Children's Portrait Photography

 

Children's Portrait Photography

 

Lesson Info

All About Kids: Part 2

I had these two little boys in my studio a few months ago and I am not sure where the feed dropped, so I'll just start with that story is that basically the two year old brother on the one year old brother were completely different personality types and looked very physically different and mom and dad one of them to be wearing suits and ties and so they came in like that and the two year old was about half the size of the one year old and the one year old was pushed back two year old was half the size of the one you yes, that's correct. I actually said that correct. The two year old was half the size of the one year old and the one year old was very shy and quiet, got his feelings hurt really easily and the two year old was just like crazy man telling to dio a bunch people to knock down. So it was really fun experience. So the first thing that we dealt with was that the two year old did not wanna wear a suit at all and he kept trying tow tear it off and mom and dad really wanted him to...

wear it and I asked them to finally let's, just step back and just see what he does get that suit off ended up getting one of my favorite shots literally in process of getting his garments off. And I think if you don't know the experience and there's no audio on this great still, um it actually seems like a very g q is kind of shot for a two year old like like a stylish that looked his hair gel in. Did you could you think a fan was on him the way he's doing it? This is a shot that later when he's like a lady's man you like, since I was to it's always been this way for me. But when we started out kind of trying to keep the suit on his best day good and let them go and what kept happening is that a girl would race tackle and hold down the one year old however he could, and whether that meant, like a full body grab or, like biting her, you know, achieving and he thought it was awesome, he was having so much fun with it. Um, at first, the one year old was kind of affable and letting it go. It is feeling a little bit, but he would try to kind of put his clothes back on and get ready for the suit for the for the rest of the shoot, um but this kind of just kept continuing where we'd be in the studio, and the two year old would race a car across and just attack and thrown down like this just in from every direction, and the only time where he wasn't on top was when he ran too far and fell to the ground and missed him, and you could see the dynamic was such the one you're always like what's going on, and you're like, oh, I'm gonna do it again. So this kind of this whole dynamic kept kind of going until finally the younger brother, just, you know, he was done being affable, and he was just his feelings were hurt who's physically kind of bruised, and that was about how much fun he was having in the shoot with his little suit and his little attack and here's the thing like, I think when you hear this story, it sounds like the two year old was mean, and the one year old just like a little victim, but it wasn't like that the actual personality types were the two year old thought this was hysterical. He's having some which fun with his brother he's gonna come from over there by the time he lands his brother, they're gonna hug on the ground. And and the one year old's personality type was that he just wanted to be kind of soft and left alone and neither one of them were like the bad guys here this was just how they interacted and true to their word the parents kind of said okay, we'll just let it happen what happens and we'll see how it goes but this is what happens everyday at home as we kept going thie two year olds would kind of be like what me? I just think that they're having a lot of fun and uh and then it would happen again we change clothes thinking that would might shift the mood a little bit but instead we had nut just getting this uh whereas I finally just said, you know let's pull back the two year old just thought this was like the best day he's ever had and this is hysterical and the one year old had to feel like, you know, taking to a little first aid station um what I'm finding with this experience is that even though it just kept going and going in the end and we ended up finding that the what I had to do was speak to what the two year old wanted and speak to the one year old wanted at the same time and what the two year old wanted was teo knock people down so I said, how about you knock me down and you can come at me as fast you want and I already talked to mom and dad and that's how this was gonna be okay and we're not gonna worry about whether they do something right or wrong I said how about you know I'll do a bunch of shots of you running towards me and knocking me over and I'll completely go to the ground and again he's this tiny little boy so I had to just completely you know exaggerated leaf all in this in that but he thought that was hysterical and then I had to say to the one year old you're such a you know just so sweet and so soft and this and that and we bring them together and that's how we're getting the photographs of the two of them together that I think we started out with her there is that I'm having these exchanges with each of them separately so just because kids are interacting you know everything's well caution you get aaron actually get candids it's not always good stuff you're getting like you at some point you've got to step forward and say all right let's let's change this dynamic a little bit but in that same experience you know we were having this kind of thing happening it's not hard to say like one of them is bad and one of them is good you know or kind of feel like as this experience is unfolding that this is miserable and we're not gonna get anything here and this