Children's Portrait Photography

Lesson 2 of 29

Class Introduction: Part 2

 

Children's Portrait Photography

Lesson 2 of 29

Class Introduction: Part 2

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction: Part 2

We're going tow kind of kick in to what we're gonna be talking about today this is the course agenda for the next three days you can find a lot more details online uh okay for course outline online at www dot tamerlan dot com that's my website in the last post I put up there I'm sorry I just laughed weird because I thought that said online instead of outline I read it that way too did you thank you we're going to be so we're gonna talk about working with kids that theory behind it which I'm gonna do next um and then we're gonna go to the tape which I'll tell you about in a second um around two or three pacific time we're goingto have ah bambi cantrell join us from san francisco we're gonna go through the flicker pool and do some fantastic image critiquing um then we're after the break we're going to do photographing families the whole theory behind it a lot of questions have been pouring in about how do you photograph families and how do you have those interactions with the adults and ...

moms and etcetera and then to the tape we're going to go back to showing it in practice so the tapes that we did out of a bridge island is we had this wasn't planned per say but we had miserable shooting conditions like a miserable it was so cold it was so rainy on dh so it's not just like it was miserable weather in terms of how it looked and stuff the kids were really cold and that means you're battling on much bigger thing so we're gonna be able to show you kind of like stumble into a worst case scenario you've never met this child you don't know anything about thing about them and the weather is horrible and and it's not even the best time of day mood wise we're going to be visually walkthrough exactly video of that and there's no glossing up of this you're going to see kind of everything you have to do to shift things and make them work that's going to be doing we go through the tape um tomorrow we're going to be doing a lot a whole lot of establishing a studio kind of going over all the considerations some things that I've learned that you know their mistakes you can avoid you definitely should because they cost a lot of time money weren't worth it um we're going to do the budget design challenge we ran over san francisco, san francisco where we seattle we ran all over seattle yesterday with a two hundred thirty dollar budget and we had to stay under now leave it suspenseful whether or not we did uh but found a bunch of stuff like a whole bunch of stuff to aid in your shooting and then we're gonna do a simple lighting setup, it's simple not because I am I am simple, I am a little simple, but also because lighting studio set up with children is very different than lighting up a studio set up for adults or rock band members or products that you're shooting it's extremely difficult because it's very fast moving and it's going to be extremely difficult to light a child and has come up with the best ratio for how you like them in relation to their background because they're not staying anywhere in relation to their back, you know? So we're going to talk about what do you do if you have subjects that are flying all over the place on dh? Your goal is to catch the action. How do you like for that? That's it we're going to set up and then we're going to d'oh, we're going, wyatt craig son is going to join us and he's going to be our little lighting model. We're going to admit little mini chute, and then we're gonna have you guys jump in and a bunch of models join us. Did you know this? Yeah. Okay. Guess what. We're gonna have a bunch of models join us, and then you guys are gonna do some live shooting. And we actually have some equipment that was sent you guys can try out from borrow lenses they sent some equipment and that you guys can play with um and and of course the whole lighting setup from westcott and let you guys just do some live shooting and show your images on the screen and we'll talk to like what you got and maybe if you try this this and this and do this shot from this angle not tried again and just do a really kind of raw live thing and if you guys feel uncomfortable showing your live images on camera because I'm doing a thing I mean it's it's you'll see how miserable the conditions aren't everything I'm showing everything out of camera so oh no you're doing it um and then because we're all in this together of and then we're gonna have another image critique from the flicker pole my very good friend jerry jonas is going to be joining us I think he's in italy and roots of madrid and he'll be in madrid when we dio image critical be dialling in both bambi and jerry or like star panel judge humans they're really really good at this so it's fabulous there joining in sam and sunday if we're all still alive we're going to go over the business of photography and stepping through workflow and marketing and sales and there's so much to go over this I think workflow is huge, I honestly don't believe my business would be bringin the revenue it's bringing in and being on the support the staff we have if we didn't have really clean workflow, I think the exact same business with sloppy work through with redundant efforts and a lot of excessive activities going on could almost be like getting half the revenue like truly that so much about how you structure business makes a difference, and if anybody watching live don't know cameramen, but if you're in the process of just setting up your business or taking it to the next level, this, I think, will be really important for you in terms of just things that you could just skip over or do smarter. Uh, post processing, we're going to do a little overview post processing we craig and I talked about the fact that, gosh, you're so many things that we could take a lot of time with, um, but we're gonna do a post processing walk through, um, I'm not sure how long we're gonna spend with it, but certainly takes him out of camera shots. Tio, where do we get to and how do we do it? And, um and I refer to the family shoot so one of the chutes that we're going to show. From bainbridge island, katie brace and her family were fantastic enough teo be our models yesterday we're going to show that shoot and they will take that shoot, process it and then they're going to come in and we're gonna do run a sale session so we're gonna really take the whole family shoot from beginning to end so like, how does the whole experience go? Like literally from the handshake? Nice to meet you here some things