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Stylize and Prep for a Shoot

Lesson 12 from: Children and Family Photography

Tamara Lackey

Stylize and Prep for a Shoot

Lesson 12 from: Children and Family Photography

Tamara Lackey

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Lesson Info

12. Stylize and Prep for a Shoot

Next Lesson: Simple Family Poses


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

Stylize and Prep for a Shoot

So while we were on the break, we had a chance to chat a little bit about how we ended the last segment of the idea of this self consciousness this is something that wasn't meant to be a contained segment we're going to talk about the whole way through because again you're going to encounter it every single interaction you have, whether it's coming from you or from your subjects and we wouldn't be able to address it the whole way through, we're going to show how we do that as we move into photographing families, I know that there are also questions about what we had talked about prep and clothing and for that we're going to bring up one of our families that we're going to be photographing and talk through one of things that we discussed before a family shoot come family come, um and we're making her second debut. Lily, would you like to introduce your family? Emily duke are emily yeah, thank you guys for joining us. You're going to talk about clothing options and choices and some of th...

e things that go into play when you are setting up a shoot the rule of thumb forever wass everybody where the same clothing that is no longer the case and often can really take away from being expressed the individuality of individuals that was redundant, the individuality is of member the individual personalities of members of the family, a cz well is showing everybody together. So from a clothing perspective, I think that what you want is that when you put everybody together, we've got some nice coordination, but every looks good as a stand alone as well and feels comfortable you feel good. The other big thing here is layering, so if you want to step in and see this, I love the idea of being able to take pieces on and off, whether they're a little vest or cardigans or scarves, hats, accessories, whatever it is and accessories. Khun b ah wide range of things I had push it out once with a snake sure on dh then and this little the denim kind of effect can really tie through whether different colors or tones, and I like that as well. Shoes last people bring different flip flops or slip on shoes will go barefoot often, which makes it even easier. Emily mom, in terms of clothing to sometimes you can have just a simple top, you could put a cardigan on and off. I know you showed me a couple of other outfits you brought that is really helpful. The first thing I'm doing when I'm sitting there, the family is saying let's see, I asked everybody to bring a couple outfits at least three would be great that's often a lot to ask of people but those accessories and those little add ons can really help one piece have three or four different looks and as much as your varying it up it becomes marge sting so that's what we do from a clothing perspective I keep it really easy and I build pinterest boards and I send links out to families like what to wear as a family what's aware as individuals what to wear in an urban shoot, what to wear in a park, what to wear when we're going into a lake all the things that you might dio have different configurations and be able to have them be as specific as possible for different people. So in this situation we talked last time about self consciousness do you guys feel I know I already know how you feel how do you feel about stepping in and being photographed right now right now you gotta have fun we're going to go with it be present mind okay? Have you been photographed a lot before, okay, so that helps a lot. Yeah, I often we'll hear from families that have never photographed before. One of the first things they say is I don't really know what to do, I don't know what you want from me and you guys have had some good experience being photographed you have as well our other family hasn't had as many special shoes I don't know if they've ever had one actually think they said never had, so we'll be really nice to switch back and forth and get a really good feel for different family types that you'll be photographing. I know that families that I photographed forever time and time again, they just keep changing, so you have to keep shifting with, um, we're indoor here at this location, we're in the second room from where we were before, and we're going toe take a look at what you can do in various indoor locations to give us a more of an urban feel, things that you could bring along, but they were also goingto have a little bit of a family set up a normal couch that you might have in a living room and show how we can work with and like that in this situation, we've got a couple of these are these apple boxes, apple crates, that what they're called something like that we're going to call them apple crates. I know a lot of photographers who invest in the apple crates or apple boxes, whatever they're called, because they can't, you can stack them up through a bunch in the back of a truck or something or a van. Stack him up and have a movable lightweight bench wherever you go, it's a really nice little