Shoot: Mother & Daughter
So what I'm gonna do now, is we have a quick 45-minute fast shoot again. And I'm gonna take you back to my most shot genre, and that is the mother and daughter. The mother and daughter for me is two viable selling demographics rolled into one shoot. I know it's an easy sell in terms of getting the girls in, because I market to both those demographics, and each girl holds the hand to another girl. So, as you know I always try and shoot two women at every shoot. I don't just shoot one, because my saying is, women never go to the toilet on their own. Okay, they always take a friend with them, and it's really, really important that you get two girls into a studio at the same time to share the experience. If you feel, as a photographer, that you would get a better experience from your clients by being single one-on-one, then by all means, shoot one. But whenever I double my shoot, I double my income. And if I can do that together, I also found, girls are more courageous when they are with t...
heir best friend, mother, sister, or if they have a partner in crime. They also have lots of fun, they still connect with you, and they make it more of a team, fun event. If a girl is coming in for a photo shoot, and I can get her mom to come in, they are 80% more likely to go shopping beforehand, which means that they're committed to the shoot, and they are also more likely to go out to lunch afterwards. So they are more likely to create an experience out of being photographed together, than if they were just sneaking off work for the day and going and doing it by themselves. And they also create it more as an event, mom and I are taking this day off, we're gonna go shopping for outfits, we're gonna go and have our shoot done, and then we're going out to dinner afterwards, 'cause we've got our hair and makeup done. So I chose a mother and daughter to do the double-up map, because I really wanted just to show you how beautiful it is to shoot a mom and daughter. And I'm going to just quickfire again, like I did before, but you can ask me questions, because I'm not on a counter. I'm just gonna try and take you through a fast map. Now instead of changing the girls' outfits and switching up backdrops, which I would normally do, putting them into something more glamorous, or putting them in an evening dress, or changing to black, I both got them in just something cute, so that the tones match each other so I can do a good map for you. Because what they're wearing is not relevant to watch a map, you're just gonna see me take as many good photos as I can, so I can take you through the sequence of how it works. Now when I say a sequence, what I'm tryin' to teach you here is when I get a mother and daughter shoot in, they are in makeup for an hour each, hair and makeup. Now unless you have two makeup artists, your clients are not gonna be ready at the same time. So what I do, is I always, always, always, used to, when I was younger, make the daughter go first in hair and makeup. And I would always take the daughter, because the daughter always has more clothes than the mom, she wants more shots, because she doesn't just want those beautiful, elegant portraits, she wants to do the cover girl shots as well. She's often, if she's got a job, buying as well as mom. So I tend to shoot more of the daughter, because she always has more clothes. Then what I started to realize as I was selling the mother and daughter shoot, that the mother is the one that sits back and lets her beautiful daughter come forward. But when I started to get older, I realized that the mother's experience of what was happening was just as important, if not more so, because the young girl was enjoying herself, her youngness, her young body and all the rest of it, but as I realized as I started to connect with older women, that the experience for the older woman was far more intense. And they're the one, generally, in this demographic, that is paying for it. So I started to rethink how I shot a mother and daughter. And I would always sit there and think, if the daughter gets in the makeup chair first, because she takes control, because there's often three relationships in a mother and daughter that I've seen significantly bounce forward, and you can decide which one you are. There's the mother and daughter where the mother is the controlling one. And she's over-mothering her daughter, and saying, you should wear this, you should wear that, and the daughter's like, mom, rolling her eyes. Then there's the opposite of that, there's the over-controlling daughter, who is telling her mom what to do. Mom, don't wear that, mom, don't do this, mom, don't say that, mom, mom shush. And then there's the friendship, you know, the two girls that, they're just great mates, and so I used to watch all these little subtleties play out, and I'd see who dominated who, you know, in that relationship, and I would always look at it. But whoever gets in the chair first by choice, is generally the more dominant of the two, because they're like, I'm gonna go first. And I would instead, if it was the daughter, I would let her enjoy her makeup, but I would sit with the mom. Now she's my paying client. Sure, the daughter's probably brought her in there, but it was the mom to me that is really sealing the deal, that I could really bond with. And I would sit with the mom and talk to her, while her daughter was in hair and makeup. Then when she went to hair and makeup, I could take the daughter out and start shooting her. Now if they're ready at the same time, I tend to come into hair and makeup while they're getting their hair done, which is usually the last 20 minutes, 15, 20 minutes. I don't come and talk to my clients while they're getting their makeup done, because their eyes are shut, and their lips are open, and then they have to stop to talk to you, and their mouths are moving when they should be relaxed and enjoying their pamper session. But when their makeup is done and they're almost finished with their hair, that can take 20 to 30 minutes, that's when I can sit in front of them, when the makeup artist is behind them, not in front of them, and just chat to them. And so what I do is, I map out my shoot now, no differently than I've been mapping out my couture flow. This is how I flow through a mother and daughter shoot. And so I'll just go for it, and stop talking, and start taking photos. Okay, pass me that one. So the first thing I do, is I have two beautiful girls here, Camille and Danette, and as you can see, the apple never falls far from the tree. And I'm going to take them through that flow. So Danette comes out first, and you can just sit there. I made both girls take their shoes off. Okay, everybody walks around in my studio with bare feet. So, I make it very comfortable for everyone just to be relaxed in all their outfits and then change their outfits and stay in bare feet. And what I'm gonna do now is I start straightaway with Camille. So Camille, I want to just do a classic start with you. I want you, I'm just gonna push this back, you're gonna take your body weight on that with your shoulder. That's it, it feels insecure, but it's just balancing up there. Okay, so what I don't want you to do, is I don't want you to put your hip against the wall, so I want you to push your other hip away from me, that way. Good girl. Now take your head away from the wall, and bring your chin around to me this way, very good. And what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna put this hand here, just to soften it, so give me a bend in your elbow, and just push forward here, that's the one. And bring your chin around to me now. So every time I photograph a mother and daughter, I think a triple series. Okay, this is what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to create a series of three images. So I want to start with, I'm gonna shot onto the gray-green. I get her to turn her chin all the way around to me. Okay don't tip, no, no, stay there. Don't move, bring, come back up, you were perfect. I just want you to do this. Okay. So I come straight into here, and I do a nice close portrait. Just relax your mouth, push your chin towards the, in towards me, and chin forward and down a little wee bit, no, this way, and stop, there it is. Okay, and a tiny little smile in your eyes, good girl, that's beautiful. (camera clicking) Okay. Straightaway, I take my first shot. And now I know I have to take three