Family Portraits

Lesson 7 of 24

General Q&A

 

Family Portraits

Lesson 7 of 24

General Q&A

 

Lesson Info

General Q&A

is there anything different you do with seniors and seniors the actual seniors in regards to posing and different lighting techniques that you use because they are yeah we have to think of that and they are vain so we want to make sure that they look the best possible radio and here's the thing we love those wrinkles every single one of those wrinkles is a spot of character so with elderly people actually want to show that you know like with the lead his hands I wanted to show so actually like side lighting and create and making sure you get that texture and the skin is so important I almost I do the most minimal amount of retouching on elderly because it it could get ugly fast right I mean like you could make some old lady look super ridiculous and like she had a couple of really bad face lifts um and so I really when it comes to retouching elderly I back away off I always put a softening filter on every image I create just because digitalis so sharp I say that digitalis so sharp you ...

can see wrinkles you don't even have yet I look like a digital picture myself like I even have that wrinkle yet I know I didn't see it this morning in the mirror where did that come from so there's always ah portraiture I used the image gnomic portraiture filter on pretty much all of my work there's different degrees of that filter that you can use and I'll use the least amount with elderly just because I want to soften the skin a little bit but I'm not touching a single wrinkle on her face is not gonna happen like just is not weird the younger you are the more wrinkles I take out the older you are the more I believe that my mom will kill me if I tell you this story but I have to do so um gosh I hope she's not watching mom if you're watching this is your moment I'm telling a story about you but I photograph my daughter and my my mom and her husband my daughter's grandad and so you know and I totally retouch my mom's my mom's like take it all out they take it all out and so I retired her and here she looks flawless and she goes can I take this to the surgeon because this is what I want to look like every day and so a couple of months later this is so funny a couple of months later my mom send some snapshots that she took with my daughter at our house and you and I look a tte the snapshots and there's something horribly wrong with the area under her eye and I'm looking at it and I'm like did she try re touching herself like because her skin is like skin color but she's got these gray bags under her eyes and so I picked up the phone and I'm like mom what do you do shit like I look better known I I'm like um no step away from the retouching power like you should not be using photo shop she like well I saw you doing it look so easy and you know look so much better when you do to my mom photo shop is not for amateurs you should not be trying to fix I go but can you do me a favor can you send me the original of that and then send me what you did she's alright deleted the original because I wanted to put it in a program to show how not to repeat yourself this face the last battle like mom step away from the retouching talent oh my gosh so I'm sorry so you asked about retouching and lighting them differently yeah posing posing elderly is completely based on their mobility um are they going to be able to lean over and lift up and pull up probably not um some elderly are in great shape they practice yoga photograph grandmothers who are like phenomenal shape they like in their seventies and I'm like whoa and I could do anything with them but then there's other you know people come in they have a walker that it might even be in a wheelchair where you just have to make them look the best they can for what their capability is because I'm not going to make them feel uncomfortable so with anna she was better standing and she was better leaning on her daughter kathy then she was sitting so I actually had are sitting but was very difficult for her to get up and down out of the chair and so it was easier to keep her standing and just leaning over and she actually with leaning on cathy felt stable because she had something hanging on to so um yeah with with that age do the best you can with what they are capable of it's kind of like the two year olds yeah it's kind of like the infants you know it's like you know the circle of life you know so that makes sense you've got a question for me how many photos do you normally take in a session and it doesn't differ a lot between younger kids and older people that's a great question so how many pictures do I take in a session it does very greatly from family to family and ages my ideal age of family this is just me I photograph families of all ages but my ideal family portrait is families with children between the ages of eight and like eighteen or twenty years somewhere in there right one because the most part they're done having kids if you have an eight year old you probably done just saying so I never get mom going well I don't know if I really want to do a big family portrait because we might have more kids you know usually by this time they're done eight is such a great age to work with listen they followed directions and usually it that if they have older siblings they're usually already in high school started one of the best times to get family portrait is right before the kids leave for college because all of a sudden parents like my baby's leaving like I don't know but they get all dramatic I don't know if we'll ever see them again this is mike they come home for holidays they probably won't be able to find a job when they get out of college so I'll be living with the anyway but hey we'll take this opportunity to consider it the last time you were going to see your child um but it's such because they realized the importance having having a family portrait done in this a particular age so they're usually very excited about it I found that families of children that age group are a little bit more established mom dad been working a little bit longer established careers they have a little bit more disposable income then say new parents with lots of little babies and they're just new family starting out parents with kids already starting to go to college they have you know they're a little bit more settled in their life they've been in their house for