Children's Portrait Photography

Lesson 5 of 29

Image Critique

 

Children's Portrait Photography

Lesson 5 of 29

Image Critique

 

Lesson Info

Image Critique

Joining us today us internet world room is bambi control who has been photographing in san francisco for twenty five years and she's got this passion for capturing decisive moments which has made her as most of you know a household name if I were to try to list like every award she's ever gotten the show would be over to be three days or I'll be forced to I said would be totally boring really boring and awesome though but I think a couple of things just come to mind her you the art of wedding photography and the art of the digital wedding tell me I'm saying this correctly um a couple of and then art of the art of people photography a swell all written by skip cohen for me okay he's a good guy yeah but many people I know have read those books myself included especially I remember flipping through images right when I started I started out thinking oh my god she's good she is really really good so and I believe just recently won the lifetime achievement award from w p p iis this correct y...

es e even though I kind of get embarrassed about that because I'm way too young to be getting lifetime that's like given to old people no it's about achievement and you've been rocketed and that's like amazing so the fact that bambi is taking time of our day to join us today is remarkable I'm really honored and I thank you very much. Um what I asked when we spoke yesterday I said bambi you no panel judging she is the expert expert leads the panel of judges and so I asked her if she could take the lead on seeing what image is that she could speak teo and give a lot of great insight we could share some critiquing but for the most part I'm absolutely deferring happily esso I would love it bambi if you could kind of take over from here. Okay, first of all, let me say I was very impressed by the quality of images that I saw on your site they were absolutely beautiful um and and I will say for those of you when I go through this critique um I don't want you to be discouraged or disheartened if I don't speak glowingly of your print just remember you don't grow by the things you do right you grow by making mistakes and boy, let me tell you I am the queen of making mistakes tons and tons and I think that it's a positive thing not a negative so I hope that you'll make lots of mistakes is that's the only way that you grow and that you learn so without further ado I think we have about ten images to go through do you have the first image tamara I do wanna make sure we're looking at the same correct images I went in the order of the links and it was the but can you see that image come up? Yes. Okay. Yes um first of all, I want to commend the maker for capturing such a sweet, sweet moment between a mother and a baby. However, I want you for a moment to just shut your eyes when you look at this picture and just squint barely open your eyes and tell me what is the first thing that you see and I'll tell you the first thing that you see is that window light is the foundation of any good portrait and so you have to think about before you capture this moment where is the best angle for me to be to capture a beautiful, meaningful picture of my subject and the best angle to capture this photograph would not be in this direction because the window the light coming through that window is a really distraction and we're losing that mother and the baby because of that brightness behind a better camera angle would have been to move around towards the window a bit more or have the mother turned her body a bit in this direction so we could see a bit more of the light on the baby's face and we will want to keep that that large portion of the window out of the photograph very good. Yeah. Excellent commentary I think the big thing too is you know, talking about squint your eyes that's a perfect tool for final trying to figure out where you go to that's just a great technique to be ableto better re drone images and um and a lot of people would say differently but certainly your eye goes usually to the brightest spot of the image of that it's just kind of almost automatic um you know that's not the point. Yeah, one of the other things too is that you want to be careful not to put too much information in the scene this photograph is about that mother and baby and yet there's way too much other information that's being shown so you want to learn to crop it in the camera and learned to come in a lot tighter and just ask yourself what is the moment about and am I showing too much information of other things that are a distraction? Yes, I can tell from this angle that looks like a little bear hat on the baby does that look like yeah that's what I was thinking too it looks like so cute and I feel like I want to see some more of it because it looks like the way she's holding the baby and a little hat and her nuzzling yeah, that is where you feel like you want to go to because obviously the maker caught a great moment, but yeah, I agree that the camera angle had been brought over and come in that expression. You know, I think we're missing some pretty beautiful expressions. Yep, very good. Um, stairway to turn the okay. Wonderful. All right, good. So any other points before we no let's go on to the next one. The next one. Okay. Yes, thank you. Expand it. Okay. Good. Can you see that? Oh, I love this picture. I really want to commend the maker for capturing such an absolutely adorable moment. The one there was one area in here. First of all, I think the maker is cropping it a little bit too loosely. And then the second area is that the white blanket on the bottom? I would have. I would have wanted to use more of a cream colored blanket like the one that's lying on top of the baby, because that white blanket is capturing a lot of the light. And again, if you squint and shut your eyes, the first thing your eye is drawn to is that hot spot on the white blanket versus the baby's face. I love the tonality in this print and I'm crazy about the sweet expression on this baby's face. I'd also would elect have seen the maker move their camera angle up slightly so that I could see the hand on that baby if you were judged in competition I can promise you the judges are going to dock you points on the fact that we can't see that baby's bottom her little hand right there they tend to want to see the fingers and such so the biggest thing though is that that that white blanket is the distraction cause more light is hitting the blanket then the baby's face and it's it's it's got a hot spot on it that's a little bit of a distraction but I gotta tell you the mother had to be all over this picture and at the end of the day it's a beautiful picture and I'm just kind of pulling here off the back of a dog um yeah I kind of want that hat for myself don't you just love new year's the thing I think I absolutely