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Connection with Yourself and Creativity

Lesson 13 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

Connection with Yourself and Creativity

Lesson 13 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

13. Connection with Yourself and Creativity

Next Lesson: Your Inner Critic


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

Connection with Yourself and Creativity

Today we're going toe go in a totally different direction okay, this course is about capturing connection okay with families and when I say family obviously you know, I specialize in newborns, so a lot of what I do with families is newborn families, but we also work with toddlers and young preschoolers and even older kids at times now we have a couple of families coming in today on a few backups here and there of different ages, so I'm not sure I'm going to get all of them, but we're definitely going toe show some variety today we have a couple of newborns and what we're doing today is storytelling imagery so imagery that we're going to take opposing families and connecting with families to the next level. Now we're going to start infusing our own sense of art and core values and a psychology and all that stuff we grew up with and the ideals we formed as artists and infuse that into our work. Okay, so one of the things I wanted to start off with was just showing you guys what we did ye...

sterday this is little braille in and memphis onda turning out really cute she's such a little sweet girl and I was actually thinking about some of these that might actually show you how a post processed um very simple stuff it's it's not it's not anything advanced I did all this morning here it creative life in the span of about fifteen minutes or so so so quick stuff this was kind of after the shoot this is actually has a head swap, innit? Because we had I had a couple of great images with mom smiling within dad was looking away you know how parents like love to look at their kids when you shoot the image it's one of the rules I have with family photography don't look at your children no matter what you'll ruin the shot and once you tell them that they get it they kind of go okay, I know I shouldn't you know what they temptation just smiling so I had to do a head swap here and I'd be curious to know our face swap be curious to know if you knew which one I'd actually swap so and it took a matter of thirty seconds to do it so well maybe go through that example tomorrow as well when we do post processing on dh then let's see here we have this little baby here. The mom from australia turned out in platter post you're not real sweet then we also have sweet little ezra I couldn't resist doing this one, but I like the long crop with this one and the thoughts of negative space on the left on the way I put him on the right for a reason based on what we talked about yesterday I think you guys know why I did that now critique of the image I'm not too sure I like her little tank top strapped right there it's a little distracting and you know you can critique that I'm my worst critic I can critique the heck out of my work I'm sure you guys can all do that too that's a good thing that keeps us honest and keeps us getting better right? So this is from kimberly in the talent texas this one really touched me she said my blood my heart my soul she is my daughter my companion my reason for being she is my life and my future she is the reason I got into photography to document her life that image just touched me so that father that mother daughter connection just really touched me this one too jennifer in babylon, new york this photo moves me personally very deeply for I know that look, I am lucky enough to know that look and I just I see that my son and oh my god, I'm gonna cry but my son all the time it's just like wow, I'm not I don't deserve that look, you know you just when your son looks at you with that feeling tony that's just that's connection and then jen and lincoln I believe was nebraska she didn't put her state down so I'm not sure, but she said sisters by love, not blood, which really touched me in a lot of ways. This is a symbol of love and family to me because family can be formed in so many ways for us that grew from adoption loss and birth and love, not blood, is the thread that stitches are family together. My daughter's love for each other is beautiful, unconditional and an inspiration. You can find me on social media here, so I'm very active on social media as well as the facebook group that we've some some of the ladies from the last class formed it on dh, so I'll go ahead and show you that just search julia kelleher, seal marketing in newborns course and join us. We there's about twenty three hundred people in there now, and I'm active on there a lot like probably several times a week I check in or I really love seeing people grow and learn, and as you all know, I'm pretty passionate about education, so I try to pop in there as much as I can. All right, let's, get rocking and rolling here, finding inspiration, taking it to the next level yesterday we covered how you see family love. Because this influences your art, it influences how you connect with your clients. Ok? We talked about connection and vulnerability and how you have to embrace the vulnerability in order to be connected when you truly feel connected with someone a loved one that's when you are at your most vulnerable. And so I really think that embracing that vulnerability, whether it's really intense or just a soft vulnerability embracing that it's really, what helps you connect and become authentic. We talked about stories telling in symbolism and supposing rules, and of course, we photographed yesterday on we talked about connecting with your clients in your everyday work on and it's not always easy thing to dio, and if you guys remember little braille in the girl, I just showed her in the front, I'll tell you a little story behind the scenes that you guys didn't really see. Well, I went into the green room yesterday during the break, and I was a little worried about this session because it's a three and a half year old at the end of the day, ok, so she hasn't had