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Psychology of New Parent and Connecting

Lesson 5 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

Psychology of New Parent and Connecting

Lesson 5 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

5. Psychology of New Parent and Connecting


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

Psychology of New Parent and Connecting

Okay, I'm going back and forth a little bit. I'm kind of on this, um, a little emotional journey, and then we go to more technical stuff, and we're about to get a little bit deeper into that emotion. So and this is probably the toughest part of the entire course when it comes to that, but I promised those of you who maybe don't wantto attack that right now or you're kind of thinking us this way too touchy feely for me, I totally get it, and I understand and please don't worry, we're definitely going to be getting into the technical stuff about posing and connection on amore surface level that has, you know, it gives you skills and techniques for doing that, so we're going to cover all the basis, but right now we're going to talk deeply about connection and creating it, okay, connection is at the core of who we are. As I said earlier, everybody needs it it's, a basic human need to want to connect with with those around us with those we want to relate. Teo and photography's essence, a po...

rtrait is about connection. A portrait is about connecting with your subjects and with your subjects connecting with themselves if you see some of the great masters, you know, greg gorman does these beautiful black and white portrait's and he is a master at connection, and every artist will find their techniques t do so I'm going to give you kind of a basic launching off point on some of the things that I used, but I really encourage you to look at other artists and how they connect because first, this is a skill it's nothing talked about a lot, we kind of have to wait our way through the sludge and figure it out on our own, which, and it's, one of the hardest parts about poor, treacherous connection, and I think there is ah, huge reason for it, and we're going to talk about that in just a second, but when I want to talk about first is your actual client okay? Ah, family client, you know, I'm going to specifically relate to new parents here, but this rings true for other parents as well, who have older children, but parents who are fresh and new, they have these feelings out of the gate, a lot more intensity, they're extremely insecure, they're incredibly overwhelmed. Okay? Um, mom is usually hormonal, even if you had a kid, you know what I'm talking about there, they're protective, they're unsure they have no idea what they're doing, you're basically shoved your baby on a plate and said, raise it nobody gives you emmanuelle nobody tells you what to dio and all you khun bank on is your past experience to move you forward with this child that you're now responsible for a huge amount of pressure um they're exhausted mean you're up every two hours with this thing sucks to your boob you know it's hard it's really hard I'm sorry that was a little not pc anyway but you're frustrated and I've had a lot of moms tell me I was a shock nobody tells you what to expect there's all these books what to expect when you're expecting and all these forums and groups might also happen to be where I was pregnant rose you know I mean there's all these you read all this stuff from other women but nobody tells you what it's like the first six weeks after birth and it is one of the hardest things I ever did in my entire life it was very very taxing on me and I know it's the same way for a lot of other parents making the decision to have a child I know you guys know this quote it's very famous is to decide forever forever to have your heart walking outside your body and I don't care if you physically gave birth if you adopted surrogate I don't care it doesn't matter it's your child and you have made the conscious decision to let your heart wander around the world well the new parent has extreme social pressure placed on them especially women to exude happiness oh baby euphoria exude joy okay take it all in and joy life always sleep when the baby sleeps you're kidding me I mean come on whoever came up with that line I seriously want to shoot them because that is not gonna happen okay there is too much to do around the house for me to sleep when that baby sleeping um especially with someone like me is a total type a personality yeah I'm going to sleep when the baby sleeps that's a bunch of hogwash family expectations your mother in law wants to be there in the birthing room with you okay you're not coming in but it's my career so I don't care I'm not going there myself to the room in front of my father in law so there's these family expectations that are just enormous and some people are okay with that because I was not and naming your child I mean some salad days like we have clients who call it home with the name your baby we're not telling anyone we're not telling anyone what it's that social pressure when the kid cut pops out the name and dean which is my son's name everybody but up until the kid pop sound like oh no you should use that name oh that reminds me of such and such I mean it's just constant pressure you have a family name? Well I mean it's just ridiculous and it's so much pressure on a woman what do you want to do is just get through this and love your child and figure it all out with there's no manual somebody give me step by step directions okay so you can imagine I hope I'm painting a good picture for you what it's like to be a mother even those of you who don't have children I think you can relate to this kind of social pressure that we have to be perfect as women to be pretty perfect and lovely and even when you hara mother these things come into play and when it comes down to is the new parent is extremely vulnerable I mean they're so at emotional risk right now things are completely on in certain ok they are in this place of just like oh my god anything could