agree without your points I find also that when you're looking at images sometimes you either want to see the horizon line straight or you want to see a little bit more of a pronounced camera till but sometimes when it's a kind of this and a kind of that I feel like I want to see it one way or the other absolutely so that that's one thing I noticed there and then I also think I'm left inside of the image where the it's just a little bit of ah panel or the edge of the panel of the door or something, but I think it might be a little cleaner to come in. Remove that as a little bit of distraction because you're right, the little baby just look so snugly in sweden. I just want to get in there and just yep. Beautiful. That would be my professional take on that last part. Alright, so moving on to next one. Oh, shit. Oh, um okay. The first thing that I wanted to say to the maker about this I love the fact that they captured such a sweet moment between a mother and her two children. However, at the end of the day, if it's not a flattering photograph of the parent of the mother, then she's going to be less inclined to want to purchase this image. When photographing anyone you want to be really careful of photographing straight into the body, I would have recommended that you turn the mother. You want to pose her first before you bring those babies in and the children into her scene. So turn her body substantially to the left or to the right, I'm about forty five degrees from this fromthe light source. And then she's gonna look she's gonna look about thirty or forty percent slimmer than she does in this photograph. The next thing is that the camera position is a bit low and were photographing up her chin and her jaw and so it's a very unflattering angle on her face, that's making her appear heavier. One of the things that I have found photographing anyone who's got a little bit of weight and believe me, I'm an expert on that because I've got it myself. Um, you want to use a higher camera position on the subject, so I think what I might have done if I had been taking these photographs is I would have moved that little baby closer up to the mother's face and brought the little boy and had a maybe sit down on her lap. And then I would have chosen a higher camera position and neutralized all that background in the background, which is really distracting that that those big white areas in the background are very distracting to her and their children, and especially in conjunction with that darker piece that's in the background as well. So I would say turn her body in one way or the other said that we're not seeing her full chested straight into the camera. Use a higher camera position or if you if you don't want to use a higher position, have her lean forward slightly with her chest and and then drop her chin a bit and it's going to make her appear more slender and it's going to look be a much more inviting picture us well, yeah, I mean, I think those air excellent tips because a lot of times when I think what we're out photographing, we want to go for expression and all that stuff and that's fabulous, but some of these traditional posing rules are still incredibly important everything bambi just said it's just like if you could make this tweak in this weekend, let's do an s curve versus a flat straight on and later you're coming back in those images actually, it adds to the expression and adds the emotion and adds to the experience because everybody's captured a little bit more attractively as well. So um, yeah, yeah, you know, one of the things I just want to mention real briefly is the fact that, you know, it really is important to learn good rules of composition and opposing sometimes I think we're a little bit afraid to pose people anymore thinking that oh, that such a bad thing we're goingto kill the moment when in reality it's not necessarily true that you'll kill the moment there's a fine line in over directing so you want to be really careful to not over direct, but if you just follow a couple of simple rules, I've turned the body one where the other, especially as it relates to the light source, then you're going to slim down that person and you're going to make them it's gonna be a much more flattering picture at the end of the day, and then again, your foundation is always the light source your light source rules the way you pose because you don't want to pose straight into the light, but use the light as a tool to sculpt that body. And then once you've laid that foundation, you're home free and you can concentrate on your beautiful expressions, death? Absolutely. And if you feel a little self conscious when you're posing, people just think about the fact that you again, we're all in this together, we're all trying to get some great, fabulous images of the family, and I'll even say to mom, like, do this isn't this? Trust me, I am on your side, I am here for you. We want this to look good, you know, and they'll buy into that if you're worried about ascending, in fact they'll say thank you, great idea, great, great, great feedback, so, yeah, the other thing I noticed two is that you and you said lift the baby up yeah because I feel like I want to see a little bit more of that child uh I feel like I want to either pull out a little bit so I see kind of a little bit long underneath and so maybe that's lifting the baby up but either way I feel like that crap right there I just wanted to go a little bit lower yeah very good right is in this helpful is this local love this like that I think at the you know, the when people come in at the panel judging and sit there and watch and we'll walk out eight hours later saying that was like worth a year's of photography education that was fabulous because it's just it's the idea of how to not only look at images and think about posing and lighting and background in composition all it's her stuff but also you know the idea of okay we're not just talking about this image we're not just looking at this image were saying how can you take all this stuff into account the next twenty shoots you do and really improve your game right? And you know these are the things that separate us from all of the amateurs out there that happened to have a good camera you know, people in the world put so much stock in what kind of camera do you have when in reality what really separates us as professionals from the amateur is that we understand how to make a person look good and how and that's part of that's really part of our services a photographer not just pressing that shutter and and doing, you know, pray and spray kind of photography but doing photography that where we know the results and what we're going to get? So you know it's it's, that's the easy part you know learning to capture that decisive moment is more difficult and learning good timing and working with families and doing it really quickly is a little bit more of a challenge but it certainly can be done yeah I'm okay uh