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Park Shoot Challenges

Lesson 19 from: Children's Posing Guide

Tamara Lackey

Park Shoot Challenges

Lesson 19 from: Children's Posing Guide

Tamara Lackey

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Lesson Info

19. Park Shoot Challenges


Class Trailer

Day 1




Posing Rules


Clothing Review - Step 2


Location - Step 3


Mood Management - Step 4


Point Lighting - Step 5


Technical Settings - Step 6


Lesson Info

Park Shoot Challenges

What we're going to dio is we yesterday we did an overview of appreciate we did in urban shoot where we went out with the two girls, we ran around patrol hill and got a bunch of fun images that then what we know also did was a shooting golden gate park, but when I played back the urban shoot, um, we had a lot less time. It had been edited down, and there were several shots that I was like starting to refer to, but then they weren't there here, the fantastic editing team and thank you very much. Nico gave me most most everything from the shoot out in golden gate park so that I can stop on things that seem like to the regular, you know, just anybody glancing in pretty innocuous but have significant impact on how I'm getting certain shots. Um, so this is shot with a wide angle close up on the subjects, and then the images that got this that I got this includes all the images, like the shots that were happening versus just pull the very perfect ones and photoshopped them really well and pr...

esent them because I want to show you kind of where we're going as we're getting things, so one of the big things I find when I'm out photographing children is I am not taking every shot with the expectation that that is the one to deliver I take about three hundred and deliver about sixty about sometimes it's less images that I'm shooting what I don't do is just hope something works I'm still giving a lot of thought and focus to what I'm getting at, but I don't want over on my client by giving them too much I also don't want to undershoot and only wait till a moment's perfect sometimes those in perfect moments are the ones that are really powerful so in this uh this shot shoot we have um in golden gate park we've got a three and a four year old very cute little boys who are little boys they're running around, they're playing they've got a lot of room to go when they're going what I'm finding is that instead of meat perfectly setting them up all the time I have to respond to what they're doing. If I were to try to force them into a pose, they would not only, like run away it wouldn't work uh the the images wouldn't look very natural and it wouldn't look very organic, so instead what I have to do is find out what they're doing and tweak it into a pose that's a lot of what this will show um I'm gonna go ahead and give my normal disclaimer I apologize for my voice it's going to be here ho wait turn that down a little bit it is a little there's a hair come upon this big tall rock come up oh and also you may notice by the way we went out and did a shoot it was uh it was about four for thirty five four thirty or something the five o'clock the fog had rolled in and it it dropped ninety seven degrees very vast in golden gate park so lauren who is with us was very sweet to give me her jacket which by the way was vegan leather it was pleather I was so happy eso because she gave me her jacket and then I also because it was a short cropped jacket which I like for style I I also had like runaround cut up genes the jeans I have all have holes in the knees not for style but because of the repeated practice of hitting the knees when I mount photographing children so we also had a little shirt tied around my waist so I don't have to show you parts you don't want to see a really quick question because I know it comes up every time we see it the reflector that your assistant is using okay so this is a large reflector this is about a fifty inch or so reflector I use I have something like um actually you know what I have a page on adirama adama that calm ford slash pages ford slashed tomorrow. Lackey if you could test that, make sure I'm right. That shows the equipment that I use and the reflectors they use I use something like eight or nine reflectors at differ at times on dh. They all kind of worked for different things. In this case, we're using about a fifty fifty foot ish reflect fifty five, fifty inches reflector we've got a silver side and we've got a white side when I say reflectors, because sometimes I'm using reflector you're going to see this on the live shoot today, not to reflect light or to fill in shadows, but simply to diffuse light or to block light on that. What you have is some reflectors have the option where you can zip on some sort of flag, which darkens and stops alight. So if you want to make shade, you have the opportunity that some reflectors have the option to take off the reflecting part all together and it's just defused. So you just make a trans lucien's. Thank you. Thanks for the word. Um translucent, yes, translucent. That was what I was thinking of. It makes it translucent. So the benefit of having a larger reflector on a shoot especially if you have someone who can help you in this case, I was this wonderful, lovely hands some assistant I really appreciated him, um, but other times I often ask the parents to help, or I will do it myself. But the large reflector, the more difficult obvious it is to reflect and balance the light and also shoot questions coming in just before we jump in is about assistance on dh shooting by yourself. If you want to talk about that. Yes, so up until probably about a year and a half ago, I did overshoot by myself, always thousands, and and I became extremely used to using the reflector myself, and you'll see that in a lot of footage that you've seen me shoot, I still do that a lot still use the reflector myself over the last year and a half, I started wanting tio kind of changed the game a little bit and do something is that we're a little tougher to pull off when you're holding reflector, so I started pulling in assistance on dh, having them work with me, but even when I was only using reflector by myself, I would have the parents hold reflector ah lot now, using the reflector, you would think it's just like here, hold it like that and stay it is not that simple. First of all, most people, when asking them to find the light with the reflector, don't quite know where to start. And that's for good reason if you think about the fact that we have three point lining we have a main light let's assume we're outside and the main light is the source of the sun that's our main light and it's coming from here I'm shooting in an open field so you would I think that basically that's the main light and I just need to pop it back towards that right? Yes and no, it depends on where you are in that field if I am off to the side a little bit on dh there's a big grey boulder and we're right behind the boulder the lights actually coming from here bouncing here going up to my subject so it seems odd that you would reflect against the light gray or white thing in the shot but that's actually the light's coming from not from the sky and so most people just pointed automatically or they go opposite the sky and then they wonder why the reflector is not working. If you just think to yourself light travels in a straight line no matter what light travels in a straight line, then you khun see the geometric you know kind of balance of where you are if I'm here and is a bright, great like grave thing here and the sun's coming here there's a really good chance it's bouncing off that or if I am on the edge underneath a roof, for instance, let's say, I'm in a house, I'm on the edge of a house, leaning against a wall and there's a roof that comes down this way, the light's not coming from here, it's going here, here, that's, how it sitting, my subject it's bouncing off the light gray sidewalk. So I actually went to reflect from where the light's coming from, not from the main light source that's how you get more powerful use of using fill light is just think