28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 5 of 85

28 Challenges

 

28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 5 of 85

28 Challenges

 

Lesson Info

28 Challenges

I think I, I was reading some comments on Facebook and email and Twitter last night and I think I, I upset a few people yesterday talking about money. It seems that it's a very tough subject to talk about. Particularly when I told you that you're in charge of that. I think that to make people feel unsettled or to hear a subject, you have always three choices. You can block it, you can be empowered by it or you can be incredibly angry by it. And I think the most interesting thing about that is and you could probably be apathetic or just completely uninterested or indifferent. I think if you're indifferent, it matters not to you. I think if you block it, you will eventually have to come back to it. And I think if you are empowered by it or open to it, it resonates with you. And I think it, if it angers you, or it presses buttons with you, I think you really should look even further into that. So I had a few people make comments about my business plan being a get-rich-quick scheme. Which ...

was awesome because the people that sit up here for the year were just telling you how rich they all were, right? And how successful they'd all been at it. Somebody else said there's no such thing as blocks. So I think that might be a block. (audience laughing) Anyway it occurred to me one thing. I said to you yesterday that when, I don't teach workshops because, I don't teach one-on-one workshops because I feel like people employed me to teach them how to take better photographs, but what they really needed to work on was their personal self. And I would go to their studios and I would look at them and hear their language and I would hear their voice. I'd hear their blocks and their negativity and I would try to direct my workshop to there and they would all come back to no, just show me how to take pictures like this. 'Cause if I take pictures like this, then my work will be valuable and then it will sell. That tells me you value my photography, but not yours. So, you can't become successful by thinking that if you take prettier pictures you'll make more money, 'cause I've said to you from the start for 12 months, that for the first 10, 15 years of my career, I had no money in the bank. Not one dime. I lived week to week, dollar for dollar with a credit card debt. So I was a good photographer that took beautiful images and it wasn't until I started my business and then learned about money and confronted my own blocks that I actually started to make money. So yesterday, when I went into that conversation, I was really intrigued by the backlash. You see, it intrigues me that from the first day I started talking on CreativeLive, everybody was so ready to embrace me. Everybody was so supportive of me. Thousands and thousands, 12,000 emails after my first CreativeLive. Personal stories, you changed my life, rah, rah, rah. And is that comfortable if I don't challenge you? Is it comfortable if I only tell you my success story? Is it comfortable if I don't tell you where I screw up, every single year, for 23 years as a photographer, and continually do because I'm a work in progress as well? Does that make you feel comfortable if you never know that about me? And if you don't feel comfortable when I challenge you, you need to understand that you would never be my friend, because I have friends for life. I make friends and I don't have fair-weathered friends. Okay, fair-weathered people don't last in my life, because I'm an emotional person and I'm a very strong person, and I love to love the people in my life and have for a whole lifetime. My very best friend I met when I was 14-years-old, and she, without a doubt, is one of my soulmates. She's at home in New Zealand having babies and watching my career. She tells me the other day she Googles me. I said, you could just text me. (audience laughing) She was like, I just wanted to know where you were, so I Googled you. And I was like, you Googled me? Like where is Sue? Like Where's Wally? (audience laughing) So I do make friends for life, and one of the things that I do is have very challenging conversations with my friends. Not just about them, but about me, about life, and about everything we hear in our own voices. The friends that I have, they understand that conversation. So when one of my friends sits at my table they bring to my table their problem and we dissect it. We dissect it through the mind, okay? Why are you here? Why are you dwelling in this space? Why are you thinking here? Is this what you're seeing? Is this what you're being right now? And when I say it to them, they say it to me, and we learn from it. That is one of the most significant things that you understand about my personality. Also, nothing I've ever become has ever been without that journey and without that conversation. So if you ever become my friend you will have to sit at my table and you will have to put all of your shit on the table and dissect it. And one of the cool things about it, is then you will have to take responsibility for it, and then you'll own it. 'Cause that's what I do, every single day, and I am a work in progress. So that makes my life incredibly interesting, and also incredibly successful right now because I have worked towards that and I have done the work. When I mentioned that yesterday, and I was trying to steer you away from that, because we're gonna go into fear today and the personal block instead of the business block, but every time I brought up business block, you all stood up and told me other things. What were you telling me? Which is your business block? I'm fat and I'm ugly? Ah, that wasn't on there. That's tomorrow on personal blocks, what else? I'm not worthy. I'm not good enough. My images aren't good enough. I'm working from a place of ego. Again, none of those things exist on my business map. But, let me address one thing. If that fires people up, then good. I'm gonna fire you up today like nobody's business, and I want to fire you up because if I can't do that, you know what, I create images for awards and I also illustrate some very, very dark charcoals, which I love. It's this dark side of me that I just... And I've never showed them to the public, but my friends have seen them and I will release them soon. I do these big charcoals. I remembered that people look at them and they either just stand in front of it and shake and cry because they understand that darkness, or they look at it and go, I'm sorry that repels me, I can't even look at that. But what they don't do is stand in front of it and go, meh. And that is pretty much my personality. You can either stand in front of me and go, God I love that woman or you'll stand in front of me and go God I hate that woman. But nobody ever meets me and goes, meh. (audience laughing) And you know what, if they did I would be really annoyed by them because that's who I am and always have been, and I embrace that. That was my weakness growing up and now it's my strength. If you don't like me, it's okay. I'm okay with that. I still like you. So, today I'm going to tell you why I chose 28 challenges. If people online right now are struggling with that money and they want to call me a capitalist, I'm gonna own that today. Thank you. I finally made it. (audience laughing) I had two goals in my business, and that was to take incredible photographs and to make money doing it. I have achieved that and I can now take that even further by taking more photographs. Somebody on the internet heard yesterday that I'm giving up photography to become a full-time educator and they never want to hear me speak again. I was like, I don't remember saying that. No, I am a photographer. I will be til the day I die. I believe in it with my heart and soul, but I also believe there are multiple ways to make an income from that in a whole lifetime. It will always be a function in my income, because it is my life and I believe in it more than anything else. So on a keynote this morning, I'm going to start with how to make money. I don't care what anybody says, what I'm teaching you with this business model is how to make money. Make no secret about it, this is how to make money. After this, I'm gonna teach you how to get out of your own way, so you can make money. All right. The first challenge is called Natural Light Studio. Now, there are a lot of people, a lot of people in my audience that shoot with artificial light and you know I don't. There's two reasons that I don't. One is I always thought you could start a business for $100 in your own lounge by using a polyboard, a painted polyboard and a reflector and a computer. 