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Evening Chaos

Lesson 15 from: Family Photography: Photojournalism in the Home

Kirsten Lewis

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Lesson Info

15. Evening Chaos

Lesson Info

Evening Chaos

We're going to see Evening Chaos, and when I, you'll see that when there's a lot of chaos, I'm really slow with my moving, because I'm being deliberate about what I'm choosing to shoot, I'm really trying to make only one pictureat a time. And this is the worst light imaginable for this kind of action going on. Your juice, I know. (laughing) So there's a lot happening, this time of day is the best for shooting, the worst for parenting. They're starting to get tired. Whoa! (children giggling) I know that they're in bad light, so if you notice, I didn't shoot. I was waiting for maybe them to get into good light. (chattering and giggling) (shutter snapping) This is the best light I have to shoot in. Who's ticklish? (giggling) (shutter snapping) (giggling) Are you ticklish too? Dad is now being a jungle gym. And backing up so I can get all of them in the frame at the same time. What I'm hoping for is they stay in this light. Cause this is the only light that I have. And he says, you wan...

t to go to the carpet? In my head, I'm like, no, no, you don't want to go to the carpet, you don't want to go to the carpet. In my head I'm like no, no, no, don't go to the carpet! Because look how dark it is. It's like impossible for me to shoot over there. I'm doing the best I can, I'm pushing my camera, but I know that my shutter speed, look how much it's struggling to keep things in focus. I'm checking my metering here, (giggling) Careful, she doesn't need help, Audrey. Take it down. And there's an overhead light above them, and I'm like, please photo gods, please turn it on, but I'm not going to turn it on, so I'm going to work with what I've got. (giggling) Oh, careful, Lily, your face is gonna hurt. What I was trying to do is just isolate one good thing. Like, I like all four of them hanging on Dad at the same time. (laughing) but the light is horrible. (shutter clicking) I'm also thinking I can shoot a little underexposed and bring it up in post. That's one of my favorites. (children shrieking and laughing) I realize two people in a photo is better than one, so I move to the other side. Lily, that's gonna fall, honey. Save yourselves! (laughing) Everyone save yourselves from the zombies. Dad, they can still get you. No they can't, they can't see me. (shrieking) Okay, mom doesn't like the screaming, girls. Tone it down a notch. I'm waiting for all four girls, that's what I ideally want, is all four of them in with Dad. Adelaide's done. (fake roaring and shrieking) Baby, baby! Nyeh, nyeh, na boo boo! If you notice one thing that's really difficult is they're in the dark, like underneath the bed. (crying) Oh, now we've got someone who's gotten hurt, very typical. So now we've got a monkey kid and Dad. Okay. (laughing) (shutter clicking) I'm trying to show Dad, also he keeps rubbing his eyes. She's, Gwen is losing her, she's losing it, she's throwing stuff everywhere. (laughing) (children shrieking) Chris and I are both laughing when this is happening. (shutter clicking) I don't want the zombie to get me! (shutter clicking) Gwen! Gwen. (children chattering) I'm trying to show the juxtaposition of Dad by himself in utter misery, and the girls on the top, being out of control, that's like my goal. (shrieking) And while I'm more inclined to shoot the chaos... This is very hard for me to shoot, and I don't think I got a good photo of it, because it's in the dark, they're moving. (shrieking and giggling) (shutter clicking) Adelaide's hurt, or now, Gwen is hurt. Dad's done. (laughing) Hey, let's play a game! Even I look like I've been through a wind tunnel, like, it's been a long day. (roaring and shrieking) Again, being super deliberate about trying to make one good photo, because there's just so much going on. Butt crack! (shutter clicking) (playful shrieking) They're running in and out of rooms, this is also tough, where you want to follow them every time, but I would just pick one room at a time, and wait for them to come in and out and then pick the next room, and then shoot them coming in and out. The reason why (shutter clicking) I'm putting all of them on the same focal plane. So playing basically hide and go seek with basically Dad is being a monster. (shutter clicking) I love how Gwen is just reading. She doesn't care. (shutter clicking) (giggling and roaring) I got one! (roaring and shrieking) And this is really hard to work with. My shutter speed is at 250 second, that's the lowest you can go to try and stop motion, but really you need 1/500th of a second, and I can't go to 1/500th, it'll be too dark, I can't shoot 1/500th. So I'm limited by camera's ability. When I have the D5, I won't be limited at all. (shutter clicking) I like to include as many people as I can in the photo, in the environments, you'll see I use them for layers a lot. Now I'm trying this room. (laughing) (roaring and shrieking) Let's go get her and go back to bed. (laughing) I'm slow, I'm not freaking out, I'm not panicking. Help, help! I'm thinking before I shoot, I'm watching. (shutter clicking) (children chattering) Let's go get 'em, rawr! (shrieking) I'm waiting to see if Gwen does anything naughty. (laughing) so this is when they both stick themselves in this cupboard and no one knows for, like, a long time. It's just Chris and I are the only ones that know they're in the cupboard. (laughing) (shutter clicking) What I love are like the little extremities, like look, there's a little person