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Family Photography: Modern Storytelling

Lesson 33 of 35

Demo of Culling for Portifolios

Kirsten Lewis

Family Photography: Modern Storytelling

Kirsten Lewis

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Lesson Info

33. Demo of Culling for Portifolios

Lesson Info

Demo of Culling for Portifolios

Okay, before you look at these so jan's in an interesting situation because she doesn't have a website yet, but do you want one? Yes. Okay. Yes. And have you been looking at sites or designers or what I am? Well, so I am. This is not my primary profession. So it's something that I do in the summers on the side and something more for a creative outlet. And so I'm I've really been researching, but I I have not really found what where I want to go with it, but something that's not too expensive because it's not a primary thing for me, but that still works and allows me to show my work because I want it. So yeah, you'd like to have control, like you can have control over the back and yeah, sure. Yeah, but something simple because I am not super tech savvy like yeah, you know, it's really fine. Yeah, I know they're out there. I know they're sites out there that are pretty easy. Uh, flow themes is one of them. They actually have ah, flow sites as my designer and they have flow themes now tha...

t has the word press back end, but you can pick one of their front end's is totally customizable on dh, then I think there's into the dark room might be another one I'm sure people chat khun just or in your group yeah, I I've never done a template site other than well note at the end but uh so I'm just learning about him so I don't know about them mine it's always been custom so you need something it's easy and simple and do we have here? Oh no, we don't why don't you tell me about how you like what you feel your photographic aesthetic is um I like very natural like I'm one you know, uh I live out in the country so I'm really drawn to that and so and it's interesting leah's I feel I feel like managing what I want to do and what the clients want and expect and I think that that's one of my huge takeaways so far is like just managing that expectation on both ends and being really clear about the communication is so key. So that way there's no surprises in and so I love your one hour session, how you just it's fifteen minutes and that's what we're doing and then because I feel like my best work is in the more authentic working they feel what I feel more comfortable with is that just replay time where they're just being themselves rather than sit down formal I'm not comfortable like you, I'm not comfortable as comfortable there but I feel like that's a lot of families are looking for two or they're just not sure um you know yeah yeah yeah so I'm going to go through this session that jen gave me with the idea of mine like this might be one for your portfolio or this is direction that you're going yeah we're or what if I were to blogged about this one like what were the strongest ones to be pulled from that or and also what would be a couple of shining stars if any for the website is well yeah perfect so you want to tell me a little bit about this this shoot it's kind of it's kind of one thing about I'm still learning shoot proof a little bit they kind of mixed it up a little bit but it's hardly the time for so it is mom and she this is like your first they're the dynamic that their family changed a little bit and so is their first family shoot with just her and the girls and she comes one that celebrate and then also her parents were there is well okay so do you shoot with two cameras or want this went so you're changing your lenses I think I might have just shot all of this with my uh twenty four two one o five okay, so you have ah judlyne which helps yes although I recently got me eighty five and I've been using that a lot from a portrait, okay? And my fifty but yeah, okay, um, you know, I'm gonna tell you what, get close. Yeah, just get close. We didn't talk a lot about bubbles. I'm going to be releasing a pdf that is all about the different activities that you do with kids and like, how to approach him here's the trick about bubbles, they suck, they're really hard to photograph. I have found that you have to have a good dark background behind them to really see him and with an over cass kai it's even harder to see him because they need that light to, like mold around them. Yeah, so I loved photographing bubbles, and then there might biggest enemy like they're really hard to shoot another trick, and I don't say this very often, but with bubbles sometimes it's better to use a long lens so you can compress it like super long lens. Uh, that's been one of the tricks for me. I can't get down to low unless I have, like, good dark background because then it goes into the sky, and then you don't see the bubbles a cz much well, this is another example of, like earlier, I was thinking, you know, open shade, open shade, you don't get those. And so, like, if I were to go back, I think I would have been a little braver with that and read the light a little bit more in the open, so hopefully now you'll be inspired to do that. Yeah, so tricks you guys, when I'm saying for bubbles, I say actually use a longer lens for at least half of the bubble time and then switch to the wide angle. Uh, but then if you can, like, maneuver your way around that they're backlit the little girl and the bubbles, and then you could do like these profile photos with the bubbles floating up, and so they're backlit. You, khun see the shape and dimension that's like one of the best ways to tackle bubbles. I admit they're not easy a photograph. So with this, I think just zoom in more or get closer, but I think I'm good glands swell. The other ones were landscape good see, now you're using