Gulp! Did a real shoot! (Pic heavy) - EDITS ADDED post #10
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Thread: Gulp! Did a real shoot! (Pic heavy) - EDITS ADDED post #10

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    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    Default Gulp! Did a real shoot! (Pic heavy) - EDITS ADDED post #10

    Just starting out by saying that so far, I have officially done one newborn shoot and one 'real' shoot of my own kids, and that's it. So CC is appreciated... But given my inexperience at portraiture, please be gentle, because this was fun but very nerve-wracking for me, and I'm REALLY struggling with the editing. These were for a friend of mine and her two girls, just a freebie as I want to suck it up and start working on gaining some portraiture experience right now. That said, I would like a bit of feedback on the shots, and on the edits on these... we lost our nice cloud cover just before the shoot started, and so I did a lot of backlit stuff and seem not to be editing those well. And the girls have very different skin tones, so sometimes one looks good to me and the other doesn't... Just really not sure what I'm doing. No need to comment on them all, there's a lot, just any thoughts you have that would help me would be great! All taken with the 50mm prime. 1. f/2.8, ISO 200, SS 1/500 2. f/2.5, ISO 200, SS 1/500 3. f/2.5, ISO 200, SS 1/640 - Horizon through their heads Too bright? 4. f/2.5, ISO 100, SS 1/320 5. The girls were very self-conscious about posing and it was hard to get them to stand or even sit without looking stiff as a board, but liked the on-the-tummy pose, so we did a few of those. f2.5, ISO 100, SS 1/250 6. f2.5, ISO 100, SS 1/250 7. I have one taken moments after this where she's looking at the camera and smiling, but I do like the dreamy look on her face here. f2.5, ISO 100, SS 1/250 8. f/2.2, ISO 100, SS 1/1600 9. I like this one too, but not sure if it's too dark. Brightening it seems a problem. f/3.2 (?!), ISO 100, SS 1/500 10. f/3.2 (?!), ISO 100, SS 1/500 11. f/2.8, ISO 200, SS 1/800 And I'm throwing these in not because I like them, but because the editing sucks and I have relatively few of the older sister, so I want to make something work here. 12. f/2.2, ISO 100, SS 1/800 13. f/1.8, ISO 100, SS 1/2000
    Last edited by TracyF; 04-16-2013 at 04:56 PM.

    Married Anthony April 2, 2005
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    Good for you, Tracy! I know it's hard to put yourself out there like that, but I bet this family will ALWAYS treasure these images!

    1. This looks a little cool to me, but I am at work and on a monitor that is far from calibrated, so take that w/ a grain of salt. I think you did a GREAT job of getting all 3 of them in focus w/ an aperture of f/2.8. Great connection between them as well.

    2. I like this one a lot! Skin tones seem warmer here. Blanket might be blown just a little.

    3. Horizon doesn't bother me, but the girls seem a little stiff to me. Again, skin seems a little cool. But see my comment about my monitor in #1.

    4. Love the pose here, but I wish they weren't on the blanket. Skin tones look warmer here (& it looks good to me).

    5. They do look more relaxed here. The blanket doesn't bother me here.

    6. The older sister looks more at ease in front of the camera. Love her hair. She looks a touch washed out to me here.

    7. I like the dreamy look too, but again, I'm not digging the blanket. Is she really pale? Or is it just my monitor again?

    8. Beautiful back light. Wish the girls had relaxed a bit for you here.

    9. You might want to try some layer masks with this one. She does look a bit under exposed. But I can see how brightening over all would blow the background. I actually really love the softness of the background. It really makes her pop.

    10. Mom looks really good! Her hands look a touch red though.

    11. This may be my favorite of the 2 girls. Great job w/ the focus. Color looks really nice. Blanket may be a touch blown, but it doesn't bother me at all. I'd like to see this one in b&w.

    12. The posing doesn't really work for me. I likely would not include this one. It is not a very flattering look for her and she is a very pretty young lady.

    13. This one I like. Is there any way to crop it so she is not so centered? It's not a deal breaker. I like this one.

    Great set, Tracy! I know they are going to love these!

    TFS,
    GiGi

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    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    Thanks for the helpful and detailed feedback, GiGi -- and the encouragement! It all means a lot!

    Re: the blanket, apparently it's a family heirloom and the mom wanted to use it for the shoot.

    Married Anthony April 2, 2005
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    Community Host Ladybugsteph's Avatar
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    I don't have time for detailed CC right now, but I did want to comment! Looks like the exact same scenario as what I had. Such a frustrating lighting situation. I would have much preferred to shoot later in the day. I was praying for cloud cover, but it was just going in and out (which made metering a pain in the butt!)

