The Family Photographer 12: Lauren Lim on Shooting Awesome Video

On this episode, I talk with Lauren Lim of Photography Concentrate about how to shoot awesome video. Shooting video is more complicated than taking still photos of our family. Why should you bother? Lauren tells us what is special about video and why it’s worth the trouble. We talk about some of the technical considerations of video and why it’s not as hard as you think.

Lauren and Rob have created a thorough and unintimidating tutorial all about Shooting Awesome Video. If you’d like to win the tutorial, leave a comment. A winner will be chosen randomly from the comments on March 7.

Join other Family Photographer listeners in a 365 project on Flickr or Facebook.

Be sure to sign up for weekly emails about the podcast and to see iPhone photos my kids take.

The show is coming out every other week for the time being. There’s a new baby in the house. We’re settling in – a lot of napping, nursing and admiring her soft little feet.

Thanks for listening,


THE LEO LOVES San Diego Family Photographer Erin Oveis Brant_689

The Family Photographer 11: Erin Brant on Joyful Family Photography

THE LEO LOVES San Diego Family Photographer Erin Oveis Brant_667Today’s guest, Erin Brant, makes family photos that are both joyful and honest. She writes on her website, “If you’re looking for perfect family photos (meticulously coordinated outfits, everyone lined up smiling directly into the camera), you’ve probably come to wrong place. If you’re looking to have a really good time and make photos that show your real love and real life…I just might be the photographer for you!!”

In our conversation, Erin tells us about her former photography teacher who saw her photos of her kids and said, “What camera are you using?” When she told him, “My phone.” He said, “I have a camera you can use.”

Erin quickly learned more about photography and soon was being asked by family and friends to take photos for them. In no time, she was in business. These days, she’s based in sunny San Diego.

I loved talking to Erin for the show. Her enthusiasm for family and photography is infectious.

Right now, Erin is working on a course that will be available in May in the Click Photo School titled, “The Happy Now.”

As always, I love hearing from you. If you have a photography question, a guest suggestion, comment about this episode or something else is on your mind, simply reply to this email. It will pop right into my inbox. (I can’t promise my responses will be as quick but I will get back to you.)

The Family Photographer podcast is going to come out every other week for now. We’re welcoming a new person into our family and we’re taking time to settle in.

In two weeks, I’m sharing my conversation with Lauren Lim of Photography Concentrate. Lauren and her husband, Rob, recently released a tutorial, How to Shoot Awesome Video. Lauren talks about what is special about video and tells us in simple terms how to make our family movies great.

Thanks for listening,



The Family Photographer 10: Finishing a 365 Project

During 2016, I did a daily photo project – a 365 project. I took photos, chose one and posted it on Flickr every day. Even though 365 projects can be difficult and demanding, I’m a big fan. I’ve seen so many people come into their own as photographers as a result of doing a daily photo project.

A fabulous group of listeners to the TWiP Family podcast joined me and started daily photo projects of their own. This was not my first project and I knew that a year of photos has its ups and downs.

The day before the project started, I talked to Zane and Simon, who were about to begin their first 365 project. You can hear those conversations on Episode 2 of The Family Photographer. Then, in June of the year, we talked about how they were feeling halfway through their projects. (That episode is here.) Today, I’m sharing our conversation after the project was over.

What did they learn? What was surprising? What was difficult? What are their plans for their photography in the coming year?

The Flickr group is still going strong and there’s a new Facebook group now too. It’s great to have company as you create your year of photos.

To make things easier for me for the next few months as we welcome our new baby, the podcast will come out every other week.

The next show will be out on February 7 and is an interview with photographer, Erin Brandt. Take a minute to check out her bright and joyful family photography.

Thank you for listening to The Family Photographer. If you have a question, comment about the show, guest suggestion or just want to say hello, email me – jenny@thefamilyphotographer.org

Sign up for email updates ———->

– Jenny

Thank you to my sound editor, Suzanne Llewellyn. You might not notice what she does but you would notice if she didn’t do it.


The Family Photographer 9: Kirsten Lewis

I remember telling my photographer friends, “What I really want to do for other people is what I do for my family.” That is, take photos of us just being together on ordinary days. My friends would say, “You’d love Kirsten Lewis.” She was doing what was talking about. She spent all day with families and made funny, honest, and tender photos of the family’s day.

When I started the TWiP Family podcast, I contacted Kirsten right away asking her to be a guest on the show. (You can hear that interview over on This Week In Photo – right here.)

I was thrilled to get another chance to talk with her for this week’s show. Since talking to her the first time, she became a mother. We talk about how having a child of her own has impacted her work with families. We also talk about something she feels very strongly about and I know a lot of you also are interested in – sharing photos of her daughter online. I loved hearing how she keeps her work from being stagnant and she talks about teaching photographers how to use layers in their photos. She also talks about what cameras she’s using these days. I hope you enjoy the show.

As many of you know, I’m expecting our fifth child any day (or week) now. To make way for the new baby, I’m changing how often The Family Photographer comes out. For the next few months, the podcast will come out every other week.