shots that are gonna sell together. So I'm going to create something on one colored wall, that I know is gonna match. Now I can thrash out as many poses along here on this wall, as you know, I can do. And you know how many wall poses there are, but the idea is that I just nail this one beautiful pose right here. Now let's say I know it's a triple, I know it's gonna be a series, so I just want to mix up the pose a little bit. So I take Camille onto her side this way. So come up onto your side, kick out with your right hip, so everything goes that way. So when I say kick out with your right hip, well, I mean, right side of the hip, that's it, lean. And just touch down there. And I want your hand to go here, that's it, stop. And bring your chin around, don't move. Okay, I'm just gonna bring her body forward, just a little bit. And the reason I'm gonna do that, is I just want you to give me that tiny one there, tiny little tickle of a smile, good girl. (camera clicking) Okay, the reason I'm going to do that, is because I'm going to put Danette back on the wall, and I don't want to do an identical pose, okay, 'cause I want to make it slightly different. So I'm going to go side-on, 45, straight around to me, and then I can also do this one, remember? So bring your hands down. So you know I can do 20 poses on this wall, but I'm only gonna choose significant ones that are different from each other. Slide down to below the boob line. Just kick one knee up, because that's what puts the shape into your booty, so just put one foot right up onto your toe. Like, sort of, there, that's it. That's exactly right. As soon as she puts her toe up, that gives you that working shoulder. Then you bring your chin around this way. Notice I went around this way, and then a slight tip in. Okay, so from here, I can shoot this right on the edge of a window, curtain, window line, and work this shoulder forward, I don't need it, Tiff, it's so beautiful and light today. Bring your chin down. The sun is shining in Seattle, I tell you. (camera clicking) Okay, and I just want to get something different. If the hand's bothering you, take the hand down, no, just drop your hands down lower. Work that shoulder forward, no, but don't tip your head back. That's it, stay there, stay there, now tiny little smile in the eyes, good girl, gotcha. (camera clicking) Okay, so I photograph her back-on, and I spin her around a little bit. All the variation is for me is, turn around, is, come into me, now Danette, and I want you to face each other, and I want you to put your, this hip together, so go front to each other. Face each other, not me. It's everybody's natural reaction to turn like that towards the camera. But the idea first is we sort out the body language together first, and then open them up to me. So you put your arm around each other at the back, that's it, and I always say, the hip touches and the boob touches. That means I've got a V. (laughing) Okay, so I squish them together there, and that's the first move I make, the second one is I work out where this hand's gonna go, so nice and low, because I want to create a heart shape. Okay, then what I do is your chin comes to the outside, your chin comes to the outside, and then you meet in the middle. But you don't tip in to the middle, you meet with your cheek. That's beautiful, okay. Now just make sure you're at the same distance, that's it. Cheek to cheek a little bit more. And then if you're watching from the front camera, because this is such a beautiful angle to see, you can work your shoulders in this way. That's it. Can you see that body language shift in as soon as you see that shoulder work? Looks really great. And now, even though you've got two small lean bodies, what you have to do, is I want you to just tip towards me a little bit more. Because, go back, I'm gonna show you what not to do first, is if they're here, even though they're lean and small, (camera clicking) they're projecting towards me with their lower body, which means this. When I look at my focal plane, so when I'm looking at them, their eyes are there, and their hips are in front of their eyes. And what's ever in front of the eyes is gonna be bigger. Do you understand? So now what I'm gonna do is turn your hips towards each other a little bit more, it's just to kick your booty backwards away from me, a little bit more, and Camille, stand up nice and straight. I want you to come up onto one foot. And, right up onto your toe, like this. Like that, that's a girl. And I want you to work your shoulder in. And now come together with your cheek, that's it. So now when I take this shot, they've kicked back, you are still too far towards me, don't move, Camille. Danette, I want you, no, I want you to step back with your foot. That's it, and take your bum back. More. Yeah, just, now, when you take your bum back, that's it, just bring your chin forward. Now come together. That's the one. Okay, so from here, this is now the difference (camera clicking) in that shot, just by doing that slight tilt. And I work this shot as far as I can, in terms of expression to each other. So what I do is I try and make sure, you know, there's lot of difference scenarios we can do here, lots of things we can do. We can have fun, we can make them laugh, we can make them pull back. If they pull back and look at each other, I make them stay here connected at the waist, and I just say, pull back and look at each other this way. So pull back with your upper body. And then, everyone tucks in with their chin. So you just make sure they do that with their forehead down. So I make them go towards each other with their forehead, so that they're more like, touching here. And if you want their face to stay open, you can just touch down and look down. So you can do something candid like that, touch foreheads, look down. Touch foreheads, just squish it, no, but towards me, that's it, that's it. And they can laugh, they can look down, you can take shots like this, they work, but that's changing up a pose by using the emotion of two people in one image, okay? Another thing that you can do straightaway, and I do this quite a lot, because every now and then this just really rocks, is I turn Danette around, so I want you to turn your back to Camille. I want you to cross each other's arms here. So you can either hold her hand, yep, and what it does, is it puts them both in the same plane. It puts them at the same distance. Your chin can go this way Camille, that way, and tip towards mom, that's it. And you go back to her. This shot here, I can shoot it like this, although it's just a variation of the one I just shot before, but I actually prefer shooting this like this. So bring your chin around, and bring your faces together, so you're cheek-to-cheek. So don't tip, straighten up Camille, straighten up, and bring your shoulder forward. That's it, so I kind of make it more fashion, and I shoot it like this. And you know, it's always true for me, nice and tall up at the back, Danette, bring your chin forward and down. It's always true for me that if I take those beautiful close-up face shots, they always work together, and it works really well with sisters together too. Is to the beautiful two-face slice that goes through there and there. So then what I do is I get Camille to come out, and she sits there, Danette goes back against the wall, and straightaway she leans in, thumbs against her jeans. So lift that top up, just thumbs go into the lowest part of the jeans, and, yep, and I want you just to pull away from the wall, and go back with your arm. Pull away, that's it, now, that's it, perfect. Okay, so, from here, I'm creating a series to sell. Alright? So I'm gonna now disconnect Danette, so I'm just gonna bring her chin nice and forward, and around this way, and I want you to soften those eyes for me Danette and give me a tiny little smile in those eyes. (camera clicking) Absolutely. Now, where I would've cropped Camille a little tighter on the top of the head, as soon as I pretty much start getting into that wider space, I start lifting my crop up at the top. Because anybody older, they don't like that fashion crop. Okay, be careful with it, you can crop to the top of the head and fill the frame, because the old-style portrait of the eyes being at three-quarters, or two-thirds, is gone. You can take it right to the top of the frame, but don't come in like this, especially not on short hair. How old are you Danette?
