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Thread: Advice for photographing high school formal

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    Member winc240's Avatar
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    Advice for photographing high school formal

    Hi, I've been asked to take some shots of a friends son & his girlfriend before they head off to the city for their school formal later this week. I'm going to check out a location this afternoon which will have a lot of natural light, park & boardwalk surroundings. I'm after any advice that you can offer, how to pose/not pose them.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Find out what they are into. Consider this with your location. They might be skaters, so look at a skate park. They might like watersports, so seek somewhere with water. They might like Art or Music and therefore a graffiti alley might be the go. Make the location add to the shot by bringing something about the couple to the setting you find.
    Last edited by ricktas; 17-06-2012 at 1:25pm.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    You have the goods in the way of a camera and quality lenses so I reckon the next step is to become really creative with backgrounds and depth of field.

    Obviously they will probably want to see some "standard" shots of them looking at their very best against an attractive background so work backwards so to speak. Check the suitable area for power lines, buildings and any other ugly man made intrusions before you consider placing them in the scene. Next, when you reckon the background looks good, assess the damage done by tree branches etc sprouting from the subjects heads and then work on getting them to pose for the "pretty" shots. Use an appropriate aperture to keep the subjects in focus throughout their heads / bodies and to send the background to somewhat out of focus. Get a variety of images from very close up to more landscape look.
    Then, get into the "fun" shots, they are young and probably as exuberant as any teenagers so play on that and have them doing some comical things whilst dressed as they probably will never be seen again. As Rick said, find out their interests and play on them. Take along some props, skates, laptops, bmx bikes etc and have them "used" in the scene (without destroying formal clothing and makeup ) and take heaps of photos.
    If you carry it off well, the parents will love the "standard" shots as well as the fun stuff, the teenagers will have the fun stuff all over facebook within a day and it won't matter if the tech quality isn't 100% if you catch the moments you will be a legend in your own lunchtime.
    Andrew
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    winc240's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I won't have heaps of time before they head off and I have to stay close to the group meeting point. I'm hoping he will be more flexible with some fun shots, his older brother wasn't interested at all last year.

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    Member Dabbler's Avatar
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    It won't be the kids who want the photos. They really couldn't care less as you found out with the brother. A phone camera would satisfy them. It will be the parents who you should be asking. Just my two bob's worth.

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    I think the the most important thing to get really good shots is to help the kids to relax in front of the camera. You wont be able to get really good shots if their anxious.

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