Family photos can be a challenge but not if you know a set of techniques to follow. Here's some tips that can simply your work if you practice them.
1. Young children can be a hand full if they aren't well rested. If they've had a good nights sleep or a nap, they'll be in a better mood. This in itself can assure a smoother shoot and help keep everyone at ease.
2. As discussed before, outdoor portraits offer the simplest light to work with. Mornings and dusk providing the purest most diffuse light of the day. But you must remain FLEXIBLE and pre-plan it.
3. We offer a great variety of photo reflectors and photo diffusers that will help sculpt your portraits. They come in many sizes and styles and can be mounted on stands or held by assistants. When used properly, they will prevent over contrast areas or fill-in dark shadows under eyes, chins and other areas in the frame.
4. Like any other portrait session you do, design a series of photo packages with albums or frames for customers to choose from. Family portraits is one area that can generate large wall framed work. There are so many options but I recommend you use items that best fits your brand and style. Consider pricing your packages so the ones in the middle will be your best profit margin packages! This is a very effective practice that works.
5. Unless you're portraits are at a formal event, when it comes to what to wear, casual dress is usually best. Make sure your groups are not all dressed the same. That style has come and gone. Suggest everyone wear clothes that work together but not all identical. And stress to your clients to wear little to no PATTERNS!
6. I'm sure you know lots of places to make outdoor portraits. Choose them wisely, and become aware of your background at different times of the day and the year. Only you know how your favorite spots will look for a particular group or portrait! Make sure there's no surprises the day of the shoot with the sun or stray groups during your session. This could prevent a successful shoot that day and require an alternate date that can inconvenience everybody!
Together with a better understanding of your DSLR camera functions and photo techniques, you will create cherished work for every family session. Please share any ideas or techniques you use and share your photo examples for a free Stylus Pen!
More about outdoor shooting. Most newer photogs feel more comfortable lighting outdoor due to the less need for equipment to buy & not having to pay for studio space. It's a different story when winter season comes along in a lot of places in the USA, but you can have a studio anywhere outdoor as long as you follow some basic pointers.
With your subject directly in front, you have them turn left or right to change their position for you. You can simply move toward or away from them to change your framing. Because left or right commands can be confusing to both of you, ask them to move either clockwise or counter-clockwise. It's the same for you and your subject. ALWAYS focus on your subjects eyes! Shallow depth of field is in vogue today and makes an interesting look. Focusing on their eyes will always be the most important part to get sharp.
A custom white balance is not that hard to do and all cameras offer it! If you don't know where it is on your camera, you need to! Being a professional photographer means having a complete understanding of your equipment and most importantly, the functions of your camera. You don't have to know 100% of it, but you must understand at least 75% of your cameras operations! Do a white balance before each session for the most accurate color and to minimize post production time. And don't forget to white very time your lighting changes or you make a major location move.
Strive to shoot your portraits at your subjects eye level for the most accurate perspective. Most portraits can be made with just one light and changing the angle in relation to your subject. Once you get more comfortable, Pro Studio sells a huge variety of photo reflectors and diffusers that can compensate for having one or no extra lights. A more simple lighting set-up with modifiers can create dramatic shadows and interesting portraits.
And as always, practice with your friends and family to improve these skills. Please share some photos and hints. We'll reward all that do!
Posted with permission and taken by Southern Exposure Photography, GA
Many of you who are new to photography probably haven't perfected your studio lighting yet. So a simpler option is to work outdoors in the natural light. But you really must avoid doing so during the middle of the day! The harsh sunlight will cause unattractive shadows in your portraits especially in eye sockets and under their nose. A portable flash or fill-flash will lighten the face and shadows but must be used correctly. Remember to be aware of your background and be sure to expose it properly.
Your best light comes early or late in the day for long shadows and warm tones. Experienced photogs know this as the ''Sweet Light.'' The quality of this light is diffuse and bright and makes flattering portraits like on a cloudy day. Again, the use of a portable fill-flash will add some details to the darker areas on your clients face. Use the sunset and shadows to enhance your portraits. Most of you have some favorite location spots to photograph seniors and families. Find out the best times of the day to use them. Leave a specific question about outdoor portraits and we'll answer you directly or on this blog!
Good luck this fall and please share examples of your work on our twitter page @ProStudioSupply, Facebook. Mark ProStudioUSA
Images by Echo Smithville, TX
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