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Capturing Authentic Photos of Children & Families

Lesson 8 of 19

Instant Rapport & Lasting Trust

Chris Orwig

Capturing Authentic Photos of Children & Families

Chris Orwig

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Lesson Info

8. Instant Rapport & Lasting Trust

Lesson Info

Instant Rapport & Lasting Trust

Well the next is about meeting and greeting the family, so let's role that clip, and check out that part of the shoot. Alright so after you have scouted the location, the next thing you want to do is start thinking about meeting and greeting the family. What I think about there is that really what you wanna do, is build instant kinda rapport, that lasts. So you don't wanna overdo it at first, but you wanna be warm, you wanna smile, and you wanna set the tone for the rest of the shoot. You have to get into the mind of the parents here. The parents often can be stressed 'caused they've gotten all their kids together. Put on maybe some nice clothes. They've gotten to location, gotten through traffic, found a parking spot. All those things, and you wanna be a breath of fresh air. And so an important thing to keep in mind in how you're doing yourself. A little bit earlier I was getting stressed when I got to location. I was starting to think about different things, and locations, and weathe...

r, it started to rain a little bit, I was like aaah! But if I'm stressed out, then they're probably thinking that I'm stressed out because of them, not because of me. So I need to let go of all of that. So I just take a deep breath and then ask yourself, well, hey, how can I connect with these people in a natural way. A nice way to do that is just to be warm as I already mentioned, and natural, and let things flow and unfold. Let them know that there isn't anything that they can do wrong. This isn't a performance. This is more of an enjoyable walk in a beautiful location. And that really is the key. It's about relaxing, having some fun, because if you can relax and let go, that's where the beautiful photographs, the natural, authentic, alive photographs are made. Last little tip here, I always have my cameras out, and ready on my shoulders, because you want those to be a natural part of meeting the family, rather than all of a sudden the cameras come out and the photography begins. That makes people a little bit more nervous. So cameras are out and at some point after you meet the family, you need to make the first shot. The first shot doesn't even matter. It's not gonna be very good. It's a throw away, but the point is must get them comfortable with talking, and then say, oh, wait a second, capture the photograph, keep talking and then moving around. Alright so the family has just arrived and we're gonna say hello to them, so here we go. Hey you guys. Hi there. These are the camera guys. Ruth a pleasure to meet you. Pleasure to meet you. Wonderful. This is Steve right? Yep. Okay, and then I'm trying to think of your other names. Graham. Graham. And then your name? Henry. Henry. And is that Quin hiding back there? Yes. (laughs) Thank you guys for coming. So have you guys been to this spot before? Yes. We have. Okay cool, not in weather like this though. Or maybe in weather like this? Always in weather like this her right. Okay, cool, cool. So basically what we're gonna do so you guys have the sense, is we're going to walk around a little bit in some different spots, and take photographs as we go. So I have an idea for the beginning and I know for you guys it's kinda weird having so many cameras here. Are you guys cool with it? Cool with it. Okay, cool. (laughs) For me it's always a little bit weird but they're really good guys too. So anyway, what we're gonna do is, we're gonna start off going on a little adventure, so you guys follow me and I'll show you where we'll start. Alright so meet and greet, and that is all about warmth. And the thing to reiterate there is that when we're stressed out and we meet someone, they think it's about them, and so just be really aware of that. And sincerely what did happen is I got real stressed. We were watching the weather apps, rain's predicted. You can't tell how windy and cold it is. But the thing with family photographs, if it's windy, rainy and cold, you don't do em. But we had to film it, so we did do it, so I'm like oh my gosh, what's going on, you know. The show must go on, right? But I had to be careful not to transfer that to them. And one of the big mistakes that I made with the meet and greet, was this. You know, we needed to get some filming done. Like, kinda like, set the tone, location scout, so the family pulled up and we had someone else meet them and then walk them over to where they were. So they kinda walked onto scene in a way. It's, let me think, this might not be the right example, but it's like if you're having a backyard party and someone else met them at the front door then walked back, and everyone's already sitted down at the party and their kinda like, aah, versus if I was there and said, hey you guys, welcome, I so glad, oh we're 15 minutes late. No biggie, come in, look at this, oh we love your fireplace, great. Let's go, oh, we'll get seats for you, and you know, and you just usher them into that. That makes all the difference in the world. So that was a mistake, but it's a good learning thing. I should have been at the car. I should have been there because you almost even wanna carry bags, greet the kids in a natural way, not that like, da, da, da greeting. But it is what it is, it's a good thing to learn.

Class Description

  We love photography because it helps us celebrate and savor life. Capturing those images can be difficult, especially when it’s your own family or friends. Photographer and artist Chris Orwig walks through all the techniques that go into capturing a photo quickly so that you can focus on your subject while relaxed and confident. He’ll discuss tips for working with available light as well as how to develop your own creative style. He’ll discuss gear recommendations and location scouting tips to set your photo shoot up for success. 

He’ll also cover: 
  • How to connect with children and capture real emotion 
  • Finding moments that photograph well and how to set them up naturally 
  • Wardrobe tips that make your photos timeless 
  • When and how you should turn your passion into a profit 
  • Essential Lightroom workflows for quick processing of your photos 
  • How to deliver your images or prints and share them for all to enjoy 
Start improving your photographs of your family with this course and learn the essential skills you need to make photographs that last a lifetime. 

Class Materials

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Student Work

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Meredith Zinner Photography

Chris is a FANTASTIC teacher (and photographer). He is so very very authentic, warm, REAL, talented, knowledgeable, honest, open and true to his wonderful self. This class, in addition to endless nuggets of knowledge and insights, highlights how being true to your own self makes you a better photographer- emphasizing connection, authenticity, fun and easy relaxed simple joy. A refreshing take on children's photography for sure! Thank you Chris and CreativeLive!

lisa james

Wow, I have been in search of my style. I've been reading and researching and listening to inspiring speakers and from each one I've gathered pieces of information that help guide me. This class, however, has been the most successful for me. Chris's approach to teaching and his material that he provides is Spot On for me. Thank you, Chris. I am so inspired and eager to move forward now that I can see my vision more clearly. I highly recommend this class.

Neeraj Arora

Oh my god!!!! What a class. I couldn't stop watching. Chris you are an inspiration, loved every word you said, loved how you said it. I am in the process of getting a plan together for doing photography professionally on the side, on top of my research career, and you just hit a home run in getting me motivated and excited in taking the plunge. My photography of people gives me a lot of satisfaction and meaning and you just validated what I have been thinking of doing lately. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.