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Book Concept Shoot: Dad with Daughter Part 1

Lesson 23 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

Book Concept Shoot: Dad with Daughter Part 1

Lesson 23 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

23. Book Concept Shoot: Dad with Daughter Part 1


Class Trailer

Day 1




Psychology of Parenthood


The Power of a Story


Composition and Color


Psychology of New Parent and Connecting


Pre-Session Questionnaire


Posing Basics for Connection


Lesson Info

Book Concept Shoot: Dad with Daughter Part 1

This last shoot that we're doing for this course is again like I said a special one to me on for those of you who are just joining us or whatever the reason it iss is that the father daughter relationship so in essence it is a little bit of a self portrait and I think that I think doing self portrait using other subjects is an incredibly powerful way to start with your art because doing it your own self portrait number one it's technically hard because you you know timer and a little remote trigger and you have to take like a thousand pictures of yourself to make sure you get the right one so it could be a little bit herring to try to do itself a true self portrait so if you have a concept that from your childhood or from your current life that you want to work with there's no harm in using another subject to do that okay so this is kind of what we're doing here today we have two little girls caitlin and olivia and olivia is about to turn three so she's still two years old and caitlin ...

are you for yet sweetie? She she she's three three and a half she's almost four right for in january she capricorn mummy what's windsor birthday twenty six almost she's an aquarius I'm a capricorn that's why so why ask anyway she's so cute they're both darling little girls on very willing to help out, which I'm so happy about and very think before I basically just again went antique shopping, and you'd be surprised how many cool articles of clothing you confined in an antique shop to dress the child and it's a really cool and think things happened to fit the one on caitlin needs a little bit of adjustment, but it's so easy to clamp things or put a safety pin and stuff so that doesn't exactly fit you can still create a beautiful look on dh the antique clothing is so it has it has ah feeling to it, you know it has texture, it has classic and vintage and timeless appeal to it, which is why I tend to be attracted to I'm an antique junkie like that's, where I get a lot of inspirations where I get a lot of my buckets and stuff for babies, etcetera, etcetera. So the whole concept of this might my father and I growing up were extremely close there's a lot of just for a little background. My father traveled and worked a lot, so he when I remember the first day I said that word unavailable, he was, in essence a lot of times unavailable, but the time he did spend with me was extremely quality, and he loved to take me to the bookstore and that I think really infused in me a sense of wanting to learn my whole life and I love books like I can't throw away a book if it if it saved my life like even those crappy junk summer reeds that you just power through in a day I have a really hard time throwing them out so I have a huge library of stuff and thank goodness for kindle because now I can have them electronically but to me and sarah and I were talking about this the other day there is nothing quite like holding a book in your hands it's just this organic analog thing it will and now that the digital is here I think it makes books even more special and they have such symbolism in them what do you think a book symbolizes no knowledge okay, what else did the book symbolize or what can it just what's in your heart? What do you think of when you think of books? Imagination yeah what else? Sorry something unfolding exactly adventure yeah you're taking you're going in a story or going on a trip? You're going on a journey to whatever that book is going to take you right anticipation yeah into the patient so books have a lot of symbolic meaning and to me old books represent that even mohr because they have a certain mystery associated with them rather than a nice shiny clean book okay, so this is a very surreal image that I have in my head. I would liken it to salvador dali, who was a surrealist artist in the mid to early to mid twentieth century hey does amazing symbolic work, and if you've ever heard of his image, the persistence of memory it's, an image of clocks melting like it was inspired by sigmund freud, he was fascinated with psychology, so hey inspires me a lot for my surreal work, like the roped into her imagination image that I showed you yesterday of the girl on the books with the crow pulling her by her waist and her holding the candles in the book on the crows back. You remember that that was inspired by salvador dali? Okay, so you've been my inspiration through other artists in history, and I really want to encourage you to go to google art project, visit museums in your city. I'm so jealous of these people who live in big cities because you guys have these amazing art museums, every town I go into, I try to visit the art museum for a day actually will stay an extra day just so I can go to the art museum in that city, and you'd be amazed at what you'll find, but I would highly recommend going alone. Because then you can really sit with art that means something to you and you can study it and you can enjoy it and let it