Learning To Take Professional Family Portraits with Craftsy Class

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Craftsy. The opinions and text are all mine.

About a year and a half ago I finally invested in a DSLR camera. I wanted to finally take great photos for my blog. Without any formal education, it can be overwhelming at times. Even after buying books, watching videos, reading tutorials and hands on practicing… there is still so much more I need to learn. It’s hard to take the time out to learn more but also to find the best tools for people like me. I’ve always been intrigued with Craftsy and recently found out about their free Professional Family Portraits class! I had a chance to watch the videos and see how things work to share with you in this sponsored post.

This particular class on Craftsy is taught by Kirk Tuck who is a professional photographer. Overall, I found the class to be easy to follow, informative and fun. What I like most is that the instructor is very charismatic and knowledgeable. He explains things in an easy to follow manner. He also takes us right into the scene with real life scenarios. For example, he photographs real people and explains the process from start to finish. The course covers photography strategies to essentially help people look their best from infants to adults.

Setting The Scene for Home Photography

From preparing in advance like finding the place to take photos to scoping out an uncluttered background, this free Professional Family Portraits class covers all of the basics. Sometimes you’ll want a clear one toned background and other times you must choose more of what is referred to as an environmental background to showcase something in the home as a part of the overall photo. Another one of the most important things to do is to finding a location that is near good lighting. I know that I struggle with this when it comes to photographing food and objects. I learned that the garage is a great place to consider! Never would have thought of that. Another interesting thing that is explained is how important natural sunlight can be to perfectly lit photos.

Family Portraits: Toddlers, Adults & Groups

Toddlers are wiggly, aren’t they? They are some of the most difficult subjects to capture in portraits because of their short attention span. The class shares some really wonderful ideas on how to do this easily. From attention getting techniques, to using a white foam core underneath your toddler. The white really brings out beautiful coloring. I actually put this idea to the test with my cat (keep reading!). Another great tip for taking pics of toddlers is to get into their eye level. Maybe this means, snapping pictures on the floor.

Adults are obviously much easier models, this is where the focus on lighting, flash and shadows can really make all the impact in trying to get great photos. Playing with indoor and outdoor settings are all covered and better than that, you get to join Kirk Tuck as he is actually taking photos of people. It’s awesome!

Taking photos of your entire family has it’s own set of tips and ideas. First, you’ll need to find a location large enough to fit everyone in. This is where outdoor photo taking comes in. The videos cover great tips for this as well.

I decided to take photos of Smokie, our big fluffy cat to test some of the simple ideas tough in this free Craftsy class. For the first photo, I simply just took a picture of him as he was and without considering the lighting or background at all.

I had a white vinyl backdrop that I decided to place under the cat to see if it would work the same as the foam core. The idea is that you want to bounce the flash back up at subject. For the most part, I think this technique worked with my substitute. I also applied some other tips that were suggested for taking photos with toddlers here. The cat was freaked out by the vinyl at first, but was settled when he was being pet. So, I decided to include that in the photo. For post processing, I also blurred out the background to keep the focus on the cat.

Post Photo Processing Techniques & Tips

One of my very favorite things to do after taking photos is to try to improve them using photo editing programs. The class includes post processing techniques to take photos from fun to fantastic. The videos cover basics in Lightroom and Photoshop. This was exciting, because I definitely want and need to learn so much more with this.

I loved everything that I learned in this class and I’m definitely looking forward to taking more in the future. I highly recommend signing up for this free class asap!

–> Sign up now for this free Professional Family Portraits class!

Learn how to take beautiful, professional-looking photos of your own family with Craftsy’s free Professional Family Portraits class. Sign up now for this free Professional Family Portraits class!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Craftsy. The opinions and text are all mine.

Want More?

Sign up to get more FREE cute & clever ideas delivered fresh to your inbox daily!

Friends? Drop a comment below & say hi!


  1. says

    Oh this is great! I’ve been dying to take some lessons on photography but can never find the time to commit to it out of the house. I love that I can do this at home!

  2. says

    I really need to get over to craftsy! I have heard nothing but praise about it and there are quite a few classes I want to take. I just need to find the time now!

  3. Angela S says

    My Mom and I both took this class and got so much from it. I’ll definitely be looking into taking more Craftsy classes.

  4. says

    I really need to take a photography class but have never had the time! Something like this would work so well for me!

  5. Shauna says

    I had no clue that Craftsy offered photography classes, I thought it was all knitting and sewing. I have learned over the years to declutter before photos and to get down on their level.

  6. Melanie a/k/a CrazyMom says

    Great post Dawn.. I love to learn new tips and tricks for my Photos. Will Pin it so I can check up on it the next time I take some Portraits.. how do you blur the background? I love that but don’t have a camera that will do that.. is there a way in Photoshop?

  7. says

    Very cool…I had no clue that a class like this would have post processing techniques. I use Photoshop and Lightroom, but can always use more lessons in it.

  8. says

    Great tips! I have a very close friend that is a photographer and she is great about giving tips too. I am guilty of photo shopping some of the photos I take with my phone.

  9. says

    I recently purchased a DSLR and have realized I am so far in over my head. This Craftsy class sounds like one of the things that I really need.

  10. Amy Desrosiers says

    I purchased a pricier camera so I could start to take my own portraits of my kids at home. Of course I love new camera tricks and tips to make my portraits better!

  11. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    I totally need a class like this. Sometimes I just can not seem to get the pictures I want, so I pay a small fortune for someone else to do it.

  12. says

    It sounds like a really great class. I love the tip about using white foam board. I’ve never thought of that before, but it makes really great sense.

    It is so nice to be able to take a class on your own time, and do it at home in your pajamas.

  13. Danielle says

    I love Craftsy so much! And I would love to learn how to do this… I am signing up for this class. Thank you!

  14. says

    We have a professional photo setup but I hate pulling it out. I should however take some classes because I am terrible at light setup for decreasing shadows.