Skip to main content

Natural Light and Strobes

Lesson 16 from: Children and Family Photography

Tamara Lackey

Natural Light and Strobes

Lesson 16 from: Children and Family Photography

Tamara Lackey

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

16. Natural Light and Strobes


Class Trailer

Day 1


Simple Posing: Young Girl


Simple Posing:Young Boy


Group Posing: Two Girls


Backlit Shots: One Girl


Shooting in the Shade


Using the Rule of Thirds


Review of Selected Images


Working with Self Consciousness


Training to Photograph Authentically


Talking Through Self Consciousness with Subject


ProFoto Strobes: 2 Light Sources with Pre-Teen Model


Stylize and Prep for a Shoot


Simple Family Poses


Use Props and Backdrops During Family Posing


Family of 5 Indoor Couch Scene


Natural Light and Strobes


Image Review of Family Photos


Use the Right Light for the Right Occasion


Ice Light Demo


Constant Lights Demo


Speedlight Demo


TTL Demo


Reflector Demo


Day 2


Pose Children in a field


Build on your shots


Capture Motion in a Wide Open Field


Capture Splashing in a Lake


Photograph Movement with Fast Moving Subjects


Top Tips: #1 Simplify The Shot


Top Tips: #2 Small Posing Shifts for Maximum Effects


Top Tips: #3 Direct The Feel & Energy


Top Tips: #4 Be the Destination


Top Tips: #5 Mix it Up. Vary Everything


Top Tips Q&A


Family poses in a field


Posing: Family of 5


Dads and Daughter Family Shoot in Field


Posing: Parent/Child Pairings


Why Tamara Was Drawn to Family Photography: Beautiful Together


Adoption Interview with Vicki Taufer


Lackey Family Adoption Experience: FAQs


Day 3


Tamara's Gear: Cameras


Tamara's Gear: Lenses


Tamara's Gear: Accessories


Mylio Demo


Digital Album Design


Sales Prep Process


Photo Review With Client


Selected Images and how to sell them


Closing out the Sale


Professional Photography Pricing


Start Your Business


How to Market Yourself


How to Stay Inspired


Photoshoot Recap


Tamara's Top Tips Recap


Tamara's Tools Recap


The Importance of Family Photography


Lesson Info

Natural Light and Strobes

And we're back to our first family out here, right? Yes, we're giving the other family a break god um all right, so we're starting over um yeah, let's start it begins the wall wake until that that'd be great. Ok, we might have to hold it again. Ok? Yeah, um light here so the I think we're going to start here yet with the bench that's it yeah, we'll work that we definitely need a strobe on you know what? Let's instead of battling that let's, do the frame in the frame shot first and then we move that back if I could do a lot of that back wall, so we'll start here. Okay, so we're family. Hello? I need myself a family, your family. Thank you. You too. So this I think this one is going to be exactly what I need and then I'm just going to need that. Yeah, the reflector and then the yes, please. All right. You men this way and make sure I switch my white balance back to an auto and toned down the lighting again. Okay, you ready? We're gonna go in here. We're gonna try something a little diffe...

