place. Posing and making the group comfortable is not an easy task. I think I was too concerned about lighting and not didn't think enough of location and the pose. Will give it another shot soon.
     
  6. jimmyc1000

    jimmyc1000

    300
    Jun 14, 2006
    Anothy, thanks for the comment. I'll pose the dad closer in to the family next time.
     
  7. jimmyc1000

    jimmyc1000

    300
    Jun 14, 2006
    Seneca, I can see what you mean about the hands. There is motion blur and some of them are generally out of place. Will need to work on posing and expression. As for the vignette, I tried a version with it and I think I'll go for it for the final print. Thanks for your comments.
     
  8. How about a crop like this? It eliminates that distracting line where the grass meets the treeline and excessive BG. Perhaps the vertical crop helps hide the height of the man? It doesn't do anything for the other issues but it does improve it a little... IMO, of course.

    original.gif
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  9. I would suggest finding a nice bench in a park or perhaps arrange the family around a large lawn chair. With the variety of sizes you have here, it's tough to get everyone comfortably posed on the ground.
    A cozy bench with the little ones on a knee would be nice. A large chair with mom seated and the little ones on her knee or arms with dad comfortably posed would also work.
    Here's one I did on a bench. Worked will with different sizes.
    309213021_Bdrvm-M.jpg
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  10. jimmyc1000

    jimmyc1000

    300
    Jun 14, 2006
    Woody, the vertical crop is an interesting option. I do like it that way as well. I'm basically using this photo as a learning tool and its been very helpful. I'm looking through tons of books for posing ideas. Thanks.
     
  11. jimmyc1000

    jimmyc1000

    300
    Jun 14, 2006
    Mitch, the bench idea is great. Where I usually take family photos there are tons of benches like the one you used. My only reservation is the background that comes with some of these benches. There are bushes and shrubs behind them that make is difficult to separate from the subjects. Thanks for the comments.
     
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