light, you're not afraid of it. Focus when I'm back. It is a really bugaboo for me now. Do you know why this one is better than this one, this one versus this one, um, you're just not flooding your land, yeah, the light, and that helps that's why I always prefer shooting a little bit earlier than when the because as the light comes down it's harder and it's going to lead your lens worse and it was pretty late there yeah that one's nice is not too flooded I like that one they'll love that one I love this I've been thinking about this one um a lot because earlier when you were talking about taking the individuals after the fact and so they've been running around and playing and so I asked mommy said, we'll do me to try to clean up her face and she's like how but you know, it's capturing the experience and her and so she is in this like really beautiful white dress and she's all dusty and so this is why you can't pull this let's make sure he can't pull it from here no that's good uh so yeah, so this is the gallery that that like the proofing gallery that that that she would get I think that this is a horizontal shot I don't think you even need to do do it vertical and then do it horizontally always give yourself like that option to have both and to choose one or the other but because her eyes are so piercing, I think you could even I think the photo could even be like right here and it would be in color but like just just that's that idea of like accentuating the uniqueness and her eyes are very they're so blue with the red hair that I think next time when when you're doing the kid's portrait's try both trying vertical and horizontal but I can't pull it who is going with this? Be careful with this mom yes you know how to use a liquefy uh yeah okay, I'm not super liquefy will help also just trying to shoot her from above yeah, I like that one I think that might be a black and white I don't know if I converted any of youse two black coin so when they get a gallery what are you giving them just color er well, it depends most of the time it's a mix I would say that and then a lot of time, whenever whatever they choose like if they just choose a handful or whatever then I give them I'm kind of a color or black away at it. So but sometimes it's interesting because sometimes on a choose if if I feel that one really needs to be black and white and then they always say, can we have the color want to yeah, which despite but but most of the time when I choose it to convert its fur a reason don't mean, um is this grandpa yeah so that's why I really wish um that I'd had this course beforehand because I would have done a lot you know probably less of this and more of the interaction in the moments between for my favorite ones you of all of their freckles and if you love their freckles getting close yeah I'm like yeah there's a couple that are a little bit later for my favorite yeah his smile there's a force there totally settling oh this is sweet well grandma there's one that's kind of it and that's the thing is that you know we did this but some of my favorites were the in between moments yes just and so that's kind of theories away really wanted to come here because I could I know that that's what intrigues me this could be a war zone I like that one better it's little lash out I think it could be rescued maybe photo shop I don't really say definitely rescue but um if the moment is there you can try it come on load hello internet gods there we go no one's usually um uh what is it isn't it something to one hundred twenty forty one of uh shoot this at one o five zoom all up in there I think I was pretty far back on the one like they kind of the kids were asked that that's the other trick when people are walking always say just go a little bit slower than you normally would this is a really nice scene. Where did you have this? In washington? Yeah, over near the dungeon. Esp in the wild there's like a wildlife refuge that's pretty not one black and white you want to keep shoot with this one, john? Just keep shooting until I think that he might be a tiny bit awkward let's see my head just keep shooting, shooting, shooting and we're gonna wait for them to look like for himto look up on acknowledge, okay? Oh, yes. So there's the private landings like that and so there's a plane coming in sea, which really liked the best? Probably the one was him point yeah? Or that I couldn't see the blame on that one, but there's a really cute and that's you like a little peek back? Uh, here's a just keep in mind and I think you'll do it now with mountains to watch for the mountains, cutting their heads like in, like in the heads, so but I like the mountains so you get low, you won't lose them or you can just get high and make sure that they're below the mountains well and I think on that one, the, um, like the processing was is a little bit different uh, does that seem awkward? I think it's a little more, matt I just wasn't sure about you know how much people like within a gallery how much people mix up their processing if they keep it can nearly consistent across the board or hiring in cem, you okay? Yeah, I'm always very consistent with all of my processing because that's part of creating like a recognizable brand also is by being consistent with how you're toning, this one is portfolio worthy. Oh my gosh, look at her sneakers like that's like that is a great detail. This is when you want to shoot vertical with the compression and getting her from head to toe because I love that she's wearing sneakers, so you made the right choice with that. Come on, internet there week off! Great! I love a good two! Yeah that's tonight, there's a really cute henry the little boy has a really authentic smile, but please arms or position that looks like he's missing his arms. We can't really that, you know, really I was still super cute. I wish that