rent. Awesome, I'm gonna grab this cool little chair you may depend on you, so we're gonna do something fun like this you gonna be nice and easy like that and to be there if you can kind of manage the light try to read at the custom light and then you guys will be hot behind now now you wake still yeah good um hey entire until two down is perfect I love the hat love them leave another one over there if either of these don't work we're gonna let you have this back on in a second but do me a favor come around here and we're gonna shoot that a little bit and we are getting set up that's perfect and I just need eighty five and then we're good ok you guys want to test the strobes see if you can uh well you've had a little experience with these right it's so cool hi change lenses I love it lily when you come here with me for a second we're going to try some everyone to break out the subgroups we've got a really fun shot of your mom and sister together will you help me direct them so we're gonna first see how our lighting is inside it was so dark and we now have gone outside and it's so right so we're gonna justice the only thing I'm gonna ask is that if you keep your feet out of that like pat that light strip yeah that's it that's not gonna work so we're outside and we just dramatically change our lighting and our sound way here inside we're a super dark and we're really using pushing that s o and using the lights and manage the shadowing out here we've got some wonderful even light in these little shadow patches but for the most part it's pretty bright, sharp light and again we're going to use different tools to show what you can do with a big family and smaller groups inside we photograph the whole family out here we're going to make a point of separating into subgroups which is what I deal with every family shoot I have we'll have different people with different people in the family mix it up a little bit and I love it with going on here with you two you guys look so fabulous we're goingto start here I could probably do a lot really well right here with natural light but I do want to show you I'm going to turn the profile is off for a second and just shoot that's natural light just to show you the kind of two styles and then we'll go back so um right this way that's a good start then the big consideration here is that I'm just asking that we keep our feet in from the light is that there's not light patch think of it is like imagine if you were going through like a dungeon and there's like nice ugh ugh ugh that's your knives stay out of that jew jew jew okay. All right, well, what should I try the tether again? Yeah you guys look amazing. One of the last things I'm going to think about right before I start shooting is the details and if you look right now at them they look so lovely but we've got mckenna's shirt really bunched up back here and I'm just going to straighten it out take two seconds to do that. I mean little things, but when you print it but as a thirty by forty for your client it could become extremely noticeable so it helps to make just a little second do you see things really let's gonna fix him up? I love having a stylus on my family shoots that's wonderful I've got like four more coming up but you come out with me perfect that's what I want to hear all right, that is good and then we're going to use the pro photos out here. It helps these air tilt down a little bit more than I want lift it up but we're gonna try some natural and then some yeah, thanks ski it like I'm on this I'm owning it um we've got some natural a little bit more with the pro photos what I find here the benefit to using strobes outdoors when you could just shoot natural light is you end up getting more of that kind of dramatic, sculpted look in a situation like this? We're shooting in this lovely shade, it's not going to be we've got a think about two things one the way the light hits her and the door behind her. Of course I'm always looking for the shadowing indoors, with the family jumping on the couch. That was something I cared about, but the other thing I'm gonna think about is that is the way it helps them pop out, so you're going to get a little bit more of that dramatic pop out. Look, when you're using strokes outside and you're in here, we've got nothing controlled out here. I u's actually use them to overpower the sun. I can use them with ambient light. I could keep a nice blue sky and light them up. So there's a lot of reasons I'd want to use troves on a bright, sunny day that might not always occurred. Everybody all right? Can I do you have any questions? I think he's doing that one. That one last minute shift. I think we did have a question. Come on, come on over here. I have a question so far today, it seems like all the kids have been really pliant with your instructions how would you handle you know especially younger kids? Not really you know following your directions with like, posing and stuff like that I give a lot of that I get like literally running away, right? So two things I'll step over the shape it's either two things one it depends on what the compliance is, so sometimes you'll get compliant but it's not anything I'm really asking for it's the complete opposite of what I get often with toddlers is you have to be the place they go to so on going over that a little bit tomorrow and talk about top tips but one of things I always think about what when I'm working with toddlers who are not listening, I'm saying is how do I be the destination? And so what we'll do is set up a system so I'm in no way expecting they're gonna do what I say I just have to be the location that they either running teo or circling teo or end up at, you know it's almost almost like predictive technology and our are focusing its predictive location and I found that I don't have to chase a cz much and I can actually be in the spot where they get teo it's become better so I have a bunch of images to show exactly those scenarios but that is not an unusual thing at all okay, thank you all right. Anything else let's see how it works all right, so like I said, I'm going to start here with uh keeping the light off and just shooting the scene thank you guys here we go. Okay beautiful let's make sure we're all good that is odd did yesterday and they're from before something keeps showing up it's not one of my shots you guys you did really great. We're just working out a weird king we're getting you're getting it okay. All right good. I can't see what's happening but it's happening is what I'm hearing, right? Yeah, I have a candy you're back on ready all right exactly as you are but lied for it link towards me a little bit yeah that little hit just leaned towards me I can say that all day long but it makes such a difference beautiful it's like a great girl knows I love like that I don't squish mommy too much. Okay all right so dio I love that let's do a little bit with the pro photos on same sort of shots okay, I like that you keep in the light saber out wait, wait so this is again you think just simply the tl and seeing what we get I think you can start to see that right away you guys feel that light coming on you has a feel is futile wait could even do a little comparison real quick show that you do with the monitor here waken show the two right next yeah because a lot of people wouldn't know the difference between using the strobes and the natural outdoors can you tomorrow just explain what tl is yeah I know how it is in a lighting class but now so and then if we can I guess we can zoom it necessary yet but don't worry settle the the details through the lens and it basically means that the system is going to read whether I'm using flash or the strobes the system is going to read the exposure that camera and it's going to there's actually like two flashes coming out there's one that kind of measures the light that pulls it back in and then the actual light is exposed and all that done for you so it's all done kind of behind the scenes it really helps with the simplicity which I love and and I used these the beach is almost exclusively in detail mode which is great but if you look here at the I changed the composition a little bit I'm gonna go back in and frame one more shot but you can see the difference in the lighting in terms of how much more evenly it spreads you've got the natural light versus the strobes now this isn't exactly and even comparison because normally I'd use the reflector to and I'm not using that here. The reflector would also bounce a lot of light back, but you can see how it gives more of that modelling how they pop a little bit more from the backdrop that's one of the big benefits I've noticed using them out just in a large field, they just people just really pop out the backdrop and allows you with a high speed sync and I'll go over this again later, but with the high speed sync, it allows you to really increase your shutter speed, make it really fast and have that very, very beautiful look where everything's blown out, which you can't normally do with strobes that lock you down when you try to increase your speed and these allow you that high speed thing. Okay, welcome alright, kiddos, we're going to do a couple more like this, um and that that the light is coming to attack you, isn't it? I could see it all right, save yourself from the light, bring it in as I look at that last shot that's what I see, I see the legs, the exposure and we're gonna change the post. We don't have to worry about that, but it's all happening really time, right? We can't bring it back