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Envisioning Family: A photographer's guide to making meaningful portraits of the modern family (Voices That Matter) [Paperback]

by Tamara Lackey
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 25, 2011 0321803574 978-0321803573 1
FAMILY A small word with powerful meaning. Most of us trace the roots of our own personal identity back  to our experience of being part of a family. The definition of what a family is can vary widely, but most family photography is anything but varied. We are used to the basic posing of a group, assembled and smiling like they never do in real life. This doesn't offer much visual or emotional impact.

Create an image that captures the spirit of a family as well as the individualism of the membersand you start at a magical place. That family now feels something when they view the photograph.

In Tamara Lackey's Envisioning Family: A photographer's guide to making meaningful portraits of the modern family, Lackey reinvents the family photo for photographers. A top portrait photographer and sought-after speaker, Lackey reveals her techniques for getting each member of the family to feel at home in front of the camerawhether they're in her studio, at home, or on location.

With this book you'll learn how to use backgrounds that complement your subjects, set up and shoot in-studio, light your images anywhere with straightforward lighting setups and diagrams, pose your subjects in a beautiful but natural way, nail your exposure, and create meaningful family portraits that leave everyone feeling and looking their honest best.

For professional portrait photographers looking to inject some new vitality into their work or aspiring family photographers who would like to take more authentic images, this guide will help capture the modern family.

Frequently Bought Together

Envisioning Family: A photographer's guide to making meaningful portraits of the modern family (Voices That Matter) + The Art of Children's Portrait Photography
Price for both: $55.42

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  • The Art of Children's Portrait Photography $24.17

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tamara Lackey is a photographer, author, teacher, and speaker with a passion for the creative arts. A mother of three, Tamara has photographed thousands of families over the years. Her work has been described as "expressive, soulful, often funny... beautiful" Appearing in a multitude of publications, including O -  The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Food and Wine, and Parenting Magazine, Tamara has been profiled in Rangefinder, Professional Imagemaker, and Professional Photographer magazines. Her imagery has been showcased on NBC's The Martha Stewart Show, ABC's Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition, and PBS' Need To Know.

Product Details

  • Series: Voices That Matter
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (December 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321803574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321803573
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tamara Lackey's images have been described as expressive, authentic, and moving. Featured repeatedly in Rangefinder Magazine, Professional Photographer Magazine, and Professional ImageMaker, she speaks and teaches at workshops and conventions throughout the world. She released "Inside Contemporary Children's Photography", a 90-minute feature video for portrait photographers and "Capturing Life Through (Better) Photography", a book & DVD set for every day shooters.

Tamara's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Vogue, O Magazine, Town & Country and Parenting Magazine. Her photography has also been showcased on NBC's The Martha Stewart Show, NBC's The Today Show and ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Her books include The Art of Children's Portrait Photography, Capturing Life Through (Better) Photography and Envisioning Family. She also hosts reDefine, a web series focused on the business of creative inspiration - redefineshow.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first came across Tamara Lackey via her Creative Live session which gave me lots of information, a good dose of inspiration and a feeling of wanting more. I started following her and was able to attend one of her workshops which did not disappoint. While I learned a lot during the intense 3 day workshop, I know there's a lot more to learn so I pre-ordered this book back in Oct. Finally got my copy a week ago and I finished the book in one seating. It's like a good novel that you just can't put down except instead of fiction, I am getting loads of very good information from one of the best creative/business professional in the industry.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is just starting out to someone who is already in the thick of their photography career. Tamara breaks it down to the reader in a way that only she can, with wit and common sense that makes her so relatable. The book covers a spectrum of topics from portrait photography essentials, gears, prepping for the shoot, connecting with subjects, location scouting, lighting, basic composition and posing, and even the basics of setting up your own studio. It is a very practical reference book that focuses on the day to day realities of a working photographer and not so much of the technical literature that some authors tend to focus on.

Definitely a good investment!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Tamara Lackey. I've read her book "The Art of Children's Portrait Photography" which contained a wonderful dialogue on the phycology of children and the different types of personalities they have and how to work with them. Her method is the best I have ever seen. I also watched her CreativeLive workshop on the same topic, which allowed me to watch her in action and learn even more. I then attended her photography workshop in Bar Harbor Maine, which had half a day dedicated to the business side of running a photography. It was intense and amazing and you got a very clear idea of how Tamara runs her studio and all that is involved in it. The entire workshop was amazing and worth every penny.

