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Website Critique: Alyssa Kellert

Lesson 35 from: Family Photography: Creating a Successful Business

Kirsten Lewis

Website Critique: Alyssa Kellert

Lesson 35 from: Family Photography: Creating a Successful Business

Kirsten Lewis

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Lesson Info

35. Website Critique: Alyssa Kellert


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What Makes a Picture Successful?


Technical Tips: ISO


Technical Tips: Aperture


Technical Tips: Shutter Speed


Technical Tips: Focus


Using Light to Tell a Story


Using Composition to Tell a Story


Lesson Info

Website Critique: Alyssa Kellert

I have some very brave, kind, (chuckles) studio audience members who have volunteered their websites for me to take a look at. So first, is Alyssa. And so what I'm gonna do is have them come up and sit with me so we can talk about the website. And talk about your goals. And what you're trying to achieve with your site. I do have a question before I talk to you. For you guys in the audience I'm curious how many of you have a site but find yourselves telling people but don't go to it, it really needs to be updated? Raise your hand if you are one of those people. Okay. How many don't have a site yet? Oh. That's more than I thought, okay. And then the rest of you that have sites do you feel good about what's on your site right now? Good. And then we have a so-so. (laughing) Alyssa, how do you feel about your site? I've been working on it lately. So pretty good, but I still think there's more work to be done. Okay, so one of the reasons why I can't navigate your site on Creative Live is...

