28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 39 of 85

Day 25: The Beauty Shot

 

28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 39 of 85

Day 25: The Beauty Shot

 

Lesson Info

Day 25: The Beauty Shot

Today our challenge is all about the beauty shot. This is one of the biggest-selling shots in my studio. You know this is the shot that all girls come for. This is the shot that they all buy. It's about the girl looking like she's just stepped out of a magazine or a beauty image. It's about simplicity, it's about connection, and today I'm gonna take you through different beauty looks and the simplest forms so that you can master this for every one of your clients. Today we're talking about beauty images and we're talking about the connection that you have through the eyes. I believe that a beauty image for glamor photography is exactly as you see in beauty magazines. The trick here is simplicity, simplicity meaning it's not really about smiling or laughing, accessories out, and really I try and keep the outfit as simple as I can down to singlets, tank tops, really simple necklines, boob tubes, straight across, really the most basic lines in clothing. I also find with beauty shots, they...

look really good shot on a white background, shot on the light blues, shot on the light grays and also shot on the black, exactly as you would find any beauty shot in any fashion magazine. So because we're not working with models and we're not working with absolutely symmetrical faces and flawless skin, the idea is that we are trying to make these girls look like models so I always say to people, when it comes to the sale, the girls always buy the beauty shots but the husbands and dads always buy the laughing casual shots so the beauty shots are really for the girls. I love the beauty shots when they have great hair and makeup and I love them when they have lots of hair but that doesn't matter. What's important is how you shoot it, how you crop it, but the most important part is the angle that you shoot it on and the expression with which what the girl is looking at you in the camera. So today we're gonna talk a lot about connection right through these images. There are so many facial expressions you can do that are not laughing or smiling that make a huge difference to a shot. So I've got Tiff all lined up here. As you can see with my camera, on this angle, I'm shooting well below her eye line so Tiffany is quite tall and that's a bonus for me 'cause it means I don't have to crouch down. I'm standing at my full height but my camera is pretty much directly, if I come to here, my camera is, as usual, going straight to her mouth line so the lens is sitting around here and I think this is where most people get this wrong. They're just not quite shooting low enough, okay, and I'll show you some good and bad examples of this. So if you come to my live view now, I'm got her live in my camera and the first thing I'm going to do is bring her chin towards me and down, stop. Now I can see her eyes open up. Because Tiffany has a heart-shaped face, I'm not gonna take her chin any lower but what I'm gonna do is use my chin pen here and I'm just gonna say chin back to the camera this way, stop, perfect, and I can just direct her with my hands from here. Now, I wanna get a head and shoulders shot. It's a nice tight crop. What I'm gonna do is, Tiffany's holding her hands, as you can see, in front of her. I want her to bring them to here. (siren blaring) Siren. Yeah. Stop. So from here, I'm just gonna get Tiffany to put her hands back and then tuck her elbows in. Straight away, that sends her shoulder line right down out of the shot. I'm gonna get her to project her chin far towards me and because I'm not getting any lower right now, she's right there so I'm just gonna take a still here for you to see. For me, that simplicity and composing a beauty shot is absolutely beautiful and it's all I need. From here, what I'm gonna get her to do is not smile with her eyes but just put a little smile on her mouth and I'm gonna take that shot. Now, inevitably the eyes will smile a little but to me, a mouth smile with no eye smile looks more squinty. This time, I'm gonna say a tiny little smile in your eyes. That's it, can you see that lift? Straight away her eyes lifted and not so much her lips but that the difference in that expression is really, really, really big so if you push your chin towards me now, Tiff, and drop your chin down half an inch, there, that's it, now I want you to do that tiny little wee smile on your lips again and eyes together, just a, that's it, good girl. So from here, that real model face look is when you come up on the chin, so bring your chin up nice and high, and that's it, not too high. Now push towards me, good girl, stay there, and drop that bottom lip. So you drop that bottom lip, chin forward, and that little sparkle in the eyes there, here it is. Okay, so you can go through all of these expressions one by one but at the end of the day, there's no secret to what I do. I'm posing to make her eyes really large and I'm posing to make her face look in the best shape, so I've got her arms pulled back, I've got her chin forward, I'm pushing that chin forward so she's got a beautiful defined neckline, I'm bringing her chin down ever so slightly, lips together, so I say lips together, relax your mouth, these are my exact