'Cause that's kind of how I had to start. I couldn't even afford lights anyway. And two, I don't like artificial light at all. Now you might like it, and that's okay. Again, not gonna judge you. I'm gonna tell you why I don't like it. I don't like it because when I see flash-lit photographs and they're supermodels and they're little waifs going like this, I see that and I think wow, fashion. That is hot. When I see an every day woman in those lights, I see 80s glamour. You understand? And I don't care what the crop is, but when I see an every day woman in artificial light, I just see 80s glamour. My brand is Herb Ritts. My brand is 90s, supermodel, natural-light glamour. That's where I have always loved and felt comfortable. I've always gone toward Vanity Fair portrait. That's my style. That's the style I want to teach you and to do that I have to show you how to set up a corner in your lounge with a reflector and reflect light. A lot of people cannot do this. So I've started with one of the most basic challenges, and I do not care if you are a photographer of 10 years, 15 years or 20 years. I challenge you to watch this challenge. I challenge you to get a V-flat, a whiteboard, put by a window, diffuse the light, bounce it back and take a shot straight out of camera that looks like a beauty dish, exactly as I do in the video. Now these videos that you saw yesterday are straight raw out of my camera. What you're seeing is the truth of what I'm shooting. This is real-live stuff. It's not pre-edited. Even though it's pre-shot, it's not pre-edited. So the natural light studio, for me, was 101. I don't care how advanced you are, just do that challenge. The next one was Mapping Your Sets and Your Outfits. What I did was I got two girls in and they each brought in five outfits. I chose the outfit with the background and I show doing this. I show myself mapping this out. Once I map it, I then show you how. In one and a half hours I shoot about 80 images each of two girls in five outfits on five different sets. I flow through it so smoothly that you can see that while one's getting changed I'm shooting the other, and then when she's getting changed I swap the set and shoot the other. But I have pre-mapped the entire map so that you can flow efficiently through your work. This is about making you really efficient as portrait photographers. I know that there's a lot of people out there that take the day to shoot. I have three hours. One of those has got to be in hair and makeup. Two hours to shoot, tops. Two girls. After three hours people start yawning 'cause they've had enough and they're tired. I want them to leave on mealtime, and then come back cranking for their viewing. So excited because they've just had an incredible experience, not bored that they've just spent six hours at a photo shoot. In six hours, a photographer, average photographer will knock out four to 800 photographs. And you have to go and edit those. I show 30, tops. 25 is better. So why on earth would I take 400 photographs? And why, when I could do two shoots a day, am I doing one? So it's about refining the process. I'm trying to teach you how to master this. So I need you to master this process. Pre-map. Pre-map your poses, pre-map your sets, and your outfits. It's a really great challenge, this one. This would be one of my all-time favorites. One Composition, Five Poses. In every single posing workshop I've ever done, I teach about getting somebody into a pose and then changing simply their hands maybe five times before you move out of the pose. You are not to sit somebody into a pose and then take 40 photographs of them. Don't lie, I know that's what you all do. I've seen it a million times. You know, it's like 40 of those like it's gonna get better. It's not getting better. You gotta move people around so this challenge is Live View. You are seeing a Live View pose, through my camera, and you are watching her move multiple times because out of these four images, how many do you think, of these, she picked? All of them. And do you know why? Because if I had taken 40 shots of her like that she would have picked one. We create multiple images to sell multiple images to make money. We must start thinking like a business structure. Now I want you to stop, in fact, I think you can stop being that precious little artist that is sitting there at two in the morning editing 600 photographs. I think you can start looking at this as a viable commercial product that you can launch and make money from. All right? From there, our next challenge is Flow Posing. Flow posing for me is about getting you guys moving and practicing. This is something you need to master because no matter what body type, age, demographic, or outfit that I'm posing, my experience with the flow is good enough to cope with anything. That flow is really easy to teach, but it's the absolute foundation of this challenge, that will blow you away 'cause what I've done is I've got a white couch in one position, and I flow posed her over the couch, on the side, lying down in front of, behind, and then up on the arm. 46 images on one couch. 46 different poses in one spot. I want you to learn them so you can print it out like a posing book. So you can actually pull out the contact sheet from that challenge, print it out and flow through the whole thing until you learn all of them. Then, I take the white leather couch away, because somebody's gonna email me and tell me they can't afford a white leather couch, my first couch was vinyl, and then I put in place a white box. A little wooden white box. Somebody's gonna email and ask me where to buy them from. (audience laughing) I make them myself. It's a white box, people. (audience laughing) How big is it? Big enough for someone to sit on. (audience laughing) I do the same flow map. Sitting, leaning, standing, beauty, image, lying. I do exactly the same flow map on a white box, and I show all of this Live View through my camera. So you can watch that unfold and then practice it. Master it. Learn it. So you get a model, and I don't care who the model is. So when you put for the to come back, and you put up for I did the 28 day challenge, and you're gonna show me a contact sheet of your flow, it doesn't matter who that is. No dogs or babies, though. People do that. (audience laughing) the flow posing is about getting you out of your comfort zone, making you speak confidently, direct confidently, and remember it's about you finding those poses, so that when you go into automatic pilot in a shoot, you are delivering at the highest level because it's what you know. That's one of my favorite challenges. You see it straight out of camera. It's crazy beautiful. Posing Couples. When I talk about opening up my genre in glamour, I'm a glamour photographer, yes, but I don't call myself a glamour photographer. I call myself a contemporary portrait photographer. I photograph couples, families, and I... But I market through glamour. Do you understand that? I might, there are couples on my website. I think my mom and dad are on my website. There are couples on my website, but I don't market to these couples unless it's Valentine's Day. You see, here's the thing about gendered conversation or gendered anything in social context. When a woman comes into my shoot, into my studio, it's about her. She brings in five outfits. She gets her whole body prepared, she gets a spray tan. She comes in, she gets her hair and makeup done. Every single shot that I take is about her. I want to wear this, I want to look like this, I want to feel like this. And when the boys come in with them, it's about them. She will pose around him instead of around her. So a long time ago I kicked the boys out. Then I realized that that was doing me a great disservice, 'cause I like boys, for starters, and it's quite nice to have men in the studio when you've got 10 female staff. And the other one was, they want to be part of it. Now they don't always want to be part of it, like I said the guys aren't our market, but they are definitely a pathway to the wallet. So they're our sales booster. Like we know with most women is they are very persuasive and there are a lot of guys who do love it, and more so now. I've got this beautiful couple here, dear friends of mine, Tiffany and Marc Angelese. They're photographers in LA. You know that Tiffany's been assisting me on CreativeLive. I took them through a traditional flow in the studio. Just traditional. They are all traditional. I've got them doing all the traditional poses that you can do with any age group, any couple. I want to teach you my rules there. How to connect them, how to connect their body language. How to make them look like they're a beautiful sexy couple. How to join that body language together, and I flow though the traditional aspect of that, and you get to see that through Live View. So that to me is a great challenge. It's a great challenge because this challenge opens up an entire marketing avenue into your studio if you don't already have it. If you are shooting weddings, and I'm assuming your shooting engagement portraits or have tried something of that, so it doesn't matter. It'll give you some good posing tips and if anything else it will remind you to keep marketing to this demographic. This is one of my all-time favorites. (audience laughing) The beautiful Kenna Klosterman. This challenge is called Capturing Beautiful Connection and Expression. If I had one question sent to me more than any other question, it was how do you get people to look at you like that? Kenna's not looking at me like that. Kenna's looking in my camera. So she's not looking at me, at all. The thing is, is that is not a magic pill. That is not something you say. That is not Sue using her sexy voice. I'm gonna use my sexy voice now, Kenna, and you're gonna look right in the camera to me. That's right. I hate photographers teach that. I do, I do, I hate it. I could go like this. Kenna, chin forward, lift up, look at me. Relax your mouth. Eyes to me now. Tiny little smile in your eyes, Kenna. I can say it like that and she'd be like. So what I did was I put Kenna in front of the camera Live View and I talked her through her face from fish face, which everyone sits there fish face, you know the camera. Or it's either fish or duck. (audience laughing) It's either fish or duck. Fish, duck, fish, duck. Then there's the relaxed face. (audience laughing) and then I just show how subtle it is to go from here to here. Just that subtlety that is a smile through the expression. That is what I've mastered. That