what do you do when you're when you have children that are not that you can't tell him to come sit over here this is the actually it's actually pretty easy the first things you want to do is create the environment that you want them to be in so whether if you want them to if you're going to set up your lights and you're going to use that light make sure that's where you have all the entertainment has to be in that spot generally what we do is we have a small bag of toys that are like many cat toys we have like like little you know squeaky things and little rubber balls and stuff and so basically what michael and I will do well stand there and that's my associate photographer and he'll start throwing the ball to me I'm standing well kids like to play they want to play and we start making it animated so if I want that then then I might say hey johnny you know if they're if they're a little baby or a little child you know I will put the ball over there so that they have to go get it in th...
at environment you see once they're there then we could get him well oh wow look at this and then michael will throw it to them which keeps their attention the key to successfully photographing families with little kids is making the session very quick and changing up your toys a lot so we have an entire bag of lots of different kinds of trinkets and toys and stuff so that because their attention span is that of a gnat they're going to go up the squirrel you know they're already gone on the next page so by giving them of a right evil things we have bubbles in the studio we have you know squeaky toys and michael just start throwing a toy up in the air or we'll put it over someplace we know that they caught their eye you pay attention to children's faces and you can see when it catches their eye that that's a good thing for them and that's when you want to put that where you want the environment where you want them to go where your perfect little light is and where you want you know what where you want to entertain them and then um uh bring them over and then start playing with them and throw the ball you know are we do they will give me five things I can't even tell you give me five I can't even tell you how many times I do that on a regular basis don't say that give me five and I get myself they love that I mean it is so stupid and ridiculous but the kids just howl with laughing there they would do it again do it again and it's it's just those kinds of little simple silly games just keeping it fresh think about what you would want if you were looking first of all if somebody tells you you can't do something it's over you are gonna want to do it so the first thing we do one bring him this do you saw my big counts my big red couch in our in our shoot earlier the first thing I do is I go um I go hey guys should jump and so they immediately go oh yeah this is so cool course mom and dad know that they're going to jump on the couch and we're okay on the count of three you get to jump on the ready and so the mom and daughter standing right there one stands right next to the couch and then then we let him jump on the couch and it gets them entertained and fun the experience for kids it's no different than the experience for an adult if they have fun they love the experience and I want to come back the worst thing in the world is if they kids don't enjoy those pants are never could bring those kids back is they're going to say oh god that was the worst nightmare of my life the our worst problem is not the children ever it's an overbearing parent who tries to make their perk their children be perfect little angels and their kids you know every once a while you get that little parent that comes in and that they're just like anal annie when it comes to perfection they want all every little hair on their head to be perfectly in place and they want their children to behave like little miniature adults and it's a little creepy you know because they're not little adult their children so I again I go back to I don't ask for expression I give him a reason to want to give me an expression so I'll put like we have a little monkey that makes noise I put it on my head and so on and it really works good to have a wrangler with you someone who is the is the person that makes the kids interact who laughs but they're real the real key to their success are your success is that they draw that child's eyes teo you to your lens so it's not just about them interacting with that child it's about them interacting with that child and knowing that the camera is right there and going oh my god look alike believe we did that who'll give me five oh my gosh you see that I want to give them a reason to look in my direction of course they naturally laugh so it makes it a much more entertaining experience does that answer your question it does and how would you deal with the anal annie moms like at the mom is smile no no billy smile look in the camera cheese how do you handle the mom ta gra fir this is one of the best tricks I ever learned on my cell phone I have a video recorder on myself okay here's the best tip of the day okay you put your camera on video phone and then you had when that mother's behaving badly like that you put your camera on video and you go mom look I need your help come here for second we're gonna put this on our facebook page later on because this is the cue to start session your children are so cute come over here I need you to videotape now you got to be real still and real quiet when you take because it's going to record your voice can you do that