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28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 36 of 85

Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight


28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 36 of 85

Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight


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!


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


a Creativelive Student

I have purchased four of Sue's courses and love them all. I have learned so much. I found the lesson on connecting with people thru their eyes has made a huge difference in my photos already. Her before and after's made me cry. I want to be able to take these kinds of photos for my family and friends. I just love what she does. She is such a great teacher. I learn much better seeing things done, so this was the perfect choice for me to learn. I love Sue's humor, her honesty, her detailed teaching and sweet and wonderful personality. Her sessions will or should not disappoint anyone. It is the best money I have ever spent on self-help teaching. Thanks a million creative live. You GOTTA LOVE SUE!


Pure gold. Sue Bryce is likable, talented, funny, and an amazing teacher. She calls you on your BS (your excuses for why you aren't succeeding), gives you business, posing, marketing, pricing and LIFE advice. The class is 58 hours long - and you spend the majority of it looking right over her shoulder, through her lens and watch her walk through many, many photoshoots. She verbally and clearly repeats several critical formulas for success so it's imprinted in your mind. Her advice is crystal clear and your photography will dramatically improve after this class. Before Creative Live, you'd NEVER have had the opportunity to shadow a photographer of her quality... hands down the best photography class I've ever taken.


I have just began this course and I am excited to see how following her model will help me to improve and get my business started. I have been through the first two days and there is lots of information to absorb and things to get in order before I begin the actual challenges. I am thankful that there are photographers out there who are will to reveal there secrets ad are truly invested in others improving themselves in all aspects of their life and not just their photography skills. Thanks Sue Bryce for your passion for empowering woman and your knowledge of creating and sustaining a business by being true to who you and commitment to the improvement of others! I am excited to grow myself and my business, I am confident this will be worth every penny! Were the templates for the email PDF included in this course