As many of you know, I recently had the opportunity to teach again on Creative Live with a class on Children and Family Photography. And, like all the previous times, it was an amazing experience – amidst the whirlwind of actually getting it all done! Over the length of the program, I photographed a variety of families and children in QUITE the variety of locations, lighting situations, and scenarios. I wanted to share some of the many images shot during the live sessions; and give a big thank you to all the children and families who came out and were able to stay with me despite the multiple cameras, questions, slight technical difficulties, and even planes overhead! We started our first day outside the Georgetown Ballroom in Seattle and hit the ground running, photographing urban portraits and showcasing various looks, feels, posing, depth of field, color balance, a whole lot! Then we kicked off a rather important topic when it comes to family photography – well, in all photography (actually, IN ALL OF LIFE): managing self-consciousness. Or, even better, embracing it. We spoke with 11-year-old Lily, and she shared how she can feel nervous when being photographed, especially when others are watching. It was really enlightening to dig into why – I loved this topic, and we ended up getting portraits where she looked anything but self-conscious: The next couple of days included photographing kids and family indoors – specifically, in tricky lighting situations, utilizing a variety of lighting options like constant light, strobes (my favorites, the Profoto B2’s,) with flash, video light/the Ice Light, and of course a reflector. Then we showcased shooting family photography outside, in a field, in a lake, racing around, splashing around – and much, much more. These shoots were slightly chaotic but also just a whole lot of fun. And that’s why I do this work – I truly enjoy it so very much : ) At the end of day two, I was able to share some of the work we’re doing with Beautiful Together, our non-profit in support of children waiting for families. We discussed the heartening tie of philanthropy to photography, and even delved into the subject of adoption, a topic I’ve received a number of questions about over the years. My friend and photographer Vicki Taufer joined us via Skype to discuss her philanthropy and experience with adoption. Then my own family joined me on the set, which was more sweetly emotional than I expected. We answered questions about adoption and our upcoming orphanage project in Ethiopia for Beautiful Together, where we will be renovating several bathrooms that are currently in very poor condition in an orphanage in Addis Ababa. It was amazing to walk off set and immediately realize that our bathroom renovation project was fully-funded due to some big-hearted viewers, people who cared about making a difference to these kids, including one overwhelmingly generous donation that left me speechless. I’ll be sharing updates on Facebook about our progress while we’re in Ethiopia, as we kick off construction very soon. The final day was all focused on the business of children and family photography, and it was intense! We covered a number of topics and hard a large block of time dedicated just to Q&A. I walked through all my gear, in detail, and got to show off a few of my favorite time-saving programs, like Mylio and Fundy Album Designer, the engine behind quickly designing and ordering my favorite Lush Albums (!). I also I shared how I walk through family images with a client after a shoot, including showcasing printed pieces (thanks for sending them in, Nations Photo Lab). We also shared some great promo codes, like 20% off a year of Animoto by using code “LACKEY15” at checkout. And a lot of fantastic ones with Nations Photo Lab, which you can find here, (including $50 credits and 50% off). As much Q&A as we did, I know a lot of people in the chat room couldn’t get their questions answered simply because of the volume, but I’m still trying to answer some of the questions that you have sent in, so bear with me if you haven’t received a response yet – there’s been a lot, along with some really beautiful notes, emails, messages and course reviews. So appreciated. One of the questions I’ve gotten a few times is if I do private workshops. YES, although usually no more than one or two a year. I love them, though, and I’m proud of receiving 100% positive feedback from photographers who have joined me and have shared incredible feedback after the workshops. We only have one left this year – it’s September 22nd-24th in San Francisco, and we only have a few spots left until we are sold out, as we keep them small for more personal interaction. If you’re interested in joining us, you can see more details and book here. I’ll also be sharing some more info about the very cool downtown San Francisco location soon! Lastly, a huge thank you to Meg, my producer, for doing a wonderful job on a rather action-packed program!