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Psychology of Parenthood

Lesson 2 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

Psychology of Parenthood

Lesson 2 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

2. Psychology of Parenthood


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

Psychology of Parenthood

So why do we dread shooting parents and kids winery dread shooting family is why is it so hard shout out at me ladies so awkwardness someone said what else yeah yeah shame yeah it's you're just not good enough but there's other deeper there's other kind of details that george picks at you about it's too much to handle the six hands six arms I mean we're just talking a family three here three heads it's like woo too much okay it's a little intimidating in that regard it's hard to see everything because there's so much to see that could be extremely intimidating andi it's hard to connect with multiple people at once no it's different when you're shooting a high school senior you can just kind of talked to talk to them and it's one on one and it's you and it's a little easier to connect maybe not with a teenager all the time but with three or four people or worse yet a whole group connecting with that is almost a near impossibility I mean it's congee extremely challenging but what about t...

he deeper reasons that it's hard feel a failure intimidation okay, what about subconscious resistance does it expose you and how you feel about family? Maybe maybe not okay could go both ways but all you're saying we're going I'm not sure what she's talking about okay this is where we're going to start to dig a little deeper, okay the psychology of parenthood family fortunes about love right? I mean really what it comes down to when someone commissions you for a family portrait it's about sharing and photographing and enjoying the love that they have for one another correct that's what they want to capture mean I have in my precession complication questionnaire you know why now why do you want to do this now what what do you want most capture and nine times out of ten it's I want these little details and I want the love that we have for him captured okay, so the question is is what the heck is love okay if we're going to capture this what is it? It can mean so many things okay, stanley love blood love is a lot different than the crush you have on the guy next door you know or the girl down the street it's a lot different um so we're going to talk about how you learned to love and your parents are the people who define that for you whether you're adopted whether you had a lack of parents or whether you had very supportive, loving, caring, nurturing parents you learned that was your first experience with love was them okay? So understanding this connection within your own psyche is going to help you create powerful images, especially of family okay? So let's chat about that a little bit more here it's going to help you create very moving emotional art and the big question is is how do you see or understand love okay and I'm talking good, bad or ugly talking to a therapist on dh that's why I say this is a little bit of a touchy feely course okay and I'm not a therapist by any means but I have experiences I'm going through this journey with you guys and so we're going to keep that dialogue open and communicate about over the next three days so our parents are the very first to teach us about love so you have to ask yourself what is your experience? Okay, how did you love in your own relationships? Some of you got married right out of high school some of you are still single some of you were you know, monogamous to a fault you know some of you cereal monogamous before you found the right guy. Okay, so how why did you go there with your relationships and how did you express love? I'm sure some of you may have heard the five languages of love what is it? It's gifts acts of service words of affirmation physical touch and what's the last one quality time. Okay, so do you give and receive love in one of those ways? Okay, I'm a gift giver I love to give gifts and I love words of affirmation so when someone tells me I'm doing a good job on your say so it's a weakness it's it's a thing it's it's something that part of who I am but my husband is all about quality time so when he wants to shun acts of service so when he wants to show me he loves me he does stuff at the studio for me you know he'll start fixing things he's a contractor so he'll start fixing things and putting stuff up and making sure it all looks good etcetera, etcetera and when he wants to spend, you know, show love he'll spend quality time with me and my son what is that teaching my son that quality time means love for me it's gifts and words of affirmation so kid is going to grow up with a heck of a lot of time on his hands and good words to speak up you know, I'm saying so it this you have to think about his apparent with what you're doing your children, what you're teaching them and we are teaching them essentially about love can what it means to love so how did you grow up? And this is kind of a weird question about how did your parents love you? What do they teach you anybody want to volunteer? I know this is starting to get a little bit in the heart, but does anybody want to to volunteer what they think their parents did to show them love means you know, did they take you places? Did they be completely supportive at your high school drama play? How did they love you? My parents divorced when my mom was pregnant with me and well, I'm our deal. I know it's okay, it's gonna happen a lot in three days. I'm going to do it too crazy. This is coming out right now, not what I had anticipated, but, um