Day 12: Posing & Shooting Families
Today's challenge is all about posing the family. I've never done this before on Creative Live or ever done a behind the scenes video of this. I'm going to show you how I pose a family. A family of three, a family of four, and a family of five. I'm gonna show you a real family with real children. (laughs) And I'm gonna show you how to pose them from traditional posing through to a little bit more contemporary in studio family portrait. I'm also going to show you how I market and sell to these people. No, I'm not gonna do that. Today's challenge is all about posing the family. I have never done this on Creative Live or done a behind the scenes video. I'm gonna show you how I pose a family of three, a family of four, and a family of five in studio family portrait so that you can master this and then market to families as well. Okay, what I'm gonna do now is build a stack with the family. Very, very similar to what I did when I posed the girls with the two, three, and four. The difference...
being here is I don't need to stagger the kids because the kids all come in different heights. So I've got mom sitting down first and I'm gonna add dad first. And remember, as I showed, I go mom and dad, and then if it's a family of three, I can move one child around. A family of four, a family of five. So I'm gonna keep building and just imagine at first she's a family of three and then a family, as so on and so on. (laughs) So Leo, you come in, and I want you exactly here where I was. So obviously Leo's a lot taller than Trudy. So I'm just gonna get him to come down a little wee bit lower and he can just do that by dropping his feet stance. Now, I'm gonna cut this off at the thigh so it's very simple. At this stage, if I was to bring my third in, so there was a time when you three were the only ones. (laughter) Okay, then I would back you right up into here. Just like I did with the family of three. Now, my choice here of course, is I've got a triangle but nobody's body is connected. And nobody's really working that at all. So, the first thing I would have to do is turn you in this way. So you put your arm behind mom. That's it. And I would turn Trudy back. Then I would bring Leo up and over and connect hands. And I would make all of the family come together, hands connected, and I would still try and create. So you go back to the camera, look that way, all the way, that's a girl. I would still try to create the one two three. So when I bring them together, and then I bring Leo forward and down, I just try and bring them together as a diamond, as a triangle, sorry. And I'll always crop that vertically. So straight away, I create this shape here. Now what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna bring Haze out. Come through here. And you come and stand on this side. Mom and dad can stay still. So you're gonna stay there. Exactly like that. And you can lean on in, put this arm behind. That's a girl, that's perfect. And just relax those hands. Now, I'm gonna bring Jordan in. Jordan, you come on this side. Now I can add a second child. The middle child. Okay now, I want you to put your thumbs into your jeans. That's great. Now I can connect Jordan and dad by bringing Leo's arm around him at the back. But I don't want it to come over. So just behind him this way. And that brings his shoulder down. And then I'm still buidling... No chewing. (laughs) I'm still building my triangle. And I'm just creating my family of four here. So from this angle here, all I need to do now is connect them all together with their hands and bring Leo and Trudy together with their body language. So Leo's gonna ... not on top, you're gonna come down. That's it. And then all of you can come in together and hold hands and I can get Trudy to hold Jordan's hand. I can bring them all together like this but still keeping my stack. Okay Jordan, chin that way. No chewing. (laughs) No chewing. I'm saying no chewing to Jordan and you can hear me on my microphone. Alright now I've just gotta get that little one off their iPhone. Kennedy. (laughs) Put the iPhone down. (laughs) You come in here. And I'm gonna get you to come and stand in front of mom. That's it. And everybody's gonna open up and let Kennedy in. So that's exactly right. So, remember this. These are the rules. We want to connect everybody with their hands. We want everyone to belong in the shot. We want the body language between mom and dad, it's really important. Because I always stack with mom and dad and build the kids around. I try and build the stack together. I am gonna try and get their faces as close to the same focal plain as I can but just remember, it's almost impossibility to get them on the same focal plain when you're layering through lots of people. So I do have to shoot it maybe at 5.6 or eight to make sure it's not a shallow dip to fill because I don't want anybody out of focus