Team Portraits are an interesting thing. There are so few that are ever done well! There are only a few people out there who like to do them, but there are a ton of people who will do them. But really, I’m sorry if you don’t like what you do it shows.
It drives me crazy. And well don’t even get me started on those large companies that treat their clients like a number and have made the set up basically a paint by numbers set. Not to mention that the actual “photographers” are typically hired with no experience and are paid horribly considering the profit these companies make.
So why do I do them, its fun. Sure I have to run the kids through quick just like everyone else. Where is the fun you ask? It’s in the kids, there silly and quirky. Some having good days some having bad days. Just think about the things they say sometimes. And its my job to get a great photo of them.
I’m dad, and I know how what it’s like to have my kid come home with her photo’s and be proud of how she looks. But I’ve seen it go the other way to. And it make me furious. These day even more so. Sure with film the photographer didn’t know what they got, but now really, a 1 second glance confirms yes it looks good or let’s try one more before sending them off.So all that said, what makes a great portrait. Well first off every one need to be set on creating great images. The photographer, the person in front of the camera, the coaching or training staff on had to help, any assistants on set and finally the parents that came out.
Now how are we setting up the shot, What backdrop? What style of lighting do you want/need? Are you doing action? How are you doing your post production? Yip, I pretty much have all of this planed, yes even the post. My post production plan determines some of my shooting plan.
The lighting is probably the biggest key to it all. If it’s not lit properly it’s not going to work out. And if your going to be doing action shots you need to ensure your gear can get you a fast enough shutter speed and will recycle fast. Now when I’m setting up, I know I’m going to light is a particular way. I like open light for this type of photography. Ya a key light is a good thing. Maybe a 1/2 stop or 1 stop higher than second light but not much more. These are happy moments, and we are trying to make people look good. Mood and shadow are great for portraits, but not really what we are looking for here.
Do you need faces? Yes and no. I would never do a full set with out a face, but there is nothing wrong with a shot like you see below. It’s just to cute! And more importantly there were 5 other images of this group that showed faces and smiles.