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Family Photography: Photojournalism in the Home

with Kirsten Lewis

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  •   01 Introduction


Class duration: 9h 51m

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About The Class

Discover a new way of photographing the family.

Families are in constant motion. The relationships between parents, among siblings, and across generations are complex, fluid, and intense. Capturing the nuanced interplay of emotions in a family is no mean feat, and traditionally, photographers have chosen to summarize these relationships in pre-scripted, highly posed images.

Kirsten Lewis has developed a new way of photographing family dynamics. Bringing photojournalistic principles into this practice, she follows the family as they live their lives to create unique, powerful imagery. 

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • How to capture a full day in a family’s life, including conflicts and resolutions
  • Adapting your camera to changing lighting and settings as you follow the family
  • How to narrow down day in the life images for final delivery  
For the first time, Kirsten is allowing cameras to follow her throughout an entire day’s shoot with a family. Learn her process as she finds meaningful moments in a day full of activities such as morning routines, mealtimes, and the small moments of bickering and joy that make up the life of a family. Leave this class with the confidence to walk into any family situation with strong ideas, and create compelling memories for your clients.

Lesson Plan

  1. 01


  2. 02

    The Evolution of Family Photography

  3. 03

    Defining Family Photography Genres

  4. 04

    The History of Photojournalism

  5. 05

    My Rules for Photojournalism

  6. 06

    Embracing the Unique

  7. 07

    Developing Personal Perspective

  8. 08

    Healing Through Photography

  9. 09

    Student Image Review

  10. 10

    Setting Expectations

  11. 11

    Waiting for the Story

  12. 12

    Working the Scene

  13. 13

    Shooting the Morning Routine

  14. 14

    Afternoon Routine

  15. 15

    Evening Chaos

  16. 16

    Bathtime and Storytime

  17. 17


  18. 18

    Getting and Maintaining Clients

  19. 19

    Marketing in Your Own Way

  20. 20

    Final Product and Delivery

  21. 21

    Student Website Review

  22. 22

    Contact Sheet Review

  23. 23

    Image Reveal with Family

  24. 24

    Critique: Anticipating the Moment

  25. 25

    Critique: Composition

  26. 26

    Critique: Isolating the Moment

  27. 27

    Critique: Watching Edges

  28. 28

    Critique: Squaring Up & Picture Choice

  29. 29

    Critique: Getting in Close

  30. 30

    Critique: Defining the Subject

  31. 31

    Critique: Cropping

  32. 32

    Critique: Photographer's Perspective

  33. 33

    Critique: Light

  34. 34

    Personal Fears

  35. 35

    Professional Fears

  36. 36

    Taking Risks

  37. 37

    RAW Image Culling & Critique


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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90% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • user-fc89fb

    February 2016

    Kirsten is an incredible teacher. When deciding whether to purchase this class, you should first take a look at her first CL class--Modern Storytelling. It's the best way to dive into this material and is a good starting point. If you're interested in this genre, buy BOTH classes. Both are so packed with helpful information about the family photojournalism genre. The first class was a solid, well rounded introduction to family photojournalism, and this class is more in-depth, specific, direct, intense, full of composition technique, and really just takes it to a new level. She doesn't waste time in this class repeating all of what she taught the first time. Kirsten is very candid and personable which I find really helps us viewers learn from her authentically and enjoy the class. I feel like I know her from watching so much of her class and I know that helped me to connect with the class and understand the material better. I feel like I finally have the tools to really tackle this genre and a better idea of what I'll face. I HIGHLY recommend this class--BUT only if you have an interest in this type of photography. THIS ISN'T A CLASS ABOUT MAKING PRETTY PICTURES, IT'S A CLASS ABOUT CAPTURING REAL MOMENTS IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY AND STORYTELLING THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY.

  • Image by Marcy

    Image by Marcy

    February 2016

    I'm adding my review in hopes of giving some perspective to the few negative comments. I've been a fan since Kirsten's first course, and have been hankering for more ever since. I wish the viewers who decided to jump ship before watching the whole course had reconsidered, and hung in there. Here's why. Kirsten describes this class as more of an "advanced" class. To my way of thinking, it's an excellent adjunct to the first. I took notice of a good bit of the questions in the chat room on CL while the class was live. It was clear to me that there seemed to be plenty of viewers who had not watched the first based on their questions. To get the most benefit, you really need both courses. There is overlapping content, of course. But there is specific and pointed information that was really only generalized in the first course. Invaluable is the segments that were taped live at a family's home, where Kirsten shot a DiTL. That filming was shown and dissected in this new course. VERY informative. To put it succinctly, yes, there is some repetitive info, but necessary to bring it all together, and yes, new content. YES, the front end is a bit heavy on the personal. If I remember correctly, that viewer choose NOT to stick with the program, which is fine. BUT, had they stuck with it, that person might have had a change of heart. You see, I think you have to take all the information in it's entirety. Because, the openness, the vulnerability, the honestly to me is *endearing*, for one thing. But also, she definitely USES that personal information in the context of her teaching. Listening to her personal experiences (KLB's) gives US an opportunity to look deep within OURSELVES and CONFRONT our own past. OUR PAST is what shapes our future, good, bad or indifferent. We can allow our past to propel us to success, or sink us in despair. Either way, our past helps form our POV which is very important for our photography (as well as how we approach or avoid life in general, and affects us in business too...) I appreciate her honesty. I appreciate how she shares her struggles, both past and present. Both personally and professionally. For me, the whole package is more important that the individual "pieces". Who knows about that viewer.... maybe this genre is just not their thing. Maybe that person wants or needs to shield themselves from their own personal issues. IDK. Also, it's just a fact of life that *not everyone will LIKE .... ___ (you, me, her, etc). Whooo knows. That's their right, their choice. And it's true that this genre is not for everyone. But if you love it, then get the course. If you missed the first one, then get them both. You'll be happy you did, and you'll have saved yourself time and frustration trying to figure this out on your own.

  • Meredith Zinner Photography

    Meredith Zinner Photography

    February 2016

    She is outstanding. I love her candor, honestly, openness and extraordinary eye for talent. I love how true she is to herself and how fiercely yet seamlessly she works to show the truth and people's real stories. I love how she is a real person and shares true stories about herself that keeps her human. I'm so tired of this culture being so damn 'precious' about a baby's bottom fer crimmeny's sake... she's extraordinary, refreshing and unlike anything else youve shown. She's got an incredible eye, sense of humour, talent and so much to share with her very thankful audience. Thank you so very much! Thank you Kirsten!

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