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The Five P's of Creativity and How to Steal

Lesson 15 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

The Five P's of Creativity and How to Steal

Lesson 15 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

15. The Five P's of Creativity and How to Steal

Next Lesson: Parenting Themes


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

The Five P's of Creativity and How to Steal

The five piece of creativity, passion, perseverance, practice patients and permission notice there's nothing really technical there because creativity is not technical truly keep your passion alive externalized george don't let him call your passion hogwash and keep at it no matter what is pretty much the way you be creative and I know that sounds very ambiguous but perseverance don't stop period end of statement whoever lasts the longest winds I'm serious in anything in your life in your work in your job whoever works the hardest and last the longest wins it doesn't matter how talented you are I mean that's not hard to do I mean yeah it is hard but it's not like this elusive thing where I have to have talent eunice there's some farmers out there who really aren't that great but they're raking in money left and right like how is exist ful there worked this isn't that great well, we've done it I've done it all the time in my head but they're making like million's you're like dang, your ...

stuff is so old fashioned and we know what you know you're like you kind of wonder they work harder and they're more persistent than anybody else and they understand business that's why and then you'll see this amazing artist who supports a church mouse who can't make ends meet to say their life okay perseverance and practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice like my mother used to my mothers of concert pianists, and she would that's where they are, gene, and it comes from the way she would practice on the piano eight hours a day. Granted, that was a whole nother topic when it comes to abandonment issues and, like, unavailable, but she practiced for eight hours a day. I hear chopin and bait hoping in my head constantly, and now I can't listen to it because it just reminds me of how unavailable my mother was. But let me tell you, the woman could practice, and she taught me practice and perseverance is what will get you far. So here I have this, like, negative thing in my life that became this amazing lesson, okay, so seriously, just keep practicing and start small like photo shop when I really have only been doing composites for probably three years, okay? Not very long. When I first wanted to do them, I had all these ideas in my head. I'm like, I don't know there's gotta be a way to do that like surreal stuff that I could never photograph that would never be riel. Um, I would have to photo shop it, but I don't know photoshopped to save my life, I can't do that, what do I do? I was so scared to do it and I thought, well, first I need to learn the techniques tools I gotta learn how to do this and photo shop but when I started taking classes yourself I'm like this isn't teaching me when I how I want to do what I want teo but what I learned is that photo shop is these tools that I can apply to other things look, I'm not going to learn a specific skill set I'm gonna learn what photo shop is capable of and then I can I have to learn to think of what I can use in a photo shop to make something happen does that make sense so it's not going to be like oh yeah I want to learn how tio um composite subject onto a background okay blood, the shadows, whatever the classic what do I need to know? It wasn't just like cut a mountain pacemen looks terrible we're so much more to it than that we're gonna talk about this tomorrow and what what things? You should you break it down a little bit scientifically but really what it comes down to is that understand the photo shop tools, what they do, how they work and and which tool might be good for what I'm trying to do at the moment and in a lot of it's trial and error a lot of it's like it didn't work creativity I'm just being creative I'm just making things to see what works our doesn't learning so practice practice practice and if you know you lack a specific skill set go learn it so I took two courses from richard sturdevant five day long courses tto learn because I knew he was an expert in photo shop and I knew that he has totally different work than me guy does cool stop if you ever see his work he does amazing things and you know you look at him he's intimidating as all get out he's really tall he's this big guy and he kind of israel stoic and doesn't doesn't you know you get to know him he's like this cuddly warm, fuzzy teddy bear and I'll give you a big old hug but I needed teo you know, he was a little bit scary person but he knows this stuff so I'm going to stay everyone calls him mean in class because he's really hard on you he'll make you extract to subject off a background in thirty seconds or less yeah crazy the grown yeah seriously can you imagine trying to extract a subject off a background in thirty seconds or less mean, we're also going teo you know always like army drill sergeant but it was good for me it was very good for me and so once I learned the technical skills then it was just a matter of practicing but there was still that pressure I can't do what I want to do in my head I don't know how to do it it's in my head and it's so frustrating so good you don't have to do it but seriously it's stepping one foot in front of other and just trying things and just trying things and just going okay that's not gonna work how can I make this better finding little techniques and skills and that's why some of these online training classes are so fantastic because you can kind of get little chunks out of them toe, learn a new skill set and then apply it to a piece and come back you can go back and forth so permission patients is obviously part of us because if you're not patient with yourself it's going to falter and you have to give yourself permission to do it except vulnerability and look at it as a journey