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Photo Shoot Summary

During the 2011-12 CHEER Co-Op Yearbook Class, Kendall Moreland, son of Monty and Mari Beth Moreland, was assigned the responsibility of planning for and shooting individual portraits for the entire school. This is a summary of how he accomplished that and what he learned.


by Kendall Moreland, 12th Grade
In preparing for the Co-op photo shoot, I learned about all of the equipment and what the purpose for it was. I took note of the equipment we had, then set it up and decided what was needed and what was not. At first I was going to use a reflector, but I had no easy way to set it up. The reflector was replaced with a flash. When the equipment was known, I used information from a web site that told how to set up a portrait shoot. For the backdrop I had two choices. Either I would use a black backdrop or a blue-grey backdrop. I took pictures on both and decided to use the blue-grey backdrop. It was a tough decision since they both looked good. I picked the blue-grey backdrop because even though the black one was nice, the subjects showed up better against the blue-grey backdrop when they wore black. Another thing I did to prepare was print off sample pictures to see how they looked as a hard copy. By seeing that the pictures looked good printed off I knew that the set up would work.

After deciding what was going to be used, I first set up the Canon 5D Mark II camera with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens on a Manfrotto 701HDV tripod. Second, I set up two Canon Speedlite 580 EX flashes on either side of the camera. Both flashes were set up on Interfit COR 750 tripods. The flash to the right of the camera was raised high and was pointed down towards the subject at a 45 degree angle. It was placed three feet from the subject and faced them at a 35 degree angle. On the flash was a white umbrella that dispersed the light over the subject. The flash to the left faced the subject at 45 degrees and was raised to the height of the subject’s head. This flash had a Westcott Micro Apollo Light Modifier attached to it and was placed three feet from the subject.  The backdrop was also placed about three feet from the subject.  On the camera were two devices. One was the Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 which controlled the flashes. The other was Canon Wireless Controller LC-5 Receiver. This was used along with the Canon Wireless Controller LC-5 Transmitter to take each picture. The camera was set to manual so I could adjust the settings to what I liked. I set the ISO to 100, the shutter speed to 250 and the aperture to 5.6. On the flash controller I set the ratio to about 1:6 with the flash with the Light Modifier at 1 and the flash with the umbrella at 6.
On the day of the shoot, I arrived at the location 45 minutes early to set up. I then went through my routine of setting up the backdrop using a painted canvas gray background and Interfit portable background supports, flashes, and camera. The set up was relatively easy since I had already practiced before. When I was finished setting up I started the photo shoot. With me were a few people who helped line the kids up and put them on the stool to get their picture taken. The shoot ran very smoothly and was over half way completed by the time we had to finish.
This photo shoot was my first with all the equipment being used. I learned that photo shoots are very hard and must be planned before hand if you want them to run smoothly. I also learned that photo shoots take practice. You will not get it right on the first try. Some things I would change would be to move the backdrop back a few feet. The reason for moving it back is so it will be more out of focus. I would rather have my subject be in focus and the background out of focus so that my subject will be the main center of attention. Another thing would be to set the flash settings from ETTL to manual. Doing this would keep the lighting fixed instead of slightly different in each shot. In some shots the subject was under exposed and was not bright enough. Changing to manual would eliminate that problem and help prevent the need for post-production image correction. Overall, the Photo shoot was a great success and I learned a lot from this experience.




    Copyright 2011 Image Idaho, LLC.
    All images and proofs are copyrighted and should not be used for any purpose without written permission from Image Idaho, LLC.