49? Nearly 50.
Okay. I don't crop that 40, 50, just don't crop it too tight. Because you end up, chin around, chin around and forward and down, if I end up cropping it in here, it doesn't suit short hair, and it looks wrong. In fact, they will look at it and say, why did you cut my head off? But they won't do it on a hair-blowing shot, on a 19-year old. Okay, so, be aware of what a fashion crop is, and be crop-appropriate, as well as pose and age-appropriate, as well as touch-appropriate, okay? So what I'm tried to do now, is, I've tried to create very simply, and because Danette's got a great bod, she looks great in jeans, okay, I'll instantly pull back here. Remember, chin around to me Danette, and chin forward and down a little bit, so your chin this way. I remember saying that Danette looks great in jeans and has got a great body, beautiful, big smile. (camera clicking) Beautiful, good girl. It's not a conversation I have with my clients. It's a conversation I'm having with you in your mind, 'cause I'm speaking out loud while I'm shooting. Okay, we don't discuss our clients' bodies with them. It's just not something we do, it's not something we like. So straightaway, if we can bring out the image, we've got a beautiful shot of Danette smiling, we've got a beautiful shot of Camille. We've got a beautiful shot of them together. We've got a close-up shot of their face together, and that was just doing one pose. We could've knocked out at least three little different changes and variations on each pose. But all I'm looking at is in a very short sequence of time, I've sold a series to them. Also, what I would now do, is I would've maybe knocked out five or 10 more shots than what I just did to show you, because I'm trying to sell them images, so I've got to make sure I really nail it, and I only took 10. Okay, you can have a look, actually I took 10, but one was a faker, and the other one, one was a head crop, and the other one was just to show you I can take it horizontally. So really, I only took eight. The idea is that they would put three big shots on their wall. One of Camille, one of the two of them together, and one of Danette on the other side. And they match, they match in clothe tone, in clothing tones, they match in backdrops, and I've created a series that sells just like that, in five minutes. So I'm trying to make a series of images, that if they're not gonna be in an album box, can be big images on the wall. Because I'm trying to create something that sells. Correct? So we'll go on from here, let's imagine that we get them into a beautiful black dress each, or something like that, and then I'm changing it up again. What I would do, is I would change my V flat to a black, and I would put them into a gorgeous dark evening dress, and I would go through a more fashion-style series of them together. So we can do that if we have time. Let's say I want to keep the gray and the green, we changed them to a different casual outfit 'cause not everybody brings in glamour clothes, and I'll show you how I would do a simple sequence on the ottoman. So if we can bring the ottoman in, sorry girls, you have to stand. Now, oh no, you don't have to move that, (laughs) come over and sit here, and then you're not crossing the camera while I'm doing Camille. So Camille, come over here. I want you to come and lie down. That's it. Perfect. Alright, now, I want you to bend your feet, in fact, I'm gonna have to swap that out, sorry, step up, because what I'm doing is I'm pointing you away. So I'm gonna point this here, and I'll point it back this way, that way, no, no, no, not that far, that's it. Okay, now lie on your tummy. Alright, from here, straightaway, I lie on the ottoman, I've got lots of posing choices, I know what they are because I've been practicing them all week. I want you to open this hand up this way, okay, and I want this one to go on the inside, 'cause I don't want a hand towards the camera. I want your chin to come all the way around to me here, and I want you to cross your ankles. Keep your knees together and lift your feet up. That's it, good girl. Sit up nice and tall, working that shoulder around to the front, stay there. Okay, I want to be age-appropriate in my sequence, but I also want her to look beautiful. I want you to keep your elbows where they are, and push your body back. So just wiggle back, that's it, more, more, that's it, good girl. Now, lift up nice and tall, bring your chin around this way. And I'm gonna shoot that there. So, remember, don't smile, just give me, lips together, and just give me a tiny, little wee smile, bring your chin back to me, tip this way, and bring your shoulder with it. Can you crawl across, Tiff? And where's our little two-thirds.