is just chaos and out of control that's we kind of step up and say okay, what each of them looking for here the one wants comfort you know that's when I said dad, can you come in and just hold him for a little bit uh and the other one wants to be recognised its fun and cool and having a great time and try to shake things up and make this a party you know? And so I think that's the trick with the interactive child is to recognize that levels of interaction could be very different um, any other any questions about that? Does that answer your questions about the two together? I do have a couple questions. Yeah, a question from lender in the tavern in a situation like this, how do you keep the parents from getting angry or upset with the kids? Even that even though the kids may be doing enough to get you a good shot? Yes. Okay that's a great question how to keep the parents not getting upset. Um, I pretty sure that we're going to show did you get that that section right? So when we did our shoots um thursday wednesday four years ago, which was wednesday, we started out the family session by sitting down and saying here's a little overview of how I think this is going to go and what I would love for you guys to engage on and what I'd love for you to not engage on and so I'm going to show that burbage and so you can kind of see it in action but just may just say it now is that the experience is going to be such that we are not in the business of raising moral children for the next two hours like and I don't believe that any sort of pause on having them disciplined is going to really hurt things in the long run so if you if you like my work if you've seen a lot of what I shot part of it that method is to just let kids be and respond to them for my job is to respond to them doing what they're doing whatever they're doing so whether it's okay or it's not okay or they're being disrespectful to me let's just take that out of the equation and not make it something we care about so I don't have to be you know miss tamara are no one has to say please and thank you to me and if what's going to make this shot perfect is him running across the room and knocking me over we're gonna let that happen you know and I need them to buy in that for the very beginning and I don't think I've ever had a conversation with parents and say, you know what, you're not the right one, forget it, you know, never because they've because though the reason that we're sitting down together, talking, aboutthe shoot, we're about to have its because they saw my work and liked it, and I'm saying, this is how I do what I dio is that I take these limits off the table and that's, fun and that's different and that's crazy and that's, why you get these kind of enlivened expressions a lot of the time, on the flip side, I have had experiences, especially from dad, where they're like, yeah, but if it gets like that, we're gonna have to pull the plug, and so then you have to get us that conversation. I say, how about we don't, you know, and I'll work, we'll do some sort of negotiation if it's a really big deal will negotiate, you know, like, okay, they can, you know, they can slap my leg, but they can't slap my back her for whatever, like, well, I'll make it that silly to show that I really want to not have any limits in place here, and in the end, I don't think I have. Ever had an issue yes thing is that you said like you have seen your work and so therefore this is what you're looking for yes then this is what you're gonna get thing but for someone like like we're starting out like how do you get to the point where you could get the clients to that like for me I can't be like well sure I have to work but what I would like to do and what I've done previously might not line up one hundred percent right so how do you get to the point where you get where you can attract the clients that you want without necessarily having a huge portfolio of tamer lackey to back up this is what my work looks like right? So two things to be weird for you to have that is alright uh never to flying iphone um the uh that so you know what I think I hear you're saying is that if you have work on your website that may not reflect the kind of work that you want to be doing and going forward with is that what you're saying? No, I'm saying I guess I'm or or that it may change I mean I might change my look for me there like I've said before the ideal photo shoot is for me is like a pillow fight with the parents and in their room with their kids right? Right that's we're like sunday morning breakfast that's to me, is the ideal photo shoot, but how do you how do you a tractor that clientele before you've had that ideal photoshoot necessarily event just like putting it on yourself? Yeah, eso honestly, one of the first things I would say is that you really said, you have your block and I watch your stuff, what is the way that you're communicating too? Anybody, you may be sitting down with it, anybody you might want to be attracting using that to talk about what you love to dio, right? You know, so first and foremost, you need to share. This is the kind of stuff I love to dio here's some images I've taken that are pretty close, but I'm looking for this. This is why I think I'd be crazy to get this person and, you know, half disrobed, and in that, like, because that's, mostly what you're looking for is a e o um, so I think that, you know, just expressing that first and foremost goes a long way there's there's about three or four things I've done in my photography career that were like quests like I want to get this shot, I want a photograph, that person, I want to have that experience, and every one of them started with me saying I want to get this shot I wanted first is like the idea of expressing it because it can't be made real until there's like a vision express first of all, it