thing to have with you we happen to find this year, so we're gonna use it. In addition, from a lighting perspective, we've shown several forms of lighting already we've shot with the screamer, the diffuser we shot with natural light reflector we did some stroke work right now we're going to work with the continuous or the constant lights, these air, the westcott td spider lights and then later on I'll show you using flash with a bounce factor on the flash and a video light or a nice light, so we'll see how all of that comes into play when I have indoor and there's not a lot going on, the easiest thing is constant lights in my studio, all my shoots are with constant lights because it's that set it up and everything that you see happening is what is happening you just have to click and if there's not a thanh of motion going on, I don't have a problem, and even if there is dancing and movement, I'm still pretty good. If you throw a bunch of subjects in and there's an incredible amount of commotion, then you got to kick it back to strobes, but for the most part constant lights, you could get a ton done. All right, so we're going to keep it really easy at first every single one of the chutes I do, whether it's individuals or fam, I'd like to start with really simple, easy posing and then start doing some shifts and have them move into more of who they are and then let it organically go from there, so I'll set up some poses and some looks and we'll keep moving around again, I think to static of a thing gets really dry and boring for everybody s o we'll keep moving around like you're already totally bored just listen to me, right? Yeah, I know a lever honesty all right, so let's, move this guy out a little bit and then I think two things I'm thinking is I like this kind of funky background, but I don't want to be right up against the curtain for two reasons I don't like the look number one and number two, I don't like how it absorbs the light it's going to pull a lot of light in and so I can create a little distance and then have some light between us. I'm doing pretty well, I don't know if you could help me move this guy, which is deceptively heavier than you would think I know, right? I think I was gonna pull that great no, I can write a go and then I'm going to shoot with a thirty five one four on eventually with the nikon d for s by the way, most of the time I'm going to rotate between that and the d a ten most time normally thank you um uh with the uh if you guys aren't familiar with these lights the simplicity of them is what I love that's going to blast your eyeballs out yeah, sorry um but it's literally just lights in there and as you shift the back of the box there you go slip it as you own and I just lost my eyes up a cz you click up and down you're literally just turning on and off some lights and that's the full complexity of how this lighting system works what more light more light, more light I like it but I want to defuse it and that's kind of it so with this is a pretty dark interior the crew here is in a great job of lighting it but it's still a darker than you might think why do we have the three of you sit right here? We're going to get this lighting going. I am thinking of a couple things we only have a set of three which makes this easier as faras the family shoot goes I'm gonna worry about posing you later but the next thing I think about his lighting I could do a lot with the second light I can just like the backdrop itself to change the way that pops I can just have some hair lights to make sure I separate them from the background or I can skim it across, which is my choice because it's going to give me a little bit of both and you may even want to try making it horizontal because then we'll have a little bit of wider swath across all right good and then I'ma check back and see how I'm doing and this is what I mean about this kind of style lighting I will just adjust it to manage from the shadows so I could take a b flat over here if I want to to bounce back some of the slight but I'm actually doing pretty well and I'm going to be physically looking at their faces and thinking where the shadows are that is the joy of fill light is I can fill in the shadows. Would you mind grabbing the forty two inch reflector quick? Thank you. Um so again, I don't mind a little bit of modelling of light, but I am gonna want some phil and I think it's going to even out the scene for the most part unless I'm going for a very dramatic look for the most part with families I'm going to want even more broad lighting which may be technically a little more boring but allows me to have a lot of emphasis on letting the move and breathe and play and interact and then I think has the net result of having, um we're going to do the white's place thank you I think it's gonna have the net result of having a more interesting shot even though it's initially lit a little more boring lee does that make sense? Okay, so again we're gonna go with, um a bit more of a broad light a little evening out of the shadows pull that across and yeah, you know what? It is even darker in here and I thought we're gonna go with the silver thank you sorry um all right, this is good. I know just just on and on and on while we're getting that last set of lighting set up, do me a favor and imagine you're just like it's not sit up tall but it's just like I'm respecting my space there you