Skip to main content

Prepping for Concept Shoot

Lesson 17 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

Prepping for Concept Shoot

Lesson 17 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

17. Prepping for Concept Shoot


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

Prepping for Concept Shoot

These next three segments on creative I've are going to be really fun. We're gonna have to get creative it may work it may not that's okay, the whole point is to be creative and enjoy the process in the journey. Okay, so we have a very beautiful mama and her little baby girl ruby I believe ruby is seven days old. Is she she's eight days old and she's a tiny little petite thing. How many pounds was she? Six pounds, four ounces. So she's a little itty bitty girl on dh we are going, tio allow a disney movie to inspire us. Okay, so we're going to use the theme of frozen the movie frozen and what I thought about here is I was thinking about, you know, vulnerability and connection is that movie very much tuck some touches on that the little troll in the movie tells on after her sister elsa has struck her heart with ice and frozen her heart that only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart. Okay, so I decided to run with that theme because I love that because it's true love is what is wha...

t makes us vulnerable and connects us and breaks us down and thaws us so on dh to me there's nothing more beautiful than the birth of a child to change a mother for the good and act having having a child changes you so much and gives you such a new reason to live that it basically thaws you of your past life too on lee give to that child moving forward does that make sense that that's the theme? So we're basically it's a simple it's, a simple image it's very much like we were photographing yesterday with the poses, but now we're adding symbolism and storytelling to the element it's so if you if you kind of thought about what we just did with the mind mapping, I'm taking the characters I'm taking the costuming I'm taking the makeup in the styling, the background and everything to create a message with an image it's not going to be a direct message it's going to be a very implied one, but that's the fun of it that's that's the joy and I don't want to copy frozen completely I want to take its elements and its theme and bring that into an image. So that's what we're going to learn how to do today with these next three segments that we're about to do okay, but this just it's called aspen and it was just gorgeous and I saw it in the blue and the snow and the and the white aspen trees just really like melted my heart, so I thought, wow, I need teo I need to do this okay now the one thing that's that's a little bit off with this and I want you teo the reason I'm going to say it because I want you to see these things when you do an image the light on the background is coming from the right the shadows go to the left do you see that and I'm gonna be lighting mom from the left which is off okay but in the end it so if I was really shooting this image to be correct I would put this light on the other side so that the light looks like it's coming from the same direction does that make sense so think about those things before you start shooting only that's the only reason I'm bringing it up yes my dear hey in photo I mean would you flip it are depending on the composition I would have to extract mama off the background and then flip on lee her in order to get the light going in the correct direction you have to shoot it correctly if you're going to keep the background on the subject together you have to shoot it together. Does that make sense? Great question though because that would seem like an easy easy fix but it's not quite that simple because two different elements in the scene have different lighting patterns does that make sense so because I want everyone to be able to see uh the last time the last class we had the light was it was really sad nobody could see so I'm not gonna make that mistake so we'll sacrifice a little bit of technical perfection teo for education purpose okay okay so what I would like to do is bring in mama and I'd like the camera ops to be a little conservative with her she's in a very form fitting item at the moment so I'd rather they did not show mama quite yet until we have her a tte least somewhat covered in tool to help you out here but normally if I was in studio I would do this with mama and new underwear and a bra but I basically put her like in one of the tank tops that I'm wearing a stretchy the strapless that's called a nicky picky tank top and they're great they kind of hide things but she also doesn't have a brawl underneath and and she just had a baby so I wantto know income modesty here so I am going to show how I wrapped her but I want the camera ops to be a little cognisant of her modesty if that's all right so but what I'm going to be doing is I love tool and tool has this very ethereal quality to it it's see through and it also has a little stiffness to it so you can shape it around a person's body okay, so let's go ahead and how his baby doing it's ruby asleep yet? Lauren who's that lauren ring ruby out here almost okay, so, um let's go almost asleep. So what do you think? Maybe five more minutes. Oh, she's almost there. Yeah, just go ahead and take a walk around with the hell of it. I would really like this baby to be asleep when we do this. Especially since yesterday almost none of my babies were sleeping, so I'm gonna get this kid just like that tells me tonight today so but I also think it was really at the time yesterday george was kind of beating me up because I was like, oh my gosh, my babies aren't sleeping. This is such you have this in her moment of panic, but then I realized after the fact and like, this is why everybody wants to see they want to see the baby's awake and they want to see how you can get decent images within awake baby butt today dang it I've ever seen. So are there any questions before we move on about taking your the process of taking your ideas, your inspiration, fusing that with your core values and turning it into an image? We have any questions at this point? How we doing, kenna? Well, let me check if you do want some questions and for not if we're not ready are you ready? I'm not a kind of waiting for that baby just a little bit do