Michele's Gear Bag


Family Portraits


Lesson Info

Michele's Gear Bag

I'm a minimalist when it comes to gear but I do like nice glass I will say that um so today we're gonna be working with the cannon ah five d mark three who it it's so beautiful and so sharp I hate it right because again this camera is so good you see wrinkles you haven't even gotten it like you see wrinkles that are like maybe ten years away but anyway um I've brought three lenses with me my primary lens that I use the most is my seventy two two hundred two point eight and I love this lens because of the compression I love it because it's two point eight all the way through you know some less expensive zoom lenses they'll start a two point and maybe go to five point six once you get out to two hundred this goes two point eight from seventy two two hundred so it's beautiful um it's an image stabilized lens which works well if I'm working in low light is going to sound crazy but so much of my work is shot at eight hundred eso a lot of it even like late afternoon window light almost alway...

s a hundred eso sometimes even a thousand s o the noise and these cameras has gotten so low and so good and the clarity is so amazing the white sensitivity has look you later looking like shooting candlelight and get amazing images so I'm not afraid to bump up my eyes so teo get what I want to use the available light that I have um so go ahead and especially with the mark three I mean you could shoot it sixteen hundred and I've make like huge wall portrait's eight hundred all the time for people so that you know most people and that was on my mark to most of what you saw was on my mark to cousin mark three is new but at my mark to shooting eight hundred or even sometimes a thousand making large wall portrait's that completely stand up awesome so don't be afraid to use high isos in low light situations I would prefer to use ah hi I esso than a flash any day of the week just me anyway um another one of my favorite lenses and I call it the magic lens is the eighty five one point two I'm gonna go forward because I've got it listed for you guys who like to see things and write them down um my other favorite lens is the eighty five oh I wrote one point eight oh my bad it's a one point to the one I have is a one point two this's while eating mussels last night so everyone said I was like I lose my train of thought is he um but and I probably used my eighty five one point two more for weddings and he uses her portrait's now because you know you walk into a bride's home and you look around and it's ugly I mean there's sometimes walk into home they're not familiar with and like I've walked into homes like gaudy gaudi italian homes like you know with like pink velvet paper on the wall and like crystals hanging down and like speckled mirrors everywhere and like you know hot pink carpet like like and you're like oh oh my gosh where am I going to shoot here and I love this lens for doing portrait of the bride because I can throw everything out of focus I could make that background look like there's nothing there or I can make that pink nasty wallpaper look like gorgeous background by using the one point two and maybe I'm a two point oh maybe I'm at one point eight but by being able to control that aperture and control my background there is times when I use the front door is my main source of light and pose the bride on it set of staircase that was going up into the house but you couldn't see the staircase behind her you know so whole kind of situations you can make magic with this lens it's the magic making lens it really is it's gold and then ah fun lens is uh I didn't even even unwrap this one yet is the uh one thirty five two point oh it's the perfect portrait lens one thirty five on a thirty five millimeter you know basic frame camera is going to be like I do deal portrait lens so it's beautiful for skin I mean beautiful for facial angles it has a two point oh so if you get beautiful soft creamy dreamy backgrounds um I have to be honest right so my first my first eighty five that I had was a one point eight it was the eighty five one point eight because when I started out you know I bought what I could and my first zoom lens was actually the seventy two two hundred image stabilizer but like the inexpensive like you know consumer grade glens and I made money with that leads actually is a seventy two three hundred it was the first image stabilized seventy two three hundred it was before they put image stabilization into the better lenses and so as soon as that lens came out I bought it and I shot weddings with it and I made great money with that lens and it was inexpensive lens at the time I want to say five six maybe seven hundred dollars as compared to twenty three hundred and then as I went I continued to buy better glass so that's totally recommendation the camera's air so good I mean you know yes it's great to upgrade our cameras but if you're going to invest invest in glass there a couple of reasons one because good glasses good glass right and two most hobbyists aren't going to be able to afford good glass and that's going to set your images apart slightly from hobbyist down the street just you know one in a cell a dvd for you know a hundred bucks just cause it's fun and you know and they're not at a hundred bucks of obsession they're not gonna be able to buy uh two no two thousand twenty five hundred dollars lens so always say investing good glass even if it means you have to upgrade your camera less often by good glass so but my first seventy tio three hundred image stabilizer were just awesome for weddings they use it all the time and then I had the eighty five one point eight which was a good lens and and I was such a snob about it I was like one point eight one point two what's the difference I am like I can't be that much of a difference for like fifteen hundred dollars difference in price because the one point two is about twenty four twenty five hundred dollars and I don't know the one point eight was but it was about a fifteen hundred eighteen hundred dollars price difference I'm like for that much money there can't be that much of a difference and I took a class with somebody who had that lens and I tried it and I was like oh oh I get it and that week I went and actually because I didn't have a lot of money at the time I bought a used one and it lasted me forever you know so um but yes by class it's really it's probably one of most and you know things on most passionate about because especially we're professionals you know would you go to a doctor who had less than like brand new state of the art equipment like do you want to go into like a twenty year old m r I machine or like a doctor who hasn't like upgraded his knives lately for surgery you know what I mean like so if you're going to be a pro invest in you know and years in your gear not all at once I'm not saying