words, and just, I want you to give me a tiny little smile through your eyes. Good girl, now I want you to do that again but this time I want a little bit more in the mouth and eyes. (camera shutters snapping) If people are struggling to get that expression, I pull away from the camera and I look at them and I will say like this, so as soon as I show them smiling with the eyes, they smile back with their eyes. So this is a few things that people do wrong. When people look up to the camera, they lift their eyebrows up straight away. Very common that people look up to the camera with their eyebrows up, so I will always say to people, relax your eyebrows. Straight away, big difference in the eyes and I've heard people direct expression where they say give me squinty eyes and give me, and that doesn't work for me. Smiling with the eyes is quite easy to understand and if it's not easy to understand, you can show them. When you look at somebody and you talk to them, if you're looking at somebody, you're usually mirroring their expression so if they're telling you a sad story, you're sympathetic, you're nodding, you're listening, so when somebody's got a nice, open, smiley eye expression, you tend to return it so I always say to people, look at me like this and it's quite easy to do, most people can do it. Now, the biggest problem is most people try and smile with their mouth, so I will ask people to smile and they hold all of their tension through their lips and mouth, so they'll go like this. And they'll hold all this tension here and then they try and do this odd smile and it's very uncomfortable and if the smile comes up without the eyes, it's a grimace, okay? When you smile at people, you smile with your mouth but when you look at someone smiling, you look into their eyes so all the different smiles that we have, all of them are about eye expression so all I want you to do is pose your client, get them to push their chin forward, wherever their face looks the best, and then tell them to relax their mouth. Just say relax your mouth, lips together, and then all you have to do is say eyes up and then ask them to smile through their eyes with a tiny little smile on their mouth like this. And there are so many levels that they can go up to. It's so subtle but it makes a really big difference in how you're posing someone, not only for beauty shots but for all shots, okay? Relax your mouth, practice with me. Eyes up to me. The best way to teach somebody this is to stand with someone and hold their gaze. It's absolutely incredible to see. I'll show you with Tiffany and I want you to practice this, practice this at home. (Tiffany laughs) Come over here so that everyone can see us. So I want you to hold my gaze and then return the same expression to me. (both laughing) It's a really cool thing to do. I want you to go and practice it. It is really, the most asked question I get above all others is how do I get people to look at me the way that I do and there is no mystery. I just, I get them into a position where I feel like their body and face is all in a great position and then I just call for stillness. It's not a magic recipe. There's no mood I'm tryna make them feel. It's not like, imagine somebody kissing your neck. It's not like that, for me, that open gaze is when you relax your face enough that your inside expression comes forward. It's when you take the guard down from around your mouth, drop your eyebrows and just hold somebody's gaze. It is the most honest and open gaze that a face can do and it's absolutely beautiful to photograph. That's where I want you to be, that's really important. You need to practice this, this is your challenge today, and then as you do these great three beauty combinations that we're doing, I want you to keep practicing that stillness and that gaze and that expression through the eyes with every single one of your clients. Now, when people email me and they say, Sue, I had a really difficult client today, I just could not get her to smile with her eyes, I do not believe that. I do not believe you can't make somebody smile, so everybody can do it. You just have to take control of the situation, pose them, make them listen to you and do it. So I'm gonna put Tiffany back here and I'm going to take some gorgeous beauty shots of her right now in this very short space. So come over here back to where you were. So for this camera, I just wanna show this angle here. We are shooting on this tiny little alcove. We've just got a very small space here. We're right by the window and Susan has diffused my window light with packaging, so this is the Decorum packaging that came with the chairs for the studio and we kept it because it looked really good and we just gaff-taped it onto the window, so this is the only diffused light that we have. I don't have a reflector on this side 'cause there's so much light coming into this room, she doesn't even need a reflector. It's nice and even, and remember, for me, beauty expressions, simplicity, up close and really good expression, that's what I want. I'm also going to show you through this camera and then I'm going to grab my other camera and take some stills. Oh, I'm a lot shorter than you, 'cause it looks (laughs) hang on, let me recompose. Okay, so just the absolute simplicity of having Tiff in this gorgeous aqua color. Am I getting out of your frame, Sean? I'm gonna