inspire you and take your notebook and write down things and ideas that come to you as you look at finer. So my thought was to put dad on some books, okay? In the middle of a field background, I was sure what background yet I want to use I have a couple of things I will often pull stuff from stock imagery, which I have no issue doing, you buy the image and then you can use it for anything our peace that you want to create. So I have a couple of things saved in my in my light box on shutter stock that I that I I have thought might work and I'll look at it tonight when I look at these images and see which one work's the best, but I'm going to put him on the books, okay? And then I want his daughter sitting on his shoulders, okay? But I don't want her like conventionally with the legs around the shoulders because to me the split legs of a little girl it's, just awkward, it doesn't quite look right and it's, you know, it's fun it's good for a fun image, but for an elegant artistic image, it's not quite the look that I want to create in a little girl because yes I want her to saving a little girl but I want to have the implication that she's turning into a woman so putting her around the legs of her daddy implies too much innocent does that make sense so this again tells you that posing can have comptel a story the way you pose a person can have an impact on how the image fields okay so he's goingto be shirtless with his jeans because I want to show the reason I want dad shirtless is because I want to show his vulnerability and that the whole point is that his knowledge builds from his past from his roots from his background meeting underneath him and grows upward and goes into her okay so he and I want and the only way that he could be a good parent and provide that knowledge to her is by himself being vulnerable and giving what he knows up to his daughter because that's what my dad did for me so that's one of the reasons that I want dad to be shirtless okay so then the little girls just in a dress just to create that femininity nothing that distracts from her and her face and she's going to be sitting on his shoulders I have a couple of different looks I want to dio I thought about having her hold some old books I felt the there's going to be butterflies in the image? I'm not quite sure how they're going to go into the image, but what do butterflies symbolize transformation? They go from a cocoon to a beautiful creature and little girls do the same thing we go from awkward and cute to two women who could be powerful and successful and independent and make babies and all this wonderful stuff. Okay, so the butterflies represent that journey and having imagine this as being a really long, skinny image. So we're starting from the bottom the roots, the books, the dad, the girl, the butterflies, all metamorphose izing up, up, up because they're growing and changing and becoming it's very flowing in. You guys probably also know that I have nation with the wind. I love the wind, I think, whatever it's windy day I'm like, where is the wind going? Take me today I have, like, kind of a thing with it. Probably the weather meteorologist thing has to do that, but I used to like we would go to we have a house on the oregon coast and whenever there would be, like a winter storm warning and eighty mile an hour winds, I'm like let's, go to the beach. Come on let's go let's got so awesome standing there and then when I was in television news, if there was gonna be a wind storm on the coast they would send us with a live truck to the coast we would stand there and like ninety more in our way and twenty yeah it's really wendy you know, everything's blowing I mean, I have been in wind so strong that your ears ring afterwards it's like it's so intense that it that it hurts your ears like that's how windy it was, but it was the most magnificent thing in the world and I still to this day I'm fascinated with the wind, so I'm not I don't think I'm going to blow the children's hair if I want paint it in I might paint in later, but I could bring a fan in here to do that, but I think we're going to keep this somewhat simple and allow it to just be the butterflies kind of creating that motion of the breeze coming through that sound good. Okay, so what I'm going to need is danielle, since I'm shooting this on white for a reason so let's get a little bit technical I want to be able to extract him off the background very easily okay, so I am going tio have them raises up a little bit because she is going to be on his shoulders so I make sure I could extract it with with the brick there because it's white everything but just to make things easier and host on dh no one train you guys to do it right so we're going to try to do it so I don't need much on the front end so it can go literally all the way back I'd rather have maura up that direction if we could as tall as you can go yeah that'd be awesome I need a little bit on the floor but not much thanks you guys can I just have these people constantly in my studio all all the time and they were fantastic normally it's me over there making it all happen okay so any questions while we're while we're getting started here we're doing okay okay, well you guys don't mind me getting all casual onya bare feet and I feel like I'm just sprinkled mess right now that's all right ok that's beautiful thank you. Thank you, thank you but I want a suite so I pulled out of a person get myself a little sweet and why am I doing that? Why am I getting a sweep there, huh? So I don't