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How to Photograph Different Body Types: Plus Size Photography Tips

Plus Size Photography – How to Photograph Different Body Types

[video-description]In this video, professional portrait photographer, Sue Bryce demonstrates the best techniques, tips, and tricks for photographing subjects of different body types. In this video tutorial, Sue teaches you how she photographs women, how to bring more feminine posing into your work, her secrets for hair and makeup, and the powerful marketing techniques she has used to build her business.  [/video-description]

Photographing Different Body Types – Video Transcript

plus size photographyThe most important part about shooting curves is exactly the same rules that we apply with every one of our posing is about lengthening. It’s about shape, It’s about staying square. So every one of these rules is holding to exactly the same posing rules that we’ve learning. But what we’re going to do is create some extra roles for body types and curves.

So Mappu here has agreed to be our curves model today. So I’m gonna take you through a few of the scenarios. So one of the most obvious things is can you take your jacket off and have you got a single on? That you’ve got a single on?
>> Mappu: Yeah
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, nice and cold for you today.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, just pop it right there on the floor, you don’t even have to go anywhere.
>> Sue Bryce: And I want you to come around here and just lie down comfortably on your tummy, yeah.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so, as soon as we are on our stomach, bring your chin up, bring your body around to me, side on.

Okay. The first thing I do and the first thing I do with everybody is, yeah just lift up, pull that cami out. So the first thing we do with everybody when we lie down, as everybody lies comfortably. And as soon as you lie comfortably, you do two things.

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You bring your arms against your body and you sit into your comfortable naked position, which is nice and low there. Okay, so the best part about this shot is
>> Sue Bryce: Let’s get this.
>> Sue Bryce: Is that everybody sits nice and low, okay, just smile at me, I’m just taking a shot.

All right. And there’s no shape in there. The most amazing part about the shot, is that with a few simple moves that we do. So firstly, keep your elbows still and slide your body back, okay. The body creates some space here and some space here. Your right hand relaxes forward, now keep your elbow in line.

Don’t move anything unless I move it, that’s it. And then this one goes across that line there. All right, so the one thing we don’t do is take the elbows out. Cuz I call that Farmer Joe. We’re always trying to push the elbows into the inside of the body line for women.

So whenever we’re sitting, the only time our elbows come out is when they’re meant to be out for our hand poses. But there’s no reason why our arms would go out beyond the outside of your body, cuz that’s where it takes the outside of our body. So we don’t sit with our elbows out and our hands in, unless we do the recline, which is a different, leading away from the body.

So, always elbows in. So we want our elbow line to come in to where the breast line is. I push this arm forward over here and this is the same pose that I do for everybody. Okay, at this stage it’s no different for curves, no different for anybody else.

The most amazing part about this pose I think, is when we lift up through here. So remember what I told you about lifting up like puppets? Coming right up straight up through the core. So it’s when you use your tummy muscles and you lift straight up. Then you bring your chin around to the front, which is where the camera is.

Okay and two things. One of them is you’re lifting up really tall through the neck and shoulders and then you’re bringing the chin forward and down. Now that the arm’s away from the body it’s always slimmer. And this line looks good because we dropped down. With curves, we don’t need to lift the bum up, because have a look now.

She’s dropped away so beautifully that that’s exactly where we are. And we’re showing that screen, is that correct? So that camera’s on, okay. So you can see that live view. So right now already from the front, I can already see that she’s in a really beautiful recline of the body and shoots really well.

So lifting up nice and tall through your neck and shoulders, working that shoulder towards me first. So I bring the shoulder forward first and then the chin to meet the shoulder, good girl. Right there and then I shoot that nice and close. Okay, so lots of little twinkle in your eye.

So we’ve got no reflector, we’re just shooting nice and close. And see there’s no need to slim anything else in that pose. The bum is going away at 45 degrees and it’s absolutely, it just works perfectly. All we have to do is worry about getting your reflector to the face.

Okay, from here, I can move around a little bit more, work that shoulder in. Bring your chin around to me. Good girl, beautiful, cute, little smile. Right there. Give me a beautiful smile. There’s one and I can come in nice and close. I can then take the elbow out.

So let’s do a little bit of flow. Take the elbow out. Simmi can you clip my hair?
>> Sue Bryce: Yeah, elbow goes out that way. I want your finger tips to touch behind the back of your hair. I want this elbow to come back closer to your body. Okay, throw on live view, sorry.

This one to come back to your body, that’s it. And then lift up tall up out of your neck and shoulders and bring the shoulder forward. Do you notice how far she grows and lifts up whenever we tell her to lift up through the back of her shoulders, it makes a big difference.

Now that the elbow’s out there, she can fall onto that hand a little bit more, good girl. And then I get a totally different vibe in my shot. So from there, sorry, excuse me, any questions?
>> Speaker 1: It just seems like you would bring her elbow away from her button-
>> Sue Bryce: Okay.
>> Speaker 1: Or is that-
>> Sue Bryce: Not towards it.
>> Speaker 1: It just seems like you have pull it, like you’d would want a space between, obviously her boob and the arm, like-
>> Sue Bryce: There is space between her boob and her arm-
>> Speaker 1: Okay it was the angle.
>> Sue Bryce: So-
>> Speaker 1: Sorry.
>> Sue Bryce: What happens, no, have a look at this. What happens is when people sit down they always put their elbows here. Okay and as soon as the elbow goes, as soon as the upper arm goes against the boob, it just squishes them there. And as soon as you pull it away, that’s enough.

We don’t need to recline people all the way out here all the time just to get their arm weight off their body. All we have to do is create space. In fact, it’s a really good posing lesson, if I’m in the camera. It’s a really good posing lesson to learn that you don’t have to be all the way out here to create the space in the waist.