go. I like how you respond to that. All right? We're going to do that and then we want to think about from a family configuration for opposing where the heads lie if the head's air all the way across or just even even right up it's a lot more interesting to have one a little bit lower in the other do me a favor and just set up right there and set up right there said histology can for just a second so that kind of shot yes it's technically a triangle but the symmetry here is just we definitely want that a little bit more of that rule of odds we went a little bit more flavor in the way of having a flow to the head's versus new so if you khun scooch over a little bit and get on your hip and lean in all right and then you're going to sit up a little bit more and what we naturally dio then it's start creating more shape to this I can go ahead and shoot the two to show you what it means side by side but hopefully that they will see that okay do you get if you see the shadows building right there that's nice right danielle you're just going to scratch it a little bit more like that and stay right there um lily look at me for a second and then then you'll take the reflector away for a second you see the difference in her face and then bring it back up yeah it's just a soft filling out of the shadows it's not terribly dramatic but it definitely makes a difference so you try crossing your legs will pick first set up I am doing is simply for lighting making sure things all set oh you take down my thing like watches happened um and being sure that I've got the details I want, then I start moving into like, ok, is this the pose I want? Is this showing more about them? Don't like the look of this, all of that, but that's going to come after all, right? So let's, just test and see if we've got the shot that we want and tell me it's, stamina, it's coming up all right, good. So this is this is really in that that zone of broadly lit, we know that we've got catch flight, we've got have a simple thing going on, we don't have ah detail lost in that curtain back there, which is nice, and now I'm going to think about again building the shot. What do I want to think about? I shot this with the thirty five one four, which is great if I'm in an outdoor location where I want everything in the scene and I'm close and I work with families and he's a lot for that here, though I need to narrow the scope to make this more interesting, so I'm going to switch to the eighty five one four and I'm going to step back and I want to be able to show you just by switching the lens and not doing anything else the difference it can make on the other thing I'll do in the studio and is because we've got that light to see how the light is kind of going across faces is we'll have just a little hint of powder and if we could do that in here as well, that would be wonderful. We do a little hint of powder, all right, so exactly what I did before no real shift except for the lens and stepping back a little bit I just want to show you what difference it could make in terms of attractiveness of the frame. All right, gaz you awake again? I'm just going on and on sarah go so we could put those too right next to each other. I would love to show that before we've done anything thing else can you see the big difference? It's the lens choice it's not it's, not just the optics. It has a lot also to do with the way the perspective is when you frame it on your subjects in terms of being more flattering, angle minimising distractions around them kind of honing in more on what matters and of course we're not doing anything else there's no additional change except for the fact that we switched the lenses and obviously I had to step back a little bit to manage that, so if we could do just a hint of powder on our girls and this is something really easy to as we're talking about prep is just asking people to bring a brush and powder especially a shooting in north carolina where like it's warm for a chunk of time and you're going to want to just throw a little path a little of these blotting pads on kids could be really nice on kids you can just bring the the diaper wipes too that actually works really well I hardly ever put powder on children but it works really well with family and then we're gonna minimize that the other thing I can do in this exact situation is to calm the light even mohr making it even softer light that will also have an effect so I'm gonna move it in the big difference between soft light and hard light of course has to do with a lot to do with the way the shadows are being picked up and how flattering the light is the harsher that shadow line is the harder the lightest the thinner and more spread out it is the softer the lightest is that crazy crazy right for you are you just trying not to fall asleep both okay, I know this is the boring technical stuff but we're almost done and now we're actually start the fun part but this part matters because then you can't we show to the other stuff um so just to show one more frame and compare them okay, we hold those side by side. Yeah, so can you see the difference there, in terms of just a hint of powder changing the light, I would make my shutter speed a little bit faster, because obviously, pulling the lights in it's a little bit of an adjustment. Okay, they're negotiating your sos calling me on.

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