and oh this image there were a couple of things in this photograph first of all I love the expressions on their faces but notice the energy it's flowing straight towards us the energy of the gentleman is his energies flowing straight towards us and yet his face is turned drastically towards her. So what this is a good example of how you want to turn their bodies towards each other about forty five degrees and then have them lean towards one another and then the image is going to look much more believable you also want to be careful of distracting elements in the background that tree and behind his head is growing straight out of his head and so that becomes a real distraction the other thing is where is the magic taking place in this picture it's absolutely happening on their faces and I believe that the makers shown way too much information they've cropped it so loosely that all of the elements down below their waist and such are not helping the picture they're hindering it because there's not an energy going there's no energy from them um there's no energy from them as a couple that you're feeling and seeing is that your cat trying to join in no it's I'm sorry it's my dog was your time well boys start so that the dogs stop it come here sorry he never makes any noise there come on up okay and I'll have a guess meet my dog yeah uh never and nobody misses cooper hi cooper I love your hair I love what you've done with it hey you go away go away uh yeah you know one other thing about this image I think the expressions are maybe you could tell that they have a connection that's really cool when we discussed distracting elements I would have loved to have seen this image in black and white simply because between the stripes and the different colors and all of your stuff I think that would have brought the focus mohr to the expressions and left the clothing a little more out of it hold on one moment, folks okay, okay getting some input from but that no go redhead go right ahead. Uh okay, so we're tryingto go to yeah yeah all right we've got a new sari bad there are so many little orchestrations behind the scenes of like this this and this it was trying to like so we have a lot of whispers in like floating signs and yeah helicopters and dawn with toys yeah, you know, I loved this picture I put this photograph in because there were a lot of elements in this picture that worked give me one minute I'm going to go put cooper in the office. I'm so sorry. Okay? My thoughts. Yeah. Okay, so the know I think, um just to start out a little bit um the, uh, two things one I mean, I know this isn't just a habit. I feel like the first thing I see it most elegant most images is going to be the like, oh, like that all factor, especially when it comes to children and families and this and that and I know it's about taking images, but I think you know, it's definitely correcting tio started with what you like and why this image was submitted because there are lot of positives first of all, I love that little girl's hair dio right so I'm back the little outfit and everything. Oh, I was just talking about the little girl's, beautiful hairdo and alf it and how it's. Very easy. Every time you see an image before you go into the critique part to just recognize why the photographer really liked it, you know, that's the first thing you start thinking is like, well, I can totally see that yeah, I absolutely loved the treatment on this image. It really works very well with the with the theme and the way the maker has created the image I love there's so many things I like about it it's very soft and very tender, the way that they've placed her in relation to the little house in the background she's framed very nicely that little hot spot that's a little above her head is a little bit of a distraction as well as that kind of triangular wood piece that's behind her that wood pieces the one element that keeps pulling my eye away from her. So if I were to encourage the maker, I want to see them find a way to kind of tone that down a little bit, but I surely felt this was a very interesting photograph, and I think the treatment on this picture helped it it helped it to keep it within the period, kind of make it more period like and and I have to tell you I'm really I'm very critical of the photoshopping kind of stuff I think and by the way in competition there are two things two reasons why prince heir judge down number one is over photoshopping oh my god babies already have perfect skin we do not need to make them look like plastic dolls on dh then the second element is the is keeping making there's where there's too many distracting elements in a picture um yeah, I think you know it certainly a positive in terms of liking this image I would say I like it I won't actually see more of it I would think it's really lovely to see this exact same image with a horizontal crop like if that had been shot where we could see where the cat was walking into and what the leaves were and stuff and that might have also been the same thing you're saying in terms of the triangular would formation in the back would have kind of maybe drawn that out and been a little less like a triangle you know yes, but I agree with you about the treatment I really like the soft owns quite a lot and I think that the soft tones probably did a lot to help with the bright sky yes, they did so that's kind of where processing because yeah there's definitely processing where it's just everything thrown at once and you're like, wait, where's damage and then there's like, how can we do little image correction techniques that might aid us? Because we were shooting this place where we didn't have this. So we didn't have this or we couldn't actually pull out, you know, like closure meeting always for stuff. Yeah. Okay. Oh, I put this one in because to tell you what you should do, I tell you what the maker deserves a little gold star for this. This is absolutely adorable. And what? I'll tell you what I liked about it. Number one, the tonality works with the skin towns. Notice that the background is light. The little the little hat is light. The the little blanket that its on its light. So nothing is distracting from this beautiful baby's face. The way that the makers positioned the arms is believable. Now, I will tell you in competition they would probably, doc, you points for those little fingers facing straight into the camera. Judges don't like to see those little hot dogs facing out. Quite frankly, I think that's ridiculous. Because that's exactly what I mean, I think that's really looking, it looks very believable, I also like the way that the bonnet, the little strings on the bonnet our place in a very interesting way they still look believable but I like the fact that there's a kink in them it looks like it's very random and I think that really helps the photograph and I also like the selective focus the selective focus leaves no question about what this picture is of