I had noticed it. We have hard jobs like we're looking up like the more you learn about this with the composition, the more crazy your brain is going to be about, like constantly making choices to make better pictures it's almost a curse better of attire fewer I'm only scanning because, yeah, I don't we're going to run out of time this is better see how you have this really nice dark in using a longer lens awesome okay I pulled quite a few so if we look at these and form a mechanic I say that your portfolio photos are these two this one for sure and this one so good but these are all good I would put these on my block uh one thing when delivering to the client with the artisan you want also be sure that like I said this before like try and balance the number of photos of each of the kids alone trying deliver around the same so it doesn't look like you are I'm favoring one of the other but at the same time for your artisan at it you do what's best like you pick what's the best ones but when you deliver the the full thing to your client you want to give them kind of an a hole number that makes it so yeah these I think these are all great and I just love this one it said this is such a good frame that's you know that's childhood that's siblings that's hanging out who um looking at planes I do love this one too but this one is really nice and clients will respond to that and from spending three days with you I've found that your you have a very calm demeanor a very gentle disposition and I would think about that when you're doing your branding because you give that off in pretty immediately and I see that in your photos there there calm they're mellow you said you look for the quieter moments so that's why this one especially is one that I would put that's why this one I would put in your portfolio because that mirrors who you are does that do you feel that yeah ok d'oh I wouldn't do anything over the top with their branding I would keep it clean and something I think I work okay yeah that help yeah absolutely yeah hopefully helping out there yeah all right so we're going to do one more um critique for catherine so I'm gonna have jenning catherine switch okay, thanks all right, little lady so we're looking at three different places yes and I want to say I'm I'm really nervous about doing this you know that on I wasn't prepared for it and I feel like I'm having an online personality crisis right now I'm on online massell so it's good that's no I spell my name by the way our end it's ok this I always go by k dot a dot more okay so kate anymore yeah, but I am katherine within a right well, why don't you talk to me about your crisis maybe there's people out there that are also feeling yes, something other people having crisis crises like this okay, I have spent a lot of time shooting a bit of everything over the last couple of years just to get technically sound okay? I focused on photography long, long time ago and I'm like just you know, I'm just taking everything in but I do a huge amount of rescue cat photography right the last couple of months I've not done a lot of this business I've moved and I've been sick and blah bitty blah so I've got these two things going the pushed teo get my business sound on my online you know my sorted out and doing the work that I do for the rescue because it's a really big part of who I am and what people recognize my work as I because my cat stuff is my cat stuff and I'm very passionate about it so I'm juggling with like how to keep those separate and and also this documentary soft which I told you I want to get that in with the pet that's the right so that's you know cem so when we look here is this you meet this is your bog okay, I'd say that would that's what it is this kind of this is word press which I am going incredibly frustrated with cnn putting all kinds of stuff on here in the moment right? This is why it's a mess this was just stuff that I like quickly took a cat show this I wasn't you know like these sporadic things that come up this is I don't remember look at it yeah I remember what I said your balog is for your potential clients your future client it's not for your current ones so if you don't want to look at these and that means you don't necessarily want to keep getting this kind of work all right? I think there's also a way that you can do this kind of work in a more documentary style also but if you don't want to advertise this overtly then don't put it on your block you don't have to you do not have to log every session you just don't have to do that so I remember what you just don't block that oh yeah this was kind of a thing that I did for you I'm a member of this organization good heart speak which is it represents artists who use their talent to help get animals adopted okay? It was it was a post on getting your animal ready for picture day because they're a lot of things that go into that people I don't know about. So I have some things on here that people looking for for info and I've used it for the heart speak organization I think that's fine because that's tough that's what you're passionate about so you don't want to attract clients that either attracted to that or you want to track more work and so if you want more of this kind of work then you need to put on your block and I'm fine with that because I still want to be doing this you know and that was me looking for yes and some doggy stuff that was when I was here a creative life okay, so previous time I'm fine with this except don't block that you don't need to block that because my album links it doesn't look like your work yeah either you know what I mean? Yeah um what was okay, huh? Which album should I look at? This is a good question um this is another thing I'm having on people rescue I haven't you know they expect me to post my cat pictures on here so they can pull it to