to yourself, light travels in a straight line. Where is it really coming from? Not just the obvious skye does that help? Fantastic, wonderful! So in this case, we're out in this kind of field, and depending on where the kids are, we have to actually reflect from a different spot when you're asking parents or somebody extra toe help do the reflector, it always always helps to you to set it up yourself first. So instead of saying, can you just find the light and then have them struggle and get frustrated? Wonder why they're paying you to do your job? Say it's just like this, all you need to do is hold it and then just left like that. The other thing is if you were using a very precise phil yesterday we had really harsh contrast the light and when we move the gold reflector to reflect on the girl's face, it was just a little you had to get it right. You notice that you had to get it right in the right spot and you could quickly go away imagine, have you ever sat in a room and howto watch and you could see it go like this and see the light go across the ceiling does anybody we're watching her imagine you're sitting there with a reflective iphone, but you know, I mean, you see that or you play with your cat like that, how much fun that isthe uh, it's the same exact thing with the reflector and but but just a slight movement goes really far, and so you have to be really conscious of holding it in place uh, when you have a larger reflector and you've got a soft diffuse light coming because you got a lot of cloud cover your you don't have to be that precise, you can still get a lot of bounce from a really wide space, so we're here we're out running around with the kids, we've got this large reflector and they're you know they're being then they're not listening to me for say, what's happening to you well, of course it does. It's helping stake hello. Alright, let's, try. Come right up here. All right. That's a good spot. Can you climb up with him? One of the first things you see as I move them up to the boulders. The reason I do that is because I've got all this bounce of light coming from the boulders and I notice when they were on the ground it was really dark and their eyes were really dark and I was losing that light catch. I knew that I was gonna get it if I put them up on a light grey surface plus, visually, I could make something from that as well. This is your poppy brother, remember? Oh, well, they had just met and we told them they were to play the part of brothers and they didn't want to be brothers. So we said, what if you play the part of dogs who were puppies together and that was a little more interesting to them. That's, that's, your best location that's your best side. Okay, got it. So why don't we do this? You guys stay right there and then I'm gonna have step all the way back here already, but you guys don't do anything but stay right there and definitely eat your hand that's very important if I had just started walking away and not said I'm gonna move all the way back here you guys stay there remove all way back here I mean, a lot of that instruction sounds pedantic like got it you're moving but if I don't say that they jump off the rock and follow me it's very important to eat your hand ok, good. We got one down and what? Okay then the eating parts over. Okay, ready? We're gonna try to figs can you think you think you both put your hands in your pockets just like this? Could you put your head but there's probably a mouth in there that will chew on your hands. So go ahead and put your hand your pocket and find your find your love there's a there's a pocket mouth pocket mouth to you with the chocolate mouse don't put your hands on sharp cut off my finger oh, my that's just not a good idea you're gonna need that for texting later, right? Put this in here. Oh, very good. Watch this, ok? And then you come right here. Remember there's all the details this little boy had just gore just like locks of kroll hair and when you ran around it would kind of find a little bit and we went up a little bit it just looks so lustrous beautiful so I was doing that a lot with him do you there just like that as you are because you look amazing ready? You want to see what you see what he's doing so if you could do that and that's nothing that theo idea of using one too mirror for the other watch what he's doing do it just like that I do that a lot with multiple cancer you think? Well are you okay? Okay, very good. Wow, look at you two okay? Stay as you are just this but you know how you're facing me go like this and then look back at me like this yeah, just like that. Oh, very good. Okay, and then do me a favor come back about that, steve I don't even know how much ballots were getting if anything but let's be optimistic and pretend we're good except okay everybody does anybody see the sun come out yet? So do you see right there? Those catch lies in both of their eyes it's a combination of the light grant great underneath we didn't have that they were just in the grass um and the balance from the reflector which is really large and we've got this nice soft diffuse light when he goes black and white by the way that's me flipping over to show you a photograph of it but what if there's not a photograph yet uh that is just black and white just explain and we're not just tricking you out waving to your fans hello? Heads people people have got it for you, okay, I want to try something I want to hate guys you know I'm a try. I want to see if I can get so we start with this this is like a nice just kind of framing shot where we are get something remember I said yesterday kids on if you've got them both looking in the same direction with smiles that's amazing start there because you don't know if it'll ever happen again both of you but a devil I want to see if I can get both of you to jump off the tallest rock at the same time do that you could do it but each like your tallest rock each like you're already on your rock and your on your rock, right? Okay, how about this? When I say it's time you guys jump and buy that I'll just say cora when I said globeop that means jump okay, okay, you can take your hands out your pockets for now, ok? Because you gotta have your hands ready for your big jump, okay, so what's the word for job glor ba okay, what to what was already did that's him just prepping to get ready and by the way on this shot again remember what I told you I was gonna pull these already much as is and then worry about editing later on this shot I'm gonna go a lot in and I'm gonna make it remember that little shot of joseph on the bed how we could frame it in a way that's a lot more interesting and post through cropping that's what I would be doing what was the right in what I can't hear you well it was globe and you see him holding the camera way from my face and shooting while I'm getting expression because if I were to put the camera back up to my face I would lose him and I have to keep that connection and if the camera's really close and I'm a pretty fair distance it looks like he's making eye contact so again it so much of this is the anticipation we're about to do something and that's actually where the shot it's happening they don't know that they think they're gearing up for the shot but that's often more with the shot is because when I have time I say jump there jump is like this you know and I know everything but right now he's about to go it's that flood of like this is exciting uh did you ever see the movie the hours do you that maybe you read that book it's based love lucy and virginia woolf ish background knowledge but there's the scene with meryl streep and they're getting ready for this party and this this actually is relevant the story they're getting ready for this party and she's running around the whole day shopping for it and getting things ready and in just a really good mood and bubbly and it's all anticipation they're all gearing up for this big party and when the actual party occurs there's a lot of stressful situation that unfolds and then something really dramatically sad happened said I want a room for you in case you haven't seen the movie