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Family Group Posing

Lesson 3 of 33

Plan the Photo Shoot

Vicki Taufer

Family Group Posing

Vicki Taufer

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Lesson Info

3. Plan the Photo Shoot


  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

Plan the Photo Shoot

In a minute we're gonna jump right into the photo shoot. Couple things, just, I'll talk about is the importance of planning ahead. And so I actually did talk to the models yesterday and via email, just kinda preparing outfits, clothing, of course you wanna, like, plan those things. We do offer design consultations at our studio. Sometimes that's just over the phone, sometimes, you know, people are definitely welcome to come in. As much as you can pre-sell, plant those seeds from the beginning. We have something we use from our lab called inspiration guides. White House Custom Color has these great inspiration guides and they're unbranded, really cool catalogs that I just am handing out all the time to all my clients. 'Cause it's like, I equate it to, like, when I go home and I get a magazine from a cool home furniture store, I love to sit down and flip through. Not that I'm even buying any of it, but I'm just, like, getting inspired. It's like, ooh, yeah, I would love to get, you know,...

something that looks like this. So this catalog is unbranded, it's not even my images, it's just products and it's products in homes, and it's really to help that client to start thinking about, oh, I would love to do a collage of gallery wraps above, you know, my fireplace. Or, you know, some product that they see in there. So, planning ahead. That's clothing, that's, you know, just talking about that the goal of this, you know, what it is they're looking for, if there's something very specific, if they already have a spot they're thinking of hanging it, knowing those measurements, even. Like, sometimes that's how you'll know to make sure to shoot a panoramic. Maybe they have a really cool, narrow spot in their home that a panoramic would go really well in. Or even doing consultations in their home, that's probably, would be the best thing to do, in all honesty. I know that takes a little more effort and time, but then you're in the space, and you can combat the people who say, well, I only have windows, I have nowhere to hang stuff. You can go in there and you can see, absolutely, where they have spots for these products. And maybe it's albums, maybe it isn't wall portraits. That's where you have to decide your style and what it is you want to sell. Prioritizing, so I've shown you all these poses, right? Of course, we're not going to do all of those with everybody and it's also about talking to the client. It's not uncommon that they're coming in, maybe they, I don't do a lot of outfit changes, but maybe one outfit change. Or if it's someone just coming in with their kids, maybe they're like, oh, I have these three outfits. Or they wanna do this, this, and this and this. But like, yeah, we want family portraits, but this is really about the kids. I make them prioritize that, even if it's just the same day as the session, that doesn't have to be ahead of time, just for me to know when I'm shooting that I'm really capturing what's most important. 'Cause we all know, at some point, yeah, the kids are kind of done with you. Like, Dad's kind of done with you. You know, okay, I'm not gonna keep, I will push, I absolutely will push, but there is a time where it's like, session's done. You know, and we got it, we got more than we needed, but at least we made sure we got the things that were most important, the outfits that were most important. So that's just about listening to your client. And I keep using the word relationship, but that is such a key thing. When we go back to that concept of selling the experience, I absolutely just, it melts my heart every time, like, I go home and the kids come in, these are kids I see once a year, and they're hugging me, and the mom's like, oh, they've been so excited, you know, to come in and be photographed. And they just feel right at home. They just, they know how it's gonna go, and they're comfortable, and they love being there. And so that's just a huge, huge compliment. And then really, with all these things, I love the concept of, even though I don't shoot thinking, oh, there's this pose, and there's this pose, and there's this pose, I really don't think that way, but I just go to it because I've done it so many times. But get the shots. Like, maybe some of these poses are new to you, and you're thinking, oh, I wanna incorporate on the shoulders, and these things. Make sure you get those shots, but then feel free to play. You know, it's one of those things, like, once you know you've got what your client came to you for, don't be afraid to experiment and do something maybe a little more artistic or try a new idea that you saw online that somebody else was doing. And use your clients to actually be the models to try out new things.

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!