Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight


28 Days of Portrait Photography


Lesson Info

Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight

Let's have a look at this gorgeous shot here. I love this color and this dress. Sitting up nice and tall, Cherry, bring your upper towards me, and just sort of do ballet hands, just sort of side arm right there. So instead of staying up here, turn towards you, that's it beautiful, you've got beautiful hands. Relax your wrist down a little wee bit. Sit up nice and tall bring this elbow towards me, because in lengthens your arm in the photo and then I want you bring your chin this way and work your shoulder in. So what I'm getting here is this perfect shape. Okay. And this is a really good example of something that I've done very well. So let's show everyone, chin forward, and down. Everything about this image is working for me. Everything but these three, right on, brilliant. For starters I'll try to get one where you're not blinking. (laughs) Sorry about that folks. Sorry about that folks. Okay chin down just a touch, there it is. Okay, what's going wrong with this image? The feet domi...

nate, the background needs to be extended and I'm gonna have to do them on Photoshop, unless I do in now, her leading hand is towards the camera. Let's fix all of these things right now. How about I get you to stand up, and I'm gonna change the floor. So what I did, was I actually got Cherry to, come and stand on this side, I got Cherry to lie down on this backdrop, so what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna open it up, and I'm gonna extend it out. So this is just a v flat that I shoot on. And I'm just using it on the ground, because I don't want to see the wooden floor. So I made it too short, and it was quite obvious to me. Amy, the next thing I'd like you to do, is, are you able to move that little box for me? And I also would like you to extend that background a little wee bit so it's covering that windowsill. So we'll move that back, push that back too. Are we cutting? No. I wanted to show this. Okay. (laughs) I've got backgrounds falling down, welcome to the real world. And Susan, I'll just get you to pull that gaffer tape, and Jeff see if you could extend out that curtain. (mumbled question) We're filming this. Do you want the box, are you asking for the box? No the gaffer tape. Just extend it out. Yeah. Just trying' cover that windowsill up for me. You know what, that's not gonna work. Let's use a white polly board, and just put it across there. There you go. Alright. Uh-uh, just to cover the gray, keep coming back, pull back, right up in, that's it, stop. There you go. Alright. Let's see if that fixed our problem. Now this time, let's have a look at this. So I've just created a little soft box. White light, let's trying' lie down there. Cherry, this time I want you to lie the opposite direction, so you were diagonal that way, now I want you diagonal this way, good girl. Now whatever angle Cherry's on, I am too. That's gonna fall on here, perhaps if you could just hold that, that would be perfect. Okay, now stretch out over here. So you're in front of my window light, beautiful. Now I want, instead of leading with your front hand this time, now, you're already doing it, that was perfect, on the inside, hand down, good girl, and that one, elbow towards me on the side. Now lifting up nice and tall, feet flat, cross your ankles, and I want you to lift up nice and tall and bring your chin back to the camera there. Now whatever angle Cherry's on, I have to be on too. So I'm gonna lie down flat, like that, and now I just need a little hair juice, just go like this with this curl here. That's it, and just tuck it in. That's perfect, okay. Now this hand down flat, nice and soft, good girl. Work the shoulder up towards me, that's it, now chin to that shoulder now whip the shoulder up towards me, More, more, keep going, keep going, keep going, stop. Alright, now let's try again, relax your mouth, go chin down, Amy just need a hair fix, I've just got a little naughty curl, just sitting up on the shoulder, and it's gonna have to be Photoshopped if I don't get it. That's it, maybe try to stay on the side, so they can see what you're doing. Yeah, it's sort of on the top. I've got a rogue top curl just sitting on the very top, that's the one. Perfect. Okay nice and tall working that shoulder forward, that way's perfect. Okay and now chin forward and down a little more, work that shoulder right towards your chin. Keep going Cherry, no, shoulder toward your chin, not the other way around. Good girl, that's perfect. And so so here I am in the backlight. Let me come up a little bit closer. Chin down a little bit, love that, little wee smile, a tiny little smile. Gorgeous, beautiful big grin. Nice. Okay. Then we'll see what this looks like, chin down a touch, that's the one. Oh I love that, okay beautiful grin here. So, this is great, oh gosh I just keep getting little blinks today, sorry about that. (laughs) Alright, so what I've done now, as you can see in this image, I've dropped her feet down, I've used her front arm projected forward instead of her hand toward the camera. I've turned her on the other angle so her feet are not towards the corner, as they were before, and my window, even though it's shorter, I've got more space. So when I compare these two images, I didn't take the time to fix my set. Now something that you do, I think a lot of people do when they first start out, is they think, "Oh, I'll Photoshop that out." But let's look at the difference between the two, in the time that I could of Photoshopped that out, I just changed the set around and I can keep shooting. And to me it's just such an easy fix, make sure you put your v flex down, just be aware too, that when your v flex are on the floor and people are kneeling on them, you can see the elbow dents under my elbows, there will be some under Cherry's elbows and knees. Use your older v flex, and always keep the old ones for floor covering. Also if you need more light, you can always put these on the ground to bounce light up through the studio. Because a yellow wooden floor will throw yellow sometimes, and will absorb a lot of light, and just make sure you take the time to fix your image and then move around within it, and get some cool shots.

