Live Shoot: Family with Newborn
Um, they're being ridiculously cute, do you see how that just happened and I didn't have to pose them? So I'm gonna take this shot, if I don't get tangled. Okay, you guys just peek at him. You guys, here's the deal, nobody stands with hands in pockets, you guys just everybody be connected in some way. Can you pick him up for me? Are you okay to pick up? Did you have a C-section or anything? Okay, and you guys just snuggle in and just look at the baby. Yep, you guys can peek over, okay? Yep, there we go, perfect. I am focusing on dad, okay? And I just noticed my shutter speed is getting really slow so I'm about to change my aperture to 2.5, okay? Because it was down to 50 and lord knows I can't do that. Can you kiss her on the temple for me? There we go. Okay, uh oh, daddy's gonna get you. I'm trying to get them to giggle. Okay, so I'm focusing on dad because dad is at the same focal plane as the baby. Let's think about basic photography again, when you're focusing. What would have happ...
ened if we would have focused on mom? The parents, everybody in front would be out of focus. Remember this when you're photographing. We have to keep thinking back to camera basics. Focus falls back, okay? So if you have two people standing right here and you focus on this person, if your aperture is closed enough, if your depth of field is long enough, right, your focus will fall back. If you focus behind somebody, everybody in front's gonna be out of focus. Focus falls back, okay? So that's how we do that. Okay I have an idea. I kinda want, I'm really into dad dancing shots so if you can, we're gonna dance with her really quick, okay? So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna set up an activity for them. We're gonna see what happens organically with them, I'm not gonna give too much direction, I'm just gonna see what happens. If you can come over here for me. Come here my dear. You are gonna dance with you dad. Are you like 16? (laughing) 14? 17? She's so mature. Huh?
Is her sweater gonna be on?
I like your, you wanna take your sweater off for the picture? I know you were really excited about your sparkly dress. Oh, you're gonna have to lock the doors with this one. (laughing) She's adorable. Alright, so what we're gonna do is you're gonna come over here and engage with them. We're gonna bring, are you comfortable like putting your arm around him and then kind of holding the baby in the other arm right here? So I'm gonna give you, right here in this arm? And then he's gonna come over here and you're just gonna kind of interact with him with the baby being a prop, essentially. And you are gonna dance, spin her, hug her, pull her in for a kiss, okay? Randomly, what I want you to do is I want you to run up to mom and kiss her on the forehead, kiss her on the temple. Just be careful, don't kiss her like, if you're coming this way, kiss her here so I can see her face. Surprise her though. You don't know it's happening. (laughing) Yeah, just like that. However you can be comfortable, we're just telling the story. Now what I want you to do is right now he's gonna come in here little man, and you're gonna snuggle your mom, okay? You're just gonna pull down on him, we're shedding. Okay, snuggle this way, we're gonna stay this way the whole time. You guys dance. I'm gonna capture a lot of things going on at one time. Randomly, don't forget, you gotta go give her a smooch. I'll tell you when, hang tight. I'm not as mobile as normal. Okay, there we go. Okay, let me make sure we're okay, am I okay over here? Okay, there we go. Yep, spin her, you can spin, dance. Okay, yep, you know what, can you get closer to them with her? So stay this way a little bit. There we go. Look at the baby, yep. Alright, head in to give mom a kiss pretty soon. Okay, now let's do the same thing. Head over here for me. Can you pick her up?
And have her sit on your hips and kinda spin with her?
Alright, and we're all gonna look at this going on over here, okay? That's gonna be the focus, okay? Alright, and go. Okay, now head in and let her kiss mom on the forehead. Can you give mom a kiss on the forehead, honey? Oh, that was a fast kiss. Okay, let's do the same thing. Come over here for me, kiss her right here so you guys are leaning in this way for me, okay? And give her a kiss.
From which side, this side?
