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Action Vs Moment

Lesson 12 from: Family Photography: Creating a Successful Business

Kirsten Lewis

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Lesson Info

12. Action Vs Moment


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What Makes a Picture Successful?


Technical Tips: ISO


Technical Tips: Aperture


Technical Tips: Shutter Speed


Technical Tips: Focus


Using Light to Tell a Story


Using Composition to Tell a Story


Lesson Info

Action Vs Moment

Let's talk about action and moment, because this is a really important thing that I've started teaching in the last year. I mentioned it in the first segment, that we all go in and shoot all the action right, and bigger action feels like it's a better photo, right? And in the beginning it is, but now to push you to a further place, we have to have action with a moment for it to be successful. Does that make sense? There has to be a moment with the action. So this to me, actually, Jess put this in, and I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a good one or a bad one, but we're going to say it's a bad one. (laughs) To me, and I give it to my client, here's the thing, give your clients everything that they're going to love, right? It's a matter of what we're choosing to show. To me, this is great action, we got hair flowing, like he's changing the baby. But I don't feel like there's that much of a moment yet. In my heart, I don't feel like there's that much of a moment. I really need, like, so...

mething else to be happening here, him to be crying, him to be laughing, her to like, kick her face back, so what do I do, I just keep shooting and then if I miss the mark, I let this photo go. And I let the effort to make this photo go. It's not a big deal. Failures are great, like, they just make us work harder. And I don't actually think of this as a failure, I'm like, it's just a photo that didn't work. It has no reflection on me as a photographer or me and my work, it's just not working really well. I am sure that mom likes this photo. But in terms of really representing my point of view or my strength in my portfolio, it's just not working that well. Okay, action. Look at that fancy stuff I just did. (Kirsten and crowd laughing) Forgot I was playing with that. (laughs again) Plus no moment, really means no picture. Does that make sense? Okay. So we might review this later, this whole scene, but this is an action with a wet teddy bear but I don't feel like there's much of a moment, I even need like, the clutching of the fingers, for it to really work as a photo. Eh, it's dead to me. I had a little funeral for it, buh bye, it's gone. And I'm fine with that, my students know what I talk about, I'm like, funeral. It's just a funeral, you just let it die, we say like, a couple of nice words and we let it go. And then you don't worry about it. In all the time I've been shooting, for 19 years, there's only one photo I regret that I missed. Only one, I can only think of one. Like after a shoot I'm like, ah I missed this and this, this. There's only one and it was amazing and I missed it. And forever I will be really angry that I missed it. With my friends Jen and Tristan, we were all in a house together and Tristan had the baby like this, and then tried to open a beer and it exploded and it was spilling out everywhere and then the baby flipped over upside down and he had her by the leg and he's like going like this. (audience laughing) And all three of us, my husband, Jenna, also a photographer, and me were like... (audience laughing) Camera's right there, no one made a photo.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Fearless and Framed Marketing Bundle

Ratings and Reviews


I own Kirsten's 3 classes. And they are ALL amazing, inspiring and refreshing. She is not only a super talented photographer but an amazing teacher and person as well. I have learned so much from each one of her classes. I have never met a photographer so willing to share and see their students succeed. I highly recommend people not only to buy this class, but all 3! I would not be the photographer I am today if it wasn’t for her. After following her advise for the last 3 years I am finally engaging with the audience I want and I feel true to myself in the way I shoot. This makes a huge difference in my everyday. I am am truly grateful to this photo wizard lady. ps: warning, make sure you are on birth control. These classes might make you want to have children, just to get amazing images like the ones she takes LOL (joking) #not

Carrie Littauer

This workshop was by far the best photography workshop I have ever been a part of. Kirsten's work, her humor, her authenticity, her expertise and perspective will forever change the way I work with families and go about documentary photography. I am so motivated and inspired to dig deeper into my role as a photographer, and as a person, to make a real difference in the lives of those that I photograph and with my art. I'm thrilled to have been in the LIVE studio and am so grateful for Creative Live for giving phenomenal artists like Kirsten this exposure and opportunity to teach other creatives like myself! Thank you.

Johanne Lila

In the very minutes Kirsten Lewis' first class (first of three) for cL aired, I realized I needed in on this awesomeness. I became a 1 Year Mentorship student with her right away, and now I have been so incredibly fortunate to be in the studio audience for the live taping of her final class (or the third of the three, who knows what the future might hold!). For me as a 'Kirsten Lewis alumni' taking this class was perfect. I was reminded of things I knew, but had forgotten. I learned a ton of new stuff. But most of all, I remembered why we do this work in the first place: The love that is right there in the reality of life. How much this work matters to real families out there. And how much it matters to keep getting better at this, to give our families better work. I will be forever greatful that I chose the best mentor, Kirsten is such a gift to all of us. And if you're still in doubt: This class is AMAZING! If you're new, if you've at it for a while, if you're alumni: Gold is HERE!

Student Work