you're not distracted by the clothes or the skin on the lip the baby's back your eye goes right to that face which is where it should go yeah and I think if there's any photoshopping on this image in terms of skin tone and stuff it's very natural looking yeah again if it's if it's a compliment to the image as opposed to what looks like a kind of ah mask on image um that's kind of a lovely thing and I think what you're saying about the way the fingers are and the way the baby's posed in the string it shows him some effort to style the shot too, which is always something that again brings in that additional level of professionalism there's kind of a difference between a completely candid shot all the time. Well, that's what I saw versus okay, but how can you do these little subtle things to actually make this into a photograph that's in a really compelling and beautiful and visually arresting um those are those little tweaks and little efforts we make last thing I also wonder about the again you have all the decisions whether or not you want to center composing are often side I think it would be interesting to see this image where the maybe the baby was down a little bit over and down a little bit and that you're kind of leading up a little bit that might have been interesting to see how the same image would be with different composition styles absolutely yep that's exactly what I was thinking too in fact, I was just holding my hand up to see if that area on the right hand side if it would have been beneficial to get rid of some of that yeah, yeah, and if you're the photographer who are shooting something shots watching this live that you may have the same sensation that everybody does when they're in a print judge room, they watch your print go up, which is kind of like half heart attack half like mortified half so excited, you know, it's just like, um, I think that honestly it's a cz much, um has much value as you get out of watching a french competition or listening to an image critique if you are actually in the game and putting your your prince in, it really just takes it up to that next level of like, okay, I'm listening everything they're saying I'm taking copious notes and I I will hopefully learn from this andi I think all of us I know that bambi has but I have entered print competitions on done so we've been so happy with the results and also have sat there and said you are not saying that about my print I mean it is you got you got to experience the highest lows and stuff and and if you can sit there and watch your print get pulled apart in a way that you're like I do not agree I do not agree I do not agree um that gives you some strength to say okay well what did I learn from that you know um and again just do better the next year yeah and you know what? Hey I can't tell you last year I had one of my prints with those nasty judges sported a seventy two okay, you know what I mean you can always just like hit a winner you know you know it's all good at the end of the day you know at the end of the day it's um the most important merits that I want are the ones that I get the green ones from my client's future though I already paid for them but still it's all you know at the end of the day you know you you're the most important thing you don't want is you don't want photographs that are just boring right, you know, I'd rather have somebody hate a picture that I took and really just put it in the toilet, then give me a seventy nine because seventy nine tells me it is a snooze fest, right? Right? And I think that that's also part of it too, is they give your actually thinking if you start wrapping your head a little bit of a critique fashion or print competition way it is such a daily challenge. Like, I don't want to come back and deliver a session that everything looks the same and it's pretty average same treatment like you find yourself out there shooting like, okay, got this, this and this what can I do? That's going to be really stand out it's gonna have a lot of impact, and you find yourself adjusting your shooting to find those impactful shots a lot. Ok, um it on, okay, when you think about this image, compare it and I don't mean to compare this to the last one. But now you can really see why this one falls short because with this baby, when you put this baby on this white fabric and such and have light treatments in the hair, and then you place them on a dark background, it is a really huge distraction. It really kills the image because it is too hard if this child and that everything is saying that it's being spoken in the picture of the baby is very soft and sweet and feminine, and then by placing it on a dark background, it just kills it, it makes it real hard, and I'm very much of a contrast, and so it falls short, I think that also the camera angle on this is a bit low. Um, I think that when you're photographing newborns, especially this looks like a fairly new babe. Um, I'm sure tomorrow you could probably communicate this a lot even better than I could about you, where you want to place yourself. I find that when I'm if I'm photographing a newborn, I want to prop them up just a little bit. We have one of those little beanbag things that we use occasionally for babies, or if they're brand new babies, I have the family's hold them, and then I will photograph them very tight and, you know, I basically crop the parents out of the picture so that it's very much about the infant without having to do, you know, just photograph like them flat above and make it a rule static, yeah, and I think, um one thing they I agreed to you about the angle I think this again the baby skin tone is just so cute so sweet I love that little pink school uh and I think the uh I would love to see both the eyes kind of open it looks like there's some shadow falling over the the little flower onto the left eye and with some pink casting um from that flower but the um you know, I think this same exact image if you could have shot it overhead and then had again no no contrast between the light and dark underneath so it was kind of more than the focus is on the subject on dh had the baby be able to tilt the head back just a little bit more so that you didn't have some shadow from that flower or light from underneath that would been a really cool shot and one to think one thing to think about when it comes to posing babies um I know a lot of people who don't necessarily want to get like a baby poser or being bag or this or that and they want to just do kind of all in mommy's arms and all that sort of thing and there's nothing wrong with that but um if you get a little something like that that you bring in like a poser or being bag or whatever um you basically I mean consider if you were to go into somebody's home twenty five year old woman and she wanted photographs and all she did was lay on the bed but like like this you know and she was you know jim thinks that's a great idea e I mean land the bed like