Right there, perfect, yep. Perfect, okay. Everybody naturally just starts to interact. If you give people something to do, you're gonna see interaction. Everybody's being really shy because we're all on camera right now, it's a little bit different situation but do you guys see where I'm going with this? We have some serious overhead lights going on, too, here CreativeLive. So, it's not all natural light going on, right, so we're a little bit ambient lit. So now what I wanna do is we're gonna get a family snuggle pose. So come on, or you can set her down for me because you're so tall. Okay, come over here for me. He's trying to eat you again. You're gonna wrap your arm around the whole family so you're gonna come over here and snuggle. I know, lots going on. Okay, yep, and just snuggle down and just everybody look at the baby, okay? Look at the baby, not at me. I wanna see who of you guys can giggle. Who can giggle? What's on mommy's nose? There's a booger on mommy's nose, what? Normally that gets kids to laugh but I think they're being really shy right now. You need to say something really embarrassing and kids start to laugh, right? Okay, there we go. Perfect, okay, we're good. He's chilling. Actually hold on, look what's happening right now, you guys. She's like, do you see how dad's back there just hanging out with him. And now he looks. Can you go give mommy a kiss honey? Okay, so I really wanted her to give a kiss on the other side so do it again this way for me.
No, you're fine, I didn't tell you. Right here, but maybe give the baby a kiss. Can you give the baby a kiss? Okay, what was happening is when you see a family interaction, those two were naturally doing something in the background, okay? So I wanted to take that and go with it. They're gonna be background. See how they're in the background, the family? Now if this were in the house, when you see how this would be gorgeous black and white image because you see their shadows and mid tones and the highlights. There's a really good range of light and that's gonna be a gorgeous black and white, okay? It completely changes the story, too, when you change it into black and white. We're gonna go into a lot of that towards the end of the class. You can completely change an image when you're editing. As long as you expose it correctly and get the moment, then you can make it cool later, okay? Or just pull out and shoot and film. Oh, that's ridiculous. So cute. Ridiculous, so cute. You can see the orange lights coming down on his head. Do you see why we would turn those off typically, in a normal situation? That'll be gorgeous black and white though. And the one thing we didn't do because the siblings are being so cute and I wanted to show you something different than just shooting in the crib is that's a good time to change outfits and put hats on and that kinda thing. Also, when you take a baby's clothes off or when you unswaddle them, what happens when you unswaddle? Their arms go fa-ching, right? And that's when they stretch, that's when they yawn. So a lot of people say, "Hey mom, will you go ahead "and get the, will you go ahead and get the--" Were you okay? Oh, her shirt. "Will you go ahead and get the baby changed?" And we don't think about going to be there for that moment. Be there, okay? On the other live shoot that we did you're gonna see that that's what happened. We unswaddled the baby and I said, "Wait, "wait for me, don't do it yet." And I stood over her because without fail, the swaddle came off and up went the arms and then a yawn happened, okay? It's the best and that's how you get those because you can't fake a yawn, okay? It's a little different in here 'cause it's, you know, a set.