to keep in mind for a shoot let's do the shoot that's process the shoot let's, sell the chute and then lastly and today sunday will be work life balance like how to do it all. Um there'll probably be a lot of crying during this, mostly from me, but I really want azad much as possible for people to interact and talk about their experiences in the challenges they're experiencing. Um just the hurdles I mean there's, a lot of hurdles in place and we could talk about some processes that you could put in to help some literally applications that you can buy or download that save you time and money and conversations that maybe you're helpful tohave to make this easier on your home life for your family life or your ability to keep friendships um so that's why we'll be talking about at the end of day on sunday okay, so, um, I think that this is probably a great time. Tio break and ask if there's any questions from that mammoth overview. Is that too much? That was good. I got the thumbs up from craig. Thank you. You know, I think it's awesome for people who are watching online to know what we'll be doing. What days? Yeah. Okay. Good. And, uh, yeah. So first question from somewhere in europe, where how do you get six million hits on your block? How do you get six million hits on your vlog? I think the question is, yeah, specifically, tio driving a lot of log traffic. Uh, there are some things I think I do really well and there's some things I think I don't do very well, I think having a very active blawg that's kept up regularly goes a long way towards bringing a lot of traffic in and that's something that's challenged me in the last nine months. I've been working on a couple projects outside a photography that have been really time sucking, and I've noticed how how much it takes away when you go back and update your block every couple weeks for every week versus three times a week or every day, I think, having really active of blogged engagement in terms of novel in your postings, but how much you respond to comments and stuff like that is huge, it goes a long way towards having people want to come back. One of the thing to consider is with social media now with facebook and twitter and everything. Um, you there's, I think we're all running a risk of fragmenting our audience. Um, almost cannibalizing some of the commentary we get because you post a session, you put on your vlog, then you maybe put it on twitter, and then that leads over to your facebook page, and you've got three separate places where people were coming in saying awesome, and it used to be one place, so if you're using block traffic and I'm assuming the intention to really get your block traffic up is to bring in more clients and have a lot of exposure, if your if your intention for a lot of block traffic is so that clients, their potential future clients come in and see cash, a lot of people love your work, or you do really well at this, um, there's almost some sort of working against yourself by also using social media, so I think one of the solutions and I think we're gonna be seeing a lot of this is new applications that are coming out that integrated all that have anywhere this link is referred to it's pulled back and put on your site. Um, I think that's one big weight that we're gonna be seeing a lot of block traffic go back up. I know there's a lot of talk out there that blog's are on their way out and it's all about micro blogging and, you know, one hundred forty character mentality and such, I don't know about that. I think that, um when it comes to your website in your blogged your website is maybe your street address and your blawg is like where you live, um, and maybe twitter's like your bathroom e I guess I guess what I'm trying to speak, teo, is the more the more intimacy of it, like, you're just getting kind of farther and farther in, and I see people post things on twitter and facebook that are extremely revealing that that maybe they wouldn't put on their bog on, and they certainly wouldn't put on their galleries or their website introduction, you know, so there's a level there where it's getting closer and closer to kind of full disclosure and as teo as to have had a manage that so you're kind of driving people the one place I think that's going to be the challenge is if you can bring that together and so maybe that's a twitter feed that links to your website often or maybe again it's it's some sort of aggregation of comments and interactions but I think there's a lot in that direction and I actually have a new website that's coming out in um uh well in two weeks ago so maybe in about a week or two which a whole brand new overhaul and it's gonna have that aggregation system built in so I'm kind of excited about that and I'm sure now we have people asking what are you gonna be sharing your vendors or sure I'll share anything that you guys don't know absolutely just let me know I'm down I'm down craig you're waving to me with your phone excellent I think uh um okay joy just to go on record these do not work long when you leave them floating in they kind of disintegrate and they build holes and the airway is not now your water tastes like mmm that's liquid on the bottom kind of that sad twizzlers brand works about bloodlines ok that's another thing people need to know that the twister brand is actually better than the red vine brand for straw purposes joy biagi brown folks that said I did spill you didn't know that I don't you know nicely done. Validate? I mean, there's only so much we can dio right when it comes to important this my pink water. Okay, so we're going to break now we're goingto move off. We're going to boston's. Yes, get into it. Okay, we're going, tio thank you. All right, so just I'm not going to keep remembering that craig told me nothing had to be perfect. It just had to keep going. Um, guys in life, so it hasn't won. Yeah. Uh, ok, speaking of life, I saw zacarias, who taught a course on lighting here. Not that long ago. Fabulous course on lighting was that he retweeted this quote that to avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. I think this is remarkably, um, I think it fits really well with anybody trying tio take their business to the next level to challenge themselves to either start a new business to move into a profession for the first time. I think when you start showing work, you're you're like I went out and I photographed this. I had this experience, I took it home, I worked on it and I put it all together and I'm gonna show it to you that's like a lot to put out there, especially when you're new or you're trying new things out um it's a lot like the eight year old who shows the drawing and just kind of deal