stay here and then come forward. It's all right, you don't need to really see a lot of me in this one. I'll compose that, okay, nice and still for me, Tiff. Arms by your sides, hands, elbows back, nice chin forward position, good girl, there you are, stay there and I just want you to, long chin, really push it forward towards me, chin down just a touch, and just give me a tiny little smile through your eyes and, good girl, so just, not there, hang on. Okay, soft little smile through the mouth too. Gotcha, beautiful, okay, and then I want you to go chin up, push towards me with your chin, relax your mouth down, just lips together now, not too, that's it, so I feel like the mouth comes open too far, I happily say just bring your lips back together again. I never say shut your mouth. (laughs) It's quite awkward. I'm gonna go to the 35-ML so I can come closer to Tiff. The one thing I want you to understand about all beauty images that a lot of people aren't doing is you need to shoot them from nice and close and then not crop them in, so you can't shoot these from a distance and then crop it. They need to be shot here, chin forward but not down, that's a girl, chin down just one, stop, you got it. (camera shutters snapping) So I'm shooting here in this beautiful window light. I'm at 50 shutter speed, I'm at 2.8, 320 ISO. Come towards the window for me. No, that way, sorry, yeah. What I love is that I'm getting a good drop-away and shadow here so I'm gonna use that by shooting a little bit asymmetrically to her right-hand side, and now, Tiff, I just need a little soft smile in your mouth, so just chin up, you keep going down, that's a girl, that's beautiful, chin up to me, tiny little smile on your mouth, just a little bit more, chin up, good girl, stay there. Now, I'm not bringing hands in yet. This is so simple. This is a shot, as you can see, that's coming up now, that every woman has bought in my studio for 10 years. I have done this shot with every single woman regardless of her age. Every woman wants the most beautiful face shot and shoulders that they can get. Long chin towards me, Tiff, elbows pinned back just a little but not shoulders, good girl, and go up higher and that's it, stay there, now lips together, tiny, tiny little smile. Chin down now just a touch, tiny little smile on your lips, we've got ya. (camera shutters snapping) Beautiful, stay there. Okay, I've just gotta be careful I don't do two things with Tiffany. One is I'm slimming her down too much. There is such a thing. No there's not. (both laughing) There is, so I'm gonna make sure I don't pin those arms back this time and I'm gonna Push your chin not so far forward but just away from her neck and I'm gonna show you a bit lower to show you the difference because I don't wanna lollipop her. Chin down now to me, 'cause I'm lower than you. Now give me that little smile in your eyes. Now that, to me, is just a classic beauty face shot, love that, don't move, I'm just gonna bring this in to here. Now, as always, little bit more, I'm gonna go a bit tighter and show you that real face, chin up now, half an inch, stop. (camera shutters snapping) Okay, love that, perfect. Now I'm going to do this on the horizontal but actually because I'm on a short wall, that's not gonna work so I'll show you the horizontal turn on the blue first. I'll just do a side arm so turn your body 45 degrees, lean back with this front shoulder, good girl, give me some space, touch the back of your hand, perfect. Okay, exactly the same front position to the face almost. Give me a straighter, now, that's it, don't move, but this time let's change the bottom half of the image so look, watch this, just to veer nice and close, chin up to me half an inch and nice easy little smile on the mouth now, good girl, that is beautiful, and just like that, this is my series of beauty shots just standing here. It's a great warmup image, she looks beautiful straight-on, she looks beautiful side-on. I can even simplify her even more by taking this off and having her lean back a little bit more and this time I'm gonna shoot the side of the wall so chin up to me a touch and remember to open up the diamond always, keep that open, and this time I'm gonna come in here but I need you to go, weight on your back, good girl, and long chin towards me, stay there, and here, I am here. Now, this is something I always do. Long chin towards me, Tiff, and down, stop, don't move. There it is right there, and as you can see, I'm here, chin up to me half an inch this way, stop, don't move, beautiful. I'm using, see that little light line on the wall? I really like that, and if not, I can go right into here and do something, chin up to me now, good girl, stay there, love that. All right, let me pull out 45, follow me with your chin, stop. So I just pulled away from the wall a little and she's followed me with her chin so that she stays straight to the camera. Chin up to me now, okay, lots, that's a girl, that's it, beautiful, chin up though, don't tuck in, lips together and just smirk, chin up, chin up, chin up, there you go. So from there, the reason I'm saying chin up to Tiffany is she keeps default setting lower like this. A lot of people default it up. She defaults it down, so as soon as I start clicking, her chin just slowly starts to come down and then I go chin up and she brings it back up. Most people are the other