Mood Management - Step 4

 

Children's Posing Guide

 

Lesson Info

Mood Management - Step 4

Um, mood management, so you'll notice mood management is a totally separate line item here different step in the pit in the system from expression in spirit. Oh, anybody want to take a stab at? Why? Come on, step away, give it, bring it. If the mood is not right even when you get the clothes, the location, lighting everything right the the picture I mean, it will be a failure failure there's nowhere to get janet. Yes, I think there's a lot to that. Anybody else had a point? It's really happy. Ah important to keep everyone happy and like you were saying, going to it has to be a good experience for people and if they're not having a good experience, the whole shoot could be compromised. So keeping them happy in happy mood. He's really in powerful. Okay, so I agree with that and I make a can make I think a very significant distinction. I am not interested in keeping everyone happy. I am interested keeping ever engaged and there's a really big difference there because happy just means happ...

y could be a lot of work. Happy takes happy doesn't happen for hours at a time happy happens in bursts. You know, um if I could keep everybody engaged for hours at a time that means I can engage with them to get them low and quiet and soft and I could get them spirited up in this on dh then as I'm catching happy hey that's awesome caught happy um but you know it's rides me if I went teo yes no red robin they have a great veggie burger. They weren't the first people to have a veggie burger this very thrilled is vegetarian to goto burger place and have the vegetarian burger um but, uh, I remember going to red robin once and they had a sign up this huge poster up that said this is was the quote on it always happy, never empty it was about their bottomless drink special and it just struck me just you know, I said they're always happy never empty there's so much pressure and I don't want my clients to feel that way. I don't want them to feel that they always have to be happy and they can't be depleted like I expect them to be depleted on a shoot. I expect them to get worn down and kind of done for a little bit you as my audience, you're this is three really big days with a lot of detail coming at you, I expect there's a couple times that you're just like why is she still talking? And if I expect that up front, then I can try to manage it a little bit. I can't I can't control you, but I can influence your engagement, right? And what I want is engagement for the whole time, but but happy is awesome. I just don't I don't think consistent happiness works it anywhere for anybody, I think contentment khun, be something we can all okay, I'm going on that's for our relationship scores starting on saturday. Um, so mood management mood management is significant for that for that respect, like I want people I want to start with making sure that I get them in engaged mood. Um, so the, uh the one thing that I find is, um I just did a shoot recently and actually, uh, the dad for the shoot, maybe tuning in because he's a photographer as well, I didn't shoot recently where we went met them in raleigh, which is about the twenty five, thirty minutes from my studio in north carolina. We met them in downtown rally, and as we part the car, we're walking up the street and what I could hear from a distance was screaming and crying and know that I think that's my way around the corner and the her parents just like the so easygoing, so relaxed, so, like, go with it, and they know to do that. And so I was like, first of all, major kudos to you, but they're they're bribed their reward for after the shoot was that they were going to take her to this kid's museum that we found out was closed, and so that she spent the whole time talking about, like, right after shooting over the kiss, we seem there talking all the fun things they're gonna do their and how this is going to that, and I wonder if so, and so will show up. And and apparently they show up minutes before we did, and they had just discovered that it was closed and their daughter is just is very just, like she's, just well beyond the fact that she's I think she's I mean, I think when I met her at age two, she was reading in a five year or six years reading level already was kind of crazy were walking past signs and she's saying she's spelling out letters and like, you could do that, um, so she picked up on it right away and she knew the gig was up, and so she was done going to go home, and I was like, and so I know, I know right away that that is that is the worst case of there, or you're walking into a major uphill battle, and you've gotta shift it, and mom and dad and everything right, you can't control some things you can't control that the reward was shut down. S o what I what I do in that sort of instance, is the last thing I'm going to do, the last thing I'm gonna do, what I walk in and see the mood is gone is, say, let's, take photographs like, I'm going to hide my camera, I'm gonna zip it up and put it away. I'm gonna I'm gonna take off any pressure of you need to perform in any way, and I'm gonna put my full emphasis on mood management and what that might mean for that fur is it did in this case, is simply stepping back and letting what's happening just continue to happen and then just kind of say, well, is there something else we could do? Well, we ended up doing was breaking into their little garden that a kid's garden area, and we kind of threw her over the fence, and I went in after we toddle around with a little camera, and she felt a little bit more like, you know, um that she's getting some of it and I kind of felt like we were breaking the law. But, you know, I think in those those kind of insane, this is the first it's triage and have you guys had those experiences when you walk in and it's just like a worst case scenario in terms of mood? So the first thing I do for a mood management when I'm in a worst case scenario is triage mostly what I have to do is simply put my subjects at ease so I can get them mohr engaged, and that means either the camera right away if I walk in there's times that you walk in and kids say, I'm ready, take me picture go a little at me, you know? And the first thing I'm gonna do is about the camera say, yes, I will, and and that that