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View Full Version : My Stab at DIY Senior Photos....


mom2rtk
06-02-2011, 07:29 PM
I really had a hard time deciding what to do for Senior Photos for my son. We didn't do them last summer, so with graduation now over, time was getting away from me. I didn't consider myself experienced enough to rely on just my photos, so we did an indoor studio sitting for a few professional shots, and last week I tried my own outdoor shots. We visited an historic site here in town. While I'm not a processing whiz by any means, I figure I have the raw files and can work on the shots as I learn more....... (If only I had a pile of RAW baby pictures to work on too!)

If anybody has suggestions on processing, I'm hard to offend and I love to pick the brains of those who know more....... :)

Thanks for letting me share.

ChiSoxKeith
06-02-2011, 08:46 PM
Congratulations on your shots. They turned out pretty good. I don't know enough post processing to offer any tips.

10dedfish
06-03-2011, 04:51 AM
Good job on getting started Mom2rtk! You have to start somewhere, might as well be now!

I personally love the tilted shots, where the subject is going from corner to corner. Maybe its just me, don't know. I just like it, esp. for tweens and teens.

You may want to consider going for a depth of field, blurry out of focus background, ie your shot of your son in front of the building. Where the background is so busy, he kind of blends in (pic #4).

You may also want to try bumping the color temp up a little more, as it looks like you may have used a flash and this would bring out the skin tones a little more.

Hope this helps,

Matt

Theosus
06-03-2011, 06:11 AM
I personally love the tilted shots, where the subject is going from corner to corner. Maybe its just me, don't know. I just like it, esp. for tweens and teens.

Matt

I usually only like tilted shots for action... kids running, etc. Just standing still often doesn't work for me. These two are okay as part of a series I guess.

I saw a woman do an ENTIRE shoot with tilted shots, not a single upright one. Made me seasick.

10dedfish
06-03-2011, 06:50 AM
I saw a woman do an ENTIRE shoot with tilted shots, not a single upright one. Made me seasick.

Why on Earth would you do the entire shoot with tilted shots? I usually use them for close ups, I couldn't imagine doing all of them that way. You have no freedom of choice like that.

I usually only do one or two shots like that before moving on to something different.

Matt

mom2rtk
06-03-2011, 08:16 AM
Congratulations on your shots. They turned out pretty good. I don't know enough post processing to offer any tips.

Thanks ChiSoxKeith!

Good job on getting started Mom2rtk! You have to start somewhere, might as well be now!

I personally love the tilted shots, where the subject is going from corner to corner. Maybe its just me, don't know. I just like it, esp. for tweens and teens.

You may want to consider going for a depth of field, blurry out of focus background, ie your shot of your son in front of the building. Where the background is so busy, he kind of blends in (pic #4).

You may also want to try bumping the color temp up a little more, as it looks like you may have used a flash and this would bring out the skin tones a little more.

Hope this helps,

Matt

I usually only like tilted shots for action... kids running, etc. Just standing still often doesn't work for me. These two are okay as part of a series I guess.

I saw a woman do an ENTIRE shoot with tilted shots, not a single upright one. Made me seasick.

Why on Earth would you do the entire shoot with tilted shots? I usually use them for close ups, I couldn't imagine doing all of them that way. You have no freedom of choice like that.

I usually only do one or two shots like that before moving on to something different.

Matt

And thanks for the feedback 10dedfish and Theosus.

Good point about the DOF on the 4th shot. I do think a wide aperture would have served me well on that one.

As for the angles shots, I can't imagine doing them all one way or another. I was mostly looking for some variety. I think I tried most of the poses both straight vertical and angled. I mostly wanted to put together a scrapbook page with a wide variety of shots.

I did use my flash, with a diffuser, and the FEC dialed back a little. But I'll play with the color temp a bit.

Pooh2
06-04-2011, 02:32 PM
I like the occasional tilted shot, though I myself have not mastered doing it without making the person look like they are falling! I think it works here.

On the shot in front of the house: The photographer mentioned that they were visiting a historical site, so the sharp house in the background works for me indicating it is a significant part of photograph.

Nice work!

manning
06-04-2011, 09:59 PM
Smart move was taking photos in the shade.

When I did weddings we would pray for a light cloudy day. Lighting was even and no squinting

Pea-n-Me
06-05-2011, 07:37 AM
The photos are nice, but I would like to see more of his personality. As a Mom of two teens myself, while looking at the photos I found myself wondering about him and what he's like. From the photos, it's hard to tell. There's a hint of a smile in the first pic, but in the rest, his facial expression is almost exactly the same. (How does he feel about having his pic taken?) What about his dress? While a perfectly nice outfit, was he comfortable in it? (I know my son absolutely hates "dressing up" and puts on a poker face in front of the camera when he's uncomfortable.) Have you considered doing a session where he dresses up as "himself" and is doing something he really enjoys? Just a thought. (And thanks, because it will help me in thinking this through, too!)

