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Author Topic: Inspiration needed: Family Portraits  (Read 4481 times)
smahn
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« on: December 06, 2010, 12:04:10 PM »
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I'm looking for stylistic inspiration.

I haven't done portraits in years, but I want to photograph a family of four (kids are 5 and 9), indoors, in limited space. I can setup (strobes) in their living room and do something environmental, but I'm also thinking to come in close (head and shoulders) to do something contemporary, playful or edgy, with maybe a studio feel to it.

Anyone got links to interesting family portrait photography?
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michswiss
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2010, 12:17:37 PM »
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I shoot people on the street or in environmental settings without their awareness that I'm there.  I also shoot candids of my family.  The one thing I can suggest is that it's always better if they are comfortable and the camera is secondary to the imagery for them.  Beds are good, searching out natural light in a comfortable space in their home and letting them play in it is good.  A 5 and 9 year old aren't going to be patient unless it's something they've become engaged in.  My guess is that structured lighting is only going to frustrate you as you hope and pray for the perfect smile and eyes forward.  I'd go for playful interactive familial love.

But I guess the question really is what are they or you looking to create?  
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 12:19:08 PM by michswiss » Logged

smahn
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2010, 01:13:26 PM »
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But I guess the question really is what are they or you looking to create?  

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Right now things are wide open. Their attitude is "it's no big deal, nothing fussy, whatever you want".

But nothing fussy doesn't have to mean no forethought to wardrobe, etc. It means they're informal people (with very good taste) who want direction and leadership from me.

I am still in the brainstorming phase and am largely looking for visuals to get my juices flowing. A quick google search for "family portraits" does not suffice. So if any of you follow the portrait scene already and have some inspirational galleries bookmarked, sharing them could really help stimulate my creativity.

Sorry I can't give better direction than that right now, it's wide open.  Cool
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2010, 03:13:52 PM »
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Make sure there's food and drink available for the kids.  They tend to be (slightly) more cooperative when their blood sugar levels are adequate...

Nill
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RSL
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 07:05:09 PM »
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Since you haven't filled out your profile it's hard to guess at your capabilities. That makes suggesting things difficult. But I think Jennifer (michswiss) summarized the situation. Get out the camera and let the kids get used to it. Once they get to the point where they're thinking, "Oh that's just him with his camera again," you're in business. It's been a long time since I've made semi-formal family portraits, but if that's what you're after, here's a suggestion: Find a corner in the house where you have windows at a 90 degree angle to each other -- preferably windows with curtains. Sit a kid in between the windows and shoot a series with the camera wide open -- a series so you can eliminate closed eyes and other transient blemishes. Here's an example of what that kind of lighting does -- from the sixties, long before this son became an accomplished and successful attorney.
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Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 12:44:36 PM »
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Since you haven't filled out your profile it's hard to guess at your capabilities. That makes suggesting things difficult. But I think Jennifer (michswiss) summarized the situation. Get out the camera and let the kids get used to it. Once they get to the point where they're thinking, "Oh that's just him with his camera again," you're in business. It's been a long time since I've made semi-formal family portraits, but if that's what you're after, here's a suggestion: Find a corner in the house where you have windows at a 90 degree angle to each other -- preferably windows with curtains. Sit a kid in between the windows and shoot a series with the camera wide open -- a series so you can eliminate closed eyes and other transient blemishes. Here's an example of what that kind of lighting does -- from the sixties, long before this son became an accomplished and successful attorney.



Interesting about your son - my niece graduated in law and one granddaughter is reading it at Uni just now; guess one look at the photo life was enough to send both into peals of silent laughter! I consider that a job well done - on my part. Maybe an entirely fresh, if vicarious, career awaits me!

;-)

Rob C

 
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