Yeah, I'm just gonna get you to bounce in a little wee bit. Okay. Just because her hair's down, what I'm gonna do, that's it, is I'm just gonna bounce little bit of light, because I can see it giving hair shadow. Nice and tall Camille, sit up, bring your chin around, that's it, and give me a tip down this way, don't move. So from here, I've got to make two choices, because I can't really (camera clicking) shoot a series of three, unless I crop them square. Well, unless I do three horizontals, right? So what I'm gonna do, is I can get a lying down shot, a beautiful lying down shot of her, and I can crop that square. Or what I can do is, drop your feet down out of the frame, lift up nice and tall, that's the one, and bring your chin around to me this way. I can come in here and get a completely different shot lying down, can you give me a slight tip, stop. Okay, and just working that shoulder forward, good girl, I can come into here and just get a different (camera clicking) horizontal shot. So it's the same lying down pose, but I just turned my camera out that way, because you do feel compelled to shoot that horizontally, because she's lying down. But it's also a great way to engage her and keep her hands up around her face, which looks really, really good. Another thing I can do is pull this hand out, and put it behind your hair, that's a girl. Now just give me a slight tip, chin down, and work that shoulder forward, there it is. I can do that, and I can come into here, (camera clicking) I can shoot that that way, and I can shoot it this way. So don't be afraid, (camera clicking) when you're mapping out your shoot to turn your camera. Okay now, what I do, is you have to jump up and I'll swap you over. Danette, I want you to come and lie down. Okay, stay in that corner Camille, and then you won't cross the camera. You come and lie down on your tummy. It's exactly the same pose for me, but I've got to change up the hands just a little wee bit. So what I'll do, is I want you to, let's go, bring your right elbow in, and put it straight forward like this. And put this one across, there, that's it. So lifting up nice and tall through your neck and shoulders, good girl. And I want you to bring your chin around this way. Okay, so I already have the benefit, okay, let's relax those eyes down, good girl, chin down, shoulder forward. That's the one, tiny little smile in your eyes, little bit more, (camera clicking) good girl, that's nice. Okay, so I can crop that square. So I'm already thinking about the last one that I cropped square, I was like, okay, I could do a square crop if that works, and then I could do a horizontal one if that's cool, 'cause I could take this elbow right out to here, put your fingertips behind your hair, lift your hip up to me, bring your knee forward. Okay, not that far, about halfway, roll back onto your tummy, your hand's not, it's at the back, fingertips are inlay. Bring your elbow back in. If they get too flat, bring your elbow back to you. Yeah, back to you, this way lifts, I say lifts the boobs off, relax your hands. Okay, fist, claw, thunderbird. So, remember pushing up here works the shoulder, lifting up tall through your neck and shoulders, and bring your chin around here. That's what you have, you have a beautiful smile. (camera clicking) Go for it, beautiful big smile, go. (camera clicking) Okay, so then, I can go elbows down, lift elbows in, so we never have our elbows outside of our shoulders, we have them there, and then you're sitting through the comfortable part of your neck, I want you to come up, and I want you to come to the shoulder, don't move, and I want you to give me a little smirk here. And, oh, mm, sorry, under there, and I'm just gonna shoot this one, (camera clicking) connect that chin and shoulder together a little bit more, good girl, beautiful big smile, go. (camera clicking) So from here, all I have to do to make this shot work, is I have to, you can stand up, turn the ottoman this way. And I've got two choices here. Actually, it can come out this way. I'm gonna turn it first this way, and do my quintessential kneel-behind, so both of you go behind. So here's my two choices. I've already given myself a square version, a horizontal version, and potentially a vertical to match them up, because I'm trying to sell a sequence. You kneel down, you put your elbows on there, okay. Camille, you come across to Danette, I want you to come up and over your elbows, that's it, 'cause we want to elongate the body. Then what I'm gonna do is get you to put your arm around Camille, okay. Now, just her waist. Your hand goes here, Camille, your elbow shoots into her space, 'cause that connects you. You can lock fingers there. Yeah. You can lift up nice and tall, now you're dominating onto her shoulder, so just pull back with your shoulder, yep, so around her waist, just comfortably, just don't push onto her, that's it, stay there. Now, come into her space Camille, 'cause I'm gonna join your faces together. So it's not so much a tip, turn straight to me, no, come around here, turn straight first, then come together, that's it. Okay, so you must go square to the camera first, and bring your cheek across Danette,
What are you saying?
To meet her. Bring your cheek across, that's it. Okay, nice and close, till you touch. Come in, stop. That's one, free cuddles today. (laughing) (laughs) And if not from each other, you can cuddle pretty much any of the CreativeLive crew. (laughing) They're all very cuddly. Yeah, very cuddly, good back massages too, just thought I'd... Okay, now I'm gonna shoot this horizontally 'cause I'm gonna crop it square. So I'm just gonna focus on the fact that it's going off the backdrop, but it doesn't matter, 'cause I'm gonna crop (camera clicking) that square. Then I've created a square portrait that I can put two other square portraits with, don't move, okay, so from here, I can squish them in nice and close, and I can also create a vertical here as well, if I want to, big smile, ladies. (camera clicking) Gorgeous. But I kind of think it works better as a square. I like creating square series. I like the idea that you can crop this as a square image, which is actually what I did with Toni and Hannah the other day, I put them on the powder blue and the gray singlets, and I cropped it square, and it really worked. You can also shoot that exact same pose in the backlight, and it just rocks, it's such a beautiful pose. But here's the cool thing, is even though I've flowed from the ottoman to the turned ottoman here, I can take Camille out, so just sort of, just sit to the side, you don't have to go far, I can actually leave Danette there, and get her to just lean forward onto here and do a shot on her own. Now first thing I have to do is get asymmetry in the arms, so I want you to go across like that. And I need to you tall as possible over your shoulders, that's the one, now your hand's in the front, so I want it on the inside, that's it, and I want your chin to come around that way. Now what I want you to do is just work the shoulder towards me in the front, good girl. And I'm gonna shoot this exactly the same way, so potentially this could also match my square. So that would mean, if I changed the light, the backdrop, or her outfit, I've created a whole new series already. Give me a beautiful big smile Danette, that's it, (camera clicking) love it. Excellent, okay. Now you can jump out, and Camille slide in. And I can do a beauty shot with Camille here. So I will get you to come up onto your knees here, and I'll get your elbows in onto here, and this one straightaway up in the air, and, stay there, just, I just want you to go like that, okay. We always direct the arms and elbows towards the center of the body, because that's what's gonna shape her waist. So from this here, we're right here, I could do a nice beauty shot right here, don't move, and what I want you to do Camille is, (camera clicking) take your fingertips behind your ears so I can't see them curled in, that's the one. Pull it away from your face. Don't turn your face away from me, come back in, stop. And a tiny little, just a smirk, okay, not so, no teeth, don't turn your face away from me, lift back up, that's the one, stay there, (camera clicking) good girl. And then I do my beauty shot there, so I can do that in vertical or horizontal, but the goal is that I've just created a little series for mom, and I've just created a beauty shot for daughter, and I've created a beautiful portrait for mom, all in the same flow. Alright, another thing that I always do with twos, is because I'm always looking to mix things up, like it's all very well to show you the same three poses, but I don't want to be kicking out everything the same three poses. I do want to try and mix it up. So I mix it up like this. I put this back to the corner, and I get both girls to lie on their front on the ottoman. Now this is a way for me to get a nice closeup, lying down ottoman shot. Somebody give me a timeline, so I know when I'm running out of time.