All you have to do is bring it away a little bit. As soon as you can see the gap between my body and my arm, you can see that that’s not where my waist, that’s where my waist ends. And obviously, you can do that by touching the thigh and sliding your elbow up a little bit to there.

So you don’t even have to necessarily be hands on your hips. But what you do have to be is sort of a shaping, hand shaping around your body. Yeah, and as long as the weight is slightly off your arm body, it’s okay. As soon as this comes back to here.

So the second thing is, if you go back into comfortable zone, so sit comfortably, arms down by your sides. Okay, as soon as you squash here, everybody sits into their neck the same way. If you get her not to move her arm, but just lift all of her weight up, like lift all of it, see it already stretches it out anyway?

The most hated body part that I’ve heard for 22 years is my arms. Lean girls, curvy girls, it does not matter, I always get that don’t make my arms look fat, okay, don’t make my arms look fat. I don’t like my arms, I don’t show my arms, I don’t like my arms, my arms look fat. This is one of the many challenges of plus size photography.

That would be the most complained about body part. If I can stretch this out and make this arm look gorgeous, then I’m always gonna win. Okay, now elbow in. Yeah, and this arm across. Yeah. Okay, so lifting up nice and tall. Chin around to me this way. Okay, straight away you have a drop off at 45 and that looks great.

Okay, what we can do here is slide your body back, keep your elbow still. Slide your body back a couple of inches, stop. Okay, the more I stretch out the arms, the more cat-like I get in my pose. Okay? And the more cat-like I get, then the more sexier I can get in my posing. This is how you do plus size photography.

That’s when I roll up on to the thigh, stop, stop, stop. Don’t move. Roll up onto your thigh, bring your knee forward. Stop just there. Okay a little bit more, okay. So the idea here is that we put a little bit more shape in there. This knee can come up a bit more.

That’s a girl. It’s a bit of a short ottoman this one. If I have a longer one then it will work. Elbow comes out towards me. That’s it. Start lifting up nice and tall, shoulder forward. And shoulder forward. And bring your chin around. That’s it. Don’t close this gap.

So keep a gap here and here, really really important. Okay, and once my booty is out then I get this beautiful shape here. And then I have my booty poking out the back. Okay, that’s easy. That’s fundamentally what I would do with the curves, absolutely. From there let’s show them, I want you to sit down in front of it.

So stand up.
>> Sue Bryce: And I’m going to go around this way. So what I want you to do here, Mappu, is I want you to sit down and I want you to sit on your side and leave some space here between the ottoman and I want you to recline back onto it like this.

Okay. The whole point of shooting curves is to create space. As soon as you create space in the pose, you make it look slimmer and you make the body look great. So what we’re gonna do from here is just shoosh you. Just pull your jeans up around the waist and stop tugging, you’ll be all right.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay. Now, even though I told her to leave space between the couch, she just did what everybody did. Now that’s perfect, because it’s a real example of what everybody does. And stay straight away. Sit down comfortably. Let me move this around.
>> Sue Bryce: Everyone can see.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay.

So what I’m gonna do here, by the way, there’s a pipe poking out of the wall, behind here, but we’re not gonna worry about that. What I want you to do is I want you to turn your hips away from me.
>> Mappu: This way?
>> Sue Bryce: Yep, scooch them, no, slowly move, just scooch your bum away, stop.

Knees together, stop. Put this hand here, and slide your elbow back. All the way back and down. Down. That’s a girl. Okay. So straight away, do you see what we just did there? Now what we do is we take your entire weight off your side, so sit up so only your elbow touches.

That’s it. Right there. All right so as soon as we create space, we’re slimming already. Now what we do is we turn the body away and pull your weight away from your elbow. Because the more space I create through that pose, the better. This hand relaxes down in the front.

This hand is enwrapping around the body, which gives her an hourglass. What I do here is when I shoot curves, I’m going to shoot slightly higher than her eye-line. But not too high, I don’t want to shoot down on her like this. This is a really old way of slimming.

We used to do it in the 90s and I don’t think you need to do it anymore. Not with Photoshop and the way Photoshop works. It just doesn’t look good, the whole shooting down. Okay so what I’m going to do, is if I bring her chin around this way.

And I just shoot it there, on her eyeline. One moment.
>> Sue Bryce: Then I’m there.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so it makes a really big difference. Let’s go even lower. And lift her. So if we go back to our live view, cuz when I move her. Let’s lift her up even higher, and project your chin forward.

Good girl, not that far. And work that shoulder. Stop. Let’s shoot that lower, with her lifting up through her body.
>> Sue Bryce: So, it’s still doing it. And, she’s still being shot at a nice, low level. But all of her weight is away from me. Her bum’s away from me, her legs look slim.

Her arm is hourglass around her back. There is a great breast line that’s 45 degrees and her shoulder is to me. If for any reason, she does not like that front arm, so if there’s any reason she’s uncomfortable with it or I retouch the image and I want to bring that in, then I can slim that arm really easily in Photoshop.

Okay, now the add on to curves. So let’s say, now we do the add on. I could shoot a couple, or a mother and daughter, or two sisters, just sit forward. If I bring the second person in, and then I get her to do the same reclining slimming pose on me.

And then I come forward and we connect there and you shoot that vertically, so that works as well. You can use the same poses and add people in, so there’s no reason why we can’t make mum look slim and gorgeous reclining with her children all around her, or sitting on her knee or up behind her, or her husband behind her.

And a child sitting here with her arm around that child because it’s all about lengthening her and stretching her body out first. Instead of having her sit up here like me and sitting here like this in a not good position for anybody, and taking a photograph of two of us like this.

Okay, with our children around us looking like we don’t have that flash, okay? Okay, so from here, really the same rules apply. Again, it’s all about lifting, it’s all about shaping, and it’s all about reclining. It’s okay when you’ve got curves and one of my curves poses is when we are sitting with our arm back like that.