something fun to do not as something that's got to get this result okay needle leland wrote a book about creativity should that creative people relish new discovery possibilities, challenges and the belief that another of fantastic adventures around the corner they have a positive outlook they really d'oh this piece here? Actually I just finished um I'm really not happy with it still it has seventy versions seventy versions okay, I mean, you could call me obsessive compulsive I'm still not quite happy with it I did compete with it but this is how it formed it started with a photograph accepted the campus built in the hair on the top because this is how I shot it I shot it with her cut off so I had to build in I started flowing the hair making the color scheme go in and this is kind of how it finished so here you're seeing four versions in a matter of you know what? Wass sixty or no forty versions okay, well then I said screw it it's not working I don't like it I gotta redo so I really had to learn hair so I literally took an image of another artist whom I adore who had this gorgeous hair and I copied how she did it. I took what she had done looked at her brushstrokes looked at her highlights and shadows and how the hair fell in waves and like, how one piece how it would come in sections one piece would come over the other so I thought, okay, I need to piece my hair out like that so then it started then I started I built the pieces that I started building the highlights in the shadows, okay, I just did it over the top of the old one so I was like, oh, this sucks I'm gonna redo it so then I started even adding more highlights and shadows and pieces that came through flow this hair out a little bit more extended. Thes lines started bringing the color in from the background into the hair. And this is what the finished piece ended up looking like. Okay, it's okay? I mean, yeah, I mean, some social critic everyone's got one. Yes, I did call relative to your experience, right? I mean, other people going to think I'm not so good, but to me and to me, I look at I go, I see the bad in it is george is short. I mean, georgia sitting here going, you can't do that. You just learned how to do this. You suck. I mean that's, what he's saying to me, okay, it's happened to everybody is kind of what I'm trying to tell you. Other people will look at it. Are you crazy? That's amazing. How did you do that? I literally took someone else's work and went, how did she do that? And I went stroke for stroke. Okay, that's, how the light's hitting that? That piece of hair. This piece folds under that piece so obviously I need a shadow there I broke it down technically. Like if you look at bree's hair right now the light's falling she's got a good example cause it shines in the lights you can see the highlights the shot was released and she's got curly hair curly hair is one most complicated things to paint I haven't even tried it yet it scares the crap out of me because there's so many waves and highlights and curls but if you look at her here you'll see where the highlights and the shadows come through and looking at it in person but I was trying to do this without having an example to follow like a human example so I looked to other artists who had painted hair really well both organic medium people who don't even touch digital and digital artists and I went okay, how can I do that? And then for the final technique was I used painter's new new brushes the particle brushes toe add in the sparkles and the things that and it's the image competed and it's called breath of heaven because that's what's like the color and it made me feel like god was basically blowing this blessing onto her. Okay so you know, I guess my my my whole point is is everybody has george including me george can be externalized he can also be used for good because because he was so hard on me there's seventy versions to that I said I am not gonna let him get me I'm going to keep doing this I'm going to keep on going keep practicing I'm gonna have patients and I'm gonna keep at it so no matter what george says to you constantly putting one foot from the other just going we're going to this and you can bitch at me all you want but I'm gonna keep going just keep showing up ok? So where do you get your ideas? I do I steal them and people are gonna die. No chat rooms we'll blow up like what? My gosh controversy central I get it it's all it's fun to talk about I steal them, but let me explain myself before we get all in a huffy tough. Okay, austin, this is from the book steel like an artist by austin clear on I highly recommend you read it cause he's a genius, okay? It truly is about stealing them, but in a good way. Okay, yeah, I know. Wait a minute. What are you talking about? Ok, pablo picasso even said good artists copy great artists steal what is stealing mean, stealing it and then just making it your own? Yeah, when you, when you copy something, you want to leave the original the exact same way it wass when you steal something you want to take the original and you want to make it your own you want to make it better you want to make it mine? Okay that's what I mean by stealing really? There are no original ideas you guys you confined every art idea ever out there more than once everybody does it really? Yeah course in are agreeing with you plato good clay teacher says nothing is original just inspired by others is amply says we all see idea steal idea we all do it all you have to do is figure out what's worth stealing and then mate with it I mean really that's all it is you have to figure out what's worth stealing that infuse your core values into it. What makes you tick it's glorious it's so much fun because now all of a sudden there's no pressure to come up with this unique original creative idea that no one else has thought of before just take something you already see out there and make it your own ok new ideas are basically just old ones born again rebirth nothing is truly original so how do you steal you love my graphics so make a pinterest board I'm famous for this my pinterest is nuts okay? I am constant looking at a fine art on pinterest and going oh, I