have a corner and I keep my shadow to a minimum so I can really get him off we got to get perfect okay? And I am going to shoot this within eighty five, okay because I want nice compression I want I don't want any distortion okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and took me turn that vertical for me thanks. This is gonna have to be really, really high because andrew is a really tall man I'll tell you six one not bad, but with her upon your shoulders you guys going to like an eight foot a fun thing? So we're gonna bring that up? I'll have to test how well that when we get here. Ok, this caitlin, are you ready? Yeah, you isn't good, sweetie. Okay. Yeah. That's probably a couple of it. And I don't really care too much about letting my background uniform off of it anyway, so what's important is the subject's okay, come on over, you guys. And and you and kaitlin are just such good sports for for doing this and I really appreciate you guys being here, okay? So come on over here and have you stand right here. Andrew. Awesome sauce. Okay, when I want to do is yeah, you're the pose. I kinda what you do is your a pillar of strength. So I want your feet to be really strong and solid imagine yourself standing on some books I mean, really, what is what it comes down to and then miss caitlin, we're going toe but you actually on are you left handed or right handed left handed perfect we're gonna go ahead and pop her up on your left shoulder his new little girl that fine looking you are you got it you be up there okay you feel okay honey you sure daddy's got shot he won't let you go okay so I want your hand nice and high so she feels she feels say good girl okay and let's go ahead and put your hand under her nose so that we'll just on her legs but underneath the dress so there we go so so she feels supported and perfect you all tall are you taller than your daddy you ok sweetheart you're doing okay you feel okay feel safe up there yeah he won't drop you promise no daddy would never drop it would you you know you could fly out of here like a dolphin home your is toloza dolphin is when they jump out of the water huh miss caitlin is into dolphins right now she really likes him so she just watched movie dolphin tails right isn't that what you washes you like that pop this up a little bit more pull down the power I just I just turned off one of the lights to give myself less power because I want the main to be over here okay with your cap for dad's head yeah I do need the house lights down please. Thank you up there huh yeah so cute oh ok we're gonna turn off these lights for me are you okay being holed up there for a few minutes okay okay so when I would like you to do is sweetheart are you okay if he holds your leg instead of your hand is that okay if daddy daddy goes like that do you feel ok like that yeah because we want your hands free so you could do stuff, huh? Okay let's play with your hair just a little bit what do you see up there do you see a lot you tell me what you see oh my god came in I knew you were gonna be often saw how you were perfect girlfriend we're going to just take a few just to make you comfortable, huh? Okay, so I'm a f three point two two fifty of the second I'm not sure if I'm exposed right or not I can have a look in my meter here if I'm good so let me just do that really quick I can see I'm in live you have to get in live you here we go ok let's see if we're good exploiter I think we're a little over exposed right now it looks okay my camera and I'm not tethered so that would be wise I am going to plug in so y'all could see what I'm doing okay I still have here we started I still have I lived in nashville for two years nashville, tennessee and if your are you comfortable you okay? You looks so cute right now you just say light like that are you comfortable okay, I can't take it castor shot really quick that better way good so I live in nashville for two years and so I totally picked up a little southern accents um southern isms like knee high to a grasshopper they say that in the south like I used to do that since I was knee high to a grasshopper good, sweet ok isn't she I mean hello acuteness okay so what I lauren over here on his left side I want to pull her dress down so it's a little smoother there's a c that's yeah perfect there we go gorgeous as actually should work out fine and we're just gonna go ahead and take a few images here join you back here for a second and I'm on an eighty five millimeter lens and I want their whole body okay, so dad I just oh god they're just so cute I have to take this anyway adorable allo yes miss caitlin are you just can t v opportunity opportunity yes you are it's a great pose isn't it cute mama roux is over here going oh my god okay ms caitlyn when I want you to do is can you take let's see can you hold your daddy's hands with you here and I want you to just put your hand on him right there now can you take care of the hand I want your pretend you're holding some balloons can you do that hold him up in the air can you hold those balloons up in here good girl and I want you to look up with those balloons can you look up at him there we g o big and daddy I want you to look up with her just turn your yes they're not too much we're going to pretend because if you look too hard I see the whites of your eyes so it'll look like you're looking at her but I don't want you to quite look at her so go ahead and turn your face towards her and just a little bit more little bit more perfect and now with caitlin where's those