with yourself yes, that's it that's adorable I love that all right try to be there threw your hat away for just a second I love the hat straighten the hair go next mommy there change my angle and leaned towards me a little bit good here ah that looks fabulous looks really good I mean I just change my shirt stewed once that is a good way kind of cheap down here beautiful can you see me to say I love it uh picture here a little bit on top there you go good and back on awesome good that's beautiful I love the way the light's hitting it um okay so that's good you guys can jump up where have you gone? You're tired you're back so this is not an unnatural thing after you have to kind of account for the waves of energy that are goingto naturally occur well you dare you runner we do me a favor if I hold your hat will you run away where natalie back alright go rent for you to go run running come back don't show up on any chords that would be awesome but I got it okay all right so we're gonna set this that one more time more time this is I mean it's all about energy is one hundred percent about energy and we need to move it this is what I need to dio when I'm tired so I think it works for them too all right great all right, we're gonna do something a little different. A little more spread out. I feel good. Mechanic looks good. Well, you get here good. Alright, and move this bench one more time and now we're gonna play a little bit more with, um, kind of just a very different look. Do me a favor. Stand up right there. Stand up on the edge of a bench. Sit down over there. Yeah, and then you're going to just kind of put your knees together like this about this. All right. And get your hat back. Alright, lily, do you know what you want? Do you want me to set you up? Say you up. All right, so how about you come over here and completely faced with your legs up here? Yeah, and then curling up almost like that, but face this way right there and then you're look towards me and they were gonna put mama and mama's movie star what happened? You changed everything, all right? You got your hat back, okay? And then if you could do something like this and we'll we'll just do a little bit, but kind of like this, I'm going to basically have everybody very spread out, shoot with thirty five going wide, and then we're gonna do more of the light that got to kind of be coming up and over way already got with this family? Sorry. What were we got with this family is the togetherness and the closeness of the connect miss the holding onto each other which I love, but since we're in this cool urban location and they look really super stylish, we're gonna play with it. Shit! Look what looked to be a favor. Can we zoom in on her face? Her face is absolutely gorgeous. But do we have about ninety six hair strands or one hundred ninety six hair strands? What would you say a hundred ninety six years I have photographed subjects this beautiful with this many hair strands before and I open them up in photo shop and been like, oh, my gosh, so it take this is the moment where you look for the details take two seconds wipe it back you just save yourself eighty six hours and photoshopped, all right? You nailing it good. All right, so, um we've got this going to put the knees all the way here, so most dramatic and then your lean ford and twist really sharp for the other way. I'm sorry this way. Do you mind if I just kind of does yeah, really comes in handy? I know it works for you and then okay, got it um and then try just simply like so if you're gonna be like this tryson legless saved my life and you're just gonna be kind of like that I'll just do a little bit yeah and then your arms just held a hint away from your body but like comfortable sit up forward or about your few faces towards me. Sorry, I was just doing that. Yeah, all right. And you breath uh feel the fresh air it is such fresh air here, by the way it is so much more human and not let's say I made you run, sir king alright way go! And then I think I might have you leaning over too much but sit up straight. Yeah, perfect on then your hair is beautiful. Beautiful myth do you think you guys will get that hair? I think so. All right, so now because I have them so spread apart, I'm going to really make sure I changed my shutter spare my aperture right? Because they're all in different places they're not moving so I could be at one one sixtieth and be okay. Did you get all right? I want you to give me full on when the time comes, you'll be for it either I think you could do that well, lilly, I think you just came back to us I mean, it looks awesome. I'm not sure you're getting it, but I love the shot practice a little bit of happen. Yeah, this is what I would do. So you're gonna be up and you're just moving. Yeah. That's like that's that's it, huh? Reinforced slightly at the waist. Lily, where are you? By the way, whatever is not tethering is getting saved a camera and we're still going to show everybody at the end so we're still going to the big compilation of this is what we're going for this was the setup on and this is what we achieved for steel over there is working it's coming in I love it all right good. All right, super tall there and give it a lane for the hints and give it to me more lean forward, more at the waist yeah, good, beautiful. She leaves so much she fell off oh, that is so cute. Guys, I love it. Yeah, keep working it, own it. Live it, love it now give me some attention to mom. Well, how about this? Really think you were doing that earlier? That's awesome. That's perfect. You guys were not shy. I lick it all right, lily, you're in, we're going to a soft, quiet one with you and your mom ready all right so you're still here you get to come take a break or help me shoot whatever you want I'd love to switch back to the eighty five one four and I do switch lenses that often because it makes any difference this is going to be our last shot of the scene high here and now we're just going to completely change it and we're going to super soft and quiet okay here you double up on this you've done a beautiful job spotting her making yeah, you take it off way this is exactly where it goes perfect yeah speech and then we're going to try something really just kind of dreamy so do me a favor come up a little bit on your gonna stand behind mommy kind a little bit on your knees right and then you're going to be like this interest million on her like that yeah because you're you're half asleep anyway you're barely here is this day just taking it out of you I mean and then you know what? This is a really good example I can't take your ring off this one shot is it? Is it all right so as she leans into this beautiful hearing but it's not gonna work with the shot I want and it won't matter in the shape of a scene all right and then we're gonna have your heads will be a little bit taller there we go uh that looks so good and we're just gonna do soft so feel free you don't even have to smile for millie you're tired you want to know tell me how you really feel sleepy right? Why you sleeping kinda want to go to bed I'm gonna just lay on the couch and hang you so look at you with your tired face pretty I've come up a little bit here though so you're back early you just scooch back you hit me I don't want you hiding so do you see in this exact shot let me just go and shoot I'm going to shoot this to show what I mean if I'm shooting this at a m to eight exactly as we are you're going to see and then I must take that shot we're gonna compare to this shot so exactly as you are but lean back a little bit further so your heads like your faces together yeah, like there and you're gonna come up clean forward so do you mind if I just move? You know I'm a movie I need to do so you're going to be back like that their ego and then she's going to be like that there that's it good okay good nice styling it's amazing same exact shot, putting them a little closer together and switching the abbot your hint all right, so let's look at those together because that's really telling all right? So when we get a chance to look at them together, you'll see that with very little adjustment about basically two inches or an inch and a half difference ones in focus there, both in focus together and the other one is just a bummer because it's a great shot, but we've missed the focus and it's such a subtle thing, it's huge, so hard to know that too, when you're in the moment I now but being aware and thinking about all those things, especially shooting emmanuel awesome, can you just briefly explain to people again? I don't know if we got a white shot of what lighting scenarios you're using outside, and now we're going to talk more about light in the next segment yet, okay, so in what way did I hear is we use the strokes and we're showing about how we and we come back from break me back and shut before and after together, perfect, okay, so what we're doing is using the strobes, and the big difference is that it helps us really get that that pop, it helps model our subjects, even though we're in the shade and I could also use natural light and a reflector, I'm going to get a little bit more of that pro look where it looks like I spent a lot of time on lighting. But I just put it in t t l mode, backed up and let it choose the exposure and make it work for me. So for that reason for the last, probably about six, seven months now. Oh, no, gosh, like eight, nine months. I've been using them a lot for you to be able to make things simpler for me, because this all packs up into a backpack.

