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Family Group Posing

Lesson 19 of 33

Demo: Studio Lighting

Vicki Taufer

Family Group Posing

Vicki Taufer

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Lesson Info

19. Demo: Studio Lighting


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:09:12
2 Favorite Family Group Poses Duration:12:45
3 Plan the Photo Shoot Duration:04:08
6 Review Images from Shoot Duration:04:37
8 Family of Three Shoot Recap Duration:10:05

Lesson Info

Demo: Studio Lighting

Now to show a couple just quick little diagrams of how I would pose. What's unique about these soft boxes is that I'll use my reflectors over on camera right and that really, a reflector is just a low-powered light. I'm very visual, I'm gonna take the light meter reading, get the right exposure, but I'm seeing where the shadows are falling, what these reflectors can bounce a little light into. That's like my fill light. Then we've got these soft boxes I will flip-flop, and I'll show you in the diagram, depending on the size of the group, the large soft box in front or the small soft box in front. But they're very shallow soft boxes, and they're really designed to create, to act like windows. When I talk about having a style and in my studio, I do have a window light, but that doesn't mean I can always use it, or the weather. You know we're here in Seattle, the weather might now always work for that, that I wanna mimic that soft window light look, I can do it with these soft boxes. That...

's what I'll be shooting with today. The one thing, so if I'm shooting with the larger soft box in front, I tend to keep it set up like this, like you can see in the diagram. If I bring the smaller soft box in front, that might be for a group of three, four, maybe five people, I would use a smaller soft box and I will angle that some. It's just a little more control of the lighting then having it just come in from the side. So I apologize if I am blocking anybody with reflectors, but this is how I would do this in the studio. If you think about it, these, like I said, are more just like low-power lights. And I'll just move these. I kind of, what I say, I was doing this in the other shoot. I kinda call it shooting through a tunnel. When I'm with my camera, and in my studio too, I just would like to mention, I do use a rolling camera stand. I'm totally fine, like I'll hand-hold, but that is something just the same thing like the spider holster, I just like having that place to set my camera and then there's a little bit more stability as well. So it's a large rolling camera stand. But this, I just kinda it's visual, and I'm gonna move this around once I bring our subjects in, and see where I need that light reflecting back. Really, this is just gonna be lighting, what's lighting the background. I'm actually gonna bring this up a little bit. (rough scraping) And the other thing with these soft boxes typically, with the way they're designed and how shallow they are, and I'll do some standing poses with this as well, but typically like you want this potentially could be like at shoulder height. So you just have this really natural fall off from highlight to shadow. If it was lower, that's fine, you're just like blasting the arm with light which doesn't necessarily need it. Then the further, I always call it the safe area, with this soft box, if you were standing over here and looking at me, when I'm standing here, there's all this extra light wrapping around right. So this is gonna be a little bit more of a flat light, and a safer spot to be. Then as I move up the soft box, I wouldn't have my client quite this close, but just for sake of showing you, as I move up the soft box, I'm gonna be getting obviously all kinds of split lighting and shadows. But that's where I can move in, when I say I shoot through a tunnel, I literally can move this in like if I was shooting some individuals or one or two people. That could be in here this close and that's gonna be filling in some of those shadows that I would be having if I didn't have these reflectors up here. Let me do a couple meter readings and then I think we can have the family ready to come in here in a minute. I'm gonna start off, like I said, I think with the dog I'm thinking on the couch, maybe just even all the kids on the couch with the dog, and maybe mom and dad I could see cause the dog's pretty big, (laughing) he's gonna take up about half the couch. I'm thinking mom and dad behind the couch similar to what we did earlier, but maybe the kids more sitting down.

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!)

Marla GIbson

It was true to life and yes, a bit chaotic. But I enjoyed it, it shows the work that often does go into a session with all the multitasking. I got some great ideas for poses, and learned some new way to interact with younger children. Thank you for a honest session and not a perfect planned one.


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!