here. I start off quite traditional. Upright, and then I want to bring everybody together. So when I say cuddle up, everybody just finds their own groove. They all hold hands and I get them in nice and close. See, and everybody comes together. So just working your triangles, working your angles, and just making sure that you're not getting lost in there. Sweetheart, so you come forward. And then lean on to mom again, the way you were before. That's it. With your chin forward and coming towards me. That's it. Just watching everybody, making sure the little ones in the front don't get pushed forward like this because their heads go down, so I'm always saying, push back into there. So I want Kennedy to push back through there. I want Trudy to sit up tall and bring her chin forward. I want Leo to keep coming forward. But really important, especially from the front, is that I don't want Leo to just be a head that pops out. So if you go lower Leo, with your body and your hand doesn't come in the front of it, it hides behind and you go lower, he just ends up being a floating head. So just make sure that it's coming up and over. That we connect Leo into the shot. I like it when the boys have just hands in their pockets and hands in their jeans. I think it looks really simple. And just sort of make sure that everybody's just on a different angle. What I don't like is if you stand up really tall, and you stand up a bit taller too, Haze, that you're the same height as mom. I don't like it when there's just three shots straight through the middle like that. It just doesn't make sense. So, making sure everybody's just at a different level. So Haze come forward to mom, with your chin that way. That's a girl. Sitting up nice and tall. Dad's coming forward. You're moving that way. And then everybody's staggered beautifully. And this can be shot horizontally and then crop square or shot vertically like this. So I'm gonna take a shot. So one moment. Alright guys. You can exactly do that. But if you're gonna do that, I just need you to relax your hands. So everybody finds their hands. That's exactly right. Sitting up really tall. Trudy, nice and tall with your chin towards the camera. And I just want you to come forward Leo, to here. That's it. A little bit her side. Now, here's another good tip. Don't come down the center of these two. So if Leo comes down the center of these two, then I create a second triangle. I want him towards Trudy. And Jordan is making my triangle on the outside here. So you stay there, mate. Chin forward. And come towards mom. There you go. Stay there. Gonna take this shot here. First I'm gonna do a horizontal one. And just gonna focus. I'm pulling my focus on mom. I'm actually at 5.6. Here we go. I'm just gonna go up. I'm at 640 ISO. Haze, come into mom a little bit more and bring your chin this way. That' it, a little bit more. That's it, now a little bit lower. Good girl, that's perfect. Okay and here I am here. Sorry. Just watching for blinks because I got five people blinking at the same time. I'm just gonna shoot this vertically as well and go a bit lower. I just want everybody with their arms around each other. Snuggling nice and close, folks. That's it, beautiful. Big smiles. Haze bring your chin down, sweetheart, and into mom. That's it. Trudy, to here a little bit. Leo, come down a bit lower. Kennedy, bring your chin back to me. Chin forward, so don't lean back on mommy. That's a girl. Big smiles, guys. Nicely done, Jordan. Kennedy, look at me, look at me. Look at me, big smile, big smile. Okay, lips together. Little wee smile, big smile. Nicely done. That's better. Okay and there I am. So this is my triangle, this is my stack. Absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for that. Let's do exactly the same pose but open it up a little bit more. I'm gonna give them more space. I love shooting against the wall in my little alcove corners. I love that. And I like that you can get the whole family really close together. But not everybody likes the casual portrait. Some people wanna be a little bit more formal. They're still in casual clothes because they're posing today. So right now, if they were in a more formal outfit, this'd probaby be more appropriate for the outfits they're wearing. Put your left foot up onto there. That's exactly right. I always elevate one foot on the sitting down person because it just helps with staggering. Now I'm gonna get these two to connect. So I put dad in the chair this time and mom behind. So exactly as you would if you were cuddling in. So if I was gonna get the two of you together, you can snuggle in. I may need to elevate Trudy a little wee bit more because Leo is tall. Okay, chin back that way. And I connect these two first. So I can start with my couple shoot and then exactly the same, add my first child if there was one, and then my third. So, come into here, Haze. I just want you, come