but what she realizes later if she looks back on that day and she said I was happy when I was anticipating it that's when I was happy and I missed it I kept waiting to be happy like I knew I'd be happy when the party started and the whole day I was happy I just didn't see it because I thought it was leading up to something I find that to be very relevant in portrait sessions when something's about to happen we have so much life in us and so much excitement is so much anticipation and that's where the shots come in that are very powerful it's not the jump it's thea I'm about to jump when you want to sit down for a second way have last you're peppy brother I do not know where you were gonna try something because I know there's parents back there and there to grab him I'm fine otherwise I have to go get him cb cb so you're gonna be me you look just like me all right I'm gonna just take foliage from your face and hair and you're wearing a small forest back your shoes do you put your feet up like this you do this you have your knees without without falling when you make your booty off st st like that put your hand like this try it but this is really cool watch this this one makes a noise ready oh it's a slide I've lost him and you're doing it that was it you wouldn't have lied all right let's give you a slide moment let's give you a slide moment here I'll get to all right let's go back and try can you remember what I did can you remember it but you think I'm gonna get that shot no that was almost exactly does it matter now we move on number I said don't stay married to a shot feel cheap going ifit's so much resistance then lets us to something that's more in did you have to know what I was going for them it would be a great thing now in the chat rooms noted that the bottom boy was mirroring you have just yeah that actually okay you know what I do for you right here so you did that we're gonna try something fun lay on your land your belly and I'm gonna shoot this way let's let it those eyes big time because your eyes are beautiful your eyes kind of looked like um a dom but that's a really good thing cause I loved all guys so much they look like big brown soulful tell me if you understand what I say when I say did you see that it's hard when pie there we go so you know these these moments like I couldn't have found that but he was already doing that I saw that the corner my eye so I jump in and say let's make something from this um that light those eyes would have been completely brown and dark without that reflector that reflector came over and just and that's where I want the emphasis and the focus to be the composition is one where he's going up and out a little bit so I'm going to frame it vertically and give it room to move because your eyes you teo but your eyes kind of looked like um a dom but that's a really good thing cause I love dog eyes so much they look like big brown soulful tell me if you did you see him up here well, if that's what we're doing, I'm going to do that to what I say when I say that's ready mary and so that's lifting up a little bit more and again when you look at the two shots one of them is for you, like, as a photographer there's something to that another one is like what kind of interest in my boys straight on, you know and that's where you're kind of shooting both what I said I don't know what does that mean what you were trying to be doggy come here we know. Can you lean like this or is that too crazy for you? You control it. Okay, put your arms out to save yourself. Oh, look. Atyou leg. D'oh. Okay, so we're here on look how on the bottom it's funny when you said that that she commented that the little boy was nearing him behind that reflector I can't see that and I'm seeing it now for the first time. It's really funny he's doing that because okay, I'll do that too. Wow, that was a really good. You need help up for you guys is not it? Help up! You are flying. You're shying! Come here, puppy eyes hey, you want you want a check with your handlers? He's checking in with the handlers all right, so quick note right there, did you see I put my hand out and he walked away from me how does that feel when you're on a shoot and you're trying to do that and someone just just curious have you guys had that experience? Does it ever affect you or do you think nothing of it? Well, what do you got? Well, first it's kind of a rejection but then but then you know, you can it's just like this split second for me is like rejection and then okay next okay, okay, and I'm glad you said that because I've heard that from a lot of photographers when they feel like, oh, I'm I'm not bonding with kid I'm messing it up or I'm not really good with kids uh, one of the biggest things teo think about when you're photographing kids if you really want to understand them is that this is a really weird experience for them. This is not a normal thing you're trying to frame them, impose them and put them in a certain position and their comfort level is somewhere else. It doesn't mean they won't run into your arms within five minutes with no problem, but none of that I mean the idea of attaching yourself emotionally from that and just saying you're not into it let's go back again and and I could do it ten, fifteen times um allows me so much more control over the situation, the ability to really shoot a lot more fairly about what's happening and not get kind of coward by it. It's the same. The philosophy with sales like I could be showing images to a client. And, you know, we went over this in detail during our sales workshop. I could be showing images to a client and that client could very much say to me. I do not like that image and I could either. Oh, well, in that case, we'll let's just let's. Just not look at any more than you know, or I can say, well, that's completely your prerogative. Let's. Move on to the next one, and then by keeping a very kind of detached of you in some of this, you have a lot more power to control the situation. Interestingly enough or influence, I can't control it. She could influence it. All right, so we left him to our handler. Thank you. Good habit. This why don't you run and jump over me? So that was just literally he's looking back at me, right, there's? Nothing more than that. That was cloud I do. I do to get in that's. Funny. All right. And jump over me. That was class you would. And so just like in a moment, this is eight seconds later he has no problem jumping on top you know? I mean like so you don't want to get so caught up in these little kind of moments that you miss the fun part of letting them warm up and be comfortable with you it doesn't make sense that they would be totally come with you within even a couple hours really good again, do you? I try what you see this run oh my god that was really good but I don't know where this one comes from that he does oh hey there then read about me okay you want me to help you? You're not getting my face are you all right? Come on over there and read up you could sit on my shoulders my wife towards their ok but tell me if you were still on my shoulders with your legs towards there how would you run from over there? Uh I would run and then jump on your shoulder okay good start over there and they come and jump on my shoulders ok alright ready ready to watch him okay, so go back from there and then this is going to be the running jumping on the shoulder shot you probably don't know you I think we abandoned that reflector for this one ok, you ready? So we get rid of the reflector because it's not gonna help at the speed he's going to go because he's an older kid it still would have helped the little boy because he was a little slower this one's gonna go faster or so I thought at first and and what I'm doing right there is I'm adjusting my technical settings because now that he's gonna be in motion, I want to make sure I set it up to have a higher ist izo in a higher shutter speed and then by that very nature than I'm gonna have a nearer aperture or the larger number because I want to have a little more ability to catch what's in focus. One big thing when you have moving subjects on