can be made real so you know you want to do it right um and then after that you need to express it and then you need to prioritize it and then you need to fight for it, you know? And then when you get in that place where you're all about it that's gonna happen I'll pose for you do you fight with your kids but you know that that's how you bring it about so that's the first thing I would say two the second part of the question which may not have been asked but I heard so wanna respond to is the idea that, uh what if the work that you're putting out there isn't the stuff that you're trying to get and it might not be the same thing uh, everything I put out there is not gonna be the same thing I'm doing going forward. You know, these are ideas of the type of style if I ever have it so that all the work of my safe is the only thing I do, I'm going to just die of creative loss, you know, I think I need to keep doing new things and trying new experiences and have any challenges and um and I don't think I'm alone in that I think a lot of people are like that especially creative people so in that respect I don't think that the work that's out there needs to represent the work that you're going to go onto d'oh you know, because that's always gonna be shifting and changing can I have another question kind of going back to what we were just talking about? Um tanya from bc and twitter is asking if you let kids be kids, how do you protect your equipment? Much of what getting can get knocked over and destroyed easily like if someone knocks over your light um do you have you ever snapped and said get your kids? You know, I've never snapped but don't really have a snap personality so it might be part of it, but I have had equipment destroyed I have had accidents happen I know a lot of things to do due to keep things safe on the footage we're going to show you're going to see I think I don't know if this got captured, but one of the kids kicked my lens hood off of my camera on and I mean, that kind of stuff happens a lot, you know? So I started the shoot with the lens hood and ended it without one because you know what forget it we're going to keep happening like that I've had my backdrops knocked over I've had albums like kicked off the table and the corner's got smashed when they landed I've had light stands fallen drop although that was an adult who did that e um I mean, I've had a lot of collateral damage in the career photography and it's not just equipment and stuff like that I get beat up a lot I get I was joking the other day about it was putting neosporin all of myself I got scratched up from interactions and like diving on the ground um yeah, I think I have a whole section in my book about uh you know, be careful it's dangerous something or whatever because it iss and if you're putting yourself where you're like kids will be kids and I'm gonna be a kid um what do kids do a lot they get hurt, they fall down they scratch things they not things over they break things so you're now willingly putting yourself in a situation where that's gonna occur how can you do that in a way that is protective of the equipment that you used to make your livelihood is that matters quite a lot there's extra things you could do like put on lens hood it mean if you're really nervous and you do a lot of heat shoots maybe where underwater housing on your camera what you're into your shoots I mean you can take it to whatever level you want in terms of how that stuff protected I know people who have studios that they have all their albums and stuff sealed up and they only take him out for the sale sessions with the adults and then put them back and seal them up they have all their photographs that are showing on the wall there have high enough that a kid can't get to them or put their fingers on them or whatever the case maybe um you know I know in my studio space I've got electronic roller system so all the background drops her up and put away any time that we don't need to use them so they're little things you could do you could tape down and he sort of you know rollers for your backdrops or many tripods you could just take down your lighting stands you can do those kind of things just pretend like you're living in san francisco and earthquakes you know any prepared this it's like toddler preparedness um those are measures you can take to be a little extra careful okay and since you live in the south is it yes ma'am and no ma'am that's eleven yeah I know to the south uh almost eight years ago now and I remember when I first will get a map we're first in san francisco that time thinking of all the places I won't live it'll be the southeast because I couldn't stand the formality of it that would drive me insane but I moved to chapel hill which is actually very relaxed he seek going and going but I do have a lot of people over the south and come in everything's ma'am and this and that you know, because I have that talk ahead of time I say please don't do that do you yeah like thatjust won't I won't even know what to do with that yeah um okay so I'm on the one who just needs to warm up this image actually is on the cover of my book and I've had it a lot of people have loved this image this was great because this is the perfect example of this child was not ready for a photo shoot yet when this photograph was taken he was really shy and very reserved and nervous and uh within probably ten, fifteen minutes he was jumping and laughing and dancing and playing in sorlin so he's not the sense of child he's not the you know performance guy he's the one who just needs to warm up but he's fine most children I find are in this category you know there's a lot of this lot of this some of these this is most and so the part about the child that needs to warm up it's not that you can't start shoot yet you're just gonna get really different