And then the next one is when we turn and recline back that way. So what I’ve done is if you just bring nothing but your knees around to me until this hand goes across there, that’s a girl. So onto the ottoman, that’s it. This hand stays on the inside.

That’s it. Drop it down. Now lift up as tall as you can. Now as soon as you cross the arm across the body, it flattens down again, okay? So this is where I just have to do one movement and it’s bring your knees a little bit more and put your boobs that way.

That’s it. Cuz as soon as I take the weight off her arm. And she pushes forward, ballet hands. Good girl. Okay and then you bring this elbow away from the boob. So it can stay in front of the body, but just don’t have it sitting up on the breasts.

So just give it a lean towards you a little bit more and pull the boobs back. See that? Okay so watch from the front. When you come back up and your boobs are up in this area there’s no space around you, all you have to do is pull your boobs back.

I’m saying boobs a lot today. Sorry. Okay, ballet hands, pulling boobs back, lifting up nice and tall, and bring this foot around, stop. Bring this foot around a little bit more and point your toe towards me. Bring this one foot around a little bit more, stop. Sitting up nice and tall, now pull right up through the top, good girl.
>> Sue Bryce: Don’t move your arm.
>> Sue Bryce: That’s it, sitting up nice and tall, darling, good girl. Work that shoulder forward in the front. Long neck, you’ve just come straight down in your neck. I want you to lift all the way up as high as you can, work the shoulder forward.

Good girl, stop, right there, excellent. Okay. From there, what we’re gonna do is it’s lying down, then we’re sitting and reclining. Any questions?
>> Speaker 2: See, I’ve noticed, I’m just curious, in the corner you’ve got there, a no versus yes.
>> Sue Bryce: Don’t shoot down on them.
>> Speaker 2: Don’t shoot down, thanks.
>> Sue Bryce: They just did that.
>> Speaker 2: Got it.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay. Question. Yes, what’s your? Software, not your jacket, your software.
>> Speaker 3: Christine Marie is wondering if the woman is not wearing pants and just wearing a skirt or something, how would you, would you slim the legs the same way?
>> Sue Bryce: Well, I just kind of wrap the skirt around the legs. If it’s a big skirt, I just kind of the more it looks fitted, the slimmer it looks. So it just works that way, yeah.
>> Speaker 3: Okay, thanks.
>> Sue Bryce: What we are going to do now, is what I traditionally call cover girl, and the thing that cover girl is all of a sudden there was a body going straight to the camera so it wasn’t about.
>> Sue Bryce: The thing with all of a sudden, cover girl, that there was no slimming in a 45, because it’s impossible to slim somebody who’s straight on to the camera this way, right? Because the bum’s not gonna go backwards, away from the camera, cuz we take what we don’t want back, and there’s not way I was going get even on sideways movement with curves, there’s no way I can do a tip or a 45 or a climb.

So one of the hardest things I had to do was come up with a way that curves could do this because I didn’t want curves to not be able to do this pose. Okay, I wanted curves to be able to do it. And it really works really good for curves, if they have a top, a scarf, or a wrap around their arms.

And it’s not to hide the arms, but it’s to cut into the body line, because the camera is quite deceiving. Go back and lean against the upright wall. Okay, let me just hit up the live view at Christian’s while I do that. Mark?
>> Speaker 4: Question again about the big black background that you’re using, is that spray painted?

And I think the answer is kind of like that, right?
>> Sue Bryce: It’s Foamcore.
>> Speaker 4: Right.
>> Sue Bryce: So it’s just-
>> Speaker 4: It comes like that. The black side and the white side.
>> Sue Bryce: Yeah, I don’t know where the boys got it from but the boys here got it for me so maybe they can answer that in the chat room.
>> Speaker 5: Glazer’s.
>> Speaker 4: We got it locally at Glazer’s.
>> Sue Bryce: Glazer’s?
>> Speaker 4: Yeah. It’s our local camera store.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay. Cool.
>> Mappu: But what did they use to put it together?
>> Sue Bryce: Gaffer’s tape.
>> Speaker 6: Tape
>> Sue Bryce: Do you know what gaffer tape is?
>> Mappu: No, but
>> Sue Bryce: Oh, okay.

So in the movie industry, that there is gaffer tape, and you can rip it with your hands, but it’s really sturdy. And they use it for everything. All the gaffers use it. It’s for lights, it’s for cables, it’s for microphones.
>> Mappu: Oh.
>> Speaker 7: You talked about additional slimming to the arms and face, still didn’t like as much as the slimming you were already doing in Photoshop.
>> Sue Bryce: Yes.
>> Speaker 7: Is that after the viewing, you’re seeing that still iffy about the-
>> Sue Bryce: No.
>> Speaker 7: Or just choose yourself?
>> Sue Bryce: I am now intuitive I would say enough, in my images to create images that don’t need much post production after they’ve seen them. I want to re-touch my images before they see them.

Not retouch them after they see them. I just don’t feel like people really need to see anything. In fact, this is really hilarious but it’s a true story. I was photographing a woman and she’s a curvy girl, and she said to me, whatever you do in between taking the photo and then showing me, don’t ever show me.

And it was such a bummer because I wanted to be able to use her as demo because she was really such a great body shape for me to use as a how to make look amazing. But she just did not want to see that before and after process.

And she goes whatever you have to do, you just show me the finished version. I said well, I do that anyway. And she goes, good and whatever you do in between that, I never wanna see it. I said okay, you sure? You don’t wanna see a little bit.

She was a photographer too and she said no, when you order a bacon burger you don’t wanna see them kill the pig.
>> Sue Bryce: And I though about that, and I thought well that’s such a crazy thing to say but the truth is, is she’s ordered something. She wants me to finish it and for it to look beautiful.

