IntroductionComposition and Framing

 

Children's Posing Guide

 

Lesson Info

IntroductionComposition and Framing

When I was going to the ten steps two of them or composition and framing and I made a point of clarifying the difference between those just a reminder that it was a lot coming at you um composition is basically the way you arranged everything within your frame so it's it's that image of the little girl in front of the window behind us where they are in relation to each other and it's things like any extraneous details decluttering an image organizing everything in your frame that's composition framing is basically the angle with which you choose to shoot it from and not just the angle but the proximity to subject and it's a different way again if you separate composition and framing out you get a really you got a really great way to remember how to mix up a lot of photographs quickly it's an sometimes people will get out there, they just get stuck. You know, I just can't think of one more thing to do if you separate out and think how'd I compose it and how I frame it that will remind y...

ou to step backwards and go high and go low and and shift your lens choice so for the purposes of this I'm just gonna clump composition framing together s so that I'm not going back and forth every time this board is friend were in the sports composition you guys get it right okay, so um let's talk first and foremost about one of the more simple, straightforward types of composition which is part of the most common portrait composition there is in terms of its their tight shot or three quarter or standing uh but it's a vertical composition and everything's kind of in its place yes um the same exact sort of image from a composition perspective the rule of thirds you see a lot of this in terms of where everything is located this is generally the most rule of thumb composition tool here is the rule of thirds and that is that everything is in its access point. These are the most interesting places to look. The one access point is right on her face that gorgeous little girls my daughter, by the way, hey, sophie um and then the bottom right is white or the bottom left access point or the top left access point just visually speaking, those air the points that are very interesting to us to go. And one of the things I think is really interesting about this composition style is it was born out of a need for artists. Specifically was, I think thomas gainsborough, who was a landscape artist and who loved painting landscapes but realized he wasn't making any money from it and the only way he was going to make money is if he put african people in his shot who we love people way no you love people what's the hashtag dress we love people you love people okay? Just let people uh but uh the only way he's gonna make make his money was to put people in the shot and or the painting and so what he did was we put them in and small sections so he put them in these access points so he could still paint his whole landscape and then punk that portrait people right there and get his commission and go on that was generally around where it started picking up I'm using people in landscapes and that's that kinda rule of third um what's so what's interesting to this is you would think that having her right in the middle is what most balances the image but the way are we work visually when we look at frames it's more balanced if you're in one of those areas. So this is something that very frequently I don't even think about anymore that's where I wanted to be like it just feels like that's where it should be. This is also a wonderful composition tool if you're gonna use a pretty strong amount of canvas or space for something like an album um I will shoot images like this frequently knowing that I wanted to be a spread an album or I wanted to be a very striking long panoramic style canvas um in this shot, by the way this is ah uh a couple that I have photographs for years and this image was uh, loosely styled after this image from their wedding about three years earlier when you are if you aren't shooting both weddings is and portrait I no longer shoot weddings I've moved out of those in the last probably three and a half four years now three years but if you are shooting weddings this is a really lovely idea to maintain when the kids come along is to try to take some element, not mirror exactly obviously you look at the angle it's pretty different high and low but to have some element of it that feels familiar um so obviously this the rule of thirds works compositionally vertically as well in a portrait style same sort of thing faxes points or just flit and clearly if you look at this they don't have to be x exactly in that point I know people who will put an image up for review when we do some sort of portrait view our image critique session and they'll say I know they'll put the eyes or something l meant exactly in that point and something's off it doesn't work the point is it's generally in that vicinity trying to put it there every time khun khun ruin other parts of your composition like cutting off feet or limbs or something um the other strong composition style that I love is center composition now center composition I love this image I love his eyes love his expression um we photograph this little boy in, um at a workshop in uh toronto and it was, uh actually technically was burlington and I was told toronto in burlington are not the same thing. So it was burlington um and he came with his mommy and it was really sweet because he had been adopted and it was their five year anniversary of being together when we did this little session which I loved um but this is shot in front of a window with a reflector underneath and and you can kind of tell obviously a cz we talked about yesterday from the catch lights where that reflection is coming from that fill light and shooting this with a really says is really strong center composition has significantly more impact than trying to do it in the rule of thirds do see the difference like here it's very commanding and visually striking and you go right into that expression in those eyes and this look as if he's got the confidence of a much older person uh and here you kind of lose it a little bit it's not as impactful it it's not as powerful unless you pair it with text then suddenly it's awesome again uh and keep that in mind because I do that often for things like notecards and this and that you know you can take an image and work with it and showcase it to your client in a way like would you want to do this is maybe just you know, thank you cards with this car