her nap and I it was like, ok, this could either be great or it'll be a complete train back. And so and I'm on a limited amount of time here we have an hour to shoot, and so I'm on a and I'm teaching, so I want it I want to show you guys when I can so there's, a lot of I put a lot of pressure on myself, and so I went in the green room and braylon was running, doing laps around the around the green room, and she wouldn't even talk to me like I couldn't even get her to stop and talk to me. That's how, like she had been in there for a couple hours. She was a little bored. She was like, I've had enough and so she didn't wantto I was ready for like, oh my gosh, this is gonna be a disaster. Well, erin, the makeup artist bless her heart started just lord over and started rubbing like little blush on your cheeks. And of course, all of a sudden she felt like a princess and aaron was her best friend. We figured out what connected with her, and so when I saw her do that, I said I I was she finally stopped so I could talk to her on I laid down like raylan, are you ready to help me with your big with your little brother and she goes because she wanted more makeup. She's like yeah, I'll do that if you make me a princess. And so all of a sudden we started walking out to come here on set. I wasn't going to use them right away. I was going to talk to you guys first thing and kind of introduce things braille and follows me. Just follow me along and I'm like, oh, my gosh, I have got this kid connected. Now I better move so I said, what? You want to hold my hand? She grabbed my hand and off we walked here into the studio. She walked on set with me. I mean, you guys are right from the beginning and I said, let's, go on now and start photographing this child because she's on and I'm not gonna wait so it wants you feel that connection. She was fantastic and we got beautiful images of her shit. Just the cutest little thing I wanted to just squeeze for two. Q was so cute, so don't always. I guess the lesson is here. A different change of environment helps young toddlers it really does because all of a sudden we walked in here and she was like, wow, this is awesome and she was so excited she listened, she was very in tune because she needed that connection with me in order to feel comfortable, and since we had formed a little bit of a bond earlier that's when things really took took hold so that's another reason why I like to photograph toddlers with babies were right off the bat they come in, they're like, wow, this is awesome and there are little bit I don't want to stay overwhelmed because she wasn't overwhelmed at all. She was perfectly comfortable, but it's a new fresh environment the minute and environment starts to like they kind of know what it's about, they get board and they want to run around and do things, so if you can photograph siblings first, you'll end up with much better images of them than having them wait around. Does that make sense? So that's kind of my biggest takeaway? I think when it comes to connecting with children in particular young children who are going to connect on an emotional level with you with conversation, they're going to connect mohr on the things that mean something to them and your timing and your strategy is going to be key to getting the images so today, we're gonna talk about connecting with yourself, connecting with your art, finding inspiration for stories and infusing your core values into your work, okay? And we're also going to take family portraiture to that next storytelling level, okay, we're loses creativity. This is about taking chances, trying things just to try them to see what happens not to find a result, but one of the biggest things that people always ask me is they say, you know, where do you find your inspiration? Where do you come up with an idea? And then the next part of that is, how do you make that you? How do you take something that inspires you? Infused it with your core values and then turned into something that's uniquely you, which I think is a struggle for a lot of people in my in my right it's a struggle for me sometimes two sometimes I will sit on an idea for years. I mean, this one we're going to shoot this afternoon that's on idea I have been sitting on for three years, okay? And I eventually just comes a point where just gotta do it. You gotta just do it because sometimes what's holding you back is not that you don't have a good idea or that it's not infuse your core values, you're scared you know you don't want to do it because you're like this is pretty I don't know it and it's funny because you don't realize you're scared later I'll do it later not right now you procrastinate do you mean oh facebook you oh my gosh horace contact you know that means so that's progress nation and that's george is modus operandi that's what he does is he he distracts you procrastinates from things that you know you should be doing so if it's painful and you don't want to do it that means you should okay, so are you creative question everybody is everybody is and it's a learned skill the gods above do not bestow creativity on a certain individual few people it is a learned still it's true though it's a learned skill and I think that people think like when you look at the great artists of the world will never be that creative they're so creative, you know? You just kind of beat yourself up a little bit. What you don't realize is they have years and years and years and years and years of learning and practice to be creative, just like you're learning photography and the skills to do that you have to learn how to be creative too we're going to talk about how to do that this morning right now what is being creative mean do you think maybe that you think a little differently sometimes not all the time but maybe once in a while you have a thought you're like well that's out there do that do you think a lot is your mind full of a lot of ideas that you don't really want a creator you don't know how to create but they're in there okay do you copy other's ideas admit add your own spin I do it all the time ok? Is your inner critic hurt on you? I think that's a given for everybody and you get paralyzed by fear we all dio like