I was always left wishing she had a book out there with LOTS of color photographs, because I am so inspired by her photos. Enter "Envisioning Family" an incredible book that amasses so much information it will leave your head spinning, in a good way. She gets personal and talks about what family really means to her and how her own children have effected her photograph. It contains a nice breakdown of how she works (shooting JPG! *GASP* When you get it right in camera you don't have to shoot RAW, though I still do because my exposure can sometimes be off a smidgen with those moving kids) and what lens's she uses and why. You learn all about how she works and why she works the way that she does.

This book applies to any sort of photography that has you photographing people outside and in there homes (and in the studio) so its really a phenomenal book for ANY photographer not just children and families.

Another key part of the book is just that, families. It's a lot more difficult to juggle getting the shot when you have Mom, Dad and three siblings vs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I expected, plus more. June 24, 2012
By Joe I
This book was everything I expected, plus more.

Lackey opens with two chapters explaining a bit about the history of what we consider "the family unit." She also touches on views of various family networks around the world. Her personal experiences--especially those of adoption--are explained as she weaves her views about the ever-evolving redefinition of what we call "family."

Equipment and studio space considerations and explanations are next discusses. Lackey describes her kit and studio, succinctly telling the reader what her options are and why she selected what she did. If one shoots a variety of subjects and has a variety of lenses, this section will help to avoid over packing.

The remainder of the book is a wonderful quilt of topics (lighting, locations, posing, and interaction) with beautiful, warm, and funny photographs of children, pets, parents, and locations that illustrate the topic addressed. With work seen in O, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Men's Journal, and Professional Photographer magazines, one can be certain that the images are clean, breathtaking, and send messages about how we see--and should see--what this world calls "a family."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tamara is just such a great resource for people who value other human beings and what photography subsequently can do to convey your love for others.

I'm not a professional photographer (although I probably spend like one on gear in some months). I value my equipment and the people I choose to shoot my shutter toward. She really breaks both the technical aspects and the humanity of photography in such succinct, wonderfully illustrative and moving ways that you can't help but be compelled to take your camera and use it for the good of your fellow man (and know what lens to use when doing so) immediately after reading this book.

I bought my first DSLR last June and quickly delved into the realm of photography. My camera's manual and Tamara's other book, "Capturing Life Through Better Photography" helped me as a newb. This book helps me on a different level. I know the basics of my camera and I relish in her expertise and love of her subjects as she explores the art of photography in this book. I can't recommend this book enough.

I cried during the 1st 2 chapters and learned my gear (and the gear that I aspire to have) in the subsequent chapters. Bravo, Tamara. This book rocks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For the amateur and professional
This is a superb reference and will be utilized often in the years ahead. It also makes a swell gift.
Published 1 month ago by Vladimir N
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
Thank you Tamara for an amazing book full of wonderful information. I will purchase other books from you! You are such a personal writer and it shows! Thanks again!
Published 5 months ago by MrsTib
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
Detailed, descriptive, images used as examples, simple easy to understand and keeps the reader engaged. Also some great tips for the beginner photographer.
Published 6 months ago by infinite
2.0 out of 5 stars Photography 101
I'm an established photographer but want ideas and inspiration on how to get more creative with my family portrait sessions. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Grace Hayden
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Beautiful images & some good information for taking family portraits. I actually prefer to hear Tamara speak live, but the book is a good alternative to those who can't see her in... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bijouxlover
2.0 out of 5 stars For a photo mom
Not much information here. If you just picked up your first camera you might find this of interest, but you sure don't need it. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Artist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 just isn't enough.
I'd give this book way more stars if I could. The images are beautiful, the writing is easy to read and entertaining. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Faith
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative book on child/family photography!
Tamara is really a great photographer and author. I've really enjoyed reading this book and refer to the methods and insight on child/family photography often. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ryan Wise
5.0 out of 5 stars a gift for my daughter
My daughter is a professional photographer, and I know she researched this book well before putting it on her "wish list. Read more
Published 17 months ago by N. Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars How a few words on a few pages changed my photography
I kinda have this girl crush. This woman is amazing to me. She has 3 kids, runs several successful businesses, is an author, teacher, and is pretty much awesomeness wrapped in a... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Karen Meissner
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