that I'm she's almost there so I'm hoping we can we could do that but I think miss oh yeah she is a question yes okay so um you have models come in to do this for you or is this when you know when you're doing your personal work do you actually hire a model to come in do you just have a parent that has a new baby come in? Do they want the image? How does that work? Good question and I didn't address that so thank you for bringing it up oftentimes what'll happen is I'll do a monocle so my website I'll say julia has some conceptual work and stories she wants to tell we're looking for babies this age you know call us if you want to come see us or what more than likely is the case is I will have a mom come in the studio is a client and she will inspire me and I will be like, oh, I need to use you will you come back so I'll shoot her session and then a few days later even though the baby will be a little older I'll have her come back and we'll shoot something conceptual now the next question is does that impede on the client shoot well, what will happen is they'll say this is just personal work. It's going to take me months to get a piece finished, and I won't touch a piece until she is done as a client. Does that make sense? So that way, the shoot we did for personal work isn't impeding on the sale on the session and my business, but great questions. So but yeah, I mean, you'll have mom's computer had a mom come your studio and she's like a size zero and gorgeous like that's just wrong and you want to shoot her again? Yeah, that's exactly what happens so it's all kind of red heads come in. I'm just like all you're just autumn saul's. Can I show you again? Nuts? And they love to hear that. Perfect, especially when you want to be creative and artistic and go with the theme now an image that is a little deeper, darker, that's a little harder to find a model like I have to admit this next shoot, we're going teo after lunch, we had a hard time getting a model coming because no one wants to be the subject of that theme they like, wow, that's heavy, but some women do believe what you believe and they're like, yeah, that needs to get out that's a message that that's a story that needs be told and it's a trust factor involved and it wasn't until I spoke with a potential model as the artist and told her what I wanted to dio then all of a sudden she was like, okay, I can do this I see what you're doing where you're going, where you're going out and it's not quite as negative as I thought it was gonna be okay oh do they get a copy of it usually not depends sometimes like this little bird image that I did that was a mall I do a lot of private mentoring in my studio people photographers come on dh that was a mom who answered a model call and I I didn't give her that one sometime you know how it is they're so sweet and so I did give it to her, but most the time it's they come back and they want to purchase it and I usually let them purchase it as just as a print, I don't charge them the extra that I would for a fine art piece so it would be like they would just purchased the the canvas with sixteen by twenty print or whatever as if they were a client they wouldn't have to pay the extra ad on of of the artwork associated with it okay, we'll talk about pricing market tomorrow yes what do you do when ok, you've had this person come in again and to do your personal work and it flops and it didn't go at all how you wanted it to go? Do you have somebody new come in to try and do scrap it? What do you do when it didn't work at all? The way you thought it was going to work? I haven't really had that happened yet? Um, usually I can pull something out of it, but yeah, baby, we'll sleeper, you know, whatever it is it's gonna happen, but if if I'm really determined and that person is perfect for it and I would ask her to come back again like, hey, you wanna corroborate, you want to do this? Keep going didn't work today, but let's, try to get tomorrow if that's not the case, then sometimes I'll shelve it for a while. I'll shelve the idea for, you know, six months or so and then come back to it with a different person or whatever, but usually I can get something out about what what usually happens is I'll have an idea get it. Here you go. This isn't working let's change gears, and I'll move in a different direction right there on the scene, and something usually comes out of it sometimes. All shoot with no intention at all, like, remember the piece with the lambs, the purple with the with the little lambs among that woman is one of my dear friends I actually photographed can lee when she was three weeks old and we've been friends ever since. Kenley is now almost four and social, and she was just willing to take her shirt off. I'm like you're awesome, sarah cool. So we went in the studio. She took her shirt off she's beautiful body I mean she's, just one of those moms everybody's jealous of and I just shot with the original idea in my head was fairies in the forest like I thought, oh, they're so angelic looking. I want to put wings on him and make him look like mama fairy and baby theory, and they didn't go there, and so I just kind of shot for pretty images and then it wasn't until after the fact I got imposed and I saw the background that I wanted to use that's when it went to the shepherd of her heart in the lamps actually was not holding that staff. When I shot her, I had to put the staff in her hands in post. Okay, so it can conform and change and grow and mold at any stage in the process and allow it to do that. Not everything is pre visualized. I'll just kind of run with it and be like, oh, this is pretty let's. Shoot it, see what we can do, is it? I mean, I might shoot this ago doesn't work in the background, let's, check it out, that background put on something else. So the world is, well, like I said, the roads there, I should really do anything you want with whatever you want. Sometimes you have an idea and run with it, and it worked perfect. Sometimes you have an idea. It'll change mid mid thought process. Sometimes you won't have an idea at all. You just want pretty pictures, and it won't be until months later that you actually do something with it. Those images of sarah and chemically sat on my hard drive for eight months before I did something with him. Okay, so be okay with that.

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