dure relying, I'm doing this in single shot mode, but if you're relying on the autofocus or thou servo or the continuous mode focus when subjects air coming right towards you it's actually tougher for a camera to grab that focal point versus when they're going across your frame. It's actually easier for the for the camera to catch focus when they're going across the frame so because I know that I'm going to go ahead and make my aperture narrow her so that when he comes at me I have a better shot of catching the focus this is going to be what do you call this red shoulder in okay, I'm whatever you call it I'm ready for it that's what I try it again okay so before he starts to get off a shot that anticipation thing and I get something really fun then he does that okay and that's what? I don't know what that is. All right come here let's try this right kids come here. I want to try one more shot over here who's into it which one of you you're all right I'm gonna throw the eighty five on please this is going to be a man po's we're going to make you manly ready for it. I'll help you help you are you a no are you ready for it here I'll just make the theistic have a picture just the stick so neither one I'm interested in doing a portrait I want to do one just simple clean bullet full length portrait I think it's a tree or something and put them a couple different ways that's my intention that's my goal no ones that do it. So um what have to find is what would be interesting it would be interesting to him is if the stick took a photograph so we're into that like okay let's take a picture of the x come on let's take the x over here so we're not taking fortune him for taking a portrait of the ex let's take the x over here and that's except here okay yes he's a little busy watching this yep and then we're just gonna have it already were definitely the reflector on this guy yeah so just give it back to make sure that all you see that light switch it was completely dark his eyes were not lit up were turned away from the main light and so the great concrete is not acting like much of a phil at all so we need to bring the reflector in that light is still coming from this angle so now we know that light travels in a straight line I'm not getting bounced from the great concrete so we're using reflector to go up against that that light coming in and it really put it out as far as you did you see that let me just show you if you'd just look at his face when that reflector comes up oh god that this is how I fast forward what I'm uh you know my dvr to just you know all right so we got the stick were coming over this and I'm not gonna scrub like this again. So what about maia and that although what you see is the light on him you can see the light shift dramatically when the reflector comes into the shot so just do me a favor keep your attention on his body and we're just gonna have around and what jeffrey use the reflector on this guy yeah to see if you still like him and then so all I want is the ex put it out this far did you see that like to me that's big it's really big it's like taking a spotlight and putting it right out there if I did not have the reflector for this shot I would've had a really did I looking shot make it look like there's no life in the image uh and he wouldn't have been modelled very well I talked about that three point lighting how I want him separate from tree I'm not gonna have him lean up against a tree for this I wanted to separate from the tree and then that's the way that light's coming in is basically helping to separate him as well because it's spilling onto the tree you can towards me yeah, I need to step back a little bit pleased though. Okay, that is a really good acts and now throw them at me. Okay? Did you see how exciting the thought was throwing it at me? Oh god. So what he did right there this is what happened he threw them at me and then he knew right away that he had to look at his mom I did not just do that I'm gonna get nailed with this one but that makes for kind of a fun looking at you with a little bit of that kind of uh that look that you're getting little boys a lot like that impish look, mike heck did just do that, okay? And this is what I'm going for just a simple full length I want just a clean look I want him somewhat engaged you see how we managed to have weighed on back foot we managed have front forward out I've got the hands just kind of playful ready watch this this I could take your picture did you know that? I want to see it okay, you stay right there do you hear it? What you can't see there is I'm having the stick click it okay. This is called the opposite of image stabilization are you think you're done now so that we get this is him just watching me and wondering and then you see it's just he keeps doing this this is very normal for kids but you freeze it at one spot it almost looks like you know I didn't pose that that's me responding to what he's doing he's doing he's doing with that one. Okay, we're gonna ride this all right now in a new location we moved over on a typical shoot I'm moving toe for five six different areas consistently I really like mixing up the background the foreground for foreground one of the challenges for me in that bedroom scene yesterday was just staying right there even it's cool looking as it was and I'm really happy with the images from a space constraint perspective that actually is a challenge for me. We're now over in this kind of cool like lord of the rings kind of I'm just referencing laura the rings all the time now but I love those kind of that field where nature is a big part of this thank let's see if you could ride the snake like like like ride it like oh oh and he was talking as we went into their that how it looked like those were huge snakes and he didn't you know that that looks like a big snake so I asked you rather than adding more than positioning him right there and then all I need to do all I'm going for us to get him to stop talking for a second um and that's that's my goal is like, you know, tio so that was it him looking back for just a second? Um well, I well, I was able to get that shot. What did it sound like? And then, um if you notice I had to put on the, um the, uh flash because reflector was doing nothing, we basically were so blocked off from light by going into this little alcove, I think the show has kicked up on this video you can see some of the noise in this film it was really dark was surprisingly dark for five fifteen it was all the cloud cover, and then we had the tree cover eso remember I told you how put a flash on and then bounce it to nowhere? And if someone walked up to me there like an idiot, you don't know how to operate your flash. The reason I'm doing that is because I'm quickly responding to him and I have to stay connect with my subjects and so by taking the time to sit there and set up my flash, I lose, I lose influence, I lose that impact if I'm photographing an adult, I can take your time with that. Um so then I have to put that on and I get the spray of flash that spills over that helps illuminate the whole scene and then gives me catch lights. Yes, when when you're using their flash do you said it manually? Tio tio? Yeah, completely just really simple. Easy. What I want is quick recycle time. Uh, and I want the ability to have it respond to my setting changes on dh so that's that's it that's what I'm doing oh, you know what you said, uh, you made this out of the horse and, um so so it posits here you go I don't know what it looks like a home you guys are getting a brighter screen right yeah I keep remembering that eh so this is this is that image I showed you earlier where you know all it was was a split second he glanced over and I end up getting this it's a very narrow aperture because I want to show more in the scene and and I want to show that the cracks and the lights and the brakes and the and and I think this makes for a really fine tastic uh metallic print and that is how I would present it to the client I would say I can't wait to see this metallic for him and I really can't I mean that you just told me she doesn't