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Shoot: With Two Children

Lesson 10 from: Introduction to Flash for Children and Family Images

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

10. Shoot: With Two Children

Lesson Info

Shoot: With Two Children

We're shooting in black, and the whole point here is to show that you can actually be a little bit closer to black, you don't have to worry about the shadows as much. As you get more kids, more people on scene and on set, your background actually has to grow with the number of people that you have, so with two people we've got just enough background to work with. If I brought on three, probably not. The next thing to think about is lighting, so what do you wanna do? As we have more kids, you gotta think about evenness of lighting from left to right. I can pull it off with a soft box, and I think I'll try with the soft box, and I will actually rotate it to the side though, so do this like this, and so that gives me good coverage side to side, but then what that eliminates is the ability to really use anything lower than their torso, their feet will probably go pretty dark, so we'll start with the soft box, and if the kids are still with me, then we'll go to the big umbrella, we'll see h...

ow that works. I'm gonna get this set up before the kids come over, and as I said, when you work with multiple people, you generally want your flash to be a little bit higher, like that, so higher flash, you're gonna shoot on axis 'cause now we got two, and we'll start with that. I'm gonna turn this because I got these hinges I don't want to show up. Okay, kiddos, you guys ready? Oh yeah, you know what to do. I know. Do you wanna do it by yourself? Out. Oh there's nothing in there, just air. I see. You wanna look in there real quick? Here, let's let him look in there. Here, check this out, are you ready? Are you sure? Sure. You count to three, one, two, three, see, nothing in there, how did you know there was something in there? How did you know it would open up? Do you guys have one? Do you have one at home? No. No? You're just smart. Why don't you grab a seat? Okay, so for this, remember earlier I told you I was gonna kinda mess with your dress a little bit, I'm gonna do that, okay. And you, are gonna hang out just like this, right there, and for the, oh I like your legs crossed, you guys are such good posers. Who taught you how to do this? My Dad. Your Dad? (boy blows a raspberry) Ha, crazy. (boy blows a raspberry again) No, we won't do that. Alright, I like the way you're sitting, see how she's, I like it when they're close, as close as they can get, the closer they can get together the better. Hey, and we don't wanna spend too much time here, I'm just gonna get her hair right there a little bit behind, and we'll do a lighting check. Do you wanna push the button? Okay, so we're gonna hold this right here, I'll hold it and then you, you're gonna take your finger, you're gonna take your finger there, and you're just gonna push that, can you push it like right there. Okay, I was blocking a little bit. Like that? Yeah, don't push that in, that's gotta stay out, here I'll do it. How about I do it? Right there, oops I think we're pushing something else, yeah, so what happened is he pushed a different, there we go. Okay, so that says F four and two tenths, again that's our starting point, and now judging with what I know with my camera, I'm gonna actually go a little bit brighter than that, a little bit smaller aperture, I'll go to F five six as our starting point. Okay, are you ready? Grab a seat up by your sister, we'll take a picture, and Mama if you wanna come over to kinda help, that may be helpful for me. Alright, are you ready to see your picture on the computer? Here we go, look right in the camera. (camera clicks) (photographer laughs) Let's check our exposure, and actually, I'll pull this away so the folks in the audience can see, it actually looks pretty good, not bad. She looks a little over exposed, and I think mostly that's because her skin is a little bit fairer than his skin, so that was F five six, so I'm gonna go to F six three now. And take that shot again, oh nice. (camera clicks) Hey, Em, let's do this again, and would you put your arm around your brother? Can we do one more? No, how about two more then? Your favorite number? How about just your arm behind him? No, (laughs) this is the way it goes, sometimes it works the way you want, sometimes not. Hey Em, how about this, how about just your arm, one arm around him, 'cause I think he doesn't like the hug. What do you think Mama, should we keep trying or do you think he's like, done? He's probably done she says. Well Em, let's try one more and this time rather than like wrapping your arms all the way round him, maybe just one arm around the back, 'cause I think he doesn't like it when your hands are round his neck, it's like (mimicking