into here. If there was just the three of them, I would do, turn to dad. Okay pull this arm out. Okay, I could get the three of them nice and close. I just get Leo to turn side on more. So turn your body, that allows her to come forward. That's it. And bring your chin back to the front. So I can get the three of them in nice and close. Trudy, just come towards there a little bit more with your face, so back that way. I can start building this triangle here. And just watch for fists, always. Fists, claw, thunderbird, connecting hands and making sure he can hold Trudy's hand there, they're all connected, they all come together. Then I can bring in my fourth and fifth. So I'm gonna show you my line stack. But for now I'm gonna go back to the traditional. So, exactly the same way that you were before but we swap mom and dad out. And now, Jordan, I want you to go on mom's side. I want you to stand between dad's legs and face outwards. Good girl. Legs right down into there. That's it. So we're exactly the same but this time, we just want to open it up a little wee bit more. So, you're gonna come forward a little bit more, sweetheart. That way, that's it. You two can lock hands there. And you're gonna bring your chin around this way. Okay, nice and tall, Kennedy. Stand up nice and tall. Good girl. Chin there. Leo, you're gonna bring your chin forward. I don't want hands over like this. So lobe it around. And then I'm gonna connect you two on the outside. So, thumbs into your jeans, Jordan. That's perfect. And Trudy, you're going to come forward and go towards Jordan with your face there. So Jordan, back to the camera that way. Okay now they've opened wide up. They're still in their stack. Mom's sitting a little bit higher than Leo. Kennedy's ... it's boring isn't it, being a model? That's why when you grow up, Kennedy, you're gonna be so much more. (laughter) So these two can connect. And dad you can hold onto her. Haze is here. I've got their hands and that's perfect. Under there, right there. So I just have to make sure that all the hands are comfortable. And if Jordan's gonna be out here on his own, turn towards me, mate. That's it. Move your feet, that's it. I just need you to get into a comfortable position. So you're gonna come into here. That's the one. So I can open them right up and still have my triangle. I can close them down. So let's take a shot here. Alright team. I just need to sort this hand out in the front, Kennedy. So you go over her hand. Haze, over. Over hers, and then lock fingers. Kennedy, stand up nice and tall. That's a girl. Now bring your chin forward. Haze, come around dad. Bring your legs around, everything. That's it, that's it. Not too far, that's the one. And just bring your chin forward here. That's it. Stay there. Leo, bring your chin forward, a little bit more. That's the one. Okay, everybody, beautiful big smiles here. Perfect. Don't move. Way to go, Jordan. Okay, Haze, a little bit more of a smile and bring that arm around Kennedy. So your hand, bring it on top of, there. Not that hand, there. That's the one. Okay, there you go. Beautiful, big smiles. Nice. Okay, here they are quite formal. If they were all dressed up in their formal outfits, I would have them out there that formal. Let's turn this around. Trudy, you hug Leo. And you come around this side. And you hug mom. So come forward a little wee bit more. No, come around this side. That's it. So you can come inside on. Come in nice and close. Haze, come all the way in and hug both dad, that's it. And Kennedy, all the way around. Hands joined, that's it. Turn your feet, mate. No, towards mom. That's it, all the way around. Sit back with this foot. There you go. So snuggle in nice and close. And instead of having this arm there, I want you to connect to him. Okay, you too. So you're on mom's shoulder. So tip onto here and give her a cuddle there. That's perfect. So you're gonna go towards Leo and he's gonna come towards you. Okay, so nice and close, snuggle in nice and tight everyone. That's it. Arms around each other. Oh, Kennedy, you're such a good girl when you're smiling at me like that. Okay Haze, big smile. Come on, dad. Come on Jordan, come on boys. (laughter) All the girls are grinning now. Okay now, I want you to bring your heads together closer. Now that's it, beautiful. Jordan, chin out this way. That's the one. Now huge, big smile for me. Work it, everybody. Woo-hoo! That's what I wanna see. Nicely done. C'mon, dad, give me more than that. There, I've got it. Everybody was not blinking at the same time. So, this is just about getting the body language in, connecting everybody nice and close, making sure everybody's hands are the right way. And simple things like when I turn Jordan, turn you feet back this way. I turn Jordan back this way but his feet don't move. And I could see he looked wooden like this. So, making sure everybody's in a comfortable stance, arms