The Best of Family Portrait Photography by P-IndependentPublish

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									The Best of Family Portrait Photography
Author: Bill Hurter
Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
About This Book
1.QUALITIES OF A GOOD FAMILY PORTRAIT
Flatters the Subject
A Coordinated Look
The Artist’s Vision
Rapport with Subjects
Remembering
Character and Emotion
A Time Capsule
The Expression
2.TECHNICAL ASPECTS
Lens Selection
Normal Lens
Short Telephotos
Long Telephotos
Wide-Angle Lenses
Depth of Field
Camera-to-Subject Distance
Medium Format vs. 35mm
Optimum Shooting Apertures
Shifting the Focus Point
Making the Film Plane
Parallel to the Group Plane
Shifting the Field of Focus
Autofocus Technology
Camera Height and Perspective
Shutter Speeds
Image-Stabilization Lenses
Shutter Speed or Depth of Field?
Film Choice
ISO
Color-Negative Film
Black & White Film
Metering
3. DIGITAL CONSIDERATIONS
Focal-Length Factors
ISO Setting
Black & White
Exposure
Evaluating Digital Exposures
LCD Playback
RAW vs. JPEG Mode
RAW
JPEG
Metadata
Reformat Your Cards
Color Space
White Balance
Wallace ExpoDisc
Battery Power
The Many Advantages of Digital Capture
4. POSING AND COMMUNICATION
Head-and-Shoulders Axes
Head Positions
Seven-Eighths View
Three-Quarter View
Profiles
Defining Levels Within a Group
The Eyes and Communication
Mouths and Eyes
Chin Height
Posing Hands
Three-Quarter and Full-Length Poses
5. COMPOSITION AND DESIGN
The Rule of Thirds
The Golden Mean
Lines and Shapes
Lines
Shapes
Pleasing Compositional Forms
Direction
Subject Tone
Tension and Balance
6. CHILDREN
The Team Approach
Lighting for Children
Some Favorite Setups
Posing Kids
Overstimulation
Eliciting Expressions
The Eyes
Camera Height
Hands
Three-Quarter and Full-Length Poses
7. BUILDING GROUPS
Posing Hierarchy
Posing Dialogue
Perimeter Check
Coordinating Apparel
Photographers’ Favorites
Seating
Arranging Small Groups
Start with Two
Add a Third
Adding a Fourth
Five on Up
Obvious Things to Avoid
Really Large Groups
Naturalness Counts
Stepladders
Linking Shapes
8. OUTDOOR LIGHTING
Roundness
Lighting Ratios
Determining Lighting Ratios
Lighting Ratios and Their Unique Personalities
Finding Good Light
The Best Light
One Main Light
Reflectors
Fill-In Flash
Flash-Fill, Metering, and Exposure
Direct Sunlight
Problems Outdoors
9. INDOOR LIGHTING
Feathering
Lighting a Large Group
Umbrella Lighting
Bounce Lighting
Quartz-Halogen Lighting
Window Light
Subject Positioning
Exposure
Fill-In Illumination
Diffusing Window Light
Bounce Flash
Lighting Large Groups with Bounce Flash
The Photographers
Glossary
Index
Description

Artwork from 30 of the industry's top photographers is used to highlight both clear-cut shooting strategies
and colorful, cutting-edge approaches to family portraiture in this handbook intended for idea gathering
and inspiration. Advice on focal length, perspective, and maximizing the potential of digital equipment
highlights the technical aspects of family portraiture while group posing strategies demonstrate how best
to flatter each subject and convey a sense of family unity. A lengthy discussion of lighting—the backbone
of portraiture—and the manipulation of shadows and highlights instructs photographers on how to create
mood and interest in a variety of lighting scenarios, both indoors and out. Specifics on adjusting body
lines, colors, and shapes, working with young children, and creating a comfortable atmosphere ensure
that the photographer captures the unique personality of each family with dynamic and attractive images.
Excerpt

1. Qualities of a Good Family PortraitA portrait is not a snapshot. What distinguishes
it is the photographer’s sensitivity
toward the subject. A good family portrait
conveys information about the uniqueness of both the
family and the individuals in the family. Through controlled
lighting, posing, and composition, the photographer
tries to capture the essence of the subjects, at
once recording the personalities and the pleasing likenesses
of the family.FLATTERS THE SUBJECT

A good family portrait is one that flatters each of the
subjects and is pleasing to the eye. With a working knowledge of basic portrait techniques, a sense of
design, and good rapport with your subjects, you can
create an image that is both pleasing and salable—and
one that each person in the family will cherish. Monte
Zucker, who is recognized as one of the finest portrait
photographers in the world, says, “A Monte Portrait is
simple, elegant, void of distractions, and usually flatters
the subjects. It makes a statement mostly about the
subjects, but at the same time includes my interpretation
of that person.”A COORDINATED LOOK

Unlike a fine portrait of an individual, a family group
portrait also conveys a sense of importance and character
about the group. It has a prearranged sense of
design and arrangement of its elements, a uniformity
of expression and, in many instances, a coordination of
color and clothing. These aspects, of course, are in
addition to controlled lighting, posing, and composition.
So as you may be beginning to see, a fine family
portrait is not an easy picture to produce.THE ARTIST’S VISION

The great portrait artist is one who sees things others
don’t. This can obviously be said of any artist, visual or
otherwise, but the portrait artist has to appraise and
apprise in a manner of seconds, plotting a visual course
that will reveal what he or she has seen and wants to
reveal. A great portrait photographer sees many aspects
of a person in a split-second. Tim Kelly, a modern day
master, says, “Watch your subjects before you capture
the image. Sometimes the things they do naturally
become great artistic poses.” For this reason, Kelly
does not warn his clients when he is ready to start a
portrait session. “I don’t believe in faking the spontaneity
of the subject’s expression,” he says.RAPPORT WITH SUBJECTS

An accomplished portrait photographer is also able to
make a positive connection with the people in front of
the camera, time after time. The cliché of being a “people
person” rings true here—but more than that, the
portrait photographer is able to connect with people
in such a way that, when their portrait is made, there
is a communication that occurs beyond and without
words. Perhaps it’s no more than empathy, but beneath
that the photographer must have a strong desire
to bring the best out of his or her subjects—to make
them look their finest and to bring out the best in
them emotionally.
Photographers like Bill McIntosh, an expert portrait
photographer for more than 50 years, sees one of
the keys to his success as his ability to enliven his subjects,
developing an endearing kind of rapport. His
tools of the trade are, in his words, “outrageous flattery
and corn-ball humor.” He rarely stops talking and
the subject is...
Author Bio
Bill Hurter
Bill Hurter is the editor of Rangefinder magazine, the former editor of Petersen's PhotoGraphic, and the
author of The Best of Wedding Photography, Group Portrait Photography Handbook, The Portrait
Photographer's Guide to Posing, and Portrait Photographer's Handbook. He lives in Santa Monica,
California.

								
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