their right to their page and so I've got a mix of of of stuff on here as well and I'm I'm needed in a pool hall kind stuff off vegas it's real this is yes two thousand eleven thiss band doesn't exist anymore. I've been doing a lot of okay music as well, so I'm gonna give this suggestion for anybody who has a situation where you got to totally different directions for your work you've got your pet rescue stuff, the people that you do the rest before feeling very needy they want you to most everything and that's fine if you don't mind doing that but I think you should have that separate you should have two separate business paige is so that people don't get confused yes so I would do came or pet rescue photography or cat rescue photography and then I would do the came or photography or came or families so that you keep them separate I think I would also website style I would keep those two separate or have a landing page where people can choose if they want to look at your they want to go to your your pet rescue versus if they want to go to your families because you don't want to have just one filled with pets when you really want to start attracting family clients and they'd be like, oh, I don't know it doesn't look like she does yes, you know what I'd get on those end uh I don't know it's not their assistant should I pull it up again? What's on the zen folio is that well that it comes out with picture well, this this was, um this is my adventure into, like changing to something that looked more like a website because clark doesn't look like a site to says it can't be more zen folio dot com yet don't say aye sinfully oh don't sample yet, okay so let's look at it oh, yeah, here we go see, this is a good website it's clean do you have a bee up? Contact is right there but again, when I see this I'm on leave going to know that you're a cat photographer for those stuff comes up first, which is why I'm saying I think you should not stop doing that, but if you really want to cater to a family business, you you need to provide them with visual stimulation right away with the kind of work that they're looking for. Does that make sense? So I don't know if I know all these sites are not cheap like you have to pay monthly or annual e but if there's a way that you can switch, um to be separate that's what I would do yeah, also you have, like, two completely different brands. Yeah, I was going to say this is I just wanted teo this was this is more along the lines of me throwing out what I'm like yeah, you know? And I feel like I haven't done that yet, you know? And I haven't had a chance put down that, you know, I've been tryingto like, what was some ideas about? Like, you know why I do what I d'oh? Oh, and because I don't feel like that's, not you know, my personality doesn't show through, but I know nothing about you looking at this yeah, I think the first thing you need to do is you need to work with the designer, and I feel really strongly about at least working with a designer for your logo war photographers were not designers there's very few that could do both. I always say I'm very our I'm very talented and creative in a way, but I'm not very innovative. I'm just not an innovative thinker, I think that's why I don't feel comfortable with, like, portrait portrait because I can't come up with new things, especially wedding portrait ce I have trouble with that, so there's no way I could design a logo because I'm not innovative, but there's designers out there for a reason, and if you guys are in that same boat there's a ninety nine designs like, if you have a limited amount of money, I say, like, check out ninety nine designs dot com I think it's what it's called and you throw out a proposal of who you are, what you're looking for and then you get, like, like a lot multiple designers sending in options, and then if you find one that you like, then you contract them you like, purchase what they've designed, but I think you this is what doing the book right now like in like in this point in your career is perfect because you just kind of really need like hone in on who you are the kind of work you want to be doing all that is going to help with the design process I also suggest for anyone that is starting to do to the design process or you're looking for a designer the best piece of advice I give you is the more information you give them the better so that you're not going back and forth like no that's not really me no no no no give them a little bit of like, fun facts about you like who you are your personality what kind of ice cream you like do you eat pizza or know your sweets send them start a pinterest board and I really don't like interest uh because I don't like I don't understand the whole like sharing a pinterest pins when I do like pinterest for for me it's a visual bookmark I mean use it for eventual bookmarking all the time I'm like, oh, I need to remember that that that I don't care who sees it and I don't look at anybody else in transport but I do use it for that and that is where it comes in really handy for your designer if you because this is what I did this is why mine website is so me and it's pretty it was pretty precise from the beginning like they like throughout the design back really easily because I provided a lot of information you should be looking at different fonts that you like different text that like you should be putting this all in like inspiration pinterest board colors that you like even photographs you're drawn to artists you're drawn to you need to provide them with as much visual imagery as you can as reference they could really get my idea of who you are, what you like and then from there they can really help you if you don't have the money to work with the one on one designer like that try ninety nine designs I think they even ask you a few questions about you and