View Full Version : Why are my Daughters the hardest thing for me to photograph?

12-15-2012, 08:16 PM
Wife wants some Christmas photos of the girls. The lighting was horrible, flash was too harsh, etc. They are not sharp due to the bad lighting, poses were terrible.

My wife likes these, but I think they are horrible!!!



12-16-2012, 01:45 AM
Well I don't normally shoot people. When I have, I've noticed that bouncing the flash off the ceiling gets me much softer light compared to my mini soft box for my flash. Don't have much advice aside from that, portrait photography is like a foreign language to me.

12-16-2012, 06:48 AM
I am in no way a professional portrait photographer, and it was probably just dumb luck, but last year I was able to get a great shot of my son in a similar pose in front of the tree. I can post the image later, as I am on my iPad a and don't have access to that file, but the advice I can give you would be for you to move your girls away from the tree a few feet, so that the tree is a bit more out of focus. Also, step back a bit and get a bit more of the scene in there. As for the harshness of the flash, can you lower the power a bit, or bounce it off the wall or ceiling? Also, by moving them away from the tree a bit, the harshness of the flash might get a bit more diffused.....

12-16-2012, 02:23 PM
When I say I cannot photograph my daughters, I am talking portrait style. I get great candid shots of them.

I tried bouncing the flash, rotating the flash, white sheet, etc.

Here is a great candid shot of my youngest at the Christmas parade last weekend


12-16-2012, 02:25 PM
Sorry, on my phone, so I cannot edit last post

Here is the pic


12-18-2012, 01:42 AM
From everything I've scanned through, deliberate portraits take lots of practice. Though I think you're right that the light and post processing is harsh, I also think you're being hard on yourself. They aren't that bad. The focus in the top two look better than in your other example, the color and skin tone looks better in the bottom example. I'd agree with moving them away from the tree, but for a different reason. The ornaments are just in focus enough to be distracting. To my eye, it looks you've lightened the shadows or brightened overall a little too much, and the white balance for the lighting aside from the flash isn't completely corrected. Fixing both of those might help. As for the flash, how about shooting through a handkerchief? Haven't tried it myself, but I've read the tip often enough that it might be worth a try.

Take all of the above with a grain of salt, except for the part that you're being too hard on yourself.:twocents: