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Thread: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or 8x1

  1. #1

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    Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or 8x1

    I am looking for tips in capturing a natural light photos/portraits of young children (age 1-5years) both as individuals and in a group (sibling photo).

    How can I keep them engaged throughout the process?
    Holding still for the exposure?
    All looking at the camera?

    Pose/metering/setup suggestions?

    What works and what does not?

    PS: I am looking to use HP5+ for the assignment.

  2. #2
    Indiana, USA chassis's Avatar
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    Re: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or

    Sandra Coan is in this genre. She is active on Instagram and has a portfolio on her website: https://www.sandracoan.com/portfolio/

    It appears she offers coaching sessions to photographers: https://www.sandracoaneducation.com

    She shoots film, but I believe it is not large format.

  3. #3

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    Re: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or

    Quote Originally Posted by l2oBiN View Post
    How can I keep them engaged throughout the process?
    You have to be able to play with children, so you need to be a proficient clown, also parents may help by playing with children.

    Clown Wig and Foam Clown Nose... not jocking at all. Poisonous snakes are an easier job, and at least you can kill the snakes after a dozen sheets have been ruined.

    Many girls would collaborate if you tell that's a supermodel session, if they want to play this you won't need to say the pose, they know very well what they have to do, better than the photographer.


    Quote Originally Posted by l2oBiN View Post
    Holding still for the exposure?
    This won't happen, at least not easy... best bet is learning to simulate natural light with strobes.


    Quote Originally Posted by l2oBiN View Post
    All looking at the camera?
    A weird noise, a clown (you) performance, or big TV in the back of the camera with youtube, but this will deliver boring faces in the babys.


    Quote Originally Posted by l2oBiN View Post
    What works and what does not?
    You have two choices, one is painting marks on the ground for the region in DOF, and fire with a long cable, but you may need to stop the lens, so strobe required.

    Another choice, to play with defocus, is acquiring a serious camera for this kind of jobs: a Glaflex RB 4x5, you may use a monopod, you nail focus by moving yourself forward and back. Reflex convenience for LF !!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can also use a regular Graflex for handheld/monopod, but the Kalart rangefinder is not as convenient as the reflex way, by far.

    To me, the Glaflex RB is top notch gear for that kind of challenge.

  4. #4

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    Re: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or

    Where can you focus their interest? E.g. there is a small table between you and them, on which are toys or coloring book or ... etc. There is a window and they are on the other side. Create a set where there is some control or interest or even fascination.

  5. #5

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    Re: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or

    A piece of Scotch tape placed in their hand will get young kids looking at it.
    A squeak toy will get them looking at you when you squeak it.
    A coin in their hands will get them looking at it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments so far. I will try out some of these ideas...

    Dow anyone have any examples of large format family/kids portraits?

  7. #7

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    Re: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or

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    There’s the setup, the necessary goofing around, and then the portrait (8x10). I do everything in advance and then add the people when all I have left to do is fine focus and release the shutter. I have a stuffed tiger that peeks up from behind the camera when I’m working with really young kids.

    Cameron Cornell
    Washington State
    www.analogportraiture.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or

    Quote Originally Posted by l2oBiN View Post
    Dow anyone have any examples of large format family/kids portraits?
    I love specially those portraits that play with defocus and movements, a member here, Ramiro Elena uses a 8x10 and a Graflex RB Super D 4x5 (reflex) for that.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/rabato...7625902835098/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/rabato...57663305121256

    Not usual, using a 4x5 reflex for family/kids portraiture, but IMHO this is an amazing tool for a unique kind or portraiture...

    (it looks that right now flickr has problems, try later)

  9. #9
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Pose/Metering/Setup + Tips on capturing children’s natural portraits using 4x5 or

    Years ago, a friend of mine set up a portrait booth in an indoor flea market. He would do 12 head and shoulder shots fore a $20 bill, on a short roll with his then top-of-the-line Nikon bodies and lenses. The client got the exposed roll and took it to the drug store one-hour lab. He did kid photos to.

    Just behind his posing chair set up was a padded platform, maybe 8x8 feet and 3-4 feet off the ground. It was surrounded by umbrella lights and soft box strobes. One day he showed me how the exposure was 250th at f/8 anywhere on the platform so no matter which way the toddler moved or faced, he could get a parent- acceptable shot.

    He was in the middle of a divorce at the time and this business model worked for him for six months or so.

    I know that the OP is using LF and wants natural light. Yet, there may still be something in this story that he can adapt to his needs.
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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