We have about 20 minutes.
Okay. So what I do here is, how many shots have I created? Okay, so what I do now, exactly the same as the kneeling pose, but it just has a different vibe. Cross your ankles, put your feet down, 'cause I don't want to see your feet at the back. Don't worry if it touches there. Yep, just slide 'em down. I want you to put your right arm behind, yes, that's it, behind Camille. Now, in order to do that, you have to kind of come up onto your side. That's it, perfect. Now, I want you to cross into her space by putting your elbow into her space. No different than the kneeling down pose. Now, you roll onto your tummy more Danette so it doesn't look like you're on your side. That's it. And I want you to both lift up tall through your neck and shoulders, straighten your head up to me Camille, and bring your cheeks together this way. Give me some light. Camille, you've come forward too much, so wiggle back in. That's it, stay there, and now just relax your hand down. I can't see past your hair anyway.
And your hand can go flat, not on your arm. No, flat, that's it. You can hold hands in the front, Danette bring your chin out, this way, lift up tall and go towards each other. That's it, right there. And then I shoot it here. Now this is just, Danette you are going too chin-up to me, I want you to come back, and hang on, I've got a busy, oh, I kicked the cord. (sucks teeth) Wait a minute. Sorry.
Oh, Sue. Quick question then, from LG Photography. When you're planning for one of your 9 up images, do you plan out looking from right to left, and center for that layout, or do you
No, I don't.
Figure that out after
I actually make that decision afterwards.
So when I do the 9 ups I'm really just trying to nail nine beautiful shots, either horizontally or vertically, so I'm really just trying to get it, you know, right the first time. Once I get nine beautiful shots, then I can decide how they look best laid out, and I pretty much determine that on negative space.
Let us know if it's ready, or if you want another question.
Beautiful big smile, ladies.
Yep. (camera clicking)
What I love about this pose is it's exactly the same as the kneeling pose, but I think it's just a little bit more intimate. It also works with a couple, and it also works with little girls, or little boys. So if the mom's lying on the end, her children's tucked under her arm, it's a really neat way to connect them both together, and it works really, really well, and it looks gorgeous. I just like it, it's got good flow, everything makes sense here. Okay, from here I'm gonna take this ottoman out, and I'm gonna bring the white couch in. So girls, you can stay right there. Yep, don't move. And I'm gonna take this one out. That's it.
So do you want us to keep a count, they said there's about 20-something, but they haven't been counting exactly.
Yeah, that's alright, 'cause I would show 30 images to a mother and daughter,
If not more, 30 to 50. So then I would do all of, any portrait couture, or boudoir, or anything else they wanted to do, so this was just the together series. So if I get that around 30 or 40, then I know you've created a beautiful series straightaway that the mom and daughter are gonna buy. And also, then, I would do the individual styles, which is for each of them. Each of the individual styles. So what I do with the couch, is I use the couch exactly the same way as I used the bar stool. But I know that it has a double feature. So I would come in straightaway and I would get Danette. And Camille, you stand by Tiffany there. I would get her to sit right there on the edge. And I would get this foot up here, and this foot stays exactly as it is. So I'm kind of doing my fashion quarterly pose. I'm doing that one there, where I work that pose, and I just get this attitude and personality that looks great, she looks good in jeans, relax your hands. There you go. Just keep that hand down, that's it. Now bring your chin around to me, beautiful, don't move. Okay. Okay, straightaway, I'm in here, and I want to take a gorgeous shot of Danette right there. Looks good there, hold that, bring your chin around to me Danette, and give me that little wee smile, just a little half smile, gorgeous, (camera clicking) you got it. Okay. I can take as many shots as I want coming in here. Remember also, we can use our shoulder, so turn away from me, there. I can bring the chin down and do a bigger smile. (camera clicking) I can do, sorry, (camera clicking) and then I can come into here, chin down, and I can do something like that, (camera clicking) I don't really need that, Tiff, it's kind of prefect. But what I want to do is flow, so my next flow would be for her to take her foot over there, stop, and for you to come and sit. But when you sit, Camille, I want you to sit on your foot with your back to her. So don't sit down onto the couch, 'cause you'll go low. And secondly, don't sit down and go back to her like this, 'cause then she can't lean forward. So kind of sit away from her. That's it. And she sits there. Now the reason she sits there, is I want space for her to move, elbow comes up. You connect here. Okay, you connect here, you connect here, chin around, and you can either hold hands here, or you can just let this hand hang. Leave it as it was, 'cause