Day 20: Shooting On Location: Client's Home with Older Kids
So now I am at a client's home and I do love shooting at a client's home you're going to see mostly that through the sessions that we're going to show you guys and we do one studio session that carly and I do together that you'll get to see a couple of days from now tomorrow really um but uh this is shooting at a client's home and I have photographed these clients for many years however I haven't done a full family session for them and probably like ten years and so the boys were little and they keep talking all the way through about doing another family portrait session and I have photographed the two older boys sr pictures and said you get that free family session they didn't take advantage of it and this year when number three came in I told them now I owe you three free family sessions let's get one done and so they've finally scheduled it and we got to go out to their property and do this session so I'm going to show you this video again or a video again so this is at at their far...
m and this's kind of showing some of the landscape and you know, one of the things with a landscape is I have people a lot of times that will tell me and all we've got this beautiful garden or we've got this beautiful that I don't care you know I'm going to find the right light and I'm gonna put them there and I do tell them often that you know, this is all about your family and your relationship and how you interact together and so I'm not concerned about the background so I did but I found this spot for them by a rock wall and I happened teo part of the youngest one senior pictures were at the homos well and I thought how that'd be a cool place to do their family portrait session with the fence line in the back and the and the trees and the time of day was the same and so I knew the light was going to be good and so I actually brought some rocks with me and uh these are just mom had to be um these are posing rock from back to back design works and I love those I've got there posing blocks in the studio and in the xerox for outside and what's great about him is there they're all weather so you can leave him outside but there and they're super light like kids can pick him up and they are like I'm human, you know, carrying around the rocks which is kind of fun bye so here's positive a mom, a dad I started with dad again even with this older family and I'm gonna go ahead and play sound again kind of hear how this posing goes yeah that's good ok and then let's have you can see how it does rock that we want here let's have the day off right here hey uh every day with your feet out this way good devon let's put you right on the ground right here. Oh, is it wet, cold and wet and iowa that's perfect. Okay vj almost back all the way to your dad still working on the triangle because you're let's triangle of hosing even with ease older kids and you're just going to probably hands in pockets or whatever's comfy there uh both of dad and this youngest son that's standing have glasses that get really dark and so I had them put them in their pockets until now and then they're going to pull him out I also asked him to take his phone out of his pocket you see it and all right this looks good in eastern you're all your shoulders towards me but your bottom half can say like it is but just turn your shoulders okay and then you're gonna turn into her also so that bring that left or right hand around her yes, yes that's great ok let's go ahead and get glasses on. We've got glasses that get dark outside so I had him take him off for just a little bit on let's see, this looks great you got and you say that again and alexa take that your right hand out all right so I'm gonna just move through this a little bit so you can just kind of see what's going on and, uh working with this family and they were having fun they were making jokes and laughing with each other but you know, the important thing with the older kids is teo you don't really give them their own space I like to turn the bodies away from mom and dad kind of like the boys are here just because it's you know they're older we're not gonna have him snuggling and all lovey dovey into each other sort of moving stuff here and I'm going to dio photograph mom and dad alone and they I actually asked them I asked everybody when I'm photographing a couple or a family I always photographed mama dad alone and I'll ask him how long's it been since you guys have been photographed alone and for this family very typical ten years ago when you photographed us s o I think that's important to make sure you have something of mom and dad together so here they are we're we've got them standing again uh just kind of separately and playing around with the pose here we shot the first one and then there was the second one uh second family pose there these boys were actually pretty funny right now we're going to another location and this is just the fence line leading to the barn and I I thought this would be another fun spot to just have them with that fence line leading behind them and just the barn just out of focus in the background and shooting shooting I'm to go a little faster through that but always trying teo you know, work on that triangle triangular pose again and really position everybody based on heights and I know where they're going to look best together all right now I'm having this family walk down the lane and we talked about this and one of the things as funny is I have clients ask all the time for the walking picture because they see it and they say they see it even on my website and so they asked for and sometimes even kids asked for it like the little kids was like can we all walk with our hand holding hands because