something if you wanted to be able to up, sell or have meaningful words or maybe the favorite quote or something like that that they could take and put in his room or or somewhere around the house um and you can obviously play with that in post as well, but that is one of the reasons why you might want to shift it a little bit um the triangular composition this is basically the idea that things are more interesting if they're in threes and this is a two these are two people these air four people you know, these air three people it doesn't necessarily matter how many people are in this triangle it's the idea that you have a triangle formation and that yeah makes those terms the triangle composition or the rule of odds because they're used interchangeably and it's the idea if you have a two or four or six it is not as pleasing to the eye as something that's of the odds or it's in threes or nines or something on dh that's just again how our brains will visually look at something and find it more pleasing but you can take two, three, four, five, ten people and make them into a triangular composition um and you can even hang them from trees this's a dangling triangle uh this was a really fun image actually because dad had I also had photograph their wedding and done family fortunes with them earlier on and the dad had just gotten home from being point in afghanistan like just and we went out for the shoot and we're walking around this beautiful green grassy park in north carolina and he talked about learning from your clients and I learned from my clients all the time I think the way my clients are seeing things are so different than how I'm seeing things and I can if you have conversations with him about what is striking them at the time or what's hitting them you can learn a lot pull it into your frames on dh make it more meaningful for them he was walking around and he seemed kind of like days and out of it and I'm like well obviously that's a huge culture shock to go back from you know, being in afghanistan for it I believe it is either seven or nine months to being suddenly on the ground walking to the park with your family it's very different and and as we're walking through he was commenting that I think it's so green you know he's a face like I love this I missed this it's so green is like taking leaves off trees and picking up blades of grass and I realized when he was kind of out of it he wasn't out of it. He was just in full appreciation mode. He's like everything had been watching forever is all bache it's all beige and it's brown and it's sand it's tan he's like I missed this, you know, and, um and there's something so lovely about that. So what we did is we tried to work in more playfulness and instead of being more on the streets, we will when we move more into the grass and with the trees and shooting down in the grass and really wide atmospheric shots showing it because that's what meant something to him? Andi, I think years later you look back on that and just it it mirrors his appreciation for that experience. Um look, mr doggett about that, uh, esso and again with triangles I mentioned you can do triangles with any size group. You can also do it with singles. You can find a way to bring triangles in with singles. Um, this is I mentioned yesterday that the what if conference that was in the dominican republic this we were playing with the kids painting a wall on the other hands all full of pain which is why it's on her fingers but if you notice just the two things that play here is the way she's holding her hands and also just the slight tilt give you that triangle or feel even with the one okay bird's eye view uh this uh this little baby beautiful little girl I walked into her bedroom and her mom had this little well you know those little mannequins that are built with a wire toehold dresses she had one of those little ones in a room with this dress on it and I was like oh my god I love that dress uh the dress was still another year away from the little girl being able to wear it but she said that she she had just found out she was having a girl and she saw that dress in the window and she's like I just had to I just have to and so she bought the dress and after we've done the whole shoot I said why don't we try the dress on her and we'll just talk it all around her um and then I shot from this bird's eye view this is the overhead sort of shot this is a whole different way to photograph your subjects and you get a very different look at them obviously with little babies and such it's it's a really cool look it's a fun look um in this image specifically we had a shot at a couple different ways and then from a composition perspective in terms of looking down and seeing what's interesting in the frame we actually moved the pillow over and the the rug over just so we could have that patch on the upper right hand side because I thought that was so much more interesting with the pinks and the dress is another way that the birds I work is in groups so um this one is literally shooting down uh these two twins on either side I've been photographing them since birth since birth I love them they're crazy and just so outta control and fun um and then their little sister had just come home she was just adopted so she just came home and mom, they all came in from texas. We've been they've moved since we've started photographing them so they came in and we did this shoot um and we had this combination where the you know boys are boys there like everywhere every route this moment occurred for point zero zero for six seconds but that's all you need to be able to hold it for life that's all you need that's my photography is so powerful and I wanted one where they were basically looking her and I had her up here and she was like, thiss my family now and I love that you can achieve this. This is significantly easier to achieve in a bird's eye composition, corporate type of framing versus sitting back and having the baby lean over and slumping because she's still really little um uh, okay, so then here's a know what? There's so many composition framing styles, another one, and I'm going through all of these not so much just to instruct you on what they are, but to get you thinking, if I'm on a shoot, let me run through these. You have all these in the download to be ableto run through them all will almost guarantee you the ability to provide a significant amount of variety in your shoots in a significant amount of variety in your chutes shows a lot more about your shoved subjects has a lot more a band with in terms of from start to finish. Who are they? How did they interact? Who are they to