sells portraits. You can make fundamental mistakes in your posing, you can fix things in Photoshop. But that single component will sell and make you hundreds of thousands of dollars. I've seen it, I've seen it. So my girls in my studio in New Zealand, we're shooting at say 85 to 90% of me, because I have 10 years on them. And yet they were matching me dollar for dollar in the sales room. And that tells me something. They got connection and they sold portraits. That connection is priceless. If you leave and I say this every time, if you leave with nothing else from me, go home and get that connection through the eyes with the people that you photograph. Then look at my work again and you will see that every single person I have ever photographed is looking at me like that. That is why, not any other reason, not technical ability or anything else, is why my work is better than most peoples'. And that's all. I am at a basic level an average photographer, but that is where I have my strength. My biggest power is being able to control and direct expression. And it is just beautiful. Sue, can I just say. You can teach that. This is what? Thanks. This one is so powerful, this challenge, and it's not just me, (audience laughing) my best friends too, but that connection, we always, we talked about how hard that is for people to think that they can learn. To think that it cannot be taught and experiencing it and seeing what you're doing in the Live View. You will learn. You will learn how she does this. It can be taught. Holding someone's gaze, is all it is. Learning how to hold someone's gaze. And it's actually a very hard thing to do. In fact, Tim Ferriss' book, I think it's 4-Hour Workweek or 4-Hour Body, I can't remember which one. He talks about doing it as an exercise, just holding people's gaze. Do you know how many people don't hold a gaze in conversation? They can't hold your gaze. When some people hold your gaze it's really intense. So I always say to people, learning to do that is incredible because the face is a mirror and it's a direct mirror. Come here. I'll show you. You're my assistant. Did you cry yesterday after our session? No. I didn't even know what you were doing with me... Well you were shooting and I was standing behind you. Right, I didn't know. (Sue laughing) Okay, look at me. Okay lift up nice and tall, bring your chin forward. See, she did exactly what I did. She smiled when I smiled. Her eyes smiled when I smiled. She did teeth smile when I smiled. Just like that. Everybody does the same thing. We mirror each other. The face you look at mirrors your own. So when people say I had a girl that, she just couldn't get that smile in her eyes, it's not true. Thank you. It's not true. I would pull out of camera, look at them and say I need you to do this. And just project your smile through your eyes not your mouth. Okay, so when you look at somebody and you smile at them, you're not looking at my mouth. You're looking at my eyes. My mouth is smiling. So I don't smile with my mouth. (audience laughing) Do I? So why would you stand in front of a camera and go? (audience laughing) I don't. I smile with my eyes. Even when my mouth goes out my eyes still smile. So I'm still here. It's there, there that we look. So the expression is only through the eyes and it's so easy to learn. But you just practice holding their gaze and practice smiling with your eyes and projecting that smile through your eyes. I say to people, it's like looking at someone that you love. You don't look at someone you love and go... (audience laughing) Or you might go... (audience laughing) when somebody walks in that you love, you twinkle. It's about having that. It's about saying, hey. Hey! And it's really important. This is probably the most important challenge. I wanted to make it first so that you could do it for the rest of the 28 days. Twinkle. Get that twinkle in people's eyes and make them give it to you. This is not something you have to do, it's something you have to stop doing in order to get. Do you understand that? When you take all the tension out of the face, relax your eyebrows. Okay, everybody right now, sit up nice and tall, bring your chin forward. Good, bad postures in this room. (audience laughing) I want you to push your chin forward and down just ever so slightly 'cause it opens your eyes up to me. I want you to relax your mouth and your eyebrows. Did everybody feel their face go down then? Relax your mouth, relax your eyebrows, and look down at the floor. Completely relax your face and bring your eyes up to me. And I want just a tiny little smile in the eyes. A little bit more. A little bit more. Nice. That's it. Everybody has it. The next challenge is I've broken down the rules because I am seeing some hands that do not belong. (audience laughing) Remember when I showed you my hands that don't belong yesterday? I'm seeing a lot of these, a lot of these, a lot of these. My friend, Haley Bartholomew, she's like, Sue, you know when people post shots on your wall? And I was like yeah and she goes, you know how you bring the hand up to the face? And I said yeah and she goes, why can't anybody else do that? And I said what do you mean? She said, everyone else kind of goes like this. And I said because I've been teaching chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass body language, asymmetric connection. Now I'm gonna break it right down for you. I put Tiffany in front of the camera in Live View, and I got her to go through all of them for you, so you can master the rules. Nobody gets posed without the rules, and then you critique your images with these rules. You remember that, right? Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass body language, asymmetric connection. Those rules make a woman's body look incredible on camera. When I pose the men, you're going to see an opposite of all those rules, which is really exciting too. So chin, shoulder, hands is about getting this body language here where our hands touch our body in a way that they're meant to, and when our chin and our shoulder connects, so that we can get all of this body language and all of that and make our images real, direct and beautiful. Because it just brings everything together when the body language comes into play. Body language is so powerful. The next, and there's a whole hour of that. The next challenge is Body Language: Asymmetry and I've thrown in Connection in there and hourglass. So it's about making sure you're moving the hips by moving the feet and knees, sitting your position, using asymmetrical poses which are more modern. Shooting at lower angles and getting asymmetry, which is beautiful. This is something you need to learn and when you learn it, you will never unsee it. These rules are paramount to posing and making beautiful images. Styling and Wardrobe. What I've created with this challenge is something entirely unique and this is going to be a great competition. I want you to create a styling and wardrobe PDF. I want the wardrobe, the styling wardrobe, to be like a catalog of shoots and clothes, so that you can fully educate your clients. Not only will your clients feel assured that they're getting the right things for the shoot, they will be committed to the shoot. Remember, the more education that you put into your client pre-shoot, the more money they will spend because the more committed they are to getting a result. I thought long and hard about how I can do this. In this challenge, I photographed this girl. I've asked Jen to bring in 20 outfits. Now most women struggle to bring in five. Then they bring in 20. Then they tell me they've got nothing to wear and none of it's new and they don't like any of it. So I asked Jen to bring in 20 outfits and I photographed her in all 20, like a catalog. I'm making a really neat little outfit catalog. Now this is for glamour and contemporary portrait only. If you're shooting more family-based portraiture, you need to create your catalog with family. But I tell you right now, just because I'm a glamour photographer, or contemporary portrait photographer, doesn't mean I don't know. I worked in a family portrait and wedding studio for the first 13 years of my career. In that studio my boss taught me that the more people are committed to getting outfits for the family, for the shoot, the more committed they are to their shoot and their sale. They more education I can give you, and I need you to master this, the stronger your shoots will be. Not only that, that gives me an opportunity to connect with you. I got two complaints about my business last year. Do you know what they were? Not enough pre-conversation. I was too busy to talk to the girls before their shoot. I connected with them at the shoot, but by then they were a bit angry with me 'cause they'd expected that I was gonna give them the service that I tell you that I give. And I didn't. And that was really bad. I apologized. I apologized but what more can I do? And I learned my lesson. That to me tells me that what is more important than the sale is the pre-consultation. Now get this. Every single time I do a one hour pre-consultation, and take that time, the sale at the other end's 10 minutes. Kind of weird, it's like it's already done. I can't tell you how important that is. Do you understand what I'm saying? In one conversation, I've already sold a $3000 folio, because I'm giving her time and energy and she's loving what I'm giving her and then she's walking into her shoot invested, fully committed and turning up. How many people don't have shoots turn up? I know what that's like. I've been in the studio. So when I drop that ball, it shows really quickly. Really