you gotta go around spend thousand dollars but put a little bit of money aside when you're ready to upgrade upgrade you know invests and that that's what I mean invest in education first and then you know move up with your gear so those air the three lenses I have the body that we're gonna be working with today um and I have two things in my bag my spider and my expo disk my spiders there is fairly new to me but up until recently used my expo disk for white balance some of you still have them so I don't talk about both for white balance um uh and I think it's critical the white balance on any job but now I have this little spider thing that I started using and I actually like the white balance on here a little bit better this this is a warmer white balance which I like this is a little bit more cumbersome to use and I'll show you how I use it today we were out on location but I've been using it and it's also it's a really cool device for getting your exposure right so you have your absolute black here you have black absolute black white gray and you have speculum highlights so you can actually test your exposure using this and if you like to see your little blinky is you shove the little blinky he's just right up here and should be able to see the center absolute black and you know you're at the right exposure if you're not moving locations and you do it one time you don't have to do it over and over again right we're going to get acquainted with our family so we'll be bringing them up in just a minute do you have any questions so far on anything we talked about so far we have a lot of questions okay is this a good time tow us yeah there's a perfect time because we're gonna bring mom and dad for a session up and I'm gonna just have some conversation with them about what we're going to do today what to expect I'm gonna talk to them about their children like we talked about yesterday um tell me about your kids what they interested in what kind of music do they like what sports they involved in all that kind of stuff so this way I have a little bit of background this nine kids it's gonna be a lot of information and I want the parents to know what to expect as well so it'll be like a mini mock consultation it'll be fun so correct all right so gear questions coming in from the internet yep uh sam cox from loveland colorado asked do you carry a backup camera oh yeah the mark to iso there was okay we'll definitely marches in there thank you uh and a few people have asked about insurance do you ensure your equipment yeah of course everything's insured there's ah writer on our homeowner's policy for all the equipment that's separate from everything else but yeah you gotta do and sure and along the same lines fashion tv I believe yesterday asked about ensuring with tripods and children and safety as a business owner you should have liability insurance so that if somebody gets hurt while you're working you know you've got that as well yeah that's that's basic business stuff because the insurance you need equipment insurance and liability insurance yeah all right question from fashion tv and singapore michelle in what situations would you not compress a shot how do you compact compose and pose wide angle family portrait it's okay okay wide angle camera lenses are for me not for people um I'm not a fan of wide angle they uh actually make the body look wider you can do something interesting architectural work with a wide angle there's some retirees will do like like fish eye with you have to make sure your subject is right in the center of that image so that they're not distorted it all but wide angles as you get to the edges start to distort and so even if you're working with a big group you're better off using a a zoom lens or a longer lens and backing up because what you don't want is any distortion on the side of that image so that person in the side looks bigger in the person in the middle so a lot of people think up the group wide angle big group regular lands back up that makes sense somebody so it's only I loved all the quotes yesterday one my favorite was uh people who quoted this all day and I was so excited my uh enhance and post um not fixing post I was like yes I love seeing that so that was fine you just love being quotable thinking of insurance totally okay next um not in casey our season in maryland michelle you mentioned you made from studio to a home studio what prompted that shift many of us struggle with whether holmes to you is professional left and I also worry about privacy yes you have tio the shift came from the lease in my studio is up and you know I was working in a studio lot and my husband and I were at the time buying a bigger house because now we had a blended family so we're in the process of buying a bigger house and I was renegotiating my least with the studio space that was in walked into this particular house and I looked around I was like this would be a perfect place to work from home and so it's a tri level house so when you first walk into my home there's a big sitting area and then there's an office area right next to it and so then there stares it gets the next level and so it really is pretty private from the rest of my house and being able to work from home afforded me the luxury of being able to pick my daughter up from school every day and I didn't have to be tied to a commercial location so in in the realm of my life it fit my life better toe work from home and because when I looked at my statistics of where the majority of my work was photographed it was mostly outdoor work um you know infants could be done in home and there was a space in my home like you saw with anna's comedian portrait where I could shoot if I need to and it's a huge family room with a big bank of windows so when I walked in there I was like so if you can sort of mask off the parts of your house or if you have a separate interests and some people have you know they're a separate building on their property over garage or just separate entrance yeah you can absolutely make it work and be professional as long as your professional you know if your house smells like garlic and garbage when people walk in that's not going to be very professional but if you have a specific area set up just for that if you have display area if you present yourself in a professional way I'm not sure where you work is as important as the quality of your work and the relationship you create with your clients so for me it worked for my life because again I wasn't you know I didn't have to be tied to commercial space and I can't my daughter at home after school instead of at the studio that kind of thing so it works and then just saved a lot of money and overhead great answer just depends on your lifestyle it depends on your lifestyle absolutely

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.


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!