because we're afraid that people will crash it. (laughing) You might get a lot of traffic to your site okay? So it's gonna be a little bit harder for me to critique it because I can't click through it. But we're gonna talk about, So tell me, where are you located? In Vancouver, Canada. Okay, you're in Vancouver, Canada which is a fairly big city. There's quite a few photographers. And quite a few documentary family photographers. Felicia Chang is one there, she was a student of mine and lots of others actually. So, tell me what you like shooting or the type of client that, like, types of shoots that you're wanting to make. Um, I like real moments and real memories. Okay. I think, yeah. And so, are you doing raw documentary sessions right now or are you doing a little bit of both? A little bit of both. Do you like doing a little bit of both? Um, yes, only because it's my comfort level right now. Okay, that's good. Yes. Is it a full-time business? Yes. Okay, how many shoots are you doing a month, average? Hmm. Between five to six, maybe. Hourly, like just an hour? No, like, I'll have a birth or two Okay. And I'll have, like, I'll do, like, a documentary business session. Oh good. Or a family, it's a mix, newborns, yeah. Okay. So this is your front page. Yes. What am I gonna say to you? To take off the video? Yes. (both laughing) You can stick that video somewhere else. That sounded really bad. (all laughing) You can place that video somewhere else in your website. Because people might want to see it, but right now, if there's a video, nine times out of 10, I think people are just going to leave the site because-- So I do family films too. Right, okay. If you do family film, I feel strongly about this, I think you should separate film sites from still sites. I personally think they should be separated. Because it's gonna be confusing. Same thing with, like, if you offered, no, I'm not gonna get into that. Unless are you doing fusion? Yeah, I do photos at my film sessions too. So do all of your clients get video with their still? No. (laughing) Do you want the predominant, like, predominantly is your business still? Yes. Okay, then we need to feature that. Because this is gonna clog up, it's going to prevent people from looking at your site. I want more people to get videos. Oh, you do want to do just video? I want more people to get videos. I really like videos. Why don't you just go video? 'Cause I still like photos. (all laughing) Okay, so my suggestion is, if you wanna do both, I would either separate the sites, or, if you want more video, then just, the feature be video. So, in that case, you would have a video that would be the feature and not this heading, do you see that? It's very, look at how much stuff you have in your homepage. Wait, no, that's not part of your homepage. But that is part of your homepage, right? This, you scroll down. Nope, that's my About Me. Oh, it is? Yeah. Okay, they didn't show me the bottom part of it, 'cause there's more? Yeah, it's like my Instagram feed there. Okay, alright. And then it has a little bit of about me. I feel like also for homepages, it should be one page, right? That will fit, that you don't need to scroll for the homepage. So scrolling is for blogs, in my opinion, or ordering mattes, it's not for, we want the user to be able to navigate really easily. We don't want important information to get lost. If you have important information down there then people don't know. Like, for me, I don't always see a scroll bar, right? I don't know about you guys, but I don't know that I'm supposed to scroll so I miss all this important stuff on the bottom. Does that make sense to you? Yeah. Okay. If you want to be mainly video then you need to have some sort of moving video that it opens with, in my opinion. But that they can choose to add the sound, and hear it with the sound, or not, does that make sense? But it starts without sound. Okay. That way they make the option because, like I said, if it starts with a sound they're gonna turn it off and they're gonna close your site, okay? But right now it is telling me that videos are important, right? 'cause it's bigger than your photos. It doesn't even feel like your photos are important. Because we just scroll through them on the top, right? Alright, let's look at your about page. I think that's good, you with your kids, so we know you're a mama, you got three little ones, right? And you did follow my advice, which is I think your About Me should be about you, not about your photography, your photography kinds speaks for yourself. You could always have a page that says about my work, but people, especially if they're hiring a documentary photographer to come into their home, they want to feel like you're their amigo, right? So you add these interesting details about yourself so someone can connect to that, right? So that's good, this is good. So this is in your About Me? Yes. Is that your family? Yes. Two films? No, just one film. What's that bottom thing, just the photo? A picture. 'Kay. Too many pictures. Well, no, it's not too many pictures, but it's in a weird placement. Did you do this yourself? Yeah. Are you surprised that I asked that? (laughing) You looked at me, you're like, I-- (laughing) No, I'm just asking if you designed it, Yeah. Like with WordPress or backend? Oh, no, it's like a template. Okay. Yeah. So, it feels a little bit, like, off. The reason I asked if you designed this, because maybe you could go back and adjust it, can you? Yeah, I can change it, yeah. Good. So, it feels a little bit off to have that photo under the film, right? Yeah. Do you guys agree? Like it just feels a little bit off. So, what if, when you're editing the template, can you put more stuff here? No. It's restricted to this, right here, right? Well, it's bigger than that on, like, if it's on a mobile, it fills up the whole. Right, but it's restricted to these edges for the most part? Yeah. We can't add more here? No, yeah. 