in the cupboard. And while Adelaide gets out, Gwen stays in there, thinking someone's going to find her. No one does. And she'll peek out, like, hello, I'm here. (laughing) I'm like, how long you think she'll stay in there? (laughing) (shutter clicking) Hello. Nope. (shutter clicking) that's what I want, is the little fingers. High or low? She gives up, and she goes back in. (laughing) (shutter clicking) and I'm working the scene, I'm not leaving it. I just think I've got a good one, but I want to keep going, because this is a really interesting picture to me. (laughing) and this is where, what I find funny is not what everyone else is going to find funny, but I'm focused on this because I'm laughing, like this is funny to me. So I'm just working it, so her sister's the only one who knows she's in there, she's gonna shut her in there. All right. (laughing) (shutter clicking) (laughing) This is me being stubborn, this is me sticking with something even though I know those other girls are playing around with their dad, this is me being stubborn and thinking, this is what I want to shoot. The hardest thing is, I probably have like five really good photos, but the end of the day, I'll only pick one that's the best. (shutter clicking) Now we have the lint roller. (shutter clicking) I think I stick with this 'til she leaves. (shutter clicking) So I think that answers a question about being stubborn. Like, just sticking with it, and trusting my gut, and my vision, it's my choice to stick with that. I just want to show you the following game with Kirsten. That caused my producers to have heart attacks because I'm pregnant, and there's a liability thing, but if they really trust you, they will want to involve you in their behavior, and that's the golden egg, that's what you're hoping for. So I'm shooting, I shot from the side for a long time, this situation. They probably did it 100 times. Remember I told you, kids repeat their behavior, over and over and over again. I think they did this for 20 minutes. So I shot from the side, I shot from the doorway, and then I decided to shoot from their perspective, kind of, like shooting at them. (shrieking, chattering and giggling) This is taking a risk, because I have no idea if this is going to work out or not, and then all of a sudden, I become the base. (shutter clicking) (giggling) And this is when Kathy, my producer, starts to have an aneurysm. She's like... Please don't pull me though. (giggling) I'm still shooting, good perspective, I'm holding on as best I can. You girls, okay? And my only concern is, are they okay? I don't want to hurt them. And I just remind them, there's a baby in here. Girls, you gotta be careful, because I have a baby in here, remember? So we don't want the baby to fall, okay? (playful yelling) And they understand that, and they don't, I don't think they pull me anymore. And they go back to the side. Now, she's climbing up there, and that tells me that's a better position to go in front of them to square up. (yelling and giggling) Hot. I'm not interfering, she might lose a little bit of finger pads, maybe some sight, but... I gotta get a drink. Okay, so we're moving on to dinner. Right before dinner, and I just want to show you, this is when, this is what I look for, is kids playing with things that should not be toys. And for me, it's all four of them are doing it at the same time. Excuse me, are you guys allowed to do this? And they're told like four times, don't play with the plates like that. Nobody's allowed to do that. Finger pointing is always good with parents. You got the double plate. (childish chatter and laughter) I'm also looking for who's the most interesting with the plate. I'm watching. I want them all to be balancing the plates on their head, that's what I'm hoping for. Don't slam your plates on the table, please. Why are you doing it gently? Adelaide is just eating her fork at this point. (tuneless singing) Right now, I'm focused on just making a photo of the two of them putting plates on their head. I recognize now they're all trying to put the plates on their head, so I'm finding a different perspective, and I think what I end up doing is using layering to do this. Liana, Liana's the blonde. (shutter clicking) The forks are just an element to naughty mess. So remember I said the squirrel, and I hadn't gotten the right photo of the spitting the water back in? So, I know, when we go back to dinner, that I'm going to try to get this again. She's drinking, so I'm like, yep, she's going to do that again. She's watching to make sure she doesn't get caught. I was also gagging when this was happening. (laughing) Ew, gross. I'm not making a big deal about it to her, because I want her to keep doing it. (coughing) Okay, so this is another idea, finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Ordinary is a family eating dinner altogether, right? Extraordinary is, I want something more to be happening that isn't eating dinner at the dinner table. Eat your food. So everyone's being at this point, pretty good, pretty normal. (shutter clicking) Maybe I'm getting everyone eating at the same time. All of a sudden the girls start acting out. Aw, did you bump your head again? Come here. (shutter clicking) What I want to show is dad ignoring everything and just eating, because he has just given up the fight. (children chattering) I grab a chair to get higher above. (shutter clicking) (family chattering) (shutter clicking) You okay? Fine, momma. (shutter clicking) What I need really, is all four girls, and the parents in it, or it's not going to work. (crying) (shutter clicking) Dad seems unfazed, so clearly this happens on a regular basis.