way around. They come away and you go back to your shoulder, back to your shoulder, so they'll reset where it's comfortable. She's tall so she's always used to having their head down. Most short people are used to having their head there so they'll just keep default setting back to their normal position and that's why I just keep resetting it, and remember, listen to the voice when you're shooting. It's about saying shoulder back, perfect, chin up to me, follow me around, nice little expression, click, there we go, chin up to me a little bit more, keep that expression, lips together, resetting her, chin up, chin up, chin up, keep going, chin up, chin up, chin up, keep going, good girl, good girl, stop, there it is. I don't stop talking and directing. The second I stop, she is not a model, okay? She is not a model. I know on all my creative lives I tell this hilarious story about the model shoot that I did and she just kept changing, doing the quick change in one second and I just took 60 photos in a minute and I was laughing that I've never seen a normal client do that ever in my life, not in over 5,000 women I've photographed, never seen a normal woman do that, so just keep directing them. The more direction, the more control, the more confidence they have, the better the shots you can take and every time you'll just nail it instead of just letting people free-style. I hate seeing photographers do this, like, just do your thing and have some fun with it and just laugh and I'm gonna take 80,000 shots right here like this and spend the rest of my week culling them so that you can pick three of the best ones, all right? This is about control, it's about posing the body, slimming it if you have to, contouring the body to the camera and then controlling the expression to get 10 of the best shots so that she buys five of them. Have fun practicing that. My second beauty shot is gonna be almost exactly the same shot as the first one. We're gonna try elbows back but I'm gonna shoot this straight into the backlight. Now, over this program I'm gonna do an entire section on this backlight, on getting this right, but today for the beauty shot, I'm gonna assume you've either started shooting into the backlight or you are just learning to, but either way, this to me is one of the most quintessential beauty shots you can get. It would be the only beauty shot that I do that has a little bit more body in it. Now, at the moment, Tiff's just put on this gorgeous little dress. It's so pretty and I'm going to do the same sort of cover girl shot. I'm just gonna pull a little bit lower so that you can see a little bit more of her body, so let's go from here, exactly like you were before. I want your hands back to here but don't lift them up so high, just those elbows tucked in and now put your fingers down. Good, that's perfect, long chin towards me. Now, as you can see in this angle here, I am directly below her eyeline so I need to tip her chin towards me and down. That's it, stop, perfect. Now it's all about expression on this shot. I am at 2.8, my shadow is at 100, I'm at 640 ISO, I haven't got a reflector 'cause there's enough light bouncing around. One of the most important things to do in these situations is make sure the hair is framing the face but not putting shadows on it, and from here I'm gonna shoot this right here so I just need a little bit more in your eyes and your mouth so bring that little mouth into a tiny, that's it, smirk, now you just put your chin down so pop that back up again, that's a girl, perfect. Now I'm a little bit asymmetrical and I'm shooting right into that light which is beautiful. Chin up to me a little bit more. This is often where I put flowers in the hair but remember, keep this light. This is really about simplicity again. It's about the blueness of her eyes and her skin and hair contrast. It's about how beautiful this fabric is and everything that's going on, but we wanna keep it really basic so try long chin towards me, Tiff, tuck those elbows back in, chin down just a little wee bit more, don't tuck your shoulders back though, that's really important, good girl, and from here I just want you to bring your chin up, lips together and just a soft little smirk there, that's the one, perfect, and at my full height I am, chin up to me now, Tiff, that's it, so I just wanna show you how this camera performs. I just wanna show if I bump up my exposure, so I'm basically shooting just about two stops over. Because I'm shooting into the backlight, the meter is reading her eye, it's exposing for that dark hair and it's just getting the most perfect drop-away at 2. with a really nice halo all the way around. This to me is no different than when we were standing over in the corner but we've just mixed it up with a different colored outfit, we're keeping it really beauty, keeping it really simple. Let's just try something really simple like taking her hair back off her shoulders like that. So maybe one side, now, instead of pinning both elbows, I just want you to touch your hip, so she's gonna touch this hip here, come up, and your elbow's gonna pull back, not her shoulder, okay? So it's about doing that, not that, okay, and we need to get this up to define that waist. Now, if she's having trouble tucking her shoulder in, it's because she hasn't brought her hand around far enough there and as soon as she brings her hand