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Composition and Style

Lesson 8 from: The Creative Newborn Photography Studio

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

8. Composition and Style

Lesson Info

Composition and Style

what makes good composition for newborn babies yes how do we do that how do we make the baby the focus of the image he's taking cute look at those lips just wanna eat those yes yes you can see in this image here we've used the line of the blankets well so we used real thirds the hat and the direction that had its going away from the light creates composition okay it is powerful powerful powerful stuff and there is subliminal meaning in the power points believe it or not some will argue this so this is chick with a great assault kind of stuff but I like to talk about it because I could talk about this stuff forever because it's really cool and when you started thinking about it and deeper level you're like yeah that could be okay so let's talk about it the power points using power points gives depth and meaning to your images okay it's basically a tic tack toe box on your image the power points are where those lines intersect you notice I put the baby on the lower right power point okay...

to me the power points have meaning there are some great books out there and they are in the resource is god on composition some of them are out of print so you'll need to hunt for them but I highly recommend reading some books on competition because it will change the way you shoot the lower right power point to me is the place of rest and this is western hemisphere okay so and I should realize that we're an international audience so I need to keep that in consideration this is western hemisphere stuff we read from left to right in the western hemisphere so these rules or not rules these theories don't come into play in other countries like asia where they read in the different directions and stuff like okay so so little cabbie out there we read from left to right in the western world so this spot here is the end of the page the finish the ground the end of the story the peacefulness the closure the completion the upper right power point is still on this right side of the page okay it's still a powerful ending point but it's exalted you will often find jesus in this position in great art in the past if I'm doing the shot of the baby and the dad's arms lifted up I'm going to put that baby space right there I want that feeling of ethereal heavenly finished innocence completion but on the but on the elevated part of the image does that make sense this is all theory case I'm not sentenced on the left side of the frame and you'll notice in my art I don't always follow the rules okay this image particular this little girl is on the lower left power point okay the lower left power point is a place of a little bit of uncertainty the story is not quite done things aren't finished the future's uncertain we don't know what's gonna happen do you see that the negative space is suggesting that perhaps things are undone some accents the upper left power point is even mohr precipitous like I would put a bride on the cliff who'd just been jilted by her husband up there do you know I mean like go her future isn't not so bright do you know I mean it's a very teeter tottering place it's uncomfortable we don't know what the ending's like we don't want to finish this like an abandoned child like if I called this painting over here I actually called it alone in the woods it's a little bit like whoa there alone in the woods is okay if I had put her on the right side if I just flipped the image it would have entirely different connotation entirely different meaning okay same with this image over here in the original image I had mama on the left it didn't work the minute I flipped it all of a sudden woo it works okay peaceful it's called he has arrived peaceful thoughtful a little bit a little bit of um religious connotation to it you know so all those things and then of course what you think about two's composition in where the animals are placed in the image okay you have the pair of rabbits over here the squirrel there's three birds in the tree and the deer over here on the right okay so all those animals were placed in their very strategically okay and placed it points to lead your eye obviously she's the first thing you see what's the second the squirrel then the deer right the deer might be last even itjust depends was it last for you patty was last for you then you saw the rabbits then you saw the deer then you saw the birds probably you probably can't see it you have to walk up close but that's my point is as an artist I want you to see mama and baby first I then want you to see the little animals that are lit the brightest and then I want you to see the deer hiding in the shadows but then to really see the interesting things like the birds in the trees you gotta walk up to a close do you mean so that there's a there's engagement for the viewer that you have to come in and out of it to really get its full meaning that makes sense this one I just did for russian going to create this in class on saturday okay but I just get real simple I I'm honestly not happy with it I don't think it's quite finished it looks unfinished to me but I wanted to keep it simple because I don't wanna overwhelm you guys was this different stuff I wanted to make it relatively so that you could do it so we're just gonna put a couple a couple elements in so that you understand how it's done but yeah I would definitely put a bird like a crow flying in the background to give it one that add to the story a big bad wolf little red riding hood but composition is powerful stuff and when you learn to use it to it's your best advantage with that meaning your clients will have no idea trust me they won't know yeah they won't know a white feather from around one they don't but you know and when you create things purposefully like that it helps them like it more but they don't know why did you ever question the the top right was the ethereal where jesus usually initially rest yeah the this the lower left it's a place of rest it's like grounded but it's a little uncertain okay that's and giving something like that and when that prick competition world way love to name our prince you have to in people and so I would call this alone in the woods and that alone word gives it that extra layer of what's gonna happen putting her on the left put that even made that happen even further what's going to happen what's going to come from the right is there something behind the trees you know it gives you that feeling of who if I had flipped the image and you know I could do this and photo shop on saturday when they remind me we were visited we'll flip it and see how it feels it'll feel entirely different entirely different other compositional techniques to use is on the golden mean this is mother nature's perfect ratio it was used heavily heavily heavily in the renaissance period and in fact in all great art it's basically the perfect spiral you'll see in wedding images and competition images they use the spiral staircase thing I've seen that all the time that is powerful golden mean composition okay it can be more subtle okay this image here uses the golden mean do you see it spiraling inward to mama and baby back her saddle another variation of the rule of thirds basic will you intercept your pure peace across the diagonal and then put lines at right angles to the initial dagnall and then those become your power points so this image here uses backer satellites on a perfect placement but it's close but you're also notices the lines of the floor follow the composition and lead your eye okay it's very important to note that the floor was tilted on an angle like that to create that do you see that so little things these air not huge things but they make a difference don't they make a difference when looking at a good image and a really really good one or an average one to a good one okay so by learning these things and understanding the rules then you understand why you're doing something the way you're doing it and you could break the rule if you want or not what makes good style for babies trick question steven said naked way like making babies any thoughts yeah I think it fits on the starter and those parents good answer my dear style is you all of this and you are very important how you see the world and what path you choose to take your creativity is your style there is no wrong style okay how you layer elements together how you see your subject how you choose to portray them when I want to do is teach you the rules and art of how to do that so you can take those rules and apply it to your style okay so how do you see the world and what path do you choose to take your creativity it's really all up to you I don't just love that when it falls apart like e I got a little happy with the uh with the transitions um but basically layering these elements and these rules into your style means all the props or not that you would use so backdrops and floors baskets a blank you know all this stuff that we've been talking about that has color and texture in line all those things can be combined to create a style and style like creativity is one of those elusive things that that drives us all crazy like and you'll find what this's what happened to me when I first started I would see if tara wall of what they're doing that's also pretty oh what what they're doing to him it's so pretty you just get pulled in all these during directions when you're first starting out okay I know it sounds sacrilege but copy copy copy copy copy people out there probably think I'm crazy and going why is she advocating copying I'm advocating copying tto learn technique to feel it is it you do not pass that work off as your own do not plagiarize if you copy someone credit them oh I wanted to practice so and so style and this is what I came up with what do you think that's good stealing or copying I should say okay then what you'll discover is too I liked doing that early yes I love it then you start taking the direction that's you okay all the great masters did it all the artists before us did it they copied their masters and then finally learned to go out on their own ok so all I'm saying is when you do copy make sure you give credit to the original maker okay make sure you the world knows that it's not your work and that you're just learning technique yeah jones to take a picture like that way and I had a different baby how can I wrapped him up in a gray uh whatever that is and lighting lighting their picture with them it was their copy would that be copying your conditions it's a different baby and okay you're practicing a technique you're learning to do what I'm doing which is totally fine go for it doing ok I will go for it that's why I'm teaching this I want you to copy me if you like what I do copy to your heart's content but understand that you're copying tto learn be true to myself be honest have integrity and once you learn the technique the next time you go to do it if you like how can I make this better could I stick a flower here could I do this soul differently can I bring this this way can I turn the baby how can I pose him differently what can I do I want to make it different because now it's mine so make sense okay okay yeah questions before we get into safety let's ask a couple questions people are kind of wondering about some things there is a question that came in from karen elliott photography and she says when it comes to creativity when you have a vision and you try it but it doesn't work the way it worked in your head do you try it again or do you put it on the back burner where do you draw the line or how off how long do you keep I know that feeling searching I know they're going to I think it just depends sometimes I'll try again again again until I get it sometimes you get sick of it and frustrated and george is on your shoulder you just give up for a while and that's ok too I don't think it really matters umm I think what matters is that you do eventually try again maybe in a different way you'll try it with a different technique or a different proper a different baby or what you know you'll try it again um that's what I mean when I say perseverance you get yourself up off the floor every single time try it again maybe you just need to learn a little bit more before you go back to that technique so some projects you'll want to try over and over again I had the heart it's high mastering the tushie up pose there's no leticia pose with bucks in there and actually recently just got it um look consistently you know like I would get out once in a while and recently just got it consistently and it was it took me a lot of tries so in a lot of study on it and a lot of asking questions of friends and a lot of like just overall study of other people's work so I think that I just needed to build a few more techniques before I got it I think it just depends on you how person how persevering you are if the product is great driving you nuts or not and if it is short but for a little while if it's not then then try again it's that that's a personal choice thing I really am so just one more from the internet love newborns is saying how do you train your brain too think about all of these things like composition and color when you're on the spot and you're just rushing to get the shot before the baby weeks yeah yeah that's that's hard and that just comes with time and experience it really does practice one thing at a time you know focus one session on just competition okay I'm just going to focus on the power points this time don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do too many texans techniques that once I'm throwing a lot at you guys right now I'm throwing a lot but eventually you will get it but if you just make a list and prioritising okay today I'm going to work on the tri attic color scheme and I'm gonna combine tried it color throughout my entire session you'll start to get it one thing at a time