When you're trying to get those connections between the family and you say something, how did you figure out what to say like, "Give mom a snuggle, tell mom something you love about her, give your brother a kiss?" I mean, is that something that you just comes--
You can kinda feel it with the family. So, I always tend to have, if mom is holding the baby, we want mom to feel loved by everybody in the picture, right? You want mom to be the connection piece, okay? So what's a natural thing for dad to do? You don't want dad to stand there with his hands in his pocket and like watch, you know, 'cause that doesn't feel lovey, you know? So what you wanna do is you wanna direct dad in a way that can interact. Don't forget, baby's can't connect, you have to connect the adults with the baby present. So it's different than family lifestyle photography where you're getting connections with siblings, 'cause that just happens, right? So you have to connect the adults and have the baby present. So always, when I'm doing mom and dad pictures with the baby, mom will hold the baby and I'll have dad come over, I'll say, "Tickle her neck, do whatever," and then things just kinda start to happen. I always do the pull back, I focus on mom, I focus on the baby, and I walk around in a circle. You can get a good 30 shots of stuff like that happening. Another mom shot that I love to do is putting the naked baby up on her shoulder like this, like she's snuggling right after the baby's eaten and I'll have mom turn, or I'll turn, depending on the light, and you'll see a lot of these images later in the class, how to do this with mom shots 'cause we're gonna go into detail about each type of shot that we're gonna be getting, we haven't gotten there yet. There's a lot to go over still in this class. I just wanted to show you how I kind of interact with people. So, in that moment, those are the times where the feet are hanging out, they tend to hang out right here and that's a great time to get foot shots. That's a great time to get an angle of mom like this. This is a very flattering angle for mom. And when you see this happen, you always have the parents kinda of lean towards me a little bit, it's a better angle, okay? You always want good angles with mom. You also need to be careful with moms noses, okay? You don't wanna shoot them totally straight down like this and it's really difficult to do sometimes. So be mindful of noses, you don't wanna make them longer. You guys can see how her head looked kind of distorted when we were doing the wide angle lens, right? So I needed to change that, that lens, okay? I'll be able to, I won't lose those images, I'll be able to crop in on those a little bit. I try not to crop afterwards because you really can pixelate the images, you don't know if your family's gonna want, sometimes they crop it on their own, which is bleh, but you can't stop them from doing everything so you don't want to have to crop in camera, you wanna shoot in camera how you want it. Just with the wide angle lenses, it's a little bit tricky depending on where you put your subjects.
A question from Javier Cruz, "Do you typically move the cribs out from the wall "a little bit so that you can work around "with better angles or is just on a case by case basis?"
Case by case. Depends on the light.
In terms of all kinds of the furniture, as well.
It totally depends on the light. Here we had to because we have a dead zone. But actually, I wouldn't have wanted it this close to the wall because there was some dampled light happening over here so you have to be mindful. A lot of windows, if it's the wrong time of the day, if it's too bright, you're gonna have like lines coming in. So you need to position the crib in a way that you're gonna get some flattering light. It tends to be fine. Sometimes I bring a frosted shower curtain with me and I'll hang that up in the windows if I need to, or some shears. I don't like to shoot into the frosted shower curtain but some rooms will be too bright and that's a really good way of diffusing the light. Only frosted because the glossy ones reflect. So I do the frosted shower curtains.
Do you always leave the diaper on for swaddle shots?
Yeah, yeah, because you don't see it, 100%. If I'm gonna be, I mean, there's some times where we'll have it off and I'll go ahead and swaddle but I use those swaddles for everything and I really don't wanna get poop all over them. So, I do, I mean, you don't see it. If you're doing a posed session it's different because you're gonna see the bump, but with these you don't see the bump. Question in the audience.
I just was wondering why you took the onesie off then if you were swaddling him anyway?
Because their shoulders peek out so we didn't wanna see the shirt. And also, and actually, you know what, I wanna expand on that question. It's actually kind a habit too because what happens is, when we unswaddle, what happens? Stretch, okay? So we wanna be prepared for that. Everything underneath, we layer, and then we go from that direction. We tend to swaddle a lot to calm the babies and then a lot of good stuff happens.
Alright, so, one more question, do the parents ever feel that you are writing their story when giving them activities that they might not normally do? So that this kinda of guiding directing.
No, because, within the questionnaire, we've gone over these things. Here it's a little bit different, we kinda came up with some things to show you examples of things but typically when I'm talking to the parents, I say, "What does your husband like to do with your children?" Number one thing is dance party. So a lot of people like to have dance parties at home. Airplane with the sons. If he likes to do airplane, I'll have him do airplane, put the baby on the chest, right? Or do baby in the arm, somewhere where dad can be doing an activity with the child. It always comes off the questionnaire. The good thing is you can kinda read families, you know? If they're lovey, you guide them into lovey situations, you don't tell them everything but you gently guide them. But everything comes off the questionnaire.