your business and then they'll help feed that back once you have decided on a really good logo that you feel is you from there it's like the heart of the body like but from for both I'd still use the same I think it would be ok. I mean the other thing about my facebook page particularly is I don't know what this is a no no um is doing a lot of mobile up loading which I feel like there's a lot more of you know, this kind of like I shoot like this at home, you know you know, pictures of my my son and my home life and I've shot up people's parties and things like that I'm very like I level the candid stuff and the that the moments that they totally gonna miss you know it I'd even like I put myself out there to shoot people's parties because they don't so they don't waste that time right taking photos you know, because I love doing that just keep it separate I think yeah I would say keep the tracks separate people ask me this question all the time though about weddings and portrait you separate those websites when I worked in the outer banks I did because like beach portrait ce versus all the other wedding and documentary supposed doing I felt was very different so I separated the two uh now I choose to keep those and house those together because they really blend together my work is it's like seamless from my portrait work to my wedding work it's all it all works together and a lot of my wedding clients will either high hire me later for my portrait work or they have friends and they were further friends like oh we shot a wedding and aspen and I love that the whole time when she was telling people about me all of her friends at the wedding she's like she's good wedding photographer you really need to see her family work and so she was like like bidding me out like I mean really like slugging me out to lake her friends and that's what I wanted and that's awesome that's because I haven't combined but they're very seamless for you this is two totally different businesses and so I think you should just do two different simple sites with one with one landing page and then people who are looking for you they're still going to came or photography, but when they go there they could choose I'm looking for the pet photography or I'm looking for and so then people that are looking for you for your family stuff because they love your family stuff, maybe they do love cats or rescue and then they have the option to go live there, but they don't have to does that make sense? Yeah, yeah, because I've got like, the the music stuff to do I get okay? Yeah, yeah so oh, with your music work yeah, I keep them flicker. Yeah, I would keep that on flicker that is making money anyway. Honestly, it's just fun so so kind of come to terms with or or come with yourself to figure out what it is that your aesthetic is sent, start collecting visual representation of who you are, what you're drawn to and then kind of go from there and work on your logo yeah and then what you have a logo that really speaks to you that you feel represents you from there then you can start the design process does that help totally helps it does so much let's see what do I know but I think that's what you need to dio um you're a strong shooter but you're obviously you won the way have her picture I thought we had katherine's picture that she won the first instagram contest I thought we had it maybe they'll put up the one from the one from the yes the guys have in the back room all we have to do is say guys in the booth background can if we brag about katherine's winning image from the instagram contest I feel like I'm talking to oz hello guys it's so wonderful and I'm really proud I'm really proud of everyone that entered and it's interesting that the first contest I only had like ten submissions because I asked you to go talk to a stranger and take their picture and that's scary like that's really scary for people with the self portrait I have like a hundred entries but I'm really proud of you like this is an awesome shot this is you like I can see that you connected with him so you need to be showing more of that to get your families yeah this this felt like me and I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time. Get the bulls up scuse me, teo, teo, teo to do something like this, because once I started talking to him, it was like thirty, forty five minutes we were talking, and about halfway through that, I got his photo, and, um, yeah, it was I'm so glad you put that challenge up because I realized I want to do more of this, you know, because I'm fascinated with street photography anyway, it's, not for everyone and it's, scary it's, scary did that rejection, everyone scared of the rejection more than anything else what I say, my mom always said anytime I hadn't issue like, I don't want that point, and I like him. And she said, well, what's, the worst thing that could happen, like, at the end of the day, like, if you really get down to the nitty gritty, really what's the worst thing that can happen, what's the worst thing that happens if you take some, if you try and take someone's photo on the street and they say no, they say no, I mean, we take it a step further, they make punch you, but they're not like this. They're just giving her saying yes or no like it's, one of the other, and it's not a personal thing, like if they say no, they either want it or not. But if you put in a little bit effort and talk to them, you're more likely going to be able to take that picture. So, yeah, I hopefully I helped you and you and knees and, well, believe me out there with the critique. Definitely, I think we're resonating with all the things you're saying. One of the folks had just said. Please tell catherine, you are not alone. This is from andrea. You are not alone in your identity crisis. People are feeling the love out there, so really good stuff.

