How to Take Better Family Shots of the Kids Part 3

Photographing your Children – Part three

If you want to take your photography to the next step by using a flash or starter studio kit you will enjoy the results when you go to a little bit of trouble and create your own photos of children in the comfort of your own home.

Backgrounds are the least of your worry. Apart from a blank wall, I have used at times bed sheets and bought some inexpensive material from say Spotlight etc. Black felt type non reflecting material can give you that perfect black background when you just light up the subject.

A simple set up would be first buying a flash (speed light) for your DSLR. In Canon I would start with a 430ex II, or Nikon the SB-700 Then get a light stand, trigger, umbrella combo. Check online at Cameras Direct and or give them a call and talk to a photographer for flash/studio photography.

simple-lighting-setup

simple-lighting-setup

The Cactus triggers are great, one on the Camera via the hot shoe, the other you can attach to the light stand with the speed light via the umbrella swivel adapter so there are no messy cords to get in the way. Attach the umbrella to the set up and using the speed light bounce the light into it. The distance from the subject will depend on how much of the subject you want to illuminate and the exposure you need. Add a reflector   if you need to add some light in the shadow areas etc. This will be your cheapest set up to get a studio type look in your photos.

Look into studio portable kits that would be an ideal portrait set up at home. Elinchrom brand kits start with a simply a two light 100 watt package with two umbrellas and stands (you can always buy an optional softbox for one of the lights). You can use one of the lights as your main and the other to fill in the shadows or perhaps a hair light and then use a reflector for fill.

For a stronger powered set up you could purchase the Elinchrom 400 watt that comes with two soft boxes