happen to me in any time and I haven't there's nothing I can do you can do to control it okay how do you feel when I say this word vulnerable does it make you feel as a a community of lovely women here and online? What is what what what do you think of when I say the word vulnerable has it make you feel lost ross what else? Not in control on the edge on the edge more give me more exposed risk it's not good is it? It doesn't feel good vulnerability okay stupid yeah I feel stupid when I feel vulnerable you feel like you know nothing, right? Yeah kind of l a photo says uh golden ball makes me feel scared and threatened scared and threatened yeah hallelujah okay what makes you vulnerable? What types of things make you vulnerable love what else think of situations where you just were on edge and you didn't know like waiting for the doctor to call after the mammogram okay? That's vulnerable knowing you love someone and they don't reciprocate it that's vulnerable okay think of the moment you print competition the first time you enter on my solo nowhere right now even just for the first time when you're a new photographer putting an image out there online for the world to see you guys all know that feeling it's like click you know leo stands and you know that email that dreaded email that you're going to set you just send it send it doing now you all know the feeling I'm relating here okay so let me tell you a very personal story some of you have heard this um healthy I'm not spilling too much here I had a very challenging time after giving birth and I actually went into very serious postpartum depression I actually suggested to my husband that we give our son up for adoption because I could not do it I felt trapped. I felt caged I felt like my life was over, that I would never be able to work again and that I would never have my freedom that's how I felt after giving birth to my son I cried knightley I was miserable I couldn't get motivated to do anything I literally felt suffocated and I got through it. Thank god I knew what it wass from my mother's history of mental illness and her depression I knew what was I knew what's happening I got help, quick. And it was only when the doctor explained to me all these hormones in my head trying to balance on that whole issue of social pressure and trying to be this perfect mom and and we're supposed to take it all was happiness when really it's the hardest thing thing you'll ever do is have a baby. Okay, when he explained it to me hey, is this is just like having the flu? This is not something you did to yourself. It just happened to you, it's a physical, chemical thing that happens and we just got to fix it. Once he said that to me, I was like, oh, thank god I thought I was going crazy. I really thought that there was something wrong with me and then I was not going to live a normal life again and when I hear stories of women mean a sad as it is of women who don't get help for postpartum russian and end up murdering their children it breaks my heart but I can totally see what happened to them I get it look, I know what they're feeling and I know it we went too far it went too far and they didn't get help one in five women who gives birth suffers from post partum depression why the hell are we not talking about it that's what I want to know it's a very deep passion for me okay? I just spilled my guts to okay when I tell my story do you think of me as weak a stupid no you know, not all vulnerability is courage there's a difference between bravery and courage courage and this is research from renee brown which I'm about to get to in a little bit she's really the reason that I'm talking about all this so I have to give her credit um courage core french word for heart latin word for from the heart courage is being wholehearted okay vulnerability on the positive side of it is about being courageous ok when you can lean into vulnerability and accept it you all of a sudden have immense courage to do things that you didn't before okay what if I told you that vulnerability khun breed connection okay you got a light right too much mission machine around here well let me tell you about this research okay burn a bra and you can see this on ted talks as a matter of fact I highly recommend a man like that should be a homework assignment is to go on a ted talks and watch brain a browns research on vulnerability and shame okay seventeen million people have watched her talk now that's how good it is it will change your life and I'm going to give you some nuggets here but I can't do it nearly as well as she did so I highly recommend listening to me and then going and getting it from the real horse's mouth so to speak ok for ten years in a brown has been researching shame and fear she's a social worker but she's also a researcher which is kind of an oxymoron because how can you really measure social but anyway that's that's hurt her job ok and she's I was fascinated by shame and fear okay and you guys all when we talked about what his vulnerability doesn't make you feel those were the emotions that came out shame and fear there's a difference between shame and guilt guilt is I made a mistake shame is I am a mistake okay shame is everywhere in our society everybody feels it at some point in their other or another no one wants to talk about it and the less we talk about it the more control has over us so but shame vulnerability and shame are intertwined with empathy ok she did this research and she asked people okay what makes you vulnerable and she got story after story after story after story of all these people and what she realized was there is this pattern of people and she separated the groups of research into people who felt unworthy of love and belong me and those who felt worthy and she really want to know how these people over here on this worthy side shove shame you know so it where the sun don't shine you don't I mean how do they do that and she realized that what they have is empathy they have this sense of belonging they have the belong that love and belonging are theirs to take and they lean into vulnerability