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Family Photography: Creating a Successful Business

with Kirsten Lewis

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  •   01 Class Introduction


Class duration: 10h 44m

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About The Class

Capture a story and build a successful photography business

Building a successful family portrait business takes more than capturing a good image. Not only do you need the tools to create family memories that your clients will love, but you also have to know how to set up a business that will make money and keep your clients and their referrals coming back. Award-winning photographer and international educator Kirsten Lewis returns to CreativeLive to teach all of this and more in the third class in her series on family storytelling photography.

In this class Kirsten will cover:

  • The psychology of photographing families and how to really “see” your subjects
  • How she collaborates with families and other creative professionals
  • How to stay present in the moment to capture authentic and timeless images
  • How to set up your business for success and sales

Kirsten will pull back the curtain to show you the nuts and bolts of her business and how she continues to be successful in this unique area of family photography.

Topics Covered

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

  2. 02

    What Makes a Picture Successful?

  3. 03

    Technical Tips: ISO

  4. 04

    Technical Tips: Aperture

  5. 05

    Technical Tips: Shutter Speed

  6. 06

    Technical Tips: Focus

  7. 07

    Using Light to Tell a Story

  8. 08

    Using Composition to Tell a Story

  9. 09

    Filling Your Frame

  10. 10

    Capturing Emotion: Identify the Muse

  11. 11

    Shoot What It Feels Like, Not What It Looks Like

  12. 12

    Action Vs Moment

  13. 13

    The Psychology of Photographing Families

  14. 14


  15. 15

    Working a Scene

  16. 16

    Identify What You Shoot Well

  17. 17

    Look For the Cleanest Composition

  18. 18

    Know the POV

  19. 19

    Patience and Anticipation While Shooting

  20. 20

    Shooting Deliberately

  21. 21

    Case Study - Sarah's Contact Sheet

  22. 22

    Challenging Subjects: A Family With One Small Child

  23. 23

    Challenging Subjects: Photographing Teenagers

  24. 24

    Image Salon Post-Processing Overview

  25. 25

    Image Salon Post-Processing Demos

  26. 26

    The Importance of Relationships

  27. 27

    Getting Clients Hooked

  28. 28

    Your Business Model

  29. 29

    Stay in Contact!

  30. 30

    Why Aren't You Booking Sessions?

  31. 31

    Your Website

  32. 32

    Direct Marketing

  33. 33

    Slide Shows, Albums and Prints

  34. 34

    In-Person Sales Work

  35. 35

    Website Critique: Alyssa Kellert

  36. 36

    Website Critique: Amy Thelen

  37. 37

    Website Critique: Margaret Albaugh

  38. 38

    Business Q&A

  39. 39

    Build Community and Find a Mentor

  40. 40

    Keep Shooting: Personal Projects

  41. 41

    Who Inspires Me

  42. 42

    Why Do I Love It So?


Meet Your Expert

Kirsten Lewis

Kirsten is a family photojournalist based in Denver, Colorado; however her work takes her all over the world, from New Zealand to Dubai, Brazil to Canada, Italy to Hawaii. Although she has been shooting for over fifteen years, it was teaching on CreativeLive that really brought her approach to documentary family photography to the forefront as a desirable alternative to the traditional family portrait. ... read more

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Bonus Material

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  • pdf Fearless and Framed Marketing Bundle

94% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • chantal


    September 2017

    I own Kirsten's 3 classes. And they are ALL amazing, inspiring and refreshing. She is not only a super talented photographer but an amazing teacher and person as well. I have learned so much from each one of her classes. I have never met a photographer so willing to share and see their students succeed. I highly recommend people not only to buy this class, but all 3! I would not be the photographer I am today if it wasn’t for her. After following her advise for the last 3 years I am finally engaging with the audience I want and I feel true to myself in the way I shoot. This makes a huge difference in my everyday. I am am truly grateful to this photo wizard lady. ps: warning, make sure you are on birth control. These classes might make you want to have children, just to get amazing images like the ones she takes LOL (joking) #not

  • Carrie Littauer

    Carrie Littauer

    September 2017

    This workshop was by far the best photography workshop I have ever been a part of. Kirsten's work, her humor, her authenticity, her expertise and perspective will forever change the way I work with families and go about documentary photography. I am so motivated and inspired to dig deeper into my role as a photographer, and as a person, to make a real difference in the lives of those that I photograph and with my art. I'm thrilled to have been in the LIVE studio and am so grateful for Creative Live for giving phenomenal artists like Kirsten this exposure and opportunity to teach other creatives like myself! Thank you.

  • Johanne Lila

    Johanne Lila

    September 2017

    In the very minutes Kirsten Lewis' first class (first of three) for cL aired, I realized I needed in on this awesomeness. I became a 1 Year Mentorship student with her right away, and now I have been so incredibly fortunate to be in the studio audience for the live taping of her final class (or the third of the three, who knows what the future might hold!). For me as a 'Kirsten Lewis alumni' taking this class was perfect. I was reminded of things I knew, but had forgotten. I learned a ton of new stuff. But most of all, I remembered why we do this work in the first place: The love that is right there in the reality of life. How much this work matters to real families out there. And how much it matters to keep getting better at this, to give our families better work. I will be forever greatful that I chose the best mentor, Kirsten is such a gift to all of us. And if you're still in doubt: This class is AMAZING! If you're new, if you've at it for a while, if you're alumni: Gold is HERE!

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