So here are my rules. These are the things that I want you to consider, and rules obviously I'm talking about breaking rules, but these are the things that are like, kind of like deal breakers for me, in a photograph that I think is meaningful, that I think has all of the elements that I like. Close, closer. You've probably noticed that in all of my photos, my families are like on top of each other, right? I know it's not for everybody, but it's what I do. I want there to be no light between my subjects, that's my rule for that. So if I get them close and I see that there's light between mom and dad, I'll get them closer, I'll say, "Put your hips closer. I want squeezing and just emotion, right?" So this guy, I didn't even notice his face until just now, but I want them close, so the closer, the better, it just yields connection, okay? Again, just same example. Close, they're so close. Dad was like "Wrap up your babies, let's do it." Yes, even the teenagers. This is a 14 and a 16 year ...
old, and we're hugging. People say, "How do you do this with teenagers?" Exactly the same, I have the same strategy for teenagers. Yes I make the teenagers hug their mom. And luckily, the people that come to me have amazing teenagers that are lavy davy like this. I'm telling you, you're gonna attract these kinds of people that are like, "Yeah, this is my family, this is our dynamic, I want this." So if they're not touching, they need to be interacting. So if I have a family together and they're not close, I want this, I want a genuine interaction happening. And I will orchestrate that by, like here, we're looking for boogers, we're looking for boogers in our sister's nose. So I'm gonna orchestrate interactions, that's what I want. If they're not real comfortable with touching then we're gonna do something to make them interact. Like this one, they're not quite as close as I would like them, but those parents are 100% engaged with this child. They're interacting, they're in a little bit of, you know, they're having a moment here. Same thing, they're not touching. Well, they sort of are, but there's this interaction happening, they're playing with this rock, and there, I think they were maybe gonna throw them in the water. So this was a time when we were sort of taking a break, they're not touching, but they're interacting, they're engaging in an activity together. Again, interacting, they're all part of this, they're all holding onto that leash, the little guy's holding onto the dog. There's just interaction happening, even though they're not close. Okay, so somebody was asking me about eye contact earlier, and I don't think that all eye contact is created equal. You can have somebody looking at you and it's false, it's like they're not there, right? The eye contact has to be intense for me, I would rather they not be looking at me. So when I, and I'm a sucker for, I do take pictures of kids smiling I promise, but I love intense photos of children because I think children are intense (clears throat) and there's so many sides to them, and it's fun to capture that. But if they're not giving me this kind of eye contact, like if they're not looking through my lens, like there isn't a lens between us, then I'd ask them not to look at me at all. And so sometimes they're looking at you and it's falling flat, so then ask them not to look at you. Just, it's gonna be a totally different photograph, and it's gonna be more meaningful rather than having that flat eye contact. Same here, they were having a hard time with good eye contact, so they stopped looking at me. Again, these parents were like, "Where's, the kids were nailing it." The parents were like, "I guess it was just like really stiff, it wasn't happening," it's like, "Don't look at me, I'm boring, that's what I'll say, Look at your beautiful children." And then you get this. So intense eye contact or no eye contact at all.
<b></b><p dir="ltr"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">Elena S Blair is a Seattle-based photographer, mother of three, and owns a thriving lifestyle family and newborn photography business. She strives to find the unique beauty within every family she captures. Elena is also passionate about building community and encouraging other photographers to find depth and purpose in their work and business through both online and in-person education. She is the co-founder of</span><a href="https://ladybossworkshops.com/"><span style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);"> Ladyboss Workshops</span></a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);"> with CreativeLive instructor Sandra Coan to help up and coming women photographers create profitable businesses.</span></p>
This was a great class! So much great information packed into such a short amount of time. I also LOVE Elena Blair. I would love to meet her after taking this course. She is so confident and fearless in her work and that is so inspiring!