'Cause ideally what I'd say is put some more photos of your family here, you have the information in the middle, and then the video at the bottom. Yeah. And that would feel good. Yeah. Visually, that's gonna feel more balanced to me than having to scroll down. Yeah. So, I'm really addressing user, right? Like, the user's experience. It is going to affect if they stay on your site, we're talking about this 59 seconds. We don't want it to be difficult for them. I would like to see your film of your family, right? I think that's a good idea, but I don't want to have I don't want a lot of effort to get there also, right? Right. Maybe just ditch that photo. Okay. It's really nice. The other one's just one of my husband, but I could just switch it around. Well, I mean your husband's arm is in that one. Oh yeah, that's true. (all laughing) It counts, right? That's why I asked if you could add more over there, 'cause then I would say just add more photos Would it be bad to do a slideshow? Well I was wondering if you could just, can you put in a slideshow that just automatically rotates? Yeah. _ [Kirsten] That's what I would do and fill more photos. Yeah, just go ahead and do that. Like, in one of those squares you can do that? Yeah. That'd be great. Yeah, have one of you guys smoochin' and hiking Yosemite or something, I don't know. (laughing) I notice she has photo credits which I think is awesome, Yes. That she's using her community and stuff. Do you recommend that on here, 'cause I've heard some people say don't put that on your website, put it on your blog. 'Cause it could get other people business? Well, no, not that, just that it confuses names and stuff, no? I can't, I don't even know if I've done that on my site or not. I don't feel strongly one way or the other with it. Anybody else feel? I don't know, I don't know why you don't do it. I understand why you do it, I don't understand why you don't do it, other than if you'd be worried about giving them business. But I think it's nice to credit the photographer. I agree, I like the credit, but it doesn't confuse with who's site you're on? Are you guys confused with it? 'Cause it just says photo by and it's under the About Me. It's under the About Me page, so. Alright. I love these, testimonials. I think with the testimonials, having scrolling is totally fine. And I think you have a good amount of testimonials so it doesn't, 'cause you've got these two, you have these three, it doesn't feel like, it feels like you've been doing this for a while, right? That there's quite a few testimonials. So I like that and the scrolling with the testimonials is fine 'cause it's also consistent, its the same thing, it's like the picture, the testimonial, picture, testimonial. Um, here's how I feel about pricing. I'm not gonna tell you how to price, but. I think you should only have starting at with all of your pricings. Tell 'em what the session fee is and then have a good conversation with them later about products. Because I think you have more of a chance, if they really love your work, and they have an idea of a budget in mind, if they just see this number and maybe their budget is $450, they're gonna be like, nope, or $400, they're gonna be like, nope. But if you have your session fee up there, which they can afford, and then you let them fall in love with your photos after they see them and talk to them about pricing with the products, you're gonna have a much better chance of changing that budget for them afterwards. Does that make sense to everybody? I feel really strongly about this. The other reason I feel strongly about not putting all of the pricing up there at the same time is because, especially if you're playing with pricing, or you're new, or you want to increase your pricing, you don't feel like you're stuck, like, oh, I just can't get anyone to book me at this price and now I'm stuck. No, you either don't have price on there and you play with the pricing to see where you're getting, you know, where you're getting your leads and what leads are turning into bookings. Or, you at least give them a starting point so you don't have people that have a really low budget, that you're weeding out those inquiries, so you're not dealing with just the price shoppers. Does that make sense to everybody? I just feel kinda strongly about that. I think you're kinda shooting yourself in the foot by putting it all out there. I keep going back and forth. I keep changing it 'cause, yeah. Yeah, I found, for me, what works best with that model with the pricing, is to either not have it on or just a starting point, and then have the discussions later. It was funny, I used this analogy a year ago at Real Life Conference and I find a lot of people think of it as fishing and I find a lot of people are using the wrong bait to catch the wrong fish, do you know what I mean? So, in terms of your website, you have to make sure that you follow through with what Marie said about thinking what, honestly, your ideal client is and then this is kinda like the bait. You have to, your website is like the right bait. Putting it together, the right ingredients to create the right bait to throw out there to catch the fish that you want. The fish that you want are your ideal clients, does that make sense? If you are using the wrong bait, you're never gonna get the fish you want. I'm pretty sure you can't, and I don't know a lot about fishing, but I'm pretty sure that you can't catch a salmon with worms, right? So we don't want that situation. So we're gonna try and get you to a place where ideally, you're marketing for the right client. Yeah. What is the average budget that your clients are spending? Um, like, for families and newborns, It's hard, I have different sessions, but $500 to $1000. Okay. Births are more. So is $490 your session fee. No, that includes the files. Okay, so if your average is $500 to $1000, then this price would be really hurting you, it's way below what your average is. Yeah, it's my lowest session price. All my lowest sessions start that price. And I think I said this in the first class, you know that most consumers go with middle to middle high, so you always want to have when you send them pricing, you want to have multiple options a lot of the time, even if it's just products or whatever, because most consumers will go with middle high. That's why you also don't want to be the cheapest in your market. Because if you are, you're not going to get the work or the clients that you want because they're not gonna take you seriously. It is how our consumer brains work. When I go to buy an air mattress, I'm definitely not going to buy the $9.99 one because I know that someone's going to be just laying on the floor, right? But I don't feel like I need to buy the $450 air mattress, that's not necessary, right? So I'm going to buy the middle, middle high, because of quality. This is how our brains work with consumerism, right? Especially with toilet paper. (audience chuckling) Don't ever buy the cheapest toilet paper. Okay. So does that make sense about-- Yes. Okay, here's the other thing, people don't read. This is too much words on the