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Shoot: Capture Child Portrait

Lesson 12 from: Capturing Story in Portrait Photography

Kelly Brown

Shoot: Capture Child Portrait

Lesson 12 from: Capturing Story in Portrait Photography

Kelly Brown

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Lesson Info

12. Shoot: Capture Child Portrait

With behind the scenes access, see how Kelly created an imaginative shoot with minimal Photoshop work. Gain insight into posing and working with kids. When shooting portraits and a prop or element to the shoot doesn't work exactly as you thought, learn to tackle unexpected challenges.


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

Shoot: Capture Child Portrait

Jade, I might get you to come over and stand next to Olivia for me. You don't have to climb up just yet, I want Jadie over here just so. And you know, we're gonna be careful. And when it comes to Olivia's little outfit, because we've got white and white, I wanted to keep it white, and this little white dress is gonna be nice and contrasting on that blue background, but it's all gonna tie in in terms of that color harmony, and that opposite in color tone in terms of composition to bring her out and make her the subject of this frame. But I found this beautiful little dress, it's just got a little bit of texture to it, and I know that when a little bit of wind hits it, it's gonna float, which is gonna be absolutely beautiful. Okay, so Jade, where are you? There (laughs), right behind me. Can I get you to come in and just stand in here and hold Olivia's hand while she steps up? Perfect. Now, you can step right on there, it's gonna be nice and safe. How do you feel? Good. Feel tall? ...

