Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Photo Shoots.

Mmmm, I've been working on this post for a few days... well in my head I have been. Now I'm finally putting words down on paper.

I had my first "real shoot" on Sunday (although I'm not sure I can even call it that ;) ), and I definitely want to learn from it... and I think the best way to learn from something is to know what you did wrong... and what you did right!

So, I've decided to write down a few tips, and maybe a few ideas that I've had during/since then. Hopefully this will be a help to others.... but I'm guessing it will help me more. :)

Okay first, I was VERY thankful that it was a family that I knew well. That way, there really wasn't any pressure. Not only do I babysit for this family, but I am also around them a lot. So I felt very comfortable.

I went into this knowing that it would be hard, but I think there were a few things that I didn't think about.

  1. There is so much multitasking that must be done. I'm good at multitasking... but usually only when I've done it a million times. It's hard work to not only pay attention to your camera, but you MUST pay attention to the family/model/client that you're working with.
  2. When I came home and I started looking through the pictures, I realized the black sheet was wrinkled. Although this is just a small detail, sometimes the small details are what can ruin the pictures. 
  3. I wish I had had more props to use. I think it would have given the pictures more variety if this was the case. 
  4. I wish I had researched a little bit more. I wish I had written down and collected different ideas on positioning/ setting. Once I got there, I forgot almost all of the ideas that I had on what would look good. 
  5. I was harder on myself than I thought I would be. In hind sight, it's hard not to wonder why you didn't do something a certain way. 
  6. Also, I wish I knew how to use photoshop, because I have no clue how to edit my photos. 
Okay, those are the biggest things I can think of... so, if I am to do this again some time. There are some things I would do differently. 
  1. Maybe the more I do this, the easier multitasking will become, but until then instead of having my camera on manual mode, I think I will keep it on Aperture priority mode. Since I was mostly worried about the number of people in the picture, I kept switching my aperture around, but I would forget to change the shutter speed. This way, I can switch my aperture up or down, and I won't have to worry about my shutter speed. One less thing to think about. 
  2. Ah, the little details... I don't know if there is much that one can do about this... because it's hard to get the perfect photo... even if you are a professional. Maybe next time I will bring my own ironed back drop... or just ask the family to iron it. Also, I could choose a setting where something as small as wrinkles wouldn't be as prominent. Ex: if I chose outside in the grass, one would be expecting flaws in the backdrop... it just adds character. 
  3. This is not something I can do all at once. I will have to slowly build my collection of props. Whether it is for a newborn shoot, senior pictures, or just an important event... it wouldn't be bad to have props (this is of course depending on whether I actually start doing shoots). So, maybe some Saturday I'll go to the thrift store (when it's half off of course) and I'll find me some props! 
  4. All I can do about researching more is to continue researching. If only there was more time in a day! 
  5. When I was looking through the pictures, I had to make sure I wasn't too hard on myself. Yes, I did wish that I could have done some things differently, but instead of being upset about it, I told myself that I could do better next time. 
  6. Using photoshop is something that will just come in time as I slowly teach myself how to use it. 
Every photo shoot will be different. People have different personalities. And people are different ages. I don't even know if I would call this particular shoot a newborn shoot... because Maddie was 2 months old. It probably makes a big difference when you photograph a week old child who sleeps all the time. Maddie only slept for about 5 minutes during the entire shoot. 

Also, for something like this, one really has to remain calm, collected, confident, and try not to go crazy. 

With all three kids being so young (3,1,0) we knew that they wouldn't last long. So, we did the family pictures first. After about 10 minutes, the boys were done for the day. They were crying, and getting upset. 

So, you have to do it their way. Really, for something like this you have no control over the situation... and you have to be okay with that. If you can think of ways to involve the kids more... and to make it fun, then the kids will last longer. You really have to let go of what you want, and make it what THEY (the children) want. That goes for almost anything in life. As a parent, as a caretaker, as a teacher, you have to be patient and you have to be selfless. Children do teach you a lot. 

I know. This is a lot, and it's probably confusing. So, I'm sorry. 

Here's some pictures though :) (These are mostly for you, Karin! ) 

We wanted to get some pictures of the three siblings... this is the only one that had all three of them in it. The boys were tired of pictures. 

See the wrinkles? Yes, I probably shouldn't be pointing this out... ha

Thankfully here, the wrinkles in the sheet, make it look better. I think... It's more of a texture. 

I love her facial expression! 

This makes me think of the Lion King

I had wanted to get a few more "newborn" shots of Madilyn, but you could tell she just wanted to be done as well. 

Last picture of the day... right before she peed on him. (and then spit up on me and my camera.) 


Karin said...

Wow, Christina, so much great stuff in this post! First, thank you for posting all of those pictures - I loved seeing them! I also love Maddie's facial expression in that photo with B&D.

I think you got some really flattering lighting. Was it all natural, or what did you use?

Your tips and thoughts about the shoot are really helpful for others, and I think it is really good for you to journal what you've learned so you can work on those things in the future. The fam will be very happy to have these pictures you've taken, and it was so great that you had some (great:) people to practice on, too!

What if you were to next time have a friend or a sister assist you, so they can help keep an eye on the details that you may not be able to consider? I mean if that was their expressed purpose of being there - looking out for wrinkles, popped collars, odd objects in the background, etc. That might help lesson the burden on you. Although I agree with you - the more you do these, the better eye you will have for the whole picture.

Christina, I think you did a really impressive job for your first real shoot. If I come across some interesting articles or posts on ideas and tips for these types of photo shoots, I'll be sure to pass them on to you so you can continue to expand in your ideas and skills!

Rach said...

Great pictures! I looooove the naked baby ones. So cute. Good tips too!

Kristin said...

I know that I don't know a whole lot about this kind of stuff, but I actually like the wrinkles. And I also love babies with chubby cheeks. :)