site. Give them this information in when they request the pricing. Then it's not too much. But I think even on the site it's too much. Yeah, we don't need to know everything that's included on the site. We just need, I really just want you to feature pictures. Pictures, contact information, and maybe a video of about what day in the life sessions are for people that don't understand what that is. If you go to my site, that's what I have and that's what seems to work for me. Really solid photos, then about day in the life. People don't like to read so that's why I say have them feed video somewhere in the website if you can make one about these sessions, that's gonna be huge, that will help convert people into thinking that they want these sessions. If you feel like you don't have the budget for that, that's fine, you have a really good skill that you can trade with a filmmaker. So just trade sessions. Ask them if they'll do a film, like a three minute film, about what you do for work and in exchange you'll do a day in the life or half day in the life or family session or whatever you agree. Barter with the people that can help you, right? Do you agree with that? Yes. Okay, so do you have one here, a video? No, but I have already traded somebody and I just have not booked anything yet for it, to make it happen. Oh, okay. Yeah. Great. I did a birth for somebody and-- Oh, great, so now they're gonna, yes! You're on top of it, girl. Almost on top of it. (laughing) Film'll work. And this is another thing. While I'm like, don't have a, really, you don't want a video opening up your site, and a lot of it has to do with music and it's better to have it inside the site. But then you can have the videos where you opt for the sound, like we were talking about. People are getting lazier and we are visually more and more stimulated by moving parts. I think that has to do with social media too and our access to videos all the time and YouTube and Vimeo, but all of those are, it's like, it's priming us to what we respond the most to, right? And moving pictures and sound is huge. That's why I always deliver a slideshow first, I want people to connect with the photos I've just done with music. It adds something to it. So for products, I think, especially if you can't do in person sales, you should have a video about your products so it's more than just photos and words, 'cause people don't want to read, and the same with what you do. Rather than a lot of words describing what you do on your site what day in the lifes are. I think it's much better to have a video that quickly, honestly, and emotionally describes it. Okay, this is fine. And this is another video? Yes. (laughing) Those are, I think those are a couple family films. Okay. But they're not, like, it's just if people go down there and then they're like doing contact and then they're like, oh a film and then maybe they'll book a film. I'm almost, I'm wondering if, wait, let's go back for a minute. We're gonna play a little guessing game. What is missing from your menu? Films. (laughing) I wish I had a (imitates buzzer noise) like, it lit up or something? And confetti went everywhere. Yes! It's in galleries, but-- No one's gonna know to go there! Like, just put a menu that says films and then have a really nice gallery laid out of all your films. Okay. Okay. have that in galleries, I can move it. Yes, ones that are just looking for photos are just gonna go to the gallery. But ones that are specifically looking for film, imagine if they don't see film up on the menu, they're not gonna look any further, they're gonna close the site and now you're closing the door on potential clients. Yeah. Right, does that make sense? Yeah. Is this helpful for you guys, to go through the sites like this? Is it helpful for everyone? Is there a question, yeah? Just a quick question 'cause several people asked, as you were talking about image heavy sites, how do you go about attacking SEO when it comes to that? Are you, uh, you've got a big smile on your face. And is there something you can do in addition? Okay. I did not make any slides about it because I do have a whole thing that I'm putting together about SEO specifically. It's actually about all multimedia with documentary family photography. For those who watch Creative Live I'm gonna give you some verbal suggestions, but we're not gonna see it visually. How many people are actually SEO-ing their photos on their websites and blogs? Okay, I like Anna's face, which was (laughing). Okay. So Margaret is. You raised your hand, you are. How many of those that raised their hands are adding alternative text to their images? Okay, good. So for all of you out there alternative text is the only guaranteed way to get placement in Google. And it is a lot of work, but for those of you that know Bridget Eldridge, who is a beautiful documentary family photographer in Virginia, Pam Dusbabek, also from Redwing, that's in Minnesota, right? Red Wing, Minnesota, yes, I'm pretty sure. Both past one-year students of mine, they were both super diligent about following the list that I gave them in terms of SEO and alternative text. Both of them were nonexistent on Google and after they put in the time to alt text every image they did, along with some of the other SEO stuff I gave them, they were both on the first page and are still on the first page when you look up family photographers in that area. So with SEO you have to alt text. I don't have enough time or visuals to teach you how to alt text, but basically, what that requires you to do is to go into every photo you have online and you're going to add in the alt text area a small description of what is happening in the picture. We're not talking about keywords, we're not talking about any of that. You're literally, boy peeing on the street, girl eating cake, whatever it is, mom and dad embracing, whatever it is, a short description. The reason is, Google is trying to distinguish between spamming photos and photos that are legitimately linked to a photography website. So if you have taken the time to alt text, it tells Google that if the photo doesn't come up, a description of the photo will come up, so it's a legitimate picture, does that make sense? So the other thing is each photo has to have a different description, you cannot cut and paste or, you know, copy and paste or they'll think you're spamming. So alt text is imperative in terms of SEO, you have to alt text your photos. Another suggestion I have is Yoast. If you have a WordPress back end, which I do think is the best, not