like it you know that's a lot of what we're doing and I think that um many people I know too and photographers I know get kind of caught up right here they get caught up in the idea of but what if you don't like it or what if you say mean things about me online you know what if there's a comment or oh I think I'm doing really well and I hear this one person who says something snarky and maybe everybody's saying something snarky and I'm just now hearing about it for the first time and I seconded to go back to accounting you know, I think that is more of a barrier two people really doing amazingly well this profession then maybe anything else that I know of like what would you say are barriers to kind of really pushing yourself to the next level in this profession fear, fear, fear fear of what the fear of failure success why are you afraid of success are not you but you you season, huh? I don't know I mean it's that whole putting yourself out there as soon as you, um you know, quote jasmine star it's that repels or attract right to you you know as soon as you state what you're about, you're going to repel a bunch of people yes even though that might make you successful it's also kind of scary because because it might hurt your feelings and that sucks because I spent a lot of time protecting our feelings yeah, absolutely yeah I mean I think that when you when you keep drilling down when you ask somebody like why didn't you do this so you know what you waiting for? I have met with people who uh I had consultations some five years ago and then meet with him again and I'm like so what's going on like I'm almost there and then and and so and there's a few things going on like life gets busy and people have children and you move and I'm not saying that that's there's anything wrong with that? But I'm saying if you're if you're driving your passion and your extremely waiting to get their teo be this the question is what is the holdup in a lot of times that can be what it isthe I find exactly my life right now your life what you mean seriously like I got my website all together it took a long time took like a year, you know is this whole thing and then she's like okay, you ready to upload pictures and I'm like what what do you mean upload pictures like I have to put pictures out there you know? And so then I'm like no big deal I have hundreds awesome pictures and I'm going through I hate that one hate that no no no what well they think about this picture well, technically I should have but my husband's going look at her expression and I'm like but if you know and if you go to my website right now it is pathetic because there isn't many pictures and before I came here I thought okay, I'm gonna put extra I'm really gonna beef it up but I just enough time and what do you mean there isn't any pictures like how many pictures? Well, I literally haven't uploaded a lot of pictures on my website like because it gives me anxiety sure, my website but then I could put more up on other things or I can just, you know, facebook I probably have more pictures than my website I don't know it's so strange but I love this because it's so true and people say well and I have five kids and so I'm busy and so I can't wait to talk to you about that as well later but um, you know, just getting people say wanting to hire somebody and I'm like, well, what I do go stock a campus sore, you know? You scared that way I don't even it's very mind blowing, so then I'll step till three o'clock am trying to get stuff done but I like this thing about fear because it's so true because just putting yourself out there is scary you know and sometimes even when people call me and go I want to I want my I want to do family pictures I'll be like uh don't want calling back cause then like they're really gonna hire me and then they fired me and I love your success and they won't wanna hear me again and so that when you first said that I thought well that's silly but then I went oh, I kind of do that you know so true I don't answer my phone and I don't know who's calling me like if it's a number I don't know I let them leave a message so I can call them back yeah you'd rather is you're afraid of who they maybe you're afraid of my day planner I just don't know what they're gonna be and it's just you know I'm like well that's a client want to sound stupid on the phone I want to like have myself ready I'm mentally prepared tio tio answer the phone and teo talk with them I sound stupid phone old thoughts without their ideo well my two year old would be randomly screaming in the back so I have to like okay, I have to have the scheduled out perfect exactly what's gonna happen and then most of time there like just call me back whenever you know and that's the film which meant that this means working if you're working and you have a family in this business in professional photography that's a huge advantage because you immediately have this connection like so as opposed to wedding photography or commercial work or this and that where it's kind of like oh I'm sorry my two year old just screamed most of time going here mine's been screaming all uh you know like there's that immediate report and understanding and even if you don't have children and you're in a situation where it's kind of crazy or something you can just am sorry my life is just same right now I'm not really you know just stayed it yeah, you know, on dh then I think people give you a lot of leeway when you state your insecurities just put it out there and say this is the truth and you know spend too much time on it but just say I'm a little kind of concerned about that it seems like there's a lot more gentleness out there as opposed to trying to be perfect you know, like this broadcast is not perfect and tamara and alison that we have a number of people who are online saying thank you for saying that because lots of people are saying they were late it's very pertinent feel the same way so yeah, yeah I think especially when it comes to websites first of all they always take twenty times longer than you thought they were always there and then then you get the point where they're about to be done and then that goes on ten times longer yeah and then when you're about to go it's almost like this anticlimatic kind of some live yes e have a twister now I think the officer changing over my website put it online and then I went oh it's online now I have to do it and just sort of sat down for like me I don't got it down but until then I just sort of procrastinating and then sort of just put online then thought crap I gotta do it now so for you it was a motivator yeah okay and do you really feel like it shifted how you were doing things