important that you can take them through that education and I want you to master this. Then I want you to create a PDF just like mine. I don't care if you copy it, copy it entirely. It is there to help you and teach you to master this. Then include this in your business, any business. Shooting Curves. I love shooting curves, and I love that I can take any girl, any body type, and I can make her feel gorgeous. That is my skill. And I love that. I love that. I hated it when I first put on weight and I'd get in front of the camera. That was just tear it up for me. There's a period of my life that I don't exist in photographs. Well, if I die this afternoon, then I'm sure that my parents would be really interested as to where I was between the ages of 28 and 32. (audience laughing) You must exist in photographs for your children. You cannot rip something out because you don't like where you're at right now. And if you don't like where you're at right now, don't worry, it can always get worse. (audience laughing) So you might as well embrace what you've got, and you might as well love it because your children don't care if you're old and your children don't care if you're fat. Your children just love you and they want you to be in the photographs. When I explain that to women, no matter how old or fat they tell me they are, they get in the photograph because they know how important that is. If you've ever lost a parent, or child, that is priceless. That's life. That's how you sell portraits 'cause that's the truth. So when I have a woman stand in front of me who's telling me she's not good enough to be photographed, I say no the photographers that have photographed you are not good enough. Amen. (audience clapping) A body is just a measurement. Nothing. Everybody thinks that when you leave a room everyone's looking at your fat ass. They're not. They're not that interested in your ass. It doesn't work, we've got this obsession with ourself. We're gonna hit that next. Nobody cares about your ass. Now what they care about what you left in the room energetically, and what was that? Did you walk in there with an open heart and a big smile on your face and an open everything? And present yourself to the best of your ability. It wouldn't matter the size of your bum. It doesn't matter 'cause when you look at someone and you connect with them and you love them, you cease to see them physically and all you see is a light. So if you block that light, that's what you're gonna get. I love it that you can move hands and change angles and change somebody's body. That you can take a shot in a normal position, and then shift one hip, one hand and push that chin forward, and the significant beauty of that image has changed. That's what you're seeing, live. And it's really neat. There's so many great challenges in there. Body hand, pulling back shoulders, big boobs, slimming waist, kicking back, reclining. Shooting groups of two, three, and four. We've done this in Live View, you saw it yesterday. Shooting groups of two, three, and four. There's an art to posing two, three, and four people in a contemporary way. Remember traditional portraiture's not taught anymore. Traditional portrait posing. Where do you learn that? Where'd you learn it? You learned it on the fly, right? Yeah. Well, I learned it on the fly and I learned it from fashion magazines, Guess ads, and you know what, I just learned the most basic rules and then I applied them to my photography. They're contemporary, they're easy, and they sell every single time. But more importantly, what I'm teaching you with this one, is not just to add on. So I start with two girls, I add a third, I add a fourth. So whatever comes at you. A sister, a mom and two daughters, whatever comes at you, you can now pose this. The best part about this is I'm gonna teach you that when I market to this girl here, this girl comes with these three and if I shoot all four of them, I've quadrupled my sale. That's smart business. Women don't go to the toilet on their own. That's a fact. And we love to share and we love to talk and we love to tell stories. And every single time you have a girl come into your studio, and you invite her to bring her friends, you invite a space to not only sell more portraits, but to connect with an entire new network of women. That is an incredible well of work. This challenge is one of my favorites. They're all beautiful girls and they were so much fun, and they just look fabulous. Again, this is 101. Now if taking a before and after shot was easy, why aren't you all doing it very well? There are fundamental rules to taking a before and after and then marketing with them. And it just occurred to me, I've not taught you what they are. My before and after gallery on my website is the go-to. I've had over two million hits on my website in the last year since my last CreativeLive. Do you believe that? Two million. Most of them go, 90%, to the before and after gallery. When I've been interviewed by journalists this year, they all say to me we've seen your web. We love the before and after gallery. So even non-photography people love it and then, when photographers pin my before and afters, people who are not photographers from around the world call me and say I saw this before and after. That tells me something. That tells me that my genre is getting very accurately communicated through two images. One says before and one says after. That tells me that we understand what a transformation is and we love it. We love transformation TV. We love every part of it and I need to teach you how to not only how to do this exceptionally well, but I need to teach you how to market with it. That will bring you a lot of business. What I've been seeing lately is people photographing befores with stuff in the backgrounds that are messy. I've seen hair down. We don't have down for a before and after. And I've seen before shots that look better than the afters! 'Cause then the makeup's terrible and the hair's terrible and the poses, they've gone from naturally going like this, hi I'm a gorgeous natural girl to like oh no, that didn't work. (audience laughing) And people are writing on Facebook. You know I love that on Facebook people are like a bit ballsy but they're like, ah, I like the before shot better. Just saying. The photographer's probably sitting at home crying. Fetal thumb in the mouth. So this is something I need you to master. Now if you think that's a basic challenge, I challenge this. If you think that's a basic challenge, then why doesn't anybody else have a before and after gallery that looks like mine? And it's not the after. All right, you're doing a lot of good afters. A lot of crappy befores so I'm gonna take you through that. Oh, this is definitely so much fun. I'm so sick of seeing 16-year-old girls trying to look 25, like they're in Playboy Magazine. A 16-year-old-girl has a beauty all on her own, and it has zero sensuality. A 16-year-old girl can do duck mouth and have a hot body and do all the poses, but she has zero sexuality. They don't have it, they just don't. You know when women get sexuality? In their 30s. And when they're 40, they really get it. That's when they get that thing that's just like, and you're just like, wow. I mean, the young girls are all like, (audience laughing) and it's like you're trying, that's cool, that's cute. And it's kind of sad that 20 years later when you don't have it down there anymore everything else is, and you got it up, you got it going on on the inside, and mmm, I'm way sexier than I think I am. (audience laughing) Or no, I'm way sexier than you think I am. Something like that. So the truth is, I need you to understand how to take the sex out of these images, but still make them contemporary, fashion. This demographic ache for my brand. These girls here are attached to mum. Mum's got control of the money 'cause she's the fourth demographic, which is one of the challenges, and she brings mum in who pays for everything. She's got outfits, she's got prom outfits. She's 16 to 18, she's a seniors market, and she drags mum in. The best part about it is mum comes into my studio and she tells me it's just all about Katie today, but the truth is I realize when I look over at mum, and she's getting her hair and makeup done, I'm like no, Katie brought you in here, but that's not the reason you're here. Come with me. And I make sure I make that woman look as hot as her daughter if not hotter, because that's what she came in for, and she's paying. So I need to be able to show you, through the camera in Live View, how to take the boom out of it. You don't boudoir-shoot a 16-year-old. This is magazine style and they love it. My friend's 17-year-old daughter and her friends were talking and they're like, oh my God we love your brand so much. We look at your website. And I was like what do you love about it? And she said, well you know, it's just like a magazine. And I was like yeah. And she goes, and you know we all want to be Victoria's Secret models. And I was like, okay. So what they're saying is, that's her correlation to contemporary. They don't want to be in their bra and undies, they just want to be like that, model-like. So that was one of my great challenges, this one. And look at this beautiful girl, Tatiana. She is dynamite. What I also did with her is I took it up to a level that was very elegant for her age, so you can see how far I could push her, and then I brought it back down and I made sure she brought in cute dresses that were age-appropriate, but still cute, but sexy, but fun. And then what I did was I did a photo booth with her. So I just took 20 images in quick succession, which