Uh, yeah. (laughs) So with this hand, you can hold onto this, but just don't pull it, but you can hold onto it, is that okay? Mhmmm. You're not scared? Nuh-uh. Good job. Okay, and then when I'm ready to take the photo, Jadie will let go, and then Olivia can hold on up here, and then Jadie will just be over here, so when I take my shot, and then she'll come straight back in, so it's literally going to be about 10 maybe 15 seconds before I actually take the photo, but I'm going to keep Jadie in here, right up until I'm ready to go, with all of the dry ice and everything. So, yeah. I'm going to get Jamie to come and help as well, if that's okay. But while Jadie's there I'm going to get my exposure shot while they get that sort of set up. So it's in steel, stainless steel containers, for safety, it's got a little bit of a, and they're going to pour some cold water over the top of this and that's what's going to make it kind of start to sort of, flow over the top there. So I'm just going to grab an exposure, and I want to get down to this kind of height here. Okay, you look so cute up there. And I'm going to go again, about a third of a stop over exposed to start with. Alright. It's not coming up on my camera there, but that's okay, look at that seamless, where the bottom meets the background, you can barely see it in that photo, and with Jadie jumps out it's really going to look like she's swinging. So in Photoshop I'm going to move the clamps, we'll just wait a little bit more for that... (laughs) This is so cool. Yeah, that dry ice is taking awhile. Here we go. I think this is where the hot water works brilliantly. Okay, alrighty Olivia what I want you to do, is kind of look up towards this light for me, sweetheart. Absolutely, beautiful, I'm just going to get another two shots. Okay, just relax your face for me, you're on a bit of an adventure up there, that's it. Perfect. Okay, well our dry ice is a bit of a fizz. But that's okay, stuff like this happens. (laughs) Are you okay there for a second? Yeah. I'm not, I need to stand up. (laughs) And we'll wait a minute, if we get some more water. So yeah, that communication back and forth, with the person that you're photographing is so important, you've got to make them feel comfortable you've got to get them to really kind of relax and enjoy the experience, because their expression, their body language, all of that is going to come across in the photos. So you really want to bring out their true personality, and have some fun with them, and I know that when this starts kind of going crazy, Olivia's going to be like, yeah I'm floating in the sky. She's gonna have some real fun with this, and we're going to put some wind on her, make her hair move, and it's going to be, it's going to be really great. But I can already start to see it coming together, and looking really cool, and if we don't get the dry ice, that's okay because we've still got a pretty cool capture there and we've got some lovely soft clouds underneath that swing. So, yeah, how're you going up there? Good. Yeah, do you like this set up? Yeah, it's really cool. (laughs) And it's so age appropriate for Olivia, which is fun because she's at an age where you know like, their imagination's running wild, and they're just having fun and everything should be about enjoying life, right? Yeah. Pretty much. Well, what if I take a shot, we're waiting for someone to come back with some more... More water there, I think, but yeah, Kenna, let's go and get some questions while we're waiting. Would you do multiple takes on this pose, would you have her sit down, maybe, criss cross, maybe her feet dangling, would you do something like that? Yeah, absolutely, so it's all about getting that variety, so my original vision is to have her standing, and then what we're going to do is kind of have her little legs swinging down below there, and have her sitting a little bit lower, so it looks kind of fun, but yeah, I love that question because you reminded me. (laughs) Perfect. Alright, so what we might do first, Garrett, is I want to get a shot of Olivia, just up here without the dry ice, because it is a bit of a fizz, and we might get a little bit of whooshing going on, to start with and then if we can get the dry ice working, we get it working, if not, I've got that shot, which is perfect and I've got these beautiful soft clouds, that in camera, look a lot softer than what we're actually seeing. You know, with our own eye. Okay, so let's get our whoosher. Perfect, so again, now if you can hold onto the rope, and then Jadie's just going to hold onto your wrist there for a second. That way. Maybe go back, because your whoosh is going to get in my frame, my shot. Go to the other side of the light, actually. Okay, you ready? You're not going to fall, I hope, good job. (laughs) And she knows not to pull on those things, and she's like, she's 10 so she understands what's going on, we've already communicated that. So again, what I want you to do, is kind of look up to that light, with a little bit of a smile, that's it, I know it's bright, sweetheart, okay. There we go Garrett, okay, one, two, three. There, that little bit of... Beautiful, one more. And it's just that tiny little bit of movement that we're looking for. And you can see it in the skirt, and just a little bit in her hair, perfect, Jade, can you come in? And can I get you to just hold Olivia's hand, so that she can sit down? And you can step down the back way, yeah. That's a girl. And now if you walk around the front, perfect. It's okay, it's not going to break. Okay, now if you sit up there, now it's not going to be high enough, but what I want you to do is cross your feet, and just sit back a little bit more, that a girl. And just pull your dress out for me, perfect. Okay, and holding onto the sides, and then I want you to kind of swing your feet back a little bit behind you that way, this way. Perfect, look at that, and then looking up. Okay and just try not to pull on those ropes, okay. Ready to go, Garrett, go for it. (laughs) Perfect! Okay, just try not to pull on that rope, for me, sweetheart, beautiful. Done. Okay, let's bring those little dry ice buckets in a little closer and see if we can't get just a little bit of mist. A little bit. Dry ice, gosh. (laughs) But the idea is there, and we've got that little bit of cloud there in the background. Now if you bring it back towards you just a bit, yeah, it's just enough full front of that frame, back a bit more. Yep, perfect. Okay, here we go. See if we can get some real clouds going on. (laughs) Okay. And just looking off over here for me, that's it, beautiful. We got any, go for it, go. Here we go. Hmm, it's not really showing up in my camera. Okay, I'm not even going to worry about it. It was worth the try, it was worth the try. But obviously when it comes to dry ice and things like that, you know, it's maybe we needed a little bit more, maybe we needed to add like boiling hot water, or all of those things, we did use cold water, that does work because of the safety elements here on set. But, obviously in that controlled environment, you can add some hot water that does actually work a lot better. So yeah, that was a lot of fun, thank you so much, you were absolutely perfect. Thank you. Oh, you're welcome, you're welcome, wasn't she perfect? (laughs) (applause) And we were still able to get what we wanted, and I know that in post I'm going to remove that bar, I'm going to remove the clamps that are on the stool there, and I'm going to make those balloons a lot bigger, and it's going to look like she's having, you know, an absolute ball, and there was one frame there, where she's laughing when the wind came across in front of her and I know that's going to probably be my cracking shot.

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