Beginning Family Portrait Photography: Shoot Like a Pro

Go from boring snapshots to amazing family portraits. Your kids will LOVE to pose for you when they see your photos.
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  • Lectures 36
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 9/2014 English

Course Description

More than 1900 students have enrolled and have left over 45 5-star, rave reviews.

After taking my photography course, your kids and perhaps even their friends will be begging you to take their portraits too!

What You'll Learn:

  • How to position your subject indoors and outdoors for the best lighting.
  • Posing ideas for women, men, teens and younger children.
  • How to choose the right camera settings for more attractive, professional looking portraits.
  • The best types of lenses for portrait photography (for DSLR users).
  • Background ideas

This course will show you how to use the available light, without special lighting set-ups, to take amazing portraits of your kids. Outdoors, you'll learn where to position your subject and yourself in relation to the sun for the best lighting. You'll also get tips on taking indoor portraits without using your flash.

You'll learn a basic formula for your camera settings that will help you take better portraits. You'll also get a general understanding of exposure and how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together.

We've all taken those photos where the background looks great but your subject's face is so dark you can barely recognize them, or maybe you want to know how pros get the background to look all blurry in portraits. Many people are intimidated by using their DSLR or compact camera's manual settings and just don't know where to start. That Auto Mode is so tempting and easy. But getting out of the Auto Mode will open the door to more creative, professional looking photos of your kids.

What you won't get is a lot of super technical stuff. This is a non-technical photography course designed to get you up and going quickly. It's created for parents and others who want to go beyond taking ordinary snapshots and learn how to take better portraits and family photos without a lot of equipment.

You can go a step further and watch over my shoulder as I import and edit photos in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Lightroom is a popular, relatively inexpensive software program designed specifically for photographers. If you enjoy taking photos, you may want to consider this software. You can get a free trial at Adobe.

With my course you get:

  • Over 1900 happy students have already taken this course
  • Over three dozen glowing, 5-star Reviews
  • Unlimited lifetime course access at no extra cost
  • All future additional lectures and supplementary material included for free, always
  • Unconditional, no questions asked, Udemy 30-day money-back guarantee

Your children are growing fast. You don't want another day to go by without capturing memorable photos of them, not just quick smartphone snapshots.

What are the requirements?

  • A DSLR camera is recommended, but any point-and-shoot with the ability to adjust settings manually will work. Much of what is covered will apply to any camera, such as lighting and posing. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is helpful for editing your photos. You can download a free 30-day trial at adobe.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Easy to follow
  • Relaxed, non-techie teaching style
  • An understanding of the best camera lenses for portraits
  • An understanding general camera settings to use to take portraits
  • Learn how to get more/less depth of field
  • Ideas for posing your kids for a more attractive composition
  • Learn how to import images and make simple edits and enhancements to your images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Who is the target audience?

  • Beginner photo enthusiasts, parents and anyone who wants to learn how to take portraits without complicated lighting setups or extra equipment. DSLR users who are new to using manual settings.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Camera and Lens Basics

Overview DSLRs vs compact cameras and smartphones. You can get great shots with any of them.


Get an understanding of the effect different lenses can have on your portraits and learn the difference between zoom lenses and prime lenses.


Your camera’s sensor size can affect the actual focal length of your lens. Get an understanding of what this means and why it matters.


Learn what kind of lenses work best for taking portraits and why longer lenses are better.

5 questions

5 true/false and multiple choice questions

Section 2: Photography Basics

Understanding how the aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together to produce the correct exposure.


Learn the difference between shallow and wide depth of field and how to use the aperture setting to control it.


What is exposure compensation and how you can use it to get better exposure when you have strongly contrasting foreground and background lighting.


Get a basic formula to follow for your settings to ensure you get great portraits every time.


How to get tack sharp focus for your portraits using the focus and recompose technique and selecting a single focal point.


Tips on getting a better background blur when using your smartphone or compact point and shoot.

4 questions

4 multiple choice questions

Section 3: Photographing in Different Lighting Situations

Understand how your light source, the quality and direction of light and time of day affect your portraits.


How to position your subject and recommended camera settings when taking photos around sunrise or sunset, the so-called Golden Hours.


Where to position your subject in relation to the sun and recommended white balance settings.


What to do to avoid shadows on the face if you have to shoot when the sun is high in the sky.


How to take portraits inside without using your flash or artificial lights.


We'll look a several reasons your photos might not be sharp and what you can do about it

4 questions

4 true/false and multiple choice questions

Section 4: Posing Your Subjects

A look at some cropping and framing issues. Learn when and where to chop off someone’s arms or legs and even part of their head in a shot.

Posing Young Children
Standing Poses for Women and Girls
Sitting Poses for Women and Girls
Standing and Sitting Poses for Men and Boys
Posing Family Group Photos

How to get everyone in focus when photographing large groups

Choosing a Background
4 questions

4 true/false and multiple choice questions

Section 5: Editing Your Photos in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

What Lightroom is, how it works and why many photographers use it for image editing and management.


A walk-through of importing photos from your memory card as well as images you already have on your computer.


Take one image through the import and editing process and then export it as a jpeg for print


Learn techniques for setting proper white balance and tone for good skin color


How to remove blemishes using the spot removal tool. Learn the difference between the Healing and Cloning modes.


Techniques for softening wrinkles and smoothing skin


Learn how to make eyes pop using the Adjustment Brush.


Simple method to fix under-eye circles

Darkening Eyebrows and Eyelashes
Teeth Whitening
Section 6: Conclusion
Course Wrap-Up

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Instructor Biography

Valerie Goettsch loves to teach and help others learn. She designed Taking Family Portraits in Natural Light in a practical, non-technical format with lots of visuals and examples so people can learn at their own speed. She has also produced a series of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom tutorials for beginners, who appreciate her non-techie, simple teaching style. She specializes in teaching introductory courses with a short learning curve so people can get up and running quickly. Valerie plans additional Udemy courses on Lightroom. She is also owner of a website with in-depth reviews of popular photo companies and software and fun creative ideas.

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