I sell as a contact sheet. So there's a great little marketing tip in there as well. Something really fun to do with the girls. If you shoot two of these young girls together, you can photo booth them together and I'll show you how to sell that as an add on. Marketing and Shooting: the Family First Demographic. Let's talk about the four shopping demographics before I go any further here. There are four shopping demographics. There's the girl that I just showed you, she's 18 to 30. Then there's the 30 to 50 with no children, and then there's both of those demographics with children. So as soon as you have children, you're removed from those two demographics, regardless of your age. This is an international shopping demographic, on the study of women shopping. They've been studying us for years. Basically, this woman here, when she has children, she's gone from the top of the shopping list to the bottom. Right? That's why women complain so much. It's a bit of a shock, and there's a lot of wince-factor going on about being at the bottom of the shopping list. A lot of I don't feel pretty any more, and I don't get to do my toenails. I don't do this and I don't do that and I don't go to the gym, but my children are first and I love that. So this demographic is the lowest spender of all four demographics, but at the same time she's the biggest internet researcher. So she'll pass you on on Pinterest, Facebook, she'll connect you there. So what I did was, I needed to teach you how to market to this demographic through shooting her. I have shot this demographic and marketed to her at the same time and then showed you how I've connected and marketed to her children, and her family, and her network, and her mum and her three generations as well. I've showed you the many marketing avenues you can take marketing this girl and shooting this girl. And that one there will be a really great one in your business if you shoot kids. Posing and Shooting: Families. A lot of people don't know that I shoot families because there are no families on my website, but if I bring a family in to the end of my girl's shoot, I can easily pump my sale up to four and $5000. So, I want to open my shoots up to market to this in a contemporary way, so I'm gonna show you how I pose a family of three, a family of four, a family of five and it's Live View shoot. So this is a really great one for you to see, and there are real live children in my studio. (audience laughing) It's the one, yeah. The Corporate Headshot. That's the debonair George Marinakis of CreativeLive. I believe that the corporate headshot is really good for two reasons. It works in terms of marketing really well, because nowadays the corporate world are starting to get a little bit more savvy with being a bit more stylish than they have been. I've always never marketed to corporate headshots, yet they've always been very attracted to my brand 'cause of its simplicity. So a lot of them say to me, I want corporate headshots. Why would I do a photoshoot for $400 and give them a CD of five or six corporate headshots? Why would I do that, when I can do a portrait shoot for three and a half thousand? You know why I would do that? Because, whether it's a man or a female, that person is my next market. If I make them my client, they're half an hour shoot. They require no makeup, and if the girls want hair and makeup they have to pay extra. They have to pay $550 to get that, and you know what? They get a hair and makeup as well, and what is that woman bringing me? Her entire network. What is that man bringing me? His entire network. Now think about it. It is a really smart way to market. Recently I went into the city when I was in Sydney, December, I went into the city and I met a friend. He works in a big corporate building in downtown Sydney. I went there to his business and I always call, 'cause I'm a photographer and I'm a smart ass, I call suits muesli eaters. I'm like oh, look at all the muesli eaters. I get to sleep in or whatever, I'm working til two in the morning on Photoshop. I look at all the gray suits. You know, look at all the muesli eaters, that's me. I go into the corporate world and I'm laughing about all the muesli eaters to myself, because I amuse myself, as I'm walking in the door, and then I get in there and I'm just watching hot chick after hot chick after hot chick after hot chick walk past and they all range in age from 20 to and I'm like, this is my demographic. And they all work here in this building. It's like a capsule. It's like a marketing capsule. It's a large marketing capsule and look at them all! They're all fabulous and they all need to wear color and be pretty and ooh, so I was talking to him and I was like, there's a lot of women in this building. And he was like, yeah 187. I was like no way! He was like yeah and I'm doing the math. 187 times $3300. Three and three and two, four, five, sixteen, right? $628,000, oh my God! This is my market! So it occurred to me that, how do I get them? If I can take a corporate headshot that looks like that, do you know how many people have seen George's profile shot and have asked me for the same? Because what they want is that style, and that style is to just take that Vanity Fair portrait and take it to the next level. There isn't a man or a female executive on this planet that does not want that. But you must look outside the square. Stop telling me that there's no money in corporate portraits, and instead tell me where it is. Stop telling me what's not there. And start telling me what is, because that is beautiful and that works, right? So that is a great challenge and you get to see me shoot that and I've got a guy and a girl, so I'll show you how I do both. This one is such a neat challenge for me, 'cause I shoot in the studio but you know lately I've been shooting outside. You've been seeing me shoot outside. Thanks largely because I've been in America for the last, since what, January the 10th, so I don't have a studio space. Well, I do now, but I didn't have a studio space. Basically I was going out and I was shooting outside. Everyone was writing on my Facebook, oh super. This is outside, woo. I was like, yeah. (groans) I didn't like it at first, but I've fallen in love with it. So many people ask me after my workshops why don't you shoot outside more? What if I don't have a studio? What if I don't have a studio? What if I don't have a studio? I give you multiple options to get a studio, to make a natural light studio in your own bedroom. I did that on the first challenge. This one was about me going out into the streets of Seattle and finding corners, walls, background, and flair that look like my studio, and then showing you how I do that in public, and you get to watch that live. So I've done an outside glamour shoot. That one, for me, will give you options on how to shoot outside when you don't have a studio, or just because. Quite frankly, I shot that in a graffiti alleyway, and that, this year, was my favorite shot. I have a favorite shot of the year, and this one was it. I love that shot more than anything in the world. I connected with this girl. I loved her shoot. Everything about it, and that shot for me. I was like, I just want to shoot to the sun, every day. The next challenge is about Photoshop. Photoshop is such an interesting base, because as you've just seen Photoshop week on CreativeLive, 13 instructors, 40 classses, that went off! We broke the internet, do you know that? As an audience? CreativeLive could not handle the traffic and the whole internet dropped out. They got the biggest fight of their lives. You guys busted that. And the was the most amount of information on Photoshop you could have given out in one week. Crazy! You know, crazy stuff. But when you're talking about specific genre, I teach people how to Photoshop in two minutes. And what's really important is that I teach you to refine this because what I need you to do is get off Photoshop, so you can shoot, market, and sell your business and have a life. I've done the three a.m. Photoshop routine. The aching bum, the sore back, the crippling shoulder pain. It doesn't need to happen and there are so many easy ways now to get 'round it. Also, contouring the body and camera is one of the biggest things I teach. Contouring the body in Photoshop is the second thing I teach. If that's one of the most controversial things that I teach, slimming the body, I don't care. It works for me and it makes me lots of money. So if you would like to know how to make that work, and make lots of money then this challenge is definitely for you. Definitely, if you want to be faster at Photoshop, and definitely, do you think that there's a woman, a model, a supermodel alive, that goes in a magazine without being retouched for eight hours? We take away the little things that we don't like so that we can focus on the things that we do. It's enhancing your image, and it is the style of both glamour, fashion and magazine and contemporary portraiture. I love it and nobody will ever take it away from me. The best part about it is, I started my career as a re-toucher when I was 18-years-old, but we didn't have computers. We had computers, but we didn't have email or Photoshop or anything and we had negatives, so I retouched on negatives. Which is where I first met Johann. So I worked for Chromatech for the first four years of my life and I serviced the professional industry in New Zealand and then I became a portrait photographer because I got my education from 380 professional photographers that were clients, and I was retouching their work. Only when I saw their work did I start to fall in love with portrait photography and want to do it myself. So I'm a re-toucher by nature and it is a big part of my work, my illustrative work, and who I am. When people put up their hand in the segment and say, I prefer natural images myself, I say good luck with that. 