She doesn’t want to look at it and go okay, that would be good but I want this. So, that means when we’re doing Photoshop we’re talking about a very fine line between what I believe is the right amount of Photoshop and what I think she will like, yeah.
>> Speaker 4: So a question comes from Clea in Georgia. Can you explain what you mean by the eye line when you’re shooting?
>> Sue Bryce: Yes I can. At the moment leaning back against the wall. And I am in high heel boots and we are exactly the same eye to eye level, which doesn’t happen to me often because I’m short.

So, normally I’m a little bit shorter than everybody. It’s very common. Maybe most photographers I meet photograph a little bit higher than the eye line. So that means they are a little bit higher than their subject. People do this for two reasons. One of them is they think it’s slimming but also, I don’t know, it seems to be something that people do all the time is they get a little higher than the eye line of the client.

In order to shoot my version of glamour and posing I do most of my shooting here, just below the eye line, so I’m often in a slight squat. Like that. I’m constantly shooting at a slight bend. Good for the thighs but it really hurts. Okay and the idea is, let me shoot that.

Stay there. I’m going to broadcast a not nice photo of you. But then I’ll go back to a really hot ones. Okay, so if I shoot her down there, then chin looks like that.
>> Sue Bryce: Can we yeah, okay, I’m down there. And I see a lot of people doing that.

So the thing that happens now, is if you drop your shoulders down and lift your neck up as high as you can, so like lift your neck high long neck. Good girl, now pushing your chin forward and down. As soon as you do that, now don’t give me a smile.

Just give me a normal face, tiny little smile, that’s it. You instantly drop her chin falling down to here. And if you go back between the images, you can see the difference in how much slimming that does, and all she did was push her chin forward and down.

So the first mistake people make is let’s bring it down even more. Let’s get upright, long neck, push your chin forward and down stop. So when it’s here, you can see now she’s really falling down, and watch the difference bounce up. Okay, now if you go to the first one and the third one.

Because Nikko is so amazing that he can just do that. That is just a normal neckline and a pushing forward neck line. She’s got no reflector, so obviously she’s got Dracula lighting on the right hand side. But the idea is it’s so much more slimming on the right hand side.

Also look at her torso. Because she’s lifting up, she’s not sitting into her comfortable torso. So when she’s relaxed she’s not sitting down here in her comfortable position. She’s lifting up, and forward, and down. And it makes such a difference, and slimming. Okay, so we’re not talking about slimming.

We’re doing cover girl. So what I wanna do in my live view, is I want you to put your hands in the inside of your top, up onto your waist. Okay, so there’s the waist there, and if we photograph the waist like that with no shape, that’s what we get.

Now what I want you to do is to put your feet apart, okay. And now I want you to rock onto one hip there, good girl. And now we’re putting movement in the body with the hand on the waist, and that’s just there. Okay now what I want you to do is I want you to put your hands higher.

I want you to bring your hands in. Okay, now one’s a little higher than the other. So yeah, about there. Now I don’t want you to thunderbird it. I want you to hold it. That’s a girl. And now what we do is you can relax it like you are.

Keep your elbow out, that’s it. And now what we do is we’re bringing the hand into the waist and then bringing it in even more. So it’s no different, all we’re doing is creating a point of reference for the eye to look at. Push your chin forward now and down, stop.

And if you look at the difference between where the eye is drawn to, as soon as the chin comes forward and down and the hands come in we instantly bring the eye down to the center of the body.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so we call this faux waist, and the whole point of faux waist is that we’re creating a fake waist.

Okay, you hold that come and take a shot of me. Okay, can you give me this? When you get cold, I’ll wear your jacket. That’s gonna cause a bit cold dear.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so it stands to reason that if you photograph me up here like this, that is my width.

Oh, new profile shot for Facebook.
>> Sue Bryce: Oh, nice. Okay, so if I come into here, then the first thing I do is create my own waist.
>> Sue Bryce: And it does make my waist considerably smaller. When my hands are there. But also when I’m working my shoulder and I’m working my hip.

Now, I can use this shape anytime. So let’s say I do it here. And then another one and I’ll come right in.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so either way what I’m doing. You can see what I’m doing. I’m using this as a distractor. I’m creating a fake waist here. Okay?

I can bring my hands right under here. So even the live view can see it. So, I think when we go back to live view, yeah, we’re on live view here. You can see what faux waist does, and how good it works. And it really does work in terms of creating that illusion that the waist is smaller than it is.

And once you see a shot of faux waist, you actually can’t go back to seeing the waist where it normally is. The biggest mistake we make, is sometimes we’ll do that with a bride in a wedding gown, and she doesn’t have the jacket, but she does have a veil that can come over her arms.

If she doesn’t have a veil, she does have her arms slimmed by being out on the frock. The problem being is that you don’t want the bride to only do this pose all day cuz it’s a stupid pose. Well, it’s a good pose for CoverGirl but it’s not really a bridal pose.
>> Speaker 3: Oh, really quick from the Internet. Are you squeezing your waist, or are you just placing your hands on your waist?
>> Sue Bryce: I’m just placing my hands here. Well, I’m kinda squeezing, cuz I want my thumb to looks like it’s right on my waist line, so I am kind of squeezing in, but I’m not like.

And that brings me to another point. A lot of people suck in when they’re being photographed. So, they’ll do their pose. And then I’ll look at them, and I can see their shoulders raised. And, often when I see their shoulders raised, I realize what they’re doing. Is that they’re holding their abs in.

And, I always say, relax your stomach, because then your shoulders drop. And, instead of sucking inwards, poke outwards, because I cannot recreate this line here in Photoshop, but I can change this line in the front. And sometimes you compromise a shot in the front pose in order to get a beautiful line through the back when you’re shooting curves.

So, come back. This shot here in my manual is a really beautiful reclined forward, are we on there? And the idea is that the whole stomach is pushed forward in order to get a beautiful shape through the back line. I will compromise the front line of a shot because I know I can Photoshop it.