as soon as it went up yes excellent I'm like crazy nerd we're like all right I'm gonna get a website in like three days later my website was done long that matched the branding was like that's just like can I hire you e have a website and three days later while I was live with my mom and I had like my twitter page with like my logo on it and I'm like uber nerd is just your shirt with a logo I t shirts and hats sitting in a business cards l came in the same time three days after I decided what I find for me there's a significant difference between looking at other people's work and looking at my own work because I can country like friends websites on have like this very what I feel like his good opinion like oh you need not have this picture on the side or you need to add this one are etcetera etcetera well I'm looking at my own work things get fuzzy like in the sense that I can't tell like is this a good pictures that's not um I mean clearly on some things but like two nights ago I should've been packing and this was such a catalyst for may to get my website up because it literally has about four pictures on it right now but I was looking through all of my stuff all of my work on like I suck this is ridiculous I should not even come but not that I want teo that's kind of something yourself talking like this is crazy because I can look at other people's work and there's not that emotional connection and I can have s o I feel like for me one of the things I want to do is get other people's feedback about hey does this you know? I mean if there's an upside to that kind of self talk this that when you're pointing a camera at people especially adults recognise that they have a lot of that thought about themselves like I look terrible I can't believe I have a camera in front of me I should have been losing those ten pounds two weeks ago I said I'd be ready by now why am I wearing the shirt and that that's something that helps you really step up your ability to to see them so I mean there's it's not like there's a lot of theirs of course you don't want to hurt and feel bad and feel terrible about yourself but there's a lot of ways you could turn that into something that's super positive like okay, if I'm having all these negative painful feelings that means a lot of other people are too and I can relate to them that much better and now we have something in common we all feel terrible about it um but you know there's some truth to that and I think that any time I know people who've gone through uh did she come by with a straw? Yes. Oh, right, right, right. Okay um and I think I'm ready for this refreshing water teo um anytime and I don't know if it's just like the mass amount of ah fabulous I like the bow it's nice it does what? What is this? Oh, it is a strong okay it's got a weird cut their mind I love the straw I had to get off the straw way soothe this plastic thing ae I could just see her out back like making one way, doling it out of wood. Okay, so the two things actually going to completely different ways the first way I'm gonna go, I think, is little more practical, which is when you said I had, like, four pictures on my website and you both commented that you don't have a ton of photographs? Um, yes, uh, you don't have a ton of photographs that I love the board messages little little helicopter went by. One of those helicopters is a prop. Planes come by with his messages over the beach order domino's today, um, the when you say you have a few images on your website, there's actually a lot of really great advice that says show very few images show exactly what you love and nothing else, and I've gone to web sites where I see thons of images on and it's overwhelming, and you can't really go since the style and it's it's just too much. Where supposed to have gone to other websites where there's, maybe twelve select images are fifteen select images, and they're all, like, worked like they are the images that represent the style and that's all there is, and you find yourself like, getting more into each one. You know, so I don't necessarily know there's a downside to having fewer images on the web site as long as you love them and you feel like they really represent and show your style um on the other hand we were talking about like some of that negative self talking such, uh I think any time you have some of these intimidating experiences or self frustration, it sounds a little bit weird to say that you can channel that into your work, but you can sew channel that into the experiences you have interactions you have the photograph to produce, I know that sometimes when people are feeling a little kind of slower lower this and that they come back with shoot from a session that kind of show more of that kind of flow nous and softness and sadness on if you're in like, a super jazzy, crazy crazy mood, how much do you throw that in? And you're getting these kind of shots, you know, and that's a lot of what we're gonna talk about today we'll talk about personalities um okay, so let's get back to this um this is actually perfect quote too. I just read this like two days ago on twitter uh there is a single one of us has overcome the human condition of self doubt and there's a lot of togetherness and that I think maybe sit there and think about the fact that you feel that way and you feel that way and you feel that way well, you know what everybody does um I think there's something like, you know, a lot of hurdles to jump with that so let's go into the thing about working with kids so the thing about working with kids get it thing is there's so much to think about there really is there's a lot I think kids seem simple and when you start really taking into awareness kind of all the things you're supposed to be considering it's a lot like golf where you're just like god and have a nice day remember these four hundred things when you're about to swing your iron right? I think golf is so un relaxing because of that like put your hand in any way but I think initially though golf is confusing and frustrating because there's all these little nuances and micro movements that make a huge impact and it's the same thing with children's photography on once you get it down once you feel really like this becomes second nature, then you can be kind of a way more in the flow and for me when I look at my photography you can almost see some of my earlier shoots I was like you could almost see the practice swings like trying trying aan den just got smoother and better but, you know, working with kids we're going to talk a lot about just the interactions and the experience in the personality types um I am in no way an expert on children I have I'm not