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Conceptual Domestic Shoot Part 3

Lesson 20 from: The Art and Business of Conceptual Portraiture

Jennifer Thoreson

Conceptual Domestic Shoot Part 3

Lesson 20 from: The Art and Business of Conceptual Portraiture

Jennifer Thoreson

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Lesson Info

20. Conceptual Domestic Shoot Part 3

Lesson Info

Conceptual Domestic Shoot Part 3

Let's try some of just nora for a minute that will put you back together ok let's yeah let's sit you on the edge of the bed and go ahead and sit back a little further just onto the bed good actually love love it just like that to start let's close your eyes for one same thing good let's think back onto the bed a little bit more and tuck your legs up there with you let's see what we get feet all the way up into into onto the bed with you just kind of like your curling up again until little ball yeah it's fabulous can your feet come even closer to your bum? You're bumpkin stay where it is and just draw your feet and a lot more there you go and this would kind of come up over your knees a little bit towards me there that's beautiful let's hug those needs a really tight eyes closed good. How about we turn you this way and back you up a little bit and put you on your knees like your mom wasn't that earlier? Yeah yeah you can sit back on your heels let's back up a little bit more to the end ...

of the bad those we get a little more of that light on, you know this way I'm sorry, sweetie yeah, there you go beautiful beautiful I love that just like that that is fabulous sit back just a little more for a couple beautiful if you will bring your hands forward just a little so I can see him because they're under the cover let it grab around the edge of the bed maybe it's so I can see your fingers yeah sit back on the heels a little bit more there there and let your head just fall into your chest you got it okay that's fabulous gonna have you lay on your back just just like you would if you were in the bed let's sum let's get rid of that pillow actually let's put it just like that one if you would on the other side kind of messy like somebody else has been sleeping over there actually let's just get rid of it altogether yeah I just want it for a minute we'll put it back but lovely can you turn your face toward me great actually let's try you like that we're gonna put her on the floor see what happens this is a typical process like any time I'm working with a sculpture or something like that just it's just trying thing after thing after thing and some of these air not gonna work at all um but they might lead to something that does so yeah I'm just playing around let's um let's have you in the same positions get rid of the boots you can just talk him all the way under. On the floor with you lay all the way that I think maybe by the side yeah I wouldn't want to get to coffin like just let him fall on yeah I like your what if you barely touched her hand if she just barely will touch yours with let's do with the other hand nora yeah fingertips only just barely and nor can you roll all the way onto your back so your feet everything or just kind of yeah in a little closer we're almost under the bed just inch over a little more especially your feet the feet can touch the bear you go ah that's fabulous and very strange what's two eyes closed can I get you know when or where you're actually under the bed kind of halfway under just go as far as you can and we'll use the bed skirt to make it look like you're under there yeah, yes there's one little loopy part right where your hand is right there and said we can flatten him out that's great that's great, I think what? See your neck but I like that shape. Yes, yes, yes. Fabulous. So cool. Okay, like you're reaching kind of four but you can't get her there we go that's really strange ok, another really weird idea um nor can I have you go at the foot of the bed over there and lay on your back again your feet are gonna be facing me just your feet so go all the way around to that side you got it and lay on your back and keep going actually keep scooting and you're going to face yeah, so your bomb is gonna go down that way you're gonna turn toward me there you go. Um set up one more time for me now scoot back where exactly where you are keep going. Keep going. There you go. Now just lay back perfect. Going to get you as close to the bed as we can and that's gonna work. I think I just want to see your feet. Yep. Uh that's crazy. Can you come out toward me a little more in or just scoot toward the camera about a foot? And if I can just see the bottoms of your feet a little bit more, tip him up. That's great that's great. I think anna let your the way beyond the top of your head a little bit. Kind of pleading that's. Great. I love it. Okay, put you back together again. Do we have ah, anything, comments, questions from you guys while we're moving here and where you could get on the bed together again, huh? Said you didn't know what you were doing, what you knew enough to choose white on white and a mother daughter so what were you thinking? What what did you I knew I wanted the bed and the ashes to come together and that kind of like we talked about sort of fleeting um temporary nous and I thought about what relationship I thought would be the most tender to represent that fleeting this kind of so I thought maybe a couple or you know, a father daughter and then because of my current state mother daughter seemed to be the most significant to me so it just seemed the most special so she's gone um yeah that's that's where that's coming is a great question, actually. And really, if you could get that much because we talked a lot about earlier about what do I want to photograph? You know what? What is it that I need to make the picture of I didn't figure that part out I didn't know what it was gonna look like yet that's okay, I did know I wanted white on white because of the symbolism you see that's what I mean it's like those little clues can help you figure out what it's gonna look like if you just allow yourself to say what's symbolic, what are the things that are important to me and choose and then suddenly I have a color palette and I didn't have to force it coming sense yeah don't have to think too much about it actually like that nor I can we set you behind your mom here behind her bomb kind of your legs were probably gonna either come toward me off the edge of the bed or go that a way yeah that's good so you're kind of leaning in hunching forward a little bit um maybe let's pull the legs up though so we don't look jim misty yeah so you're kind of just hunching over towards your feet like you're tired like you you've given it all you've got and nor can you weigh on your mom's back but turn your body towards me so you're gonna get exactly can you squash up toward her where there's no gap between you yeah yeah fabulous it's fabulous it's great still is you khun b and know that it's uncomfortable what if you let anna just let your head fall completely down so I don't see the face yeah that alone I think changes it quite a bit don't you think he's not seeing the face and they see just the top of your head and I just kind of roll