Shoot: Etherial Child Portrait


Introduction to Flash for Children and Family Images


Lesson Info

Shoot: Etherial Child Portrait

All right, so what we're gonna do now is we are gonna swap this out and we are gonna bring on this white fabric and we're gonna do this really neat shot with the white fabric. Hopefully it comes together. It's a little bit of an experiment. I'm gonna have you come over this way. And we are actually, I'm gonna have all you girls actually go back towards that clock over there. And we're gonna move the couch onto set. You got that? Yep. So what we've got here is a white piece of fabric. And really, what it is, it's designed to work inside of a backdrop system. Yeah, so move this way a tiny bit. Right there. Perfect. And let's bring it in closer to the backdrop. Thank you. I think that'll be all I need from you guys. I think. But I'm gonna have Jack stay on set with me. Okay. So that-- I just realized, I forgot to grab it. Here it is. Let's keep the pillows on there just in case. Maybe we'd move them over here so that the fabric can drape over that. So again, black and white. That'...

s what we're going for. And Jake, we're gonna pull this a little bit tight, like there. Yeah, right on. Go ahead and clamp it. (nervous laugh) I think you can probably balance it on top of the-- Yeah, perfect. Is that good? I think that's good. Okay. You wanna do this one? You can come forward. All right, we're gonna use you for this one. So here's what I want you to do, and I'm gonna pose for you just to show you what I'm after, okay? This is another one of my embarrassing moments. Before, I was doing this (snaps cheek). And now I'm gonna pose on the couch. So the idea is is that you're on this really soft fabric like this and you're kind of laying down like this. We'll take some pictures of you looking at the camera like that and others of your head up like that, okay? How do I look? Good? Yeah. You gotta have fun when you do this. And I may repose you in a second. We'll find out and see how that goes. Okay, go ahead and grab a seat. Slide this way a little bit. Yeah, fantastic. Oh, and your shoes are so pretty. We're gonna probably need to show those shoes off 'cause they're all black and they're pretty. So have you do something like that. Nice job. I'm gonna have you lift your bottom up a little tiny bit. Can you push? (grunts) There we go. Okay, grab a seat. Looking at the wrinkles there. Okay. Just throw your arm up to the top. Oh, actually. Holy cow, that looks pretty nice. Come forward off the back. Yeah, right there. Mm-hmm. Drop your hands like that. Get a little more wrinkle, a little foof in there, yeah. What I was hoping for, we had a hard time finding what exactly what I wanted, but I wanted, for lack of a better term, a lot of foof and fluff in this. This is what we found and so we're gonna go with it. When we convert it to black and white I think the overall look will look pretty good and we're gonna add a little bit of blur around the edges to get a nice soft look. For this, I'm gonna use the big, gigantic umbrella because it is so forgiving and we need to light a pretty large surface area. And it'll be pretty much on axis. Up there. Move my flash in. So since now the umbrella is farther away and it's higher, I'm gonna have to add some more power, so I'm gonna go probably up to quarter power and maybe even half power. We'll see if I need to in just a second. And then the last thing is is that I gotta put that diffusion dome on there so it spreads the light all around inside. (equipment beeps) Excellent. Yeah. Thank you, Jake. You read my mind. Throw one of those on there. Perfect. I think we're ready. We are ready to take a shot with one single flash. Mm-hmm. You have the perfect facial expression. That's great. I'm gonna shoot one a little bit tighter. (camera clicks) Yeah. Let's see how that turned out up on the screen. Ha-ha. I kinda like it. Overall exposure looks pretty good. I probably need to amp up the exposure a tiny bit so I'll add a third of a stop. And a lot of you are saying, "Why are you being so particular?" Well, you've got the time, and you've got the energy, you might as well do it. It's better to do as much as you can in camera. That means less work for you later inside of Lightroom. Okay. (camera clicks) Nice. (camera clicks) And now I'm gonna back up and get one... Would you be willing to pull the fabric out from the edge for me? 'Cause when I go full body here, I want all of that fabric to be as backdrop. Like this? Yeah. So let's do this. I'm gonna direct your hands. I'm gonna bring this onto here like that and just hold it about there. Okay. Sweet. This is all the feet, all the face. (camera clicks) Good. (camera clicks) Cool. And let's do one more with your head up. And tilt a little bit right there. (camera clicks) Great. Thank you. Let's look at that on the computer, huh? Cool. Really nice look. Actually turned out better than I expected, better than our test. We did a test last night before we went home and that one didn't go so well. Some of us were in compromising positions. I promised to the staff here that I wouldn't show those off, but... (laughter) That actually turned out very nice. Very, very nice. Okay. Well, I think what we'll do now is we're gonna do one more set change. So you can head off of set. And now it's time to do the heirloom portrait scenario. So we'll take all of this down and we're just gonna go to the simple backdrop.

Class Description

When capturing images of families and children, you preserve memories for generations. Learning how to use flash opens up so many options, as you now longer have to be constrained by weather or location. Photographer Mike Hagen will help you incorporate flash into this genre of photography to create family heirloom images that also capture a moment in time.

In this class, Mike teaches you how to:

  • Create looks that wouldn’t be possible in natural light
  • Use your flash to freeze action
  • Use reflectors, modifiers and other lighting equipment to enhance your flash

Learn to harness the power of flash photography to make their memories last a lifetime. Give clients those special images by using flash photography to preserve their special moments.


Jayne Fletcher

Amazing class! Lots of information


Love the natural way Mike has to explain and to work on the studio. Plenty of tips and clear knowledge transfer for me that I manage quite well natural light but that I still mess with the on-camera flash.

Robert Spencer

The class seems great, but my connection - even at 20MB still give me 20 seconds and then butts out for a minute :(