child psychologist uh I'm not a psychic either. I would totally love to be thinking best profession on and I can't predict what kids are going to do next a lot of the times, but I have gotten down teo uh almost like an art science of being able to reach children very, very likely so that I can at least know everything I need to know about them for the length of a photo session and by that I mean, I don't need to know the whole depth of character of this child and what they're gonna do tomorrow and what kind of mood swings they have when you, you know, pull up this food versus that because none of that matters to me during the course of a photo session and sometimes I talk to people a little bit about really getting to read personality types and there's this intimidation that that means like I have to really understand children and you don't you only have to know them for an hour and a half or so um and so the reason I think authentic capture really photographing who you're seeing in front of you I think the reason that's such a vastly important part of children's photography is not just that kind of intangible like we connected it's also the fact that you're gonna have, uh, better photographs, higher sales, more referrals, it's a catalyst to really having your your business launch because a lot of people are going to come and see your work and there's something intrinsic in it that just god, that looks like you really got those kids. I don't know those kids from anywhere, but I feel like you got them. Um, and the thing about children, of course, is that different children respond to the exact same situation differently, so it's not like when people say to me what the one of the toys you use for this or what's the what's, the place that you know or the phrase that always works, um and I don't think anything works one hundred percent like one hundred percent of people and that's the same with children, so understanding that even what works for one child one day won't work for that same child the next day? Um, and a lot of what I used to do a few years ago is spend time in a long time with parents, I had a time asking a multitude of questions about their children um, I don't do that as much anymore because I think photography is twofold, like one. I want to do a great job for my clients, but too I also want to be really challenged and interested, and I want to manage any sort of burnout that might come around. So now what I do is I try to walk into a session in and read them really quickly and see how how good of a job I did. I try to do that now, but let me tell you a little bit about what I used to do because I think if you feel like you wanting to just start, you know, kind of practising more of this in your work or kind of just seeing, you know what you're doing already. Um, here's. Some questions that I find we're really helpful in discussions. Um, I would ask, you know, certainly the basics, you know, tell me name, but they bubble. I gave me some kind of overdue statistics, andi think that's that's a big difference or statistics. And then there's information that's gonna really matter during the shoot. So I want to know some of us to six, but I want to know, like what? Uh, what? Your child gets excited over how easily excited they are, do they are they kind of dreamy and spaceiy if you ask them to like grab her shoes do they do it right away and race back to show you both there? Do they sit there stare atyou for twenty minutes or do they find one shoe and they've lost the other one again I just described all three of my children you know what? What kind of tendencies or they have in that respect, how snugly are they and how how much do they need their difference just distance and feel like they need their space I mean just looking at all of you you guys are all pretty different, you know and you probably were pretty different as kids and so the idea that there's no one size fits all this works for kids that doesn't seem to work at least not for anybody I've ever photographed so it's an idea of getting a quick sense of um what they think is funny and what they think is stupid you know, I think along with a limited vocabulary at certain age is you have even though children can have very complex range of emotions that usually falls into this category this category you know, this day is boring school was born you know it as opposed to I was kind of frustrated I wasn't challenging enough I was kind of anxious I was embarrassed because of these shoes you're not gonna get all that you're to get boring you know and recognizing that we're using catching up catch all terms but you can read the rest from their expression and the history that you get from parents and to really be able to understand the personality types um is am I going to camp in terms of pace? Okay, um so how do you quickly determine whether or not in any given situation a child might feel secure, happy cared about within some sort of defined structure uh while another will feel suffocated and frustrated and held back and have you had this experience? We have a kid in there and they just look like they don't want to be there and this is frustrating and there's something there's some sense there's something going on and you've had the other one where people feel happy and they're engaged in they're excited. I think a lot of that is a lot of a lot of what's going on is location location makes a big makes a big difference in terms of sessions and you have to really think about the child you're photographing and the conversation you have with parents ahead of time to make a big difference there, so if you're talking to the parents and they're like, yeah, they're gonna freak out in the crowd well, then you're not going to be doing the location shoot in urban center, you know and if you're talking teo a child parents and the child says that they're potty training or something then you don't want to go too far away and it's not just what we talked about the child because you're also assessing the parents so if the parents are like you can tell in mom's voice that that she's going to get kind of stressed in any location but a studio regardless of whether that kid is having a great happy time that stress bleeds through and taking that into account as well do you coach your parents at all about like a make sure kid is fed make sure that you guys arrested anything like that yeah I mean I started managing stress of the day yeah, we talked a little bit upfront and all fairness actually my studio manager has these conversations now because we have kind of just a little overview just remember that we're gonna have you know, because for me mood is a big deal like a big big deal