they see it you know? And so with this with this older family we thought and we do that or do we not do that? But the mom said you did this when the boys were little we want to do it again and so we did that oh that's a lovely picture of me so I'm having them walk and what happened was is when they started walking this way you can see all this stuff out on their property, all the trucks and junk, and so I just wanted the lane curving around the corner, and so I got up on the fence and I know if you could see that other it is got up just on that fence so I could have that angle and that again is just looking through the entire frame, you know? I don't want to look just at my subject, I want to find out what's happening in front of them and what's happening behind them and so getting up and getting the angle so that I can get them going down the lane and then here I do this a lot with families, just asking them to stop where they are and turn around and look back and that, especially with little kids, it makes it really fine because you'll have kids, it'll like lean back and throw their other heads back or, you know, even end up with one kid turned around and everybody else looking back, and it just makes for something fun, looking for the angle here and just having them walking and looking at each other. And this is basically how I photograph every family when we're doing the walking thing is I just tell him you're gonna walk together and I choose somebody to look at, so I'm going to say everybody look at mom mom look at dad or you know every everybody look it devon and devon look att this person so I'm instructing at them exactly where to look and you know you want that interaction going on where it looks like they're talking to each other and they're enjoying each other as a family so now boys together and and they were having a good time so ah all right that's ok um uh right devon, will you go sit on that? And then I photograph each of these boys individually just like I would if they were little kids and I have photographed a mom they've all got senior pictures hanging in the home but I know this is a new time, you know, I just did the youngest one senior pictures and so I wantto have updates of all of the other two boys and, you know, make sure that we get something new of them and that's gonna defuse any you know, any questions mom has about you know, I need to do the same exact thing for devon that I did for the other boys. Will you know what let's, do something cool for all of them to update when we do your family portrait session and so we're going to do individual pictures of each of them so that's that those glasses are super dark and then mom and dad together one more time and then mom is starting a new business and so I just said to her do you want to do something just of you do you need a new headshot? I asked dad if he needed a new headshot as well and I do this with almost every session I d'oh it's just a little added service and I'll just give it to him I don't even charge him for those and uh you know, we ended up with devon with mom sean, which was just kind of funny so so that is that kids on location and older kids on location and you know, there's not a whole lot different for me with the the actual flow of it you know, we still there is a plan in place we know what we're shooting for it goes of course much more quickly when you're not chasing kids but you do have to think through a little bit more about posing and posing comes pretty easily for me now but back in the day I would literally sit and sketch out you know, if I've got five people here's where the heads need to be, you know and would think how can I get those heads in position for the right composition and you know now you know you do that for a while and you start seeing those things without having tio sketch them out and really think through it but you know it all just comes with practice and repetition and you know I'm just working with people right and I'll show you the download and then we can answer it answer questions please to the down low today you guys have been seeing this uh this image box and this is the one that we do for our thanksgiving special that we do that we put the cards inside that have the little thankful cards in there and so you're gonna get the template for this image box today so before we end for the day we have some time to take more questions so open it up to the studio audience and I go right head stand up breast I have a question about your product menus with seniors and then moving to families because they seem like they're totally separate are they the same um price that's a good question are ala carte pricing is the exact same on our family products menu and our high school senior product menu with the high school seniors because I'm wanting to walk them through those steps I'm letting them build a package and they get twenty percent off I don't really have families that come back and say well can I still get twenty percent off? We're not building a package you know it's it's just a kind of a different process and even with our high school seniors I will have moms I will tell them I want you to walk through take a couple snapshots of your walls on a place where you want to do something really special that you're going to enjoy every single day when your daughter's after college and so I'm still taking them through the process of buying for the wall and that's why I am willing to give these people that free family session just because they're people who have been through the process with me they know the deal they know we're designing for the wall they're great clients and it also really helps handle a lot of objections the mom is sitting there in the you know, we're