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Introduction & Inspiration For Teenager Portrait

Lesson 14 from: Capturing Story in Portrait Photography

Kelly Brown

Introduction & Inspiration For Teenager Portrait

Lesson 14 from: Capturing Story in Portrait Photography

Kelly Brown

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Lesson Info

14. Introduction & Inspiration For Teenager Portrait

The teen years can be a tough age -- so where do you find inspiration to create a storytelling portrait for a teenager? Kelly shares tips on finding inspiration for these portraits, as well as portraits that she's created in the past and where the ideas stemmed from.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


The Power of Portrait Photography


Introduction to Newborn Portrait


Find Inspiration for Newborn Portrait


Create The Scene for Newborn Portrait


Prepare & Pose Newborn for Portrait


Shoot: Techniques for Photographing Newborn


Newborn Image Review


Introduction & Find Inspiration For Child Portrait


Create The Scene for Child Portrait


Prepare Set for Child Portrait


Shoot: Capture Child Portrait


Image Review for Child Portrait


Introduction & Inspiration For Teenager Portrait


Create The Scene for Teenager Portrait


Building Set for Teenager Portrait


Shoot: Portrait with Teenager


Shoot: Pose Teenager for Multiple Looks


Image Review for Teenage Portrait


Introduction & Inspiration For Adult Portrait


Creating The Scene for Adult Portrait


Lighting for Adult Portrait


Tell Your Subject's Story


Shoot: Lighting for Double Exposure


Introduction to Senior Portrait


Create Storyboard & The Scene For Senior Portrait


Connect With Client to Create Portrait


Shoot: Lighting for Senior Portrait


Shoot: Be Creative on Set


Image Review for Senior Portrait


Portrait Shoots Recap


Global Adjustments in Camera Raw®


Editing In Photoshop® CC: New Born Portrait


Editing In Photoshop® CC: Child Portrait


Editing In Photoshop® CC: Adult Portrait


Editing In Photoshop® CC: Teenager Portrait


Editing In Photoshop® CC: Senior Portrait


Introduction to Entering Print Competitions


Process of Print Competitions


What to Consider For Print Competitions


What Judges Look For Overview


Image Impact


Creativity, Style & Composition in Images


Entering Photography Competitions Q&A


Image Lighting


Image Color Balance


Technical Excellence in Images


Photographic Technique


Storytelling & Subject Matter


Lesson Info

Introduction & Inspiration For Teenager Portrait

This segment is all about photographing teenagers, and as I mentioned earlier in Australia it's not something that's very popular. So we don't just have those bookings for like the high school senior shoots. I often have teenagers come in though for family portrait sessions. If I come in and I connect with someone who is a teenager, it's a pretty sure bet that I'm gonna photograph them in another way and create something special for them. Because having a teenage daughter of my own... I know, and I... Well, you know I was a teenager. So I understand what they're going through. In today's world I am, you know, aware of the influence from social media and the pressures to look a certain way. To be a certain way. To be perfect in a sense, and it can be really tough on kids. Especially when they're sort of you know between that sort of 14 to 17 age group, because they're growing at such a rapid rate. The hormonal changes that they grow through are huge. Also their brain is developing so fa...