it looked good, you guys have naturally good hands, so, just let them fall. You only move hands when they're being naughty and you have to give them a job to do. Okay, very, very important, I don't want you down too low, so sit up nice and tall for me Camille, and work your shoulder. And then just cave in here. So, yeah, so you actually relax down. You're not like that, okay. That's it, I want you more relaxed in this pose, it doesn't look sloppy, it looks good. So chin around this way, and bring your faces together here. So straightaway, I can work this, (camera clicking) Camille, bring your chin around to me, and that's it, (camera clicking) but don't tip back to Mom. So chin this way, chin that way, work your shoulders forward, both of you. And then I do (camera clicking) a beautiful series here, (camera clicking) where I get mom to hold Camille's hands, both of them. And then just squeeze her in tight. I do a series like that, (camera clicking) don't squeeze too tight, (camera clicking) pull back a little wee bit, Danette, pull back, so, yeah, that's it. (camera clicking) Now Camille bring your chin around to me. And I take a, usually, (camera clicking) a fun laughing series around here. That always works, it flows really well. Then I get Danette to jump out. I get Camille to jump in, stop. Okay, now what I do, is I'm actually posing them in the complete opposite that I normally would, 'cause normally it's the daughter in jeans and the mom that's in a skirt, so normally I would've done Camille in the fashion quarterly pose, and then Danette in the recline, so remember the recline is that slimming recline, but this is how I make it look younger and funkier. I'm gonna put Camille's arm here and create a triangle. Instead of a slimming pose, it's gonna be more triangular and fashion. I'm gonna get you to push your bum away, so she has more lean, so, no, no, away from this side, that's it, 'cause when she has more lean, it opens up her body line more. And it also turns her towards me, instead of doing the slimming pose, I'm opening her up. Then I get her to put her hand onto her thigh, and slide down. Point your toes. Always have toes pointed. Whenever your toes are pointed in a image, your legs grow about 10 inches longer. Okay, so from here, I've turned her more side-on to me, and so now I want to make her face square and fashion, 'cause square is fashion, right? Fashion is square. Okay, and from here, I'd shoot that, nice and low, (camera clicking) and I also want to do something friendly, just to match the series. Slide your bum in a little wee bit more, a little bit more, that's it. Turn your body away, relax your fingers. Bring your chin around to me this way. That's it, and beautiful big smile there, (camera clicking) we gotcha. ♪ Perfect ♪ Okay, so that's flow from the couch. Then we take the couch out. By the way, just as a tip, something I, wait, wait, wait, just as a tip, just stay there. Something I would consider, jump up on the back of the couch. It doesn't have to be side-on. Just on the back. Come and sit down on your knees, on the back. No, you sit on the back, no, no, no.
Oh, up back.
Your bum, yeah.
Like what your mom told you not to do.
Yeah. What you're not allowed to do at home. I want you to sit on your knees in between your legs. So put your jeans apart. Okay, if I'm gonna do something like this, where I can get them to interact, there's two things I have to consider. 'Cause this is an old-style pose, but we're gonna make it more, let's make it more modern. The old-style pose is, mom's doing Farmer Joe, okay, and it's not flattering. So the idea is asymmetry, the bum goes that way, that's it, so that you can come down the front ways. And then, how we interact the hands is how we bring them in around here. So this hand here, Camille, holds Mom's hand here. Okay, so straightaway, these ones connect here, and then you can relax this. I don't mind it looking like this, but I want you to bring this shoulder in. Okay, don't crowd her though, pull away, and then go up to meet her, otherwise, you end up pushing down onto her pose. Now you're using your arm around you this way, so turn this way a little wee bit more, that's it, and then you can fall down onto her, Danette. Okay. From here, then, I can do anything I want in terms of making them interact (camera clicking) with each other, so she can sit back nice and low, (camera clicking) I want you to wrap your arms around her, but not too tight Danette, that's perfect, perfect. (camera clicking) Beautiful, big smile Danette. (camera clicking) Gotcha. Okay. And I don't mind jeans being in. So I don't mind doing the arms up and over, as long as we've got elbows in. You can jump up and stand on this side. Tiff, you can take that out. I'm gonna put this in. Now remembering, we're changing outfits, we're changing backdrops, we're changing light scenarios. So every time we switch that up, we get a different look. Alright, so here's our bar stool. Our bar stool simply works like that. Camille, come and sit down. I'm gonna get you a little soap box to put your feet on. The reason we have the soap box to put our feet on is 'cause it's easier to pose. Yep, there you go, swap feet, put this one back. No, that one back there.
No, no, that one. This one, back on there.