is where I'm gonna get the mood on my side a lot of the time, somebody the camera away and I'm just starting to get to know them and then snapping a couple things subtly as as they're warming up. Um now, what is the other thing of mood manage it? I'm talking about the kids. Where else does it apply? Parents, parents think of it always think of this invisible thread between the parents and the kids I want them all in the same place. I do not want to put all my attention on the children and ignore the parents for a couple reasons one this osmosis of energy that they will pick up when they're stressed on my parent's face there winds up being stressed behind my kid's eyes, they see that so often. Um, the other thing is, I want to sell the experience of the shoot, so I want, you know, the client, we sit down the sale session to feel like I had a great time there, you know, it's kind of going to a park, and you have a great time at the park, even if the photo is okay, you want a memory of the experience, right? And I mean, like a theme park, an amusement park when you go to amusement park to have a horrible time and there's a great photo, you're still like, well, I don't wantto I don't remember that that's the same thing with this sort of session, like, I'm not just selling the photographs and selling the experience that we had um, so this is what I find a lot if I'm not managing mood effectively, this is not an uncommon sort of thing, you tell kids to get together a gift bag, um, what I find in experiences where I have the mood working with everybody except for one is then that adds a shift and go laser focus on the other, bring them in and then slowly bring the sister or family in have you guys had the spirits where every once in a great mood and the one is just not into it at all? Yeah, so then what I'll do is I'll shift and I'll put all my focus on managing their mood and then bring anybody else in and so what's the other thing about mood what do we know about mood it's very similar to a happy you don't stay often you don't stay happy and that's that sounds so negative what I mean is we have this happy ending scenario in our head of what happy means and I think it's uh who was it that said? Was it orson welles who said that um if you want a happy ending it depends on where you end the story I think that's that that applies critically two photographs if you want a happy image click because it's not going to stay on and this is what I find with mood this is a very normal cycle with a session this is so normal and I have people like to say to me all the time like, well, it just seems like you just mostly get happy kids I have happy moments with kids and that's that's what we are experiencing when we're doing these photographs of these photography sessions and it's the same thing with adults and families and stuff like that, I don't think I ever have a nonstop everybody's, so into it experience, I am going to go through these cycles, and I'm going teo, then shift into mood management as needed, and sometimes that means I go in and I get really focused and I interact now, the teams, that means I pull back and let it just happened and get some really cool observational shots of people crying. Uh, so I call the smooth management I could have easily called it energy management it's the same thing, you know? And I think part of what's really interesting is that a lot of photographers I know will say, you know what, I've got really busy life I've got to get there, I can't sit there and, like, tune into the energy, I need to click some shots like, well, the first thing the energy part comes first you do, we need to tune in to get the shots that you're hoping to get. By the way. I'm psychologist called this cognitive shifting it's the idea that, you know, if you can have a moment by moment awareness of a mood cycle. You know you would be would be the university would be all things powerful. You'd be amazing as a photographer, you kind of want to be in that thing just having an awareness of where we're going and shooting accordingly and shifting um all right. Other times when you're on a shoot, especially with I find this with brothers a lot, I have punching and smacking and biting and kicking, and this is the shot I have today. Um what I what I do a lot is recognize that that moods shift like the breeze I never have an expectation. I talk about setting expectations have to set my own expectation, I never have the expectation that I'm going to keep them in any sort of place emotionally, energetically, I have the expectation that it's all going to change, and I get what I can get until I could try to get something else and that's that's kind of how it goes, so even though they might be fighting and kicking and punching here, I'll move them apart for two seconds where they both look up at me because I do something really dramatic, something that piques your curiosity, something that's weird or unusual enough for them to say crazy lady doing something and then I get the shot and then they go back to rolling on top of each other that's kind of what a lot of it is so the down mood we talked a little bit of that happy versus sad versus upset moods the downloads aren't bad right like a lot of times when they're in a poor space you know they just need comfort they need a moment um I don't know how many mothers will say to me oh gosh don't get anything with his binky and his pacifier this or that but every so often it's like well that's what comfort him that you you know those those images could be really beautiful and timeless and sometimes it's just this idea of warming up they're not they're not against the shoot there just not into it yet they're not quite there do you see that look I'm not here that's if she could have a t shirt I would say I'm not here yet I see this so often and I'll see this in the middle of a shoot I'll see this after like a big rush of energy they just kind of I'm busy I go away I go I'm gonna go away for a while uh and then I also see the big frenzied energy the like just spray it down baby just bring it tio I see this very often as well okay so mood management a critical part and it starts before you ever click and it happens the whole shoot through

Class Description

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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.