like that home decorating weddings are looking cake and the flowers in the waste of it all that's so corny I put those flowers in a girl's hair you know I'm saying I mean why can't you do that anything can aspire inspire you and I know that seems overwhelming but I mean I look at shannon's blue scarf with rocks that is such a cool color and I love the fabric I'm like what could I do with it you know look at things I mean the cup for pizza what could you do with it wait put a little toddler sitting on top of it and photoshopped I mean how cool is that? Whatever you do whatever you can think of can happen yeah it's crazy but why not but here's where it gets fun you take your core values what you believe in it as faras family your experience with family there are so many stories in this room I read all of your bios there's adoption there's miscarriage there's divorce there's unhappiness there's all kinds of family things going on there's cancer in here there's all kinds of things illness you name it so what we all have it use it to make art to express yourself and now all of a sudden anything could be a symbol anything can inspire you and things just got a whole lot more fun yeah um I can't get this question out of my mind that that breath of heaven is stunning absolutely stunning how did you and what we discussed yesterday? How did you choose to have her on the left side that's a really good question sometimes I do things without knowing why I'm doing them um I think because I wanted the future to be a little bit uncertain, but because the color tone was very fresh and light we can probably it's a little far back I would go back to it, but because the color tones had mix of cool and warm tones with very rainbow and to me rain bo's ovary from god from their heavenly there is there a symbol of hope? You know whenever you see a rainbow in the sky, I mean to me that's a young child who's passed away, smiling onto his mother mean that's to me what they are so they're from heaven and so but yet this baby is fresh and new and just born, and so we don't know what's gonna happen to them so the subject matter the color tone, the flow of the composition of the image all lend themselves to something very soft and peaceful in light, but by putting them on the left side of the frame, we take the future and go it's not quite that we don't know what's gonna happen but it's not a bad thing it's in the positive sense of the word does that make sense? So I think that's where my thinking was, but honestly, I didn't really realize that when I was doing it, and sometimes you'll find that happening and, you know, everything we talked about yesterday, rules are made to be broken, they're not rules, they're just oh, they're just elements of art that I want you to think about and be purposeful about when you're creating something that's all does that help your answer? Your question, what do you think? I mean, what if I have flipped it? So I'm looking at that and you're going through steel like an artist? I'm thinking, how did that? I'm trying to apply at all. I love the photos like it's, so capturing and of everybody, I think a lot of people can relate to it, so I was thinking, how does it fit with what we talked? Well think about the wind coming if we had flipped it and she was over here on the right, if we had slept in the wind was coming this way, it would be almost like the wind was going the wrong direction, you know? I'm saying, like, would be stunted where is when she slipped over here, the breeze in her hair have somewhere to go like the story keeps going on, you have to turn the page do you know what I'm saying? Where is if she had been on on this side when the wind would have gone into her and it would be like you don't wear had a disjointed feeling to it, which is not the theme and the or I wanted to give in the image so sometimes just doing that in front of me flipping is going out of the pool right? And you'll know it doesn't feel right you may not know why, but you'll know I like it better the direction trust that gut trust that instinct is it's usually right? Yes I was going to say that um with thea I felt like there was a third person in the image like when you said it was um breath of heaven like that god was in the image so he was on the other side the winds was the other person's feeling the space that's what I took it as so I love and I never thought of that but that's what's so beautiful about art is that people who view it will take their own interpretations away from it and that's part of its magic so it's okay for people to interpret my work however they want I mean that's that's the joy of it yes, I created with some intention and people want to know that but then they'll run with the story and that's the beauty of telling a story in one instant you get to leave this kind of suspenseful what happens next, you know, you're just like, oh, I don't it's intriguing to the viewer where is a movie or a book or whatever they're going to shove in your face? This is what happened. This is how the story climax is how the story ends, they fill that void for you, you know, some of the really great movies like leave you hanging at the end and you're like, what happened? It really bothers some people like something you can't take it, I love it, tio don't like it, I'll finish it for me dang it, I love it, I love it when movies and you're hanging cause you're like, oh, this could have happened it makes you think it makes your mind goes where and that's how I think I like books better than movies because I get to imagine it, you know that an art is the same way, so let's, get back to the more questions before we keep moving on here we're good let's get back to how to steal make a swipe file so on your desktop I have a little swipe file where I just go to google our project or other artists I love pinterest and I just yeah, I do, I right click I save and I and I put it into my thing, I am not doing it to take it. I'm not doing it like yes, I'm doing it legally, I have to admit, but you're not supposed to right click on people stuff, but it's for my own inspiration so I can find it again. So I put everything in one spot