I'll take mood over lighting, location, clothing, anything I'm one hundred percent caring about made so we could do this this chute where we were out in a freezing cold pelting rain depending on the field the child has you know because that could be fun and exciting and crazy and the wind feels fun on their face or it could be like this is miserable and I hate it um, and so and that's that's that varies per discipline as well. That that you wouldn't say that about maybe an engagement session. I mean, mood matters, but you have adults are a little bit more able to kind of respond to a situation where is the kid will just say I am not into it. Dawn and they're done, you know, so mood is one of those things that's like the number one factor I would definitely place lighting, location, clothing much, much lower down chain you have. You have a bag of tricks to switch the mood? Do I have a bag attracts like a physical back attracts physical or mental bag of tricks that you're like? You've walked because you've done it right. You've walked into a moody kid, I've walked into medic and you and within that and then ten minutes later, you have great results. You you turned it around. Yes. So you have your I have? Yeah. I mean, uh, bag of tricks in the respect you like when I have assessed a personality type. And again, I use the word type really liberally because I think that that's far too constricting. The term, but if I feel like I'm going to talk through the types, I feel like I'm seeing this, and this is some of the danger with this, this is how I respond to it. So yes, in that respect, I do, but it still has to be really specific to that kid, you know? So it's not like I will just say that one thing that always cracks him up because I don't have a thing like that, but in terms of physical bag of tricks, I don't I don't work at all with, like props or are attention getters or anything like that? I kind of put that on meted to dio I know, but I will have things like if I'm in the studio and a child is kind of sitting out for a little bit, maybe let some snuggle with a teddy bear or something fun like that, but when it comes into the shoot, I don't really bring anything in, okay, so what do you do in the two children that are completely different and need to separate things and have tto totally different personalities are in the same family and they want the pictures together, we'll have a schedule to shoot two different times, and they pay twice as much no, uh um, you know, actually because because the difference in siblings you know, personality types I actually find most of the striking different since you find are usually within a sitting room um which is funny because you know, I have three kids and two of my children adopted and one of questions I hear all the time is well with adoption, you don't quite know what you're gonna get like you don't ever know what you're no matter which way they come to you on dh and that's true, but I see groups come in I often it's the norm that a couple children's have have very different personality types and I'm going to show you one of the sessions I had where we have a brother two brothers that are extremely different in terms of temperament, temperament, what they think is fun and everything. Um the short answer is that the trick, if you will is teo respond to each them separately at the same time in tandem. Okay, I know that sounds so um say for instance, jesse and jim are brothers, they're really very different personality types instead of me saying, what one thing do I think both of them they will like what's their one agreed upon thing that they like, I'm not saying that won't exist, but for the time I have to do a portrait session that's not so easy to get to you can ask the parents and say is that he shared commonalities they have or things they both love. What I find typically with the time I have is more effective is to be able to have a dialogue going here have a dialogue going here and bring it together in almost a silly way, you know? So if jim loves baseball and jesse loves nascar, you know I will make up a story about how ken griffey jr is riding in a nascar thing and we're racing rap and then there's another and I'll bring it in and that's how I pull them in because again, if I were living with them, which would be weird e if I were living with them and wanting to build a life with them and having, you know the best way to relate them together it's a whole different ballgame, but all I need is an hour and a half of their focus on me and these microseconds of a shot and that's all that that's all I'm trying to do and I'm trying to get both of them at one point to pay attention to this whatever experience that brings both of their attention in separately to get that that quick still make sense um okay, so teo uh okay, so what I just said thie easiest way sorry, just saying this the easiest way to basically find out what jim so excited about and find out what jesse is so excited about is to be basically given permission to enter their respective worlds and that's like a lot of words to say like, how do I get them to open up a little bit to me? Um, part of what I have to do first and foremost, is open up a little bit to them. So any one time you want to access a private world, you have teo get some sort of permission, you have to show some sort of transparency, you know, um and by transparency, I mean, let me tell you what I'm doing here very often when I'm doing shoots and I'm grabbing a second lens and I'm staying engaged the child I will say, I have got to get another lands this lens is terrible in its dirty it doesn't work with me, I'll say out loud what I'm doing because I'm having them kind of enter the part of my world that they would have some semblance of entrance and on, and I want them to know like, this is what I'm doing right now, I'm with you as opposed to women have a very technical discussion over here with somebody who'll understand cause you guys don't understand. You know, because that way I'm not giving them any access to what I'm going through it here and so why should they be giving me access to what they're going through? Um the other thing I think is, you know, looking for an invitation sometimes an invitation isn't like I would like you photographer lady to access my world it's more like, you know, I mean it's a little sort of things that I'm kind of like I think you want to play, you know, it's kind of looking for those little nonverbal him that are going to really help me and one of the things we're gonna look through one of the chutes we did was fantastic this little boy jacks two years old was trying to basically and the interaction like we got a lot of