A Conversation with the Family


Children's Portrait Photography


Lesson Info

A Conversation with the Family

So this is going to be basically an overview of what I say when I sit down with families to talk to them about the shoot we're about tohave um oftentimes this conversation is better had over the phone just to give them time to think about it and realize what we're doing and then there's a reminder right before the shoot starts. This actual meeting that's about to happen is pretty much like let me get out to the point of what I want to convey. Normally this discussion would be a lot more interactive it's a conversation where kind of sharing stories that's longer. Um, but I wanted to show you the gist of what I want to get across to my clients before the shoot starts. So thank you for sitting with me uh, just a little over me before getting to shoot those umbrellas that's, a butterfly and a frog this we're looking at the kids that were twirling their umbrellas off to the side. Fantastic! The first thing I see there, I'm sure you did is casting yeah, green casting gas, but side note yeah,...

if we're about to shoot, they've got some brothers it's pelting rain and the little boy has a green umbrella and the little girl has a purple umbrella, which adorable but we've got color casting issues to watch out for now. I have and that's the first thing I think of whenever I see somebody say can we bring this in or can I use this or this is my favorite wall you know like okay, but let me see how it reflects your skin tone look what it does to the color's uh wait um okay, so uh and we have here katie and scott katie braise and her husband scott we're gonna bring in what I would love is way could kind of obviously we're all here from something try to do the same thing which is get fantastic images in your family and your kids so one of the things that I find to be most successful and she's like this is to just not worry about raising moral human beings for the duration of the shoot he let a lot go and because my goal is to be there buddy, I don't need to be respected and I don't need for them to like me or coming miss anything you're any like that uh a lot. Did you see how she looked at him like okay honey, are you with me talking because katie's a photographer and katie gets us um oftentimes mom what either get it right away or she'll be a little bit okay and oftentimes dad's a little bit more like all right but it's not to get too wild, okay and so like, oh, but I really have a lot of time teaching that will do, and I totally understand. But if they really like me feel super comfortable, we're gonna get those kind of natural, authentic shots, way get so a cz much as possible if we could just completely relax the discipline and you go the other way even like, offer bribes and but let them hit me or whatever it takes. Yeah, so we can't let that go that great and whatever happens, I'm not saying this will happen here, but it's not uncommon to be out there and your instinct will kick in. We will say, stop that, put that down, uh, maybe not never made use of my children. Yeah, yeah, it's, it's, that that would be very natural on dh. So I'll just what we'll do, if that and what I'm doing there is saying, I'm gonna give you one hundred percent permission to recognize it. If you do say something, you didn't screw up, you know you're not do anything wrong. You're just trying to have you know everything go well with kids and stuff like that on and I say that upfront saying most likely we're probably gonna have some sort of slipper and then just just know and that way so when we're out there and we're shooting and someone says something, I'm like we talked about this, you know, because if I don't give that that little kind of leeway they might later feel a little offended they're like why didn't get it all the way or something now since I've said that it's a star reminder of something we said we all agreed teo and you just know that we're hopeful and that's not nothing um and then the other thing is while we're I'm photographing kids specifically, it would be great if we put him in control a lot and ask them to pick things and do things and give them choices and let them figure out and I know that I'm gonna be adjusting little things to make it work as we g o so if we're in a situation where I'm just one of them and I get their attention and if I need help, you know you have my word state next to help me up, but otherwise it might be really distracting all of us are calling him once, so when I just said there could you hear that? I said, um I want to give them a lot of control, but I'm gonna be tweaking things are gonna be adjusting things and but I want them to be with me s o if everybody's calling something out, then it's gonna get really distracting so upfront addressing the fact that it wouldn't be unlikely that one person be standing here saying smile, smile and one person standing here and saying someone how smile and I'm standing here and the kid's like what? That is not an uncommon thing that everybody's trying to help no one's doing a thing wrong we're all just trying to help, but then the kid gets completely overwhelm because everybody's calling him and he doesn't know where to go and that that that s o I want to make sure I say up front that this could happen and when it does happen, I'm going to remind you so several things now I've set up front that can always happen, but I say it in a way like because we're all buddies here we all want this right? So that it doesn't come out as adversarial because there's no reason for it too, you know and that's also really common, you know, just like I know what it takes to make your grandma knows what takes to make it work and so and they're looking in five directions it is just too much stress so in that situation if you can't let me take the lead on that a little bit and then called you guys in for force mints so I think yeah leverage you okay? We got by and you hear it very exciting I feel like I just like I wish I could you know what I should start doing have a contract that I slip over them to say you you sure sign it really preach do you have any questions no I think it's good sense okay you're lying to protect her for as long as we need and then it's interview here that I think I whispered it kind of dramatically but I was just basically saying we're I think I said this hold on I think I basically just said we're all onboard right? Okay for sure we're in okay for two hours we're in you know something like that and I'm s o f now said it like three or four times do you see what I'm saying and it's um it's a little silly it's a little kind of tongue in cheek but it's really unlikely now that we're going to go into a shoot and they're going to be directing everything it's really unlikely I literally ask them are they did agree are you sure were brought in as long as you need and if you do have questions are you there's anything that you feel like two crazy let me now but otherwise I think which way semi sense. Great, yeah, because again, I keep going back, as people will ask me, and I saw this a lot come in on the twitter feed people asked, well, what do you do in that sort of situation? And, um, I guess I just don't I don't understand why it would ever be something that we're combating each other about me and that my clients, because if they're hiring me, we want to do this together. And if I say that, like I said yesterday, this is my method, this is how I do it, and I have never had a situation where clients gotten upset with me. You got angry with me, at least not that I saw, um and and had it had an issue directly with me because we've already explained, everything is going to happen. I reminded that a couple times, and so there is nothing that can happen now where they can try toe over direct or get angry at the kid or punish them. None of that can happen now, and if it does happen because it's just a, you know, an instinctual thing or just, you know, um, kind of muscle memory, I will, I will say. I'm so easy to forget that. Remember, we just said this and because I was kind of obnoxious by saying it three or four times. It's, not like that was a casual conversation that was so flippant, they're going to forget. So I have completely gotten rid of that being an issue now for the rest, my shoot.

Class Description

Celebrated children's photographer Tamara Lackey leads a special worldwide workshop on the magic, art, and business of child portrait photography. Take a live, front-row seat with Tamara as she works with a wide range of kids. You'll watch as she works to put them at ease, gets them laughing, and coaxes out their natural personality for fun poses and great family portraits. More importantly, you'll be part of an ongoing weekend conversation with fellow photographers around the world about how to grow your own successful portrait photography business, while balancing personal and professional lives.