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Advice on taking portraits of my two friends and their 2 month old baby

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    cymroDan
    cymroDan  7174 forum posts
    16 Dec 2012 - 9:44 PM

    Hi there, a completely no professional job here, but a friend has asked me to take some photo's of them as a couple, and also some of their new baby, and I guess of the three of them all together.

    I own 1.8 50mm and an 18-200mm lens. I've suggested going to a local park or playground where there'll be plenty of good light. I was just wondering if anyone has any advice in regards to compositions? The guy is one of my good mates so shouldn't be too awkward, but I don't want to make them feel uncomfortable either.

    Any feedback is welcome,

    Thanks - Dan.

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    16 Dec 2012 - 9:44 PM

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    scottishphototours

    Best pic of the three is a head shot of the two of them holding baby between them.

    Lookup Google images, lots of good examples. Use the 50mm for best quality.

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    cymroDan
    cymroDan  7174 forum posts
    18 Dec 2012 - 10:10 AM

    Thanks for the tip. I was thinking that, but then wasn't sure if it'd be nice to have a waist up sort of shot too. I think i'll go with the 50 on, and take the 18-200 in my bag just incase. Any advice on what sorta crops you'd use? how much of their faces to fill frame? Leave my space between them and the frame edge? Is it ok to cut off parts of their face?

    arhb
    arhb e2 Member 72197 forum postsarhb vcard United Kingdom67 Constructive Critique Points
    18 Dec 2012 - 11:01 AM

    I would aim to get all subjects eyes/faces at the same focal length, so that all their eyes look sharp.
    Get the parents to stand with their bodies slightly turned towards each other with their faces turned toward the camera.
    Their baby can then be held in between them, with its eyes face close to the same focal length as the parents.
    Use aperture of ~F8 to allow for slight variation.
    As much open space behind them as possible for best bokeh.
    Once you have them posing correctly, then try different compositions and angles.
    Good luck.

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    User_Removed
    18 Dec 2012 - 11:23 AM

    Try not to aim at the nose of one of them, also try not to leave several feet of fresh air above their heads and try not to make them too central in the frame. In most amateur portraits you can draw a cross on the image and the centre of it will be on someone's nose and it's usually the least exciting composition option.

    You often see plenty of blue sky or dark room above someone's head but they'll be chopped off mid torso, it's because the camera has been aimed like a rifle straight at the person's head.

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    cymroDan
    cymroDan  7174 forum posts
    18 Dec 2012 - 11:34 AM

    Thanks both that helps. I got a d7000 and know how to use it, and have been taking photographs for sometime, but I just feel portrait work is my weakest area by far. All of the above helps so far.

    I will prob feel a bit funny trying to get them to pose, I guess I just need to think of a few different set ups and see how each of them turns out.

    oldblokeh
    oldblokeh  3782 forum posts United Kingdom
    18 Dec 2012 - 12:41 PM

    When getting them to pose, sort their feet out first, then shoulders, arms, hands and finally heads.

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    cymroDan
    cymroDan  7174 forum posts
    18 Dec 2012 - 12:53 PM

    any recommendation on posture then oldblokeh? like I get the facing together stuff, but I'm not sure how intrusive to be in terms of positioning of limbs etc!

    oldblokeh
    oldblokeh  3782 forum posts United Kingdom
    18 Dec 2012 - 1:19 PM

    Like Andy C (scottishphototours) I'd recommend Googling. Try searching for "mum dad and baby photos". You'll find loads of ideas there. Find a few that will work with the location and background and take it from there.

    One other tip: watch out for clashing colours and jewelry that looks out of place. Rather than object to them, suggest additional shots without them. That way everyone's happy.

    Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
    gvet
    gvet  442 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
    16 Jan 2013 - 3:58 PM

    I have been doing a lot of research on baby photos, due my first any day now. The best portraits seem to be in black and white as this seems to even out skin tones which are often blotchy in babies, playing with the red, ornage and yellow sliders on light room will help give some nice even skin tones.
    And close ups at fast apetures seem to give really eye catching results, your 50mm 1.8 will do this nicely.

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