wrapped around each other, heads together, pushing their chins forward, everybody's got flattering hands, flattering arms, everybody's connected. Nobody's falling asleep. (laughs) Absolutely perfect. There you go. So, keeping that stack, opening it up, going from a little bit more traditional, nice and casual. Happy practicing. Alright, standing. Okay, creating a posing of four different heights, five different heights, three, four, five, is really easy. So this is not about props. First of all, we join mom and dad. So, cuddle in nice and normal. And remember, I never say face each other because it's not about being side on, it's about being open so that we create that love heart. Now obviously, Leo's tall. I can get Leo to go a little bit lower just by widening his stance. I cut this off about here in my crop so I don't see it anyway. Now I connect these two straight away. And then I can start with my beautiful couple shots. Remember, we don't connect with the top of the head, we connect more with the cheek. And then I can move my hands around and connect them as a couple. Then, with our first child, I can come in, Haze, come in. What I'm gonna do is if I have one child, is I can put Haze directly in there. So allow her in. That's it. And then what I do is I create a third, so I'm going one, two, three, but I'm still creating the same love heart. So I'm bringing them in like this, and watch for fists. And make sure because people when they pose, they are thinking about what they're doing. And they'll either be in a fist or a stiff hand. Remember, fist, claw, thunderbird. So looking where hands are touching, joining the family up together. You can drop her down and open her body up if you need to. Bring that back up, Haze, that's it. And we don't want thunderbird hands, we don't want bobby hands, we certainly don't want choo-choo train. So we bring dad over the top and then we've got our one, two, three. Alright, so that's absolutely perfect. Now, if I was going to bring in second child, when we have a family of four, you go out the back, go behind dad, Jordan you come in. You two reconnect. Bring your arm out, Leo. That's it. Because I don't want to do this traditional pose. Do what you just did then, put your arm around Haze. And you put your arm around Jordan. See, there we are there. And it does nothing for these two. So let's take them out of the picture and instead join mom and dad and bring a child in either side. Alright now, if you feel like, just go back a little wee bit, Jordan. And if you feel like these two are too little, we can bring mom and dad down but I like the triangle we built. You guys look back that way. Leo and Trudy, come together. Okay, onto dad's shoulder, Haze, that's exactly right. So leaning onto dad. That's it. Now, when we're there, you're going onto mom's shoulder. I can connect them and start building my family stack there and then when I do a five family, I'm going to bring little one in here, Kennedy. That's it. You two cuddle under there. And there's my perfect triangle sequence right like that. I can connect everybody with their hands, I can make this work. I can make everyone laugh, they can be at a park, they can at a beach, and if there is another child or another child, we can keep bulding on. But we just have to make sure that everybody's sitting at a different stagger. That we're not trying to choo-choo train everybody in a row. So, it's actually easier to pose different heights than it is to pose four girls all in the same height, when we did our four pose. I think this one looks better. Just making sure you're connecting well with the hands. And always when the boys get into their teenage years, sometimes I don't get the boys to hold hands because I think sometimes the body language with the young men is that they're gonna be upright and I'm quite happy for the boys to be like this, thumbs in their jeans, looking kinda strong. I like that the girls hold onto dad and mom. And I like that the little ones are getting cuddled in the middle because they're always looking for cuddles anyway. Work with the family dynamic, keep bringing mom and dad together because they're the basis of the family shot. And at the end of the day, these kids are going to be growing up one day and show their kids this photograph. So this is a mistake that I see a lot of people make and you know, we've create a triangle but there's not a lot of connection going on. I asked them to sit down at different levels and I want this to work. So let's look at how we can make this work. For starters, Trudy looks uncomfortable to me so I need to get her into a comfortable position. The best way to do that would be to turn Jordan out. So bring your feet all the way around here so that your back's to mom. And you bring this foot forward so that Jordan can now lean back on you. So turn your back to mom and now come in with your left elbow into