TwinIon Posted November 29, 2018 Share Posted November 29, 2018 With Thanksgiving just past us, Christmas coming up, and a few family and friend birthdays scattered in between, it's high season for family to take advantage of anyone who can competently work a camera. For myself, it's a task that I've accepted, but that I've never grown very comfortable with. I tend to enjoy nature photography, birds in particular. As a hobby, it's something that is both skill testing and relaxing, as well as being a good excuse to go outside and move around. I usually try and get worthwhile photos when on vacation, with the goal being to get something worth printing and putting up on a wall. I'll happily share what I've got with family or friends who ask, but I don't have an instragam and I don't post on facebook, it's almost entirely something that I do for my own pleasure. During the Holidays, that changes. My in-laws will specifically request that I show up with my gear and my family just expects me to. At some point in the evening, I'll get a few minutes to setup my lights, organize the family, pose everyone, and take this years christmas card photo. I know my way around a camera well enough, but this all stresses me the hell out. On average the photos are technically fine; everyone's in focus, the lighting is good (but not great), and I usually get a couple shots with everyone looking the right direction, but I'm pretty much never happy with the results. I try and go in with a plan, but family events always tend towards chaos. By the time I'm looking through the viewfinder I'm usually in a mild panic. I'm particularly terrible at posing people. In the moment I'm so concerned about getting the exposure right and so flustered at having to organize everyone that I fail to notice the often awkward positions people get into. The next day when I sit down and look at everything in lightroom, it takes me all of two seconds to realize how I could dramatically improve a photo. Cousin Will is leaning at a 45 degree angle, Uncle John's tie is hanging over the person in front of him, one of the kids put sunglasses on. I look at the picture on my computer and it's just so obvious that I should have moved the camera a bit to the left, that my flash is reflecting off something in the back of the frame, that moving the furniture a bit closer together could have made a huge difference. I try and remind myself that I'm not a pro, and that the results I get far exceed Mom's iPhone or whatever Aunt Jill would have gotten on her point and shoot. Still, I can't help but feel like I'm not doing nearly as well as I'd like, and I dread the expectations of family awaiting their pics. I know how to get a great photo, but it all gets lost in the moment. I think that I'm going to try shooting tethered, or at least set up automatic wifi transfer to my iPad so I can better review images. I'm hoping that looking at something larger than the 3.2" screen on my DSLR will help me spot my issues, and maybe slow everything down a bit and allow me to take a breath. Slowing down never really feels like an option though; once the wine is flowing, patience from anyone during the holidays is a lot to ask, and probably not reasonable to expect. I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, and I don't know if this is a familiar situation to any of you all. I'm not really expecting much of a discussion here, I mostly just needed to vent. My Dad's birthday is this weekend, and I know it's going to be the same thing again. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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