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a shot list, a posing guide, and a family [assignment 1]

My first assignment for the online course I’m taking (click here for info on that) was to prepare and photograph a shoot, using a shot list, at a new location after having scouted it out.
Here are some of my favorites from the shoot. You can read how things went below:

To prepare, I had to create a posing guide, which was actually really interesting and I’m definitely going to keep it up. I’ve done an online posing guide in the form of a private blog, which only I can see. I just copy and paste photos I see around and label them appropriately in my blog so I can refer back to them for inspiration as needed. I used a few of my favorites that I added to my guide this week for my shot list during the shoot.
I didn’t already have a session scheduled for this week that would have worked to do my assignment, so I asked my friend Dayna and her family if they’d meet up with me at short notice to do a session! Kind of a win/win :)
So, amidst my busy weekend with a wedding and prepping for an expo, I got to take a minute to focus on what I’m doing, and how I can do things better. I was a little stressed out, trying to get all prepared and making sure I had everything. But once I got there, I just felt calm and relaxed. I had nothing to really worry about because I felt like I had all the inspiration I needed. I could draw upon my prepared shot list, and combine that with all the spur of the moment ideas that always come during a session.
I arrived about 20 minutes early to scout out the location. And I found a nice and secluded portion of the park that had shade, trees, and sort of wild grassy areas that we could hang out in, that was also next to a few other areas I thought would be nice for some other ideas I had. I also kind of like just walking around before a shoot to take time to think and get energized.
It was a little strange at first to step away from my subjects to look at a sheet of paper. But I gave them a little info about what I was trying to accomplish, and actually, it didn’t seem to slow things down like I was worried about. It was nice to be able to SHOW Dayna and her family the ideas that I had, rather than just trying to explain. My instruction combined with visuals actually made things a lot smoother, as smooth as things CAN be with 2 toddlers running around :)
I also didn’t feel so much pressure to constantly be thinking about what was going to be next. A lot of times I worry about letting my subject sit and twiddle their thumbs while I think about my next shot composition. And it rushes me. My brain tends to be elsewhere while my eyes are looking through the lens. I felt much more focused and free to concentrate on what was in front of me.
Choosing a location I’d never been before was inspiring as well, as usual. It’s easy to feel the newness and make the pictures feel more unique and special when I’m not comparing the shots to others I’ve already done.
I didn’t end up using ALL of my prepared shots from the list, and I added a bunch on the spot. But it felt like a nice combination.

One challenge I had was keeping the kids interested. I wouldn’t say I suck, but it is something I want to learn more about. And learning what to do when they start to get fussy.

I had a really good time! Dayna’s kids were super cute and actually pretty well-behaved. I’m looking forward to combining what I’ve learned with even MORE ideas to create more spontaneous reactions.
September 25, 2011 - 8:02 pm

Connie - I'm taking Brooke's class with you and you did a wonderful job with this family. I love the shot with him facing backwards and her looking straight into the camera. That might be a new entry for my posing guide if you don't mind. Love the relaxed feeling these photos have.

September 25, 2011 - 8:21 pm

Amber - I really like how you used the lighting in these. The one in the bright sunlight worked great, I can never get those to work- kudos! Also love the natural and fun feeling as the children interact with the parents.

September 25, 2011 - 9:30 pm

ME - - Love the last one the most! Becky, you're awesome! I love your photos. Yer kickin' butt and takin' names. Keep it up!

September 26, 2011 - 11:31 am

Becky Green - Connie–Go right ahead! I'm sure I stole it from someone else along the way :)

September 26, 2011 - 7:09 pm

Kerry Hoaglund - They look awesome!!! Great job!!!

September 27, 2011 - 1:56 am

Claire Rowe - Hey Becky, I am taking Brooke's class too – I love these photos, you can see a real connection between them as a family and as a couple, Claire

September 28, 2011 - 9:54 am

Lisa Thompson - Becky, Great job with the backlit photos. I haven't figured that one out yet. : ) And my favorites are the ones of the couple alone. You need to do engagement sessions if you don't already! : )

September 28, 2011 - 1:54 pm

DoubleTake2 - Becky–Beautiful lighting and I love the family shots, esp. the first 3. Group images are challenging, not mention those with young kids, but you did a fabulous job of capturing such natural family moments. Janet (classmate)

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