around far enough, you'll be able to see from that front view she's now tucked into here, so I just wanna tuck that side back and I'm gonna go again with the hair tucked back there, love this, absolutely beautiful, good eyes, well done. Notice now I don't have to ask Tiffany for the expression 'cause she's already done one full series of images. She's starting to repeat all of her expressions to me. She's still bringing her chin down so it's still default setting but that's okay. I'm gonna keep reminding her to pull it back up again and now I wanna show what it looks like with both sides pulled back, so we'll just show off the decolletage, we'll show off the shoulders, and from here we can drop those shoulders down and we could put ear in here if we wanted to. I definitely love this whole look here, and I can also mix up beauty shots by bringing the hair all around to one side, so remember, it's not about making big changes. It's about making subtle changes. I don't want to overshoot this. I just want four or five killer images before I move on and so I want them to be simple, lovely, and just really beautiful shots, good girl, that's absolutely incredible, stay there, and just because I'm here, tuck this elbow in for me now, this right side, that's the one, not your shoulders though, good girl, long chin towards me and down, little smirk, and because she's here on the wall and because we've got it all set up, I would just bring her straight to here, that's it, and I would get her to lean on the wall, body away, that's it, this hand comes to the outside of the hips so it's shaping her body, it's about having an hourglass set here, about relaxing that hand there, no, you can bring that back, that looked beautiful, okay, we've got good hair, the light's perfect, and now I'm going to use the wall so I'm gonna shoot that way, tuck that in. Now, look where I am in relation to her. Look where my crop is. Bring your chin around to me, Tiff, stop. Okay, I'm right against the wall with my body so I'm directly in front of her face. I want long neck, lifting up nice and tall for me and bring your chin forward and down, stop. I'm gonna crop this to the top of her head down to the outside of her hip just like this, so what you're seeing coming off camera is exactly what I'm seeing, now, I notice on this image, I've slimmed her down too much. I am shooting on the 50 ML, not the 35, so it just means that, there is, there is too much, (Tiffany laughs) so what I'm gonna do is straighten her up a little bit more 'cause that arm was going too far away from the camera and her head was too far forward, so pull up and back, Tiff, and then just bring your chin down, that's a girl. Now she's in proportion, so lips together, chin this way, chin up to me half an inch, that, come back down, that was perfect. Come back down, so see once I start moving her around, I'm looking in my camera and I can see where she looks good and I can see where her, oh my goodness, look at that, look at that. Ah, yeah. (laughs) Okay, okay, lift up, nice and tall, long chin towards me, this way a little, stop, okay, actually what you just did there when your chin was back there, that's it, relax your mouth, lips, that's it, and chin up to me a little more, stop. (camera shutters snapping) Now just slide towards me ever so slightly, that's the one, exactly what we did on the first wall, bring your chin around, now, let's put your hair through. So I would do this for a beauty shot more than I would do this ever for a portrait. If I was doing the different expressions, this is really, this twisting of the hair and stuff like this, I don't move the hair around a lot when I'm shooting normal portraits because I just, I don't have time to do that. I just wanna do this to mix up the beauty aspect of it so that's why we're not smiling, that's why we're keeping it simple. Long chin towards me and I've got lots of dark hair here going on. I really love this, so remember, chin up to me now, work that front shoulder forward. Just remember, beauty shots are about simplicity, the beautiful face, that soft expression. Oh my goodness, I love this, look at this. Chin up to me now, good girl, 'cause she keeps bringing her chin down. It's about being nice and close, it's about getting these types of shots, chin up to me now. Now, good girl, relax your mouth, completely down, chin up. There it is, okay, shots straight into this light, stay there, stay there, stay there, one more, I'm coming back in low. So good drop-away, real simplicity, pushing the chin, always asking for beauty expressions, nice and close. Now, if this was a normal portrait shoot, I would perhaps even do something, more body, more smiling, but I would change her outfit because that to me is her beauty shot done, captured, easily five shots in the folio and they're all wow and we're always looking for wow shots. I don't show my clients 65 images and let them pick the 20 wow shots. I show them 20 wow shots and they buy all of them because I know the difference between that's good and that's wow, and when I'm flicking through my images, when I started out as a photographer I used to show them 65 and then they used to just cull, cull, cull, cull, and what I used to think was I spent the first hour selling my work in a negative way. I don't like that, I don't like that, I don't like that. If you were to show me 65 images, I could