My wedding season is winding down, but my children's portrait photography sessions are starting to pickup. It's just the nature of things as we cycle from one season to the next.
In my pursuit to be better than I was last year, I looked around to see whose work and expertise could elevate me as an artist. One name that kept popping up to the top of my head was Tamara Lackey.
Let me at the outset tell you that Tamara is a friend. We first met at a workshop hosted by Jesh de Rox. Tamara and I continued to stay in touch (and that's one good way to be on top of someone's mind, eh?) but both our studios got busier and things got a little quiet. Then all of a sudden I heard that Tamara had written a book called The Art of Children's Photography.
Subsequently, I met her at Learnfest, another workshop hosted this time by Tamara, Audrey Woulard, Lena Hyde and Laura Novak. (Learnfest is now on an indefinite hiatus and that's why the link points to a very good review of that workshop!)
In early January of this year, Tamara announced that she had co-produced a DVD with Rex Ballard, called Inside Contemporary Children's Photography. I sent Tamara a message saying that I was intrigued by the DVD and wanted to know where I could buy it. Her prompt response was to simply ask for my address. A couple of days later I received her generous gift. So, let me be clear that I did receive this DVD gratis. This blog post, however wasn't solicited by her or me. It was truly an after thought because I absolutely loved what Tamara was able to teach me in 90-very-quick-minutes. I say “quick” because it left me wanting to hear and see more.
Her breakdown of different kinds of children and how to approach them was my biggest take away. I have two kids of my own whom I photograph constantly, but that doesn't make me an expert on all the different kinds of kids there are in the world. Tamara, of course, generalizes to some extent. But her opinions come from the vantage point of a lot of experience. Just look at her images and you will be amazed at how intact the children's souls remain. In some children, she is playful and down-right goofy. While working with some others – those who are cranky or shy, her approach is much more reserved and quiet. In any of the scenarios, you can tell that being respectful of children is very important.
There is also a fairly detailed section of the DVD where Tamara and her studio director talk about how to run a successful portrait photography business. If you are starting out, this is going to be doubly valuable to you.
I wholly recommend this DVD if you are considering specializing in children's photography or at least making it part of your business.
Be sure that your approach is going to be different (and Tamara and I hope that it will be), so please don't think of this DVD as a template for what you MUST do. Think of it as a template of what you CAN do. These are suggestions and very good ones that will help you make your business sing if you adopt even just a few of them.
I wholly recommend this DVD if you are considering specializing in children's photography or at least making it part of your business. Tamara's approach is genuine and her love of children is as clear as a sunny day. The DVD itself is very well produced. After all, Rex Ballard's litany of achievements as a Director of Photography and Cinematographer include National Geographic and The History Channel.
You can buy this helpful tutorial as a DVD or a download here. [This isn't an affiliate link and I don't get a dime for promoting it!]
BONUS: If you are going to be in New York City this Friday (October 29, 2010), Tamara Lackey will be presenting at Photo Plus Expo. She is an enthusiastic speaker and her presentation is not to be missed.
UPDATE: Tamara has generously given Tiffinbox readers a $30 discount if you buy her DVD by Friday – November 5, 2010. That brings your price down to $169. This is NOT an affiliate offer and I don't make a dime for promoting it here. Yeah, it's that good. Get it!