they accept their imperfections okay and when she get my my notes here because there is research is so intense that I'm um when she realized that she kind of group them into this group of people called the wholehearted they lived wholeheartedly okay so I kind of came up and this is probably not incredibly accurate but it will help at least visualized for us who are photographers were visual people what I mean by this cycle okay we all at one point or another have felt vulnerable vulnerability is the core of empathy and shame it's also how we connect when you feel truly connected to someone you are at your most vulnerable think about the one you love in your life your children and your husband your wife whatever when you feel connected to them you are the most vulnerable to them that you can be that's when connection reaches a peak okay but it's a good vulnerability right people have this connotation with little billy is being this evil bad thing and it's not necessarily that it depends on how you look at it are you living wholeheartedly are you having empathy for yourself? Okay, shame is this cycle in our heads friggin george you're not good enough you're not rich enough you're not pretty enough you're not skinny enough you're not good enough in a bar just I happened to meet all the time oh my god a story there's no story today I was on three days before this class poured my heart and soul for last two months into this course trying to get it perfect which is a whole other issue and another whole mother class there and all right I went on facebook and I saw my name and someone was just blasting my teachings in my class and the threat you know it's just people people just have this one faint the wall of facebook they just feel like this confidence fail to say things they wouldn't say to someone in person and it's just oh alright hard like a bad time and you know right before my class and george got the best of me he's like you suck you can't teach what the heck were you thinking? Why are you doing this? You're not expert I mean he just forking gorani and so I'm saying is it's people deal with this on a consistent basis it's you're going toe teeter the scale between shame and empathy, shame and embassy your whole life. So the goal I'm trying to help you is to to be self aware and ask yourself when you feel vulnerable am I gonna lean into this and accept it and know that whatever comes I'll be able to handle or am I going to go? You suck you're not good enough breed this whole shame thing and be disconnected with myself and with others okay so when you khun decide okay I am I am worthy of loving belonging I am enough they're all of a sudden how this breeds connection is because accepting vulnerability and living this whole hearted way that burn a brown talked about so much is you have the courage to accept your imperfections, your flaws okay? You have the compassion to be kind yourself when things go wrong and to others and finally that connection to others occurs because you're being authentic, you're being you really as it comes on some people are gonna like it some people are not just a simple is that and that's okay not every student out there is the right student for me someone said that to me on the facebook group and it resonated so well can I say that all the time my students that's not your client you know don't worry about the cheapies they're not your client you preached that they're like oh yeah holds true for teaching to not every student is goingto resonate with me here is going to feel like I helped them I'm not going to be the teacher for everybody and that's okay so you breathe this connection by being can you see how this can relate to your clients when you connect with them in a family portrait environment the more you open up your heart and bu and try not to be something you think you should be the more you're going to connect with them on a real level the whole heart I believe that what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful and I think that is the most wonderful saying because it's true and we try to numb vulnerability okay and bernie talks about the different ways that we do that and I think it's fascinating don't touch on a couple things because we don't want to feel shame so we numb it but you cannot selectively numb if you numb the bad stuff you numb the joy too okay, so she says people do things like foreboding joy oh, they think the worst is gonna happen all the time because if that does happen it will be a surprise. You know, they kind of get used this resonating I think comfortable people just were awfully perfectionism can inflict outlets me to perfectionism it's impossible to achieve and self destructive and just leads to shame and that's classically what happened? I wanted this class to be perfect, perfect and when someone nadia you know this person okay? And so viking our victim victims that my mother is victim. Oh, so for me, I love my mom, but she'll understand my poor me, you know, there's there's people out there like you met them or the viking like, wait, you're not gonna let this affect me kind of thing and then there's thie flood lighting person they just vomit all their vulnerability on you very just like move before trusting connection could be established, okay on and then you're like, whoa, too much bobble personal bubble you know what I mean? You've met these people. Okay then there's also the smash and grab type were there too vulnerable to quick just to seek attention, you know, those people they kind of want that that validation, that external validation that doesn't come from themselves today you know smashing grab serpentine ng they try to control it or back away from it or they pretend that it doesn't matter that you know they weave around it okay then there is the cynicism, criticism and cruelty factor those people were the ones it's so easy to criticize those who do you think are less than you to make yourself feel better? Okay but what's interesting is that criticism and I should take my own advice when I say this criticism only tells you about the person who was christian