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Ratings and Reviews


Kirsten is an incredible teacher. When deciding whether to purchase this class, you should first take a look at her first CL class--Modern Storytelling. It's the best way to dive into this material and is a good starting point. If you're interested in this genre, buy BOTH classes. Both are so packed with helpful information about the family photojournalism genre. The first class was a solid, well rounded introduction to family photojournalism, and this class is more in-depth, specific, direct, intense, full of composition technique, and really just takes it to a new level. She doesn't waste time in this class repeating all of what she taught the first time. Kirsten is very candid and personable which I find really helps us viewers learn from her authentically and enjoy the class. I feel like I know her from watching so much of her class and I know that helped me to connect with the class and understand the material better. I feel like I finally have the tools to really tackle this genre and a better idea of what I'll face. I HIGHLY recommend this class--BUT only if you have an interest in this type of photography. THIS ISN'T A CLASS ABOUT MAKING PRETTY PICTURES, IT'S A CLASS ABOUT CAPTURING REAL MOMENTS IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY AND STORYTELLING THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY.

Image by Marcy

I'm adding my review in hopes of giving some perspective to the few negative comments. I've been a fan since Kirsten's first course, and have been hankering for more ever since. I wish the viewers who decided to jump ship before watching the whole course had reconsidered, and hung in there. Here's why. Kirsten describes this class as more of an "advanced" class. To my way of thinking, it's an excellent adjunct to the first. I took notice of a good bit of the questions in the chat room on CL while the class was live. It was clear to me that there seemed to be plenty of viewers who had not watched the first based on their questions. To get the most benefit, you really need both courses. There is overlapping content, of course. But there is specific and pointed information that was really only generalized in the first course. Invaluable is the segments that were taped live at a family's home, where Kirsten shot a DiTL. That filming was shown and dissected in this new course. VERY informative. To put it succinctly, yes, there is some repetitive info, but necessary to bring it all together, and yes, new content. YES, the front end is a bit heavy on the personal. If I remember correctly, that viewer choose NOT to stick with the program, which is fine. BUT, had they stuck with it, that person might have had a change of heart. You see, I think you have to take all the information in it's entirety. Because, the openness, the vulnerability, the honestly to me is *endearing*, for one thing. But also, she definitely USES that personal information in the context of her teaching. Listening to her personal experiences (KLB's) gives US an opportunity to look deep within OURSELVES and CONFRONT our own past. OUR PAST is what shapes our future, good, bad or indifferent. We can allow our past to propel us to success, or sink us in despair. Either way, our past helps form our POV which is very important for our photography (as well as how we approach or avoid life in general, and affects us in business too...) I appreciate her honesty. I appreciate how she shares her struggles, both past and present. Both personally and professionally. For me, the whole package is more important that the individual "pieces". Who knows about that viewer.... maybe this genre is just not their thing. Maybe that person wants or needs to shield themselves from their own personal issues. IDK. Also, it's just a fact of life that *not everyone will LIKE .... ___ (you, me, her, etc). Whooo knows. That's their right, their choice. And it's true that this genre is not for everyone. But if you love it, then get the course. If you missed the first one, then get them both. You'll be happy you did, and you'll have saved yourself time and frustration trying to figure this out on your own.

Meredith Zinner Photography

She is outstanding. I love her candor, honestly, openness and extraordinary eye for talent. I love how true she is to herself and how fiercely yet seamlessly she works to show the truth and people's real stories. I love how she is a real person and shares true stories about herself that keeps her human. I'm so tired of this culture being so damn 'precious' about a baby's bottom fer crimmeny's sake... she's extraordinary, refreshing and unlike anything else youve shown. She's got an incredible eye, sense of humour, talent and so much to share with her very thankful audience. Thank you so very much! Thank you Kirsten!

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