Class Materials

Free Downloads

Children and Family Photography Syllabus
Adoption Myths and FAQs
Tamara Lackey Photographing Eyes in Portraits

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Thank yo Tamara Lackey and Creative Live for such an amazing course. Every tool that is needed to maintain a successful business is in this course. Tamara's appreciation for love and family are so apparent in her style of interaction with people and methods of photographing them. In this class she shares everything from the basics of connecting with your clients to the importance of in person sales sessions and how to do them without being uncomfortable. I love Tamara's energy and sense of humor. She really emphasizes how important it is to be self confident and love what you do. This class is amazing. I can barely sit still through a movie these days, but I was entranced through 3 consecutive days of highly valuable information. I am thankful to have this class in my CL library. I am sure I will refer to it often.


Thank you! Thank you for bringing Tamara back to Creative Live! She is one of my favorite teachers! She has a bubbly effervescence as she teaches. I like her teaching style and never tire of her message in photography. Tamara has a way of working with her models/ clients that makes you want to just jump through the screen to participate in the process! Her portrait stories share her zest for life. She has great business ideas as well as for life and family. A truly balanced instructor for the beginning photog as well as a seasoned professional. Refreshing concepts about how to deal with challenging situations with lighting, posing, and interaction with her families. It's hard to pick a favorite section - the entire class was just great! A wonderful resource for your library to refer back to time and again. Keep up the great work Tamara. You inspire me to get out and shoot!


What can I say- it's Tamara Lackey, so of course it was AMAZING! I learned so much, about relationships, self awareness, lighting, portraiture, posing, gear, marketing, products, I could just go on and on. Tamara has an incredible ability to truly connect with her clients (and her students)- and she taught us how to do it! I admire Tamara on so many levels and I appreciate how much of herself and her own business practices she was willing to share. Her new organization Beautiful Together is inspiring. I will be watching this course over and over. Thank you Tamara Lackey and thank you CreativeLive.

Student Work