Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Now I'm panicking!

  1. #1
    DH59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Posts
    64
    Real Name
    Diane

    Now I'm panicking!

    Well, after offering some free shoots (for portfolio building purposes) for members of my networking group, and having done two already, with another two to organise and also one for a relative of said members, it appears that someone has found my website and wants a family shoot as a birthday present for his wife. This will be my first paid shoot, so I am a little apprehensive, but I'm thrilled to be making a start after all my procrastination.

    There will be five adults and one child and two dogs! It appears to be a multi-generation group, with the eldest two being in their 50s, and the other three being 20s to 30s. The child is four. Dogs are small Pugs. I will be doing the shoot in their garden, which is reasonably sized (from what I see on Google Maps), and looks to have some shady parts, and they have a conservatory and large rooms should the weather not behave.

    I think the objective is to have a large print on the wall, although he did ask if I can provide the digital files. I suppose there may be the potential for a large spend here, with what I presume is their children and grandchild involved.

    How should I be organising this shoot? Main group first then move onto smaller groups and individuals? What sort of image would be a big seller?

    I am taking (and will try to remember to use!) my reflectors, and also a flash setup in case we are restricted to the house and conservatory (or possibly to use outdoors if it's dull).

    I'm also going to go back and re-read the portrait lessons here! I have until December 3rd, so I hope to have some idea of what I'm doing by then. Don't want to disappoint them.

    HELP!!!

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,393
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Hi Diane,

    Congrats and good luck - that's about all the practical advice I am qualified to give

    You haven't mentioned a VAL, I hope you have one or two to hand.
    Also, if you're shooting the adults, is there someone to keep an eye on the 4yo to avoid the adults being distracted?

    Once again, good luck,

  3. #3
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,861
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Diane, well done! remember that you can use your flash to good ends outdoors as well as in. dont forget to show us your results

  4. #4
    FrankMi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    6,294
    Real Name
    Frank Miller

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Hi Diane, I went through this many years ago and in the end you'll be nervous but it will come out fine. You can search the web for posing ideas if you feel you need more options.

    Allow yourself enough time to post some of the images for critique before you present them to the buyers. We may not be able to help with the taking of the shots after the fact, but we may be able to give you ideas for post processing techniques.

  5. #5
    DH59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Posts
    64
    Real Name
    Diane

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Thanks chaps!

    Dave, I do have a VAL, who will be put to good use, believe me. He might just be able to babysit the 4-yr-old for a few minutes as well.

    Mark, I will probably try the flash outdoors, and I will have a little practice here first to make sure I can set it up without fiddling too much, for both indoors and outdoors.

    Frank, I will definitely be posting some images from the shoot. I have been on a couple of posing and lighting workshops, and am a member of an online video training website, so I have been learning all I can within my budget constraints.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grand Cayman, GT
    Posts
    830
    Real Name
    Graham Heron

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    In terms of people dynamics, get the largest group done first if possible (see below) as people tend to want to wander and talk hence getting them back together 30 minutes in can be difficult.
    (Variables - if some are very excitable (dogs, children) or somewhat infirm (elderly, handicapped)), then you may need to get the indiviual shots of them first to help get them involved as groups can be difficult to pose quickly so interest can wane).

    One tip I heard (and it works) when posing the group, you'll probably want some of them lower down, rather than asking given individuals you can say 'Those who are fit enough to get back up again, get on the ground'. Introduces an element of humour and can gain involvement from them.

    Dogs and children (even if only one) what a great opportunity. Kid on dogs back if dogs are big enough. Dogs being hugged, kid lying on adults etc. Loads of ideas out there.

    If you can (not easy), but get as many flash units as you can as the recycle time would be quicker if they are all contributing, hence it's easier to get a few shots per pose if people don't have to wait around for too long.

    Candids of course. Parents running around after kid running around after dogs. Dirty shots as wel as clean shots.
    I don't know many people like this group so am a little envious of the opportunity.

    Graham
    (would also panic by the way)

  7. #7
    DH59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Posts
    64
    Real Name
    Diane

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Thanks for the tips Graham.

    As far as I know, there are no infirm people involved. The oldest two are in their 50s, so I suppose they should be OK. Well, I'm in that ball-park, and I can just about manage to get up from the floor!

    Yes, dogs and children! The dogs are small Pugs, so I don't think there'll be any dog-riding going on. I was thinking of a shot with both dogs in the foreground, taken lying on my belly, and a slightly out-of-focus family group in the background, if the dogs will sit proudly together - something a bit quirky.

    I've got two flashes, but I will have to see what the general light is like on the day, but I am going to have a play beforehand.

    I went to sleep last night thinking it all through in my head. I know you can never predict anything, but at least I have a few scenarios in my mind, and some things to say to lighten the tension for them, although I'm rubbish at remembering jokes, so that is out!