As for the pics, I like the first one and the last one the best! :goodvibes I also like the second to last but I wish we could see his whole right hand. Overall, really nice work!

mom2rtk
06-05-2011, 10:06 AM
I removed the photos, as I think probably anyone wanting to offer helpful constructive advice has probably seen them by now.

Many thanks to whoever was quick at the revision on this thread for me. :goodvibes Most appreciated.


I like the occasional tilted shot, though I myself have not mastered doing it without making the person look like they are falling! I think it works here.

On the shot in front of the house: The photographer mentioned that they were visiting a historical site, so the sharp house in the background works for me indicating it is a significant part of photograph.

Nice work!

Thank you!

Like I said, I took a wide variety of shots, so I have tilted and non-tilted shots of most poses. I found I liked the tilted ones that didn't have a structure in the backgound.

And yes, I wanted the house to be identifiable. He likes history, and having one of the historcal homes in town in the photo was important. But I think there's a happy medium. I could have opened up the aperture some more and had it lightly blurred to keep the focus on him.

Smart move was taking photos in the shade.

When I did weddings we would pray for a light cloudy day. Lighting was even and no squinting

It was really nice having a place with enough tree cover to offer some fairly consistent shade.

The photos are nice, but I would like to see more of his personality. As a Mom of two teens myself, while looking at the photos I found myself wondering about him and what he's like. From the photos, it's hard to tell. There's a hint of a smile in the first pic, but in the rest, his facial expression is almost exactly the same. (How does he feel about having his pic taken?) What about his dress? While a perfectly nice outfit, was he comfortable in it? (I know my son absolutely hates "dressing up" and puts on a poker face in front of the camera when he's uncomfortable.) Have you considered doing a session where he dresses up as "himself" and is doing something he really enjoys? Just a thought. (And thanks, because it will help me in thinking this through, too!)

As for the pics, I like the first one and the last one the best! :goodvibes I also like the second to last but I wish we could see his whole right hand. Overall, really nice work!

Pea-n-me.....your feedback is very valid. Thank you!

If you only knew how much I struggled with this very thing. It's one of the reasons we didn't do photos last summer when everyone else did. Given the choice, he would have just passed. He's a pretty introverted kid (just voted "most shy" in his graduating class), who hasn't really developed his own personal style yet. Not at all your typical teen. He was on the school Scholar Bowl team, but that's it. I was really at a loss on how to "personalize" his photos. The professional ones won't show it either.

It will be easier when my second graduates in a couple years.. I think I can incorportate his sport into some shots, and I think he'll participate in choosing what to wear.

The comment on the cut off hand was really helpful. That's the sort of stuff I easily overlook. Since I think that was an editing crop, it will be easily remedied.

Once again, thanks to everyone who offered constructive input.

Pea-n-Me
06-05-2011, 10:24 AM
If you only knew how much I struggled with this very thing. It's one of the reasons we didn't do photos last summer when everyone else did. Given the choice, he would have just passed. He's a pretty introverted kid (just voted "most shy" in his graduating class), who hasn't really developed his own personal style yet. Not at all your typical teen. He was on the school Scholar Bowl team, but that's it. I was really at a loss on how to "personalize" his photos. The professional ones won't show it either.
Actually, I could *sort of* tell a lot about his personal style! For instance, his hair told me something, as did his glasses, stature, body type and other physical elements. I was intrigued. But I wanted to see more of his individual personality, kwim? This is actually one of the things I really love about photography - the ability to read or show a lot from a single photo; the storytelling. That is what I think, wasn't captured fully, but it's just a sense I have. I know there's a story there - as there is with all kids! (Maybe it's just the Mom in me and how I enjoy my own kids and all their friends' personalities, etc.) One could also argue that that's not the purpose of a portrait. But to me, it could be the difference between a good portrait and a great portrait! And if Mom's taking them, then I know they could be great (personality wise - you've already got the technical aspect down, for sure)!

mom2rtk
06-05-2011, 10:33 AM
Actually, I could *sort of* tell a lot about his personal style! For instance, his hair told me something, as did his glasses, stature, body type and other physical elements. I was intrigued. But I wanted to see more of his individual personality, kwim? This is actually one of the things I really love about photography - the ability to read or show a lot from a single photo; the storytelling. That is what I think, wasn't captured fully, but it's just a sense I have. I know there's a story there - as there is with all kids! (Maybe it's just the Mom in me and how I enjoy my own kids and all their friends' personalities, etc.) One could also argue that that's not the purpose of a portrait. But to me, it could be the difference between a good portrait and a great portrait! And if Mom's taking them, then I know they could be great (personality wise - you've already got the technical aspect down, for sure)!

Well, many thanks for the encouragement. :goodvibes He tries hard not to let the world in, so it was definitely challenging. Maybe I should have posted the photos of the silly faces he made between these shots? :rotfl: That first shot with the bigger smile...... that's actually the biggest smile I've seen out of him in a while, so it means a lot to me. I can see his relief at having high school over.

When do you get to give this a go yourself?