Sam and Stella Birthday Portraits

Somewhat without intention, I’ve ended up alternating portraits for the twins between outdoor portraits and indoor portraits. This year was time for indoor portraits. (Although, to be fair, if it hadn’t been freezing, I might have ended up breaking the tradition) Here’s the setup I used:

It’s a variant on a setup that has been very successful for me with portraits of the kids. I went back to a white background for the first time in a few years. The last time I used it with Scarlett I had an uneven white that looked horrendous to my eye and was a real pain in the butt to try and correct in Photoshop (or was it GIMP?). I never got it quite right and ended up sticking to the black background for a while. But I wanted to do something different. So this time I grabbed my two studio strobes (I believe they’re 100W strobes that someone got me as a present some 8 or so years ago) and threw them into umbrellas to make sure the light would hit the background evenly. With these lights I had to go to somewhere around 80% power in order to get a pure white background according to the spectrograph in camera. Then I posed the twins in front of those lights, so they needed a light for themselves. I used my old Canon 580EX inside of my gigantic octagon (I think it’s somewhere around 3 feet or more in diameter). I wanted to shoot at F8 to try and get the best chance of ensuring the twins would be in focus, so I had to push the 580EX to full power. After this session, I ended up buying a bracket so that next time I can throw my 430EX in there, too.

Once I had my setup perfect, I invited Sam in for his shots. I didn’t try and direct either of the twins. I just let them do whatever came naturally. My only instructions were that every shot couldn’t be a silly one. Here’s my favorite Samuel shot – the one I’m printing for work:

Sam's portraits
Photo Time?

Here are some of the others poses he came up with:

  • Sam's portraits
  • Sam's portraits
  • Sam's portraits

Then it was Stella’s turn. Here’s my favorite Stella shot:

Stella portraits

And a few Stella poses:

  • Stella portraits
  • Stella portraits
  • Stella portraits

Then it was time for some twin portraits. The only thing I did was put Sam’s arm on Stella’s shoulder. Everything else they did on their own. There weren’t that many good shots (you try keeping two five year olds from making every pose the “silly” pose), so here are the two that came out great. First, the one I’m printing out for work:

Sam and Stella portrait in black and white
Twin Life
Sam and Stella portrait
Hahahahaha, I have a sister.

Later on for their cake photos, I just aimed my 580EX up at the ceiling with a +1 correction.