your face towards me it's still down and tucked us far they will go there we go nora eyes closed for one and can you come forward nora just a little bit same same same thing that just really squash upon your mom there can you turn your body time toward her and clench up within the foreign hold on to her hold onto her waist kind of hold on even tighter just real tight hug yeah yeah eyes that mean or, uh beautiful beautiful okay, so what's going through my mind I'm just trying to show different facets of this relationship of a relationship and I've only met them a couple of days ago so it's not their relationship in trying to reflect its its a relationship in my own life that I'm turning to reflect so there's a big difference there in trying to illustrate something that someone else is going through versus my own concept my own kind of method my own life, my own stuff so yeah, I'm not looking at this is a portrait at all lower the camera a little bit doing what we're version of that can we put that pillow back in real quick to do that again? I like your knees apart actually like that do that again yeah that's beautiful just like that can you wrap your arms nor around her middle section kind of by her neck sort of under her armpits yeah yeah yeah I just grab on real tight, beautiful good well, I'm thinking about it gonna grab that shot for the curtains see how it dad there you see that there's texture there I'll paint that back in later one way or another just random detail but I met I'm working somewhere between five point six and f a because I want texture I would like to have texture and detail and all of that ash that's in front of their feet and stuff in the prints so you can literally like like you want to touch that stuff definitely wanna have that okay can we grab some that that box of ash and have them closed eyes and just dump ash all over the bad all of her feet this is all the rest of it that we have yeah so close your eyes and hold your breath and then we'll wait till the dust settles before we open again oh not on them I'm sorry just on the bed and it could go a little lot number on the bed and pillows and mostly here in the front cause that's we're going to see it the most yeah yeah yeah mostly here in front of anna and up here on the pillows where we're going to see it yes yes good let's just do it all why not make a holy mess thank you that's so pretty and while you're there can we poke or just pull that blanket toe where it looks a little more like somebody might just be sleeping on the other side and it's not all in one clump just pull it up toward the pillow there we go. Yes, thank you so much let's try that one that same shot once why we've got this done and then we'll move on so laying on your mama's back beautiful what if anna you tip your head back over hers? Yeah and a full profile so turn your face away from me and then lay your head back kind of behind hers yes there that's lovely last thing and it just clincher own arms against your body so something to that effect yes that's lovely and nora eyes closed for one little last thing is goanna bring this feat to the very edge of event toward me so I can see the feet there there, there I love it it's beautiful. Okay let's leave you there and and nora bring you between your mama's titties there you're going to nestle in there somehow? I don't know how, but we'll figure it out. Look at the footprints now we have, which is why I love it. We have a shot back. I put this ash. Although you guys remember the fabric room picture from earlier maybe I put the ash all over the floor in there and it took days to get it out its life I love that love it yeah, just tight, real holding on tight, good I think nora turn your face towards your mom a little bit and then get your profile there we go that's great let's let your arm coming down slightly lower so I can see her neck but still holding on so maybe your arms are overlapping a little more yes and nora grab back on your mom too so everybody's grabbing there we go. Okay, nora, we have your turn so you're gonna come up on your knees and turn and face your mom where you are kind of like you're kneeling and go all the way close yeah, and so this is a little berth like right? Just because of the position of mom with baby sort of as close as you can get and maybe we need two inch you toward her a little bit and because I was thinking we could connect your feet back behind her somehow so you're clenching or with your feet too yeah let's reverse um so the front ones on the bottom and just let him be on the bed if they'll go yeah, yeah I love her hunched over um nor can you put your hands on your mom's chest like over her heart? Yeah. There you go. Yes, and I just want to see a little more of her if she comes forward toward me as faras possible her head? Yes, yes uh my goodness that's lovely ok mom let's loosen up your arms just a little bit so I see her eyes closed nora, can we lean you forward at all? Set make any sense does it feel like you're leaning back a little much as much as we can do it so you're almost ninety degrees would be great just another few inches and we'll have it that's it can we relax your legs now mom just let him flock this way kind of over one could even come over the bed yeah exactly and the other foot we don't need to see we could either stick it under the covers or pull it back could we know that you got it? We got it we got it love it let's nora put your hands outside your mom's arm that make any sense yes and just grab onto her arm good and and he might have more leverage now if you can lean forward a little more and push her back. Yes, lovely. Okay, chill a minute. So beautiful let's try nora and a kind of fetal just like you are but you're going to lay your cheek down kind on your knees and and I think just facing me again with legs off the bed maybe you could put your head on mom's fi yeah holy crap that's really pretty um me into you back a little bit and onto the bed yeah let's put your hand on your mom's knee under your face under your forehead there you got it you got it and maybe your hands are on her head and you're kind of leading over her back and super relaxed the elbow so they're just they're hanging out you're cradling her and caressing the face maybe there I think can you lay on her? Yeah let's try that hand under her face and nor I will put your hand down where it was before down on the floor or on the bed let's try that same idea but with your legs tucked up onto the bed same exact everything else yes we'll see that thought yet that's fabulous is there a way to now took her knees up onto your leg so she's like a little bird perched up in there? Yeah, as far as you can go it's fine. They're there that's good and you can either be are you is your weight on your toes right now? How are you doing that? Yeah, on the knees around the toes. Okay, so the feet maybe you could just let him kind of flatten out back there without putting too much on the toes. Yeah, exactly like that. Okay, and just kind of curl into a little ball of mom's gonna lay on your back yeah, can you be even tighter in a little ball, nora yeah and I think nora turn your face toward me a little bit though yes and eyes are closed it's lovely and anna let's try your