As I mentioned in one of my recent blogs personal projects can help you have more fun and improve your photography. At the time of writing that I had two projects that I had started, one being this one Family Portraits and the second being Humans Of Leicester. This blog is about Family Portraits though, I started this one because the reason I got into photography was to capture memories for the future to be able too look back and remember. This just seemed like the perfect project for that.
When I started this project I had to think of the style I wanted to shoot in and how I was going to keep it consistent throughout, so I decided to use butterfly lighting and for all the images to be in monochrome. This would allow me to concentrate on the emotion and meaning in the photographs without the distraction of colours. I think it very important that you plan out the project well and don’t just go in there like a free spirit, although this might sound more fun it will be hard to make the work cohesive and consistent.
Next was the task of getting all the equipment I needed. As I had never even shot with an external flash before let alone head shots in a “studio” setup; I had to buy everything to get me going I only had a camera and lens. As this was just a personal project I didn’t want to spend a lot of money getting it all together so I looked for the essentials I needed and no more, after establishing that I tried to find the best but cheapest products and then deals to try save money where possible, at the end of the day just because it has a big fancy brand name on it doesn’t mean its any better. I settled with a second hand Yongnuo flash with triggers of Ebay and a cheap stand and umbrella from amazon. As I was using butterfly lighting I only needed a one light setup and that also meant it was light and small so I can easily take it round family members houses for the shoot. Bonus!
Now I had all the equipment I needed but like said I had never done this style of photography before so I had to start watching YouTube and practising, this is one of the best points about projects, you learn new things and have fun doing it because there is a goal your working towards so it doesn’t seem like a chore or worthless. Which can be a big problem when learning something new and challenging. We all like to just Do It! And never like the process that we have to do before that.
So after getting relatively comfortable with the setup and the lighting my Mum and Dad was round so I decided that we would have ago and see what we could get first time around. I wanted a white backdrop and the only place there was in my flat was in the hallway, this meant that they had to sit in the hallway while I was in the bathroom shooting through the door! That was very FUN! I thought it was going to be a bit awkward but it was really fun and we all enjoyed it which was great and encouraged me to make sure I see this project through. I was happy with the results too, especially considering it was my first time doing headshots properly.
THEN! After we had finished I put the stand with flash and stuff still attached to one side while me and Tabitha walked my parents to the train station. When we got back I was taking my coat off in the living room and forgot the stand was behind me! I caught it and knocked it over. What an idiot! I picked it back up and the flash wouldn’t turn back on… It BROKE! From a 3 foot fall onto carpet and it had completely broke.
So after a good evening shooting and some great results and being all pumped up to get more done I had broken my only flash. So before I can carry this project on I need to get a new one, so much for spending as little money as possible ay!
It will all be worth it though as I am really looking forward to going around all my family members and making pictures and memories and have decided that one I finish this project I will make a photobook and give to them all. That is my end goal for this project.
I will bring you guys along with me!
Don’t Follow Paths, Create Them!