Class Description

Sue Bryce's 28 Days is the all-in-one portrait photography class that teaches you posing, shooting, marketing, selling, and everything else you need to know to run a successful contemporary portrait photography business. 

This series begins with two sessions of intense instruction on business, pricing, and overcoming your fears. Following the kickoff, Sue delivers short sessions exploring 28 different topics essential to any successful portrait photography studio. Sue covers flow posing, connecting with clients, posing and shooting groups, marketing to your key demographic, sales, and more.

In this comprehensive series you'll learn Sue's inspiring approach to styling, posing, marketing, selling and so much more!


1Teaching 2 Photographers in 28 Days 2First 2 Years: The Truth 3Rate Your Business 4Year One in Business 128 Challenges 2Fear 3Price & Value 4Checklist, Challenges, and Next Steps 1Day 1: The Natural Light Studio 1Day 2: Mapping Your Set and Outfits 1Day 3: One Composition - Five Poses 1Day 4: Flow Posing 1Day 5: Posing Couples 1Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression 1Day 7: The Rules - Chin, Shoulders, Hands 1First Weekly Q&A Session 2Day 8: Rules - Hourglass, Body Language, Asymmetry, Connection 1Day 9: Styling & Wardrobe 1Day 10: Shooting Curves 1Day 11: Posing & Shooting - Groups of 2, 3, and 4 1Day 12: Posing & Shooting Families 1Day 13: Products & Price List 1Day 14: Marketing & Shooting the Before & After 1Day 15: Phone Coaching & Scripting 1Second Weekly Q&A Session 2Day 16: Posing Young Teens 1Day 17: Marketing & Shooting - Family First Demographic 1Day 18: The Corporate Headshot 1Day 19: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare 2Photoshop Video: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare 1Day 20: Photoshop - Warping & the Two Minute Rule 1Day 21: Posing Mothers & Daughters 1Third Weekly Q&A Session 2Day 22: Marketing & Shooting - 50 & Fabulous Demographic 1Day 23: Shooting into the Backlight 2Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight 1Day 24: Marketing & Shooting - Girl Power Demographic (18-30s) 2Photoshop Video: Girl Power Demographic (18-30s) 1Day 25: The Beauty Shot 2Bonus: Vintage Backdrop 1Day 26: Marketing & Shooting - Independent Women Demographic 1Day 27: Sales & Production 1Day 28: Posing Men 1Bonus: Pricing 2Introduction 3Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 1 4Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 2 5Marketing Part 1 6Marketing Part 2 7Money: What's Blocking You? 8Bonus: The Folio Shoot 1Photo Critiques Images 1 through 10 2Photo Critiques Images 11 through 27 3Photo Critiques Images 28 through 45 4Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67 5Photo Critiques Images 68 through 84 6Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105 7Photo Critiques Images 106 through 130 8Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141 9Photo Critiques Images 142 through 167 10Photo Critiques Images 168 through 197 11Photo Critiques Images 198 through 216 1Identify Your Challenges 2Identify Your Strengths 3Getting Started Q&A 4Rate Your Business 5Marketing Vs Pricing 6Facing Fear 7The 28 Day Study Group 8Selling Points 9Interview with Susan Stripling 10Emotional Honesty 1Sue's Evolution 228 Days Review 3Student Pitches 428 Days Testimonial: Mapuana Reed 5How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation 6Your Block: Seeing is What You're Being 7Your Block: Valuing and Receiving 8Building Confidence: Your Own Stories 9Building Confidence: Your Self Worth 10Pitching An Experience 11Pitching An Experience: Your Intentions 12Pitching An Experience: Social Media 13Final Thoughts


Claude Bossel

Based in Switzerland, I am an advertising/commercial photographer since 20 years and I am still learning everyday. I have bought several courses on Creativelive, all are great and inspiring. This one is also fantastic, thanks to Sue and her incredible experience and wisdom, you will improve your personality, your attitude and skills that will bear many fruits in your business and personal life. I highly recommend anyone who loves photography or dream to become a full time pro to invest in courses like this one. Thank you Sue, thank you all from Creativelive.