there was no love like we don't show emotion in our family. We don't hug, we don't express it with the words nothing. So I am so afraid that that's how my kids are going tto learn uh, you know, uh so I'm thinking over compensating that, you know, in your work with my kids, huh? And maybe in your work too, but that's okay. That's okay? And that's, that experience is what's going to make you a beautiful artist and a beautiful mother, you know? I mean, it's way, take our life experience. And if we learn tio maybe take that negative and push it in a wonderful way to do a new place that's better than if we didn't experience that it all right and yet stuck to experience it, but it'll yeah, go ahead, it's so funny, because I do push that on my my clients, and I'm so not like that. I don't I don't love on my husband and it so bad to say I don't kiss him and I don't tell him I love him I just telling girl up. Yeah, that's how you learned love right to you that's love, that's all so no it's, not it's, not terrible. That's what you learned, that's what you were conditioned to learn and you know it's not however iwon does it. So, george, bless his little heart, gets in there and goes, you suck. How come you don't love the right way? You're not enough? You're not enough, you're not enough that's! Shame! Everybody has shame. Nobody wants to talk about it. And the less you talk about it, the more it controls you okay? And shame and vulnerability are very much tied together. And when you can embrace and look atyou, you're embracing it already talking about thank you so much for sharing that. That was that was incredible. I have a similar experience. My mother has a social disorder, so she can't hug. I mean, wonderful woman, she tried to nurture me, and so many other ways that she could but when she hugs you it's like a which in some ways you know to me that was worse than just not hugging it all like it if you don't do it just don't even try so but now I'm like tugging my kid all the time he doesn't want me to touch him, you know, drive him crazy with that and so I think it's true it's like the alcoholic parents where the child never takes a drop kind of thing it happens to be the opposite or you fall into that pattern but this is what it is about it's about self awareness what am I doing that I want to change and I have the power to change it? I may have to learn a few things along the way on how to do that, but it's my job to change it and if you can be self aware and what you don't like necessarily or that you want to change, go for it, but don't let george kill you over it, okay? We'll talk about this much maura's the course goes on, but this is shaping how you see love and it probably on a very subconscious level affects how you shoot family portrait it's it's certainly affects how you interact with your client, doesn't it? Which in turn channels through your work we're artists people, we're artists I feel embarrassed to ask them oh pretend you love her or interesting or kiss you no image I don't know that's just me and I know it silly and I try and you know I heard you saying sometimes figured telling make it oh yeah and you know I just kissed her but in tight I'm going how awkward interesting interesting and you know what it may take you years teo step through that if you want to change it but there's what I'm saying is that there's no reason you have to change it if you don't want teo it could be just used to influence how you see the world how you grow on how you connect with others all I'm all I wanted to do in this course has learned to be self aware of what you're doing so if you want to change it you can if you want to use it in your art and that's how you're gonna be that's okay too you have the choice to take it or leave it okay um you know another way that parents taught us to love is how they love each other you know did you when your parents fought that they try to keep it a secret not let the kids know they're fighting us what my parents did and then I would go to the bedroom door talking about what they oh my god, they're gonna get divorced I mean, that's, you know, remember, as a kid that fear inside of you, but had my parents just fought in person and said, hey, my honey, we're working through it it'll be okay if they had given me that, I would have been much more okay with argument ing with arguing a lot of in my brain right now. Um so how did the show what was missing? What was there? What was missing? What did they teach you about love? So I'm going to give you some words, okay? And I want you to this is not an exhaustive list it's a big list, but it's not I mean, there's much more words associations out there that you could use, but I want you, as I say, each of these words, I want you to think about your own experiences, a child and your own experience growing up with your parents, okay? And ask yourself if you felt any of these words and which word resonates the most, okay, it doesn't have to be a word on this list if you think of another word as I'm talking about it, go ahead and write that word down, okay, online audience. You can do this too, and sometimes I think it's good to close your eyes so you tune out because we're visual people photographers are very visual and I want you to feel and and really hear these words and let them resonate in you and ask yourself if that's something that clicks in your own experience okay, so everybody close your eyes the first word is attachment abandonment communicative emotional, independent, manipulative co dependent helicopter mom that struck a chord with somebody worry wart unfaltering generous aloof a couple more here just a second complaisant over involved lays a fair which is the french term for like let it be