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Need some advice

Discussion in 'People' started by greyflash, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Hi all,

    I had a business shoot Friday where I was requested to take individual pictures of all employees (nothing creative - just repeatable with each one) plus the outside of the business with all the trucks lined up. This shoot is in the can and the customer is thrilled. With that out of the way I would like your opinion on what I could do differently or better in the future. Thanks for your help.

    I am posting the link to the gallery. The password is Vaughn.

  2. Gordon with respects to group installers photo, You can't really make out any faces so if there was a way to get closer I would, others I like how you lined everything up...
  3. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Looks good Gordon!

    Since you ask for C&C, here goes, but first realize that the happiness of the customer in a shoot like this is all that counts. Artistic merit really does not play a role.

    The next time you shoot like this, you might want to rent, borrow or buy a background and hanging rack. The white background is something I use to make a starker look to a picture. A neutral background would make everybody look a bit ... friendlier. In the group photo, the open legs of the main man should probably not be so prominant.

    Finally a question. How did you get the elevation for the building and truck shots? Cherry picker?

    Congratualtions on the job - it's really well done (as are all your shots!)
  4. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. The outside shots were meant to show the scope of their business and was done at the request of the owner. There is no way to get closer and still get everything in.
  5. Thanks a bunch Chris. Good idea on the backdrop, I had the customer set up the white panels as that was all he had. I really do need to get a backdrop. As to the elevation I was out in the middle of the street and had them roll out a platform ladder for me. I was trying to keep the building from looking like it was caving in on itself. I was actually up about 10 feet.
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Guest

    C&C for Greyflash

    Hello Gordon,
    As a former full-time portraitist,I'd say the best thing for next time would be a more middle-toned backdrop,and also one positioned farther back. With the small-sensor DX format, a background even 10 feet behind the sitter is too close to in-focus when shooting smallish apertures like f/8. Also, when too close, the white can give kick-back,which can outline the back of the head or neck,and when the distances are short, even slight flash power variations can make your backgrounds too hot. On-location it is sometimes hard to find a suitable background, and so when you hit a light-toned wall with enough flash to raise it to white, you must be careful of reflected light or blow-back. WB seems too yellow on the people to me, except for the white-haired gent who looks pinkish.
    My feeling for next time is 1 32-40 inch umbrella as main light, mid-toned backdrop,a gray muslin with a colored gels for background coloring and a couple 2 or 3 test sesssions using whatever flashes you plan to use. I'd rather have seen them against a light gray or dark gray backdrop,with some sligfht color added than against stark white.
  7. Excellent input Derrel and I will take it to heart. On this particular shoot I was give 2 hours for the entire thing and my lighting equipment was two SB800 flashes with one umbrella and a Gary Fong diffuser. This was actually my first business shoot as I normally do on location individual or family images. Thanks so much for your comments and help. As I said to Chris, I have got to get a backdrop.
  8. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005

    Looks like everyone covered the suggestions for the portraits, although, for the outside shot I think there is a bit to much negative space (sky) that takes the eye away from the subjects (storefront and trucks/staff) Another possibility would be a pnaoramic image of 3-4 combined shots for the outside session.

    Just a thought,

    nice work.

  9. Thanks Wade. Actually when I printed the outside shot I cropped it to a 10x5 inch image that worked quite well. In the negative space I printed the name of the company, date, and areas that they serve. The owner of the company liked that a lot. I appreciate your taking the time to comment.
  10. Hi Gordon i replied to a message of you yesterday with a picture of one of the woman i think the wife of the owner. It was about beautifull mother of 5 children. I can't find it no more.
  11. Hi Vince, I deleted the image while I rework the image. The yellow cast came from a large overhead incandescent light and I need to spend more time on WB to get these right. Thanks for making your comment.
  12. PeterRH

    PeterRH Guest

    A couple more comments

    Hi and sorry for the late additions.

    Firstly as said before if the customer is happy then you're good to go.

    But to make life easier to produce a shot you'd also be happy with I'd always do a tight group shot as well, nomatter what the customer sets as the brief. Separating the people in the outside shots made it a lot harder to get a 'hero' shot.

    With a tighter group you can experiment with a couple of shots much closer in, with a wider angle lens to show the buildings and logo's, that would admittedly have looked a bit more like a 'PR' shot but may have given you more to play with after the event.

    The other comment I have is more of a personal and subjective one....on the individual shots I would have steered clear of having hands raised on the arm of the chair in the shot - on portraits I find that people are *very* critical of how their hands look.

    But hey, that said, this is a 'I've got two hours to get the results so make it count' situation and you delivered the goods so kudos to you - it is very different when you know you have to deliver!
  13. Hi Gordon i almost doubted if it was my monitor because i never seen a photo of you edited and had such a yellow cast. Now i know nothing is wrong with my computer. But the photo's look very nice. And you did good job with the things you could use.

    Good luck with this project.
  14. SPT

    SPT Guest


    I've noticed one thing that stuck out for me.

    They have logo's on their shirts - I'd have sat them facing right with the logo obvious and readable if possible. You have them facing left and the logos are obscured slightly.

    Also - invest in a tall, folding bar stool type chair. Sitting on these with one foot on the floor and the other with the heel resting on the foot rest lengthens the body - the hands can go on the thigh and it looks very natural. Your chair choice "squats" the sitter and the hand on the back of the chair is very distracting.

    Hope this makes sense to you !
  15. Thanks Andy, I appreciate your suggestion about the stool. As far as the Logo's go I made a conscious decision to not have them "in your face" so decided they were better on the other side.
  16. Peter and Vince,

    Your comments and suggestions are good ones and I will try to implement them if faced with a similar situation again. Vince, I was remiss in not doing a WB with my expo disc before the shoot. My thinking was that with two flashes the incandescent light would not play to much of a part. I was wrong and it is hard to get rid of the yellow in post processing.
  17. Yes i know it is hard to get that yellow cast out. When i worked on the other photo that you posted last time from that photoshoot. I had alot of work to get the photo look more natural in skintones. I thought it would be easy thing to fix. But in the end i was using selective colors layer to correct it.

    I have had these problems with a photoshoot with also very hard yellow casts. And it took me alot of post processing to get it right and was not a fun job for 250 shots to correct them over and over again. So i understand what it takes to correct it. Normally a color cast is easy to fix but i think you will have some work on these shots but in the end you will be satisfied. And i bet they love the photo's allready with the yellow cast. It is just that we are the biggest critics in the world. Or are we getting more and more perfectionists.

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