Skip to main content

Shoot Q&A

Lesson 25 from: Get Started with Lifestyle Family Photography

Elena S Blair

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

25. Shoot Q&A

Lesson Info

Shoot Q&A

We have a lot of questions coming in, and we have about 10 minutes for questions. Okay, cool. So I know you had one. Yeah, I have a question. Well, I'm just looking at the details of the technical parts, I guess, and it looks like you didn't adjust anything as you were shooting, you had it set and-- Yeah. And that's what you did. And do you do that outside as well? No. Or you adjust, okay. Outside's very different. So it's because nothing changed in here. The lighting, and I did, once in a while, look to make sure, 'cause I was noticing that it was getting brighter, as it is right now, but that's because we're in here and nothing's changing. So normally, when you're out in the environment, sometimes you're in the shade, sometimes you're out in the open field, sometimes you're getting backlight and so you do have to change your settings. So that was why I didn't change. It was pretty easy in here, settings-wise. Pretty consistent. I noticed that when the little girl's ...

moving around and her hair's getting caught in her bow or the mom's hair might be different places, you're not fidgeting with any of those little details. Does that bother you in post afterwards, or do you just let it go? I just let it go. Okay. I'm not, like I said, I'm like the anti-perfectionist. So that doesn't bother me. That's real life. So, yeah. Especially if they're moving, of course it's gonna be messy. I want it messy, actually. I kinda like messy. (laughs) Yeah. Technical, what do you use in white balance? What's your settings here or outside, what do you do with that? So here's another one that everyone's gonna be like (gasps), I shoot auto white balance, usually. Sometimes, like in here would have been a great time to be in Kelvin white balance because the environment was so steady, not a lot was changing. I know that I could learn another way, but for me, when we're outside and we're moving around, the location is changing so much that to set a custom white balance at each spot seems like a lot of work for me when I'm working so fast. And Kelvin can be a little tricky there, too, because when you move from shade to out in the field, you would have to think about changing that, and I like to be able to just be fast and work on the fly and I usually just fix it in post-processing, if there's a problem. And are you shooting in RAW or JPEG? RAW. Okay, so then you're okay on the ISO. Absolutely. RAW is amazing, yeah. 'Cause RAW, you have more flexibility. Yeah, RAW lets you-- Cool. Lets you fix that. Great, okay, tons of questions coming in. So, question from Lacie, do you feel that you then have to create new poses if you have returning families? It's a good question. And I generally don't. What I will say is that as the kids get older, the poses, maybe they change a little bit, or the way that I direct them is a little bit different, but usually what changes for my families is the location, and that's enough. So, I may not do the laying down pose, that's pretty specific, I may not do that every year with the family, but, and usually, you know, you're always evolving and changing. I learn new tricks and poses every once in a while that I infuse into my work. So generally it's the location that adds enough variety for my families. Another question about how you were photographing, from Jillian and several other people, are you always shooting in Manual? Mm-hmm. Absolutely, 100% Manual, yes. And would you ever shoot in Auto ISO because of the changing environment? No, I never have done that. I always like to be in complete control of the settings, so full Manual. You? (laughs) Control freak, I know. Control freak non-perfectionist, I don't know if that makes me like a hybrid weird person. (laughs) So a question had come in about, someone's joining us from France, and-- Oh, hello! That's cool. How do you, if you have an older child who's about 10 years old, is there anything different in the teenager, tweens, anything different? Yeah, no, there isn't. And that's like, when I was showing some of the examples in the earlier segment, I was saying, look, if this is a teenager, this is an older kid, I do the same stuff. And obviously you're not gonna have Dad pick up a teenager. Maybe you are, but probably not. But I am gonna still ask them to get close and I'm still gonna direct them to interact in those ways. So no, I use the same posing tactics with older kids. Do you ever have more than just an immediate family in your sessions? That's a good question. I don't take extended family sessions because I don't feel like I'm very good at it. I really want to focus on that family connection, and when you bring in too many other people, it's just more like multiple shoots in one shoot, and so I turn those away if I get any. Once in a while, Grandma will come along and I'll get some shots with her in it or whatever. That's an exception, though, it's rare. Any tips, this is for April Woodruff, who's watching and wondering how you were toggling your focus points while they're all moving so quickly. Any tips on how to get better at that? That's a good question. When in doubt, leave it on the center focal point. When in doubt, leave it on the center. So if you're not a back button focuser and you really feel that you're worried about where your focal point is, just keep it in the middle when you're learning. It's totally fine to do that. You can kind of recompose a little bit and keep it in the middle, but now, I feel like, that's why I don't ever like to get a new camera, I'm sure that the new one feels a lot like this, but this camera feels like an extension of my hand, like I feel like I can just do it without even thinking about it pretty fast. It just takes practice, be patient. All right, another question again. You said you're photographing very quickly, as we can see, getting all the little moments in between. Do you know what speed your memory cards are? You didn't seem to be having any issues with buffering, or if that's a consideration. No, and that's funny, 'cause I felt like I was having more buffering, I think it's 'cause of the tether, but I... I use, the type that I use is the Sandisk, and I think it's, I don't know, that one tends to be fast enough for me, I've been using that same brand for so long. Right. Okay, we can maybe look at it at break. Yeah, yeah. And just see what it is. We'd have to see. Let's see. Any more in the studio audience? We saw images that were with babies, so Marcia from the UK, how would you pose a baby with the family? Is it the same flow? It's the same. So yeah, I would have the baby be right up in there with Mom just how I had the older kids, or have the baby sit on Dad's shoulders, or if the baby was really little, then you just the mom and dad hold the baby in front. So yeah, it is pretty much the same. I mean, all of this can work with little littles and older kids, too. So let's do one more, and this is from Dan Mahar, who says, do you think that your process is more oriented to extroverts, or do you think introverts can learn to bring that same energy and intensity that seems vital to this process? I'm glad that that question was asked. Remember I was saying, where are my introverts in here? I have a really dear friend that is a photographer that she and I have shot together before, so we have gone out and done a family shoot together. We were at a retreat and we were photographing at the same time. And what I found that was very interesting was that her style of photography is very similar to mine. It's very intimate, it's very emotive, but the way that she does it is a little bit more quiet. So she speaks to them still, but she's not a spaz like me. She's a lot more calm, and her images feel more calm, which I think is funny. And we were shooting at the exact same time, and what she saw and what I saw was totally different. If you've never done a shoot with another photographer like that, it's actually really a cool experience to see that. So you can absolutely do this as an introvert, you just are gonna infuse your personality into it. You do have to be able to talk to your subjects, though, and I do think that you have to be able to touch them, even if you're an introvert. But you can do that in your own way, with your own personality, I mean, that's what's cool about photography, it's gonna be uniquely you.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

