Family Group Posing

Lesson 1/33 - Class Introduction


Family Group Posing


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

I am excited to talk to you about group posing. I am just going to walk you through kind of the content that we are going to be doing throughout the day. First, it will be a little introduction. I am going to talk to you about a concept we call selling the experience, tell you a little bit about our history, just briefly, five, 10 minutes to kind of give you the background of our studio and what we have done over the last 20 years. Then, we are going to jump into jump into the art of unposing and that is where we are really going to start talking the meat and potatoes, about the different ways that I pose with these different groups, and we will start with family of three, and then end up with a family of six and we're actually going to add an awesome dog into segment three and then a multi-generational family. And then I am super excited, at the end, my husband Jed is going to come on and show some post production and work flow of some of these images that we are shooting. So you will...

get to see how we would give those final images to the client. So first I want to talk to you about a little bit about the experience Selling the Experience and what that means for us and our studio and it is really just about when you have a passion for something, and so in this case, photographing people and if you have a passion for your clients they are going to have a passion for you and your business. And so again, doing this over the last 20 years we are the people to talk to if you're a new studio, if you have a new studio out of the basement of your home, these are all things we done. We have rented large commercial space with multiple photographers, nine employees. We have moved states and kept our business running remotely. Started a new business in Minnesota, worked with a spouse, which is awesome all the time, which no one said ever, right? I do love my husband, but if you are working with a significant other, a friend, a spouse, there is different challenges that come with that, and so I do welcome, Jed and I will both welcome questions all day long about any of those things. I think the main thing I really want to really share is that how important that is that you are part of that experience and that is what your clients are buying. I think, you know, my husband and I, we are a testimony, as five years ago we moved from our studio that we had grown from a very high-end studio. We moved states from Illinois to Minnesota, and I have been able to travel back and forth for these crazy two, three day long weekends while he stays home with the kids, shoot, shoot, shoot like crazy and my clients will wait for me. So it was this testimony of for years and we taught about selling experience, you know, people will wait for you, but really, I was always there, in the same town so then we move away, and I was like, oh my gosh, did we do it? Did we actually practice what we were preaching? And it has been amazing to see how the clients will wait, the clients will come back, and I love the photographers in our area in Illinois, it has nothing to do with, there is amazing, amazing photographers, minutes you know, around thousands of them I feel like, you know, around in Central Illinois area, so it is not that they can't get good photography elsewhere. Absolutely, they can. But, it is been about they want to wait for me. Like, those kids I photographed as babies, they are going to wait and do those high school senior photos with Vicky. Or, I always say I don't shoot weddings anymore, but I always shoot about a wedding a year, because, of that reason. You know, some of my clients, you know, they ask, and we work it out, and I do it. So I don't want you to diminish, you know I think sometimes we can get hung up and there is so much competition, or I love what they are doing, or I am not doing that, it is about staying true to yourself, being authentic, and that will kind of bring us into also the style that you shoot, like staying true to that. And what I think is cool, the images that I am going to be showing you throughout the day, are literally, it was really fun for me to build this program, there are literally all the way back to some of the first images I've took to images I shot a week ago. And so my style has really stayed consistent. And I will point some of those out to you but, you really can't tell much of a difference and it's not that I've added new things and I've tried new trendy things, but really, I was just talking to someone this morning the best compliment I can get is when somebody will say, oh I was at so and so's home or oh my gosh, I knew that was a V gallary, the name of our studio. And so that is such a compliment that they could recognize that and I think part of it is just that staying authentic and for me it is about having fun in the session. So this is an example of a session I had this fall with a family at their home, back in Illinois, and literally after the session we are just playing around they are like, oh my gosh, lets take these selfies and they are wanting to like, Instagram things, and they left for dinner and they're like have your husband come in, like here is some wine, hang out at our house for like an hour. They were so amazing and generous but they're friends, they are not just these clients. And again, I have photographed them throughout the year, the years. My family, with our newest edition, my camper I got for my 40th birthday. But, your tribe, your family, whoever your circle of people are, that is part of the experience as well. So for me, that has changed over the years. We always say our business was our baby. Jed and I got married really young and for those first 10 years we started our business, which we didn't know we were going to start. That was our baby. Like 110 percent, crazy work hours, and then over the last seven years, we've had adopted two children, and a dog and a camper. And, our business has evolved with that to, so I think what I am kind of trying to talk about is that work-life balance and the importance of that and how you can stay true to your business but still not have it take over, that you don't have time for really what's important, which is relationships and that is important with your relationships with your clients, but also it is that much more important with your relationships with your family. And so I think the cool thing is, is what that balance is for me is not what it is going to be for you and what that balance is for me this year is not what it is going to be for next year. That is completely changed and evolved but I think it is important to not lose sight of always trying to figure out what that balance is. And, really, have you guys ever been in that position where you have been working so hard it is really is not fun to go and photograph? It really is not that fun, like you are dreading that almost, you are tired? I have been there, absolutely. It is like this, rollercoaster kind of start facing some burnout. This time of year really for me is busy, shooting you know, for Christmas cards and different things that I just start to get pretty tired and then you know, kinda ebbs and flows like that. So I think it is kinda figuring out how to find, how to find that balance. There are my kiddos! Your style is part of your experience. So this is an image of our studio, one of the images. It is actually an old bowling alley that my husband and I renovated a long time ago. And it is constantly been re-renovated and changed and but I am going to talk to you guys also a little bit about it later, about it is not important to have studio. So, like yes, I showed you this image, like yes, we got this big studio which we rented it first and then bought but I have some really cool ideas that I am going to share later about how you can have a studio space without having to actually like, having to lease and owning a studio space. But, this matches kind of our kind of style of photography, like my images I feel like are very warm and very inviting and we kind of matched that style with how we decorated the studio. Maybe (light chuckling). And then really the big thing is selling the experience now is more important that ever and I talk about how there are photographers with your I Phone, you can take amazing images, right? And so, it is that much more important of like, what can I offer that is different, right? It is you! And for me, that is really the thing I can offer my clients that is different, and so I am in a few minutes I am going to talk about posing, how to make your clients feel comfortable and the things that I do that make them want to keep coming back. And when your experience is a priority, we have found that success has really come to us, regardless of this scenario, so regardless if that was gosh, I have one background to shoot on because I painted it with my mom in the basement and our soft box literally touches the ceiling and the floor and the same time, you know, because the ceilings are like this big. Like we made it work, like it was about the experience, it wasn't about the stuff, it wasn't about the props. I am going to talk to you about the props, the gear the couches, all these things I use but I hope what you see in my images it is still the simplicity, about the relationships with those people and trying to capture that authenticity, making them feel comfortable. Because I am not working with professional models, you know? Most people don't actually love standing, you know, behind the camera. One of the things that I will challenge you about later is to be photographed. I think that is such a big deal because then it kind of puts you in that position of what your clients are feeling, that uncomfortableness of being you know, on that side of the camera. And so it is really our goal if you are just working with everyday families and everyday people to make them feel comfortable.