'Cause you might, but I know that all my female clients don't. The next one is Marketing and Shooting: the 50 and Fabulous Demographic. This is the adorable Arlene Evans. Just so you know, anybody out there, if you want to teach a photography workshop on CreativeLive I suggest this is the woman you send gifts to. Arlene, you are simply just a beautiful, just gorgeous, stunning, dynamic woman and photographing you is just so easy. I've said it a million times, if I could only photograph one age demographic it would be this one. I love these women. They've been through their life and they know, and they still, they just have a beauty about them that, you know what? I love my mom. I have got the most beautiful mother in the world and I adore her. And from being a little girl I used to just look at her and think you are so beautiful. And I still think it. She's 65. I think my mother is just so gorgeous. To me, this demographic is everything. This is the one demographic you're not marketing to, because you all want hot chicks on your page. These are hot chicks, and these hot chicks have way more money. (audience laughing) Okay? Way more money and they're way more fun to photograph. I just know that this experience for me is where I could spend my career. I would be better off than most people. Marketing and shooting to this demographic, this 50 plus demographic, I'm gonna talk about the marketing demographic in this challenge and I'm gonna show you how I shoot them, which is different because it is different. It's like the teenagers. We don't sex it up, it's all about elegance. And I'm gonna show you elegant poses and elegant portraits and I want you to market portrait of a lady. I want you to market to this demographic. And pull it into your studio and make lots of money doing it and have a lot of fun doing it. Absolutely beautiful. You know, right up to 83, they're still beautiful, they're still dynamic, they're still stunning, and they still make me feel very lucky to do what I do. It doesn't matter their age or even as they get older, they still love it. And they still pick at themselves. Do I look fat? Should I wear these pants? It's like, what, that never goes away? (audience laughing) You don't grow out of that? I was like I was kind of hoping about mid- I would just drop out. No, it doesn't drop away at all. You know, 83, still? Oh, God. Another 4O years. This is something I've mastered in the studio, and it's something most people struggle with. I've done an entire challenge, one hour challenge, just on shooting this backlight. Basically what I've done is I've opened up my Live View camera, I've put my model there, but this one I've bracketed exposure. I've bracketed exposure from two and a half stops under to two and a half stops over. I've showed you where my reflectors are, and then in the second half of the portion of this challenge is on Photoshop because this is where you make this image pop. This is a very hard image to capture in natural light, and it is not the same in flashlight or fill-light. It doesn't look as good. This is the singly-most requested image in my folio, the backlight. So whether they're lying in bed with a white sheet around them looking like they're nude, whether they're glamour, whether they're in a ball gown standing in front of a window I'm gonna teach you how to master this backlight, so that you can now incorporate this as one of your most-requested shots. Wouldn't it be a lovely time when your folio is actually being requested to you, instead of trying to pitch it to other people? When does that happen? Do you know when it happens? When you've mastered one style, or one pose, or one, that's when it happens, okay? It happens when you start being consistent, 'cause consistency is the greatest marketing tool in the world. Consistency is close to mastery. When you are consistent, you have a brand. When you have a brand, you are recognized. When you have people asking you for images from your folio, that, that is when you know that your work is selling itself, and that I think is amazing. The Girl Power Demographic, 18 to 30 years old. She is a peach to photograph. Doesn't spend as much money as the older demographics, however she comes with mom and boyfriend. It's like Barbie with Ken and mom who pays for everything. I'm going to teach you how I shoot this demographic. Because I've done a mother and daughter challenge, I chose with this demographic to shoot her, and then shoot her and her boyfriend together. I took that couples shoot fully Calvin Klein. So they wore singlets, jeans, Calvin Klein boxers, ad shot lying on the floor, real grungy black and white, and like a 23-year-old would want. I have showed you how to then take the couple shoot through this demographic. Now, going back to the original couples challenge, I've done Tiff and Marc as completely traditional, and then what I've done with this one is I've taken it to that real fashion aspect. So real Calvin Kleiny, arms around each other, black-and-white, gutsy imagery, really beautiful. I shot Sherry and Monty and you're gonna love this. It's all posed in Live View and even the ad shot, lying on the ground, you get to see that, and I'm gonna drop in an artificial background in it to make it really pop, really incredible. Something really special. It's a great shot. I've sold it over and over again in my studio. This one is really half marketing, half shooting. Yeah, great challenge. Mothers and Daughters. My biggest money earner in my studio. The mother and daughter is how I market to this demographic. I market to this demographic shoot, flow pose with them in a way that makes it really efficient and really easy to both market and produce beautiful images in my studio. This is a really big draw card. I think it's going to be a good challenge. It's hard learning to pose two, and it's really neat to see the flow with this one. I go shoot the daughter, shoot the couple, shoot the mom. Shoot the daughter, shoot the couple, shoot the mom. I create series of triptics right throughout the whole map of this and you can print out this map and use it as a posing guide. Also you can see this Live View through the camera as I'm posing them. So you get to see why I shift that shoulder forward and why I pull that arm down, and why it doesn't work when the head's there, and why the head needs to be here, here, and then here. I talk it through and you can see it through my camera. It just makes it so much easier to learn when you can see what I can see. That's why filming Live View has been so significant in these challenges. The beauty shot. The beauty shot is the shot that everybody buys. Sorry, every girl buys. Okay, it's not the shot that the men buy. Men don't usually buy photographs of their girlfriends like this. They buy photos of their girlfriends like this. Laughing, so does dad. Dad likes smiling, men like smiling women, it's just a fact. And girls, the whole beauty shot thing, is for the girls. We read beauty magazines. Everybody in our beauty magazines look like this. So we want to look like that. The boys are like, eh, could you move your face? Could you look happy? Basically, the beauty shot for me, is about the five quintessential beauty shots that sell multiple images in my studio. They're really simple. They're over the shoulder. They're elbows on the box. The tight crop to the wall. The cover-girl shot. Flowers in the hair. Repeat, repeat, master, rinse, repeat. Master, rinse, repeat, sell. Master, rinse, repeat, sell. Master, rinse, repeat, sell. Sell, sell. It's great. It's about teaching you formulas that are beautiful formulas. It's about teaching you formulas that are outside of just the norm, or outside of anything that looks like a formula. Marketing and Shooting the Independent Woman. I'm the independent woman demographic. I'm between the age of 30 and 50 and I have no children. I am the highest earning income of the four shopping demographics, and the most in debt of all four. We have more credit card debt than any of the other four shopping demographics 'cause we spend too much but we also earn a lot. We tend to drink a lot and then go to yoga the next morning so we have a balance of good and bad. Our demographic-- (audience laughing). And that's okay. And sometimes you don't go to yoga 'cause you drunk too much. (audience laughing) But the idea is that our balance between spend and enjoy is really strong and we are a very strong shopping demographic. What we have, what our power is, our demographic, is we have the strongest network of friends. My demographic comes with five powerful women. All of those women talk about their decision on big ticket purchases. So basically, if you're going to go and do something, you invite that group. That woman comes with her friends. And whatever she spends her friends spend, and they've got money and they will spend. So, learning the demographics and learning about us, and then finding what your demographic is and learning about yourself is quite amusing, but what I love about it is learning how to connect the networks through them. You can just attach to thousands and thousands of women by knowing this simple thing. So I need to show you how I market and shoot these women, 'cause it's different than the 20-year-olds. How do I market them, and how do I shoot them? How do I entice them into my studio? Posing men. (audience coos) (audience laughing) (audience clapping) (whistling) Big