images um you can however mess up the shoot if you start going in too fast and too hard from an energy perspective and they're not there so this shot was actually taken in my studio with me all the way across the room with the seventy two hundred lens shooting in close giving him all the space he wanted that was the shot uh within a matter of like fifteen minutes we had goofy and laughing and playing and fine but I like this one a lot better you know so it's not that the shoot can't begin until you know their warmed up in such just be respectful of how you're interacting with them until you get there tomorrow because you know that you're gonna have to take some time to get to know kids and stuff like that how long do you schedule a typical shoot for my typical photo shoots we have we a lot two hours to them um and I never do more than one in the morning and one in the afternoon so even though my calendar I have you know like satan save shoots at eight thirty in the morning it says on my calendar from eight thirty ten thirty but I don't have any other meeting scheduled till noon so it's a really it's a comfort block of four hours no matter what every time I have a session um and that's because I might find that I need it and the worst thing, the worst thing in the world is to feel like I'm finally getting someplace amazing with the child, and so I've gotta hurry up, go back, you know, meet with my leasing agent, you know, I want to really give them everything we need, and I might not use all that. I've had some sheets to go forty five minutes, and we're done. It was amazing that was perfect, everything aligned? Um and I've had others, like I said, that have gone for five hours at a shoot in, um, uh, lake lanier over labor day weekend actually, it was the same time that I was talking to craig about this was later that day, I was on the shoot, um, and, uh, and I saw these weird, like, a whole bunch at mentions about creative lives like, um, but I was on the shoot, and it was seven hours it was a family lifestyle shoot, and, you know, they had a lot of way had a lot of talk about it, and they, you know, I'd come down for it, so they were, you know, it was one of the destinations use, and I knew we would need to get done, and I also knew I was gonna take a lot of time and patients and wardrobe changes and location changes and um so you just a lot of that time and say you know what the entire dangers let's just see what happens um okay, so living on the one who is way too cool for cool so here's the interesting thing about this child is there's you know, I don't know if it's the proliferates of more digital technology or just, uh what we see in the media with kids nowadays but this should this personality type is showing up more and more of the younger age and I remember just like five or six years ago yeah, yes it's it's interesting um used to be that you dealt with this at, like maybe fourteen or thirteen or something when they're a little of the pre teens, but they're not yet like loving to pose like a senior kind of experience now I'm seeing it like maybe nine everyone smile like an eight year old pretty common around age ten um and it's just that, like what I find in my experience is back to everything I said before I'm not at all going to be like, aren't you awesome? You know, the point is this person is very self conscious that's why we're dealing that they're coming into a new awareness of themselves, they're recognizing that something is being asked of them that they don't know exactly what is the best way to perform so the best form of protection is like I'm too cool for us you know that usually is the best form of protection so a couple ways to handle this you know they're going to say things like, um this is embarrassing or this is boring or there you know, I don't want to be here um mostly it's because they feel like they got forced into this so what happens when you someone gets feel like they're forced into something? The last thing you wanna do is force more on them so they just want to understand that you understand that they got forced into this, you know? So I start with acknowledgement like, uh, you got forcing this like, that's the worst thing is like that, but you could've been out with your friend at the mall and you're here in a park with a stranger in that dress I'm sorry, you know, it's just like a acknowledgement because you want them to know you're on their side, you're not one of the enforcers you've had forced your two e I was going to be at home with my feet up in the bond bonds like I do every day and and so it's it's number one just wrecked, rising and acknowledging and kind of having that shared connectedness number two is that, like well, a couple things to their not only being too cool for school for you there making sure that they double up their efforts to show their parents didn't want to be there because that's so that's part of the game there so if you can kind of make it so that you're on their side but you're not alienating the parents, you're not that far on their side, you know? And we had a lot of questions earlier about working with parents were gonna be talking quite a lot about that um but I don't ever put myself in a situation where I'm having an adversarial experience with parents the parents were my clients, you know? So we're gonna talk about that like how even if we don't advocate the same methods um we're still looking for the same thing we still want the same thing is still a shared effort, but in this security case I will explain to the child if I have a situation where I've been forced to I feel like I don't want to be there this is boring or something you know specifically this child I told her about how I got roped into last time I was visiting my parents I got roped into my mom's hookers group um my mom is a better way mommy okay, well, my