understand so then we have a hand that were chasing him for a little while throughout their on and then we bring in another second you so he is very nervous he's very nervous to be up on the street um we have ah someone nearby in case he topples I always do that but he is uncomfortable and he is very focused on that um and that is big you could lose an entire subject to putting him in a place and trying to keep him there unless you a move him and abandon that right away so you could make him feel more ease or b you mix it up and provide enough distraction that he can let go of that fear for a second to be able to kind of be there with the camera good you see his face he's not sure but it did you now how do you feel? Oh, I forgot that was the last time sorry dude you're awesome. So he's right there just in case he falls and I managed to cross his legs is that daddy you know what daddy is saying he's saying I should be in there it's my turn to shine you know you have like a ton of light coming into your eyes I don't even need the flash right here it's actually shoot hot all right, here we go. So remember, I talked about how different eyes will reflect like differently and it has everything to do with it literally shape of eyes shade of color of eyes um hooding versus less footing in the eyes when you have someone who's got very good actually big open eyes that reflect light a lot you have you can have a lot more latitude to get away with it. If you've got eyes that are closer in and more hooded and darker you have to supply more life more often way found a roly poly and the police think taking the picture something hey, I don't know can you see it so what we're doing is just warming him up and getting him more comfortable and then um can you do this but I'm trying to adjust him a little bit to be more, uh, flattering like a fighting pose for the camera and toss it up in the air like this watch much me you want to get so I asked him this when I said what you have to do here to get him a little more into this is to engage him or get him distracted so I told him he could pick up a lot of these little pine needles and throw them out another pine needles but that one of those substance are and throw them out and just simply by doing that and giving him the changes she do without moving your body it is the mood try to get ready and then when he threw it, he almost felt and then got nervous again so I had to town to do it again without doing that, you do it again do it again. Uh so what we end up getting is you know, he just looked away for a split second to say, oh, that was pretty cool wasn't it? Um I love this little look I love the angle of going low because of how fun it is I love them switching it like a quick switch horizontal shift this is oh, this was him finding the roly poley you hold it out to me watch put your hands out like this see me? You put your hands out just like that for any animal rights activist this really play was never hurt which by the way I am for me and others this really really was not hurt during the shooting unless we might stress him out a little so what we're finding as we're doing this shooting is did you see the other little boy behind me? Um he is uh he is getting kind of bored and he's trying to make his way into the shot and you know it's totally understandable when you have siblings you just photographing one the other one wants jump in or what's her face right in the camera what you want to do is gauge that a little bit and say ok I think I've held off long enough let's go to the next spot so then we dio you hold on to the next what we go to is the tunnel yes we go to the tunnel and wow only worsen my voice on divorce fast boarded so this is like a tunnel kind of area in golden gate park I mean play watch me wearing this forever is you you go to the rescue save us is he controlling it? Wow this is the magic this is what happens, you know how in my life, right? Somebody fix this, I'm nico behind the scenes who just light like traffic. Okay? We're at this tunnel and golden gate park and it's extraordinarily dark in the tunnel you go in, you could barely see past their on behind the very, very dark long tunnel is a really bright, bright shining a light behind um, we go in there and immediately the older boy starts talking about snakes. He's been talking about snakes um, and what I want to do is frame a shot with more atmospheric in nature. Remember, I talked about the little subject big world. Um, I want to show them as a smaller element of kind of an interesting composition and let me see where we are lean out, screw, jab. You don't see anybody either, right? It's, not just me. Ok, wait, there we go. All right, so we're here. We've got him up against this little pole. And and what he's doing is he's disappearing for me? I'll say abba and I'll think it over. All right? You come here, it's advocate everyday him right? Right here and say, okay, we'll close our eyes, you go so he's basically telling me how the game goes and and he's completely in charge here he's saying I will be on the pole and when you say africa debra then I will come out but you have to close your eyes give me all the instructions if you have ever seen me speak on the personality types of children he is extraordinarily interactive child as long as I keep the dialogue going with him and I feel like we're going back and forth I keep his attention I keep his focus high avera no, this is the tv back on story will never see him again. Okay, now that he's disappeared completely we're gonna see if we can get him to reappear salsa I'll say average cadaver all right, so this goes on for a while I'm gonna scrub pass it then you've just got to basically work we're on the same um you just kind of worked through it and you say all right let's, try it again let's try to get in. How about what if I do this? What if I do that etcetera? Let's try the double disappearing at um so these are the scenes I'm getting izzy's popping over as he's getting his attention um this is me losing my mic pack all of you just try to quickly put it back on some trip over it, huh? I'm so embarrassed and then this one time this whole story about the snakes in the tunnel and I'm listening because it matters to him by the way that's that's actually that's actually relevant point if he's very excited about it you want to show that it matters to you two um so a couple of the shots I get I get this says we're just sitting there waiting as we're talking this shot I love him in it I love the diagonal the bar obviously we have his puppy brother in the shot too this is really really common and this is where I utilize post processing I will remove it little brother not like forcibly you're cruelly but just to be able to make the composition mohr impactful we lose something with that distraction behind us because it's not adding to the shot anything that's not adding to the composition I want to remove I will remove that in post and then I'll have this really cool portrait of this boy looking you know this really great expression okay you stay disappeared one this is the way that our two headed monster and that's a great uh this is a great example of images that you personally technically feel might have issues this looks like a two headed monster um but mom or dad might find just so cute and so fun and so playful that's different from what you sell on what you market all right, so here we got him up against the wall oh, I had the shot public it was it was it was so here basically what I had them doing was literally looking at each other and talking to each other and getting exchanges like this in my experience if they had truly been brothers and they truly known each other and I made them get that close we would had a cracking up laughter but they're both like each other like wait, what was your name again? From what we can tell and again they look at each other for a heartbeat but then you snap it it was it was it was it wasn't a hothead, it was it was like this watch and so what am I doing here? I'm taking a rather plain looking shot and I'm pulling back the frame to make the overall shot look more interesting