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,393
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Quote Originally Posted by DH59 View Post
    I was thinking of a shot with both dogs in the foreground, taken lying on my belly, and a slightly out-of-focus family group in the background, if the dogs will sit proudly together - something a bit quirky.
    I have this mental image of you lying on the ground with the dogs on your belly, macro lens on camera and the family standing in the background wondering who in the heck they hired

  9. #9
    DH59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Posts
    64
    Real Name
    Diane

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    LOL Dave. It does conjure up a certain image, doesn't it.

    It's not quite my own idea. I've seen similar effects done with just people - one in focus in front, and a partner out of focus further back. I just thought it would be a humourous image, if I can pull it off, making these tiny dogs look like kings of the castle. My next problem will be getting back up.

  10. #10
    JPS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    1,475
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Hi Diane,
    this is a great opportunity and even thou you will be a bit nervous on the day, this I promise will only bring out the best in you. My only tip, that works for me is to write down in a small note book what shots I want to take. I find this just jogs my memory on the day making sure everything I planned before the shot is covered and not forgotten. It only takes a second to refer to and I usually look at the back of the camera and make a quick note in the note book, this appears to the client that you are recording information from the shoot and not jogging your memory; of course this only normally needs to be referred to once or twice throughout the shoot. Have a great day.

  11. #11
    DH59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Posts
    64
    Real Name
    Diane

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Thanks John, that's a good idea.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Nottingham.UK
    Posts
    409
    Real Name
    Martyn

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    another point is that you may want to ask the people beforehand if theres anything special they want recorded,quite often the answer can give you more ideas to work on, when i say beforehand i dont mean on the day of the shoot,try and keep a snappy momentum going,cheers martyn

  13. #13
    DH59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Posts
    64
    Real Name
    Diane

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Thought I'd better update on this: the shoot went OK, but the weather was not conducive to being outside for too long. The house had quite a large living room, but it was L-shaped and there was bright sunlight streaming in from one side. I set up the flash and umbrella, but should have used it shoot-through rather than reflective, I think.

    I ended up being a little indecisive and I think the images are rather boring and 'posed'. I didn't post any here as I was so embarrassed about them! I sent the link to the images for them to choose a free one, and possibly any they might want to buy, but hadn't heard back from them and assumed that they were as disappointed with them as I was. I was going to email and offer them their money back, but last night I received an email with an order worth 180! They want the digital files rather than a framed print or canvas, but I have set a decent price for this so that I don't lose out on any possible income from sales of wall prints, etc.

    So, not a bad start to the year. I've also had the chance, through pure luck, to book on a portrait workshop with one of the top training companies in the UK at a special price, so my husband has kindly paid for that for me. The workshop is in a couple of weeks, so I am really looking forward to that. Hopefully it will improve my style and technique so that I am happier with my images, and in turn make my customers very happy.

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    20,234
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    Quote Originally Posted by DH59 View Post
    I didn't post any here as I was so embarrassed about them!
    So, now that you've had that order, how about a wee peak? I'm sure others will learn from what you did.

    Well done on seeing it through.

  15. #15
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,571
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    One lesson that I learned is shooting family groups is to situate the persons one by one, rather that send the whole group of people into the frame at once. Since the father is most often the physically largest member of the group, I situate him first and use him as the basis for the rest of the group. He is followed by the mother whom I situate close to the father. Then the kids and finally the dogs.

    I like to ensure that there is not a lot of open space between the family members and even the dogs. Physical closeness implies emtional closeness. Physical distance implies emotional distance.

    Dogs which are trained are easy to work with, however dogs which are not trained can be somewhat of a problem. IMO, the difficulty posing numbers of dogs increases geometrically rather than artitmetically with the introduction of each additional dog.

    Of course, having my equipment ready, lights prepositioned so there is only a slight bit of adjustment needed and my camera ready for shooting is necessary. I also ensure that the batteries in my flash (if I am using battery power) are fresh. Nothing causes problems more than the subjects waiting for the flash or flashes to recharge,

  16. #16
    DH59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
    Posts
    64
    Real Name
    Diane

    Re: Now I'm panicking!

    I think that's more or less what I did for the whole family shots, although I don't think I positioned them close enough at times. The dogs were another story! I had to get them on their own later - one belonged to the elder couple, whose house it was, and the other belonged to their daughter who lived elsewhere, and they did not really get on together. Two Pugs, but not related.

    Batteries were charged, lights positioned (although probably not set correctly with the umbrella), but I am a little happier that they have actually ordered something. I suppose if they hadn't liked any, they would have had their free image that I offer with every shoot and not ordered any more.

    Anyway, here's a selection of what they ordered.

    Now I'm panicking!

    Now I'm panicking!

    Now I'm panicking!

    Now I'm panicking!

    Now I'm panicking!

    Now I'm panicking!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •