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Top Tips: #2 Small Posing Shifts for Maximum Effects

Lesson 30 from: Children and Family Photography

Tamara Lackey

Top Tips: #2 Small Posing Shifts for Maximum Effects

Lesson 30 from: Children and Family Photography

Tamara Lackey

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Lesson Info

30. Top Tips: #2 Small Posing Shifts for Maximum Effects


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

Top Tips: #2 Small Posing Shifts for Maximum Effects

Next tip is making small posing shifts often for maximum effect I love small little ships tiny little incremental changes that will completely impact the look feel attractiveness everything of the shot and you've seen me do a lot of that in the shooting we've been doing everything's fine good great click it because I don't know if I ever get again and then I'll run in and move the hair of your banks and jump back and do it again everything is wonderful I love it national a hair let's do it again all right let's check that everything's wonderful but I don't think your foot looks as good as it could it's really close to the lens let's pull it back and do it again so these little shift them to show you some really clear examples of this this was shot in my studio also during dry actually during a different works up this is them sitting up straight getting together being comfortable thie on ly shift here the small posing shift is me just saying do me a favor and look at my angle and lean t...

owards me giving a really clear directive all that and we've got this what I think small shift this is like an inch maybe maybe an inch and a half but it's massive to me it has a massive effect on the overall feel of the portrait the closeness of them together the attractiveness and the way your hair even falls forward when we make that change with children this is another thing that happens really beautifully when we've got hair down I take care down a lot with kids but same thing with hats on boys and stuff as it falls forward when they move forward, you tend to see some of that in a way that I think is really naturally beautiful that that is just an elegant kind of additional component to the image and you see that here with this girl she leans forward it's just completely flatters her whole face it changes the angle of their faces it represents them in a more authentic on attractive way and used the word attractive because I think it's a nice catch all for what I want the images teo look like that's not necessary the same as glamorous or stunning or all of us it's more like you're attractively captured but really we're going for authenticity but I wanted to be attractive as well, so if I could make you just move your arm a little bit, I can have you twist at the waist a little bit if I could have you just move your jaw hit to the right now we've got the attractive opponent and you guys together um this is another wonderful example this is a family session I was doing out in a park we've got good catch light her eyes are pretty we've got a nice frame thie on lee thing is that angle I'm shooting from and it's just the angle it's just not showcasing her shoulder and her body type okay and all I'm gonna do is take a step to the left and have her moved with me and I'm gonna get that let me show these two together do you see what a small shift that makes in terms of how she presents herself how well I captured in terms of attractiveness she's just going to turn a little bit this way and then suddenly we've got the shoulder in place we can see her more well represented it doesn't look like there's a sloping there that's not actually there for her I just happened to be in a wrong angle tiny tiny little shift but a really big impact you guys see that the other big thing I would do right here this was probably shot with a thirty five millimeter is there a back button? Yes, there is. This was probably shot with a thirty five millimeter one four lens. One of things I really wanted to show you guys yesterday and hopefully you all saw pretty well was when I set up the family with the mom and the two daughters and I shot with a thirty five in front and then I stepped back and put on the eighty five one four and took the exact same frame same settings they were in the same spot but just the lens shift did you see the dramatic difference in the before and after us in terms of which lends you choose and the thirty five one four is of great lens I love it it's got a beautiful crisp clean capture but the way that the actual subjects are represented in terms of the perspective of them shifts and suddenly it just looks like a little bit more attractive the angle falls back a little bit there pop it out a little bit forward those little ships can really make a big difference um next we have okay so we've got two little girls together and they're giggling and having fun on dh there kind of falling back a little bit and instead of making them do a lot of effort I shift I turn a little bit in the tell them to keep doing what they're doing so who wants to be a little example for me because I want to show this is one of those little small shifts who has no self consciousness all right but you've got to be a kid okay? I'm on my knees right? You're here and literally the shot is gonna face this way so literally the shot is going to be you towards me and what I'm seeing is you're just leaning we've got to get somebody to hug him oh oh they just met right people all right so you're together um and then we're gonna mimic these right because I do want to show this because I think it matters you're basically hugging it away that's natural and it's effusive and you're you feeling like you really know I just love my brother and that you're backing up a little bit right because you're just falling back because of her love your love is overpowering him that's a shot and that's really similar what I've got they're feeling it they're adorable somebody I don't even have a camera thiss works but it's not the most flattering angle for them it looks like they're falling backwards they're kind of kind of pushed up which is a normal thing and the only thing I could do because I do not want to change the sweetness here that is the last thing I wanna disrupt I will not stop the sweetness the expression the relationship the connection I will just say in that horrible obnoxious voice and then I'm gonna shift in turn and make you turn towards me and then I fixed it did you see that so lean backwards and then like you see how that works huh do the camera get that okay yeah let's do it again maybe I know a little bit more towards that way like here so you're leaning back and I say his feet are planted, it's a really natural swing, but instead of saying lean toward which is going to disrupt them, I'm going to move them and they have to do that, so they have to lean forward. The sweetness is still there. The fact that I'm swinging you is his stare a hole, right? And it was just maddeningly funny better than anything on hbo comedy channel, but so but we're going to naturally get this flow in the shift you can see with these images, the background changes and all I've done a swung him over, I didn't have to tell them to do anything that's going to break them out of this emotion and that's going to put them in a logical, shifting kind of pose mood. I'm just going to make it happen for myself to clarify their were you as you shifted them. Does that mean you're shifty and backgrounds? Angles change exactly, my angles change, so let's do one more time just because you're probably feeling off, they didn't get it, they didn't see it. Okay, and then even close. No kidding. All right, they got it. Thank you, guys. Thank you. I love the love. So that little thing and can you see the difference is when you look at the images I can really see the difference is I feel like just the way the arm is held against the body has shifted the way they feel a little bit I mean, I loved the expression on both but the way that they're now turned in and like tilted down a little bit I've got to be aware of course, that my fill light is adjusting accordingly. I shot I used my assistant sarah came out with me on dh she swung the reflector over as well that's a big deal when you're working assistant, you've got to make sure that they know that you're gonna be doing all these quick moves on and to be there to get it but then I and I even like the background change better to that answer that good, so a lot of these little posing shifts aren't communicated their non verbal. Even if you felt like we talked yesterday about you know, the idea of man your client stuck in your life if you're grabbing the outside of a little shirt or a jacket or this is that that's not a big deal and they're going to go with it switching the frame so we're right in there in terms of little posing shifts and all I'm doing now is going to be switching the angle up again, I haven't this is not proof finished because I'm going to clean up that hair there but that angle that shot on the right everything's the same I'm just going to slip my orientation and again it's going to adjust the look and feel of the portrait um go in tighter and then just have them kind of play around I mean, this is a lot of what it's going to be this is going to be about eight shots here just adjusting these little poses but keeping all the expressiveness but the shot is going to keep shifting this image when I set it up as an image to deliver and give it a proof finished I'm going to turn this into a black and white and I'm gonna make it really moody and just have it be something where imagine walking through a client's home and what is just a regular this being a black and white it just has so much life and feel and it's because I'm not disrupting what I care about the most but I am going to make opposing shift okay? Um here's another perfect example of the idea that giving clients the directive to just get comfortable and I hear this a lot too is like I only like photographs for my clients feel comfortable I don't because my client, my beautiful clients are really comfortable in the shot on the left she's hanging out she's comfortable she's taking a break the situation the situation in the surrounding is fine but my angle isn't really working her angle isn't working it's all just kind of opposite and then the only thing I'm saying right now is swing her out just swing her out I'm not going to say move board singling for it just say swing around just a hand andi I'm going to show it and you saw that all day yesterday to this morning it's constant showing what I mean and so when I go like that they're going to hear that in this image she swings board but a lot of things change first of all the processing changed look at that that's the image I deliver that's what I don't um the uh do you see the leg the way the leg looks, how flattering it is in one versus another we're going in actually going to get it this kick as she supporting herself which is going to shift the pose as well. Obviously her face is more angled in a flattering way her whole body is angled in a more flattering way um once I get that vertical all switched the horizontal so that I have options of which to choose and when this image gets printed, I'm going to go in there and clean up the little light breaks that I couldn't d'oh I get a lot of questions we'll dig more into this tomorrow about business, but I get a lot of questions about the difference between a proof finish and a print finish. So what do I get out of camera that's raw? What I actually delivered the client and what do I print for them? And the key differences is approved finish is going to be just a little bumps like contrast bob, if