leave it alone guided freedom responsible overprotective closed off unavailable supportive encouraging shaming enabling open your eyes did a word resonate maybe maybe not her a couple laughs if one didn't did another word popping your head like oh yeah um aloof was good but it was more of this ok, so if you've got it, you don't have to get it right now I don't feel the pressure to get it right now but write it down if you've got it this is your secret came nobody could know what you gotta see this I'm not gonna call you out okay? Now I want you to tonight write a letter to your word dear unavailable okay and I want it to just for ten to fifteen minutes I want you to just write and not let that pen come off the page that's the rule do not let the pen come off the page for ten minutes and I want you to write a letter to your word. My word is unavailable for both of my parents, but in different ways ok? I will do the same thing tonight. Might share in the morning, right? Not that that's a rough one. Okay, but you have to. This is an exercise in really learning where love came from in your heart. Okay? And it could be a good word. You could have used the word supportive and your letter could be just ripping apart. Supportive. I don't care. It could be good, bad, ugly, but let it be you and let it be real. And do not let that pen leave the page the same with online. I if you guys could do this too it's actually a very eye opening exercise. It spits out what's kind of in the back recesses of your mind onto a piece of paper and you'll steve themes growing. You'll see linc throughout and you could do it chronologically. You can talk about whatever you want to go. Just just spit it out on the page. Vomit the stuff okay, sorry, but any way, how does your life experience influence how you feel about family? Okay, how does it influence your art? You can ask those questions to yourself in your letter if you wish and it may or it may not do you want it to do you think it will make you a better artist? Is it too scary to do it? Are you running the other direction to avoid it? Okay, how does it influence how you feel about your subjects mean, yes. Day to day basis client comes to the door, you shoot him, whatever, it's all hunky dorey on the surface. Right? But did you know that deep in the recesses of your mind, how you experience love in your life and family and what that means to you affect how you deal with your client? I mean, we just heard that right here. Okay, so it's going to affect things, you may not realize it, but it will, but we're going to take that harnesses the power of it and you use it for good superhero. Okay, so ansel adams said a great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels in the deepest sense about what is being photographed it's so true and this is getting at the very heart of that. I want you to go from photographer to artist. Have you ever heard of tortured artist in room? We all have I mean hello, thie alcoholic vodka drinking cake loving artist who like assists holed up in a room tortured and depressed and mania and all this stuff because their life experience gets exploded into their work that's how they get it out that's how they get these deep wounds out of their body is they put him into their art okay? We're not I don't want to go quite that I mean I didn't want to quite go that far, but some people do you know when there's a whole other set of issues there which is probably completely separate course that shouldn't be on the photography channel but you get my drift artists mark get line on the six activity services air functions of contemporary artists to create work for some human purpose that's what an artist is we create extraordinary versions of ordinary objects. So think about your subject family we're creating extraordinary versions of that recording commemorate give tangible form to the unknown give tangible form to feelings I knew that's like what we do and was like yeah, it iss I mean when you have a child for the first time, your life just goes up on its head I mean you just won't have a whole new reason to be on the planet that's huge right this huge and there are all kinds of feelings associated with that, one of which is deep, deep seated love and it's our job as newborn photographers if that's what we're going to even family photographer I don't care my son's three and half years old it still jump in front of a truck for him I'm saying it's still that deep sense of love and that grows and changes and develops over time and it's our job as family photographers to capture that it refresh artists, refreshes our vision and help see the world in new ways. Okay, we tell stories and I want you to elevate your work to fine art from you that's authentic that's riel and what happens when that happens? What happens when you work from your heart and yourself? In your experience, nobody can copy you. They will try with all their might and they might succeed in small ways, but ultimately there is nothing that they can do to exactly replicate what your heart put into that image. That's why it's so wonderful that's why being an artist is such an amazing thing and it kills me these these things when you see on facebook all the time, this this photographer will say and I've done it, I mean back way all do it home are dodging copyright back damage I mean, we've done it move past that because first of all, it's a form of flattery secondly, it's, they can't really get at you ok, they will never be. And they will never create what you create. Because it's, unique and authentic to you, if you are creating from your authentic self. If you're trying to be somebody else, it will never happen.

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