A New Family Portrait


1/60s, f/8, ISO 200 (maybe 400...)

Three of my children will be gone this fall and this week was our last week to be together. We haven’t taken a family portrait since Christmas of 2009 so I decided to ask everyone to gather for a portrait. Due to everyone’s schedules we barely got lined up before dark. I set up two flash units triggered by Elinchrom Skyports and shot through umbrellas in order to get sufficient light on everyone’s face. The downside of this (given the failing natural light) is that the flash units cast significant shadows since they provided most of the light. I said “Oh well” and just made sure no one’s face was in shadow. I initially lit one side a bit stronger but in the end decided that the shadows were less distracting if I lit both sides evenly.

Our location was our front porch. There’s nothing attractive about — in fact, it’s a lousy background — but it’s kind of become the traditional spot. I would have liked to have placed another flash unit behind the group to even out the lighting on the background. I had a third flash available but had never used it and didn’t have time to figure out how to get it in slave mode, etc.

All in all, I’m perfectly happy with the photo despite its technical flaws. The family is happy with it too. Mission accomplished.


6 responses

  1. That’s a great family photo…. turned out really well! 🙂

    August 26, 2010 at 11:33 pm

  2. Well done! You have a lovely family, Michael.

    August 27, 2010 at 6:45 am

  3. What an absolute beautiful family! (uh, can tell they are quite accustomed to being in front of the lens…those smiles and poses prove it.) GREAT shot!

    August 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

  4. Thanks, everyone. I’ve got a little of that proud dad thing going on 🙂

    August 27, 2010 at 9:13 am

  5. Nancy

    Love the picture – great family – proud to be the what is it grand or great aunt.

    August 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm

  6. You have every right to be proud. 🙂

    August 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm

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