FAQ Template
Family Sessions Prep Guide
Session Prep Example Email
Family Session Education Experience
Pricing Worksheet

Ratings and Reviews

Armstrong Su

is super knowledgable, yet down-to-earth and relatable. I love how he explains the exact gear he uses but also describes ways to accomplish the same look using DIY and less expensive alternatives. The segment where he demos a live shoot in multiple, difficult lighting situations is worth the cost of the class alone! Bonus: He's super funny. He could probably double as a comedian on the side, but I digress. This class was informative, funny, and very practical for any photographer that wants to increase their profit and expand their business into the professional world. He gives all his prices and workflows so you can get up and running in 2 days! :) Awesome class overall, and it's a great sequel to his professional headshot class (which I also bought and loved.)

Sandra Kay Hayes

I am totally in tears watching this, and think that every person going into Photography should watch these. She is a great teacher, and helps us to understand our "why" so much better. I also LOVE that she helps one feel confident with the non-perfect, (or so called) shots, Thank you so much for giving me more confidence to shot what I love and not worry about "rules!!". Best class I've taken I will recommend her to every group I am in!!!

Julia Khris

Elena is a great presenter. Delivers information in a very fun and engaging way. This course would be good for a beginner photographer. She shares the basics, but unfortunately doesn't quite provide advice on the more tricky questions. She shares a lot about her current state of business (10 years in and making enough profit to afford hiring staff). This is great to know what to aim for, however, it would be more beneficial to hear more about HOW to get to this stage. The main idea that I took from this course is: outsource as many processes as you can. Elena doesn't have a very distinctive style (no offence, but there is a huge competition in the style and editing that she works with), I would love to hear her advice on how to win in such high competition, how to convince clients to choose you and pay higher price tag for an equal quality of work. This is a fairly inexpensive class, so I would recommend it to the beginners, but not to the more experienced photographers.

Student Work