talking about if I'm telling her you know, I want you to walk through and do you take those snapshots so we could do something really special if your daughter that you were gonna enjoy every day while she's off to college you know, she might say to me well, we had one graduate two years ago and we haven't eight by ten of them in the hallway and you know, we we better just stick with that for this one you know? I'm gonna answer to her you know what? You're going to get a free family session in the fall so right now let's concentrate on this daughter we'll put in eight by ten in that hallway do something that matches but let's to real something really special for her and then when we do that family session in the fall, we'll do something toe update your older daughter's portrait and do something special for her and so it gets rid of that objection, you know? And I can use that whether it's, older kids, younger kids, whatever that objection is, we're going to take care of the other kids when we do that free family session in the fall and so it is the same base pricing, but they're just not getting that twenty percent off. Can you just speak briefly about a couple of the technical aspect ce when you're shooting on location like manual versus aperture priority and how do you do your white balance? I'm not a real technical where is it? But yes, I actually don't ever use a meter, so I know somebody is going to, like, be blasted me in the chat rooms, right? But I meet her through my camera, I always take a first shot first and look and I don't know, you know, with the video cut if you actually saw me doing that or not, but I always tell people I'm just going to take a test shot even if I'm outside because there are those times when I think I've got everything set and ready to go and maybe I bump something and then you know, twelve images in they're all blown out or whatever is happening, so I'm always going to take that test shot for first and look and so you know me tierney threw the camera in that way he will see me do that woman when I shoot in the studio my studio lighting is the same every single time I still am taking that test shot looking and making sure I don't need to adjust my exposure any inside I'm always shooting on manual with the strobes outside I typically am shooting aperture priority and just like you asked, I'm going to choose the lowest aperture setting that I possibly can for my subjects and so if it's one or two I'm gonna be a two point eight and if it's you know as I'm adding subjects I'm gonna you know him I might go up to like five point six with the family, but it just depends on even if with a family of seven you know, if I can get them mostly on the same plane that I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go as wide open as I possibly can, so I've got that out of focus background we're focusing right on them any more questions in our studio audience but we do have one when you said you given like a free session, what you said about them their city fina is the free thing right, the session free the session is free, but not any product after that, so we're still everything else is exactly the same, and the people will be more. No, I mean she's asking if people don't know if they, you know, don't expect more of these air clients. And I worked with I've done their their senior session with them. I am gifting them with a free family session because you know that to me and a lot of times what I'm telling these moms is that, you know, we need to do this free family session in the fall. I'm gonna I want to give that to you because this is the last time that you're probably gonna have a family portrait before you have more people in your family because it's true. And when when your kid's a senior you don't do family portrait again until somebody gets married, you know? And typically every once in a while we'll have a family with older kids who do it every single year but it's rare so it's high school senior on then it's wedding day. And so I and I tell them that, you know, the next time you do a family portrait it's going to be you're gonna have a son in law or a grandchild or you know whatever it might be so let's do something really special for you guys and I want to give that to you but know where everything else is just like a regular client and uh they are those clients purchase very well because I've been through the system with me um when you should have their homes do you bring lighting into their home? I very rarely bring lighting with me I when I'm on location, I try to shoot outside as you know, when I can if I need to shoot inside, I should window light natural light I every once in a while if I have not been to the house at all and I don't know what the situation is there and I know they want to shoot in the in the house, I'll take lighting as a backup, but I hate getting it out of my car, so I try to do natural light whenever I can. Ok? My question is regarding weddings, which I know that you are more families, but I'm thinking like, do I go before the wedding and say, okay, well, mom, other some shots that you might like for, you know your walls that you want me to really get or how might that work do I go to grandma's I mean or do I just mainly just stick to the bride and the groom well and that is a really good question weddings of course I don't do a ton of them but I did back in the day and I love weddings weddings are a completely different beast um for me all my wedding product needs to be sold before the wedding day so that's just kind of for me personally I know people are not excited about spending money after the wedding and so I want that also happen and so when I'm working with wedding clients one of the things that I tell them is you're