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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Dealing with the cold
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11/09/2008 09:57:29 AM · #1
Well as my luck would have it, its been really nice here in the 60's and 70's. I have a four family photo shoot scheduled for today and the temperatures have plummeted. I called the family and asked if we could reschedule so they might be more comfortable. Of course they have had family come in from out of town and its just not possible. So here I have an outdoor shoot with 4 families and one larger group in about 6 hours. Its going to be in the low 40's and winds about 10mph. Not possible to do anything indoor as the group shot is going to be 20 people.

My question after the long winded whine! So what do you do to deal with changes on the fly with outdoor shoots. I know this happens at weddings and events, but you usually have the church or reception hall to shoot in.

Personally I will be comfortable, I have under Armour and will be warm, but dealing with a large group can be challenging when they are warm, how do you deal with it when they arent comfortable?

Matt
11/09/2008 10:29:41 AM · #2
I know what you mean i am supposed to shot a young ladies sr pic this afternoon and i am not looking forward to it and thats only one, i cant imagine how you would work with a large group. personally i am praying for the wind to die and some sunshine.
Good luck
Dave
11/09/2008 10:46:00 AM · #3
I think it would depend on the group and the type of shots that are expected.

If it's an outdoors type crowd you shouldn't have too much trouble except maybe with younger children.
11/09/2008 10:58:43 AM · #4
Bring an urn of hot chocolate!
11/09/2008 11:46:24 AM · #5
Borrow a pop-up tent, vendors canopy or hunting blind. Maybe a kerosene heater. Hang a tarp as a wind break.
Shoot fast.
Tent
11/09/2008 04:45:49 PM · #6
Well last minute they decided to change locations and do it at their house so they could keep warm inside while we shot outside. Luckily they had a somewhat scenic view to shoot against. I fought a bit of a bright spot. And I'd show you some quick edits...........but well you know the DPC problems of the day.

Matt
11/09/2008 04:51:46 PM · #7
Tell them to smile and hold their breath so they do not look like steam engines......:P
11/09/2008 04:54:02 PM · #8
Nothing ruins a lovely family portrait more than Grandma's nips showing.
11/09/2008 05:19:05 PM · #9
Originally posted by aliqui:

Nothing ruins a lovely family portrait more than Grandma's nips showing.


lol
11/09/2008 05:46:30 PM · #10
I did some outdoor shots quicklike at a December wedding where I had people just outside the frame to quickly hand coats to. Shot a couple, rebundled them. The kids were pretty game. In all we were only outside for about 15 minutes.
11/09/2008 09:37:15 PM · #11
Originally posted by aliqui:

Nothing ruins a lovely family portrait more than Grandma's nips showing.


Depends on the family. I've known 36 year old grandmothers...GILF was a proper term for her.
11/09/2008 10:32:12 PM · #12
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Originally posted by aliqui:

Nothing ruins a lovely family portrait more than Grandma's nips showing.


Depends on the family. I've known 36 year old grandmothers...GILF was a proper term for her.


And the results of that would be Gilflings?
11/09/2008 10:37:32 PM · #13
Ok So I'll post a couple of my shots, be kind I'm just a lowly sports photographer.

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It ended up not so bad, we did this off their back deck instead of the park, because they had a little one they were concerned with getting her too cold. So they could keep warm and I could set up shots a little easier. Shot for an hour and have 35 prints available for them to view later this week.

Matt
11/10/2008 07:47:36 AM · #14
Not too bad, considering. I've got one this coming saturday morning - 15 people, 7 are kids, at 9am no less. (their choice of time).

Critique:
Exposure, expression are both fine. Clothing is not good- they're not coordinated and that makes a picture a portrait when it comes to families. It makes a huge difference, but other then advising them to dress alike (all white tops, or all blue turtle necks, etc).
Second would be pose - the second image is better tan the first - more touching, more conection. The first the seated folk's hands really jump out at me.

It's real easy to be a monday morning quarterback so we'll see how I've done come next week.
11/10/2008 10:15:02 AM · #15
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Not too bad, considering. I've got one this coming saturday morning - 15 people, 7 are kids, at 9am no less. (their choice of time).

Critique:
Exposure, expression are both fine. Clothing is not good- they're not coordinated and that makes a picture a portrait when it comes to families. It makes a huge difference, but other then advising them to dress alike (all white tops, or all blue turtle necks, etc).
Second would be pose - the second image is better tan the first - more touching, more conection. The first the seated folk's hands really jump out at me.

It's real easy to be a monday morning quarterback so we'll see how I've done come next week.