only for blogging, but for just building your site, 'cause it's the easiest to add alt text to. WordPress has Yoast, and they will literally tell you, if you've added everything you need to add, for a blog post or a page, for it to be considered SEO-ed enough where Google's gonna pull it up. When in a body or a paragraph, whether it be a blog or a page, you know, 'cause you can do pages and posts on your site, you have to have a minimum of 250 words. If you really want that to start cycling through Google, you have to have a minimum of 250 words and Yoast gives you, like, it'll check and tell you if you have at least 250 words. So I was just wondering if the alt text is included in that 250 word count at all? Because you were saying there was too much text on one of her pages, so if she took that all out, she'd have less that amount of words, I guess. So, yes, so it's more imperative for blog posts with a lot of photos, if you want it to start circulating through, because it's new content, right? So it needs 250 words in the minimum for new content. No one ever reads a blog post. Whereas her pages would be fine? Yes, her pages will be fine, yeah. What we need is the photos and blog post to get people to your site, basically. So you need 250 words. Your alt text is not in the body of your posts. The alt text is embedded in the photos, you do that on the back end so there's no confusion with that, okay? I just remembered the other thing I was going to say. One of the keys with SEO and driving and driving traffic to your site is backlinks, are you guys familiar with backlinks? So that's why it's important that you get the local newspaper or magazine to write about you and what you do and put your link in it. You and your friends can trade blog posts back and forth about each other's families or photograph each other's families and then have each other's links and what they do with key words in the post 'cause that's gonna help. The only reason why my site comes up, I believe it's worldwide now, I'm number one if you search documentary family photography. I'm pretty sure my site is number one. The only reason for that is the longevity of how long backlinks have been attaching those keywords to me and that's because of Creative Live in 2014. That's the only reason. So then I started getting more interviews and so there was all these links with those keywords to me. And that's why, that's how Google decides placement, is longevity, how long it's been on the internet, with the backlinks, the alt text and the SEO, does that make sense? Okay. So you can do that with yourself. So that's another reason to do the direct marketing with networking and getting companies, like, do work for companies as well. Because then they will credit your photos, it's more backlinking. Any places online that you can find where you can do a free listing, you should do so. And then in the description use your keywords so that you have a backlink on all these places where you can have free listings. It's really for the backlinks, we just need the backlinks. So I do like this, that you have this small business here, and I think that's fine. And you have a small business video in this, right? Yes. I think you just need one. I think you need one example for the documfam and I think it should be more like the video that you're gonna do, one for a business, and then you should have a section called, a menu called films. And then go there, I think it will be much easier. Okay. So, these are really small thumbnails and we just pulled 20 photos, random photos, to represent your portfolio, and then we're gonna talk about them and the kind of business I think you're getting because of it. So we know you're a birth photographer and I see newborns, more traditional newborn work, yes? Um, that's what I started out doing, so I've been trying to mainly post more lifestyle, documentary type work, but I still get some work from the post stuff. Well you do because you have that on there. Yeah, I know. And a lot of my clients come from word of mouth, Yeah. Do you want to keep encouraging this? Not necessarily. Okay, so it's out. Okay. But that you can still take the word of mouth clients, but you don't have to post it, that's all. Yeah, that's all. Because, wait-- Like, my lifestyle sessions, a lot of them they're like, oh, I can't decide between posed or lifestyle so they, I do a few little posed photos, kinda like you do a family session where they want a few posed photos, and then we do the whole lifestyle thing. Yeah, and I just never show my posed stuff. I just only show the moments. But clients know when they go to my site that they can get posed stuff if they want, or when they get the price list. Yeah, I wasn't sure if I should be showing it since-- I don't like doing it, but I don't mind it, does that make sense? I don't love it but I don't mind it. So if they want to do a documentary portrait session, word portrait in there, in my new pricing it says you will get 15 minutes of posing and then we're done and then we're just going to have fun for the rest of the time that we're together and I just don't ever share those and they get them for them. Right. Because to me, if you really want to do more docustuff, look at that great photo of the little newborn guy at the bottom left, like, in the, he's black and white. That is perfect, you don't need the other one. Yeah. So we definitely do birth and newborn, is that the majority of your family stuff?, birth and newborn? Yeah, it's a lot. I'm just starting to get into more families with older children. What I like is you have a nice consistency to your toning, do you guys see that? It all looks like hers. It doesn't look like one's like, you know, ♫ Something here is not like the other Right? Sometimes I see that, but not with yours, your is really nice and consistent. But see, you have all the, even this great moment of mom and dad embracing the baby, that's all you need and that's a beautiful documentary photo, then I don't think you need the baby sleeping in the mini goldilocks bed with the hat on. I just don't think you need that if you don't want to make those photos, right? I even like the feet one, I think that should be black and white. And I, of the posed photos, like newborn photos, I freaking love the one of the dad holding the baby out with the negative space. I think that should be in one of your openers. Do you like that photo? I do. It was actually the mom's idea. I love it. I love it. If you're gonna make a fun post, that has life to it, like portrait, I really