each other? It looks more visually interesting to have a collection of different looking images, and it sells better. The clients are happier with what they get when they have a lot more to choose from that's very intriguing. So this is a layered composition. This is simply a case of we have a foreground focus, we've got a background. Out of focus, but clearly part of the image it suggests that there's layers to this image that it's not just a straight on shot there's more going on here and you have to step into the frame um this of course is kind of a perfect example of what you find when you've got a toddler in parents he doesn't hang out next to them um this also part of what makes a layered image work really well is to keep it with that rule of thirds so your eye would naturally move here and then here that's where I was has to go anyway so keeping those layers in those those areas as access points makes the image more impactful you'll recognize this image we just shot it yesterday it just showed it this morning it's exact same thing it's a layered composition vertically shot every everything's in the correct access point you didn't know that was happening, did you? Um so and then at the other thing about a layered composition if you can see at least my preference of shooting style is a really simple aren't they? They're really clean, they're uncut, cluttered and they're simple if I'd had the toys on the bed if I'd had a lamp back there if I don't print back there it's no longer a layered composition it's a ton going on it's like a thousand layers it's like my friend brooke shade and it's one of her photographs that's got a thousand layers of photo shop on it but I want here is with the children I'm not doing a lot of photo shop work I'll show you later we'll have a little photoshopped section it's not a lot to it it's just how do I take a image that's cleanly shot and then pop it up a little bit like that it's a very different style of shooting um if you guys haven't had a chance to check out books work I love it it's really cool totally different than mine but if you're not already doing that checking out a lot of different artists work that don't look anything like yours there's a lot you can learn they're simply by not necessarily you adapter style to theirs um but there's little snippets of inspiration you confined I think in a lot of different work so another um another type of framing that I liked it to do a lot is what I call titan tall um I made up this term I don't know if it's if it's the best term I probably could come up with something better but I just naturally say titan hall um titan hall is simply a very tight portrait I usually imprinting these as a as a ten by twenty is the very normal way I tend to, uh print these and and then frame it with a nice gallery kind of matt like uh you know the gallery art matt you know what I'm talking about yes and so the actual pieces much larger but what makes it really impactful is this strip in the middle with a five inch matte and then the frame around it on dh this is just kind of going in on what I want to see on what I care of it on the image on the left um office she's tilted a little bit to the side and we're going right in so the expression just you start with the eyes and you move slowly out right down and out of the frame the image on the right you go top to bottom you see everything about the little boy hands in the pockets standing up in the stool brilliant smile I love those teeth remember yesterday I said I love freckles and dimples the third thing I also love so much is gaps like gats I love gaps like lauren hutton my son caleb has a gap right there I told him like that uh when we went to that what dies because of you might wanna think about closing that gap what is wrong with you? I love that gap on the related to the titan hall if you were to take the titan hall and knock it over, you have panoramic panoramic is the other style I do very, very often, which is simply going this again, is the ten by twenty that I do a lot wide. There are so many images that benefit greatly by chopping everything out and going straight across and in image critiques when I do this on sessions that I do, I'm consistently finding at least one or two images that when I strip it into a panoramic, the photographers like that looks so much better. Um, and a lot of times what you're doing is you're basically just getting rid of extraneous information that you don't want when you're thinking about composition, when I talked yesterday about unclogging a shot start from the angle of every time you look at a frame think, what can I take out that won't hurt this? What can I do it? Just keep going, and you'll find that you can crop or tweak or adjust when you're shooting, um a lot, so that when you wind up with, is a really clean, uncluttered look that takes you right to your field of focus, or what you're most interested in, and for composition to be really striking. You want the viewer to go right into the point of interest, you might find that you're photographing the kid in a field and that's all you see, because that's refocusing on but if you snap that image and the viewer looks at it what they see is there's four five toys right there and then there's a truck back there and there's a barn that's cutting across the middle of the back of their head and then there's a telephone wire you didn't see this because you were very focused on the child if you were to re look at that image and then say ok what could I take out that wouldn't lose impact what you're actually doing is significantly improving the composition because you're allowing the viewer to just see your point of interest a lot more clearly that makes sense and feel free to say no nobody ever says that no that doesn't make sense your idiot I mean out loud without um uh emphasis on negative space enough this image um you know that's another thing I think that makes you a better photographer is loving your work and keep working until you love your work I mean there's certainly images I snap that I'm like I think about that one so what I do and I love it um this was a great image this was shot in my studio um we had the fan you know you're working the fan we have the fan on her um and suddenly we had a hair go rogue it just went up in a way where I wanted to go and this is this is the joy of having your camera at the ready and your technical settings ready that that list that ten steps? Supposing if you don't have those nine conquered, you can't get this, you can't get those moments. The hair was up and going we had a nice little keep, uh, rim light hair light shining it to give