Vergara family portrait part 1

When a student/friend Resty Vergara hired me to photograph his family, I thought that would be a wonderful opportunity to  also document the photo shoot with the help of my friends Steffen Urban, his lovely wife Cecilia and Marvin Sesuca.

For the family portrait, I carefully considered the following, not necessarily in any order:

  • Location
  • Time of the shoot
  • Number of people in his family
  • Equipment

Resty Vergara and his family. Canon 5DMark 2. ISO 100 1/200 sec f8 80-200 zoom set at 120mm.
Resty Vergara and his family. Canon 5DMark 2. ISO 100 1/200 sec f8 80-200 zoom set at 120mm.I used 3 strobes for this picture. Mouse over the picture below to see the scene with just one main light (a softlighter fitted over my X800 White Lightning strobe with a 1/4 Color Temperature Orange gel) on the right. Note 2 things: I changed my viewpoint shooting low and up towards them to clean up the background. I also added 2 Speedlites . 1 to provide separation so that  Resty’s daughter and mother-in-law is now separated from the dark background. The 2nd Speedlite is to provide more fill especially to Resty’s son on the left.

Location & Time

If you thought the photography market is now super crowded because everyone who owns a DSLR, has a Facebook photo studio page these days, you’re probably correct.

I’m sure you’ve also noticed how crowded some of your local parks are, especially on the weekends.

So whenever possible, I try to schedule for weekdays.

I have my preferred locations but I also don’t want all my pictures to appear like they were all taken in the same exact location.

I want predictable results but it doesn’t mean I want every client’s picture to appear identical.

How much of a challenge is it if I have everything setup each time in a studio where  none of the lights are moved at all?

I do worry that if parks become so overrun by photographers doing portraits, the day may come when ‘someone in local government’ may decide to charge photographers for the use of this resource much like how it is at the beaches in Los Angeles county and city of Laguna Beach, or county parks in Orange county.

So… behave photographers and don’t go to fisticuffs over who was at a location first. Nothing good can come out of this sort of behavior.

Next: Why the number of people in a group photo matters

Peter Phun Photography

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