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Thread: Kids Chain Photography

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    Member MMF's Avatar
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    Kids Chain Photography

    I apologise if this is in the wrong spot and I'll say straight up that I am by no means aiming to complain whinge or abuse.

    Today whilst shopping I passed a popular kids chain photography company. As a hobby photographer i found myself stopping to watch (very cautiously as not to be labled a pervert). In terms of how they adjusted settings composed shots etc. In the time I spent watching they did not once change the settings and the poses seemed to be very manufactured and typical of usual kids shots. ie babies in flowerpots etc. I understand that this is a cheap phtotography and not necessarily looking at the art of phtotography and capturing the personality of the child.


    As is said though i am not aiming to whinge but am more curious as to how those who take portraits set up their shots of kids to obtain great shots without that manufactured apearance. I don't have kids myself so have never had the oportunity to observe a professional portrait photographer take these shots except as a child myself.

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    They probably don't change the settings because they may not be much more than just a "camera operator" so to speak, rather than a person that could truly be called a "photographer".
    But then again, in such a manufactured environment with the distance to subject, the lighting, the flashes, etc being so rigidly fixed, maybe they don't feel there's a lot of need to change settings, whereas you watch a professional portrait photographer, and they change many of those things from shot to shot, not just from subject to subject, as they move in, move out, alter focal length, shoot from lower down, shoot from higher up, adjust lights for how much skin is showing, what colours the child is wearing, etc etc.
    But... the shot will likely be better than one Mum or Dad took with their cameraphone, and be affordable comparitive to shots from a genuinely skilled professional, so it's a win win situation, and they seem to hire pretty young ladies so the booth is nice to walk past as I go to grab a coffee, so everyone is happy - especially me (maybe less so my wife)
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    In our local Harvey Norman at Christmas time. The were doing "Photos with Santa" using a very small "Point and Shoot", and no flash other than the one on the camera.
    I think they were charging $10 a shot.
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    Don't be fooled into thinking they are cheap. We have 2 kids and have gotten quotes from some of them (usually after we have taken advantage of a 'free sitting offer') and they are usually as much or more then getting a portrait photographer to do them. One company tried to sell us a small package of $750, but got really upset when I pointed out basic flaws in the photos, like cut off fingers and joints and OOF eyes etc.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    (Read the posts, now quietly shaking head in dis-may/belief.)
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    These threads always pop up from time to time and usually decay into portrait photographers bashing the manufactured mall-style kid shoots by ripping their work apart based on photographic technicalities.

    For me the best shots of kids are those that are shot in a more casual setting, where the child is having fun and more comfortable. That said, some people (who don't know a decent photographer) are more than happy with the convenience of the manufactured shoots; it saves trawling through google trying to find a photographer, arranging a time to do a shoot and hoping that they are as good as they say on their website.
    Last edited by 98kellrs; 18-02-2012 at 11:22am.
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    wow they were hsowing you pics with out of focus eyes ect thats crazy. then they ask for $750 lol

    Quote Originally Posted by terry.langham View Post
    Don't be fooled into thinking they are cheap. We have 2 kids and have gotten quotes from some of them (usually after we have taken advantage of a 'free sitting offer') and they are usually as much or more then getting a portrait photographer to do them. One company tried to sell us a small package of $750, but got really upset when I pointed out basic flaws in the photos, like cut off fingers and joints and OOF eyes etc.

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    Member Tom J McDonald's Avatar
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    My GF got some done of our baby (without me knowing) and the photos were good. Better than I thought.
    There was a free sitting and the first photo was half price ($40 for an 8x10). The photopaper was Kodak silver halide paper and was top-notch.
    The whole package they offered us was gonna be about $1600
    We settled for just the one 8x10!

    I wasn't there to see how they did it but they obviously did a good job.

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    as far as the set-up goes, there is no need to change anything, the flash to subject and subject to background distances stay constant, so that negates any need to change anything. The camera settings will be a given, they will have a chart that says - White Background - use this, Black Background - use this, simple and effective for the location and skill level of the photogr... operators
    Last edited by MarkChap; 20-02-2012 at 12:21pm.
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    Personally I think studio and artificial lighting is not the beat approach for taking baby snaps. The baby is more comfortable on its own environment like home and I have seen some very nice results using natural window light and a red couch as the background. There was only some camera mounted flash used to fill in. I speak with personnel experience we hired a photographer who did an amazing job on my 6 month old girl. He charged us 2000 for a set of 25 photos. It was worth it.


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