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First Real Photoshoot (Kinda)

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by sesser, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    487
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    I've never been one too keen on formal photoshoots, but I always admire those who do and the results they produce. Last week, some friends asked if I would take pictures of them with their dog. I was a bit nervous because a) I've never really done it before and b) was unsure about my current lens selection. Still, I agreed and figured this would expose me to the general experience of shooting people in a semi-controlled environment (I'm more of a spontaneous shooter and rarely engage with the subject).

    I knew lighting would be an issue. It was overcast with occasional sun breaks and was fixing to start raining within an hour or so. I bought a Neewer TT560 hoping to use it for fill, but I could not get it to fire from my E-M1's hotshoe (S1 and S2 worked, however). I ended up using my older Nissan Di466 which has TTL and "worked" for the shots that came out.

    Here's the list of gear I took with me:
    • OM-D E-M1
    • Oly 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro
    • Oly 45mm f/1.8
    • Pana/Leica 25mm f/1.4
    • Nissan Di466
    Also had some miscellaneous things like extra batteries, an adapted Hexanon 100mm f/2.8 and flash diffuser.

    All that said, here's a few shots that I think came out best. It was definitely more challenging that I had anticipated (especially with a 1.5yr old cattle dog with a 30 second attention span).

    12-40 Pro @ 12mm - 1/250s @ ƒ10 (fill flash)
    20151108-12.50.46.

    12-40 Pro @ 40mm - 1/1250s @ ƒ2.8
    20151108-12.51.46.

    PL25 - 1/125s @ ƒ4 (plus some film effects)
    20151108-13.36.05.

    PL25 - 1/160s @ ƒ4
    20151108-13.36.08.

    Overall, good experience and I took away a few things:

    • Bring a tripod. Makes for consistent framing and just overall sharper images
    • Invest in some better lighting options. Umbrellas, flashes, reflectors, etc. And practice!
    • Engage more with the subject(s). This is probably the most important thing and something I will most likely have the hardest time overcoming.
    Sorry if this is all TL;DR, but figured I'd share my experience. Thanks for reading :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
    • Like Like x 6
  2. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    507
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    @sesser@sesser , You may want to consideor collapsible softboxes for your speedlights, rather than umbrellas. Umbrellas tend not to control the light too well, which can be an advantage in some situations, but usually for a portrait, you would benefit from greater controi. Softboxes also waste less light out the back too, as opposed using a shoot through brolly.
    You may want to consider some cheap guy ropes and tent pegs too, to tether your lightstands. Umbrellas make great parachutes, and even in the slightest breeze can topple your stand over and cause damage to your lighting gear.
    I'm not convinced on the tripod requirements for this style of shooting, although don't forget, I'm basing that opinion on my own experience, and it may well be completely different than yours, so go with what you feel is best.

    Nice set of images by the way
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  3. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    487
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    Thanks for the tips @MichaelSewell@MichaelSewell. Soft boxes would definitely work too. I don't have experience with either, so the umbrella + wind argument is a good one for outdoor photos. Especially in Portland where there is usually a breeze of some sort blowing through the valley.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    507
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    There's examples of softboxes in use here, and a little further down that same page.
    Umbrellas wouldn't have worked in any of those shots, due to the amount of spill, except for the image of the "Love" sign, where I needed an overall wash of light.
    The Red image would have been completely killed by an umbrella setup.
     
  5. rav

    rav Mu-43 Top Veteran

    638
    Jul 28, 2015
    I liked all your pics ,the couple too seem enthusiastic too . And the location was great too . You didn't use the 45mm ?
     
  6. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    507
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    EDIT :

    It's just dawned on me that @rav@rav was probably replying to @sesser@sesser
    I've deleted my reply, as it would appear I hijacked the thread.

    @sesser@sesser , I apologise.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  7. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    487
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    Ha ha.. no worries @MichaelSewell@MichaelSewell.

    Thanks @rav@rav... I did take it with me and I did use it, but framing was difficult since they wanted the dog in the picture and the bridge. I have a few shots, but I didn't include them in the post.