mom my mom is a knitter she knits and she is part of it no no, this is she's part of a church organization at st matthews and gaghan ohio you can use up and they call her itself the hookers that's their organization and it's a huge group of people who knit and they knit for people who need clothing it's beautiful but every time I come in she wants me to go to the hookers club and I got the accursed love and I like see all the work they produced I meet all the people we talked about this and if there's I mean there's so many things I can't do and knitting is probably right up there like top five like I'm I'm just not a knitter uh I'm just not a hooker but I'll explain like I know what it's like when I go back to see my moms you know, knitting club um you know, I'm just sitting there and I just don't be there and I got a board and you know, it doesn't matter like if you're for thine or sixty it's just like there's some things that you just never really want to do. Um so it's the idea of letting them know I know exactly how you feel and then it's countdowns like, how soon until we're out of this and I'll be really expressive about this like, you know, t minus forty seriously for thirty nine minutes and we're done thirty nine minutes and you're back to playing monster death trap two thousand you know, I'll keep this running the whole time like twenty five minutes, I'll show them a shot I'm like, you know what this means? You're this much closer to freedom, you know? And I'll get a lot of great expressions when I'm doing the family shot with the one who doesn't want to be there by letting them know that like, do you produce? And we're done, you know, like it's just we're on the same side and most the time by the end of that experience, it's a great experience and I hear a lot of like, well, that wasn't so terrible, you know, it's something like that so the way to school for, you know, cool for school thing, it was something I usually had to do with a lot more with teenagers and stuff like that, but now again, I'm seeing it show up, and I think it's not gonna be long until we're seeing it at, like, aged sixteen, seven or whatever because trying out this persona because they see it on disney channel and the movies and all that sort of stuff, um so just recognizing that that's how you deal with it they went crazy with that. I know students. I said that I was like, I have got to put some context around. Well, then you just kept making more statements, and they just became more and more quotable. Quotes my mother. All right, so, um, I want somebody look up the hookers club in and hand ohio at st matthew's church and then just verify that would have somebody that mckinley's seven hundred eight said, shout out to go, hannah yeah, yeah, get in the house. Um, okay, the spirited child has anybody here read the book raising your spirited child. Bye, mary. She diverging from parts you read parts of it. This is a really great book. The first time I heard about the spirit by those like, like, the cheer fools pom pom one, you know, like, no, no, the spirited child is a child who has, um, just a great deal of sensitivity, so they're more intense, more sensitive, more energetic, more perceptive, mohr easily irritated. They feel things a lot on because spirit child, especially youngsters, are so attuned to like the feelings that they're having. Uh, they don't have a ce much of that kind of like, if something's bothering me, I'm going to really share it. It's going to come right out there's less of a kind of a transition there are ramp up our share it's pretty kind of immediate so uh is anybody had photographed a child like that where you felt like dude, you just got irritated why are you doing that? Yeah, so things that will kind of be a little bit more frustrating is like bright lights, loud music, irritating feeling clothing really rapid shifts of environment like we're doing this now we're doing this the thing to keep in mind when you're talking about the spirited child and the premise of the book raising your spirit child is it's not like this child you have to watch the language you use the internal language you're using so if you say like god, you know she's so snappy here she's so like data instead it's just like, well, she has a lot of passion, you know? So it's the idea of reframing it as you go just to give you more tolerance if you're the parent as a photographer who has a whole bunch of tolerance because I've just met this child for the first time. What I need to keep in mind is sometimes sometimes the stimuli is so excessive to the child that it's almost painful that's almost like a sensation of pain, you know? And I don't know if you've ever listen to the radio when, like a car commercial comes on there, like, by now buying out your you almost feel like there's some pain in that you've been talking about the sensation of, like, oh, um, or, you know, nails on the chalkboard and it's like that, right almost translates to this is awful sitting air chomping cereal, like, right in your ear now this's mine. So it's, the idea of these thes sensations almost being tactile in some respect, there's, a nerve ending sensation that doesn't feel good. And if you frame that when you're having the experience of the child, it seems very hypersensitive, as you might categorize it to recognize, like, I don't want them to feel bad, you know, like, and make it an empathetic sort of interaction. Uh, it turns the whole thing around, and the thing about the spirited child is these sensations come on fast and hard, but they don't stay long, you know, so recognizing that, too, you haven't lost the child, she wants her first, give her a person of a set time, and the lovely thing about she was spirited child is that you get a chance to kind of, like, walk in and be the hero in a lot of respects because you're brand new. You