That's it. And this one right up onto your toe, because we always stagger our knees. Whenever we use a bar stool, it's quite simple, it's exactly the same as this sort of fashion star pose. It's about bringing mom in here, okay, it's about her working her jeans. It's about them connecting if they want to. It's exactly the same as the couch, but I'm gonna do a series where we go fashion quarterly, and then we go mom and Camille, and then I go Danette on the bar stool on her own. And just keep switching out, staggered poses, with different light scenarios, a different colored background with a different outfit. So you can just jump in there, and I'll take a shot of it so we have a reference. So I want you to use your thumb into your jeans. That's it, and I want you to connect your back hand together, so let's go up like that, that's it. So you lock fingers, and you lock fingers down that way. And pull it back, that's the one, and I want you to tip towards her Danette, no, you stay there Camille. And come out, and in towards me, stop, and in towards each other now. That's the one. Okay, so we can go in here, and Danette, chin this way. Okay, now what I want you to do, is I want you to bring your hand into here. And then just cross hands there. Don't squish in too, don't squish in, pull away, and pull your, that's it. Always create space, but make it work. Okay, now we're kind of thunderbirds, so we just need to relax into each other. Okay, cheek-to-cheek, that's it, cheek-to-cheek, Danette, so you need to come in. That's the one, and beautiful, big smile, go. (camera clicking) You can bring, when you photograph couples, another thing that really works is, when you have a couple, and you have the guy in front, which looks really good, then the guys can just sit in the front in kind of a manly pose without doing anything specific, and the women can be draped on their backs, that looks really good. Also, it works well when the girls are in the front and the boys are behind, and their arms are around the girls, as long as they are on the outside of the arms. And she can work her hands around his forearms, which looks really beautiful 'cause it's protective, and it looks really good, and he's often bigger. And then another one you can do is when they're posing on the box, you can get the girl to turn around on her knees, and put her arms up on his chest and around his neck, and he can hold her around the waist between his legs sitting down, and it's staggered, and it looks really, really gorgeous. So, just a couple of scenarios to swap out. So now what I would do is, I've nailed three different outfits, three beautiful series that I think will sell as mother and daughter series. Now I'm gonna focus on the outfits that Danette brought on her own. She brought this beautiful gold sequin dress, and Camille's brought her prom gown, or her evening gown. I'm gonna go and do the individual shots now, so if it gets more portrait couture from here on in, I've still nailed a contemporary family portrait series, and I've easily, easily sold $1,500 worth of that, before I even go to the individual shots. So that was just a little mother and daughter map for you, and make sure you get that flow going. The faster you can shoot that stuff, the quicker you can move on to the individual stuff, and the faster you can knock out your shoots, 'cause you don't want them there for hours. Bonnie?
Well, I was wondering about when you, since you now have your package that's the folio box and the, was it 20 by 24 print? So then do you still, at that point, add a la carte later, if they want to order the series, or?
Oh yes, my menu is a la carte, but my starting price is that package.
Okay, so they get that,
So the idea is,
but can add.
I want to fill that 20 box up. And I've already done nine good series. I've already done, you know, a three, three, and a three, so that's worked really, really well. I just think that there is a certain flow in terms of logistics at how to do the shot well, the shoot well. You really want to be fast, because they've already been in hair and makeup for two hours. So if I take too long doing these mother and daughter shots, and by the time they get to the individual shots, I kind of feel like they are a little bit over it. They're tired, they're hungry, people get hungry, and when they're hungry, they don't take in information very well. Also, I feel like it's gotta be a nice, fast flow, just to get them used to the camera, but taking really nice shots. The thing is, is as they go on to the individual shots, they just warm up more and more. So make sure when you are booking the mother and daughter shoot, or the sisters shoot, you are asking them and educating them how they want to be photographed. So you want a beautiful shot together, and then you want a beautiful photograph on your own, and then, I find that when I would market to the mother and daughter, if I marketed a shot like that to the mothers and daughters, they wouldn't come in. But what I do, is I market the individual shots, and then they come in. So I kind of thought, it's not that you don't want to shoot with your mom, but you just don't want this idea that the whole shoot's with your mom. You want this idea that you can both come in and be made over and look hot, but it's not something you have to do together. Now when I show a shot like that, that's just a classic mother and daughter photo that everybody wants, a beautiful shot of their mom and daughter, you know, Grandma wants it, everybody wants it. But that's not what I market with. What I market with is Camille's beauty shot, and Danette's beauty shot smiling, which is the individual selves. And I want something like that. 'Cause that tells me it's not just about a family portrait, it's more of a beauty line. And that makes the difference. And the girls get it, and the first question the young girls ask me is, I don't, it's not, we will have some shots taken by ourselves, won't we? You know, because they want to see themselves looking like a model, they want that beauty shot, and so, yeah, they don't want them all with mom.
That makes sense.
Mm, it's a really good marketing tip when you're showing the shoot, to show three images like that. So shoot for three, sell for three, market for three. Because every time you create a series, you sell a series. Okay, so that little map's gonna go in the PDF with all the different body shapes. So we're collecting little extra maps and little extra flows, because we've got the couture manual, we've got the flow manual, now we're getting sort of, just some little reference guides for you to keep coming back to. (snaps fingers) What did Sue do with that mother and daughter flow, and how did she do it so quickly? Also, if you're doing bachelorette parties and you're marketing, and you're getting eight to nine girls, and some of them are mothers and daughters, you got the mother and daughter, you got sisters going on there, you got the best friends going on there. Your two-flow, single two-flow posing needs to be really fast. Now if we can just go back to that keynote, Mike, that I showed you before, I just want to show you something really fast. This is Simona's studio. So this is Simona's studio, looking from the makeup table to the window. And that's Simona's sister and mom. And Simona and I were shooting this together, and we were trying to show that beautiful shot into the backlight, but we wanted to show you the reality of where they were actually standing. You know, because you so think it's this big fancy setup, and it's a small room with one window. And they had, there is no light source coming from where I am, none. It's dark. Okay, the only light source is that reflected to the right-hand side of the frame. So then, after you see that, you can't tell it's not this beautiful studio, correct? And it's not even a high ceiling. It's just a standard ceiling height. So when you shoot back to the two, the trick is to get that back hip and that back boob touching, get their arm around each other at the waist. Get your chin to come out to the shoulder, and then bring your cheeks together, but don't tip towards each other, and be careful you don't squish each other, try and create that heart. Then what you do, is you create beautiful images like this, you can work that front shoulder forward, they can get closer to each other, they can, you know, turn their back to each other, you can do lots of different scenarios. This is looking down the other side, so this is going from down her window line. This is Simona's studio here. And we had a seat there with one gray polyboard on the background, which by the way, does that not look the exact same green-gray as Simona's? We can pick that from a mile away now, we're just programmed to look for it. And there it is, a staggered box. So you can do that on a chair, you can do it on a bar stool, a box, an ottoman, those are polystyrene boxes. But the idea is we're taking a reclining shot of the elegant portrait, and then we add a daughter. And then we can add another daughter. Okay, so you can keep staggering people into the image, as long as you keep working all of their hands and body language together, and as long as you keep putting them all at the same face distance, because you gotta watch your depth of field there. Their faces are below, and you're on wide open, and you're gonna put somebody out of focus, and you're gonna lose your shot straightaway. Okay, then, just to stand up and do the basic three-shot, which is the flow-on from the two-shot. So I'll add that to that PDF so that' you've got a nice, good 50-flow of how to double, up to triple, in a nice sort of linear flow.