love that one. So I think that should be on there. Because if you like doing the portraits, you're good at that, you should be doing that, right? And you're gonna get good response to that so I think you should feature, feature that one. Yeah, I love it. It reminds me of Anna Kuperberg, do you guys know her work? She's one of my all time biggest inspirations and I just adore every picture she ever makes and that has that kind of feel to it. I love this photo. It's a little bit messy, like you could've done something better, did I just critique this in our-- No. Oh no, I know what it was, I had pulled it for, to use later, that's what it is. It's a little bit merging with the left, but it's fine. I think it's a great family photo, in-home family photo. I think it's really nice and I can totally read that they're in a home fort, right? They've made a fort. Good job. I mean, can you not love this more? Right? I love it. I just love it so much. It's just the best. And I also love that it's beautiful and the baby's not perfect, right? That's what makes it so, like, it almost makes me a little teary, I really love this one. That's why her parents booked the session, because she's getting her surgery. Oh, she's getting it fixed. Yeah, and they wanted photos of-- I Love it. It's so sweet. It's just the best thing ever. I think you should open your site with this. It's emotionally evoking, like, it evokes a lot of emotion. I also really like this picture. I would tone this a little differently. Okay. It's a bit hot and bright in the front, do you see that? Moreso when I'm looking at it this way, but I think because the little guy in the back is in focus, I don't want my eye to get confused and to be drawn to front, back, front, back, front, back. I want the front to be the introduction to the photo, like it's our entry point into it, but that our eye stays on him. So we won't want, I don't want him to be exactly the same amount of light, I want the foreground to be a tiny bit darker, does that make sense? Yeah. I don't mind this, but I think you're going to make a better photo of feet later. The problem with the feet, I mean, the parents are going to love it, right? But I think if you want to have a foot photo of a newborn there needs to be tension or a moment within the feet, especially hands and feet, they still have to have a moment. So stretching of the toes, or even mom or dad tickling the foot, that's gonna make for a better photo. I probably have one. Yeah, you probably do, yeah. And I think feet look better black and white, most of the time, hand and feet. I mean, it's a good family photo, all of them together. This is a nice way to show that there's an alternative, you know, it doesn't all have to be posed and you can still get a great, fun shot that represents what they like to do together all in the photo. You don't need this. Okay. Do we need to talk about why? No. (laughing) Do you want to know why? Sure. Because it feels passive. Because I don't know what's going on with the little boy, we're behind him and I feel like I'm missing out on the party. I'm missing out on what's interesting happening, so I feel lik you needed to be over there. Now if we had played with that guy, that thing, right? Because he's distracting my eye. Yeah. Were you trying to make a statement about him? No. Okay, so yeah, that one's dead to us. So let's get rid of that one, okay. (audience chuckling) In the nicest way possible, I just have to say that so you're okay with just getting rid of it. I'm okay. This was from a film that I did. Is it a still from the film? Possibly. Don't do that. Alright, we're just gonna skip over that. Actually, no, it wasn't, it wasn't. I remember the moment was happening, I was filming and then I took a photo while I was filming it. So I think that we're missing something here. Does anyone else feel like we're missing something? Someone wanna grab a mic and tell me what we're missing? Anyone? Well I just feel that we're missing a reaction from the girl's face. Okay. And, like, I get what he's doing but I don't get why, do you know what I mean? What do we need to read it? Water? Water, where? Pouring out of the boot? There we go! We need some sort of clue as to why that's happening. I'll let you keep this in if you put this black and white. Okay. Because it's different. In color, it feels like traditional newborn. I think if you put it in black and white there's enough of a moment where it's gonna feel less like that, does that make sense? Yeah. You don't need this in the opener, but this is lovely for inside, for your inside gallery. You do not, okay, my issue, I was gonna say you don't really need this one. The reason being is it's kind of hard to see. And we need photos that are easy to read very quickly on your website. Blogs I think you can leave 'em in because people might linger longer, but we need to make a sale right away, or at least interest, not a sale, but at least interest right away. This isn't going to be a quick impact photo, so that's why I say take it out. This one, on the other hand, is so sweet it needs to be in black and white Do you see that? It needs to be black and white. The moment is so sweet, I'm distracted by ooh, look how pretty the blue is, it kinda matches the bluish part of her black shirt. I'm distracted by that, I don't want to be distracted by that. I love this. (audience chuckling) So I think this needs to go in the beginning part of your opener as well, right? Okay. Did you hear how they reacted? Yeah. So then we know that it works, and this is a great example of this awesome portrait, environmental portrait of dad and son that does not have to be dad shirtless, I mean, probably maybe looks good shirtless, but we don't need to have the traditional shirtless holding the baby if we don't want to. Like, if they want a more natural one, it will look, this worked just as well, right? Do you know what I'm talking about? I'm referring to the very, it's almost traditional. Maybe on the inside, but I don't think you need it. You don't need this either. There's not much of a moment. Do you have a separate part for births? Yeah. I'm always on the fence about mixing birth and older kids in the opener, but because you shoot a lot of births, you have to have really strong birth photos mixed up in that portfolio, does that make sense? Yeah. Okay, good. You did a really good job. Does that help? Yes, so much. Does that help you guys? Okay, good. (audience applauds)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Fearless and Framed Marketing Bundle

