Contemporary Children’s Portrait Photography, with Tamara Lackey

Join lifestyle photographer Tamara Lackey on location as she shares a wealth of tips and tricks earned from over a decade of photographing families and children.

This class is all about photographing kids! Tamara covers the technical side of working with natural light, reflectors, and her go-to gear, as well as the critical people skills needed to recognize personality types, handle tantrums, and roll with the range of moods your subjects will exhibit.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Contemporary Portrait Photography (Duration 05:59)

What is contemporary portrait photography? It is all about expression, spirit, and capturing something fresh and new while working within the rules of traditional photography.

Lesson 2: Matching the Mood (Duration 07:44)

You need to work with the mood of your subject to help them feel at ease and become more comfortable in front of the camera.

Lesson 3: Ramping Up (Duration 09:40)

Once the subject has become more engaged and comfortable you can take the energy up a few notches, change wardrobe, and change locations.

Lesson 4: Preparing for the Shoot (Duration 13:29)

There are three things to consider when getting ready for a portrait session.

Lesson 5: Outdoor Location Shoots (Duration 07:01)

An outdoor location can be a great place to start working with kids and building a rapport.

Lesson 6: Working with Sibling Dynamics (Duration 09:12)

Working with siblings with different energy and interest levels can present challenges and opportunities in a portrait session.

Lesson 7: Backlighting (Duration 08:34)

While in an outdoor location you can take advantage of the sunlight as a backlighting source while using a reflector as fill light.

Lesson 8: Posing Playbook (Duration 12:33)

Keeping a set of posing ideas on hand can help inspire you to try new poses while on location.

Lesson 9: Working in the Subject's Home (Duration 11:27)

If shooting in the subject's home there are a number of things you can do to increase natural light, scout the best angles, and remove unwanted visual clutter before you shoot.

Lesson 10: Transforming a Room into a Clean Shooting Space (Duration 07:54)

With the home owner's permission you can adjust window light and furniture to create a better environment for the portrait session.

Lesson 11: Changing up the Composition (Duration 07:33)

You don't want to end up with a series of the same composition with different backgrounds.

Lesson 12: Recognizing Personality Types (Duration 16:52)

There are basically six different personality types that most kids will fit into when they show up for the photo session.

Meet Your Instructor: Tamara Lackey

Tamara Lackey is a renowned portrait photographer and Nikon USA Ambassador whose lifestyle photography, from children’s portraits to celebrity portraits, has appeared in dozens of media outlets, including O -…


  1. Excellent course! Extremely well presented. I was looking forward to this one and it certainly did not disappoint. There were several references to post production throughout this course, I'm really hoping that Tamara does a course on her approaches to that as well.

  2. It was a great course, especially when it is my first one to watch about children's portrait photography. A lot of different tips about how to become a better children's portrait photographer and not least how to communicate, interact and play with different types of children. Really fun to watch and I must say I learned a lot from this course. Thanks for sharing your priceless knowledge about your portrait photography.

  3. I wasn't familiar with Tamara until I searched "family portraits" and after watching her video I realized its the most information I have remembered at once from Kelby Training. She captures your attention and only gives you information your'e going to use. There's no fillers or 900 examples of something. I added it to my favorites and when I saw the next course I again pulled a lot of information from it. In her Contemporary children video she speaks about doing alot of beach photography.. Something I'm learning about by trial and error and to have her do an entire course would be FANTASTIC! I struggle with perfection and there's no real good material or videos out there that I've come across! Scott and Team it would be an amazing thing to get her to give her secrets of beach photography success! As a growing photographer in a world of many, I'm determined to conquer the sun, the sand, and the glare! I live near Siesta Key FL (your backyard!)

  4. I highly recommend! I ordered KelbyTraining (yesterday) partially because I was so excited to see training by Tamara added to the collection. My first course did not disappoint. Tamara is an excellent teacher and she tells you what she's doing as she works through each scenario in the course. Her interaction with children is real and productive, plus her photography is technically and stylistically very impressive to me. As others have mentioned, I too, would love to see Tamara's post production process.

  5. I really enjoyed this course, loved the description of the different children at the end we can all relate to those in someway. Great amount of tips in dealing with children and fun as well the process.

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