Advice for beach portraits using 24-105, 85 1.8 and 10-22

Started Jul 21, 2010 | Discussions thread
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PeterK Contributing Member • Posts: 921
Advice for beach portraits using 24-105, 85 1.8 and 10-22

I am shooting a couple of families at the beach in about ten days from now. One family consists of four kids 16 - 24 yrs old (mom staying out of the picture). The second is about ten people in all - grown siblings with theirs kids. Two separate shoots for two separate families, back to back (the two heads of families are sisters).

The objective is to get a good set of portraits of the kids and grand-kids for the moms.

I'll have both families at the beach about 90 mins before sunset to catch the golden hour. I'll shoot family #1 first; simpler and smaller. Then shoot the second family: more combinations to do. If I have time, I'll do a final set in true golden light with the first family.

I am using a 40D and a 20D with three relatively new lenses. I've used the 24-105 for a couple of events over the last few months, the 10-22 for recreational shooting for several weeks, and the 85 1.8 is arriving tomorrow. I also have a nifty fifty, but the af has not been reliable enough for me to use this lens with a paying client (could be user error, of course).

I think I won't need to go below 24mm for even the largest group, so the 10-22 probably won't be used - unless I have the time to get a carefully constructed wa view with a beautiful sky or beach. (Might look good in my portfolio, but I think the mom's want to see the kids in more traditional portraits). Of course any wa shot will not have people near the edges to reduce stretching.


1) Which lens on which camera? (leaning towards the 24-105 on the 40D, for higher res group shots, and the 85 on the 20D for head / head & shoulders shots. Then either can be printed large without fear)

2) How best to use these lenses in this environment? i.e. what background is best for really shallow dof shots with the 85 1.8: dunes, sky, tall grass, ocean, etc? I'm sure the members of this forum will suggest things I have not thought of, given your wealth of experience.

3) Would you suggest fill flash? On or off camera? I saw a photog on the beach in Florida years ago with a speedlite on a 8-10 ft stand, about 15 ft from the subjects (a family). I have 580 EXII and 580 Ex and 6-8 ft lite (in weight) stands.

Some might feel I should post this in another forum, but the key information I'm seeking here is about the best use of these lenses in this environment.

Thanks in advance for any and all replies. I have learned an enormous amount from the members of this forum, and of course the old adage is true: the more you know, the more you realize how little you know.


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