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Capturing Authentic Children Portraits

Lesson 15 of 20

Review Of Earlier Shoot Images

Tamara Lackey

Capturing Authentic Children Portraits

Tamara Lackey

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Lesson Info

15. Review Of Earlier Shoot Images

Lesson Info

Review Of Earlier Shoot Images

I'm gonna jump into a little bit more that I wanna cover before we get into some post-processing and (sighing) a lot of other things, too. (laughing) We still have a lot to go in this last segment! But first, I know that we had dropped some tethering while we were shooting earlier, and I wanted to show you some of the shots I was getting that you couldn't necessarily see. This was our little sick boy who, we have to treat a child who is sick as someone who right now feeling everything. So that doesn't mean that's who he is all the time, but I am gonna switch into that mode. I was talking about that this morning, when I was talking about all the personality types, as a child who just is feeling everything. And because he is, this kinda moment I'm getting from him happens. Did you see much of this when he started feeling badly?! It's seconds I had. I had this real quick. I had him look at his mom, that real quick. I'm adjusting everything. I'm switching over to another shot. I'm thinking...

about what I have to adjust in terms of technical settings, but I'm also just tryin' to get the expressiveness I want. We had our last kid, who is a dynamic kid. I took his images. I threw them quickly into post-processing, which I'll show you exactly how quickly, and we got him doing this (laughing) and doing this, super cute! We had this guy, who gave me that smile, right! That smile! 'Cause he was tryin' to do the right thing! That's the thing, I think. When I see that face, I think all this kid's tryin' to do is what I asked of him. He's always been told that's how he smiles, so he's doing the cheese smile. He literally said "Cheese," to himself! He said "Okay, cheese." (laughing) Right! And so I have to break that up a little bit. 'Cause we've got this really adorable kid, but I want the expressiveness that's real and authentic. And so I'm able to get this, which is a whole different smile, and this, and this, by simply engaging, stepping in and out. I'm shooting everything in RAW, but I'm delivering some, just showing you some, in JPEG. You can see some of that too. But that's what I'm doing, I'm trying to figure out how to get out the real, authentic expression that is theirs, and I have to bypass what they have been preconditioned, in my experience. They have been preconditioned to deliver to me.

Class Description

Each child is unique and needs different techniques to draw out the most authentic portrait. Acclaimed family photographer, Tamara Lackey, talks through how to quickly identify the characteristics of a child and the posing techniques and direction that can lead to a fun session with great results. She’ll cover:

  • The 6 basic personalities that children may show up to a photo shoot with
  • How to draw out a shy child in front of the camera
  • Tips for photographing the children who don’t want to be there
  • Gear and accessory considerations for family shoots
  • How to build to a natural pose

Have the confidence and the technique to capture an authentic child portrait in every session no matter client or their mood!



Tamara Lackey brings amazing energy to her teaching and shooting style. She shared a ton of tips and tricks for capturing the true character and personality of each child in both individual and group portraits. I have always found it to be particularly difficult to capture portraits of multiple children that are composed to be both visually interesting and true to their unique story. I learned so much about directing and communicating effectively with child subjects, and how to use my gear and other tools to streamline the process and keep it all fun for the family. No matter how much you think you know about photographing children, this class is an asset that you will not regret! Thank you Tamara Lackey!

Heidi Mikulecky

I love Tamara's tips for working with common personality types found in children. I also love that class allows you to be "fly on the wall" during her photo shoots. It's so helpful for me to see how other photographers engage their subjects (especially children). Tamara brings a ton of energy, excitement and playfulness to her shoots. It opened my eyes to how fun (and how exhausting) a photo shoot can be when you give it your all. Great class!

Sara NAomi

This was an amazing class. Photoshop has been a huge learning curve for me during the past year and it was so helpful to see the quick and easy way you used levels to bring down brightness/hotspots. I will definitely be using it to improve the "ear" on the portrait that you critiqued. Thank you soooooooooo very much Tamara and CL for providing such great content!