And, tomorrow morning, when I do Photoshop, I’m gonna show you how I contour bodies on Photoshop without using liquify. Okay, cuz liquify is, I think, horrible, compared to warping. So, I’m gonna show you how to change body types. So, I will compromise one for the other, without thinking twice about it.

Okay, so are we gonna change to the next one? Any questions about faux waist? Let’s see.
>> Speaker 4: Question from Sidney and this came up from a couple other folks is, what if the person has really big arms? So people are saying, what if you’re a lot heavier than is.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so just bigger arms just means exactly the same pose, keeping it away from the body lots of recline. And we have a choice, we either cover the arms, we wrap the arms, we put a scarf on the arms, we put a cardigan on the arms and still faux waist.

And if they still have their arms open. And they have their arms showing and they have bigger arms, just because some people don’t like their arms doesn’t mean everybody doesn’t like them. You’re only removing the bits they don’t like, sometimes arms can get a bit flabby under here, you can stretch them out and Photoshop that nicely and if you have to slim them, you slim them in post production.

And if they don’t want their arms then, do you think they’re quite comfortable with their arms? Leave their arms as they are. There is a tuition video on my blog of how I slim the arms of a curvy girl who’s sitting at the next pose I’ll show you with.

And, I’ve used that shot to bring her arms in, because she had arms that went down on the sides, and I was like, this is how I shape arms. And the first thing somebody wrote underneath it was what was wrong with her arms in the first place. There is always gonna be an exception to the rule.

There is always gonna be people that love having their arms, we should all be grateful for our arms. Let’s make that right clear. If you have arms right now and you don’t like your arms, you need to go and meet somebody without arms to appreciate your fabulous arms.

Your arms work and move and lift and hug and do all the beautiful things that they are meant to do. But if I have got a shot of a woman who does not like a little flabby piece of arm or a little overhang or I haven’t stretched your arms out in a nice way, I will Photoshop it, if she wants me to, or if I think she would like the shot more.

Okay, does it cover that? All right. Cuz it kind of weirds me out. I’m not telling everybody they need to have slim arms. I am telling you what women do and don’t like, and arms is a really big one for me. Okay. From here, this is a really neat example, back against there, to see live because you can see again such a visual transformation.

Come this way.
>> Sue Bryce: Towards me to the center. That’s it.
>> Sue Bryce: Think. All right. The first that we do. As we’ll take a shot, of just standing normally against the wall arms down by your sides, okay. Here you go, girl. Okay, so as we watch this one come into play, now turn towards me, stop, lean against the wall.

>> Sue Bryce: Okay, there we are at 45 degrees so this is a simple step from this movement here. I want you to take you back foot 45 degrees out. And I want you to take your left foot with it. That’s it, so you’ve taken all of your weight on that back foot.

Now I want you to lean with the back of your shoulder against the wall. So with the back of your shoulder not your arm. So there, that’s it. Now take all of your weight on that back foot and then push it out. Now, further. Take a step out.

No, don’t turn away. Yeah. Just take a step out. So keep your hips 45 and just step away from the wall. Yeah. Step away from the wall. Now, just take this off. Just drop it. Don’t move your feet. Okay, all right, so lean on back, that’s a girl.

So the first thing we do is create space here. As soon as we create space here, we’re creating space in our pose and we’re also giving her an hourglass. Is that right? All right, now you’re supposed to be on the scene so stay in that position and come forward there so I can, keep coming, keep coming, all right, now, turn your body away from me.

That’s a girl. Okay, now take your hip out. That’s it, stay there, all right. Now, the first thing we do is right now you’re projecting your whole lower body towards me. And it’s meant to be over there. Keep your shoulder there and just step away. One more, good girl, stop.

All right, now your hand goes on to your thigh, you slide it up and your elbow goes back. Okay, so just to show people bring your arm back into the front. If you keep the arm out in the front it will not define her waist. If you slide it up and bring your elbow back, then you define her waste right there.

Now I want you to bring your chin around this way. Stop. Good girl. Lifting up nice and tall through your neck and shoulders. There you are. Stay there. And now the last one is to slim this front arm. We just touch the back of the jeans there. Okay, so just the wall or the back of the jeans, either way.

And what we can do, is pull here, with this elbow right there. So stop there. Long neck, chin around. Okay, and straight away. So that step by step process right there, to get her to there, is really easy to do. Okay, so she’s coming around now. Okay, so we get a before and after.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so you see how that’s working, questions?
>> Speaker 2: Does it make sense then? I know she took the cardigan off. But something more hanging doesn’t create that space behind her back?
>> Sue Bryce: Yeah. Well I don’t want a black cardigan with a beautiful gold top anyway.
>> Speaker 2: Yeah.
>> Sue Bryce: I’ve slimmed her arms down and she has beautiful skin.
>> Speaker 2: Okay.
>> Sue Bryce: So to me it’s gonna work. Because I would rather. Stay there don’t move. I’m gonna move you. Just drop down, stop. Put your hand back there, just on the jeans, yeah, that’s it, a bit lower, that’s it.

Long chin around to me this way, this is the shot that I took of Nikko. Chin around to me, chin around to me, chin around to me this way, that’s a girl. Okay, wait a minute, don’t move, I’m just gonna bring this one here.
>> Sue Bryce: Turn around this way.

That’s it. Beautiful. And straight away I’m more interested in that shape there. So I think if the weight goes onto the back foot it pushes away. This here is just a shadow and that’s easy to clone out. Once you drop that shadow out, that goes completely smooth. And she has a good shape in her arms, she has a beautiful shape in her breast line, she can connect with her front shoulder and bring her chin forward and down.

And yet to look at, when you look at her I’m just gonna show you from the front, how awkward she looks right now from the front. Because although she’s got all of her weight on the back foot, when I walk around to the front of here, she’s actually in this position here.