Class Description

Taking a great portrait of one person can be a challenge, but how do you capture an entire family looking their most authentic selves? Well-known family and children photographer Vicki Taufer will show you how to focus on the relationships and keep your clients relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera.

Vicki will show you:

  • What props and gear you should have on hand to bring out the best in your group posing
  • How to shoot with natural light as well as in the studio, and what lighting you’ll need to highlight all group sizes
  • How to make your clients feel comfortable before the shoot to get authentic images
  • The most efficient workflow to make your post-processing work for you

Whether it’s a group of children with pets or the extended family with grandparents and cousins, Vicki will give you the confidence to tackle any situation and provide your client with images that they’ll want to purchase and hang on their walls for years to come.


DOlores RUsso

All I have to say is - Vicki you are a saint. To handle four kids, dog and their parents too, not to mention a class of students watching...AND YOU'RE TAKING PHOTOS, GOOD ONES!! All I know is, I could not handle that as you have even though I was a teacher for 25 years (K-12, all of them) - and wonderful people like you are far and few between. May you stay healthy and happy and continue interacting with kids and parents - you really have a talent! (I had to turn the sound off on the vid because it was driving me crazy,, with kids, dog, etc etc!)


Fantastic posing class, loved watching Vicki in action. There are so many little things she said to the families she was photographing that really made all of the difference. Jed's product template creation and backend streamlining segment was great too!

Elizabeth Harrigan

I absolutely loved the course!!! The teacher was extremely engaging, so much so, I lost track of time... I learned more from this course than any other I have subscribed to. Both Vicki and her husband are positive and passionate in their delivery. They also have developed a level of expertise and a passion to share their knowledge honestly. It wasn't about ego, but rather, a genuine helpful attitude, which was so refreshing!