for me oh yeah she's all over that like a bad habit trust me kids that's worth the price of ninety nine dollars price right there would you not agree it's a great tip and I wish I could take credit for thinking it up but somebody told me and I can't remember who it was given credit for it so but it's a really good way a very simple dumb crazy way to get to get parents that are annoying to back up so I hope that helps ok any other questions one last question for the day and it comes from richard london how many years of shooting full time did it take before you felt you had arrived oh what's your arrival story you know what I haven't arrived yet I haven't arrived I'm not close to where I want to be yet and I think that's part of the journey I don't want to be there I mean I don't get nothing I don't want to be there but it's to me part of the beauty of what we do is the unknown and everyday photography's a living breathing entity and you're only as good as the last picture you took and I'm gonna tell you I'm so plan on beating the pants off myself in a year from now I mean I know I'm not where I want to be but I think that's a good thing because you know if you are always on the journey upwards and you're always like going to the next page first of all you never have to worry about anybody stealing your shot they can never steal all you start with stole my location you stole my my picture or whatever you don't ever have to worry about that because guess what because you're already on the next page and what everything I tell you right now tomorrow morning the slate is clean for me and I'm thinking okay what am I going to do that I haven't done before and you know the cool thing if there's one thing that I love about twenty five years of experience and photography is that I'm okay screwing up it's okay I'm all right if I make a mistake I'm not worried if you see I taken in perfect picture you know what it's all good and you know what I'm I'm I'm not gonna get cancer from it and I think that in the real scheme of things in life you need to embrace your mistakes and use them as a tool for growth absolutely used for tool for growth I will tell you the first ten years of my career as a photographer I spent every waking minute of my career trying to be just like other photographers and trying to be perfect like them I was so get this I was so hung up on perfection don't get me wrong perfections important thing but I was so hung up on it that I bring little pieces of paper to put them up the groom's cuff so he'd have a perfect cuff the problem with that is is that his face was a zero there was nothing going on here but man let me tell you that tuxedo looked awesome and then I really have an epiphany and this is the day that changed my life I was sitting in the parking lot at the elks lodge in walnut creek california and I was about to photograph a wedding reception there and I said to myself being the white is it that you're here what are you that awful that you're just photographing weddings at the elks lodge it was no fun I hated the experience and it wasn't it just was not any fun and that afternoon I said I'm going to change and I am going to reinvent myself and who I am and I made a conscious effort to see to see what what am I doing wrong and one of the first things that I needed to give myself permission to do was to make a mistake to enjoy them and say it's okay make it learn from it don't stand in the same spot take the same picture twenty five times and expect you're going to get a different result if you take a class in nineteen eighty two and that's all you ever do is what you take that one class then guess what you're only gonna be as good as that one class so you'd be free to try different things experiment with with other with new techniques and what works for me you know this is just what's worked for me that afternoon after I finished my wedding at the elks lodge I went teo nordstrom's to go shopping now not to go shopping in the traditional sense I wasn't going to buy something I said to myself what am I doing wrong because why am I attracting this kind of clients that that just want to get a job done quickly and I went to the second floor which is where they have all the couture clothing they have all the designer labels armani gucci you know bit bagley mishka and you name it all the good stuff and one of the things that I noticed there first of all they had lifestyle portrait they had lifestyle pictures in there in there on the second floor and they had very few pieces of clothing but what they had was amazing they didn't try to do it all and they tried to things that were a bit unique and that's one thing you learn about people that the designer labels they're not afraid of getting out there they love the creative they like being different I mean sometimes that their runway shows and I love runway shows to this day I copy I not copy but I pay attention to runway shows I love um shows like project runway love that project accessories one of my very favorites because I love people that think out of the box and think I think in a in a way that makes you go what the heck was that and so because of that after that I finish it north from that afternoon I came home and I said okay I'm going to start studying fashion to help me to grow to be more creative because I was so worried about everything being so perfect that I couldn't really concentrate on the creative aspect and so then I came home and I said ok I've gotta lay a foundation for for fabulous photography so it needs to be I need to know in difference between