Now, can you imagine most of your clients are saying right now I do not feel skinny or sexy. Because I’m kind of half-way down a wall with my knee up like this, and yet from this angle, everything that I want pushing forward is perfect, and everything I want pushing back is perfect.

Is that cool? Okay, so we can move onto the next one. Any questions there?
>> Speaker 8: Your lens choices, do they help you in any way make this more effective?
>> Sue Bryce: I don’t think so. I shoot this with the 50, I shoot this with the 24105 and I shoot this with the 35.

So yeah, obviously there is that center point and there is a slight warp in the lens and you’re definitely going to get that movement, but if it’s all projecting forward then it stands to reason the face jumps forward and the body jumps back, anyway. But I’ll use all three lenses for the same shot.

Yeah, as long as they’re really working their body into that pose. I mean you can see how that does not work. You can see from the front that, that is just an awkward position to be in. And yet if you show the side view of that. Even if you can put the side view beside Nikko.

It’s like Nikko is God.
>> Speaker 8: Yes.
>> Sue Bryce: You just go Nikko.
>> Sue Bryce: And it just happens.
>> Speaker 4: Nikko is Nikko.
>> Sue Bryce: Yeah. Yeah, so such a simple position and to drop it in like there is just, yeah.
>> Speaker 4: Somebody had asked earlier about do you have women who say, well this can’t be looking good.
>> Sue Bryce: All of them say that.
>> Speaker 4: And so how do you coach them?
>> Sue Bryce: I always say two things, one of them I say is you have to trust me. It feels ridiculous and it looks amazing. And they go okay, I’ll trust you. And the other one I say is when they say this really hurts, I say beauty is pain.

Suck it up, let’s go.
>> Speaker 4: Nice.
>> Mark: Is there a reason why you leave the hair hanging on both sides other than sweeping off to one side or the other?
>> Sue Bryce: Because we’re not framing. I don’t frame. I don’t use the Rembrandt lighting or the system, or anything where I’m lighting, with shadows around the face because traditionally, when you’re framing portraiture, Rembrandt lighting is more slimming because it takes down the shadows and brings the pointy bits forward, right?

So obviously the more shadows there are, then the more slimming the body looks. I work on a flat lighting system not dissimilar to a beauty dish. Now a beauty dish was designed to take beauty photographs of models straight on with light hitting them. And so obviously you’re not going to have that with a normal body, with a normal woman.

So I’m beauty dish lighting a normal woman and sculpting her body away from the camera to get a desired look. And one of them is I use the hair to frame the face. We normally would use artificial light in a studio to frame the face traditionally.
>> Speaker 4: Yeah, earlier you were talking about the faux waist and the bride without a veil.
>> Sue Bryce: Yes.
>> Speaker 4: And I think we asked you a question in between, could you continue that?
>> Sue Bryce: What was that?
>> Speaker 4: You were talking about the bride and the faux waist, and you don’t ask her to walk around all the time.
>> Sue Bryce: Oh yes, okay, so let’s look at other positions that we can put the hands in.
>> Speaker 4: Thank you.
>> Sue Bryce: So, when you’ve got a bride, obviously, and she doesn’t have a veil or she has a short veil, one of the most obvious things that I could do is just to bring the hand up to here. So I look at it like ballet hands, that anything that you can do that takes the hands a little bit away from the body.

Also the hands to here and to the outer shoulder, do exactly the same thing, they take the arms away from being flat and stuck to the side of the body. So anything that you do that touches, this is why you also have a bouquet. You can hold the bouquet, you can hold the bouquet here and you can swing a bouquet out, which also takes the arm away from the body.

So you can swing a bouquet, you can just touch down here. You can touch down with the back of the hand. So if we go back to ballet hands and how we use them for a bride, she can ballet hands and do lots of beautiful poses. Where her arms aren’t just stacked to the sides or in cover girl position.

Cuz I’m seeing a lot of brides like this, because somebody’s told them it slims their arms down. And let’s face it, everybody says my wedding is gonna be different from everybody elses. And they are 90% of the time in a strapless A-line gown with their arms out. And then they have the audacity to say to the photographer, I don’t like my arms.

So it’s like and you chose a strapless gown. But the truth is is, what they don’t like, it’s not that they don’t like their arms. They don’t like shots where they see their posture forward and their arms flat and squeezed against their body, cuz then they go ooh, my arms look fat.

And they aren’t necessarily, they’re just not shaped. I think keeping a bride’s shape in her body all day is about coaching her and saying all day, a bride generally has a whole different energy around her body. So I look at it like this. Have you ever seen an ugly bride?

You don’t see them because they’re so beautiful, because for one day they’re allowed to be the most beautiful woman in the room. And they generally have an air that is quite beautiful about them. They’re wearing a divine dress, they’ve usually prepared their body. They’ve done their hair and make-up so beautifully, they’ve chosen a dress themselves.

They usually walk around with that I am so beautiful and feel so beautiful cuz they are allowed to be. So why do we allow them to be so beautiful? It’s not fair that one day you are allowed to be the most beautiful woman in the room and everybody will tell you you are.

So they definitely have a little bit of an air about them that’s a little bit more, sort of postured and beautiful, but you can explain that to them. Soft hands and keep all of the movement around your body and remember that the shoulders, work your shoulders and have fun with it.

You can coach them. Yeah, right? Any more questions there?
>> Speaker 3: One more quick one?
>> Sue Bryce: Sure.
>> Speaker 3: Do you ever shoot with a ladder? And would you recommend it for someone to get the appropriate height of the eyeline?
>> Sue Bryce: Yes. Recently, I photographed a girl who was 6′, but she was feeling lean.