not about you you people give you praise it's just tells you about them it doesn't tell you about you okay so it holds it holds true for both ways so what if I told you now that embracing vulnerability is what will make you a great artist you can see where this is going right is not you know rocket science here more on this tomorrow and how you can switch george off and start feeling worthy on the worthy side because we're all going to feel vulnerable one time in our life it's going to happen it's how you deal with it how you choose to handle it is what's gonna make the difference so let's kind of go back to our clients now you have no idea when they walk through your door if they are open to being vulnerable and we know vulnerable leads to real truth into connection and you know, I'm I'm talking about this on kind of a grand scale but really this is just simple minutia of the day you know, when we all first met here in the room my goal was to make you feel warm and comfortable and like, hey, I'm you know we're just we're all on the same boat because I don't want you to think anything different and I want to connect with you but if there is this teacher student thing going on and it's awkward and uncomfortable and you guys feel like you can't share and there's no trust and there's no authenticity is no connection so that's why I just walked up everything won't even give you a hug like whoa bubble a little too much you know? So maybe that's when my flaws but to me it helps me connect with you okay, so do I do that on my clients? You know I don't just walk out of there like a big hug but I do attempt very deeply to connect with them on a on a verbal and body language way okay? And this starts with the first phone call cana and I were talking about I'm doing this we're doing this we'll do it tomorrow that's very personal to me it's a little dark okay well that's not quite happy hunky dorey so we're looking for a model and we had probably three moms turn us down okay. And so finally this mom I talked to her personally on the phone and kenna was giggling me she's like oh my gosh, you were totally doing connection right there because I was connecting with her first before I asked her to do something for me that made her vulnerable okay and we'll talk more about that kind of conversation in a minute but when I say you have no idea if your clients open to being vulnerable you have to feel that out initially with casual conversation vulnerability first in order to get there you gotta build trust in communication first you can't just be a flood lighter and vomit your vulnerability on someone and expect them to respond it's not gonna happen they're gonna back off immediately so how can you use that conversation for how can you craft that conversation to work in your favor with your clients? So this starts by reading your client's behavior and it starts even on the phone now emission on the phone all you have is the tone of voice and the choice of words to help you understand and read them but once they come in the door to you then all of a sudden you can start reading their behavior in their body language so how do they talk to you? You get on the phone and somebody's really quiet just like this awkward silence and you're like oh okay and sometimes just want to fill the silence just you have to understand that there's certain reasons people are quiet are they shy? Are they closed off? Do they? This is personality, characteristics and communication. One the one that we're trying to deal with here but you're just a this point trying to read your client are they warm and friendly? Are they cool and conservative? What are they like? Okay, just get an overall feeling for it then you want to know what's their body language when they walk in the door and come in to you are they coming in like this? Or do they have the baby carriage like up in front of him like this the car seat? You know, where do they come in opening and go hi, how are you, teo really? I mean, there's some clients are like that are very warm and fuzzy, so you can assess a lot in how they're communicating with you right off the bat are they open to ideas when you talk to him on the phone about how you're going to be photographing mom and baby she okay with that? You know, I tend to wrap my mom's and fabric so the upper half of them is very skin baring skin and that's kind of a vulnerable position to be in is she okay with that? You know these little conversations are going to help you understand if she's open to new ideas are they excited to see where the exhausted are they enthusiastic about this process? Are they just getting it done? What about chattier quiet sometimes people use chatty nous as a protective mechanism like they just talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking to tryto keep the wallet and sometimes they're quiet but that's not my husband is very quiet stoic man but it doesn't mean that he's closed off he's just much a listener he listens first in any response a little bit introverted but that doesn't mean that he's got a wallop so those kind of things you have to assess by not only are how are they communicating with me in a verbal way but how are they communicating me with their body language with the way they approached situation their mental state? Are they open to ideas? Are they just plain exhausted? Belinda and I my studio manager we're talking about this for the day we're like hasn't it funny how they could be so different from the session to the sales appointment like a newborn family will come in at the session and they just looked like ratted out drug from the sewer type o they're so tired and exhausted and then two weeks later they come back to the viewing room and they're like all refreshed and happy looking like whoa different people well, cause I'm seeing these babies at five to seven days old. And I don't know how long they're not adjusted their over well. And you can see it written all over their face. So take that into consideration, too. Are they just exhausted and mentally spent?

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