Russ. Oh, Sue. So. That's how she got me to smile, by the way, was calling me Big Russ. So the boys are completely opposite to the girls. We're all trying to shut down our body language, they try and open theirs up. We're all shoulders in, elbows in. They're all shoulders forward, elbows out. We are reflected light, because we want to lighten and lift the face, they are take the reflector away, hard light on the face. They look more masculine with light on their face, no reflector. More contrast in the images. They don't require hair and makeup. They're easy to shoot, they're fast to shoot. And they have more confidence in front of the camera than women. It's kind of annoying, (audience laughing) that they have that, but it's just the way they are. They also don't spend the money on photographs that women spend. However, if you learn how to shoot them, you can market to them not only through their family portrait circles and get good photos of all the men, you can market through the corporate headshots and you can get boys into the studio. They won't be as high as a sales average, but what I needed to teach you is how I shoot them. Did you enjoy the experience of being photographed, Russ? I actually did. It was a lot of fun. It was easier than I expected, and it was really nice. It was cool. I felt really cool, (audience laughing) that's what it came down to, honestly. So this was a really important challenge for me. It was really important that I could teach you how I shoot guys. I could teach you the difference between posing women and posing men. I've never done that on CreativeLive. I've never shot couples, I've never shot men, I've never shot families and I've never shot groups. So you've now got five extra challenges that you did not have, or corporate headshots, that you've never seen me do. That to me is a huge avenue. Every one of those is a huge marketing avenue into your business to make money and open a new network to connect. One of the most interesting things I think you'll find out about me is I'm all about finding more ways to discover something than seeing the limits of them. I've seen limits. I had limits for 35 years. I don't want limits anymore. I know that my mind is just not being creative enough. So I don't look at corporate headshots and say, no there's no room in my business for corporate headshots. I look at corporate headshots and I say, how can I get into that vortex? That little can, that little corporate can of marketing just nourishment? That is that building right there. Hmm, oh, I could go to the top line executives. I could start there. So I like this challenge. I also love that I photographed all the boys, and Craig Swanson, the founder and owner of CreativeLive, Russ, George, and our technical department, which is Eden Bauer. (laughing) Just before you get too demonstrative, he is actually here. (audience laughing) I wanted one of the boys to do a Calvin Klein shoot with me so I could shoot that Live View, so that you could see that. I think that one's gonna be the most played. No, I'm joking. Basically, we said to Adam, would you take your clothes off and he said, "Um, okay." So. Excellent. (audience laughing) And so we got him in there and he is also a beautiful man, all of these men are beautiful men, and it was great that he did it for us, and he's done an entire range of posing, but what we did was we got Russ to pose in all the casual poses and then go up to a suit. This is the way you'd photograph a dad or a brother or a son and then I posed Adam in the same poses with no clothes on, but I cropped it lower, harder in fashion to the head, and then made them black and white and it's instantly taken the images from family portrait into commercial fashion. And I did that and met them directly after each other. So, Russ goes through all the poses and then Adam goes through all the poses, and you see me, Live View, go lower, lower, lower, and talk about cropping and how I shifted the same poses and you created an entirely different look by what they were wearing and how I used my angles and crops. And that is so cool to learn. And you get them after each other. They're on the same video. Thank you, boys. That was so cool to do that. Thank you, Sue. I don't have a picture for phone coaching and scripting but I came to the conclusion that one of the challenges in my business and when I taught my girls in 28 days, remember this is what I taught my girls, this is just the refined version of what I taught my girls after six years of teaching it was that a lot of you are not speaking very well to your clients and a lot of you are not using the right language to sell your work and to sell yourself. Now, when I had my first job, I was brought up in South Auckland, so to anybody in New Zealand out there that's laughing right now, South Auckland's the ghetto. It's not really, it's a country ghetto. And when I first started working in the Big Smoke, you know, moved to the big city, Auckland's about roughly the same size as Seattle in population and size and weather. (audience laughing) And my boss, I said to my boss, he said, "Where do you want to be in five years time?" And I said, "I want to do your job." And he went like this (laughs). And I was like, I don't know, I'm not amused. You know, I was like 21. And he said, "You're uneducated. "You're from South Auckland. "You have no dress sense and poor elocution." And I cried. (chuckles) And I thought about it, and he was right. So, I changed that. And I didn't have a college education. I left school when I was 15, you all know that. And I thought to myself, well, how do I learn how to speak better? Who teaches you that? And how do I learn, so, you know what I did? For three years, I read the dictionary. Now I'm unbeatable at Scrabble. (audience laughing) And I learnt how to speak to clients and I learnt how to speak on the phone, and I did phone training. And it just occurred to me that I can teach you that. So, when I talk to somebody and I use my confidence and I use my enthusiasm and I say I'm a contemporary portrait photographer. These are my images, my images start at $275. My boxes go from 1200 up, please come and have a personal session with me, it'll change the way you see yourself. I believe that. I know it's an elevated pitch. I practiced it. I learnt it and I'm gonna teach you this language. I'm gonna teach you how to say it on the phone and I'm gonna teach you how to say it to people and you're gonna practice it until you master it. And then when you master it, when somebody says what do you do, you won't be too scared to tell them you're a photographer. And how, how in God's name do you think you're going to own a business if you're too scared to people what you do, my friend? And you should do that, not only with pride but with grace. And then a whole lot of enthusiasm. Because you're worth that. And that's what will make you successful. And I think this is going to be a really hard challenge. Yeah, it's gonna be a really hard challenge. Products and price list. We're gonna talk about pricing this afternoon. We're gonna talk about it. We're gonna blow it up and we're gonna hear from the internet. We're gonna talk about an international pricing standard. We're gonna try and lift your prices. We're gonna try and work out around an average of what everybody is charging and earning, and I know what the country average is in New Zealand, Australia, and America. And we're gonna talk about that, and so in this challenge, I'm gonna challenge you in three different ways to create a package, to create an allocated menu in your studio and then create both a product, a simplicity in your product and price list, and so that you can create language around it and sell it easily because without these, you do not have a business. You can shoot 'til your little heart is content. But if you do not have a product to sell, a price list which you can pitch, one that you believe in that has full value, you will make nothing of it. Nothing. And you will never make money. 'Cause that is not a business. That is the bottom line. Right there. That's gonna be a fun challenge. Sell some production. I'm gonna show you a live sale. I'm gonna show you how I do my production. I know one thing about production. The faster I turn it over, the more referrals I get. If I have any apathy in my production line, that's one of my blocks. Remember, on my Rate Your Business, one of my blocks was in the production. If I have a block there, my clients hate on me. And it's really aggressive and it's my fault. Because I'm the one that hates doing production, so I avoid it. I avoid it. I avoid it. And then I get in trouble. If you avoid anything in this lifetime, it will bite you twice as hard. So, you either confront, get it done, learn to like it, change your attitude, or pay someone else. Those are your options. All right? Those are your options. But avoidance is not an option if you wanna be in business. Not an option. That's 28 challenges. (audience cheering) (audience applauding) And that is what I taught those girls and that is what I'm gonna teach you. You have a month to master them. You have the rest of your life to master them but you have a month to learn them, and I need you to embrace every single one of them and the ones that challenge you the most, I want you to embrace the hardest. And I want you to master every single one of them so that the foundation of your business is just lifted and lifted and lifted, your income is lifted, your confidence is lifted, your professionalism is lifted, your whole personal self is lifted through these 28 challenges. Okay, there is no reason anybody can't take this 28 day challenge. No reason. It is just basic 101, I'm going to lay it out and help you through it. Any questions? Do we have a microphone? When you were talking about educating the client prior to the shoot, you had mentioned maybe, you do a lot of the education to make sure that they don't show up. Do you ever collect a deposit to put them onto the calendar or some kind of a retainer? That's semantics. Up to you. No, I don't. If they vouch that, how could I? I get my clients in by enticing them in. I don't try and secure them with 50 bucks. I don't want my clients to feel secured by $50. 