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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:15 pm
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Location: Kanduhar, Afghanistan
So I had my first photo shoot of my Soldier and his family for his holiday photos. First let me say WOW, working with a 4-year old boy, CRAZY. I did it for free so I could get some practice, he knows I’m still learning and have not had a chance to really shoot people. I knew I would have problems thinking of posing him and his family, thankfully my wife was with me and helped some.

Are there any good resources you all know of? I know when my wife had some portraits with her sister a while back the photographer gave her good tips on places for hands that looked and felt natural and such.

I’ll post a few of the pictures later today. Ultimately it turned out good, still need better glass and skills before I ask for money

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Mike "The Squirrel"
Canon 550D | Canon EF 35mm 1:2 | Canon 50 f/1.8 II | Sigma 18-125mm DC OS | Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD | Canon 430EX II
Military Issued Canon 40D | Canon 55-250mm IS


Last edited by HikingMike on Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:53 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Give youtube a go Mike, they have some great videos regarding posing and positioning when taking group photo's. Searching "group portrait" should steer you on the right track :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:04 am 
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Location: Mexico City, Mexico
I agree with Chopper, YouTube is a really nice tool to learn. Also I would like to see some examples of what you achieved, it would be interesting to see how good you did it.

Cheers :)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:28 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
Mike, I found this useful, hope it helps.

http://www.lumitouch.com/benstudiotutorial/rules.html

Cheers

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:49 am 
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Location: Kanduhar, Afghanistan
Thanks 4xxxx That's a good start. I'll post some examples of what I did this weekend

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Canon 550D | Canon EF 35mm 1:2 | Canon 50 f/1.8 II | Sigma 18-125mm DC OS | Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD | Canon 430EX II
Military Issued Canon 40D | Canon 55-250mm IS


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Location: Kanduhar, Afghanistan
So this is a selection of photos taken. I really need to learn touchup for photoshop as well. I mostly ran these thru lightroom. I actually got carried away with a new tool I learned in Photoshop, liquify and got carried away thinning her cheeks just a bit and my Soldier say that she looked like an alien. I had to go back and just leave well-enough alone. There is one or two I had to burn the kids face because he was in the sun when the others weren't. I tried to get my lovely wife to help with a gold reflector but it wasn't working out with the kid so i had to go to pop-up flash for fill light. I'm going to get a small soft box for my 430EX II before the next time I do a shoot. Yes he is BURPING in the first photo :lol:
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Kesha and Carson Burp with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Kesha with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Carter_20121118-180 with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Carter_20121118-173 with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Carter_20121118-126 with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Carter_20121118-60 with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Carter_20121118-54 with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Carter_20121118-50 with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Carter_20121118-31 with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Carter_20121118-6 with Logo by mcarriganphotos, on Flickr

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Canon 550D | Canon EF 35mm 1:2 | Canon 50 f/1.8 II | Sigma 18-125mm DC OS | Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD | Canon 430EX II
Military Issued Canon 40D | Canon 55-250mm IS


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:43 pm 
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Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Well overall, I think the shots are great, just that the first one's lighting looks a bit unnatural. Maybe that softbox will be a nice addition. Good work :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON
For a first portrait shoot I think you did pretty well! My favourite image is #3 - the two of them in front of the door... they look natural, relaxed, and it's fairly flattering for both of them :) My only nitpicky comment about the shot is that I would have moved a tad bit to the left so as to centre them in the frame - it adds too much tension that he's partly cropped and she's not. You can maybe tighten the crop up in LR to equalize it, but I like the "breathing room" on her side. I love her pose and smile though, she looks totally relaxed and happy about where she is :)

Working with kids isn't easy, so I applaud you for getting what you did. The one of him in the tree by himself is cute, although I can tell you missed focus on the tree. I also can tell you used flash here (catchlight in his eyes) - what was the reason? When posing the family together, I find it's easier to have everyone sitting, instead of trying to lift the little one(s) up to our height while standing, especially if the "little ones" aren't so little. You can see there is some effort needed to keep him up because of the awkward look on Carson's face.

In terms of processing, on my calibrated monitor (and the uncalibrated one here at work) some of these shots are *super* yellow/orange (see #7)... Warm is good, but not this warm - definitely dial it back a bit into the cooler colour temps (#3 is the exception, this is really, really well done).

Pose-wise, this is something I'm still working on myself... I find weddings easier to pose than potrait shoots because people have things to do with their hands (i.e. bride holding a bouquet) but even then I like to take a fairly hands-off approach to posing and let them interact in front of my lens. I feel like this is what you did in #3, because neither of them look forced. Also, make sure to get her chin down (#9) - if she has to push her forehead slightly toward you to make it work, then just tell her it'll feel wierd but look great. For #6, dad's hands are too distracting, so I would have had him keep his arms down or at least find a way to hide his left hand, maybe on his son's lower back (to keep extra hands out of the shot and to keep the boy in the tree lol). Mom looks like an afterthought in this shot though, because so little of her is in the photo... I think pulling back the crop on this would help. Also, Carson does not look overly impressed to be in the tree...

When shooting next time, try to find an area of open shade with a less-distracting background. In a lot of cases, the parked cars, buildings, fences, and other objects in the background detract and distract from the photo overall. Open shade will definitely be your friend though, as it allows you to avoid dappled light, and thus the problems with dodging/burning after the fact. I avoid shooting in full sun unless there's a really good reason for it (or I have no choice).

Hope this helps, and realize most of what I'm saying is nitpicky. Great job for a first shoot, it's onward and upward from here :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Location: Kanduhar, Afghanistan
Thanks Plymer, and no, I don't see any of this as nit-picking. If I want to move forward with my work I need to fix all of these that you brought up. I also knew in advance what you brought up about the location, just here in EL Paso there is VERY little shaded areas. I found this little park on base and that was about all I had to work with :)

I am still learning on my post-processing as well and will be using some of these in my studies, I'll take what you said and see if I can incorporate that into my work.

Thanks a bunch!!

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Canon 550D | Canon EF 35mm 1:2 | Canon 50 f/1.8 II | Sigma 18-125mm DC OS | Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD | Canon 430EX II
Military Issued Canon 40D | Canon 55-250mm IS


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