pick the top 25 just like that and I can always pick what my client is gonna buy and as I got more experienced and more confident with that, I realized there was a significant difference between a good shot and a wow shot, and if I can, I'll go through these stills right now and I'll pull out a good shot and a wow shot and I'll show it to you. So this is one of my all-time favorite beauty poses using the box like this. It's probably one of, always my go-to poses. I've chosen to put Tiffany in her white dress and ironically you get these little beautiful dresses that come in but I choose the slip that goes under the dress that comes in and so I always want simplicity. She does have a very basic necklace here because it matches her eyes only and I've chosen the powder blue polyboards because I like them and it matches her eyes. I'm always a go-to on the light blue, the white, light gray, like I said, and the black for all beauty poses 'cause they're my favorite, just favorite monotone colors that match the skin tone and hair of people so what I do here is the first thing I do and I'm going to film you doing this because I think it's really important that people can see my angle is currently, Tiffany is in a very relaxed sitting position. Well, she's on her knees, and I've put the blanket down so that she doesn't have to kneel on the wooden floor and I'm going to get you, Tiffany, to come up and over your shoulder over your elbows. Okay, so I need to pull back so I'm going to pull back my camera so you can see my full view, there she is. Now, you can see in my other camera here in relation to where I am to Tiffany, so my camera level here is really at her armpit line so it is really low but a lot of people are shooting this shot down towards the box and then getting the top of the box. I do shoot this so low but I kind of just recontour her body to fit in it so it doesn't look like I'm shooting up to her so I'll show you how I do that. So the first thing I do is, don't move your face 'cause I've just focused nice and sharp on your eyes is to bring your elbows out and your hands like this, one on top of the other, that's it, and you can go wedding ring on top so yeah, we can show off that wedding ring, beautiful. The next thing I do is if I have somebody who's curvy or big-busted, I get them to pull their boobs back through that space a little bit to give me space, that's it, so I just call that boobs back. Now from here, I'm gonna get you to tip your chin forward and towards me and down, there it is. I'm just gonna take a still there. So if I go back to her original shot, her original sitting position and then I show you this shot, already her body has lifted up, it's lengthened, she's got a beautiful line through her whole body and now what I want her to do is just do some beauty posing through the hands, so from here I always look for assymetry so let's go this way and see if this works, love that, and straight away, I like that, straight away, so I'm gonna take the shot so what I'm gonna do is get her to push her chin towards me, lips together, relax your mouth, tiny little smile in your eyes there, beautiful, and just like that I can take something that simple, so I can crop this horizontally, I can crop this vertically, I can crop this square, but either way, it all works for me. This is my all-time favorite beauty shot. Now, from here I mix up the arms a little bit. I can bring this hand straight up and elbow to the center and I can cup the face here. Now, because Tiffany is tall and long, I've gotta make sure she's got two things right. I've gotta make sure she turns her hand away from the camera, that's it, too far, halfway, stop, and then I've gotta make sure that she's not scooching down so nice, fingers to the neck, Tiff, if you put, that's it, and then she can still be long up through her whole body line. Chin up to me ever so slightly, don't move, right there, that's perfect, lips together, beautiful, good girl, that's perfect. Okay, from here I'm gonna straighten her head up to me. I'm gonna put those fingertips through around the throat a little bit more and all I'm gonna do here is slide this hand across, slide, slide, slide, slide, stop, and as soon as I get to there, you can pull back on your crop a little bit and get the bottom of that hand trailing off the box if you like, but just that little finger, and just check your little finger's in there, good girl, don't move, lips together, tiny little smirk right there, little bit more in the mouth, Tiff, that's it, okay, Tiffany, bring your chin up to me, you've gone too low, that's it, good girl. Now, lips together, chin up, and a tiny little bit more smile on the lips, you got it. Now, to show off a little bit of body, this also looks really good. What I wanna do is I want to pull this frame over a little wee bit to there and I want Tiffany to stay in this position but walk the whole pose over, that's it, and what happens is I can now see her booty poking out this side and I like that because it just trails her body line over and it looks really clean. Now, I'm gonna take a still there. So really all I'm doing is I'm looking for clean lines, I'm looking for beautiful hands. So let's look at some different ways we can use the hands around the body. Let's try under her chin and see if this works. Now, not everybody can do that. Some people can do this really