great shots it's like either he knew it or he was just done on and he shows this really great nonverbal thing where he just starts going like this like I start living forward you guys and, you know, he's like ending he's like I'm done and so that's my way of saying well, thank you that was great we're done um esso and that that's part of it is mastering that non verbal I think we all know statistically what like seventy five percent of all communications nonverbal uh that's a higher percentage with kids so just recognizing that like they're they're not going to physically state to your you know I am right now feeling masterfully uncomfortable to the critical mind they're they're you know they're thought the left side of their brain hasn't been developed as much so they are coming from that more intuitive into it in front of their brand is that true? Yeah actually I'm really write that down um yeah I think um okay, so that's that might explain a lot I think the other thing too is uh maybe it's part of that but children have more ability teo just flat out say that they, uh the negative feelings right? We try really hard to cover those up a lot um they're gonna flat out say the negative feelings they have and most of that with children stems from this need for security which stems from a desire to not be alone so I want to not feel like I'm completely alone in this scary world and and what can you random stranger woman with the camera on your neck do to make me feel less alone and that's a lot of what I hear when I when I hear I don't wanna be here this is stupid or, you know, trying to take off the shirt that doesn't feel good or a lot of that is maur the expression like, you know, this is weird for me and I understand this and I also don't be left alone in this, and so if I'm if I'm processing it that way, um, I mean, I think you could get anybody tio, uh, smile at the camera, you know, but if you're trying to get past that and if you're trying teo, get them tio open up to you, you have to show them you genuinely care, and part of that is recognizing that we're trying to get past that kind of self consciousness, the fear, the feeling invisible, all that sort of thing. I love this little thing, um, this I love this quote, um, I think it's so true being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they're almost indistinguishable, and that is that is true for every single human being I've met, you know? We all know that feeling where you're talking and no one's genuinely listening, tio, I mean, anybody here feel like every conversation they ever had with anybody there being hard, like I would love it asking twitter's anybody had that experience, and I think part of it, especially as you get older and your baby ableto better process your feelings. You just want to know that when you're feeling hurt or mr understood or embarrassed that you want to know that you're not crazy for having this rush of thoughts and feelings and emotions, you kind of want somebody look at you and say you're not crazy you know you may be but you don't want somebody else to think it so so visibly uh and I think this with kids this is ferber parenting method one o one, which is empathetic listening it's repeating back to them that I hear what you're saying to me so if a child is doing some of those actions that I find that that sound a little rougher and weirder but I think really they're just saying I feel lonely or feel confused I feel weird in this situation I want to be able to express back to them I sense that you're feeling this I don't do it so you know, a psychologist like I have to stay in their language, you know? But if I see a kid, you know, kind of pushing out of socks or something I might say, uh, can't stand and socks, you know, just that's an opener and I'm I'm not saying in a condescending goofy what our way I actually can't stand will spot I can't say that I'm wearing one dollars ninety nine cent socks from walgreens and I bought because I forgot to pack black socks show us your son looks yeah, I'm get any hotter than this but you know, I think that's the big thing too because kids are I think more than any other aged human I know children are really good at recognizing that you're being fake like really good and they may not say to you I feel like that wasn't a genuine comment you made but they will classify us phony you know um and so you can't let the expression when I say about the wool socks I have to mean it and I have two expression I have to infuse my words with the empathy I feel for the fact that it sucks to wear wool socks you know and then it's like they've been heard and they're kind of loved and they're kind of cared for and I have more access to them now than I did by saying keep them on they look very good for the shot so I think the whole point is when you acknowledge what children are feeling they connect with you they feel a sense of calm and camaraderie um and friendliness and that's part of it they like you now like you want them toe like you it really really matters to me that the children I'm photographing like me and that sounds very needy but it's also completely true like it matters to me because I think being sure being seen being heard is critical to how we process the depth of our relationship with another person so if I feel like every conversation I have with you your kind like I don't feel like we're really close you know and you could be completely faking it but if you honestly give me the feeling that you heard everything I said, I actually have a lot more warmth and understanding I'll probably smile a lot more when I look at you you know, I don't feel like you're running off to the office and how are you feeling by the way? Good um generally god, so uh get on the thing yeah, I mean talking back to different personality types that's one way to kind of monitor the things that you're going to say that you think will elicit reactions you have to think first about how that child is processing you so a very logically minded child if you're making kind of a tongue in cheek joke about them, you know more logically a child who processes things more logically may hear you and think ok that's a punch line that's funny I'm going totally laugh and we build a connection and report and they're kind of proud of themselves for that deduction they had that that was a joke, it was funny and they got the punch line you could say the exact same thing to a child who processes things more emotionally and a little more carefully and has a little bit more vivid insecurity in terms of how they feel they're being perceived and they're going to hear that it's kind of cruel and a little cutting um and that you're making a