completely flat with their no net control let me just keep going with that they're peeing themselves let's really put this let's take bad yeah exactly now jim's okay with the baby metaphor so but if it means that's basically what you're doing and you would never consider like this would be a great way to pose this twenty five year old woman you would say okay if you're gonna lay flat like that and just do nothing with no net control let me at least you know put a pillow here and turn your here and just I mean that's the same thing you're doing the baby is that you've got to be able to pull in you've gotta be able to pull in some sort of mechanism to be ableto allow for some contour with a little snuggly snuggly baby so you can guess what isn't so kind of gosh where is my angle? Where can I find the angle that works here of us? Ok moving on I said twenty five year old about mendy's you're like go on yes score all right um ok then a new one coming up um, I love to the camera angle on this, and I put this picture in because, you know, lifestyle photography is very popular today, and I persist is my favorite way to photograph children is in a more of a lifestyle environment of their home, and I love with the maker did and the way that they shot this, I thought it was just absolutely adorable. I'd want to just try to keep the hands a little bit away from the front of the face, but I like it, I think it's believable, and I especially think that maker did a pretty good job of lighting the face and keeping the light off those arms, and I think that takes skill because the arms are a little bit closer to the loans, the camera lens on the faces, and it could be very easy to make those arms a distraction, but if you look at the light on the arms, the light is not on the bottom of the arms. So it's, not it's, not a distraction, and my eye goes right to her little face. So I think the maker did a good job, and I think I think it would be interesting to in this exact same image if there had been like mom or somebody there to pull back that purple panel on the right to kind of fan it out. Um that would've been really interesting to kind of have like her her face and then go back into this kind of almost open wide thing there as opposed to the corner the little corner on edge there that's just a little bit kind of off it doesn't go with the rest the image yes canada family and tomorrow I just wanted to say that the maker crispy is in the chat room and she says hey that's my photo of I was practising with my daughter in her room I see a lot of indoor in the room photos and wanted to get an idea on how to take them well there you go going to share that yeah she did great job one of the things that I've done with children in the room the first thing I do when I walk in there miss ice okay I want you to get on the bed and jump on the bed for me because you know, first of all I get great pictures that way but second of all it totally breaks the ice and then they realized hey, this is okay she's let me do something that my mom won't let me do so it's all right? And um so I usually do a siri's of images I want to create images that I can put in a book I don't want to do just a single picture because when I'm doing lifestyle images it's about siri's is a photographs for stories of images ah collections that can go and to make up a really nice story of the day and I think this picture is a good example of step one to creating a really fun story of a little girl in a room yeah, you could see how this would be a really interesting composite of images you know okay okay um I adore the expression on this child's face but this is a perfect example of where the light is coming from in relation to the subject and how it's it's looting it's losing it for me for a couple of reasons number one it's making me feel a bit uncomfortable that we're photographing right in between this little girls legs I think that's really that is unflattering and it's a bit uncomfortable looking the second thing is is that my eye goes right to those legs they're they're such a distraction because they're closer to the lens and there's more light on them then is on the face I want to see her face more but I can't get past her legs to see her face so you want to think when you're taking pictures will where should I stand in relation to the light source to get a photograph so again, if you shut your eyes and squint, you'll immediately see where the brightest point is and on her legs because you're shooting straight into her legs her legs and there's more light on her legs it's very much a distraction I would have moved my camera angle a bit to the right so that her legs so that her legs the majority of her legs would have been in the shadow areas and then why I would have gone immediately to that incredible expression on her face. Yeah, I completely agree about the angle, the maybe it's because I'm a mom with two little girls, but I feel very protective when I'm photographing little girls about what we're doing in the angle and all that sort of stuff. I agree that it's a really compelling expression and oh my gosh, I love that hair I love you, I couldn't get past the hair I'd want to just get in there tight on her face that's exactly what I'm saying is that I think when you look at this image, one thing that really strikes you is that is awesome hair and I want to show that I want to showcase that off, showcase that and really show that off. So if I could have, um I don't mind this way that the child's faces turned towards the camera or not, but I think that you could have some really cool, especially if you kind of pumped up the dynamic range where you really just showed up all the texture and that hair um that would have been a fabulous image and I'm not sure there's other images that were taken of this session but uh I would have played a lot with that um and then I agree also about the lighting the arms and then me and such went up getting unfortunately so overexposed we lose some detail that I think again if we had been pulled out with a different angle the positioning of the body could have been really interesting very visually interesting in terms of that and so we we had to lose that a little bit with the loss of detail. Okay? Oh, I I I had to put this picture in this is absolutely what to do look at where the light is coming in this child's not only is this baby just absolutely just stinking just adorable but the way that the maker positioned his child in relation to the light source really just works for me it does not bother me at all that the baby's eyes are are a bit off ofthe queue. Andi I think the reason it doesn't bother me and by the way usually this would be a big no no is to have the I so far off to the left however, if I don't find it to be as much of an issue because of the way that because of the way the light is falling on this baby's face it's a very soft light notice how large the catchall is in the eyes. It's very, very soft