Hi all,I have been asked by a friend to take a family portrait. Their son works abroad and is home for a short holiday so they as they don't see that much of him they would like some family shots with their 11 year old daughter. They heard that I had bought a decent camera (D600) so asked me to do the honours. I would like some advice about the following:
What would be the best lens to use, I have a Nikkor 50mm 1.8 and a Nikkor VR Micra 105mm 2.8.
Outdoors or indoors. I live in Portugal so it will probably be a bright sunny day.
If outdoors should I find a shaded area or use fill-in flash (SB910)
Depending on the size of the group, the 105 -- but if the group is large and will be spread out a bit, you may need the 50, particularly if you are using flash for lighting or for fill.
Since this is almost a one-time event for them, I might try both inside and outside -- assuming you can find a reasonable backdrop inside.
I do group shots at our church quite a bit, groups from 2 to 30 or 40. I find that its often hard to get good expressions across the board with the larger groups, so I tend to take lots of shots, in a row if I can cycle my flash fast enough.
The other thing I have found often produces something more interesting is to take my eye away from the camera (on a tripod so the framing is good), and talk to them about smiling, not being silly etc, while quietly snapping shots -- mostly they don't even notice the flash going off. Results can be good or at least interesting. I find talking while shooting also stops them getting bored while I take 10 or 20 shots to get the desired expressions and eyes open.
Ron, Another suggestion, look thru magazines or, check out portrait posing books for posing ideas. I wouldn't shoot wide open because you want everyone to be in focus. I usually place the mom in the photo first then add the other family members. It's usually the mom who will be making the decisions about which is the favorite image/images I also suggest family not dress in wild colors, keep it simple.
Hi Cheryl Thank you for taking the time to answer. I was thinking of f8 or f11 to make sure everyone is in focus and I might use a tripod or monopod as suggested by Dennis. I have just started looking at tutorials on YouTube and picked up some good ideas for poses but as the shoot is still a few weeks away I will also look at books and magazines. Many thanks again. Ron
Hi Dennis Many thanks for your detailed response and I will definitely use some of your ideas. The group is only 4 by the way. Another thought has just come to mind is do I request them to wear specific clothes and colours etc.? Thanks once again.