    Anyway! I'm noticing that their skin is quite grey, and the overall scene is on the green side. You did a great job using the backlighting to avoid harsh shadows and light on their faces. They do look kind of stiff, but I think that some sort of connection between them could have helped that. For example, in #8, I would have had them hold hands while standing back to back. Or MAKE them go into a relaxed position, like one elbow up on another's shoulder. Who can't look relaxed in a position like that?

    I think you did a fantastic job. Seriously. I think that all that needs to be done is cleaning up the PP. If I get a chance, I will try to take one and see what I can do. It might have to be after I'm done with my set though
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    Posting Addict AmberBella's Avatar
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    I can see their stiffness. That's tough. It's really hard to get the clients looking natural if they are really feeling uncomfortable. I find it works best to get them laughing. Easier said than done, I know! Have them make goofy faces...you make goofy faces. Make jokes...have them say silly stuff. Some people work best when you don't pose them....tell them where to be, but not how to be.

    Looks like you did a fine job technically. I wish you hadn't used the blanket...or if you had to use one perhaps use a green one that blended in better with the grass. As it is, the blanket pulls focus a lot.

    EDIT: Too bad about the heirloom blanket. I understand why you used it, but it really does detract. Wonder if there was a better way it could have been incorporated. Hmmmmm....I dunno. Perhaps a straight overhead shot like you see so often done in grass, but on the blanket?
    Last edited by AmberBella; 04-15-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmberBella View Post
    I can see their stiffness. That's tough. It's really hard to get the clients looking natural if they are really feeling uncomfortable. I find it works best to get them laughing. Easier said than done, I know! Have them make goofy faces...you make goofy faces. Make jokes...have them say silly stuff. Some people work best when you don't pose them....tell them where to be, but not how to be.
    They were laughing and I was trying to be goofy, but they just didn't loosen up. The oldest girl kept standing straight with her arms down and her legs about a foot apart in THE most awkward position ever, so I would suggest hands on the hip or leaning against the tree or whatever, and she would say, "Okaaaaay" in this doubtful way. I mean, they were good sports, but... The funny thing is, I've known the mom for 24 years and we're great friends, and the oldest girl sometimes babysits my kids now; but in spite of the prior relationship, they are VERY shy girls. Great girls, but unbelievably reserved! Steph, I like the idea of the hand-holding in #8, but before the shoot they were telling me about all the 'cheesy' things another photographer had tried to make them do, like holding hands, and I lost my confidence in suggesting such things to them. :-O Not very good, I know that one thing I will NEED to be a better portrait photographer is to become more assertive... definitely not one of my strong suits.

    Married Anthony April 2, 2005
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    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    Did another edit actually with HDR of #9 and now I love that one! Just have to share:
    Cindy & Girls

    I'm not sure about their skin looking grey, and I know there's a green quality but I think it's just all of the surrounding green, because if I zoom in on their skin, it seems not to look green to me. But I do know what you mean about the grey, Steph. Just not sure what to do about that?!

    Married Anthony April 2, 2005
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    You've gotten awesome CC already, I think these look technically beautiful, I just feel the first few would look sooo much better without the blanket. I understand why they wanted it though.

    For color, I think 1 and 2 have the most beautiful tones. 4-5-6 look much greener/lighter. I also really love #10!
    Last edited by Amy_&_Eva; 04-16-2013 at 01:49 PM.

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    The thing w/ the blanket makes me laugh. I don't mean that in a harsh way. I just mean - it's the same reason why we all get "mommy goggles" at pics of our kids. They may not be "text book perfect" but because the subject means so much, they are priceless all the same.

    And while that means you may not want to ever include these in a portfolio, I'll bet the presence of that blanket will endear these photos EVEN MORE to the family.

    And that is why we have to listen to what our "clients" want - to a point at least. I like Amber's suggestion of a possible use for the blanket. But even taking that aside. Having the blanket in the shot means something to the family. And in the end, the photos are for their enjoyment.

    KWIM?

    It's a balancing act - between getting the technical/aesthetics right while providing a meaningful image to the client.

    I think you did good.

    TFS,
    GiGi

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    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    True enough, GiGi... the balancing act is tough, but in the end, it's what matters to them, I guess!

    I have a bunch of edits here. If anyone has time to comment, I'd appreciate it, though you've already looked through so many and commented, so no worries if you can't! I'm just really trying to eliminate some green, not sure if I went too magenta. Also trying to maintain a more even level of brightness on their faces. The younger girl IS very fair, so she's a bit tough.

    Edit #1.


    #2.


    #3. Very different from the original.


    #4. Reduced redness in the hands.


    #5.
    Last edited by TracyF; 04-16-2013 at 04:45 PM.

    Married Anthony April 2, 2005
    Nora born Feb. 14th, 2007
    Micah born Jan. 20, 2009

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