In this situation right here, would you have already snapped a bunch of individuals, because one of them was in, doing the makeup still?
So I probably would have finished all of Camille's beauty shots, and then I would be photographing them together, so this flow would be halfway through, and then I would let Camille sit down and text, and do whatever young girls do while I photograph Mom. I connect with Mom, take a beautiful portrait of her. They're out of there, and it's an hour and half, all up.
Seems to work real nice when you start with both of them already ready.
Ah, that just flows real nice.
Well, it doesn't matter anyway, because she's ready in the same outfit, but if she's already had shots done, then she's already been in her other outfits, her single outfits, so it kind of, it works just the same. You get more me-time when you get them one-on-one, but then you don't have an assistant 'cause Simona will be doing hair and makeup, so I don't have Simona's help. That's not a problem until I have hair that needs help. And then I'm on my own, so it can work in your favor, and it can work against you. So, six of one, everybody's different, Bonnie?
So in that case, do you just do the together shots in one outfit, and then everything else is their own outfits?
No, I try and get a light, a dark, a casual, and a glamour, more evening. So I try to do jeans and a white top, or jeans and a colored top that matches and tones in, then I try and get that sort of jeans, casual black, or darker, and they're amazing. You'll find people come in with matching blues. They come in with matching greens. 'Cause they're similar, they're mother and daughter, I mean look how alike they are. The chances are, they dress similarly in their colors and their choices of outfits. And then I try and get them to do an evening look, and then I try and get them to branch out and do something really, really original, for their own selves. So I try and discourage patterns and colors for their together shot, but I'm happy to encourage patterns, jewelry, bright colors, prime colors, and distractions for their individual shot. Because you can't really do it with two, but individually, it's fine.
Do you mind explaining briefly how important it is of the placement of the feet? Toe up.
I just feel like, when the legs are flat, the legs are short. And something happens when a woman comes up onto her toes. Now you can say the same thing, that's how we feel when we wear heels. Okay, so we know we feel different, we know our posture sits differently. Our legs look longer. Our legs are more, I don't know, just posed in a more feminine way. Something happens, we just get longer and sexier. But the problem is, is if she's in big heels, she can't pose from heels. But she can pose and then lift her toes up. It's an awkward thing, posing in heels is very difficult. Very, very difficult.
So it's usually both, or just one foot.
Um, I kind of try to always extend the feet, unless I want one leg higher. In that case I can do that. But I just find as soon as you turn the feet, and you turn them this way, as soon as you cross them, as soon as you point the toes, the legs look great. Any quick questions before we break for lunch about that, that map I hope just helps you, it's a fast map, but it's a good one. Are we able to put up the images that we just took? Sorry for the surprise, can we just put up, yep. I just think it's a fast flow, it's something you need to perfect. As a photographer, I will be very candid, and I will say to you, this can be one of the most boring shoots I do. Okay? Sometimes I get a mom and daughter in, they don't have many outfit choices, they have just come in together to do the experience, have their hair and makeup done. This sometimes never escalates past a T-shirt and jeans. But, it is, out of all the shoots I do, when I do film noir, when I do lingerie, when I do nude, when I do tutus, when I do dancing, when I do beauty shots, when I do all of those, significantly more exciting for me as a photographer, however, this is my highest bought shoot. So what you might deem as boring, yawn, this is my biggest market. Because nothing trumps the relationship that a mother has with her child, in terms of getting a portrait of them and herself that she loves. Nothing. No amount of dancing in tutus and a bra, or anything like that will make somebody pay for something like the power of that relationship. And I said it to Toni, and I said it to Hannah the other day, and Toni started crying, for every mother and daughter I shoot, or every mother and child I shoot, especially the mother and daughter relationship, which is a big market for me, I always try to do two things. I try to get the men to come in at the end of the shoot. Okay, so I focus on the mother and daughter, but I make sure Dad and the boys come in at the end, because I don't want to exclude them. This is not an excluding male market. This is just pampering the girls, and then getting the boys to turn up for the family shoot at the end so I get the best of both worlds. Okay, I get a 3,000, 4,000, $5,000 bump up if I get the boys in as well. But the truth is, is at the end of the day, what I need to do is market to the pamper of those women, 'cause they're the ones getting the hair and makeup done and getting the beauty experience from it. The boys are just turning up for the family portrait shoot to have a beautiful photo on the wall. I always say the one thing, so this is the second thing I always say. One day, Camille will give these to her daughter. And everybody gets it. In terms of that being the biggest sell for me, in terms of this relationship. And when I get bored doing these types of shoots, so when they are not that exciting, and they don't bring in very many clothes, and they're not very interesting, and you're with them for three hours, you know, as a creative artist, you might think this is not very interesting. What you need to do is just reconnect to the fact that you've got two beautiful people in front of you, sitting there, wanting the best portrait they've ever seen of themselves. And this is what summed it up for me a long time ago. My first boss, who taught me how to shoot, used to be a flight attendant. And his wife was also a flight attendant. And she said to me, that they were taught customer services 20 years ago, that a flight might only cost somebody $600, which is nothing, but that person may have saved their entire life for it. For that one flight, and their experience should be, every single penny that they have ever saved to experience this opportunity to fly somewhere. And I remember thinking, you know, you might just think, it's just a family portrait, but that photo there will be on their life for the next 50 years because of you. And that means you stop time, and celebrate relationships, and that in itself is a big market. So contemporary portraiture that's not necessarily fashion, just capturing beautiful relationships. And, you know, how awesome is that?