have tons of tolerance and patients um you want to give them whatever they want exactly when they want it because we're not raising moral human beings right now we're just doing a photo shoot, and so you get the opportunity to get these images that their parents don't actually get a lot, so I find the spirited child is fantastic for, like, you know, when you're in the sales console them saying over and over again like we just do not get anything like this, how did you do this? This and that and so it's an opportunity to really practice like this full scale empathy with a child and to be understand that they have strong sensitivities and you responded to them exactly when you do that, you're getting these shots and you're leaving tio what you want with your client, which is a lot of happiness and glowing referrals and like you have a spirited child, you must go to jesse because he knows exactly out of here with the spirit of child, whatever else and the same thing with the child who's, sick or tired in the middle, the tantrum, I mean, you're basically dealing with increased sensitivity that's it they're really tired, they're really cranky there, moody, the child that we're going to go to on video, the first shoot we did, he was freezing he was so cold, he was a heart had a hard time having any sort of expression beyond I am so called, you know, and so recognizing that these sensations commute out the other emotions you're trying to draw in, you're trying to draw in the happiness of my jaw and the, you know, even the sense of confusion or wonderment or bewildered, and you're not going to get this because there's, this blanket of exceptional sensitivity on top makes sense. Yea, so exciting to make sense. So what I do come time and time again, when I have these various personality types and I'm walking at is, uh, they're walking at me, and I'm gonna be working with them is thinking about, you know, how are they perceiving all these things? What can I do to make this an easier experience for them? How can I match their moods and emotions? And how can I accept this challenge? I did there that wasn't easy todo had to do this this and this and get my words and then click nice. Thank you. Uh, okay, so I think where I brought us up to one, we're almost close to lunch would take a couple questions, um, and then we've been tar lynch break, and then when we come back we're going to be doing the video walkthrough which which is showing these um all these shoots we did live with camera and camera b and b pausing and saying ok, you see his face this is what I'm reading so this is what I did instead and this is the shot I got because of this so that's what we're gonna be doing when we come back to the video after an hour pause that's very exciting yes look it's easy a question in chap from forgetting on a straw from widmore was tamara do you find the same too cool for school attitude with dad's? A lot of dads that I've met have had those insecurities as well I do I do actually the number one thing I find with dad's is, um first thing I think of is they're just walking into this most of the time most the time the mom is the one making the arrangement not always, but most of the time and so what I try to recognize is they're just showing up they don't really have eleven last minute this yet in terms of emotional investment they just kind of went where they were told to be at the time they were told to be there um and so they have we have no jump start on a relationship, so I put a lot of energy into creating that um and not so much like I sit down, I say, buddy, go away. I'm gonna have some moments here with that not like that, but more along the lines of I have a lot of direct eye contact, I ask them questions about what you know, they do what they feel, what they think of this, what kind of shots they have, and I'm basically pulling them in in terms of getting them to care about this experience, you know, and some great things to do is just to say, when a dad shows up, say things like, you know, I remember some of the favorite pictures you had as a kid or do you ever some favorite family photos? And I wouldn't lead with that I would lead with, like, so nicely to be here, awesome to meet you. This is gonna be fantastic and easy, and pretty soon we're going to get done, and I've got some warm beer in the car, you want it or, you know, whatever goofy sort of things kind of throat things off, but I try to find a way to connect directly with them as opposed to treating them like an accessory to the shoot, you know, because the thing about dad's as they are little boys that have grown up to be men and have a place in this family that there's a expected role of them and that's not always who they are that's mostly not who they are they're usually like people have got a lot of feelings and care and they have things to consider and ideas to share and I mean, I can't remember a shoot I had where the dead didn't you know at some point kind of say let's try this, you know, like they get brought in and they get interested and as we step through later showing the family shooting talking about that I sound like a dog, but I give dad's treats as well, which means that I showed them like that that I know that's gonna go crazy um I showed them like the back of the camera on to do a super cool shot, you know, when I do something that I know is different and interesting and they weren't necessarily expecting from a family shoot, I'll flip it and say, how often do you look? No, no, no how often do you like you're a cool dude, you let go, you know and there's like I don't like pretty good again, you know? And so it's not, you know, it's, just the idea of recognizing that we need some we need buying from everyone I want everyone to be part of this experience and I don't want to feel like they just showed up and they're tucked in