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Lesson 1 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

1. Introduction


Class Trailer

Day 1




Psychology of Parenthood


The Power of a Story


Composition and Color


Psychology of New Parent and Connecting


Pre-Session Questionnaire


Posing Basics for Connection


Lesson Info


Good morning. How is everyone? You guys doing good, really excited here. Thank you so much for coming. I know a lot of you came from far away to be here and for the online audience again, I know many of you around the world are up in the middle of the night to see this. And you have no idea how incredibly humbling that is to me. It sze very cool, a little surreal, but very cool, yeah, thiss course is about connection, and I wantto emphasize that connection, khun b a very deep thing, it could be very emotional. And but that's, what good portraiture is about is connecting with people you love and connecting with your subjects in ways that bring forth their reality, their authenticity. Ok? And so I warn you that I have to admit I'm really nervous about this class, because it's knew some of it is very new content for me, and I realized at the eleventh hour last night, that aa lot of this work is work that I'm still going through. And so, you know, here I am trying teo to teach about someth...

ing that I'm still experiencing as well, because, ah lot of what we're going to be talking about is a life journey and it's, not something that you just master and you're done with it you know it's it's something that's a continual growth cycle and I always told people that when you die you pretty much get to leave the world with with two things the connection of the people you love around you and the knowledge you gained along the way the growth you've gathered along your life journey and so this course tackles both of those and I'm still going through it with you guys so I was really nervous and really asking myself too I have a master's concepts can I do this and you know, all I can do is is bring you into it with the expertise that I do have in the professional portrait world but then also kind of take this journey along with you in the research that I have gathered along the way from others who have who have really studied this kind of thing and share that with you and try to, you know, compacted into a manageable chunks that we can all really learn and grow from. So I'm excited about it it's definitely going to be deep a little touchy feely, so I warn those of you who aren't ready to go there that you there may be points in the course where you have to walk away for a little bit, you know and go this is really intense for me and I need teo I need to step back and that's totally okay so I understand that it's a lifelong journey and you won't solve these issues in one three day course if you know what I mean so keep that in mind but connection is a beautiful thing and it's a wonderful word it's a basic human need we all need connection we need to relate to other people we need as artists to relate to our art and order really feel empowered like what we're doing is meaningful to us I want to tell you a very start off with a very personal story and some of you we have a facebook group group going on from my last class for those of you who are in the online audience and it's grown just a wonderful group of people both men and women who are just passionate about art on dh doing their their love photography for a business and I'm in there on quite a consistent basis and most of these people in the audience here are from that group so it's kind of online reunion for us of sorts but so some of them have heard this you guys that may be hurt some of this story but I'm going to tell it to you from a more personal perspective so I want to tell you a lot about a little boy named thomas this is a very recent story. Okay? Thomas is eight month old little boy okay and he is suffering from a very, very rare form of brain cancer, and a few weeks ago, josh was a month ago. You guys remember that about a month ago, I had a call from hospice house, and I was asked to come in and photograph this little boy and his parents because they were not sure if he had three days or three weeks to live and the thought of that? I mean, I'm a mother of three and a half year old, and the thought of that of my son dying from brain cancer just ripped me up. I mean, I'm imagining you, those of you who have kids can probably really like I can't even imagine that kind of pain and suffering. I went into photograph thomas and my city manager, belinda, came with me, and we both looked at each other and we knew were like, this is going to be really challenging like this is going to dig deep at the core of who we are and why we do what we do, and you don't really understand fully what that's like into your face with it and thomas, his family, I was so I, you know, obviously in the interest of privacy for the family, I can't show thomas's face, but he was lying in a bed with tubes hooked up to him. They got him dressed he had had the entire back of his skull removed and when surgery because of the swelling in his brain so his back of his head hurt really badly so they couldn't like hold him very well because he couldn't lie on the arm because it was it was very painful for him and he was on massive pain medication to try to control that but it was really just waiting for to see what happened and you know the grand parents were hoping for a miracle and the parents and I think they knew but what was interesting to me is that the mother was so vulnerable at that time and she could not look at the camera she could not look at me and I didn't ask her to um because that you guys know what it's like to have a camera in your face to have someone it can feel like a violation of some kind sometimes