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Photographer
Derrick Schwieters
Posts: 68
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, US


Hi all, I am planning an outdoor family session with a small family of 4. I have one speedlight with a convertible umbrella on a stand. The shoot is in a huge outdoor park. Would it be worth it to try to light the family posed with the one light? Or should I shoot with just all natural light? I have a huge ass reflector too that I could just throw in there to fill shadows. Please shar your experience.
Thank you.
Mar 26 13 09:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,424
Salem, Oregon, US


so much depends on the weather during the shoot. and at least around here the weather can change constantly (sun going in and out).

i'd scout the location at the same time of day looking for good locations for sunny and cloudy conditions. be prepared for either.

doesn't hurt to at least have on-camera flash or light-on-a-stick (speedlite on a monopod) or assistant with a speedlite on a stand with small softbox. umbrellas act like sails in the wind.

it's good to have options depending on the weather conditions. it's easier not to have to use flash but sometimes that makes all the difference.

i often just use on-camera flash with rogue flash bender (the light isn't directional but at least you get them lit). that's how i do wedding formals, even with large groups. it gets fussy and takes time to have to haul in and use lights.

not so easy to light up an entire family with a small reflector. maybe if your assistant backs up quite a bit. but i usually just wind up blinding people.
Mar 26 13 10:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Blues B Photography
Posts: 85
Hampton, Virginia, US


I just did one on the beach with a single strobebut they wanted to do it now now now since they had a prior engagement to go to so it was at 2 in the afternoon so a lot of light.  I backed down the f and went low iso with full power flash about 5 feet out.  I personally prefer early morning and evening but I had to work with they wanted and what I had.  She did it like that twice so either way I had a lot of harsh light.

http://bluesboudoirphotography.smugmug. … &k=SxkqTMh
Mar 27 13 05:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Creative Concept Studio
Posts: 2,552
Fort Worth, Texas, US


I place the family in open shade and use a single speedlight behind an umbrella to highlight/fill the faces.

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/190112_10150149223158973_2350847_n.jpg
Mar 27 13 07:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,848
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Experienced photographers huh...

http://youtu.be/Tin5q2-yPew
Mar 27 13 07:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Derrick Schwieters
Posts: 68
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, US


Thank you all for your input. smile
Mar 27 13 08:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Derrick Schwieters
Posts: 68
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, US


Creative Concept Studio wrote:
I place the family in open shade and use a single speedlight behind an umbrella to highlight/fill the faces.

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/190112_10150149223158973_2350847_n.jpg

Did you do this with the flash right behind you, behind you, or 45 degrees from subjects?

Mar 27 13 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-Ira
Posts: 2,187
New York, New York, US


Early morning, 430 EX in a 24" soft box directly above and left of camera.  Subject in open shade.  Sun raking left to right to illuminate background.

http://www.iramonko.com/images/20120814230644_img_6184-edit-web-color.jpg

If I were shooting multiple subects I probably would have done the same using a bounce umbrella for a larger light source.  Just remember to weigh down that stand or have someone hold it.
Mar 27 13 09:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,424
Salem, Oregon, US


lindsay adler has a course at kelbytraining on shooting in a park with available light and reflectors.

some people like open shade but i look for covered shade (helps cut the overhead light to avoid raccoon eyes).

as with all things photographic, there are lots of ways to do it. if you are forced to shoot into a bright background you may need flash to avoid totally blowing the background (unless you want to blow the background).

erik valind has a lifestyle photography course at kelby that you might find interesting. but on some of the shots he's using several assistants and some serious equipment (7' octa, scrim jims, parabolic umbrella)
Mar 27 13 09:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,424
Salem, Oregon, US


+1. i've seen shoots where an assistant was hanging on to each lightstand.

i almost lost a strobe once because a gust of wind caught the umbrella. fortunately a lady was walking by and caught it. i find that beauty dishes work better in the wind (or the 7" reflector bowls).

-Ira wrote:
Just remember to weigh down that stand or have someone hold it.

Mar 27 13 09:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,424
Salem, Oregon, US


cute shot. with overhead light you can get those dark under-eyes like on dad and the girl. that's why i like covered shade. or i guess you can just blast more flash but then it looks kind of flashy. or there's always photoshop (but like for weddings it's hard to go through hundreds of photos fixing under the eyes).

around here it can often be squinty so it's hard to get the eyes really opened up. sometimes we'll do the close-1-2-3-open thing.

i like the control i have in the studio but people love their parks.

Creative Concept Studio wrote:
I place the family in open shade and use a single speedlight behind an umbrella to highlight/fill the faces.

Mar 27 13 09:24 am  Link  Quote 
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