gonna want to decorate your new home with your engagement portrait your wedding is going to be captured and you know heirlooms in an album and so that's the main product that I want to sell and I'll actually it's it's it's a personal thing but because I'm telling them you know you're not going to want to want that picture in your you know that portrait in your dress hanging on your wall ten years from now but you'll want those images from your engagement session hanging forever you're gonna always love them and because I tell him that that's what they think you know and so I'm selling for the home and even to you know mom and dad and grand parents and suggesting to them that they do that for gifts for the wedding and so and I love engagement sessions and I'll do engagement sessions even if I don't photograph weddings which I would kind of prefer but uh you know I am but I do I'm decorating for the home with the engagement session and then the album is my main uh wedding product does that help you have another one one more do you ever go back like before you're putting in your big order for christmas or something do you ever go back to the people you hadn't spring and say hey did you do anything for christmas gifts or yeah absolutely and in fact every client that we photograph through the year we let them know at the time of their order we don't want to think about it now we just want them to know it's an option from anything that we photographed this year you can do your christmas cards you can do christmas gifts and we do actually contact people back we sent out a newsletter um you know, unless somebody has specifically said to us during the order appointment when we've made those suggestions if they specifically have said yes we definitely wanted to christmas cards then we call them um otherwise we sent out a newsletter to everybody we photo after the year that's a great question all right laurie will we are here we hear are here at the end of day two of our live event but if you're watching during the thirty day event we are just closing out date twenty, which really is two thirds of the way through we've covered so so much and again as we've talked about some people are really excited but along with that is also a little bit of feeling of being overwhelmed as we expect and that's the great part about breaking it up over thirty days that's right? I did want to throw in one kind of final question to round out the day and wherever people are at this two thirds waypoint from dominique cart dot com laurie how long did it take for you to get all of this about your business, right? Perhaps when did it not go right? What was that like? I've got to know but more so um do you ever get it right? Do you ever get it right? That's a great question I don't know that you ever get it perfect it's always gotta be evolving and growing and changing but amelia asked actually asked me that on the break how long did it take? She has spent a long time you know, getting doing this business as you know, trying to get her business going and how long does it really take and should it take me and it didn't happen overnight and it happened by a lot of trial and error and a lot of mistakes and a divorce I mean I went through a lot to get to where I am it does not happen overnight and it is hard work and I think you know for me that that time when I wass you know I was going through divorce and it was I had spent two years before my divorce supporting our family my husband had quit his job to stay home with the kids so that I could start my business which seemed like a great idea at the time you know it was that was nineteen, ninety nine and in two thousand I bought a building I invested in digital equipment which is not like today investing in digital equipment I went twenty thousand dollars into debt with you know with what I bought and was trying to support my family and it was hard on both of us but it came to that point where after you know being miserable and you know, going through this struggle and being busy in my business and you know, feeling like I wasn't being you know, respected or appreciate it or any of those things you know they're they're did become that day when it was just like there is no more of this I have to change and do this right or not do it at all and you know I own a hair salon before I started as a photographer and there were so many times when I just said I would so much rather be cutting hair and going home at night you know I didn't take care home with me you know and so and it's true and you know it is if we if we can't put a plan together and we can't you know if we can you know just get it can't get it right it's not worth it you know and I would rather cut hair and be photographing my friends or my family for fun and have fun at it again because in about two thousand one two thousand two I was not having any fun you know I was miserable and I was making everybody around me miserable because it was no I was working twenty hours a day I wasn't sleeping I was falling asleep on my computer I was you doing way too much for way too little and you know, there just comes that day when it's just like you know and I was I was supporting my family and then I got divorced I was still supporting myself and so I didn't have a choice you know and that's part of it for me I think a lot of times we make excuses based on our circumstances and you know and so it just got to that point for me where it just it would was no longer a choice for me I had to make that decision either made this work or I quit and so it would happen the hard way, but it happened and I would say, you know, I started photographing in about nineteen, ninety six, ninety seven as, ah, you know, getting serious about it was