but it's falling on a very pretty part of the baby's face. And you can really sti on this right cheek. It just draws you right into this baby's face. I'm sure that the maker took several pictures of this child. I'm sure looking in the camera. I'd want to see some more of that. The one area that I there were two things about this picture that did lose it for me. Number one, that bright spot in the background that horace on a line between the dark area and the light area is very much a distraction. And it cuts through this baby's head to me the way I would want to cropped it like right where the black the darker brown tones are in the bench. The second area is is because the maker has more room on the right hand side and the eyes are going to the left and there's, not remission. There's, no room for her eyes to go to. So I feel like the maker should have have had more room, more room on the left hand side so that there's room for the eyes to travel into the picture. Yeah, that was the second thing I thought when I looked at the first thing was exactly what you said is like, what a beautiful little baby look at that expression in those cheeks in those eyes um and then the second thing I thought is I want to see that child looking out and then some some room to carry that gays completely because I think honestly this little shifts like without having the break in the background room to move back on dh and again I'm with you I know that you're normally not supposed to have so much white in the eyes but there's there's a look with it that makes it work so yeah, those to those little shifts have been made on and they still could be made in photo shop but going forward when creating the image that would be terrific. I actually would like to see this photographer make those changes in photos drop just to see what you come up with as an image although I think right now the intent is to be able to focus on howto be able to get those images and a camera close with that great um good so we just worked through ten of them that was time is flying this is ridiculous this is insane. We flew through those we did a really good job um so do we have any questions for bandy and image critique ville yes we have we have questions that came through during this action and one was from dr seuss the question was earlier on when pursues is giving baby a quest nothing wrong with that huh um bambi this was back when you one of the earlier images when you talked about um the wanting a tighter crop and so the person says lots of talk about cropping in closer um but I get nervous after I crop too close in case they order any by ten or a sixteen by twenty could you please comment um that's a really good question however what I would do is that wouldn't make the photograph he seven by ten or put it on an eight by ten mat making a slight smaller print so that you don't lose the integrity of the picture I have clients all the time that'll say well can I have any ten of this and then I will kill them I say well I would not want to make this innate attend because it's goingto lose the integrity and what you like about it there's going to be lost however let's put it on a larger matt and then you could put that you could easily you know scale that to a sixteen by twenty or whatever you wanted to do but to me it's about the integrity of the picture first and then whether it's an eight by ten or not I think so many of our clients just think eight by ten because that's what they were used to sing to you know there used to see justin eight by ten that those terms and one of the things that we've done in our studio is we met each of our photographs that goes out studio we custom at it so that the outside dimensions for instance even if it's a four by six print it'll be matted on eleven by fourteen eight ply match so that it's beautifully presented and it looks like a piece of fine art and if you do that then it's much easier to keep the integrity of your images and it also validates higher price that you're going to charge for creating that image is well, pretty good. The other thing too is to say how about any by twelve and that's at this price but truly yeah very rarely doesn't buy especially when they're it's ah four basic asked expect aspect ratio it does an eight by ten not take away from the image um cookie cat chick in montreal she's victoria she's one of our prior class mates she'd like to know what the ideal aged age is to shoot a newborn and I was wondering what the cut off point is as faras what newborn would be considered what the cut off point for newborn yeah as faras age to either of you have ah idea but well I mean yeah I think we can probably both off off answer this with our respective experiences but I would say with a newborn that you know right away allows you a significant amount of first of all they're still sleeping a lot you could move them around a lot they really quickly are not newborn like scarily quickly likes tap s o you know right away meaning within a matter of days um you know, I definitely no photographers who have people call and like the day they leave the hospital go right to the studio um that's not terribly unusual especially if you're a newborn specialist so you know the answer then is right away and I would say within a couple weeks because even sometimes we'll have newborn schedule but then this guy supposed phone and that could postpone and now the child's a month old and you're really already talking about a difference in terms of what you can do in terms of getting that look so ideal ages to photograph you know there's kind of I've always heard the three, six, nine, twelve months but for me I actually find like I like newborn island like maybe six weeks um again let's go ahead because now lots going to be happening for they're a couple months in terms of milestones on dh then I like it when they can sit up a little bit the six month and crawling and you know that's kind of more of the progression I would prefer to see is supposed to try to stay to a quarterly time change yeah I think that's pretty much how I had what I would say as well ok, thank you. Do you get that meeting of the minds excellent. We lying paige I have a question from l's which was I also subscribed to the theory of leaving room for the eyes to gaze into but it seems a lot lately that the style seems to be moving toward breaking that rule do you find that to be the case? Uh no um I always wanted I believe that's important to have a place for the iced travel uh there was to leave room but but I think with that said I think you have to use the spirit of a sound mind and I want to have a bit of room but I don't want to crop it loosely that you lose the magic of picture and I think also you know, I think one thing you see a lot right now is an editorial commercial work something that's a really striking a job with a ton of negative space and then a model sending off and looking in the wrong direction that you wouldn't expect and I