there's something in the shot that's really extremists and I can't stand it, I'll just patch it out or content aware it out but for the most part it's mostly going tio I'm shooting everything in a color neutral color profile, which means that there's nothing added to it there's no sharpest there's, no color tone these air very flat portrait's for a reason I'm usually shooting about a half stops under, so I have got a lot of room to shift things if I want to on dh when I'm doing that, I'm relying heavily on the fact that when I give it to them I'm going to add in color saturation, toning sharpness, etcetera and it's going to be a really quick bump across the board and that's going to be my proof finish when they print the image and they're going to say I want that thirty by forty shot, then I'm gonna go from head to toe and really clean up everything like that little light leak across prosser face that it didn't catch when we did it and if I feel like one of these there's a spider web hanging from the thing behind her there's a threat of hair across her face all of that is going to be just completely cleaned up so it's still to be a natural processing but it's going to be a lot more effort in terms of what gets turned around okay, so here's another great example I love this portrait this was a photograph for a fifteen year old girl who is going into modeling and she wanted this shot this editorial look the shot where you could be flipping through a magazine and see this with an ad that's what she really wanted to get her parents wanted her in a really cute little dress smiling at a chair uh the struggle of raising a child is growing into a preteen indeed, but to do this to get this shot we needed air. Obviously we're gonna have a fan or a hair dryer or something like that of the scene in this case we used a fan and we're gonna have to get a certain look that doesn't come so naturally because you want an editorial style kind of look and even though she was coming in to get a a modeling kind of look ah lot of the families with older girls or like that girl we brought into the water, they want a shot like this, they want something cool, she is going to love the black and white that's dramatic in the water kind of image, and she did love this shot does love the shot. So to get this, though, we've got to set up a few things that a lot of it has to do with posing. We start with the wind and we're just find the wind on her, but as I'm looking at this, I've got four lights wrapped around her. Those tv sixes, the constant lights, they're all wrapped around here and the lighting is too bright is to contrast, e, I know that I'm gonna have to move the lights back a little bit and narrow my aperture to manage the capture. I get it where the wind is getting to a place that we like. But look at this extraordinary difference with about a quarter inch on the chin. I mean, this is such a slight little adjustment of just pulling the chin down a bit versus up to me and the image of the left, it almost looks like she's coming out of the water and she's surfacing. Right, it's just too much, too much out and then she pulls it back down and goes down a little bit just falling my direction in this case that's all it is, I'm going like I see you here and I want you go here and that's the little difference and as she does just a hint here I go up so it's the slight little shifts but it changes that whole look and and then the expression that's what's going to come last. I love the fun ones, of course on the left in the middle that that is something I'm just so drawn to, but I know she wants more serious, more fashionable on dh then we've got everything the lighting is now fixed that hey, we've got the hair blowing in the part, we've got the chin and the eyes going, how we want him on the right, you can see we're getting there with eyes and then we get the final shot, but this is about this chip in about forty minutes to get to the shot she wanted. In the meantime, we got a lot of fun ones it was playful, she was laughing hysterically, some of the some of the shots, but it took a while to get to the exact kind of wind swept it almost looks like a carefree shot. But it wasn't it took a while to pose it and all that stuff. And again, this tiny shifts making a massive difference. Another good example of this is a commercial shoot I did recently for cum spa salon where they had a model and they wanted the model too, be in the bathroom and just kind of show the image was not to be a classic model shot. It was meant to look like just a glimpse that you just caught a glimpse of somebody in the spot just having a day, right? You guys know what I mean by that that's that's really different than setting up a super style model shot? And this is what we got, and they loved that, but what we're starting with was a lot of this which to me, beautiful girl, but it doesn't look very genuine to me. It looks very opposed. It looks like we're trying to look like you caught a moment versus you actually caught a moment, and the solution here was exactly what I will do with a two year old and a five year old and a twelve year old, which is I have to make the energy move, and so when I asked her to do was to get this kind of caught look that I was going for. Which felt more affection in genuine is I asked her to push your hair back and under and just go like this a few times tonight. Astro do that with the intention that the shot would be after she fixed her hair. But I got the shot in the middle while she was preparing for the shot. You look at that, even the way you can see there's a strobe right there with the white umbrella on it, on dh, even the way the light moves across the mirror adds to that whole kind of caught look versus being a perfectly produced look. And so much of that has to do with opposing.

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