'Cause they feel threatened when you ask them for money. I want them to either buy the shoot or come in because it's part of the sales process. They've been educated and, you know, after people do a consultation with me, do you know what they say to me? Every single one. I laugh about this. I've never had anyone hang up and not say this. Sue, I am so excited by this. And I go, great, see you next Thursday. And they come into my studio like this. (audience laughing) I've got my 25 outfits. I know you said four. (audience laughing) Okay, the second one is the before and after pictures, do you typically like to have the after picture a similar pose, similar-- No. That's what you're gonna learn in the challenge. No point asking challenging questions. Ask how it applied or how it would not, or would apply to your business. 'Cause everything that you're asking me now is what the challenge is about. It's about learning those things. So, I take you through all of that in the challenge. Yeah. I should point out just for you guys here and for everyone at home that throughout the process, throughout the weeks as we are posting the videos of these different challenges, we will be doing a weekly Q&A live session with Sue. So, basically, what we'll do is you'll want to be following along with these challenges as we go and then each week save up your questions, and then ask them on those weekly sessions. So, we know that there will be questions and we wanted to provide that opportunity. So, each week we will do a session for questions on the individual challenges. So, we did that for two reasons. One of them was Craig and I and Russ and George were all sitting 'round and talking about it and we decided that even as it unfolded, there will not only be things that I've missed or things I wanted to expand on, but there would be so many things that would come up for you guys that were individual to you, that would matter then. So, that's why we address it. Last question? When you bring the teens in and you include the mom, and then you wanna take her picture and do the hair and makeup for the mom, does she know prior to the shoot that she's gonna be in some of the pictures so she dresses accordingly? The challenge is the mother and daughter shoot is a separate challenge to the teen challenge. The teen challenge is about posing in a age appropriate way and the mother and daughter challenge is about shooting and marketing and mapping the mother and daughter shoot. So, that's its own challenge is how you're going to educate her to get her in for the shoot, and market to her. And that's my biggest income. Alright, Sue. We do have questions from the internet, of course. The internet. So, from Boo, the question is are we supposed to be selling these practice session assignments for the 28 days? So, are we using actual clients? Well, you should use clients 'cause if you've got 28 days with no shoots then use the time to get good at it and if you do have shoots, incorporate all of the challenges somewhere in your shoot. So, if you happen to have a shoot coming in and then you find out they're three sisters, quickly go to the twos threes and fours challenge, watch it, and then use it in your shoot. Yes, apply it immediately, absolutely. But if you can't, just practice it, and it doesn't matter who you practice it with. I don't care about the caliber of the model that you're photographing, your practice, as long as you're learning the rules. Remember, a real portrait photographer does not shoot size zero, 5'11" girls. A real photographer gets any person, any age, any time, and you don't know until they walk in. So I don't care if you practice on your mom, or you practice on your 14-year-old daughter, just show me the pose, show me the flow, show me what you're meant to be learning. And then, yes, map that and each one of your challenges, I want you to keep that in its file, because when we ask you to present how well you've done in your 28-day challenge, I wanna see who has done that the best. Who has really done the work over that month. So, one question that I saw a couple times come up from different people, many people have been following you and watching you on CreativeLive since last year and a lot of these topics you've at least touched on in some of the other workshops. Yes, I have. If someone has followed you, bought all your previous workshops, is this still a value to them? Yeah, I can't see why it wouldn't be. You see, five of them I've never shot live. The one's I have shot live, I've shot for 10 to 20 minutes tops and I just don't understand that if it was that easy why nobody's doing it. So, if it means I have to break down each challenge to a day, like every single one, like the backlight, the natural light studio, chin, shoulder, hands. If I have to break it down like that to cement it so you can master it, then that's how you'll master it. If you're not interested in mastering it, I don't think you'll buy it. And that's okay, you don't have to. I'm interested in the people that wanna master it and then create an incredible formula out of it and then do what I do with it. So, there's nothing more than what I do here. I don't have any hidden secret. You've all seen my studio. You'll see it live. It's no big deal. It's a lounge with a big window and a curtain and lots of polystyrene. I live with lots of polystyrene. I'm very used to the sound. But, you know, there's no mystery so if you wanna master each one then I suggest you get it, yeah. Alimyimages is saying, how can before and afters be used for other types of photography? Newborns, couples, families. I don't see how it's possible. Do you know what I would do? I would get a woman who's just had a baby. I would get her to come in and she's beautiful and radiant and she's just had a child, and you notice the face on a woman who's just had a child is very raw. She still has her pigment mask. She's put on a little bit of weight. If not a lot. But she has something about her that is incredibly beautiful and very natural and very organic. And she doesn't wanna have her photograph taken 'cause she doesn't feel that great about her body. Hormones are raging at that point. She can cry at the drop of a hat. And she's quite frenetic. Especially if it's her first born. And you get her into the studio and you photograph her, and then you take a bad photograph of her and then you take a good photograph of her. You slim her body in camera, you maybe fix her little arm in Photoshop, and you do that in the most beautiful way of her connecting with her newborn baby. And do this with somebody that will let you do this. And then you blog about it in your business. And you say I know sometimes that you don't feel that amazing when you first have the baby but if you're missing the opportunity to be photographed like this because of, you know, five pounds or 10 pounds, if you're missing an opportunity to have this memory for your lifetime because you didn't know I could do this, then have a look at these. These are little tips. And, you know, if you do that in a classy way, not in a, look, you look fat and, look, I can make you look skinny on Photoshop, you know, kinda think about it. If you do that in a beautiful, classy way, you're showing behind the scenes of what you do in a way that opens up your market and field, and I think you could do that with family portraiture. Everybody comes into my studio now and they know what Photoshop is. They know. They all know what re-touching is. You know, people used to come in 10 years ago and say, five years ago and say, oh, can you do some of that airbrushing? Now they know it's not airbrushing, they know it's Photoshop. They say Photoshop. They go, oh, so what will you Photoshop? And I go, you let me worry about that. All right? That's really, really important. And it's the Photoshop challenge, I'll talk to you about that, too. So, I just think that's a really, really big one. How could you use it with any other genre, families, well, probably not, why would you need to? Families aren't buying a transformation, families are buying the capturing of love and emotion together. I would rather sell images where the families are loving, laughing, rolling around having fun. Those sell family images, not before and afters. What sells glamour images is before and afters. What sells newborn images is love and what sells engagement portraits is love. So they're easy. They're easy things to market. What sells glamour portraits is transformation sells better than self-love, do you know why? Most women believe that they need to be transformed to love themselves.

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!

Lessons

  1. Teaching 2 Photographers in 28 Days
  2. First 2 Years: The Truth
  3. Rate Your Business
  4. Year One in Business
  1. 28 Challenges
  2. Fear

    Don't let fear hold you back. Sue talks about devastation – real and imagined and how to pull yourself together and push past it.

  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

Reviews

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.