so I can bring it up. Look, and I love that idea. She did. I'm going to use that in another piece that I'm working on that'll work so well for that. Do you see what I'm saying? And I don't mean some people might say that's not supposed to do that, but I don't have no one will ever see those images, but me and it's my personal like it's like having a scrapbook or a file folder we used to rip rip out magazine pages, it's the same thing that's kind of what I'm asking you to dio yeah, kenna I did have an interesting question. It came from a couple of different people tracy hudson wondering about how do you balance your creativity with client expectations? We talked about this a little bit yesterday, but in addition to that, I want to know if you are going to talk about financial obstacles for the creative process my question is about obstacles, mainly financial. I'm usually busy trying to make money, and I would love to have more time for all of this anyway suggestions, and I appreciate it so clients and creative yeah, that's as far as your clients go the minute you start creating this stuff for your own personal personal fortune looking for for your own personal desire and you should put that out there, your clients will start seeing it, loving it and wanting you to create for them. Okay, so balancing plant, you know, I don't do this kind of creative stuff for my clients unless I know they want it. I do what we did yesterday with photograph clients of the standard standard way, okay, but because I've been the last three to four years, I've started putting out this more creative work and competing with it clients are seeing that they're seeing the awards being one for it and they go, oh, wow, she really is creative and the rest of the world thinks so too, so I wanted to do it for us. They start to fall in love with your work and fall in love with your mind. Okay, we're gonna talk more about this tomorrow about marketing what fine art does for you marketing wise, let me tell you, it elevates your brand it puts you at the top echelon of artists of photographers, at least because you're not you're doing something the run of the mill shooting burned down the street and will never do ok, then they can't compete with you at all number one, because your technical skills and your creativity and your and your willingness to persevere and be patient and practice is so above theirs they will never reach it. Number two your core values your authenticity is infused into your work. You've taken the time to learn the technical skills you need to do to do it. Your clients are seeing this creative work, they're drawn to it because it means something to them as well, then they may not be able to afford this from you, but they know you're the best of the other stuff too, cause if you could do that that stuffs a piece of cake. Do you see what I'm saying? So start doing personal work first and then you will find your clients will want to come in and do that with you like I settle, but yesterday, especially with this creative work, I don't do many of these kinds of pieces for my clients, I don't I don't get commissioned a lot, I'm going to be really honest with you for with that, but I do do a lot of competition for my own personal desires and that is what elevates the studio the clients see that when they do request something that I said it out very clearly I say I'm okay with it I know you want to send a certain message about your children and your love I'm going to interview you and talk to you a lot about what that means to you but ultimately you have to give me the creative freedom the freedom to do this otherwise it won't turn out the way you hope it will okay as far as financial goes that is a tough one a lot of you have jobs on the side you're doing photography part time but let me tell you the clients are always calling are they? My dad said something to me when I was young and resonated still to this day when things were slow educate chance favors the prepared mind so when you're prepared and you educate yourself and you practice and you enjoy your creativity when there's not much going on boy that's going to prepare you for when the opportunity does arise so when things are slow that's when you work hard on other things like creativity, technical skills, education and then when the buzz like when the economy sank I mean that's pretty much all I did was educate myself cause the client numbers were so far down, you know and we were struggling yes, we pull back but I forged ahead did my best to make money, but then when I didn't when I had the free time that's when I started working on creative works and it does nothing but do this, I don't know not to climb you hire so that's what I would say that, yeah, it's going to be difficult at first, there were times when, you know, I could barely afford to pay my rent on my studio. I told the story in the pricing and sales class about how I started, I did was doing this huge display for the humane society, and we had this big open house and ribbon cutting with the chamber of commerce, and I had two hundred dollars, in my bank account at the end of the month, and I paid the rent the next month and couldn't do it because I put so much money this party and got it all worked out, but, um, you know, I know what it means to be a struggling artist and then those those are times when you don't really have a creative bone in you and there are going to be those roadblocks, but keep pushing, keep pushing forward to small things at a time, one little creative project, a plot of tana graham and play with it. Just do something get on pinterest and I mean it's a great way to procrastinate should you want but at least you're doing something productive right on pinterest and start pinning stuff that inspires you that means something to you yeah it's kind of like george helping you procrastinate but at least you're being productive about it okay there is good theft and there is bad theft and this is from austin cleans book again good theft to honor the artists you're taking from okay to study them hard before you take it to steal from many artists rather than just one to credit to transform