and use here that's the negative side of photography when pictures air taking without our permission and that's feels very violating and granted she wanted me there to record this but she could not connect with the camera but she connected with her little boy that day and the images of her holding him and kissing him and loving him and holding his hand with something that I will never forget and that I will sorry that I will it's really was the most challenging session I have ever done it was um the most important session I have ever done and I think what it really comes down teo is using our life experience for connection and for purpose and what we do so you know, you guys have heard me talk a lot about this in previous classes there's no you're why why are you doing this? Why are you getting out of bed in the morning? Watch anybody care find your why and push that with all your might to the world because that's what's going to make you a truly great artist so connection is something that as an artist when we find it within ourselves when we find it with our clients and when our clients confined it with us you can create portrait that are soulful, meaningful touching and important to you and I'm a daily basis when we're just you know, photographing the clients who come through the door yadi yadi odd it's just another client you know the drill, you can still achieve it there and it takes some practice but it also takes understanding you and how you connect or not with yourself and with others around you so who will benefit from this course family photographers who want to create deeply personal work you're stuck in a rut maybe you want to try something different anyone who wants to infuse honestly their true self into their work we always think what we're supposed to shoot for a client what will make them happy but really what it comes down to is what connects you to your art becoming your authentic self and putting your work off putting yourself authentically into your work and that's hard to do because it's risky oh emotional risk you know it's it's scary to dio and that's the thing we're going to tackle here um what you're going to learn you're going to learn your definition of family love okay, yeah everyone's looking me like holy guacamole this is gonna be deep yes iss okay how and why you must face and embrace vulnerability okay, how to inspire your own creativity how to uncover your experience of parenthood whether you have children or not everybody has a parent if you're adopted or not you have a parent somebody brought you into this earth and you haven't experienced when it comes to parenthood so we're going to talk about that we're going to talk about how to use that inner voice and that experience that you've gained along your however many years you've been here and use it to create powerful, powerful images. Ok? Well you're also going to learn kind of on the technical side is the go to poses you can use really everyday and your work especially for newborns and toddlers and that common a combination of things everybody knows I'm a newborn photographer that's what my specialty is but I photograph older families all the time I don't still advertise for it but I do that and some of these posters they're goingto work really well for you especially from new born through the priest school kindergarten elementary school age okay color and design composition for meaning okay last time we talked about color and how to use it and design now we're going to take that to the next level and make that about what it means in the image the symbolism there okay previously pre visualization of experiential image using symbolism to create a story good family images ones that speak to the art of your heart are ones that have a great story okay, but there's a caveat us us photographers have a little issue when it comes to telling stories and we're going to talk about that we have something that kind of holds us back and prevent us from doing it's a technical thing will come we'll compare that in a little bit of course we're gonna talk about how to composite apparent images parent image we're going to be doing tomorrow three shoots one of which is extremely personal to me is my perfect I'm a little scared to do it in front of guys but I'm going to embrace vulnerability and do it so we're gonna go there we're going to learn how to use fine art to mount and for printing and mounting so even if you don't put yourself, you can order these kinds of images from your lab and then mount them yourself beautiful artistic ways I'm going to talk about how to do that as well as marketing and pricing high end work. Okay, this is carriage straight trade stuff. Guys, I only sell less than half a dozen fine art pieces a year, probably more like three it's no once a quarter on commission for this kind of thing. It's not stuff that you do a lot for your clients, but it has much more than there's much more benefit to it than just selling it to your client. Okay? And that's not why I do find r I don't do it to sell the clients. I do it for a different reason and we'll talk about that. Okay, so get my keynote to roll along here. So what will this course actually do for you? What are the benefits? Talk about that for a second. Well, you're going to create connection in your work, ok? And with your clients you're going to differentiate yourself in huge ways because nobody's doing this stuff peeps nobody okay, create images that means something to you and really that's what it comes down to, I want you guys to do this because you love it and if you do it because you think somebody wants you to do it a certain way it's no fun anymore you're getting more out really quick, but if you're doing it because you love it in your heart, you're creating what means something to you you'll keep creating the rest of your