it its own little standout piece. Um, but this is the composition style, the framing styles emphasis on negative space. To me, this shot is not nearly as interesting. When it's tight do you see what we lose? What we're doing is we're all that space is giving that rogue hair room to play, and what it does is it adds to the whimsical feel of the image by giving it that space you had your like, okay, there's, the subject I love her bright eyes, awesome expression and look at that hair it's going all that room to play that's kind of what I want you to feel when you look at the image on and the way it's framed has a lot to do with that another image that showcases negative space. We're out here in a beach and we're playing and they're running through and what I want you to feel when you look at this image is something akin to and I'm just gonna slice part of my own life I feel like gosh there's a lot to dio there's a lot of people to take care of there's a lot of relationships to sustain shadow to relationships course in three days but there that that takes time and care there's a lot of bills to pay a lot of email to get through if I have those moments were all I'm doing is running on the sand because I'm a runner I am really conscious of sky and openness and airiness and less weight on me on dh more room to play and that's what this image says to me with that negus space the angle shot low and was showing all that air because I want to show the playful feel of it and the fact that that's that's again part of with the subject is is that room to go I think to me and you guys tell me if you feel similarly but it's a luxury to have that much space to go into in play um all right another composition style there's a lot in a row right guys wanna stretch for a second go like this before we go to split screen go up go down do this yeah, not the camera yeah okay, so um I've sat in courses and I felt myself like I love this but it's wow lot in row let me just take a break and move all right, every good deed, the internet just do that they had to move their body shake it telling, uh, all right. So split screen split screen is a style that I I probably work into nearly every shoot ideo, which is something that is the opposite of the rule of thirds, is literally like cutting it nearly in half, if not all the way and bringing some other element. This obviously could just be a close up of the family. And in fact, and in fact, what they ordered from this session is just then, which is great because your client will do that a lot because that's what they want to dio remember, I talked about how there's two ways teo to do it there's shooting what you want the clients want and they're saying what you want? I am totally okay for them just taking the image of them because they look so cute and fun together. But I also know I want this images for my purposes because I kind of like the feel of it, and I'm and if so, when the sale session they say, you know, we love that. Do you think we could just go right in on us that makes sense to me because they want to go right in on what matters that's what they care about what I want is to have kind of an interesting little dichotomy of how it's it's shot because that's what matters to me and so we should both be able to have that another version of split screen this image was shot probably one of I think the very first time I ever shot with a nikon d for I went out and I just you know, I made my subjects work for me my my look my humans um and just to play with it and we're out in kind of a, um an alleyway with just stairs going up and I'm shooting from the distance across from the wall obviously that's why you see the wall come in but this is a split screen as well with a couple other elements clearly as you can tell as I'm walking through these style this composition and framing styles nothing is just on lee that there's there's two or three elements of these styles in every shot um this one we have the wage we have her set up and we're the way we have the stairs going up this way and we've got this heavy foreground there's a few elements at play but it's another version of split screen and what I like about this split screen is that normally normally if I'ma critiquing an image and a subject's up here on the right hand corner eyes air going out remember I said that when you look at a frame you go into the subject's eyes and they lead you somewhere normally you would go in and she would take me in and out I would barely look at this image that's what happens when you're when the subject's eyes lead you to a certain place you either linger on the image longer or you bounced right out and when you bounce right out you tend to not be that impacted by an image it doesn't affect you as much that's part of why we want to compose so that when you're going in to the subject's eyes and you're traveling through you stay with the photograph longer and you have mohr feeling you feel more when you're looking at it that's part of what that rule is all about in an image like this you go in and you would technically normally bounce right out but this foreground it's so heavy that you kind of end up doing a little bit of a circle that's what you kind of have instead instead of just like bouncing right out your little struck by the different textures and the out of focus area and the whole thing and so if you're going to do a composition where your image your eye's gonna go right out you need to make sure the rest of it is as visually interesting and this foot screen will allow that for you another great example of this foot screen um but we've got heavy foreground and so on this one it's not as much a split screen reaction a little bit more she's almost exactly in that in the upper right hand third but we're leading into her with this heavy foreground um with a heavy four grand you can adjust you could take one image and shoot it to the right to the middle into the left and have totally different looks based on how you're using that foreground were going to show that on the live shoot today we're gonna be doing a lot with these framing composition styles next is leading lines who has not heard of leading lines it's like the first things you starving what about rule of thirds looting lines you hear that a lot basically just in case they're people out there who are exactly new photography you know what that's a great point you would never know this moving on okay um basically whether they're technically straight lines or diagonal lines or curving lines that new view in the point of having a leading lines in a composition is to somehow director viewer into your point of interest in