that's what that diagonal is that's what that corner is otherwise it's just black so when you're doing those kind of images, make sure to kind of look around you and see what little element that curtain I put in the background with jos on the bed pulling back and having that triangle on the upper left hand corner transforms this from a straight on shot to something a little more interesting can you do that face do that again? That was something way and also you may notice that the way I talked to the subject's changes with their age so you're a little more exaggerated in your voice with younger and a little bit more real time e l I know hotel remember looked right in his eyes look right his eyes explained it you know you have to put your past talking about cutting the head off a snake way back uh so then we have this one so bringing in we pull the other one out we bring this in I want to try something similar but this time I'm trying for a post pose I'm going to try to force it so what I'm finding is I have to talk to him the whole time and have this whole exchange for him and as I'm talking to him his limbs become my plato I'm able to now move him into the physical position I want because I've tired him out I'm interacting with him and now I can move him how I want to create the pose I want but I have to keep up a steady dialogue the whole way about whatever he wants to talk about so I'm gonna back up and show that because I think this is where when you find that you have a subject that you know what no matter what I do I can't get him to focus this is a technique that works often, you know, expecting mcgee was born thirteen twenty six and you know what happened in thirteen twenty six? Forty six people that a ship and visited snakes and you know what they said when the cellar snakes you know they said that snake talk can you do it? I just finally got the post was this when we had our brian moment I want todo randomness yeses, we had our brian moment okay, so this is a great teaching point and I'm throwing our producer under the bus here but he already told me I could do it for the sake of education so brian was producing the chute and we were out there and um and I'm and I'm having this dialogue and I'm moving given to the vision I want and I'm getting the shots I want and I'm this hair breath away from taking two steps backwards having him lean forward a hand, the pocket, they hand the chest and looked right at me and I feel it like to me it's like the energy is culminating you could hear music and it's all coming around even though we're talking about snakes and boats and columbus in nineteen forty two and whatever we're talking about, I know I'm about to get and as I've got this as I see him turning back brian walks in he goes all right that's it we got to get going forty five minutes and why that matters is because if you haven't set expectations with the client and say things like, it might seem like we're doing really funky things and stuff but I swear we're moving on to something datil walking the shot and say all right, you know what that's enough we really gotta wrap it up and you're gonna lose that shot that you know you're working so hard for and you can feel coming so you have to set expectations so you get the open space and the parameters you need to make something like this happen thank you for being so illustrated like it was really big of you teo make this educational moment happened just like you do you show me so last day and see we're at this that we're about to walk out of park we're almost done the kids were pretty pretty done on beer in this little kind of, uh railed off area that's got some really cool shots from a long view what I want to do is use these rails as leading lines do some long shots compositionally um and then also just plopped down our little boy and just get some nice clean images for him for mom uh but he is ready to leave and his mom hands in this little truck uh when there's little toys in a shot that you feel don't add to the image because they're either trendy or their kind of garish or they're like bright plastic uh, you could do one of two things you can use them to get the expression and pull them out physically at the last second and then snap right before they break down it's a it's a science um or you can use them any image and know that you would turn into a little bit more about black and white, so it looks like a more classic when people are using props. I always wanted to be classic props, props that like add to a timeless feel that's the one thing I care about from opposing rule perspective from a clothing perspective or proper perspective, I want things to look timeless. I don't want this to be dated really quickly if my kid is playing with a lightning mcqueen thing, I'm gonna feel like just not that many years forward like that. Wow, that really dates that period pretty strongly, whereas if they're playing with a vintage velveteen rabbit or something that would last forever and it wouldn't date it so much, look, what does it visit was a red car. All right? So if you saw that as he's telling me about the car I'm moving into position, I asked him about something so I could distract him so I can physically manhandle him like this and I'm fixing his hair again. The little details. They use the car to fix it this time, this oh, I know. It's your car. I'm gonna race it right to you. Ready? He's. Gonna go pretty fast. You ready? Are you ready for a fast racing cup? So he didn't want the car to be at his hand. He said, no, no it's my car when I want to touch it and I say no it's your car, I'm gonna go back here and raise it to you. So instead of me taking it from him, I'm participating in this game. All right? I'm gonna do a long shot, so I need the reflector pretty far back. Okay? Ready? Okay. Uh, let me ask you question. Does he make a certain noise when he goes? Does he like a rumor or something like that? Okay, so why do you think I just ask this question, uh, it's a combination of keeping him interested while I'm changing my technical settings as I lower my position, I have to completely change the technical setting because I shoot anything, emmanuel and they were set up for a whole different shot. And so as I sit down, while I'm doing that I then asked him a question have him talk to me and it's more natural for me to glance away a little bit to double check my settings as I'm moving them and then and keep the dialogue going but if I just sat down and did that I would've lost him what was that sound like what hee I can't hear a lot of when I say came here him what I'm going for us his chin position higher when you tell people to speak up they go like this so safe to say that letter I said we just always do that right or someone speaks a different language what I wanted to tell you not deficit because different language thank you you did that so you know watching this back it's one thing but at the moment I end up getting kind of a whole different look from him by just having him do that alright wrap here way show me him did you see that so this is that leading line kind of image when I post process this and turn it over to the client is going to black and white but I'll take one of your object it's a beautiful car ready lets him really good job you did it again I see that again so what I'm working with is he's he's really done he's done I'm squeezing whatever I can out of him for relief do you want mommy's in that all right so now we pulled mommy and he was done news calling mommy we pull her in for a fun shot we want him on the railing and he's gonna fall it's too tough so she comes in and we get some shots with her so this is other shop there's this other thing that happens when he gets up there I said give mommy a kiss um and he goes and gives her like a long kiss I wonder we got it um and it's a full on on lips kiss here it is you see it not yet it's so cute and it is so sweet but I also know from experience taking that photograph it looks weird so I don't and I would get the after effect that's great that's a really good one ready where you going? Jerry this is the after kiss she goes wow