and thrown into their spot you know, because that's not fair I read for dad treats for a warm beer. Yeah, I have a question from tia um twitter from knoxville, tennessee what steps to take in photographing your own children or your young family and I have a question on top of that is it easier to photograph your own family then it is so hard to photograph your family more difficult is so hard to photograph your own kids. Yes, because, um I am there every day and I'm bored. I'm just like there's. Mom, look, mom again mom! Hey, mom. Um whereas another kid, I'm like new and different crazy and you know, I say this all the time photographing your kids is so if you wanna photograph your kids and lively, joyful, fun spirited, totally connected way it's hard because you have to then, uh, almost reverse of what you do in every other situation and every other situation I want to take a camera out of it. I want them not to be lens aware and I want them to be with me with my kids, I make it mohr about we're doing a photo shoot we're doing a photo shoot and we're going good we're gonna have fun so I do photograph my kids a lot most of my kids shots are candids most them but I will make myself about every six months or so we're getting everybody together we're doing this you know um but I think the thing that you could do as a parent because a lot of tigers I talk to you when it comes out of photographing kids they lose their mind they're like just sit there get close love each other let me get this on camera so I can show the whole world on the christmas card that we love each other like that's what it becomes the photographer who would never do that with their clients because they're just like just do just do it you know because as a photographer I'm not again you know I'm not raising moral human beings I'm taking these kids I'm taking great shots of exactly their personality don't care if they behave or not and I've done it's a lot harder to separate all that when your mom and you're like I have told you forty times to keep your shoe you know like that comes through so to make it into a photo shoot and make yourself realize that you're in a photo shoot like this is fun you know drop the stress drop everything else that's the way I'm able to do it really well there's so many questions coming in about how do you deal with stress parents? How do you deal with parents stressing on their children? And I mean, people just just had you asked yes it will with the parents physically I mean, they come in on so many variations on the same question, but basically just how do you deal with stressed out parents and parents that are stressing on their children just all of that dynamic? I know you spoke to it a little bit yeah, yeah and you know, I mean and I have a lot of that is when I get into the family thing, but, uh I will say that, um, again and I am not, um gandhi in every aspect of my life, I'm really not, but when it comes into, but when it comes to photo shoots, I recognised that part of my job is to really feel what they're feeling that is a really big part of my job that's I would rather go out there with a ten year old camera and with terrible noise control and this and that, um if I had to trade it with the fact that I know the major thing I'm bringing to the shoot is that I care about what these people are thinking and feeling and how they're sharing it and the parents are part of the shoot a lot of the time and I do have parents who just want me to photograph the kids and they don't want any part of it I'm actually the one who says no you know you're getting in there they want to remember you it's important that you're in there so I try to pull them in and I'll talk to you know, a lot of my reasons and feelings for that, but when it comes to like managing the stress I have to recognize okay, you're coming in and your mom and you're stressed why do I think that isthe I probably think that you booked this session six months ago or whatever the case may be that you, uh, planning to spend some money you already spent some of it's booking the session so there's like a financial stress there you may be talking other family members into being a part of this so there's already some work that you've had to do in a lot of different erections? Um there is the fact that we may show up you what this would be worth the time the money, the energy, the investment there's some pressure that you put on yourself that way and if I'm looking at you saying, oh no, no, honey, don't do that yourself you're a sweet, lovely woman who just wants document your family what is wrong with that you know if I come in with that attitude and I expressed that to you and I share that was get as we go you've just been heard you are probably now feeling like a little bit like calmer like uh yeah, I am a wonderful person just document my family and I do love them so much you know, that is a feeling that you know, we're just I'll go one so fast in so hard and we put a lot of expectations on each other that are tough it's tough to live up to and tough teo try toe you know, live with and so I think that if if that becomes something that we express and to the parent that's like oh everybody does that right up front you know, um and so if you've got the vibe going with dad and you've got you know, this complete understanding with mom and you're ready trying to understand every one of the children respond to them you know, why would there be a lot of stress at that point? And that is a lot of what you're responsible for. So in recognizing like I can't expect to walk into a situation with a bunch of stress and just say they were so hard to work with like we'll know they got a lot going on there's a lot of stuff going on and it's my responsibility to make this an easier experience for everybody

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.