some way you see this a lot of railroad tracks you know the real track and then boom there's your point of interest you see this on board walks a boardwalk might might kind of loop you then but then it takes you right. Teo, your subject, your point of interest, you see this obviously on window panes kind of coming in, she is positioned in the original structure was a little high, and I had our tucked down because I wanted that line to go right into her face so that that that's what you saw, you can do leading lines anywhere with anything. Um, this is simply playing on a countertop. I'm trying to get him interested in coming in for the photo shoot. She wasn't, um, and he had these crayons in front of him, and then I scattered them and pull them out towards me and then shot low and then use that as a leading line composition to make it a little more interesting. And as you can tell, the same exact image could be shot straight in, like, right up there on it would look totally different. So basically, the other thing, the other element to consider win having leading lines is that you want your path to subject to be clean and what I mean by that is you don't want a lot of things interrupting your leading lines. If you have railroad tracks, for instance, and you've got like, a two by two, you know, some sort of timber here, and you've got this that you have broken your leading lines, and they don't work as effectively and they don't feel as comfortable leading you into the subject. So you wanna have a path, that's just kind of going right in reflections. Reflections are a lot of fun. I photographed this down in australia, actually, at a workshop in sydney. The sweet little boy. And a lot of times, you can get this with windows. You could get this with doorways. You could get this with shiny countertops. There's, actually, little bit that in this one you see down there, little boy, uh, reflections are just especially if you get them really clear. And chris, they're they're kind of interesting in that they have this, like mona lisa. Look, if you look at him on the last time you looked him in the right, he looks different. His face looks different. That's how our body that's how we work. Have you ever taken in a horizontal image and flipped it horizontal much image of you of your face and flipped it? It doesn't look like you who's that person or like, oh, gosh, I'm hotter, flipped, dammit! Uh, but you look around the whole time with some sort of mirror. Um, but, yeah, the reflections could make for some really interesting shots I called that mona lisa look, because what a smile in one frame could look very different in the other and it's the same image it just has to do with most of us are not perfectly symmetrical so a reflection of us looks different um full frame full frame I do this a lot if you notice from that photograph I took of joseph laying in the bed I took it horizontal and I took it right off his face and I said I wouldn't want to do here is go for a full frame shot uh, so the full frame is basically something this is really a significant uh, framing option and I do this with ever issued I do because one of the things that we can do is professional photographers really well is philip frame and show what matters show very clearly the features these were the eyes look like this is what the lips look like uh, this is where the cheeks looked like this is the hair I mean, show me this child very, very clearly as best you can with a natural, genuine expression of some sort that's a really powerful photograph for parents tohave if they can't take them theirselves or uh get what I mentioned yesterday, the hardest thing to photograph is your own children so even if even if you are a professional photographer who does a really good job photographing children, you may not be able to get of your children. So this kind of thing, that full frame image is a really powerful composition technique that parents love. And of course, what's paramount with a full frame image more than anything is expression. Expression matters a great deal because it's the whole picture it's the whole photograph is that expression. So you really don't want to get that wrong? You don't want the fake smile. You don't want the vacant look because that'll that'll be emphasized times a million in a shot like this. Um, I could tell you with full assurance as a mother, this is my baby. These images matter a great deal. They have a lot of impact. This is a face and let me put this in context. What you're capturing in a full frame image is a face that the person you're doing the session for your client would literally die for literally would give their life before that I would give my life for her a million times over. I love this little girl and to see her this contained, which is not horrible. Um is really powerful to me. So to provide your client with an image like that that's. Full there we've got the face we've got an honest genuine look we see those eyes you know we have memorized so much about our children if you have children and for nieces or nephews or whatever we've memorized so many little parts of them and to see them all together tekken really well shot well lit with a really strong expression this is of all these techniques I'm talking about one that that is extraordinarily powerful and has a lot of feeling it evokes a lot of feeling for a client so when you're doing the sessions do not from get this shot this has you think well what what is this to do with posing? Because just the face there's posing in this the bodies held a certain way so that the face in the jawline and the chin is present in a certain way the eyes have to be tilted up at a certain levels we have enough light we have this break catch lights, there's a little bit of its hilt there's a shoulder movement that allows for the job luncheon to move naturally there's a lot of posing that goes into a full frame shot of a face. Any questions on that on full frame? You're just trying so hard to get these artistic awesome shots and I do that a lot with my children and you forget that that's what's miss deported is their beautiful faces yeah yeah and I agree I did the same thing I will forget I will say oh my god she's been like moves you know, maybe nine months or a year if whoever's closes hug her way way to relationships I already told the makeup artist for relationships it's all pure like water free mascara and maybe a facemask um yeah you forget sometimes and this becomes, um and again you don't need a you know uh trucked out dslr you could do this with your iphone really close and tighten clean but all those little elements the big thing the