choking). Okay, here we, oh perfect, I've seen that look before, yes, hey wait, hold it right there, can you wave at me like you just did? Lie the two waves? Ooo, here's a kiss. I can tell he likes that, oh there it was, oh nice, that's so funny, I love it, here look right here at the camera. Look right here at the camera, look here. Now this, this one, this is the camera, look at me. Oh, he sees himself. One of the dangers of having a tethered shoot is the kids love to look at themselves. Did we get a good one audience, as they were coming in? We'll try one more, right here, and then if the bench isn't working and maybe we stand, oh shoot. Oh, I have an idea, maybe this one will work for both of you. We'll try one with the both of you sitting here, there we go, put your hands on your lap, there we go. How about this? Alright, we'll call it, we'll call it good, that's the way it goes, sometimes you just get a few shots, and so, do you wanna stay there for a second? 'Cause I'm gonna take some more pictures of you, are you cool with that? Yeah. Okay, so I'll move this away so everyone can see you. I wanna make a couple points. Actually, do you mind if I sit by you as I make a couple points? Yeah. Alright, I'm gonna sit by ya. So, one of the things as a photographer, that you have to do, is you have to move really quick. You have to find those moments, and they are fleeting, especially as the kids get younger, so as soon as I see two eyes together looking at the camera, man, I'm taking that shot. And, you know, I missed a few opportunities there 'cause he was pretty, he was pretty focused elsewhere, but that's maybe one of the bigger skill sets that you're gonna have to learn is timing. You're such a patient model, thank you very much for being a patient model, and so she was looking at the camera most of the time, but your brother, his eyes were all over the place, so, paying attention, as soon as you get those lights, eyeballs into the lights, you take those shots. Alright, let's look at a couple of those photos. And, I didn't quite get that background black like I wanted to, I was kinda thinking an opportunity to shoot some more, but what I was going to do is pull them farther away and to show you how to get a nice solid black background, and the solution there, and we'll shoot it with you, okay, we'll take another picture, and we'll get a nice solid black background. But before I do that, I wanna look at a couple of the images of the two of them, okay, is that a normal expression Dad? Right now? (laughs) Yeah, right now, yes, okay. Sometimes it's normal and sometimes the parents are like oh perfect, you nailed it. So I started working with the parents a lot of times, it's like, is that normal? Yeah, let's go with it, or no, that's really not normal, let's keep working until we find the expression that we're after. I love the catch lights in the eyes, if we look at the shadows on the face, it's amazing that the, it's not amazing but just notice how the front of the faces are well exposed, and we got some nice shadowing off to the edges, and that's because we don't have any reflectors off to the sides. My point was gonna be it's amazing what you can do with just a single light source, a single soft box. And actually, that's not a bad, not a bad shot, he's looking a little bit off camera, a little more of a serious picture, here he's looking at Dad on the other side of the studio, got a little wave. (laughs) The kiss (laughs) and maybe that shot's probably okay too, not all shots have to be looking into the camera, sometimes when you have kids that are a little bit older you can do some fun stuff, like having one kid look at another kid while the other one's looking at the camera, just mixing up the way kids are looking at each other can add for some dynamic images. I really like the lighting on this, I really, really enjoy it, I like the background, I like the face, I like the eyes, so one soft box, there's another nod to buying a soft box. Okay, we got, what did we get, six shots? Six total shots, and out of those maybe one will work. Hopefully, in your kid photo session, you can take maybe 30 or 40, but, there's another learning point, thinking you're gonna get hundreds and hundreds of shots with small kids is almost an impossible dream, so just be prepared to work fast and get a few images.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Children & Family Images Lighting Diagrams
Gear List for $100 Budget
Gear List for $250 Budget
Gear List for $1000 Budget

Ratings and Reviews


Great course really love the way Mike teaches so informative with very useful tips and tricks to use in photography

Dortohy Lyner

Loved this class. Great basic essential information. Mike filled in many gaps concerning my knowledge of studio photography.


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.

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