My First 'Photo Shoot' on Saturday....

I am meeting up with a young family this Saturday morning to do a 'photo shoot' at a local woodland beauty spot..

I am a newbie to photography and have consumed half a dozen books on theory etc... I 'think' I understand the basics of theory, but putting it into practice is another matter.... BTW I am practicing as much as possible....

Anyway, there is no financial committment and the photo shoot was a 'prize' in a work money raising event for charity... and it's a work colleagues family... So, I am hoping they will be more forgiving .

I will be armed with a Canon EOS 40D, EF 50mm F1.8 MkII, and 430EX flash..

The family are: mum, dad, and two children aged around two'ish..

Please, can anyone give me any tips, any do's and don'ts?.

I will be following the wishes of the family as much as possible of course, but are there any particular poses, group I could be going for?.

Any pointers will be gratefully received..



Comments (6)

You should get lots of replies on this, but here are some of my thoughts..

The 50mm lens is not ideal for this kind of shoot because it is too "long". It is good for head and shoulders shots, but not for group shots unless you stand a long way back..

Try to avoid direct sunlight (if you are lucky enough to get any!) on the individuals and try to avoid large contrasts of bright sunlight and dark shadows..

Get them to wear bright clothes, maybe suggest that they bring a selection of clothes along..

Don't be worried about turning the ISO up if you need to. I imagine that you can go to ISO 800 on the 40D without much noticeable noise..

It would be preferable to shoot in aperture priority mode and use the aperture to control the depth of field. Use a low aperture if you want the background out of focus and don't stand them too close to the background. Keep the shutter speed below about 1/60 (i.e. 1/60, 1/100, 1/200 etc) to avoid movement blur..

If you are happier in auto mode, set the ISO to 400 beforehand to give yourself some latitude with the shutter speed if the light is poor..

Take lots and lots and lots of shots. Keep things as informal as possible. Have fun..

Do you have an alternative location if it is raining? If not, consider how you are going to keep the camera dry.Chris R..

Comment #1

Hi Chris,.

Thanks for the tips....

I did wonder about the 50mm being too long. I have also got the 17-85mm kit lens which I could use instead....

I have asked the family to dress in colourful woolie hats and gloves  esp. the kids.....

Do you think using a tripod would be too cumbersome and impractical for this kind of thing? Or as you say keep shutter speeds up and compensate with faster ISO?.

Thanks again for your help....



Comment #2

DavidCole wrote:.

Hi Chris,.

Thanks for the tips....

I did wonder about the 50mm being too long. I have also got the17-85mm kit lens which I could use instead....

I would take the 17-85 which is an excellent lens..

I have asked the family to dress in colourful woolie hats and gloves esp. the kids.....

Do you think using a tripod would be too cumbersome and impracticalfor this kind of thing? Or as you say keep shutter speeds up andcompensate with faster ISO?.

I wouldn't take a tripod unless you want some low light shots around sunset. With young children you are probably going to need a reasonably fast shutter speed to freeze their motion. Put up the ISO if you need to..

Where are you shooting them? Best of luck with the weather..

Chris R..

Comment #3

Hi chris,.

Thanks again for the advice....

We are meeting in Bracknell, Berks.. There's a nice forest there, which is a very popular beauty spot, great for walks and bike rides... It will be morning time, between 10:00 and 11:00... Hopefully the weather will be good....



Comment #4

Take a spare battery and make sure they are both full charged!..

Comment #5

I think you would get more use out of the 17-55 lens..

Take a tripod, as you can set it up and almost forget about it. It also makes it safer, as your less likely to drop it..

I recently done a photoshoot of a female, and what I found difficult was running out of poses. There is nothing worse than travelling to a location, setting your gear up, setting the subject up, then running out of poses after 2 shots..

Look in mags, and on galleries. Cut out photos of different poses to show the family, as what you may like they might not..

Take props, just in case. Like a squeeky toy to get the kids attention. There is nothing worse than taking several photos, to discover one of the kids wont look at the camera..

Children have a very short attention span, so no messing around, or they will become board..

If it's a wooded area, be careful of shadows cast on faces, as they can look VERY unflattering.Take your flash gun..

Take loads of photos and enjoy the day..

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Comment #6

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