consider photographically has all those little element it's had a huge impact those slim all nuance of expression has a big impact on the whole frame I love these kids we do this for a reason okay? The complete opposite the complete opposite of the full frame image is little subject big world um that is what I call it this this this image and this image we're minutes apart it's a very, very different feel isn't not um I went and painted that mural just for the shot no, I can't paint can't paint I also can't right we know that I can write I'd like to write, but I don't know how to do this anymore so little subject big world is basically what you're doing is you're showcasing your subject as a small part of a big world and this is actually up against a large canvas painting in a museum. I didn't do that, um, but it means switching things up and and really emphasizing a more atmospheric scene and showing the relationship of your subject to where they are. So this sort of image shows like she loves this area she loves uses at the beach. This is in the sea island. If you guys know it in georgia, right? That's, right. State that's. Where? Iwas, uh, sea island, georgia. And they have all the spanish moss and these hanging trees and everything's. Gorgeous. Um, what you're showing is how your subjects fit into where they are, where they live, what they do. I love to pull back and get that atmospheric look. Um, it also shows how they feel about their location, their surroundings, the people there with you could do an atmospheric shot with a huge family with ten, twelve people, and they're just small little specks in a large shot. Um, the other lovely thing is, um, is recognizing that in essence, you're taking a landscape portrait. You are you're pulling back and showing some real perspective of how your little subject fits in this landscape. And when this works out very nicely is why clients say, you know what we even know we can't get one more photograph of our baby like our walls are filled with our baby but what I can dio can what I would love to do is get a large campus print of the scene that puts me at peace the most when I'm sitting exactly where you're standing taking the shot and I look back on those houses I know I'm in my happy place that's my happy place and it doesn't hurt that my little tot is in there somewhere that's where this atmospheric little subject big world image works quite well diagonals I love dagnall I loved agonal composition for a lot of reason but the biggest reason is diagnosed or basically off they're not right they don't work, they're kind of an oddity, you know they're not straight they're not up there not down um and they lead to a more dramatic image because they're unbalanced and insecure and I've dated guys who have been unbalanced mint and secure and I can tell you that's why dad girls are very interesting you don't want to marry them and be with them long term but to photograph them it's fine um I'd like to look for diagonals when I'm arranging some sort of composition and um a lot of times it's it's not so obvious you have to kind of pull back and find them um another way where you can find it is on this sort of image. The temptation. This is what we shot during the urban shoot. I think we showed this to an urban shoot. The temptation could be to go in really close on her. But then I missed that massive diagonal coming through the frame, so I want to step back in showcase. That is part of it. Oh, I told you the other day that I put out this on the facebook page. This is the finished image. I said that the other ones were pretty much out of camera. How this one is different from the one I pulled out of camera is first of all, you popped up the contrast a hair, so those colors a lot lot brighter, and then I pulled out. If you look on the left, there was a kind of a tear in the wall because they're doing construction, and I just pulled that out there's a box in there and that got pulled out simply by doing the content aware tool in photo shop where I selected it, and then I hit the delete key and it magically went away, so I think that's the technical term for it, it magically disappeared. Um, the other way you can create, diagnose when there are none is a simple camera told you're just tilting the camera and a straight horizon line now becomes a diagonal line. This becomes interesting when you want to mix it up a little bit and show some wildness to the scene remember diagonals are unbalanced, they're insecure and they make things feel a little off which is interesting to us which is intriguing to us it's not the same old same old this same shot going straight across doesn't have the same sort of wild nature to it and that's what I wanted to showcase obviously this is shot with a silhouette with really strong back light in the back lights part of it this is my little girl dancing in uh ho cootie coup new zealand for anyone new zealanders watching this make sure I said that right hope key no hokey tico I actually write it down hope atiku which is on the coast of new zealand and his dining it's so beautiful it's right near like a glacier right there that you can walk on um not relevant to the composition technique but still pretty interesting um you could obviously do that on the horizon line when I shoot horizons I either want them to be ramrod straight across or I want to have a significant tilt words clearly meant to happen on purpose it's the same thing with centering composition either when it smack dab in the center or I want it in one of my access points but I don't want it slightly off because it feels unbalanced in an uncomfortable way um if this horizon line were slightly off which you see a lot in images it's off in an uncomfortable way not in a striking way that pulls you in like a like a sharp diagonal portrait ce the typical portrait is often there's a diagonal at play where you just all you're doing there's nothing more you just camera till slight camera till you can see that horizon line go up and it changes the engagement the feel of the engagement a straight on image like this is not as interesting a slight camera tilt then what that does is it brings is his face more into that upper thirds which brings you in a little bit a little bit tighter and lower angle so I shot him a low angle quite a bit yesterday the bed part of what I was doing that as I was trying to manage the shadowing situation with contrast he like when you shoot with a lower angle but based on what you do is you change the way your subject is relating to the lens they have to look at you a little differently and they have to change their pose um if you heard me yesterday