I agree, to a point, about the clothing, but I generally dislike portraits where the family members all look like little clones. Matching colors, like all blue tops looks good, but having a whole family dressed something like identical blue oxford J. Crew button down shirts is kinda creepy.

I think the posing in the first is better, despite the hands. In the second, the two boys in the back are dirctly behind Mom and Dad. This visually splits off Dad and the boy in the darker blue shirt from the rest of the family. It would have been better to shift the boys over so that the boy in the darker blue shirt is between Mom and Dad.
Yeah, the hands thing too.

The real question is: Are they happy?

As for the cold problem, you might consider handing out a few of those chemical handwarmer packs.

Message edited by author 2008-11-10 10:33:12.
11/10/2008 10:58:17 AM · #16
The mother needs to have her hands somewhere else and posed differently, right now, she kinda looks like she needs to go to the bathroom. Sorry.

11/10/2008 11:10:40 AM · #17
Haha, you should come over here, I can´t believe you are complaining about 4 degrees celcius temperatures and a little wind :) Just tell them that the cold will only last five minutes but the picture will last forever and tell them to think of Hawaii or something.
11/10/2008 11:14:22 AM · #18
Thanks everyone, I will be the first to admit posing isnt my strong suit. If anyone is willing to look over some that I have posted for the family send me a PM and I can send you a link and password to their shots.

Matt
11/10/2008 03:16:11 PM · #19
I actually thought they were both very lovely portraits. The clothing didn't bother me in the slightest and neither did the hands' positioning. All I saw was their smiling faces and what a beautiful family they were.
11/10/2008 03:55:58 PM · #20
Does clothing make a difference? Have a look at what photogs are selling for $5,000 as family portraits and you see art, not snapshots.
What is important in the image? Faces of course.

I've had seniors (who usually end up going elsewhere) that the only thing they ask about is 'backgrounds'. What backgrounds do you have? over and over.

What is the reason for the image? Why are we doing this? To freeze your life in this moment in time. Your face, hair, clothing, class ring, perhaps car or pet, hobby or sport, etc. The image is about YOU, not my muslin or some foam numbers that spell out the year.

Same for family portraits - if folks are going to go the trouble of getting everyone together, the expense of hiring a pro, etc then they have a reason for wanting this portrait made. It's generally not something done every year. Could be for the christmas card, or for over the six foot couch in the living room - in which case you'll want a 3 or 4 foot long print. If you are going to make them a print that large, and get the proper pay for the work involved, then they're gonna invest a chunk of change - and live with this potrait for years, or decades even. If they will be looking at it for 10 or 20 years and spending $1500 or a lot more on it, I know it will mean more to them if the location is personal, the clothing is not trendy and is similar in color/style.

The difference between Sally Soccer Mom and a true, high end portrait photographer isn't the camera or personality or price - it's the knowledge of how to pose, light and design a portrait.

I was at a seminar about two weeks back about this very subject - they AVERAGE $3200 per sale. But they know what they're doing and they work for it - Where will the final potrait be placed? What room, what wall? What is the decor of the room, the colors in the room? How is the room lit? From what direction does the window light come from? Then they choose size of the print, clothing of the subject, style of image, location to shoot it, props and how to light the portrait for the specific location where it will be hung. It makes a HUGE difference in the finished product.

Yeah, few of us are that good - but knowing it can be done opens one's mind to the possibility- one can try to include some of those elements in every portrait you make.
11/10/2008 04:09:28 PM · #21
Prof TBH thats all fine and well, I dont aspire to be selling $3200 portrait sessions. I also dont want to tell my clients who they are by making them dress a certain way. To me, letting the family be who they are is important, not who or what you as an artist want them to be.

Myself, when I take family photos for my family, I want everyone to be who they are, how they are, because that is how I will remember them. Not dressed alike in a setting that isnt us. We arent high end people and we dont want to pretend to be. These folks are who they are in the photos, nothing more, nothing less. Tonight when I get home I'll show you one photo where they are all dressed alike, although I'm pretty sure the Camo they changed into isnt what you had in mind. And yes it was their idea. :D

Matt
11/10/2008 11:20:26 PM · #22
I'm going to add a few more, with sizes I'm more used to working with. Also some more then standard editing.

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Matt

I'll trade comments one to one with whoever wants too.


11/10/2008 11:32:10 PM · #23
Commented. And you don't need to trade comments :)
11/10/2008 11:34:00 PM · #24
Originally posted by pidge:

Commented. And you don't need to trade comments :)


Thanks Pidge.........of course I'll comment, but I've been watching for more SP's from you to comment on.......maybe you can post some?

Matt
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