head on this end if you can kind of into your body that way so I could see more of you and then chin on her back yeah there over her as much as you can and I think that other hand a little little more upon her body her her shoulder area so I can see there we go yes good okay well relaxing in it it's lovely thinking like I don't know it looks like to me like she's a little egg or a little baby and embryo babies something like that so I'm wondering if we can make womb kind of fetus sort of feeling if she does that again and if you turn your knees and your kneeling and facing that way we could lay you overhear doesn't make any sense let's start by just putting you on your shins facing her yeah now on or you're going to do exactly what you're doing before just go ahead let your legs be on the bed and you're gonna be an egg again on your feet could be flat and if you would come to the very edge so you're almost about to fall off here so I can see your legs and you could move toward your mama little if you need more space yes that's exactly it yeah, and then you're just gonna lay over her so your legs made I don't know how I'm gonna do it wait wise, but probably on the small of her back is what I'm kind of visualizing yeah so your knees yeah, almost to whether under her head in fact we could kind of mimic try to force that a little yet that's it so I kind of want to look like you're sitting on your heels but still kind of stressed out and we'll just see where your head ends up like that your bomb is down on your heels I think go ahead, sicher they're there and so you're kind of marching through the back. Yeah that's really, really cool, good. And anna chin into your own body a little bit and grabbing onto her let's almost in relation fingers just like you're holding on really holding on. Beautiful. Yeah, lots of tension. Your protective you're protecting her? Yes, you got it. Okay, you'll relax. Good. Okay, let's, come up with one last crazy thing stopped right there. That's beautiful let's clunk four heads just like you are great. Okay, I'm thinking one last thing if we turn you toward the camera one more time, anna, but maybe cross like it or something where you have a place for her to sit and don't try that egg thing one more time let's go to this way so you get better light on both of you were kind of where she is okay? Is there enough room there for her to sit in your lap? You think as a little egg we may even have to put your slight feet soles touching or something we'll see how it looks we go in, get her in there. Yeah, okay can you make yourself a bull egg in there and just put your feet in there and your whole body and bomb and everything we're making his tiny as possible so your your hind end whatever it's called bum can be on the bed I think is what I'm thinking I don't know we'll see acrobatics I think your knee's gonna go above your mom's leg so put your mom on the bed e think she needs to sit on the bed and saw her knees are up that make any sense yes, there she fits now yes, that's it that is definitely perfect. Okay, yeah, I'm just on a little ball. There's, bring your knees up to your channel. Can nora? Yeah, and so somehow either way we want to see your face so maybe we do it this way the first time yeah, I love that actually turn your face away from her yes oh my goodness that's the one really clinch e hands just grab on her arms hard as you can eyes closed door for one nor can you stretch up just a little so I can see your neck same thing and and bring your hands lower on her body same gesture though there there and that's anna bring your head to the other side of her and chin down toward her. Anna can you guys turn your faces toward each other in touch faces last shot nora eyes are closed you got in your eye that's it it's beautiful norah, turn your face to me just a little bit more there and keep coming this way keep turning there we call we overlap your feet, mom for the last one so there across there ago and clinching everything together just as tight as we can in there um and turn your face toward me and turn your cheek toward her. Does that make sense like you're like you're going to kiss her forehead? In fact, we could do the vessel and, uh nora chan up towards your mom? They're just touch together that's it okay, fall apart beautiful. Okay, I think we've done it. Do you have any other questions? Yeah, way dio um gemma wants to know when shooting these what are using is your focal point uh you mean like what I'm actually focusing on the face as much as I can, okay, yeah and I mean this sometimes you'll see me kind of re composing so get it where I need it but I'm trying to focus on the face that's another reason for having a you know, f five six f ate so I have a little more depth of field work with just in case it's not spot on awesome um uh yeah, go ahead do you use professional models that are paid wouldn't do conceptual art versus commission art that's a good question hardly ever do I use paid models I used people I know people who want to be involved in this crazy world of mine because there's a there's a different level of commitment when I know them and they know me and I'm getting kind of working together at something that's party any more any more questions? Yeah, that looks awesome photo turned out okay. Yeah, beautiful. Cool. Yeah, I have two questions first is about the shoes if there's a special meaning for you way can't see them now but yeah, they were four and I thought this sort of looked like men's boots so it may be it was the presence of the father in the image and the second one are you going for a specific emotion because I'm a mother and like I was tensing up here just by watching yeah while you were posing absolutely and so somebody asked me at lunch is having a baby going to change the way you shoot? Yes, because it already has so that that mother instinct that I already had before I even met this baby is that it looks like that so that that's what I'm going for is that that mother wanting to protect at all costs, you know, and guard that child, have you ever had a concept? And the moral comes and you are unable to articulate exactly what you want? Yeah, I mean, that happens sometimes, but one into that question is I worked really hard to develop a verbal way of communicating with model, so I think you probably noticed that I'll say something and it doesn't happen. I'll wait a couple seconds think of a different way to say and say it again think of a different way to say it and say it again before I would go up and actually physically correct anybody. Sometimes I'll get up and show them what I mean, but usually it's just a matter of trying and trying and again trying to get eventually we'll get it awesome um is richard wants to know is your work composite teacher uh or is it done in camera it's. The last work I've done, like testament and all my women's work, is done in camera. And I really wanted testament to be done in camera because of that. That notion that I feel like if someone believes that what is happening in the images actually happening in real life than I'm going to get more of that empathy. That I would if they know it's constructed and put together digitally.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP


Bonus Materials with Purchase

Book Proposal Sample.pdf
Critical Mass - Digital Book.pdf
Curriculum Vitae Example.pdf
Keynote PDF Segment 1.pdf
Keynote PDF Segment 2.pdf
Keynote PDF Segment 3.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

"Thinking about art is not making art." In this inspiring and informative workshop, Jennifer helps you put thought into action - through meaningful self-reflection, exploration and by taking her through her own processes. Through exercises and examples, she explains how to pull out a thread of an idea and develop it into a conceptual project that is informed and invigorated by personal experience, preference, interests, and so much more. Her workshop not only feeds the creative soul, but offers earnest information on taking first steps toward publishing and showing fine-art. Jen so beautifully shares her talent and her love of teaching - I first "met" her on Creative Live and have had the joy of being mentored by her in-person as well. This workshop is a very close second to spending time with her one-on-one. Thank you, CL, for bringing her back!

kalei harmon

I love Jennifer, she's one of my cL favorites! She is such a soulful photographer and her art just resonates with me in so many ways. While she was creating her conceptual piece with the mother and child, my eyes welled up because it was such a profound experience to witness. I appreciate that she has a graduate degree in art and is able to refer to others in the field who are leading the way. She is so genuine and I'm grateful for her willingness to bare her soul to us through her art and process. I've learned so much by watching how she interacts with models and communicates efficiently and gently to get AMAZING poses. Definitely worth the buy if you're looking for inspiration from an artist who creates images which evoke emotion and communicate a message, not just trying to make "great photos." I can't wait to learn about the business side of it all!


I am so grateful for this class; it is just what I have been looking for to help me go beyond my "photographic potty training". By leading us through her own creative process, Jennifer Thoreson invites us to think about why we do what we do and to make our work more meaningful and authentic, creating our unique visual vocabulary. Moreover, she provides detailed info on submitting work to galleries and publications, contests, printing editions, preparing an exhibition and pricing. In her calm, unpretentious manner, Jennifer demystified art without trivializing it and I finally saw light at the end of a rather long tunnel.

Student Work