joke at their expense and they're not gonna laugh they're gonna shrivel and they're gonna protect or continue to protect and and you're gonna you're gonna have that door oh shut down so it's not like a one word can say everything for every child you have to see who you're dealing with and interact that way and I keep saying this like well I'm talking like and that's not just children right that's not like because that joke killed last time nobody here thinks it's passed on a quick comment from the tamara neil g says it is becoming very clear why tamara is so successful it is not just about taking pictures but it's about capturing the connection that thank you e a I'm feeling that you were listening yeah yeah I love that uh so backto how you express yourself two children so you can kind of anything that you're saying that you wanna be able to assure them that you're hearing them you assure them you're understanding them um there's a lot a lot to that kind of infusion of how you say it like that you are infusing your words with compassion with empathy with understanding with all of that so the when I'm talking about kind of like infusing your words with uh with the emotion you have so it's not like I think if I say it this way it's like what are you feeling when you're looking at them and how do you put that in your words in a way that they get it so if um mom shows up and has a little boy with him and he's wearing a suit and tie and I say to him well, don't you look like a little man in that suit and I don't even look at him or read him and I just say it I come across sounding kind of kind of sending kind of phony kind of like every other adult out there who says things that way but if he walks in and I see him kind of you know, fidgeting and moving and just you know a little bit like why am I trapped in a suit I might lean forward and saying has that ty field was a kind of tight just that that's the whole lot of comment on the suit the first time that I come in in a suit the second time but the first time way heard how it came across the second time he's like okay, she looked at me she recognizes socks she kind of seems to be actually looking right at me and this is kind of interesting and that's part of it too because most of us don't look right at children you know and it's not that we don't love them and think they're awesome and this and that but we're busy we've got a lot to do and you know, they're down here and and the idea of getting down and looking and holding attention a lot of kids are even a little taken aback by that you know, they're just like well you're right here, you know? And I'm not saying it's different when you're talking about your own kids that's a whole different topic but like an adult stranger who comes in and completely is there with a child is not the norm most the time bill will comment on the childhood there ask what grade they're in or I will say, you know how's your sister it's that but that's really different than like I'm right here so um what I want to get into next is talking about what the child's experiences like during a photo shoot um but before that I am pretty sure that I need to take a break does anybody have any little questions before we go to break? I want to pick it up with some questions we could start we could start with questions, questions might have questions anyone what you get with one quick question I mean yes, you a quick question um I have friends and no names but my brother had six photographs taking out taken of him probably his whole growing up stage it tool the brothers they got the love six pictures taken nowadays kids have thousands, right? Cameras are so much more saturated into our society. Absolutely. Yeah. How have you felt that kids like, react to you as a photographer differently from the time that you started and even in the last eight years. Okay, so good question, because that's actually true. Um, most children nowadays, nearly all children know that the photo's on the back, right? Right. And that wasn't the case five years ago. Like it's crazy how fast that is like, yeah, you got that? Okay, yeah. That's yeah. That's just what they dio eso a couple things. You know, I actually it's similar to how you treat a dog with snacks like, if I start and I'm interacting with the dog and not calling kids dogs if you really had more elevating the dogs that's what I'm doing here because I do love dogs. But if you start any interaction that you have with a dog by immediately fishing out, treat what's going on looking at the whole time like your pocket great thiss sort experience it's all about the trade, but if you're with a child and you start like the first night you say you go like this or they say let me see it and you rush over and show it to them you're setting up the same dynamic so what I like to do is I think it's okay y you know, for the dog everyone so I'll have to treat and time it to something that you want to show them that was a reward or that was cool and so what I do with children is the first shot if I had the experience again cause I don't normally have experience that they asked to see it right away because normally I'm so busy here that they're kind of answered the questions and going along with what I say and that's what's happening but if I have something where they say they want to see the back and I'm like, okay, but you're only gonna see it x amount times you sure you wanna waste on this one like I'll say things like that? I'll also do things where I'll show it to the parents and I'll say I'm going to show you but you have to work for it, you know, joke and again that's based on the personality type. The other thing is if I see them do something absolutely fantastic or if I see they're really kind of shy or they're just not sure how this is going, I will absolutely show them to say look how frequent also you look and I left a mom a dad, and I'll say, is freaking okay on and it's, usually not. But, you know, I'll use that as a kind of thing, or if they do something really funny, especially when we get into, like the performer, when they do something, when they jump and I get a great shot of them doing like a double split or something crazy, I'll show them because that's a great reward, and they love it, and now they're gonna be even more into it. And if I set them up and I say, would you mind, trust me, it's, gonna look fabulous, then I want to give him the treat, you know. So it is a treat for kids, that's kind of love, the immediate gratification. How di dio, how do I look? Am I doing this right? You know, um, I just monitor it.

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.

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