she wets her lip and they're laughing and that's the shot it's not the kiss it's the same thing you're photographing couples it's not the kiss it's the about to kiss same thing with mom and babies and stuff it's usually after that so funny especially it's an exaggerated kiss you're going I get to see you anymore and we've lost last you it's a good thing you're in the picture so I think we're nearly here way started we start ending this's he uh just throwing them together that's yelling and gel it whatever it takes for at this point to just get them both in the same frame in any sort of way and then this was me try to get them to hug their was so offered about hug because they met eight seconds ago all right last one hug it out send it by hub they have I mean miss you big oh my goodness yes that's those awkward so wait bring it in bring it oh there you go there you go so close so close now I can feel the hug I can feel it keep going keep going oh yeah that's kind of just almost what isthe except you're moving in with you for a second I'm gonna help you and then that's that on and that's like let's get something before we close on dh that's the scene that's that's the park scene so does that feel familiar to you if you guys had these kind of things where it's just you're working so are just to get them in frame and get them going but you see how with that repeated thing and then trying something unusual in trying something new interacting them moving them physically as you go you can get the shots this was thirty five minutes um which is really short for me to meet this felt extraordinarily abbreviated while I was shooting it this would normally be three hours and all those like almost this isn't and both feli look up the camera smiling and I would not have stopped until I've gotten it and I would have gotten it but you need that time for it yes oh can you talk about when you're looking at locations? Have you scouted like every single spot are you chose like a spotlight golden gate park and then you knew where you'd start and then you just roam and what you're looking what are the things that you're looking for besides like what you said personality wise urban vs rural what else are you looking at when you're picking a scene? Okay, so wonderful question when I had talked about location earlier, some of things I'm looking for for location is, uh I am looking for first and foremost, you know, starting from nowhere, a lot of those questions we asked, could I find something more meaningful? We'll have to worry about having a bathroom nearby uh, we'll have to worry about other people being in the shot or having to fight against that kind of distracting energy. Those were some of the basic questions when I'm actually in the park like a place like this, the first thing nothing for I was thinking of is I wanted a place for them to move, which we chose the field first because I know that they could run and move every time I start a shoot, especially with boys, I'm aware that I need to get that energy out not just boys you saw alexis on the bed last night, right? Like what we need to do first is figure out a way to get them to have room to expel some of that energy that is where I want to start, so I want to start wide open and that's nearly always the case I wouldn't start in a tiny clothes, it'll spot and say let's, start our shoot here because I feel like I'm just putting them in a box. Um, I was joking with joanne, our producer when we're trying to find a location to shoot in here, I said, you know it when I'm in a little patch with a bunch of kids, it feels like asking someone to perform olympic swim and giving them a cup of water that's what it feels like to me to be in an enclosed spot like that with children when I feel like they need room to go eso when we chose this location is what I was looking for first was a wide open space where they could go second, something architecturally interesting to me and architecture of course you confined in nature all the time and those trees that were downed and growing together and the whole lord of the rings feel that was really interesting to me and I knew I wanted a wide open shot like that I wanted want something like I got the black and white shot where everything I put on facebook that it felt like a weird where's waldo kind of print where you know he's part of the scene but everything's black and white it's all changed and in the tunnel I was looking for something really big and that was the biggest thing we had in the small location would keep in mind we were we had a permit for where we could shoot and it was a very shy least in area in terms of where we could go so I couldn't just go I got a normal shoot where I could look a lot more options s o that tunnel provided us with that big big white shot I don't know if it's on there let me look and see if I can find it it was uh oh by the way after he fell and came up that was that shot when we pulled him back up um I think they're back on the tunnel it can show it to you there that's the shot I was going for something interesting like this um was what I wanted to get when I when I saw that tunnel and I saw that split right down the middle and I saw the white pockets on either side I wanted something like this and to me this is a really interesting kind of canvas that you might have in your home that's artistic and interesting but shows an element of the personality which is he tended to go like this a lot I thought that was that was cool and fun um that was what I was looking for when I saw the tunnel and then lastly as we're leaving where those leading lines that's what the rails provided for us up a little ways further which we couldn't I do because the camera operation we had set up filming me and the kids wasn't even cooler place to shoot um that I couldn't even get to which basically allowed you to have this whole expanse behind you of the trees kind of going for a while filter light coming in behind them um that's another thing I would be thinking about in terms of background all right so did you plan that out from ahead of time or is that something you don't know just right we got there right we got there just kind of looked through that veil I mean we had very little space available to us technically speaking from a from a park perspective so we just kind of walk there and I was here here and here and in fact what we did was we walked in I said here here, here here here brides like him to give you three and we settled on for we've got a movie from florida asking if you ever ask permission and how from parents for manhandling and touching the children. Additionally, if you ask in advance what the personalities air like what they're into, how they like to be spoken tio very much so yeah that's what saying that that's like a whole different course and we literally did it that was the stepford children photography course I first did here in creative live I talk about that, but what we do is we set expectations that's that that's step in the right of the gate are in our system of posing, setting expectations says the way I like to do it is I'll run up and I'm like, I made sniffing and like, you know, pull the hair forward in this in that uh whatever it takes do what you want, I've never had a parent say to me do not touch my child I mean, if they did, I would totally respect that and I have to shift the way I interact and practical matters I wash my hands a lot between shoots this in that you know, it just simple things like being funny but being clean and making sure you're not sick and just little things like that as as touch is an element in related to that really quick we had a male photographer that was asking about the perspective from as a man working with kid yeah, and how if you have any advice on how you did yes and, you know, we have a couple of male photographers in the audience who photograph children, so I actually would love for them to answer, but let me give you my little take my take is if you set yourself up as somebody who's just playful and fun and especially you talk about your interactions with children and how much do you just love