and to remix the opposite of that honor to degrade them study them skim them steal for many steal from one credit plagiarized that's not cool transform to something new or imitated imitating is not cool remix it or rip it off remix you make it you okay? That's really important okay so steel steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination devour old films music books, paintings, photos, poems, dreams random conversations architecture bridges, street science trees, clouds, body's water light shadows select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul okay, if you do this, your work and theft will be authentic it's a great quote, isn't it? Where do you look anywhere like a look anywhere that's what's so fun you're gonna walk around now and be like practice this make this a habit another exercise this afternoon this evening when you're on break just walk around your space and go what did I steal a color a texture atone someone's outfit it could be anything okay ask yourself how you confuse it make sure you know yourself how you work best steal when you're at your best not when you're feeling down or worthless you know when george is picking out you don't steal then steal when you can shut him up a little bit what environment do you need to be the most productive and creative what time of day what triggers your mind what inspires you to get started what technical skills like we talked about before are you lacking? Ask these things of yourself and steel with knowing those answers okay who do you steal from? Your mentor your hero your inspiration who you want to be yourself. Okay um what take it all everything and how do you do it by thinking like they d'oh okay and then what's important and let's take this to the next level make yours you but how do you know? Well, what are your core values? Your beliefs, your ideals, your morals okay, make yourself vulnerable to your own darn life look back at your life, your experiences what you've gone through be it on your own with your parents with your spouse with your children with your friends with illness with the spare with joy with moving anything in your life your experience take that and ask yourself off those lessons I've learned what do I want to incorporate into my art off those lessons that I haven't learned yet that I know I need teo what should I take there and incorporate into my art so I want to talk about just to give you an example what some of my core values are okay a little vulnerable here what message is do I want to create with my art okay if a couple family is survival this was learned over divorce moving out of the country and back moving sixteen times in ten years okay connection filled your well your themes and ideas and morals if I'm going to steal something I wanted to fit that core value does that make sense kindness will come back to you no matter what honesty is pivotal to happiness you will not be happy with yourself if you're not honest sharing is a very selfish thing to dio I teach I love to give I love to be kind but I teach because I learned so much out of it so I grow and develop and I mean I teach because I it's a little selfish I have some selfish motivation but I will admit that I love to learn and when I teach things get solidified in my head and it reminds me of why I need to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing so sharing serves the scherer justus muchas it serves the person being shared with openness serves the world hiding only hurts children epitomize hope talkabout it always no matter how much it hurt growth is our purpose love should lift and vulnerability leads to authenticity those are my core values and what I hope that I know I know every not all those are going one more piece but if I want to take us even run with it I'm going toe infuse my core values into that so and I may I guys I seriously made this list in twenty minutes you could do it just feel your heart what you truly believe and come back to it if you can't think of any more you write down two or three set aside come back to it when you think of one that's why I always care I guess I don't have it I feel naked my little notebook listen, you know I have a spiral about now I constantly change notebooks because I'm noncommittal like that, but uh, you know, it's a little moleskin books that have the little rat I mean, I just keep that in my person where every idea so it's it's constantly with you because they come at the most inopportune times you're driving down the road or you're in a more grocery store you see someone who has won my core values right down okay anything and it could be an idea could be a symbol it could be stuff that you love so make sure just get a habit go out get a little moleskin booker of notebook or whatever and keep it on you constantly just make that okay that's gonna happen now from day one okay okay dokey smokey let's move on here where we're going so questions to ask yourself once you get some inspiration okay what if I did this okay you know you already do it you guys you know you do you stay here and go oh that's kind of what it's like it use that okay or oh, I know that about that thing should I maybe I should incorporate that did you know so start asking yourselves what if do you know use your senses remember when go back to the past how does it feel how does it look how does it smell? Get yourself again so I'm trying to say is once you have an inspiration or an idea get yourself asking for word from it like okay, I have this idea that I want to do or say for example some other image inspired me so I see an image of a kid in the grass or whatever, and that inspired me because I love the scene of the grass and the outdoors. Well, ok, I want to take that, but I don't want to do exactly what that artist did. What if I could use that scene with an image of such a such a newborn baby, which is my love, my core value? You see, I'm saying that's, a simple version of it. But think about how it looks, smells, feels, touches and all these things, and ask yourself how you contain a kit into the next level with your fox feelings of values.

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