a certain amount of time they've got the money thing figured out and they're willing to invest plus that's like my forty year old mom my thirtysomething forty year old mom and that mom she doesn't want lifestyle portrait you know and lifestyle portrait's are awesome and they're beautiful and a faster style and you like creating that and you have a market there's always gonna be a market but can you imagine like eighteen year old kids rolling down a grass hill with dad and mom holding hands or like you know mom throwing up you know so like at a certain age you can't really do lifestyle portrait you need something a little bit more classic and traditional and that's kind of portrait er that I enjoy and that's the kind of portraiture that that age mother wants make me look good right because for the most part candid journalistic images the body is not where it should be it's not lifted up she's not posed properly she might see it you know part of her hips doesn't like no so at this age moms are really more concerned about looking beautiful than having that candid moment but we can also sort of create a little bit of that candid emotion or moment when we're photographing them and you know maybe they crack up there laughing about something somebody looks at somebody and you get that kind of candid moment but as far as how many images I take yeah for little ones it's going to be a lot if it's an extended family group you know it could be two hundred images because I've got multiple families I've got multiple kids and at that point for the most part I'm shooting for expression right so you know I may be saying you know make the ugly face make this face and I'm shooting it because I know somewhere in the middle of that room there goes that natural smile so yeah there's a lot of out takes for expression also you know closed eyes that kind of thing and the bigger the family the more chance you have of somebody with a head turned somebody head down somebody with a close I and I am not a fan of swapping heads adjust I hate it I hate the idea of it I don't like doing it I don't want to pay for it I just want to get it right in the camera so if I have to take five extra images in the camera to make sure that everyone is looking at me and smiling and I don't have to do a head swap I'm going to take those five extra images because I think I might all of my years I've only had to do like one head swap and I and I really probably didn't even want to do it but um I usually will present which is more important present to the client anywhere from thirty to fifty images depending on how big the group wasn't how many combinations we have the problem with presenting more than that is that the client gets extremely confused the more you show the more they're like oh my gosh how am I gonna pick there's just too many I love them all and they have a hard time narrowing them down especially if you don't have a decisive mom right and we all have kinds like you've kinds like no no I love that one note no love that one oh I don't know all of that one too oh but look at her face and you already know that there's going to be a lot of hand holding and well let's choose this one over this one because of this reason and so as you're working with your client some people can handle more some people can handle less um if you have that mom who does a lot of I don't know what do you think you're gonna have a lot of handholding and that's okay but that's the kind of mom we don't over show lasses more because you don't want to confuse her you've got a really good decisive mom knows what she wants to know where she's putting this portrait you can show a little bit more variety because she's going to be a lot more decisive in her decisions so it's you know part of that relationship you're building during the consultation and we're going to get there really we have two more whole days together this is not so exciting I'm just you know just just getting and say motion of what we do you know I really feel like so many people missed that boat so you feel like what's the aperture what lance well tripod you know what pope all that can be learned relationships have to be developed that's a quote somebody quote that all that can be learned but relationships get develops whoever tweets that first I'll give you a hug I love this like communicating with people is awesome um so yes next question um we have had a few questions speaking of seniors related to using a wheelchair so people in a wheelchair gathering people around realtors do you try and hide the wheelchair absolutely tried I'm sorry no that's it you know if you have a wheelchair that usually in general will have arms that's great posing prop arms um you know sometimes you may not be able to hide it completely but I always say do you need to stay in the chair a queen move you to a regular chair so I can move into a regular chair I'll do that first if they say no there's no moving out of this chair we've got to stay in the chair absolutely work around it leaning over shoulders using bodies to hide parts of the wheelchair itself I mean there's lots of different things you could do I definitely wouldn't be doing full length where you could see the whole wheelchair get on people person faces I love faces that's what I love to photograph so yeah does that answer that question studio thirty four asked any advice for twelve to fourteen year old boys who did not want to be there and don't seem to be motivated by anything oh yeah no you know we don't get yet no the worst oh yeah you know what that totally is the age when you absolutely have to connect with them that's when you meet with mom and home my fourteen year olds really tough he's a boy and he's got a big swoopy hair you know I'm like the lazy attitude and that whole deal and sometimes that's just who they are in this moment of life so sometimes I say to mom but that's just who he is right now and we can't change that we don't want himto look like something he isn't we don't want him smiling and all cheesy and so a lot of times the best thing I don't even need you to smile totally know you don't want to be here believe me oh and the best part of that is if we're going to the park in my community and I have these like kids dressed like their parents and they may run into a friend in the park and they're dressed just like their parents there nothing worse like they're literally like I hope no one sees me at the park because it's right