them? And you're just being extraordinarily transparent? I think all those things get knocked out of the water I've had male photographers photograph me and my family, and it doesn't even cross my mind that I have something to be worried about me and also the parents were there was there the whole time? Um, you know, a neil, why don't you address that? And then guess I'd like to hear your take, yeah, I, uh it's sort of a barrier I feel like for me as a mill photographer, especially when it comes to, you know, needing to manhandle or, like, move, you know, parts of female, you know, subjects or children, just whatever is attached to it, you know, but I do try to set the expectations attached to that way we'll know. Being creepy is like the worst thing in the world, right? So I tried teo really friendly and honest and open and southie expectation and I think that's really important I am like, really weird about moving newborns and babies around so my girlfriend whitney comes along on all of those chutes to assist me what do you say? Weird? You mean it's comfortable it's uncomfortable from me? I'm gonna get a creepy way just like you just don't like I'm gonna break them yeah, I think I'm really you know and she loves little babies and she's got so she loves that perfect assistant for reflectors and moving newborns. So I do think the setting expectations thing is really important getting more comfortable with it. Yeah man hand man is a woman who is a man handling wing man has a woman right? Exactly that I think having a female assistant which can also be awkward because I'm like, can you also carry that heavy bag around? You know? But I do actually like bringing female assistants on shoots because I think that helps have a different dynamic as well where there's like I can be the male energy but there's also a female on set to relate to a parent or a child or someone like that too, so I think those are all the things that have been strong for me and my shoots that's really smart and I know that dynamic place out a lot in wedding photography like the will be if it's a male photographer a female assistant vice versus so that each could go to the different rooms what people getting ready and everything like that guess what is your take uh well being the size of a hobbit myself where you guys left well that's a love that no, no, one of things I like to do is I like to get down on their level like all kneel down or you know and in regards to like babies now that I have a ten month old I'm a little bit more confident with babies but I even then I was still like is it okay mom that I do this and then just get the permission oh yeah and if they're not then I just have them move the baby yeah yeah and you know, just to tag onto that uh I think that's your great points. I think if you, um if you notice when I was adjusting a little boy when I was moving him I grab his toes because foot and crossed it over and I pulled him forward and stuff I think that's the other thing too just like appendages and thinker you know, like you have as opposed to like catching the whole, you know, child and holding them to you. I mean, you can you can adjust them by being really obvious about the fact that I'm just grabbing the corners here, you know? And I think that helps with that factor, too. I think, unfortunately, the whole kind of, like my opinion is that america I I'm american love america. I also grew up in germany and move here I was eleven, but I feel like there's so much emphasis on law order no door over that and, you know, and I have children, I'm aware, but at the same time, I think it could be such a barrier. And if we're overthinking it, we're shooting ourselves in the foot, like not everybody is sitting there like, you know, I mean, there's there's a line I think we've got we've gotten very away from touch as if there's something wrong with that, and I think it's humans, we need touch, not creamy touch way, but we need warmth and connection and you can you can bring about a lot of that through touch seif touch so because I love people, I don't want to chop them off, like from il I liked the the clothes. Remember what your talent then the talent in and the funeral just no technical term whatsoever because the talent and the panel both of them I like them like a personal taste but I wanted to know is there something particular you look for in those kind of shots? Like there should be this element element that I should include if I want to take that russia yes. So one of two things you can either find it while you're shooting it and say, oh, I definitely want to make this a tone thin or you can go for it and created while you're shooting it went in the two images I showed what one was a little girl kind of squeezed up and looking to the side what I found in a two by three ratio is that everything I wanted was right here this one by two spot so that's that's where I want to go I think that extra space actually takes away from everything that's contained right here the same thing with the little boy standing tall in that image it was the opposite so far with her I was photographing it and then in post I said, oh, this looks even more striking going right here um the other one I actually want to make that happen so I had him stand on a tool and go stole he's not a tool time stand on the stool and go really tall like this and literally told him to go tall on guy shot it with the intention of making that a tall and thin because I thought it be kind of fun to go top to bottom with him. You make a decision, why shooting so I make while I'm shooting or in post my see it when I look at an image and say, gosh, everything I want is right here why keep the extraneous parts of the image when this is a little lot more impactful right here? And another question I had was with though diagnose lines who said they're unhinged and unbalanced on balance, they're insecure like the images that we saw today it had a family hugging together very secure of a kind of opposed yes, which was balanced with the insecure diagnose lines do we have to find an element that balances the counter balances the diagonal line? So the counterbalance is what makes it more impactful the same thing with the family that was hugging, you know, the security of the same thing, the little girl resting on that diagonal in that warehouse space, she was very soft and peaceful it's very common in ease and that jack's position is actually very interesting if you have a very wild look and then a wild diagonal and it seems like things are going on it just then. You feel uncomfortable looking at it. If you're trying to go for a little bit more of a wild spirit of emphasize something like the little girl dancing on the beach, then you know you can kind of bring that in. But if you have both elements working kind of the opposite it's it's, more interesting, you could go a hint of while that's, not crazy, she's, just doing this, but if it looks like the pose is uncomfortable, the family doesn't really go together and there's, a diagonal that's, just uncomfortable shot that doesn't really work. That makes sense. Yes, yeah.

Class Materials

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System of Organic Directive Posing.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Judi McCann

I really loved these videos and am grateful to Tamara for her clear teachings and her ability to relate her ideas in an instructional setting. She's extremely thorough in her explanations as to the how's and why's. She's got a super sense of humor, too, which is nice. I would very highly recommend this class.

Charlene Goldsmith

This is my first creative live course, and I was really sceptical that I would be getting my money's worth. But I can honestly say that this has been a brilliant investment. Not only is Tamara amazing, but the content is fantastic. I feel like I got more than I bargained for as I even learnt some things in Photoshop I didn't know. Big double thumbs up!

Mari Sierra

Tamara is so good at what she does... Plus funny! This class was great and I learned so much from her... It's one of my faves and in my wish list!

Student Work