an f stop in a bus stop I need to understand lighting and direction of bloody but how can I use those core concepts of posing to create imagery that is beautiful and unique and then I went you know what it's it's all is long as those people in picture what difference does it make whether it's a bride or a baby or whatever still those concepts are concepts and then I just started you know creating some what if scenario what if I do this what would happen if you see my boss my first boss he was so cute he told me said bambi he says look I said what if he's left numbers on the side of the camera what did it mean because I he always made me shoot everything at eight at a sixteenth of a second and I said well what is that little five point six on what is that that fourth of a second what is that happens if you do don't go there you'll get camera movement I'm oh my god wait a minute it's not a bad thing so the good thing for me is that I've always been the kind of person that people tell me I can't do something I love pushing the envelope and just doing it just for fun just to see what will happen well what if I shoot it a fourth of a second and because of those kinds of experiences today I can hand hold my seventy two two hundred millimeter lens I can get a sharp tax your picture at a fourth of a second at two hundred millimeters now they tell you photographically speaking isn't it one of the rules in photography that your focal length of your lens if you're out of two hundred millimeters you should not go below a two hundredth of a second well that's a rule of thumb you told me I you shouldn't go over and I went oh yeah let me try and so I've learned to two I've learned that there's a balance in all of these things and so now my goal for the future is just keep going okay well what if I do this and and and you know what it's all right if I make a mistake is like what's gonna happen you know big deal tomorrow you know it's more another day x scarlet here always said so
Bambi Cantrell has been photographing in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 25 years. Her passion for capturing the decisive moment and her subsequent creative style have made her a household name in the photographic industry.Among her many accomplishments,
I almost didn't bought this course due to low rating and what other reviewers were saying about her, but because it was on sale at incredibly low price that i decided to bite the bullet. And I am so glad I did.
First of, for those reviewer that find her offensive, because she talks loud or make some jokes to her models or her audience, i don't think that it is offensive at all and neither did her audience or everyone in the studio. As a matter of fact, they were enjoying it. And I did too, was laughing while watching them laugh and having a good time.
There was nothing wrong with the audio. I heard her just fine.
I found her class to be the best class ever because she only not answers questions by theory, she demonstrate them live with the participation of her audience and the creative live crew and that's what made her class very interesting and not boring.
She also uses real people and not models with perfect sizes or figures and it really helped me a lot because i have a challenge when it comes to posing plus sized people.
I love her sense of bluntness, humor and at the same time, all the wonderful nuggets of wisdom she shared to her audience. I had purchased tons of creative class about photography and to tell you honestly, i haven even watched the full content on some of these classes because i get sleepy and bored but with Bambi's class, i watched her class in just 2 days without even feeling bored.
I don't write reviews and in fact this is my first time to write a review here on creative live because i just feel the need to say that it's very unfair for her to be criticized liked that.
I love you Bambi, I love your personality, I love your style and the information you taught were very invaluable.
Melissa Baker Griffin
Loved the invaluable lessons! I can't wait to go through them all again. They are jam packed with valuable and tactical information that creatives on every level can take from. Her energy and personal style creates a great experience! I can only imagine how cool it would be to take a class from her in person! She is such a treat and so inspiring! I LOVE how enthusiastic Bambi is about the questions she receives and encourages phototgraphers to continue to grow, learn, and think out of the box. Thank you creative live! I feel like there should've been something like fire works at the end because she did outstanding!
I’ll be honest. Ms Cantrell moves very fast, but her experience, humor and confidence are infectious. I thought I would check out a lesson or two and ended up watching and listening to her entire program.
She is clear about her process and why it works so well. Her portraits are beautiful, whether individual or group situations.
I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations, and I am a landscape and pet photographer. But I feel like I learned a lot about seeing, and was reminded of approaches to running your own creative business that are valuable for anyone.
I have been very impressed by the professional instructors in every one of the CreativeLive courses I’ve watched or bought. It’s not every professional who can teach! I know. I am one who could not handle classroom situations.
So happy I was able to join in on these classes.
Thank you, Bambi, for all of your energy, and for sharing your knowledge with all of us. This was quite a ride!