Location portrait shoot

As you will have seen from a previous post, (with two dogs), I recently did a portrait session for a family on location at their farm.  The light outdoors was excellent for portrait photography, although being January it was a bit chilly.  As it was a bit windy too, I first set up a studio light in a garage.  I put a large brolly on the flash which gave a softly directional light.  The end wall of the garage had a highly textured surface which made an excellent background.

"Studio flash portrait" by Derek Gale

The first person I shot was their teenaged son.  I asked him to turn his face toward the light and then look at me without moving his head.  His not-quite-a-smile gave a sort of “Mona Lisa ” look.  The B&W conversion made the shot a bit more moody, and stopped his T-shirt, which was quite a strong blue, from being distracting.

"Natural light portrait" by Derek Gale

For this shot of their daughter I moved outside and used the soft reflected light from a wall.  Getting close and using a large lens aperture allowed me to throw the background out of focus.  I left this image in colour as her scarf acted as a great frame for her face, and was a colour that went well with her eyes.

"Natural light family portrait" by Derek Gale

One of the challenges when taking family portraits is getting everyone to have natural expressions.  As I was taking this family group one of the farm workers went past and made an amusing comment.  They all looked at him and spontaneously laughed.  Result?  An image where everyone had a great expression.

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