here, Jordan. Now I've connected those two better. Alright now, Trudy's sitting with her legs apart so I don't want that to look like that. So I'm gonna crop that quite close. Bring your foot towards me, Leo. We drop knees out of the shot. Alright, from here, I need Trudy to turn her body away from me. So same posing rules apply but your chin goes back, and forward and down. Now she's sitting in a much better position. And she's leaning there on Leo. Leo, I need you to sit nice and tall, that's it. And I need you two to come together at the top. So both of you bring your chin back to the camera. That's it. And straight away, they connect that way. So I've put Jordan not only back further, I've put him in a more comfortable position. Kennedy's falling asleep again down the front so we need to sit her up nice and tall. That's it, beautiful. You sit nice and tall on dad's leg. And I want you to turn, face the camera. That's the one, that's perfect. Now Haze, I just need you to come forward a little wee bit more so I can see you. Good girl. And try and just bring your body around to dad a little wee bit more, not too far. But then look back at the camera. That's it. Bringing that hand in, so nice and tall sitting up, Kennedy, so that you're not getting down here in the shoulders. And all of you looking the camera this way. Mom and dad connect. And Jordan, come forward just a little bit. So I need you to sit up a little bit higher, mate, because the girls are up quite high. Okay now, let me take this shot and see how it's working. It would be better on a long, extended background because I really need to be able to see the ground. But let's have a go. Kennedy, come this way with your chin. So, this way a little bit more. That's it. Haze, come in nice and close to dad. Okay Jordan, sit in there, elbow in. That's the one. Mom and dad come together. And that's our pose there. This actually works really well. Now Jordan, come back this way. Okay, no, just with your face, mate, sorry. Chin that way. That's it, beautiful, big smile. Okay, Haze, come on, give it to me. That's it! Dad's grinning away. Okay now, I just want you to watch the shift. Stay there. I want you all now, you're all quite formal, to really lean on each other, snuggle in, perfect. Right, let's have fun with it. A little bit more smile this way. Way to go, dad. Perfect, Jordan. Kennedy, oh you guys are so gorgeous, it's perfect. From here, Kennedy, chin this way, darling. Chin that way, chin that way, stop. Okay, beautiful, big smiles. Now wrap your arms around each other, everybody. Big cuddles. Oh, you're so cute. Perfect. Perfect, perfect family. Exactly right. So, what we did was we reconnected them. And I think it's really important that you look at it. Take the time. I don't mind moving people around. What I wanna do is just take the time to make sure that I'm getting it right. I mean, I can keep talking to them and keep repositioning them, making sure you're always bringing mom and dad. Making sure mom's body always looks good. Making sure the kids are sitting up tall, everybody's connected, looking for those hands, looking for that fist, making sure everyone's holding hands, making sure you keep the little ones awake (laughs), and just if you keep directing with authority, just making sure you're resitting everybody's position. And then watching for expression. Making sure somebody's not just drifting off and not looking at the camera because it happens a lot. Trying to get their faces as close as you can to the nearest plane so that you're all in focus. Perfect. Alright, let's have a look at the kids. One of the cool things I can do is these three come together perfectly. I mean, they are naturally standing together really easily. Just be aware of a couple of things. We're gonna cut the little one into here. So I can bring these two together just the way I do when I have the mom and the dad. And you can hold hands in the front, Haze, like arms here. Bring your arm up into here. Put your arm around here, that's it. Okay, go one on there, nice and close, you can go in there, because she's little. She fits in there perfectly. Haze can come over. What I can do here with Jordan is, you can go thumbs into jeans. Remember, young men, they can be cool, in cool poses, and they can be standing with the girls but they don't have to be cuddling them. They can be here and in there with their body language. Now, if you get brothers and sisters that do like each other and they don't mind throwing their arms around each other and they can be casual, then that's fine. All I have to is make sure that their body language is turned out and chin goes back that way there. And then I can get the three of them together this way. Because I've got a little one here, Jordan you can come around on this side and you two can shoot this way. These two can easily come around here. It's exactly the same way, put your arm