st for them to be able to actually mentally understand what's happening around them and to them. It's very complex being a teenager. Our model is 17, and I remember back to that age. I already moved out of home. I'm sort of aware of some of those struggles that you go through at this age. I'm really excited to actually create something for our model today that shows her beauty and makes her feel powerful in herself. So, that's really exciting. I'm gonna take you through a few of my slides here, because it's important to know where I'm obviously finding inspiration. Again it's those same points. It might be from one place or another, but it's starting off that research process. And starting with a few little pieces of information that during that meeting when you asked those questions. They're starting to give you answers, and then you're kind of taking notes. Then you can't wait to get on the computer and start researching different things, or perhaps different eras. Our model today has a very, she's got a very classic look. She almost reminds me of, you know sort of medieval times in terms of her porcelain skin and her bone structure. She's really quite beautiful. That's inspired me as well to create what I'm gonna create during this setup. Going through some of the photos that I've created and what's inspired me. Everything speaks to us differently. I was in an art gallery and this image really moved me. Really, really moved me. It's called the Martyr. It was in the Louvre in the Louvre Art Gallery. I just stood there for such a long period of time staring at it, because it's very, very dark. The more you look at it the more you start to see into the background of what's happening to tell this story. I was completely fascinated by this. It's very dark, it's very moody. It's gonna speak to some people, and it's not gonna speak to other people. So it's okay to be naturally drawn to something that really resonates with you, because like I said we're all completely different. So what I create today, not everybody's gonna go out and create the same thing, but that's the beautiful thing about this. It's story telling portraiture. It's creating and finding inspiration from so many different things and factors. That are gonna help you tell someone else's story and be impacted by so many different elements and things that you've learned along the way. This particular painting inspired me to create something that was... In the next images you're gonna look at it and go, what is that? But the next image shows you a little behind the scenes footage of what I tried to create something similar. This was when our pool was first put in. (laughs) It was warm. It looks a little cold. But, I did want to create something like this to create the following image. It is a composite photograph, because I knew that there was no way that I could do this as a single capture image. That's that process that you go through. Yes I create single captures for entering competitions that have that as a guideline for some of those categories, but not all categories are single capture. You can enter illustrative categories where you can enter heavily composited images. For this one the background was taken in New Zealand. The deer was taken in another location. Then obviously the photo that was taken in the pool was added later in post production. But I've tried to create something a little different and put my spin on it. The deer has a great meaning in terms of why it's there in the frame. You know it's kind of like that new life type thing that's coming through there. So that's my sort of spin on something like that. It's not gonna resonate with everyone, but for me it was an important photograph to try and accomplish. What I loved about this was. It was really hard to do. So I learned so much throughout that process of trying to make it look realistic and trying to create something. I love that creative process of trying to come up with something that was unique and different. You know that the thing when I talk later on about enter awards and things like that. You know when you put an image up in front of a judging panel and you've got five completely judges in there. It only takes one of them for an image to resonate with them. Then they'll fight for that photograph if they want it to have a better score. So you don't have to impress all of the judges. I've often in judging history, you know, sort of gone quite high on an image that me feel really uncomfortable, but because it made me uncomfortable it made me feel something. When you are creating something some of those things don't always go, ah you know that's gonna make someone a bit skirmish. Or that's gonna make someone not, you know, enjoy it or feel comfortable. It's just about creating for you and creating pieces of art work that you know people are gonna love that are in the photos. I even found inspiration from quotes. This was a beautiful quote that's actually the lyrics out of a song. You know when you walk into a room everything changes. Darkness starts to tremble at the light that you bring. Every heart starts burning, and nothing matters more than just to sit here at your feet. So when I think of that, I think of how bright the room becomes when my daughters walk into it, or any of my kids. Especially, you know, my girls. When they smile they really do light up a room. So for me as a parent that was something that really struck a cord, and when I'm creating I wanna create something that really does kind of have that impact and is something just that little different. So I can see a lot of you looking at it going, I wasn't expecting that to pop up. But that's my crazy imagination and that's my level of, you know, imagination that's bringing those lyrics to life for me. So I've created that portrait for me, and I think that's really important as an artist as well. You know having these personal projects and being able to really have some fun and explore the possibilities of what is possible. I'll show you later on exactly how I created that, which is pretty cool. But when it comes to creating storyboards... When I'm photographing my children, which I highly recommend to everybody out there. Get them to create a storyboard, and then you interpretate it. Then you become the opposite end of the stick. Get them to create a beautiful storyboard. I've got two of my girls on Pinterest with their own accounts set up. I love going in and seeing the different boards that they are creating, because it inspires me in such a different way. Because that's what they see, and I would've seen something completely different. You know, what was it that grabbed their attention? Was it the pose? Was it the way that the art form? The way that it was created? Was it the colors? Was it the composition? All of those things. So I sit and I talk to them about that. I allow them to actually, you know, be free in their thoughts and let them know that it's okay to think, you know, think outside the square. Think that anything's possible in terms of creation. In terms of being artistic.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Mind Map & Prep Guide

Ratings and Reviews


Among a sea of wonderful teachers here at CL, Kelly is the cream of the crop. All of her classes are outstanding and this one is no exception. Amazing teacher. Amazing class. Amazing education. If you are hoping to stretch yourself to create deeper more meaningful stories in your images, or are feeling the pull of print competition but need some direction, this is definitely the class for you. Thank you Kelly!

Melissa Soto

Kelly Brown is a true inspiration. She has been my idol in this industry since I began. This class was amazing. I love how honest, authentic and genuine she was. But most importantly I loved her wise direction and teaching style. Kelly brown thank you for this gem. You helped light a fire in me. I’m so excited to start telling amazing stories with the skills I have learned from this class.

Marjorie Stevenson

Just loving this class! Kelly is one of my favorite instructors. She is very good at articulating her ideas and carrying them to an absolutely wonderful end product. Her images are always stunning. I love that she always puts safety first with her models. Thank you Kelly for sharing your creative visions with us.

Student Work