with joseph telling him I ask him to lean forward a little bit the chest whose chin up and down so what I so that the angle isn't me looking straight up at them she's doing the same thing she's kicked over to the left a little bit you can't really see it as much because I'm shooting low and I'm compensating for it but if she had been straight up and down it would have looked awkward like I'm going up her chin but because she's leaning forward she looks straight because I'm shooting from a lower angle you saw the shot from the urban shoot it's the same exact thing a very low angle can change the nature of your relationship to subject and everything around you in the image and another thing I love about very low angles is the ability to take everything out of the frame I don't I don't want the beach I don't want the flowers I don't want the sand castle in the bucket small bore stuff I just want sky and then I just want that look between them and sky and low angle allows me to basically recreate the scene that's in front of me and show only what I care about and that's it that's frightening and composition fantastic that everyone is love that somebody already wants was just I love this break this composition break down one of the videos available they will be up soon probably but let me let's go ahead and start asking some questions we do have some questions coming in about composition. Um art photography and akash both asked for a little more clarification on triangular competition if you could just clarify for them yes, yes, of course. So trying a composition is just literally trying to think um we get three subjects set three students up here I'll show you real time triangular composition so thank you very much. Um so you guys can come up here? Yep. We got karma lee neil and gus eso normally if I say hey, guys get together what do you do? Make sure you get together. Yeah, that is what you do right? And that's if I want to do a triangular composition, what I would consider is you know, assuming you guys are all family members um so, uh, actually what your family when you come here and then do me a favor and go and kick your legs over this way? Yep. And then you're just gonna be leaning back a little bit you're leaning almost hip and then guess you're gonna come in here? Yeah. Oh, I love you over so close on dh then and then so if if I'm getting them closer, I'm getting closer to it but I still don't have a triangle what I want with a triangle is you guys closer because I want to literally make a triangular shape from the way they're together on and then so I love how you could just bring it in love your family now you're the creative five family come on right yeah come here and then to be a favour scratch to the end of your seat the very end yet and then lean back I wanted her little shorter so I had to go to the end of the seat because it lowers her body uh huh and then you're gonna lean in here and then you're gonna stay you are just going on and then I'm gonna do something like like that, you know, like as a family right? And then neil coming this so this is it tries this this I mean I'm not going to go crazy on this I'm what I'm trying to show you really quickly is a triangle that's a triangle composition um what I'm doing then this is the frame which you know this is a triangle composition vs jump back to how you were remember when I said yep yeah go get together hey, that is just kind of flat and across so the triangle basically sets them up obviously if I were working with them to take a real portrait we would then work on all the ten steps we talked about and finessed the pose and also stuff but that is what a triangle composition is way to love each other waited, you know, gotta break through the societal norms. Exactly. Uh, we've got a question from elena wolf. Andi, actually, one from theresa's. Well, what? Lindsay using for the bird's eye when you're standing above and taking shots of them lying down. And how do you prevent your own shadows while you're standing up higher? Excellent question. And then one more just wore on the birdseye. How do you best avoid getting the thick neck on adults when they're holding there? Okay, there's, no way. I would remember all this questions. Okay, so let's, go ahead and start with hey, what? Lindsay all right, so what? Lance and his obvious sanity is a wide angle option. So it's either literally the wide angle lens. So it's, the thirty five one four is really fantastic if I've got a control group, um, the three kids together, the little girl who just came home, he was adopted and the two boys looking at her that was with thirty five lens. So if I have three little people and I'm shooting down, I'm fine with the thirty five I have photographs families of five, six seven birdseye where I show them altogether on dh it's so uncomfortable that the expressions are fantastic and that's what the twenty four high so that's me setting the setting the focus up here I can't even hold it to me it's like this and then I'm shooting down with a twenty four for a for a singular child I could I'm probably still with the thirty five and I lean in yeah eighty five would be very tough to be super tight and I wouldn't show so much of the relationship so that's probably what I'm doing and then how do you prevent your own shadow when you're standing so I watch where I am in relation to the light that's the biggest thing I have to watch where I am obviously this exactly where I am I see my shadow coming right here this would be a problem so I would shoot like this and then just last one really quick how do you best of handle avoiding thick neck on adults when you shoot birds eye and they're like holding their kids yes that's a great point so if you saw when we're photographing mom and baby on the bed one of the first things I did was before put him down I looked at how she looked and how she wasn't relation and I knew what I wanted to do which was to turn her head to the side if I were shooting her looking straight up anybody would have that going on so there's two ways to resolve that one is to put a pillow of underneath her upper back so that it actually puts the head back and then I have to adjust my focus to shoot this way do you see that that makes sense so what I'm doing is having her instead going thiss she's now doing this and then I'm gonna shoot it so our eyes are still looking normal like it still looks like she's laying down normally but I'm going up and over of it to compensate for the angle shift but then she looked then that's gone so that's the first thing the other thing is when I turned her to the side ah lot of that goes away and if you notice