by that skate park where kids skate and stuff so it happens like you know you'll see this hey jay late don't worry about it so sometimes just giving kids that age permission to just be themselves because their mom's already gave him the hard time you know it will be your normal moody self no you know be nice the photographer you'll please can you just smile for me like twice you know like because mom has all moms have an expectation in their head off what their children are some parents agreed and knowing exactly who their kids are and the like you know what that's joe get joe is joe is because that's who he is and we love just the way he is and their moms who have this expectation of what they want their kid to be and they need you to get that right so when you see that you kind of to say to mom it's all right I'm going to get the best out of my promise you so whether that's you know what don't even smile for me today I get it you know and sometimes that's the braces stage um but giving people permission to just be themselves and not expect anything more from them is sometimes enough to just put them totally at ease or boys er you know in the sports at that age or video games you know madden and um you know I don't even know what I don't know the violent games I don't watch any at stuff but you know what are they into you know ask mom at the consultation okay so have a difficult fourteen year old what's he into is he doesn't know who doesn't listen to what his favorite music or even asked a kid what's your favorite music do you like so and so and sometimes I can come up with obscure band names that kids like really you know that if you can connect with the kid on music you're pretty good so no like pop music or even not so pop music I find out what alternative is you know ask kids in that general adrian what do you kids listen to nowadays I cannot make out the words of any of the songs but my daughter knows every word of every song on the radio and I guess there's this really cool app on your phone now where you can make your own music videos but it's like lip sync videos and it's like you you do these like little cut segments I don't even know what it's called he do these little cut segments and you like lip sinking to the words and then you do another clip and then it has the special effects and then you do another clip and then you like she'll change like her outfit or had glasses and she's like no there's all our iphone right and she's like okay so she's like doing like macklemore like twenty pocket right and and she shows me this like and I'm like I feel so far behind the times I think I'm pretty hip on what's going on in the world I'm like what is how did you do that and so my friend calls me like a uh it was pretty cute in those videos of my one she's like yeah I she's got those like little video clips on youtube of mike huh and they're totally innocent right it's just like literally like jamming out to music and lip sync into like modern songs but it's stuff like that where you can find out what they're into like you know she totally loves to do this and she was really embarrassed about it until I was like you know that's actually pretty good just like you think it's like you want to do one with me okay so I say yes I don't know the friggin words so I don't look like an idiot because she's with me and I'm like yeah and she's like come on mom I'm like the words what what is he saying write it down for me I need a cue card like what he's saying so like stuff like that you know finding out bands things that they're interested in everybody has an interest here's think everybody wants to be heard tell me what do you into we'll create you and hate school you love school which favorite subject you know what's forty into and you know kids will eventually crack if you're genuinely interested in what they have going on you know that's the thing about being a people photographer you've got to know the psychology of people the elderly and moms dads the kids what's going on what's pop culture what's new in the movies you know what what's hip what's going on so mostly you can create a conversation his conversations would start supriya relationship once that you know kids trust you and feel comfortable with you that's when they open up and then before you know it you know joey there's like all like is ah mom because I haven't seen that smile in years how did you do that I just talked to him I have the gift you can call me the teenage boy whisper yeah yeah exactly I love that all right now the question we question from megan do you have any tips on working with children with autism or disabilities yeah as a matter of fact um a big family group that we did recently um the we had a little boy who was down syndrome and autistic and there's very little that you khun dio in way of pulling out of them you have to understand the limitations that they have and not push those limitations because the last thing you really want to do is upset a kid already sensitive or who can't socially you adapt to what we're doing and so I'll usually ask the parents okay what are they capable of how far can you know what can I do with um will they are they okay without you can I pose them separately well they respond to me so again it's really asking parents and most the time on the front and parents will tell me that like my son is this and my son is that okay what do they respond to is there a person you're family that's not going to be in the portrait that they respond well to that might be behind me next to the camera so they have a familiar face so sometimes you know is there a dog family that if we bring the dog the dog will set the you know child at ease I'm and you know sometimes you're just going to get what you're going to get and don't over expect in that situation and parents know what to expect you're not going to create miracles you're not all of a sudden going to take cystic child and make them gregarious outgoing hey fun loving like change the world moment so it is important to meet that child where they are photograph them as they are and do the best you can and bring out the best in them in that moment so without pushing you know um and again getting down everyone's level like the best thing you can do for kids has come all the way down here you know just get really low with kids you know sometimes even all the way down here I'm gonna drive the camera guys and that's just come all the way down here you