The next show will be out on January 24. The episode is a conversation with my friends, Zane and Simon, who recently finished 365 projects. We talk about how the year went for them. They talk about what they learned, the challenges and highlights of the year as well as thoughts about the year to come.

If you have started a 365 project or are thinking about it, join The Family Photographer 365 Project 2017 group on Flickr or on Facebook. Having a group of friends cheering you on makes all the difference.

Thank you to my sound editor, Suzanne Llewellyn. You might not notice what she does but you would notice if she didn’t do it.

Thank you for listening to The Family Photographer. If you have a question, comment about Kirsten’s interview, guest suggestion or just want to say hello, email me – jenny@thefamilyphotographer.org

I love hearing from you.


Continuous Light

The Family Photographer 7: Simple Portraits of the People You Love

On this short holiday break show, I talk about taking simple portraits of the people you love. My daughter needed a photo for an application and I was surprised to find I didn’t have a simple portrait of her. On the podcast, I talk about why these simple portraits get overlooked, why they are important and some places to find good light for your portraits.

I used three different kinds of light for these recent photos of my kids. The first I used a table top soft box light. The second, is window light. The third is a bounced flash. All three photos are in the room I talk about in the show. It’s the one room in our house that gets a decent amount of light.

This year, I discovered that the doorway of our windowless garage was a good place to take simple portraits.

I love to see photos you make. Share a simple portrait you love in the comments.

Sign up for weekly emails about the show.

Next week, photos in the snow.

January 10, a great conversation with Kirsten Lewis.


TFP 6: Why and How to Take a Group Shot

When we were kids, it was once a year for the Christmas card. Mom would get all six of us together for a photo. Some of us would be smiling and at least one of us would be scowling. One year around Christmas, Mom made an effort to get all her kids, their spouses and the grandkids together for a photo. One grandchild was late and my baby was tired. I didn’t understand what why she was going to the effort of making this photo happen.

I do now. This episode is about why to take group shots and a few things I’ve learned to make it as painless as possible.

The photo above is the photo of my great grandparents and grandmother. Below is the photo I took at my grandmother’s funeral service.



And for fun, my brothers.


Share your favorite group shots in the comments.


The Family Photographer 5: Steve Simon – The Passionate Photographer

screenshot-2016-12-12-21-06-30On today’s show I’m sharing my conversation with Steve Simon. Steve’s book, The Passionate Photographer – Ten Steps to Becoming Great has been on of my favorite photography books since I read it a few years ago.

Steve has a long history as a photographer in photojournalism, documentary and now street photography. Since he began taking photos in his teens, he’s been a generous teacher. Now he’s also a father of a two year old son.

On today’s episode, we talk about how learning to use your camera gets your camera out of the way of making great photos. Steve recently read a book, The One Thing, that talks about why working on just one thing at a time is valuable.


The Family Photographer 4: Kate Densmore – Stories of Home

On today’s show I’m sharing my conversation with Kate Densmore. Kate’s book, Stories of Home, was recently released on Craft and Vision. Kate’s book beautifully combines technical instruction with questions about why and how we make our work.

Kate is a mother of two who lives with her husband and kids at Grand Canyon National Park. We have a great discussion about composition. We talk about clutter vs. context, when a photograph is a so-so moment in great light, and which lines to pay attention to in your composition. We also talk about taking time to discover your “why” – why do you make the photos you do of your family and why it will make your work stronger to give it some thought.

Kate’s book is fabulous. Kate’s giving away a copy of her book. For a chance to win, leave a comment and a photo you’ve made that shows a composition you are happy with. A winner will be chosen December 20th.

For 30% off her book, go to Craft and Vision and use the coupon code FAMILYPHOTO30.

Next week, I’m sharing my conversation with Steve Simon, The Passionate Photographer.

The Family Photographer 3: Spencer Lum on Looking for the Unexpected

screenshot-2016-11-28-19-39-57On this episode, I share my conversation with Spencer Lum. Spencer is a father of two, a Brooklyn based wedding photographer at 5 West Studios, the author of the award winning and fascinating photography blog Ground Glass, as well as a speaker and educator.

I talk with Spencer about the in between moments he looks for when photographing for both his clients and his own family. We explore the question: What is a snapshot? Spencer talks about why he loves a mysterious, unpretentious snapshot. I ask him when it’s a good idea to copy other photographer’s work, and we talk about why asking a photographer what lens they use isn’t the best question to ask.

Spencer also tells us about the challenging and strange projects he makes for himself by giving himself many limitations and what he has learned from the projects.

You can see Spencer’s projects on Instagram, 5 West Studios, Ground Glass

After the interview, I asked Spencer what the best and worst money he’s spent on photography. I also asked him something he’s learned in his years as a father. To hear his answers, sign up for email updates. His answers are included with this episode’s email.

I love photography projects. I’m in my last month of a daily project, a 365 Project. I’ve been joined by a fun, friendly and talented group of photographers. You can join us and see everyone’s projects in our Flickr Group.

Next week, I’m sharing my conversation with Kate Densmore. She recently released the e-book Stories of Home at Craft and Vision.

Is there someone you’d love to hear on the show or a topic you would like to learn more about?

Email me: jenny@thefamilyphotographer.org

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