Ratings and Reviews


I own Kirsten's 3 classes. And they are ALL amazing, inspiring and refreshing. She is not only a super talented photographer but an amazing teacher and person as well. I have learned so much from each one of her classes. I have never met a photographer so willing to share and see their students succeed. I highly recommend people not only to buy this class, but all 3! I would not be the photographer I am today if it wasn’t for her. After following her advise for the last 3 years I am finally engaging with the audience I want and I feel true to myself in the way I shoot. This makes a huge difference in my everyday. I am am truly grateful to this photo wizard lady. ps: warning, make sure you are on birth control. These classes might make you want to have children, just to get amazing images like the ones she takes LOL (joking) #not

Carrie Littauer

This workshop was by far the best photography workshop I have ever been a part of. Kirsten's work, her humor, her authenticity, her expertise and perspective will forever change the way I work with families and go about documentary photography. I am so motivated and inspired to dig deeper into my role as a photographer, and as a person, to make a real difference in the lives of those that I photograph and with my art. I'm thrilled to have been in the LIVE studio and am so grateful for Creative Live for giving phenomenal artists like Kirsten this exposure and opportunity to teach other creatives like myself! Thank you.

Johanne Lila

In the very minutes Kirsten Lewis' first class (first of three) for cL aired, I realized I needed in on this awesomeness. I became a 1 Year Mentorship student with her right away, and now I have been so incredibly fortunate to be in the studio audience for the live taping of her final class (or the third of the three, who knows what the future might hold!). For me as a 'Kirsten Lewis alumni' taking this class was perfect. I was reminded of things I knew, but had forgotten. I learned a ton of new stuff. But most of all, I remembered why we do this work in the first place: The love that is right there in the reality of life. How much this work matters to real families out there. And how much it matters to keep getting better at this, to give our families better work. I will be forever greatful that I chose the best mentor, Kirsten is such a gift to all of us. And if you're still in doubt: This class is AMAZING! If you're new, if you've at it for a while, if you're alumni: Gold is HERE!

Student Work