I had her lay so if she's laying down on the bed I had her body this way and because her body was this way it naturally connected so that her chin was out on her jawline was out and then that controlled that as well um knew from melbourne australia it was asking about the landscape or the panoramic view and how you captured that it seems like you might be using a different lens so for a panoramic view very frequently using a very wide lens I also have the fourteen to twenty four lens which is an extraordinarily a wide lens and what it does is because naturally the very wide lenses will naturally distort the edges so what I'll do is I'll shoot if I'm shooting with nine hundred eight hundred I have so much room in there to do cropping and still have a high resolution image I can shoot that way and then cropped out the edges and have that have that worked quite well, but I can also shoot that with a twenty four and go really far back and know that I'm just taking it. But what you have to do when you're shooting a very panoramic image is keep your focus on this that middle third, because that's, what you're keeping is the middle third, you've got to keep our focus on everything in your mind you're thinking that's my frame inside this on dh that makes a huge difference. So a z pack rat when shooting so tight as in the last horizontal shot of your daughter. How do you account for the picture frame clients may use and with some of these non standard crops like, how do you account for picture frames or whatever printing they're going to do? That's a great question I specifically tell them I shoot for what's best for the image presented and we do framing e I can't drop this down to the eight by ten to fit your frame. But it's going to shift it this way? And I really think it's best presented as an eight by twelve, for instance, depending on what the composition isn't doing ifit's a panoramic shot, and they wanted to fill in eight by ten also, I could do that, but I shot this, as you know, and eight, five, sixteen maybe or whatever it is on go lose this and this I could go on, but I can still give you the chunk of what you want the competition's not nearly a striking. I really love it like this. Uh, but, you know, we say that ahead of time, when we part of that setting expectations is we that we speak to how we shoot for what is best for the image and that and that had so I've never had somebody say wolf that I need to make that eight by sixteen fitting eight by ten, so forget it, like because there's something striking about the different look of it. And this was a question I also saw yesterday. When you're doing these, do you ever shoot with extra space for gallery wraps or any sort of, you know, again, space on the edges that you might lose for printing to be safe, I typically like to give a little extra space. Knowing that I'm gonna crop in post, I don't do it a lot because I don't want extra job in post you know, like I'd rather crop it in camera as well as possible that being said I could also distinctly stretch the images on a galley rap or you guys know what I mean by that like pull the pull the frame out this way that way through free transform in photo shop or what I could do is just simply have to do this often simply suggest they do the black edges and so it goes with everything and probably seventy five percent of what we sell our the edges the blockage is perfect thank you you're welcome um so as faras tilting goes when is it appropriate? Cause I feel like I see a lot of photos that are tilted sometimes but you don't have a reason so when when you're tilting, what air you so like what's the purpose and when are you thinking to tilt that's a great question so the reason I don't over tilt I think things could get like the whole thing is over tilted it's exhausting it's exhausting to look att session that everything's tilted the impact comes in because of the rarity because that's why diagonals work because they're unusual and they're unbalance and they're insecure they're unstable and I keep feeling like I'm describing ex boyfriends for my perspective, of course the s o the reason they work is their unusual so if they're done every time it kills the impact and it almost becomes a little bit like what's that feeling when you're on a ride and it's just constantly going it's not it's not as interesting interesting ironically enough you lose the interest so the diagonals and you know, maybe on two or three images in the whole siri's and when they work is if you have a straight up and down portrait you saw that one image of my son my caleb up there is when they work is it this image straight up and down? We've been pretty boring, right? It would've been like a passport photo it's kind of not that much fun, but by just doing a little bit of a tilt then you have more emphasis on his eyes because it's closer to that point thie other, you know, another image that really shows that off is, uh, wow, we talked about a lot. My goodness. Yeah, buddy. Yep. Uh this one. This shows you that exactly because the way the tilt is her eyes are very close to that upper acts upper left access point on dh this same image imagine it shot straight on you don't have much engagement with her eyes with her expression and that's what I want you to c is the playfulness up and down it's, a triangular composition. But it's got a camera tilt to it on dh. Mostly when the decision is made is when I look to the frame, and I'm like, this is kind of boring. What can I, what can I do to make us a little more interesting on dh? Then I add a little camera told

Class Description

TO RSVP FOR TAMARA'S NEW CLASS, Capturing Authentic Children Portraits, CLICK HERE!

Children are not professional models, nor even enthusiastic about posing. While children are inherently beautiful, they aren’t naturals at sitting still. This creates a hurdle for photographers attempting to capture the personalities of younger, restless subjects. However, it’s not impossible to get a child to pose for the camera — you just have to speak their language.

After more than ten years of shooting, celebrated children's photographer Tamara Lackey has developed a language for effectively communicating with her younger clients. In this 3-day course, you will learn Tamara’s 10-point system designed to secure gorgeous, expressive images — including her formula for building to “the final shot.”

By the end of this workshop, you’ll be armed with a toolkit of tried-and-true methods easily adaptable to your own style of shooting, transforming your children’s photography practice into a seamless workflow.

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