think that's a that's breaking the rules but the point is to get you to look and say what feels wrong about that picture that's kind of what that is, so that works well for marketing and advertising, but not always necessarily for portraiture. And I think there is such a mindset of, like, break the rules break the rules, but there are some rules that are in place because they're just they work, you know, they feel good in image, they allow you to kind of be pulled into the image, and all rules are not bad. Yeah, I really think that that it is I think this goes back to that. What separates us is professional photographers from the amateur with a good camera, a lot of people who just have a good camera don't like rules because they don't know what they are, and so they don't know how to use them, and they're so there are afraid of themselves that they like to say, well, I don't like to be confined by rules what, when in reality, you know, the universe is governed by rules, and so I think that beautiful fine portrait sherm defines you and I and allow people to spend more money hiring us, and some a reason too, is that we flatter our subjects and that we create images that are dynamic where there is where there's impact and impact is absolutely everything, and so I would say, keep it simple, keep your keep the focus on the subject and when you cross him to the right or to the left I'm going to tell you first of all there's gonna be a few moms out there who are going to go well can you not put him in the middle there's going to be somebody out there who's not like what you do but at the same time I think it's important to to provide a variety but within good rules of composition yeah I think if you're you know being really careful about composition you'll find that you go full circle where every once in a while you center compose and you're like yeah that was crazy you know, like I was bowled on that one I have a question from tango b which is I'd like to ask ask how you both feel about post production should photographers tried to develop a unique postproduction style and bambi you talked earlier about when earlier when about judging and not wanting to be over uh post processed but is there anything to having a style um did you want to say more on that one and then I'll jump into you go first hand um yeah I mean I think I I absolutely I used to say to my clients in the beginning when I was a little more self conscious about it I would show the images and I wouldn't say anything about post processing I would say more like they really come out that well like, isn't that also like right out of camera just like that with a green color uh later I started recognizing that that's an absolute service I'm offering my clients that I'm also doing in addition and not charging extra for or rather the entire session fee is encompassing the cost of that andi I believe that something used to apologize for like, oh, I'm sorry I was doing some processing now I not only own it but I celebrated and I and I kind of say you're welcome, you know? And I really do believe that when I'm looking at an image not about to shoot it um what I photograph is it's pretty much half captured and I'm finishing in post and finishing the rest of what I saw when I looked at it because when I looked at it I this guy wasn't quite so bright and there was this and that and I wantedto have a certain feel and look and if I find there's distracting elements that I could do nothing about in an image but the emotion is fabulous and everything's great, but there's like this bright hot spot there and there I'm going to tone it down because I think it's going to take away from the experience the viewer has when they're looking at it so that's a very long answer to say yes I believe in processing you know, I could not agree with you more, tamara I believe it is sport to do pros processing as well, and I do process my image is in fact I never allow a client to see a picture before I've done my processing work, and the reason I feel that way is because I want them to equate beautiful photography with great photographer I don't want them to see a photograph where there is a blemish or an imperfection and then then see the artwork done later and then think and in their mind I don't want them to equate beautiful photography with great photoshopped tricks because then I found that it's a bit it kind of takes down the experience it's like, oh well, you can fix that photo and I don't like that. So I want the entire experienced from the moment that they see a picture to be to be about my skill as a photographer and not for them not to think about whether there was post processing a retouching done at all, but I had a really funny experience happened recently with a bride I did her a good war pictures before she got married she was a mature bride, a forty year old bride and of course I've retouched her images before I ever showed it to her and she looked at her picture since she saw her backside as she went ding my what? Look awesome and I was just going yeah, you'd look ofsome girl you go girl, I'm thinking to myself, shoot man, if she'd seen those few little bumps or whatever you know they see may not be quite so thrilled, I think it would have made her feel bad about herself but, you know, to me, it's all about I want this to be part of the experience and while that way there harm me. However, with that said I think there's a fine line in a photo shop and that you gotta learn to hold back a bit, you know, it's does the does the work that you're doing is it enhancing the picture or you trying to make a picture from trash? You know, some sometimes photographers, you know, they're just tryingto turn a turd into a silk purse or something, you know? So I think we have to be kind of careful of that. We learn to get good photographic skill learned lighting and learn to post properly and then enhance it, you know, induce a black and white. I love kevin cambodia's actions. They make it very easy to do the job that I want to dio I'ma little actions junkie, I love marcus bell's actions this well and ah, your bond has the very best infrared black and white infrared action on ever use it's just beautiful. Fabulous. Oh, can you just put this out and can you photoshopped this and can you change that a little bit and put it up? There's, malik heart feel ist okay, seriously there's. Not hardly anything that can't be done, whether I do it or my lab does it or whatever, and I'm happy to offer it. It's gonna be this much for this service? Yeah, no, I don't know that you should cut out of a thing, and if you don't feel comfortable doing in post, then you hire service to do it. And then you make sure you have the correct markup and then pass it along to your client. Yeah, absolutely. Um, okay, I know that I got another running sign, another man running along with a sign saying that we're running late. So we have tio wrap up. But thank you so much, mammy. Thank you very much.