balloons can you hold those balloons for me up high where I don't look at him where they can you pretend to be a dolphin you could do it can you look up with those balloons for me where are they you want to hold on to daddy you could hold on to daddy sweetheart hold your whole daddy's hand there you go that'll make you feel safe okay so you hold on to daddy and now take these right handed let's go balloons up here like that where those balloons can you do that for me? Where those balloons can you look up at them? They are perfect beautiful awesome sauce gorgeous. Okay, where are my books? I have some books and it's funny because once you get the image I mean how cute is that gonna be? We're gonna put balloons in her hand and we're gonna put butterflies and her like little strings and there'd be attached of butterflies flying upward now she's a little hesitant to put her arm really high so I really wanted her to go stretch up we're going to try it one more time before we do the books here but I really want her to stretch up and like, look at the blues and it's hard because she's sitting up there on him and she feels a little insecure he's got her but I want her to feel comfortable so I'm letting her warm up a little bit does that make sense? Any questions we doing okay, good questions. Okay, so I'm glad we have these I'm going to go ahead and try one more time. How we doing over there? We okay way good camera here. Okay, okay. I want you teo hold hands just like that daddy's gonna hold your hand okay he's got just safe, okay, so we're gonna take this and we're gonna hold balloons way up high you pretend you're holding balloons hold on being one of the streams like oh I hope I can do it yeah we've all right now let's look up you don't love little girl you're doing awesome okay sorry it's habit look up with those blends for me sweet girl higher higher good job, sweetie. His re story light room okay, you can relax for a second sweet you could just hang out daddy's awesome. Soften me yup. Back to the positions of booth oh, you are just the sweetest thing ever thank you so much, sweetheart huh? Ok except perfect good ready to go let's hold that, daddy I want you to hold this miss caitlin's hand again for me one more time there we go sweet girl okay and where those balloons wait by big way go higher higher higher come on you can do and let's look up with blues where are they? Perfect perfect got it? Okay good girl awesome sauce as some sauce give me five you are my little rock star wouldn't kid what can you see up there? Do you see lots of cool stuff okay, I think we should have ms caitlin holbrook let's see here, maybe two books shall we? These little ones I think are good for her, okay, so when I want you to do it, can you hold those books just under your arm here I'll help you sweetheart just like that. Can you hold him just like that? Webster's new handler. Distant dictionary. I probably shouldn't show that. Here, let me turn the books around. No, you'll see it anyway. Okay, so we'll just hide it like that. Can you hold your hand around like that? Hang on to him. Can you do that? That's their weak it is that? Is that okay? Is that comfortable? Okay, awesome. You could hold him with both hands. Want told them with those hands? No, she's like I got handed. Daddy. Yeah, I don't blame you. I don't blame you. Is this girl discussions or what? And this kind of work toot my horn, you know? I mean, it's just like this is you need a wise cause. I see myself in this child. You ready to hold your balloons one more time, let's pretend they're butterflies on strings. Can you hold the strings and watch the butterflies up high up high? You're going doing good, daddy, can you look at those butterflies where they kick now? Since I know the books look fantastic. I know I've got the other shot. I could always take her arm off of this shot and put it in the other one toe have her hold the books and the butterflies

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

BD Design Cards
Butterfly ClamShell Lighting Set Up
Newborn Posing Design
Newborn Prepartion Sheet
Standard Lighting Set Up
Studio Gift Card
Gear Guide
Downloads with RSVP

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

This is the second course with Julia I have seen. And it's amazing and very inspiring in so many ways! I appreciate so much the honesty of Julia, her spirit for doing things she loves. Like a photographer and artist myself, I feel identified with her perception of world and the passion for artistic and family photography. This course is about never give up, it's about hard work, and also it's about cultivating creativity and honesty. I highly recommended this course to every photographer who want to grow and understand himself and the business of professional high-quality photography. Thanks, Julia and Creative Live, for this one!

a Creativelive Student

So glad I bought this class - well and truly worth the investment. This course has helped me realise why it is so important to make an emotional connection and how to use it to my advantage {while giving my clients the very best too}. I cannot wait to try some new printing/mounting glad Julia was kind enough to share this! I got a lot out of this course and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take their newborn photography business to the next level.

Jenny White

This class was amazing!!! Julia does a great job of showing her process, how she captures beautiful images from start to finish. It was worth every dollar I spent!!

Student Work