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Archive 2013 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice
  
 
bipock
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice


The parent's at my daughter's daycare have become pretty unhappy with the pictures they are receiving from the "pros" throughout the year. Can't say I blame them as my wife hates them and I'm pretty embarrassed to call myself a photog as seeing some of this stuff.

My wife has suggested offering to do them one time and see what kind of response I get. Never really thought about it, but it has certainly peaked my interest.

That said, I need some thoughts on setups and props. I want the props to fall under the "less is more" category as the last group of picture tended to focus more on the props than the child.

Shooting room is pretty small - maybe 15x15, so space will be a concern. I would think I would be shooting my D800/70-200 2.8/ AB1600, probably adding another one. Or I could use my SB-910.

If willing, please share any tips or thoughts you may have.



Mar 20, 2013 at 01:14 PM
bbourizk
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice


There's a cool idea I've seen on here and used myself.
Get a blackboard and write on it "when I grow up i want to be" and fill in what the child wants to be.

parents love them. Shoot them outside get the kids smiling and shoot away.



Mar 20, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice


Are these photos school portraits or fun type snaps? If I were you I would use no props. I would keep it simple. Natural light outdoor, simple poses. Preschool age children can range from 2-5 the older the easier. The younger children can and are much more difficult to photograph as they don't take instruction as well and many times won't look at the camera or don't want to participate as eagerly as the older aged children.


Mar 20, 2013 at 02:05 PM
bipock
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice


Bruce, The age range is actually NB - 5 yrs old. The natural light thing probably isn't going happen as the setup just isn't there. These are more school portraits than snapshots, although I don't think they are quite as formal school portraits.

I, too, thought about the no props idea - just a simple white paper background on tileboard/plexiglass.



Mar 20, 2013 at 02:51 PM
 



Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice


If you have such a wide age range the simpler the better. I agree a white seamless with a three light setup would be the easiest. One light for the main and 2 on the back ground to blow out the white. You could also do one light as a main and gel your background light to add some color.


Mar 20, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice


A few years ago, Tim Park, a Southern California photographer, posted some incredible images of youngsters at a local school, under the very same circumstances you describe. I doubt that this post can be found on Fred Miranda any longer, but if I were you, I'd contact Tim directly and see if he can show you these examples, which were very imaginative, but not difficult in terms of setup, etc. I think Tim could really point you in the direction you need. I'm pretty sure his email is tim@timparkphoto.com. If not, Google Tim Park and you'll get there.


Mar 20, 2013 at 03:14 PM
GCasey
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice


How will the pictures be used/viewed? In an album? Displayed in a frame? Added to a smart phone?

"Portrait" suggests a formal, studio-shot photo.
"School Portrait" suggests a photo of a child in a school setting.

Preschoolers (NB-K) move around a lot, and attention spans are short.

Years ago I shot a lot of kids in activity-type settings and got the best results with a long, fast lens (135mm, f/2.5) with Tri-X film and with available light. My major objective was to get photos of kids doing something and being absorbed in what they were doing. Those photos were printed in the local newspaper. When I needed flash I used it, usually bouncing it off a wall or the ceiling. I began shooting after the kids got over their curiosity of my being there. I also got down on their level, usually sitting on the floor, and watched for opportunities to shoot.

That does not seem to fit what you're considering, but I think the basic approach would work. If I were to shoot the type photos you're looking at, I would add one step -- To cut down on background clutter place/tape some large foamcor or art boards on a couple of walls wall behind the learning centers and sit near the middle of the room.

Teachers might be willing to encourage a child to come to a designated spot, say, a puzzle, that has a white board behind it, and keep the child engaged long enough to take a few shots. This would be more of an 'environmental portrait' than a studio portrait.

This approach will take some time.

Or, you could set up a "portrait area" and set up lights focused there. Teachers could bring the children to that spot.



Mar 20, 2013 at 03:28 PM
neighbourboy
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Pictures for a daycare - Need advice


Steve Wylie wrote:
A few years ago, Tim Park, a Southern California photographer, posted some incredible images of youngsters at a local school, under the very same circumstances you describe. I doubt that this post can be found on Fred Miranda any longer, but if I were you, I'd contact Tim directly and see if he can show you these examples, which were very imaginative, but not difficult in terms of setup, etc. I think Tim could really point you in the direction you need. I'm pretty sure his email is tim@timparkphoto.com. If not, Google Tim Park and you'll get there.


Tim was the first person I thought of, as well. I found his most recent post, with setup shots, here http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1000072/0?keyword=preschool#9496918

The image links are dorked up, but if you cut and paste them, you can see the images. I'd re-paste them in here, but that's kinda uncool.

--david



Mar 20, 2013 at 09:13 PM





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