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Family Group Posing

Lesson 22 of 33

Introduction to Generational Photography

Vicki Taufer

Family Group Posing

Vicki Taufer

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Lesson Info

22. Introduction to Generational Photography


  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

Introduction to Generational Photography

So, the actually family that we have coming in there are six people, I think, yeah, six people, we've got a grandma, grandpa, two sisters, like, their daughters, and then, twins. So, we've got the three generations. And what I'm also going to do, after we've done the keynote, to kind of set the stage, is we're going to do whoever wants to volunteer because I feel like sometimes what people struggle with is that larger group, then six people. So, add maybe, three-four members of the audience, if they're willing to show how I would group you guys into that. So, that demo we'll start with, I won't even shoot, so if you're in the audience, it's more just about the posing and where I would set you and using the different posing stools and things like that. But first, we'll jump into the keynote, for that, and talking about, first what I want to jump into is the shooting on location 'cause we're not doing that today, but I do think that's a really big piece for me at least when somebody call...

s the studio "Oh, I've got 15 people, whatever," we actually have ways to accommodate that in the studio but my preference would be to go outside or on location. So, that is a big piece for me as we get to those larger groups. But when you talk about just generational, like we'll be shooting with say, grandma, mom, kids, that's when we're going to jump back into that sort of how we started, but maybe with a little less chaos, of like that closeness, and that generational, and that relationship, of grandma, daughter, granddaughter kind of posing. Back to some of those favorite poses we talked about, here are just some more examples that I just love. The Walk, you know we actually have this image in our studio printed on wood, it's just like a beautiful wood panoramic so there's just different products that work well with certain poses. But, yeah, when you've got the white sky, when you print a product on wood, all that grain kind of shows through, and it's really pretty. But, like, shooting in urban settings, and fields, barns in the background, looking at each other, looking at the camera, walking away, there we go, walking away like in a field with a sunset, and some of these images, again, I'm going back to things I shot this year, things that are 17 years old, like, this family here on the left, I've been shooting that family for years, and that's probably, I don't know, maybe 15 years old, so this urban setting on the brick steps, but now, there's tons more grandkids, and some of those grandkids are married with kids, and so, I've been shooting, really, actually, they all live all over the place so, I was just in Arizona doing some shots for that family all for grandma because we have a relationship and she's been working with me since her grandkids were little, and wants me to do those images. So we actually have four families that we photographed all over the place that then will make a great Christmas card for her that are all images we took. So, super excited with those kinds of scenarios. This other family, I just like showing the two ways to use the steps, it's kind of similar to shooting on the couch straightforward, and shooting on the couch turned. You know, shooting on the steps straightforward is more obvious, I feel like, and then from this side, staggering them down that way, it's just a bit of a different look. You know, rolling with whatever, some of my favorite sessions have been in pouring rain, have been in snow storms, this was a family session around Christmastime, that would have been a struggle to accommodate in the studio just for the size, so we were doing it on location, and there was a snowstorm. And it's one of my favorites. So, that would be a great use of, besides the shot of everyone looking at the camera, putting grandma and grandpa in the foreground, this is the folks about them, this is their whole family, and they're all bundled up, and that was, a lot of these shots that are my favorites I don't know if you guys feel the same way but a lot of times these are like the afterthoughts or like, "Oh, we've done this whole session for an hour, and you know what, let's quick do this for five minutes." and then those are the ones. The turkey family still. And that's incorporating selective focus, on a couch, outdoors, this next one is kind of a fun way, purposefully shot, and then I shot each grouping individually, but it was shot with, when you talk about shooting the product in mind, that would be, we've done this quite a few times, separate images in a gallery wall, so it creates one single image, but it's really made up of four portraits or a gallery. That was just something from a few weeks ago, just some of the different breakdowns we would do with each family. Just some fun more on location shots. And I love photographing, I mean, I feel like there is that piece, when people call and they say, for their family group, "I want you to come to my house," or, "I want you to come on location," there's a difference there. I try to figure out, is it just because of convenience? Like, they want the type of look I get in the studio, but they really don't want to drive to the studio, or is it because it's at their farm or it's at a location that has really special meaning to them. That's really important. Because, if it's just like, they've seen my work and they want this up-close studio work, that's more relational, that's going to be something that I'm going to push and tell them they really should come to the studio, but of course, if it's something special, they're like, "Yeah, no, it's like, the farm that's been in our family for 200 years," or whatever, of course I want to go there. You know, it's got that special meaning for them. There's that on-the-shoulder shot outside, on location in people's homes, a lot of these are back in Illinois, lots of farmland, so lots of farm images, beautiful Minnesota fall leaves, again, some of those breakdowns, so, like, this would be an example they've got three kids in this family, but this is just what mom was with the littlest one. I'm going to shoot that. It doesn't always have to be mom with all three kids on those breakdowns, for sure, just whatever is happening. And we created Jed in a little bit later in the program is going to share some gallery walls that we made of these images.

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!