I had the great pleasure on Friday lunchtime (11-11-11) of visiting a local country park and photographing a friend and her sweet (almost exactly, just one day to go) 1-year-old boy.
I was after just such a willing volunteer – after my previous family photoshoot earlier in the year I have been pondering over doing more of this type of photography and I wanted to work out a few things…
- Did I have the right skills?
- How long would it take to do the photoshoot?
- Do I have the right equipment?
- How long would it take to do the post-production?
- Was it fun?
Well, thanks to my two gorgeous models I am much closer to having definitive answers to those questions.
Do I have the skill?
Some of them, yes, but I can see there’s still lots I need to learn and adjust to. I definitely need to do more corralling of my models and give feedback about what’s looking good and not so good.
How long will a photoshoot take?
I was pleasantly surprised with how much we achieved in just over an hour. That’s a long time for a little one.
Do I have the right equipment?
I am lucky enough to have some amazing photographic equipment – the camera I used (Canon 5D MkII) was faultless, the lenses though gave varying results.
The 135mm was the star, it was long enough that I didn’t have to get right into peoples faces, it worked well in lowish light, amazing depth of field, but what really made it stand out was the speed that it focussed. A big lesson I learnt is that getting to people to make ‘nice’ faces at exactly the same moment is a split-second thing when one of the models is only a year old – you need that focus there in an instant.
The 85mm f/1.8 was WAY too slow to focus, didn’t even come close on a lot of shots. The 17-40mm was slightly better – the wide-angle, there was a little more light about when I was using this one though so it wasn’t a very scientific test. Suffice to say I am now drooling over lens review websites!
How long will the post-production take?
This is the bit I thought would be the most familiar and straightforward but actually took a lot longer than expected. Rather than dealing with photos on a one-by-one basis I think it’s important to treat them as a group of images that should have a relationship with the others in the group. The lesson here is to get super-slick with using Lightroom (and look at getting some more RAM).
Was it fun?