My Craftsy.com video on making family portraits. Absolutely free. No money. No obligation. Just free.



Back in late September I was in Colorado making several classes about photography with the folks at Craftsy.com. The first class we did was one about making better photographs of our families. We created a video program that's a little over an hour long and it may be interesting to you on several fronts. If you are just starting your journey taking more controlled portraits you might find a lot of value in watching me succeed (and sometimes fail) in making portraits of one year olds, toddlers, groups, etc. If you aren't into gear you'll be happy that we work a lot in the video with window light, garage door light and one flash, mostly on camera. There are also tidbits and hints on posing, getting the attention of small children and managing bigger groups. The video is well shot, there are no product endorsements or mini-commercials in the actual program. There's really nothing to buy.

On the second front, if you think I'm too serious on the blog you'll find a much lighter aspect of Kirk Tuck as I lay on my stomach and make strange noises in an almost desperate attempt to get the attention of my smaller sitters. My wife and I watched the video for the first time last night and she laughed out loud at some of the things I was trying in order to get the right expressions from pre-toddlers.  If you are a VSL malcontent and think I'm crazy this video will probably confirm your point of view as well.

The Lightroom tutorial at the end of the program is basic and straightforward. You can watch the video as many times as you like.  And when you are through with it you can cruise over and see the little intro trailers to Neil Van Niekirk's classes or Rick Sammon's class.

Everyone I know who uses Craftsy.com as a learning platform loves it. This is your chance to test drive the platform for free.

Belinda and I like Craftsy because we can sit around and watch the programming together. We're both interested in cooking and wines and there's great stuff about that on the site.

It's better than a live workshop because you can watch it over and over again until you master an idea or a technique. And on the paid classes, if you hit the wall and just don't get something you can post questions for the instructor and they'll answer them.

There's also the opportunity to post projects that you do based on what you've learned in the classes and you'll get feedback from the instructors and other members of the class. Kind of like getting a group critique and an instructor critique from the comfort of your own home. Even in your pajamas.

Watch me make a fool of myself and watch as we go through the process of making fun family images.

The class is free and I would love to see some strong support from the VSL crowd. Take a minute to go and watch. Then let the comments fly!



Howard (niagara falls on) said...

A terrific, and generous offer. Anyone, beginner or advanced can mine a tip or two from these. Good on you Kirk and Craftsy for making them available.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Thanks Howard, I appreciate the feedback!

Claire said...

First of all, THANK you for this generous offer, which I immediately jumped upon. As someone who's been very faithfully following your blog (and even occasionally corresponding with you a tiny bit) for well over a year, it is absolutely wonderful to see you "live", and discover another, lighter, more foolish side of you.
Now, about the video, it is a bit of a culture shock for a European to see all the Ohs and Ahs and "you're perfect" and "everything is so amazing" that is so typically USA, but also obviously a must for a professional photographer to keep everybody happy, cooperative and motivated. I smiled quite a lot during the video and congratulated myself for never having the guts to actually go pro ;)
There are indeed a lot of interesting tips to pick up, I loved the garage session, hell I'd never thought of that !! I was a bit stunned to see you using 1/25th of a second, I must not be as steady handed as I like to think I am, as I wouldn't be comfortable going below 1/80th, BUT then I'm not using a tripod, so I guess that's where the delta comes from. I liked to see that we are both ISO320 lovers, for whatever reason this ISO value just seems comfortable, safe and effective. The main difference between me and you is that when you get on your stomach, I flip my NEX's screen, and when you light matches, I meeow !
Thanks again Kirk it was absolutely wonderful, and one spot in particular had me laughting almost to tears. When you pose the father and 6 yr old in the arm chair, I swear if looks could kill you'd be dead from the eye this man is giving you for a second. Excellent work overall, and I'm gonna watch it over again !

Unknown said...

On my way to watch it now, a very generous offer. I will report back once I'm done.

Michael Matthews said...

Thanks, Kirk! Either you're a natural on-camera or the staff at Craftsy includes superb directors, coaches, or whatever the proper term may be. Your presentation is completely natural, engaging, fluent, and easy to follow. The video production values are top flight. It must have been a great learning experience to be on the other side of the lens.

Gordon R. Brown said...

A +1 for Howard's comment.

The class video fell into a death spiral when I was watching it in the Firefox browser. I wound up watching it in the Chome browser.

Lanthus Clark said...

Rock 'n Roll!

Great video very well done Kirk, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey Kirk,
I really enjoyed your video. I had a family shoot last weekend, outdoors, parents, grandparents, boy 6, girl 1 ½ and it was challenging, yielded very good results, happy clients. I learned a lot from your video. Every day that I read your blog I learn and/or am inspired, often both. Keep em' coming.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Wow! We had 1300+ people take the course in the first 24 hours. If you haven't gone and at least looked at the first segment I'd really appreciate your visit. Thanks!

Dave Jenkins said...

It is indeed a generous offer, but I won't be taking advantage of it. When I closed my downtown studio, I told my assistant "I have photographed the last baby or toddler I will ever photograph except for my grandkids!"

Shelly Hoffman said...

Thank you so much, Kirk! I can't wait to watch! And I love seeing your work all over Zach Scott--especially Les Mis! Such a joy that was!

Victor Bloomfield said...

This is not at all the kind of photography I do or intend to do, but - much to my surprise - I enjoyed the video greatly. Kirk, you have a really engaging personality. The lighting and posing lessons had just the right length and weight. The production was impeccable. And making it freely available was very generous. Thanks so much.

Orthusphoto said...

Mr Tuck, your video is really wonderful, down to earth and easy to understand for people that's not that much into the technical aspect of photography, also loved the fact that craftsy is making this one completely free by sole suscribing. Also the postprocess part very simple and understandable, maybe mention there are other alternatives out there would be nice, but over all, great class.

Unknown said...

I am replying to this comment to +1 the culture difference.

Also this was not how I expected you to be, you're more gentle and less stiff than what you seem from your writing, which is sort of on the sarcastic/grumpy side, in short, you don't bite. :-)

Note to the video, that was a generous offer, I've just finished the last session, and I've learned a few things. I really like the matches trick, and how you directed the people in your shots. The technicalities were basic and easily understandable, but that was but your usual style. What I really want to see is how you light your famous big light portraits and how you converse with the subject until you reach the shoot you like.

Good work there, and thanks for the free ride.

Dogster said...

Watched you video, it was great! Thanks Kirk. I have been following your blog for a couple years, enjoy it everyday. It is absolutely wonderful to now have an image of you in motion. You are much different than I would have imagined, and I like it. You seem a genuinely likeable fella, and a great teacher. No wonder you have such a beautiful wife and such a great son.
Once I sent you a criticism of one of your books, but after viewing this video I understand more where you are coming from in your teaching materials, and am happy to understand it.
So, I enjoyed your teaching video, and I enjoyed seeing you, I will now read the blog with a new feel for who you are. Thank you very much Kirk.

Ken James

Don Boys said...

I too jumped at the free learning experience and passed it along to a number of local club members who will participate in charity family shoots before Christmas. We need the posing ideas.

Also subscribed to your excellent paid Craftsy program. I view it much better on my iPad than on my computer. Not the best internet here.

Seem to see the influence of Dean Collins. I just recently purchased his old video collection. You illustration of using one light to do it all is very useful, and seems to carry forward some old knowledge that would otherwise be lost.

My one complaint is not seeing how you fix the exposure, or, assuming 1/125 s, the aperture. But do really enjoy your presentation.