Making Moment Driven Pictures with Kirsten Lewis

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Nothing is better than real life and pictures of real-life moments make the viewer connect to the subjects and the photograph. The catch is that making great real-life moment pictures is hard…really, really hard. Documentary family photography is not just about “capturing everyday life”– it’s about making deliberate, well-thought-out photographs that will elicit an emotional response from the viewer, all while not controlling or influencing the environment in any way. Additionally, the more personally connected the photographer is to their own point of view, the stronger the end result will be. This Breakout is an introduction to making moment-driven pictures and embracing the art of real-life photography.


• Applying The Ethics of Photojournalism to Family Photography Technical Tips for Storytelling
• Create A Goal’s List For Every Session
• Approaching A Scene With Purpose
• Point of View
• Tight vs. Wide Shots
• Shooting For The Future
• Shooting Through A Scene
• Action and Reaction
• Action vs. Moment


A 77 page eBook
Critique Video
Video of Kirsten Walking You Through Her Contact Sheets
Q & A video

*Please note: All items in this listing are digital downloads that must be downloaded to a computer (you may transfer to an iPad after your original download to a computer).  Due to the nature of the product, refunds are not allowed for digital products.


Kirsten Lewis is a documentary family photographer based in Denver, Colorado, although her work brings her all over the world– from New Zealand to Dubai, Brazil to Canada, Italy to Hawaii. She is a professional educator who teaches documentary family photography as a desirable alternative to the traditional family portrait. Kirsten’s talks are known to make you laugh one minute and tear up the next, inspiring her listeners to go confront their fears, identify their insecurities and push forward. She is regularly featured on the Huffington Post, gives interviews around the world and is listed as one of the top 100 photographers on Fearless Photographers, but it is her role as a mother to Byrdie Mae and wife to street photographer Gregory Bethmann that brings her the most pride and joy. Well, that and any Scrabble victory, which are countless.

8 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    So so good

    Posted by Unknown on 15th Apr 2018

    Not conventional in the sense that you see Kirsten shoot. Far more valuable is you get to see the pics she has taken. Then you see some edits. Then you see three hours of critique. I've learned so much from this all I can say is thank you. And if you're reading this and wondering whether you should buy it. Go for it - very keenly priced for such good content.

  • 5
    Great information for anyone who wants to become a documentary photographer

    Posted by Koren on 27th Oct 2017

    Loved this breakout. There's questions in the eBook that helped me to dig deep and realize what drives me to take the photos I do. I enjoyed watching her cull/edit her photos and got great insight from her critic of others photos. She has an encouraging and down to earth personality that makes it easy to trust in and learn from her experience. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking to break into the documentary world.

  • 5
    a must have!

    Posted by Unknown on 14th Jun 2017

    Kirsten always delivers great content! I love her teaching style as much as her photography, and this breakout was more than i expected.

  • 5
    One of the best

    Posted by Unknown on 13th Mar 2017

    This was definitely one of my favorite break-outs so far. There is a TON of information - definitely worth it.

  • 5
    I really enjoyed Kirsten’s Breakout session.

    Posted by Jen on 7th Mar 2017

    I really liked seeing how she culled through her photos and hearing her thoughts on which photos worked better and why. I also was relieved to see how she edited her photos- very simply! I felt at ease that I didn’t feel the need to spend hours of time editing client photos! She was really helpful in the forum in answering our questions.

  • 5
    I am a documentary photographer and this breakout is full of so much great information.

    Posted by Shelley Torgerson on 7th Mar 2017

    I was hesitant to purchase it because I have and LOVE Kirsten’s two Creative Live Courses and thought it this might be too similar. It is not at all. I LOVE this breakout too. It is totally worth buying. Getting a peek into Kirsten’s way of thinking when she’s shooting by having her explain her thoughts while going through her contact sheet was so much more helpful than I would have imagined. Her critiquing other photographers photos also helped me to look at what I am doing in each of my photos and to see how I could improve in so many different ways. If you are interested in documentary or even lifestyle photography, I think this breakout is a must buy. Really it could be helpful to any photographer, there is a lot information and lessons that could apply to any type of photography.

  • 5

    Posted by Jenna Dallaire on 7th Mar 2017

    I’ve purchased about a dozen of Breakouts for different reasons, but this one dragged me out of my mental photography slump. The 3 hours of multiple photographers image critique allowed me to see my own images in a subjective manner, seeing exactly where I could grow. Her editing video almost gives you permission to walk away from presets. Her lessons on composition have already transformed my images. As a teacher she doesn’t hold anything back, always pushing you to make the most impactful story driven image. Add to cart, press buy now.

  • 5
    I”m new to CM and this is my first BO.

    Posted by Angie Gray on 7th Mar 2017

    WOW! Kirsten was worth every penny and I have really enjoyed learning from her. The critique part is incredibly helpful and I will now be able to, not only shoot with more purpose, but be more efficient when choosing the stand out images. I gained so much insight to the way she approaches documenting families. After watching it, I almost felt like she was there with me, guiding me through my next shoot.