around them, and face here, Haze, no, no, no. Turn and face here. Turn this way, that's it. Perfect. And all of you three, arms around each other and you can go back to the front here. I can get these three in, looking that way, nice and close. You can cuddle into her. That's exactly right. So I can get them in, heads together, around her. (laughs) So cute. It doesn't get better than that, does it? Too easy. I can stand the three like that. I'll photograph the kids together, not a problem. I can take them down to the box. But you know what? Exactly the same rules appy. The only difference is, where I was pushing mom and dad's body language together, I just let these three come together with their heads. So you can just tip towards each other like that. That's it. They don't need to be cheek to cheek and they don't need to be cuddled up tight. They just need to be close and towards each other and that looks really, really good. Always, individual shots of all of the kids. Always the kids on their own. Always mom and dad on their own. Give the family reasons to buy a series of portraits. Shoot similar backgrounds when you break down the family like this because then you can create a beautiful series for the wall. And try and make them as fun and as real as you can. Not too traditional, just lots of fun with the kids. And let the kids be themselves and let their own personality shine through. And remember, be quick with the kids because they don't want to sit around all day having family portraits done. Big yawn. (laughs) so just like I did with the four girls, I do the same stack with the the family. Remembering that this doesn't work for everybody, works for very little kids. I've also done exactly this pose with two smaller children on either side and a little baby. And the baby was sitting in there between the arms. And I've also done this pose with a really little baby and the little baby was lying down in front of everybody. This is where I get on the ground too. This is a roll around with the family. I've also shot this in a family home on their big bed. So the whole family was on the bed and they were in white and jeans so it looked really great. This is about seeing the floor. The hard part is dad's gotta hold himself up with that one arm. So as tall as you can, Leo, looking at the camera that way. Trudy, she has to go through there. So his arm is over here and then her arm is through. If they're shoulder to shoulder, they can't get close enough. I brought the kids in on either side. Now I have a choice with the fifth family of the member. Come here, Kennedy. The fifth family of the member. (laughter) The fifth member of the family. I want you to come and lie down here. So there's a couple of choices I have here. I can get Kennedy to lie down exactly like that and cuddle in nice and close. So come back. And Jordan, come forward and sit up nice and high, mate. So you slide back and I want you to put your arm through Jordan's arm. So, she can cuddle in there. And I can go one, two, three, four, five. Use your elbow, Leo, and push up. That's it, nice and tall. Trudy, sit up nice and tall. You two bring your heads together as close as you can. Jordan needs to come up and over and I need to get this little one in here. I can build up the stack to five or I can get you to go and hop up on dad's back. And bring your shoulder up and over. You come in nice and close. Jordan, watch hands, connect hands here. Sitting up nice and tall. I can bring the little one here. Up and over and right through. I can bring her through here, through here, through here, and they can all roll around together as long as mom and dad can hold the kids up. If I had my way, I would make everybody get on mom and dad and roll around and have fun with it. I've done it many times before as well. But this is just using one of my traditional poses and building. Remember also, it works when I've got all of the hands on the ottoman. I start with three. The same as I posed the three girls. It's a beauty shot. Just make sure the rules. See, we've got fists going on in the front. We've got to lock fingers so that everybody's together. We've gotta hold hands with everybody. And everybody must lift up nice and tall and push together just for that last shot. And a beautiful, big smile even though it doesn't hurt. (laughter) And then you take the shot and then it's like, break, everybody relax. (laughter) And that's exactly what happens. (laughter) Because these two are holding that stack up. It's like a pyramid. Especially with this little one on the back. And so, just making sure that everybody's up and over on the same face plane. (sigh) You're done for the day. Thank you so much. Who knew that having a family portrait was such a workout. (laughter) Have fun with that everybody. Lots of interaction, lots of chatting, laughing. And remember all the rules. Chin, shoulder, hands, interaction.