Class Materials

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Studio Brochure
Client Correspondance
Day 1 Segment 1 - Keynote
Day 1 Segment 2 - Keynote
Day 1 Segment 3 - Keynote
Day 2 - Keynote
Day 3 Segment 1 - Keynote
Day 3 Segment 2 - Keynote
Day 3 Segment 3 - Keynote
Day 3 Segment 4 - Keynote
Newborn Posing Guide - SAMPLE
PVC Pipe Beanbag Blanket Brace
The Creative Newborn Photography Studio Syllabus.pdf
Resource Guide.pdf
Julia Kelleher Gear Guide.pdf

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Creativity and Style Road Map

Ratings and Reviews

Norma Martiri

Julia is amazing and has delivered a brilliant class here. Her wealth of knowledge and positive energy is inspiring to say the least. Julia is a brilliant teacher and I've learned so much. I am so grateful to Julia and to Creative Live for recording this and for the fact the I can rewatch over and over from the other side of the world. Thank you!!!!!!


Amazing course! I love it! I will for sure be re-watching it very soon. Julia is brilliant, honest, unselfish and just a great inspiration. This course definitely has given me the boost I needed to be true to my style. Thank you!


I've had the privilege of attending a few of Julia Kelleher's workshops and I love them. She's a great instructor with a cheerful disposition and a great sense of humor. Julia's photographic genius is like no other. This truly talented woman creates masterpieces out of her photos. It is really amazing to watch. I'm beginning to collect her workshops b/c for me attending her workshops is not enough. I have to own them so I may go over them again and again.

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