So I shot her at my full height in heels, which is about 5’6″. And so I was about four inches below her eyeline which looked really fashion. But if she had been a 6′ curvy girl, then I would have had to have been just above her eyeline. So yes, I’ll either get a little step, little foot stool or one stepladder.

But be careful with the stepladder cuz you are inclined to run up it and then shoot down and you don’t want to be shooting down. But yes, you should always have a little wee step in your studio. Okay, another one, can you bring that down? We’ll bring this in, so go that way.

Yep, there we are.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay.
>> Sue Bryce: Well, no, adjust it on there. Yes. It doesn’t need to go there. Okay. So just one that I would demo without the live view, I can just shoot it. Come against this wall, Mappu. You can take your black top off. Something that Mappu and I did in his shoot, to give her a beautiful shape and I’ll often do this with big boobs, is to hold your elbows here and here.

Okay, so the thing is, is often with really big boobs and anybody big busted. They can bring their hands under here really well and just squeeze together and it’s actually a really nice shape for the upper body. It also brings boobs and often large busts make people look bigger than they are too.

And so if you squeeze them in, you get a beautiful shape here. But what we did with Mappu and I, she was wearing that black lace top in her shoot. Is we actually squeezed in her elbows and we did a series where she moved like this, because she’s got such a beautiful smile.

And then she came back and rocked onto this foot and did the same thing. And but we kicked back with our back foot, because we want it there. And then you opened up here. And as soon as I got to that shape there and saw that, she just pushed her chin forward and down and it was so gorgeous.

So I often squeeze in and use the elbows and then work the shoulder for body language. So I’ll just cross over and get this.
>> Sue Bryce: And we took that there and as soon as we brought the shoulder in, one of the first things that we do is. If for any reason, we’ve got a beautiful shape here and we work the shoulder towards the face so that we get that beautiful vibe in the shot.

If for any reason, and this goes against what we’re saying about pulling the arm away. But for some reason when it works, this is the outside of the shot here. And if we want to slim that part down, we can do that in post production if you want to.

But it just has a gorgeous little mood to it and she did that golden shot. She killed her shoulders and then she did that beautiful big smile and her lace top on the black background, it looked really gorgeous and we loved it. All right, so I want you to come and kneel down here.

This is something we did yesterday when we did the beauty shot. Do you remember? Samina was kneeling with her elbows on. And so this is really cool, because the difference is when you’re dealing with curves is when you come down. And first just sit down and put your arms up.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so just sit normally, nice and low, yeah, and then we bring.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so from here, when we’re sitting down, it’s really, really important, first of all. That we’re here and cuz this was one of your shots, is that you come up and hover your elbows.

Okay, so it’s about hovering, coming up and over, that’s it. And the first thing we do is we flatten this hand down. So let’s put our ring in the front. That’s it. And we slide this one out and then this one over. Now as soon as we put some asymmetry in here and push the chin forward, that’s it.

We instantly start slimming down through here. So as soon as we start putting shape in, as soon as we bring the arms away, as soon as we start pushing some triangles in here. And then we can use our arm up, so we can bring this elbow in and cut the face.

Now remember we’re trying to create an hourglass, so from the outside, we try and make the elbows right where her waist line’s gonna be. If I put her elbows past her waistline here, you can’t see where her waist is from the front, right? And the idea is that I’m bringing it into her waistline, so that she can sit beautiful shape outwards.

And then that’s her diamond, that’s her diamond in her beauty shot anyway is right there. And that’s it, good girl, and I can bring it in. Now, sitting up nice and tall, bring your chin forward and down, take this hand out, good girl, that’s it. And then just tip into here, that’s exactly right, relax your mouth, beautiful.

So straight away, elbows come in and she slims right down, also it’s about lifting up and over. So many people sit flat and bring their arms forward. So if you sit flat and bring your arms forward, the arms are shorter. As soon as you lift her up, you stretch her right out.

This is a really good card. It’s in here and it gives you such a great example of how that works. Let’s just address something else that’s really, really important. Come and sit up here in the front.
>> Sue Bryce: And just sit normally. You can have your jacket back on cuz it’s cold.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay, so sit down. Now sit down comfortably in a comfortable sitting position.
>> Sue Bryce: Everybody’s so quiet today.
>> Sue Bryce: Quiet, all right.
>> Sue Bryce: Everybody, when Mappu looks at me, everybody has a natural thickened chin line, which is exactly what you have here, even when I’m here. Okay, so she’s looking down at me.

It’s not cuz she’s looking up. Even if I go lower than the camera, there’s her double chin, okay? That exists for everybody, because her neck is in a relaxed sitting position. It’s that simple. Everybody will sit there and torque at that level, and literally, use this.
>> Sue Bryce: Take a shot of it.
>> Sue Bryce: No, don’t smile. Just relax. That’s it. Okay, now all we have to do is all we have to do is push that chin forward, down. It’s there. Now it’s such a significant difference in the slimming of the face. So something that I’ve put in my curves manual, which you can’t see and it’s very, very important, is when you push.

And also what she’s just done there, is she’s dropped her head down and she’s not meant to do that, so that’s my fault, not yours. But what I’ve done is I’ve taken a shot of Kate. And what I’ve done is I’ve got Kate to tuck her chin back, yeah, not that far but just comfortable so it sits like that.

And I’ve taken a photo of Kate like that. And we’ve just pretended that we got an amazing shot but Kate just happened to have her chin tucked in and we have to fix it on Photoshop. I’ve recorded myself retouching it on Photoshop, and how I do that so we can do that tomorrow in our Photoshop session.

But how to fix a double chin if you do get it? So if you happen to get one, you’ve gotta fix it. Because it should be the one thing you’re not getting from your clients is that double chin line. All right, now. Next, curves. Any questions about curves?