Class Description

Learn how to capture genuine, emotional images of families. In Family Photography: Modern Storytelling, Kirsten Lewis will teach you how to take meaningful documentary-style family photographs.

Kirsten Lewis takes a unique approach to family photography, leaving posing techniques and studio light at the door to capture real moments, as they are lived. In this class Kirsten will share her techniques for creating the relationships and environments that help her subjects feel at ease and open-up in an authentic way while she shoots. You’ll revisit the art of storytelling through still images and how to bring storytelling into your work with families. Kirsten will teach you the steps to developing client relationships that allow you to honestly document a family, from birth onward, while nurturing your business. You’ll learn new ways to approach composition and editing so your final product is both beautiful and true to reality.

If you want to deepen your relationships with the subjects you shoot and deliver photographs that are joyful and authentic, join Kirsten for this in-depth class on documentary-style family photography.



I cannot recommend Kirsten's course highly enough. I've tuned in to a couple of CreativeLive courses on photographing families and children, and they were both very "studio"-centric. A lot of posing, a lot of gear, etc. I don't have a studio and a lot of gear, I don't desire to, I'm uninspired by the outcomes, and I tuned out pretty quickly. I love capturing people, especially kids and families, in their moments. I love a great candid. I love "documentary photography" (as I learned to call it from this course). And loving and creating photos that tell a story or capture a genuine moment is exactly what this course taught us to do, and did a fantastic job of doing. A few things I loved about Kirsten from the get go: she is not pretentious, but intelligent and genuine; she as a person and her photography are inspiring; she knows how to teach - technical without being 'technical', knows how to explain her process, draws on her mistakes so we can all learn from them (and our own - and this is a HUGE element of teaching most people lack!), all the while packing in an enormous amount of information that could improve anyone's photography. is very accessible in her explanations and her language; she is honest: a good teacher will be critical because again, if she's not (and if we're not open to it) how will we ever learn? Although I felt sometimes her language was a bit harsh or her assessments "right or wrong" where more nuanced language could be merited - my one critique. really seemed to be teaching first and foremost to have people learn and be excellent photographers, and to enjoy the gifts photography can offer (personally and productively), which made it so much more appealing to be "in the room". Best of all, I had an awakening that I am allowed to be myself in my photography. As much as I love candids, I get caught up in the expectation to take posed pics, for those I'm taking the photos for more than for myself. No more. It makes me impatient and disappointed with the outcomes. I'm going to cultivate what I love. I also finished each day inspired to take and process photos - visiting my nieces, bringing my camera everywhere. During the class I kept going into lightroom to look at my pics while she was teaching, to compare my past photos to what she was teaching. It was such a wonderful learning experience. Thank you Kirsten for being true to yourself, going out on a limb in your approach, and sharing all of this with us!

Kathleen Petersen

I started out in photojournalism, but it was a long time ago. Back in the 70s, I would play with the little ones, in their backyards, or at their breakfast tables, to get lots of beautiful, real images. Then, over the years, with the need to earn income, and then later, the need to compete, I got side tracked. I still did photojournalistic images of my kids, and eventually, their kids, but clients were wanting specific things. I called it the line-them-up-and-shoot-them style of family photography. The creative soul within was always longing for the more natural, more real images, and I have always been able to sneak them in to any session. But my business was mostly about everything else. I shot some weddings early on, to pay my dues and my rent. But discovered that I much preferred being a second shooter and capturing the candid moments and the details. As I am now a grandmother, I have been making changes gradually in my business to get back to my roots. Taking this class has been life-changing for me. I was making these tiny little baby steps, as if I was afraid that I would fall out of favor with my current and future clients. The competition is huge here in socal, so how could I dare step away from the white shirts and khakis? I dare. I am about to completely revamp my business model to return to where I started from. I plan to march to the beat of my own drummer. It really does make one happy to follow one's passions and to be true to one's self. I don't even care if I lose any clients. I want to provide for people something that is so essential. Real images that will nail down the memories forever as they interact and love each other. This is so important. At first, I wasn't sure if I would like Kirsten. But by the end of the three days, I loved her as if she were my best friend from forever ago. I love her for her personality, the things she taught us, and her great example. Best class I have ever taken at Creative Live, and that is saying something! Thank you!

Jo Benoy

The great thing about photography is that it can be all things to all people: a hobby, an art form, a profession. As long as I can remember, cameras and pictures have been important to me - for different reasons in different seasons. I have never been particularly interested in formal photos, and I thought my preference for "catching moments" in a style three or four notches above a snapshot made me seem like some sort of slackard. Enter Kirsten Lewis. In three days, she explained, modeled and taught the sort of shooting that I've loved for as long as I can remember. She mirrors my philosophy that good photographs aren't necessarily pretty, and that if a picture is compelling or evocative, it's a good one. Lewis is not only a gifted photographer but a clear and cogent teacher, which is always a welcome combination, and as strong as her tangible skills are her confidence and dedication to her own style and voice. I've watched and bought several CreativeLive courses, but I have enjoyed none more than this one: ever since watching it, my brain has been spinning and my shutter finger has been itchy. I loved, loved, loved this workshop.