know and just talking's really tiny and small the smaller you could make yourself for kids the better and you know that's really who were working with were working with families mean adults are pretty good but the kids will really want to connect with so especially little ones like two years old you're holding a blank you can tell they need security that holding a blankie they brought a stuffed animal who's your stuff damn it what's his name you know I love little girls like bring dolls and they don't have names like you didn't name your doll believe me I named the three video cameras that are on me today just so I'd feel more comfortable with um um and then I like little girls who don't like name there doesn't mean you don't have a name for you doll my husband named his bicycles sorry honey um always vehicles as a matter of fact his car his bicycles all have names right because we all want to identify so you know what your name how old are you what do you like to do what what's your favorite food this is a good one what's your favorite food I had one kid tell me salmon like never in my life what I have imagined the kid I'm thinking pizza gummy bears pasta macaroni and cheese and so and this kid goes on for almost the entire session like all right don't tell me what your favorite food is I'm gonna gas cast what's your favorite food cheerios now and he's like well it starts with an acid like skittles you know um you like skirt steaks I don't know right and I am going on and on and on and then finally like half now and he's like salmon and I'm like what six year old like salmon beauty so so you know that's just another way to commune again would you eat for breakfast don't tell me let me guess and that that's enough to keep a kid in place because oh yeah you're not gonna guess like mm did you eat frog legs for breakfast eh probably believes that I'm like a front fried frog legs well salt pepper a right and so it's silly it's goofy kids think it's ridiculous ask ridiculous the funniest thing really is ask a little boy aren't married yet no I have a girlfriend oh isn't so awesome like why why aren't you married yet I'm too little and a wolf or you're gonna marry my mom you know like yeah totally but like little boy saying because mom is their whole world so um yeah so even special needs kids need even a little bit more special needs and really that comes from the parents where they at where can I go with this what what's what how do you recommend I best approach your child because of mom's going to know best you know is there is there something that they like to I belong to that makes them feel safe I don't mind having that in the portrait the last thing you want to do is take something from a kid and they're like because they need that I don't care if it's in the portrait that's part of who they are at this age it doesn't need to be perfect it just needs to be who they are all right excellent yeah do you work for an organisation in zambia with children with special needs and it's so much fun because you just you're just get crazy you lose all pride oh yeah uh get down on their level it's so much fun yeah and then you lose yourself it's like a little vacation you know yeah you lose yourself with your sessions it's kind of like a little mental break from my yeah yeah well to go back to another age group back to seniors we had two questions related or a handful of them actually related teo men an elderly man in particular from sinful when working with elderly men will they be uncomfortable with the jaw to temple pose or do you pose them differently and then also kind of piggybacking on that how would you pose a group of guys say three generation photo who feel it's unnatural suppose touching each other and how do you let them have their space yet create a connection that's a great question yeah posing a group of men is definitely different than put posing a group of women but I wouldn't necessarily uh for men say draw the temple because that's a little bit too much unless it's like a son and a grandfather like a grandson grandfather yeah you want that connection right a little boy that kind of thing even older men don't mind that connection with an elder who's very special to them but you can just separate those bodies just a little bit more or if you're photographing an elderly gentleman with his wife or his daughter absolutely put the arms around each other and absolutely have her bring her jaw to his temple so he still feels like masculine and she's wrapped around him so I mean you can work it either way and again it depends on how mobile that person is can they sit can they stand can they even get their head in close and can't always do it if I can't get the elderly person to lean in then I've gotta either sit them or you know put them in a position where you have someone lean around them so that I get that connection but sometimes the posture and the flexibility just isn't there but you can still create that you know three heads together without them actually touching so you can still create that triangle just leave a little separation so it's not overly touchy feely for men in general

Class Description

Learn family photography from Michele Celentano! You'll learn how to pose and light groups, but to be a family photographer you also have to be a psychologist, director, sales manager, a marketing director and postproduction expert. Spending three days with Michele will help you find the style of family portraits that you love, learn how to create portraits that illustrate family relationships and learn how to work with people of all ages, from newborn to 99.

Reviews

Courtney Zito
 

I love this class! I am transitioning from film & television to photography, specifically children and families, and this class is wonderful! I am only on Day 1, class 6 (The art of posing) and I have learned so much that I have already applied to my own photography. If you're like me, you have come across other's photos and thought "meh", and then you come across some and you are like "wow!". What is the difference? Well there are many factors that make a great portrait, but one aspect I hadn't spent as much time thinking about was posing. You don't think about how important posing is until you see it in action here. I am looking forward to the rest of this series and soaking up all of her experience and knowledge. She's cute and quirky, and very organized in her teaching. Thank you Michele, great class!