Whether in-studio or on-location, photographing family portraits can make your set a little unpredictable. Multiple subjects and young children will have you leaning on all your expertise to get the perfect shot. Join Canon Explorer of Light Photographer Michele Celentano as she walks you through all the tips and tricks that have helped her become so successful. From photographing small groups of two, to larger family gatherings, Michele is here to teach you how to take control with her methods and tethered setup in order to get that perfect family shot.
Michelle Celentano’s Gear List
- Canon EOS R6
- Westcott FJ X2 Trigger
- Westcott FJ400 400WS Strobe
- Softbox 3X4 with Silver Interior
- Capture One software
- Air Direct Wireless Tethering System
- Tether Table Aero
- ONsite D-Tap to AC Power Supply
- Rock Solid Lowboy Roller
Setup and Location
To start things off, Michele’s initial studio is small. So her setup needs to be strategic. Using battery-operated Westcott lights, she places them overhead as to keep a more open walking space. Also, by utilizing the Air Direct, cables are no longer an issue within the confined space. No cables mean no tripping hazards as many family portrait shoots involve small children who can easily get caught on cables on the floor.
The stability and framing that come with the use of a tripod are great, but movement can become cumbersome. With the Tether Tools’ Rock Solid Lowboy Roller, Michele can remain mobile during her photo shoots without becoming constricted or stationery. Mobility without sacrifice ensures Michele can provide a sharp, clear image for her clients.
To become truly wireless, photographers like Michele have to find alternative methods to power their tethering gear such as a laptop, batteries etc. Michele’s setup includes the Tether Tools’ ONsite D-Tap Battery with V-Mount and ONsite D-Tap to AC Power Supply to keep her computer charged so there is no tethered workflow interruption. A critical piece when it comes to reviewing images, which we’ll cover later in this article.
Working with Children
As a portrait photographer, Michele is faced with the challenge of keeping the attention of small children when shooting. Her technique ranges—engaging them in conversation, working with their expression to help relax facial expressions, and simply shooting in a timely manner so that the children don’t lose focus.
Reviewing Images While Tethering
To tether directly into her MacBook Pro, Michele uses the Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless Camera along with the Air Direct to tether into Capture One.
“What’s great about tethering is that I can see exactly what I’m doing because sometimes it’s really hard for me to see the back of the camera’s small screen. Tethering is a huge advantage,” Michele says.
In addition, tethering allows Michele to review the photos with parents who wish to see how the photos are coming along. It also allows her to take as many photos as she wants while having the images transfer in real time. That saves Michele time in post-production.
All in all, family portraits are a thriving business as many families want to capture special moments. Michele’s process is a prime example of how a lean wireless tethering setup, years of posing experience and the direct feedback from tethering are the keys to a successful portrait shoot. The result is a professional, efficient, mobile photography set that benefits the client and photographer alike.