Before They Grow Up: Photographing Childhood
with kellie bieser
may 8, 2016
june 5, 2017
register now >
Full Participation sold out.
From the minute they enter the world, our children are our everything. Their smiling faces, their sparkling eyes, their little hands and itty bitty feet…everything about them becomes the focus of our universe. And it all changes so quickly! Luckily, we are armed with a tool that can freeze time and capture all of those little things we love most: our cameras! Whether photographing our own children or the children of our clients, we have the opportunity to not only capture the physical traits of our young subjects, but also to create images that reflect their unique personalities. Throughout this four week course, we will cover the technical aspects of photographing children in various genres to create images that match our individual artistic vision. In four image-filled PDFs and weekly videos, we will discuss the creative choices that we can make as photographers, both behind the camera and in post processing, to allow our work to capture the emotion of childhood and the beautiful personalities of our child subjects. (Are you an alum of Kellie’s old course, Photographing Childhood? If so please contact us before signing up to find out more about overlap between the old course and the new course.)
daily shooting encouraged
6-8 hours of work per week
this course has prerequisites
Students should be comfortable shooting in manual mode with a firm understanding of the exposure triangle.
Kellie Bieser is a wife, mother, and visual historian based in Columbus, OH. Armed with a Nikon D750, Df, and a happy collection of lenses, she strives to not only capture faces and places but also the feelings and emotions that define a particular moment in time. Assisted by a bottomless cup of black coffee, Kellie likes to spend her time away from the camera running, reading, and playing in the yard with the kids. Kellie’s portfolio is available here.
The following photographers also participate in discussions and provide assignment critiques as teaching assistants:
A number of course alumni are invited to engage in discussion, share insight with students, and provide feedback and encouragement throughout the course.
• Intro week PDF
• Week One PDF – Creating a foundation for creating photographs of children
• Week One bonus PDF – infusion childhood portraits with emotion
• Week One shooting video – evoking emotion from children
• Week Two PDF – Creating traditional child portraits
• Week Two editing video – basic retouching
• Week Two bonus PDF – including parents in the frame
• Week Three PDF – Creating lifestyle child portraits
• Week Three editing videos – garage portrait edit and adding textures in Photoshop
• Week Three bonus PDF – photographing multiple children
• Week Four PDF – Creating documentary child portraits
• Week Four editing video – basic black and white editing
• Week Four bonus PDF – Embracing the snapshot
• Custom Editing Videos (based on the needs of the class)
Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.
Welcome & Preassignment
Reading: Studying the role of children in art; defining our own associations with childhood; creating emotions in portrait work; artist interview with Caroline Jensen; how to evoke emotions from a child client (video).
Assignment: Create a child portrait that embodies your definition of childhood
Reading: Studying the art of the traditional portrait; defining traditional portraiture and discussing various aspects that enable success in this genre; artist interview with Allison McSorley; basic retouching in Photoshop (video)
Assignment: Create a traditional child portrait and share the aspects of the frame that you considered in your process.
Reading: Studying the art of the lifestyle portrait; defining lifestyle portraiture and discussing various aspects that enable success in this genre; artist interview with Lisa Tichané; how to get a child to relax in a controlled setting (video)
Assignment: Create a lifestyle child portrait and share the aspects of the frame that you considered in your process.
Reading: Studying the art of the documentary portrait; defining documentary portraiture and discussing various aspects that enable success in this genre; artist interview; waiting for the moment (video)
Assignment: Create a documentary child portrait and share the aspects of the frame that you considered in your process.
The CMU workshop is a 100% online classroom experience. Once you sign up, you have access to a course forum that is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.
Each week students receive a set of course materials– these materials generally include a PDF and/or videos. Throughout the week, instructors and TAs are present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement. Students receive an assignment each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and class discussion throughout the week.
Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive instructor critiques each week. They also have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.
Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.
Whether you are a Full Participation student or a Study Along student, the course materials are yours to keep.