My husband and I were asked to shoot some family portraits at the family's house. This was our first joint venture. My husband has more experience with taking photos of people and using lights. I've always taken photos of nature. So, this was a great learning experience for me. I thought I'd take a few moments to reflect on what I learned.
First of all it's great to walk into a home and have the mom say she has some ideas on what she'd like done. We used four different locations in the house. I ended up taking the photos. My husband was a great coach. He made sure I had the camera set correctly and we went through test shots together to make any necessary adjustments. We used a manual setting: 400 ISO, 125 @ f11 or 16 depending on the room. We also set the light balance for flash. We have an old set of studio lights that my husband picked up at a garage sale many years ago. They worked great but we do want to get new umbrellas for them.
As I took photos my husband gave me reminders not to focus in too close, something I typically do with my nature shots. I need to remember to leave room so the shot can be cropped to 8x10.
I always shoot in RAW but my husband said since we knew the settings were correct I didn't need to make any adjustments. I learned something new about Camera Raw today. I learned I can set the crop for 8x10 and then save the picture as a JPG. I've always made my adjustments, then opened the pictures in Photoshop, made more adjustments if necessary, often it's not for what I'm doing, and then saved the picture as a JPG. So, that was a time saving tip worth learning.
What I need to do:
- Continue to work on being more outgoing-I knew an outlet was going to be in the picture. I should have said something and made some slight adjustments and gotten rid of it.
- Watch my camera angle. Way too many of my photos were tilted.
- Look at other portrait photos and get ideas for shots. Not everyone is going to know what they want.
- Don't take so many photos of the same pose. I ended up with 288 photos. I think I cropped and saved about 240 pictures. That might be too many choices for the family!
The family was cooperative and easy to work with which made this job very enjoyable. I think our first joint venture went well. I hope my husband thinks so as well.