photographing my kids and friends and, you know, like, everybody starts now, and but I did that in those years, and I went to work for a studio for a year, and then I started out on my own shot, all on location for a couple of years, and then nineteen, ninety nine was when I said, I really want to do this full time, I want to make it real, and my husband quit his job about a building, and I went for it, and so I guess there was, you know, four years up to that point, and then between two thousand and two thousand two, when I was a miserable human being, and then so I would say six years, you know, so that probably doesn't sound fun for people to hear, but I also really believe that, you know, with the tools in place is that you can make it happen a lot, uh, a lot more quickly, and there is there are so many tools available to us today, and you know, I you know, I wish I would had this course back you know, ten years ago twelve years ago and I have seen lots of lots of you guys and you know, lots of other people out there that have accepted help and asked for help and you know, when really made changes very quickly I've seen people take their studios from brand new too, and I have so much confidence in carly she's gonna cry, but she is gonna rock two thousand fourteen and I already told her today you know, she had that first sale that was seven hundred dollars I mean, she she's not gonna be happy with seven hundred dollars by early next year she's gonna be saying I just had a thousand or sale and I just had a fifteen dollars, sale fifteen hundred dollars sale and you know, now I'm expecting that every single time you know, and so it can happen if you just make the decision and I've been so proud of her because she is a go getter, she she will make it happen and, you know, I think a lot of times that's what it takes it takes that person that either says, you know, I'm gonna keep making excuses, I'm gonna trudge along, you know, this has happened forever and ever is not going to change I can't do this, you know, or you decide and carly has decided so I think that's awesome and we get teo we get to watch her through this and we get to see her on day thirty one and what's happened for her and just a month so okay, I just wanted teo just before we close out this segment just read off a few words because people really really appreciate your honesty and sharing that and truly keeping it really see welch photo says I think it's when we hear that you could do it through all of your crap way can teo um and again trinity v s yeah, I really feel that good to see someone make it from that situation. It's definitely possible. So thank you for being so honest with us, cheryl and I say that all the time I mean, if I can do this you guys can do this and and I and can we go a little bit longer? I will if I can keep from crying I'll share something personal. Woo it's coming um you know, I don't even have a high school graduation degree. I got my g e d I got pregnant I you know and it's been a long time for me and being able to even admit that out loud and say that for riel I've lied about my age my whole life and for many, many years it was for my son you know, I didn't want him to ever feel like oh yeah, my mom was you know, teenage pregnancy high school drop out you know? And um you know, but it but it wasn't it wasn't just for him it was because I didn't want to be that person, you know? And so I lied about it for a long time or or just wouldn't tell anybody my age and you know, just by saying of course I've got a twenty seven year old son in a week and so you know, and so and people say, wow, you don't look old enough to have a twenty year old twenty seven year old said I know right? You know ah, and so you know, but and it was okay for me that people thought I was older, like I was flying the wrong way about my age and you know what now I have a grandson and that's from child number two, you know? And, uh and so I have been through a lot and, you know, I went to a very small private school where I took paces, you know, I was actually able to, like kind of credit out and I have lied about that that I've told people that's how I graduated I've never like said it as a lie, but I've let people believe oh yeah I just finished school early you know, I've graduated in nineteen eighty five which I did with my g e d but you know, I would tell people I graduated nineteen, eighty five year I took these credit courses and you know, graduated a little bit early well, you know what? I was pregnant and I was had my hair license so I was ready to get out and cut hair and take care of my you know, my child and um you know and it has been a long, long road but I do I'm I'm ready to share that because I do believe if I can do this you know, high school drop out pregnant teenager from waco, texas uh you know, anybody can do this and I I did I wasn't born knowing this stuff I didn't go to business school, you know? I mean it's it's the school of hard knocks that's how I learned and you know, being to this point of knowing I've gotta have scripts in place I've gotta have systems in place if it doesn't happen the same way for me every time it's not gonna happen, you know, and it's if I could do it, you can do it and so thanks for letting me share that I don't know if we want to cut that out later no, I think that this is actually a perfect way to end this twentieth day, it's two thirds of the way through the process, and I think that a lot of people at this point, I need some inspiration because we've gone over a lot. It's been really hard and there's a lot of work to be done and it's really easy to lose, uh, that steam and lose. Lose that motivation, so I'm pretty sure we're going to keep that in. Thank you for saying that.