life and that, of course is going to help you grow remember growth in connection with what we lived there with with, you know, of course going to charge more for higher quality work it's going to fuel your creative in herself and of course refine your style with a deeper sense of who you are. Okay, it's also going to help you get paid to do what you love, which hey, that's kind of a nice little fringe benefit in it. Fantastic. So why should you care about this? Parent images are the ones that sell people. I mean, really, when you shoot, I mean you're shooting newborns with the baby, the ones with the parent with that relationship of that emotion in that connection that's what people walked, the parents come in and they go it just speaks to everything about what it means to have a child for the first time, so those are the ones that sell story connects a viewer to the art how many of you have ever seen a movie wei will have okay how many people read a book? Uh why do we do that? It's entertaining it takes us away suspension of disbelief it takes us to some place we want to go and makes us feel something and connect connection it's all about connection okay, so ah story connects a viewer to the arts the storytelling is so critical to this process choosing to be vulnerable will open your heart okay our parents are the cornerstones of our lives good, bad or ugly someone mine's pretty ugly but they are the cornerstones of our lives becoming we're having a parent reminds us what it means to unconditionally love blood love baby that's the kind of love that just I mean you may drive you up the wall you want to you know, pull out a knife sometimes I could yeah I wouldn't but let's not go there anyway you love them no matter what you know my mother and I don't talk I haven't talked to my mother and my two years, okay, but I still love her. She brought me to this world I still care about her very deeply but we're just you know, there's that love there and there's a message there and I can use that in my art so like I said, I'm gonna get a little deeper moves clap so I'll be okay with that you will be I'll make a shirt and most importantly the most the biggest reason of all why you should care about this course is because it's all about authenticity ok being authentic and true to yourself and who you really are is going to help you create art that means everything but it's a scary thing to dio because it put yourself out there and it makes it you know we're going to re introduce george in this class and for those of you who have never seen my courses you'll find out sooner or later what george is okay but george is our enemy and authenticity and george fight a lot okay all right so those of you who are online and want the course freebie this is how you get it you can either just go straight to the course page on creative live and the download there is a pdf that will give these instructions so that's kind of the easiest way to do it but go to this little girl here and enter your email yes, I am a businesswoman so I do want to get something for giving but anyway the freebie will be e mailed to you I am not obnoxious about emails I promised for those of you who are already on my mailing this you probably know I send stuff out like twice a year but once a month at the most, so I hate getting spam mail myself, so I try not to, and I'm also very cognizant about providing useful information when I email. So please note that it's not always going to be just a sales pitch. Okay, so what's in the freebie. Six creative exercises to get your mind going. Okay, they're valuable exercise. You can do. Come on your own. You're going to be a couple of homework assignments in this course as we go along, so keep that in mind. Twenty things you need to pre qualify and book a client. So this is just from technical stuff to information that you need to gain from them to either help endear them to you or to help you plant the seed of the sale or to help you connect with your clients. Okay, ten conversation topics to obviously to connect with that pen potential client things you can talk to him about to help them open up tio and become more vulnerable. And then, of course, the complete resources list that we use here in the studio.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

BD Design Cards
Butterfly ClamShell Lighting Set Up
Newborn Posing Design
Newborn Prepartion Sheet
Standard Lighting Set Up
Studio Gift Card
Gear Guide
Downloads with RSVP

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

This is the second course with Julia I have seen. And it's amazing and very inspiring in so many ways! I appreciate so much the honesty of Julia, her spirit for doing things she loves. Like a photographer and artist myself, I feel identified with her perception of world and the passion for artistic and family photography. This course is about never give up, it's about hard work, and also it's about cultivating creativity and honesty. I highly recommended this course to every photographer who want to grow and understand himself and the business of professional high-quality photography. Thanks, Julia and Creative Live, for this one!

a Creativelive Student

So glad I bought this class - well and truly worth the investment. This course has helped me realise why it is so important to make an emotional connection and how to use it to my advantage {while giving my clients the very best too}. I cannot wait to try some new printing/mounting glad Julia was kind enough to share this! I got a lot out of this course and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take their newborn photography business to the next level.

Jenny White

This class was amazing!!! Julia does a great job of showing her process, how she captures beautiful images from start to finish. It was worth every dollar I spent!!

Student Work