naturally, some people can't. Tiffany has beautiful hands so I just have to direct them so that they're not front-on to the camera. Let's try both elbows up together and around the throat this way, so let's just, lower on the throat but open them up, that's it, not so much, bring them together, good girl, long chin up, there it is. Now, if you're gonna do this, I think it works if you're more symmetrical towards me and just pull that little curl out from between your arms, there's just this one, no, just one little one, that's it, so come back up to here, elbows together now, nice and symmetrical here, beautiful, lifting up tall with the eyes, that's it. Try this one really model-y. Drop that bottom lip, extend your chin forward, good girl, that was it, perfect, perfect. So what we don't wanna do with the model face is do what I call fish face, okay, it's really important that we don't do that blank eyes, open mouth, so just do that no expression for me, Tiff, when everyone just hangs their bottom lip, chin down a little bit more, that's it there. That is not beauty face. I think what you do here is you say lips together again, relax the mouth again. It means that the mouth has fallen open too far so if you bring the mouth together again, that's it right there, and a tiny smile in the eyes, good girl, that's beautiful, you've got that right there, perfect, now, just one more here. What I would do is I can use this line here, so I can go elbow down, let's bring our hands back down, that's it, now let's go back where you had them so you were just one over a little bit more and maybe just put one through, okay, this hand goes flat like ballet hands, good girl. Okay, now from here, slide across so we've got asymmetry and I can see a little bit of body on this side and lift up nice and tall, I like everything but this arm has to go under further, no, this one, sorry, halfway back out, that's the one, okay, let's try that, no, that looks too symmetrical to me so let's mix it up. Why don't we try hands together and then elbows off to one side, so let's see what, other way, do the other way, that looked good, don't move. Okay, this is beautiful, Tiff, so just bring the hands back to the shoulder. Now, don't turn your face away from me. All right, almost there, I'm just not quite feeling the back hand so we move the hands around until we find a position, open up to me, this way, that's it, and maybe just put this hand under here and we just keep moving them and just let your fingers go, really soft ballet fingers, no, I'm not buying it so I'm not gonna shoot it. I would rather move her now, so this is where if you are directing, if you're learning direction and you feel like you're not getting a pose, don't keep shooting it just to look good for your client. This is where you stop and say, okay, keep moving it, I don't like that, like, I use that confidence in my direction 'cause I want them to know that I'm in control but more importantly I wanna make sure I'm actually getting the shot that I want. I need you to lift up tall 'cause you've gotten too low and I want you to put both hands inside your hair. That's it, and a little bit more this way, uh, straighten up to me, now push these hands out, elbows back together again, and I keep moving her around, put this forearm in front, this one in front of this one, other way, until I find something I like. Lifting up nice and tall, I love that, relax your mouth, good girl, and I will keep mixing it up and changing it around. You can also do this, bring this hand down and bring some hands up to the face if she's here but remember, it's gotta be a heel palm and you can't squash the face down, so don't paste the hand to the face. It's like cupping the chin and just sitting on the inside, flat hand on the front here, Tiff, good girl, look at hands, now lift up nice and tall, and now just cup the face back here but we don't talk on the telephone. Chin up to me, that's it, love that. Now, last shot, I just want you to take your hand to the outside of you here. I want you to scooch the hair and, that's it, sexy hair, straight but not too much hair, that's too much, that's it, now, straighten your head up to me, lift up tall through your arms so you've got length, that's the one, wowser, that's beautiful, good girl, right there, and I love that. That is a beauty shot. Keep it simple, keep it clean, give me those smiley, beautiful eyes, and keep it modeled, keep it... I always look at shots like that when I train photographers and when they get it, I look at them and I say, that is what every woman comes to me for. The quicker I can get people into these poses, the more you can do. It's just not realistic if you're not, 'cause I can't spend an hour setting someone up in this position and then sell her three of them. I need to be able, unless they're really huge shots, I wanna be able to create a folio and so I learn how to do these things, go that way, Amy, I learn how to do these things as quickly as I can and then I kind of look at them and I think, is it better up or is it better down from the front so when you're standing at my camera do you like that, that, down. Okay, no, there, it's there, and twist, twist and pin, twist and pin, hair is amazing. It always looks so good to camera. So twist and pin, one more pin, please, that'd be good, and if I can see the pin, I don't get worried about it 