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.

Reviews

Amy
 

I cannot thank creativeLIVE enough for the opportunity to learn from Tamara in such depth. Not only did we have the chance to see Tamara at work, but she also shared a ton of great business tips as well. I think it is amazing that CreativeLIVE offers photographers such a great opportunity to learn from the best without breaking the bank to do it. Not only is Tamara an inspiring photographer, teacher and businesswoman..she is also an exceptional human being. Her positive energy shines through in everything she does. She reminded me of everything I love about photography and also of how to keep contact with that part of myself. That is a gift that I could not ever put a price on. Thank you so much, creativeLIVE, for the awesome workshop. I am really looking forward to future ones. I highly recommend creativeLIVE!

a Creativelive Student
 

AWESOME! I would (and have already) recommend CreativeLIVE's Tamara Lackey workshop to anyone and everyone. CreativeLIVE has put together a game-changing channel for business owners - the Tamara Lackey workshop not only was fantastic for anyone looking to improve their photography skills - it was a huge eye opener for anyone who is or is considering becoming an entrepreneur. The live audience format was perfect and it was great to have the CreativeLIVE visionaries engaged in the workshop as well. Kudos and thank you!

a Creativelive Student
 

This was a fun, entertaining, insightful, and - no less - highly educational workshop. I really like Tamara's photographic work and was mostly curious to see how she gets to her results. This expectation was fully met by both the on-location and studio sections included in the course. In addition, Tamara is a very good instructor and made the videos a thoroughly enjoyable experience. She is very open and answered honestly and personably to all questions asked. Although I am an amateur photographer, I was intrigued by the business section and could imagine a professional would like to see a deeper dive into the subject. If I were to mention improvements to the course, I think the scope was a bit too wide or, the other way around, the duration was too short: the business section, live shoots, work-life balance part could all have been more in-depth. But they could also be added as stand-alone topics, in my opinion. Overall, I loved this video format and Tamara's presentation. I surely learned a lot and had a good time watching this! Really, really great job!