Any more?
>> Speaker 4: We have a question that is from Miss Bay. I have a heart shaped face, broad forehead, and a pointy sharper jaw, anytime I tilt my chin down, my forehead is bigger and my chin is even pointer.
>> Sue Bryce: Okay.
>> Speaker 4: Is there a face shape so that you don’t do just down?
>> Sue Bryce: Yes, so, also, a lot of very lean girls have a very short chin and a short space between their neck and chin. And so what you don’t wanna do is push it down, you just wanna push it forward. So, remember we’re working this off, the best way to describe it is Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model calls this the turtle.

Okay, it’s about pushing the chin forward. All right, it’s not necessarily about pushing it forward and down. But it’s about pushing it forward. So when you do have a little heart-shaped face and a small chin, sometimes you’re better with your chin up to the camera, but it still has to come long, away from your neck.

So like a little turtle, you want to push forward, and then, lift up just a little wee bit, but maybe you don’t need to slim down that jaw line, so keep it forward. Your photographer should be able to see that. Because I don’t just look at everybody and go chin forward and down, and then think that’s the pose.

I’m looking at where it is that your face looks the most beautiful. I also challenge you as a photographer to shoot a nice close vertical shot of a girl from about here to here, and I wanna challenge you to get her to push her chin forward like this.

And then here. In fact, I’ll do it with Simona. Let’s do it. I want you to practice this. It’s very important. Just stand against the wall. Is first of all, you can take that right off.
>> Sue Bryce: Is I want you to just take a normal shot like this.
>> Sue Bryce: All right. And what I want you to do is I want you to show me where you think somebody’s face looks the most beautiful, pushing your chin forward now and down a little, stop. And again, down even further. Stop, down even further. Stop, so that would imply that there’s at least three levels there.

From there, I want you to give me a slight tip this way. Too far, so just enough, just tip down, stop. No, no, no. So come forward, come down, and then slightly back. That’s it. So yeah, now further away, so I want you, that’s a girl. But I want you to use your expression so it looks like yeah, a little wee tiny, that’s it and there.

So see her face is changing significantly as I’m moving it. Now, I want you to lift your chin straight up there and no, no, no. Just come back to the center, pushing your chin forward, and relax your mouth. And now think of that real model sort of lifting your chin.

There, stop. Okay, so that’s it there. And now, slightly away. Stop, relax that mouth. That’s it, sorry. So you can see that there’s lots of different angles but the thing that we don’t ever wanna do is we never cross the nose, right, through the cheek line. Now come back.

So it’s about there, and look back. A lot of models when they’re posing, so this is a real model thing. A lot of models when they’re posing they do that whole, they throw their head back and then look back this way, like that. So they’ll do the side look.

I dont ever do that for portrait cuz it looks weird. I dont mind them changing that line there, or even this line here, and I do go up and down, and then up and down there. So I actually say if you were to directly to the camera up and down, you can have a look at all of those face shapes.

And see who suits what, up and down. Straight up and down like that. But you never really look right up, okay? It’s about here. And then I look at it like this. You turn the chin to where my breast line is, and you can do that, but you never go past it, okay?

So there, and there,
>> Sue Bryce: Should be the lines, right? Cool, okay. So now I want to look at, we’ve done the chin. A simple sitting down, which was actually one of Mappu’s poses, is to bring those two in. And I’ll push this forward so she can put her feet on there.

That’s it. And so sitting normally Mappu, just sitting on there with your hands on your sides. Yeah, okay. So one of the things that I talked about with pulling the boobs back. Let me rearrange this for you. Okay, so from here, what I talked about with Fashion Quarterly was closing down too much of that pose, if you bring your knees together and then you bring your right foot up and on to that couch, so we can use that couch, okay.

So if it’s too high, if the knee is too high and you feel like it’s crowding your pose, just pull the couch away and it will come with it. And it will drop down. We always point our toes. Everything we do is with ballet feet and ballet hands.

Because as soon as we point the toes, makes the legs longer. Absolutely makes the legs longer 100%. Okay, so from here we now need to bring her arms from her widths. Okay, so if you just relax your hands down. So sit normally. No, just stay up but just put your hands onto your legs, yeah.

Okay, so when the hands are by the sides, obviously that’s becoming the width of the body. So we’ll just throw a shot up there.
>> Sue Bryce: Any minute now. And when we slide the elbow right out to the edge of the knee, so we’re bringing forward what we want the camera to pick up.

And pushing back what we want the camera not to. We slide the other hand through. Nice and close, and then we pull the boobs back through. Okay. Now, the chin comes forward and down. That’s it. And then, all the sudden we’re here. That’s an extreme case of crossing the arms over.

But what you can see is the way it tapers. Now, the reason I’m bringing the elbows forth to the knee, lots of reasons. I never want it to look symmetrical so I never pull one all the way through. I’m taking the weight of the arms off the side of the body and slimming down.

The good path is it’s projecting forward and she pulled her boobs back through the center. Is that you can bring this hand up. And you can bring this hand into the shot. Now when we bring our hands up around our face, we not only frame the face, we take beautiful shots.

So if you jump out and I’ll jump in, and I’m gonna sit down. I’m gonna put my toe up. Just make sure I pull my skirt down. I’m going to bring this elbow out, I’m gonna bring this one to here so it’s tapering me in, and I wanna be able to use my hand in the shot, here.

Because we can take a whole lot of photographs of people with their hands down, but it changes the mood when you bring hands into an image. I wanna be able to play with the hands, I wanna take a shot here. I wanna take a shot here. I want them to lean on it.

I want them to be more casual and friendly. I want them to play with their hair, if they wanna play with their hair. I want them to frame their face and be all beautiful in a beauty shot here. I want them to touch their throat. I want them to touch the inside of this arm, this shoulder.

I wanna be able to move the shoulders and move the arms. I wanna be able to bring the hands in and play with these to change the mood and pose without changing the fact that I’ve already slimmed the body, lifted it down, put it into position.

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