I recently had my first family portrait session. I am definitely drawn towards photographing people more than landscapes or static objects. I love manipulating the light, mixing ambient with flash. In the days of digital, you can get instant feedback and adjust accordingly. I wasn’t ever serious about photography before digital, so I imagine that it was much harder to gauge a photograph, using light meters, modeling lights etc. Recently I had a photo session with all of my nieces and nephews, including my 10 week old son and my 4 week old niece. Lots o kids, and it was crazy. It was also a lot of fun and I managed to learn a lot too. Check it out after the break.
Just a pre-cursor, I decided to do some classic school type portraits, I really wanted to get the background correctly lit, and the light on the subjects.
The first photo to the right is of my nephew Andrew. It’s not as easy as you may think to get a 4-year-old to settle down enough to take a decent portrait. As in most of these portraits, the background is nothing more than a black flannel blanket hanging on our curtain rods. All of these pictures were taken in our sun room, which has angled 12 foot ceilings, which I am loving. I used a 32 inch shoot through umbrella camera right. The background is being lit with a YN468II, with a blue gel and a DIY bare bulb. The bare bulb basically throws light in all directions. Courtesy of Strobist, order some hot and sour soup from your local Chinese restaurant, cut out an X in the cover and BAM, instant bare bulb light.
I used a telephoto lens for most of these shots, so I could get a nice close crop, as there was a lot of clutter in my small “studio”. If I had more room, I probably would have used my 50mm lens, as it’s definitely a sharper lens.
I had a few pictures that the background was just off, as it was a little chaotic during the shoot. The picture below right is of my son Jonathan and my step father that has a backdrop photo shopped in. In a future post, I’m going to post a quick tutorial on inserting realistic backdrops. To be honest, I’m not a fan of digital backdrops, but I thought it would look better in this case.
See below for a small gallery of other shots from this session, I’ll be posting in the future with some more technical details. I really love experimenting with the different settings, and a low pressure shoot like this is the perfect opportunity.