I said it's been three years and I've been paralyzed and we're just gonna go for it, okay? I used to be oh believe it or not I was a meteorologist I have degree in biology, meteorology and a master of science in journalism. Okay, I'm a scientist I am dominated by my left brain at least I used to be okay. So if I mean I used to look at weather forecasting charts I studied thermodynamics calculus. I mean, I was a weather geek tornadoes, hurricanes el nino la nina I mean, that was my thing cloud formations, water rising heat transfer I mean, all this stuff is scientific stuff and how I am an artist creativity is learned, you guys this's not something if you think you're a left brain no I could never do that that's b s I'm sorry it's b s you can learn to be creative if I could do it you can do it start slow accept vulnerability except that you might be in perfect at first creativity is always in perfect creativity will never be I mean for the great number of pieces I have there's a thousand screwups my hard drive is full of stuff that's not finished full way more full that I have finished pieces okay and some of them will sit there forever. Some of them will never get finished that's okay creativity is a process it's not a result you see results from other people so you think oh my gosh that's so creative but for everyone beautiful creative piece they have there's a thousand others that are junk and I have a lot of junk on my hard drive so be forgiving of yourself and understand that creativity is a process. Okay, so what I what I mean by being creative and learned behavior is that like I said, I was a left brain dominant person logic, deductive reasoning math science that was my m o and over the last eight years that has shifted now to be more right brained as a matter of fact, I, um do you know those left brain right brain tests you can take ten years ago it was all I swung left I just took the same tests a year ago and I seriously swung right so you can exercise both parts of your brain, build those synapses and move more to the right if you want teo it's up to you and deciding do I want to or not? Okay, so pull out a piece of paper and a pencil you can do this at home to give you guys a second to do that, okay? I was very left brained and grew up in that kind of family not the creative inspiring, you know push yourself to be creative. So now that I have going into this new world with in the past couple of years and in my forties, my question is is how do you switch that paradigm in your brain too actually convince yourself yes, I could be creative instead of thinking your old ways and getting your mind actually accept it. We're going so that's the whole point of this entire conversation so if you're patient with me, please I will totally get into that I'm going to give you techniques and skills little exercises, things you khun dio they're going to slowly build your ability to be creative and learn creativity ok, but it truly is about letting go and your left brain's going to fight with you constantly like this is so illogical this is such a waste of time I mean it that's what it's going to say but I'm going to switch your thinking from the result of creativity versus the journey creativity truly is a journey it's true I mean look at children my son like finger painting he did jessica that's cool you know care with result is you'd like that's the spahn okay that's how I want you to transfer your thinking okay so let's have a little exercise right now using one continuous line draw a self portrait do not lift your paper from the pen and you have sixty seconds to do it do not lift your pen off the page it's hard isn't it? You know let me get you guys have sixty seconds to do it here I probably should've given you thirty that would have really major yeah take those sixty seconds don't let your pen go off the page it's really hard, isn't it? I want to live the benzo bad especially around the mouth you're like how do I get to the mouth without lifting my pen did this when we talked about it earlier it was the eyebrow to the yeah okay you have twenty seconds you guys are doing good eyes far isn't it too I hope you are too at home because it's quite a good exercise don't lift your pen off the page it's hard it wasn't always like shoot I lifted my hand okay five four three two one let it go azad they say in top chef lift your heads know we're good ok here's mine I did this to I mean everybody's gonna sit there going man I suck you're all doing that you're like I mean seriously show me oh no I don't want to say like that cool so love it good job you guys very good. Okay, we're all smiling giggling did you have a good time? We're not fun but adults fear judgment I mean, you don't want to hold it up to me and show me you're like oh really thinks but thank god everyone else's too you know mine stinks this well, this is me where might my glasses? I did it you know, just kind of my desk whatever but adults do fear judgment artists we is anguish we are tormented little bunch. Okay? Elizabeth gilbert is the offer you pray love and I test on this in the last glasses of it but I love her so much and her works I'm currently reading her her new book the signature of all things and it's just stunning but she's a beautiful writer but she talked about a little history lesson that I want to share with you and in the days of the greco roman empire, creativity was thought to be this divine entity that was cast down on you from an external source, okay, and this ancient artist spirit was supposed to, like, protect you with their creative spirit, okay, and they helped give you ideas, so ideas came from externally on to you from this muse source. Okay, the greeks called it damon. Does that sound like demon? And the romans called it genius, what is that sound like? Yeah, then came the enlightenment. All of a sudden, in the renaissance, creativity is considered human focus during the renaissance art period. Okay, what does that mean? Well, all of a sudden you are the genius, a lot of pressure, that's, a lot of pressure it upon yourself to you have to come up with the ideas. You have to be creative. You have to be the genius.

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