'cause I just Photoshop it out. I'm more trying to go for speed here than I am for perfection. There's a lot of perfectionists out there but I'm just trying to get some really good shots and really quickly, so this is my last beauty shot. I want it to be dark and film noir. I want it to be really sexy but really, like all my other beauty shots, simple. I want this shoulder to lean forward so I want her to curve her back in in a supermodel pose which is the sloppiest posture but it looks great. I want to, that's it, bring that shoulder forward and I'm gonna just tuck that in there and see what I've got from the front, so one of the hardest things to do is pose and style from this angle. Stay there, right where you are. See her face angle there, I absolutely love that. As soon as she looked down naturally, I just see that, that is just absolutely beautiful to me so I'm just gonna take a shot here and then what I'm gonna do is get the camera and go up to her and this angle here that I could see when I was doing her hair, so eyes lower, Tiff, that's great, perfect, it is absolutely beautiful. Wow, amazing, stay there, good girl. And, so here I am setting my camera up from the front but I'm seeing something better from around here. Oh my goodness. (camera shutters snapping) I think one of the greatest gifts that you can have as a photographer is that you can still get excited by seeing something beautiful and seeing an image that you are just creating. I still think to myself when I'm doing this, that's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I kind of think, have I ever taken a shot that gorgeous? I get so excited when I get to see that because I guess after 23 years, I wanna be stimulated, I wanna go to work and feel like this and when I feel like this, I don't think there's anything I would rather be doing so I could shoot all day long but when it comes to that final and you just get something that you just look at and you just adore, then that's what excites me, that's what thrills me, I love that, I love that I get to do that. Okay, and we're here and then I just want you to, that's a girl. (camera shutters snapping) Chin up to me now. (camera shutters snapping) Okay, I'm gonna release a little bit of hair and take it back down to there. Twist and pin, it's always about the twist and pin. In terms of hair pieces, you can go and buy them, sure, but this was Tiffany's so you don't have to go out and buy a whole lot of hair pieces but if you coach your clients properly and they have things like that, they'll bring them in or they'll go and buy them and if they can see the results like that, if you really coach them well on the phone, they're gonna be bringing in this stuff and then you can do great stuff like that and take gorgeous portraits that make a difference. Okay, good girl, stay there. (camera shutters snapping) (camera shutters snapping) To this camera. Let's try going that way, do it like that. Just try a couple of different things, bare back. Nice, struggling to sit in such a bad posture. Point your toe. (laughs) Point your toe, relax your mouth, long neck, lift up. Okay, can you try, instead of putting this hand here over your boob can you just try being, that's it, that's perfect, don't move, no, take it away and just go, take it away, take it, no, this, yeah, just stay there, good girl, give me some space between your neck and chin, that's it, lift up, that's the one. Now bring that knee up that's higher, yeah, and bring this elbow forward and then just tuck under here, stop, okay, from there, lots of space, no, through the neck and nice and long, good girl, don't move, don't move. (camera shutters snapping) Stay there, I'm just gonna pull back. (camera shutters snapping) And I'm just gonna pull back one more time. I'm on a prime here, on a prime 50 1.2. Okay, give me, tip towards your hand, Tiff, bring your chin around to me, take that hand away altogether but don't move your position, just take it away, down, stop. (camera shutters snapping) Chin up, nice and long, long, long, keep going, don't move, chin around this way, stop, lips together, good girl, okay, and one more, stay in there, just gonna come into here. Tip this way for me, stop, that's it, and we're right there, gotcha. Beautiful, nicely done, thank you so much. Those are our beauty shots today. So we started off on that white wall. We went to the backlight, we went to the powder blue. Simplicity, beauty, keep it simple, no jewelry, no expressions, it's just all about beautifulness, beautiful body lines, make sure they find their shoulder, make sure they have that beautiful expression and make sure you include this into every one of your shoots. And I'm just gonna take one more shot 'cause she looks really good looking down there. Hoping for real. (Sue laughs) No smiling, just look down, relax your mouth, chin up to me, no, chin up, that's it, stop, good girl, lips together, here it is. (camera shutters snapping) Just drop that bottom lip just a tickle. That's a girl, stay there, oh, we got it. I could just keep going but I think we'd better go home. (laughs)

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
  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

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!

JRomkee
 

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

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.