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Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression

Lesson 14 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression

Lesson 14 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

14. Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression


Class Trailer

Day 1


First 2 Years: The Truth


Teaching 2 Photographers in 28 Days


Rate Your Business


Year One in Business


Day 2


28 Challenges




Price & Value


Checklist, Challenges, and Next Steps


Day 3


Day 1: The Natural Light Studio


Day 4


Day 2: Mapping Your Set and Outfits


Day 5


Day 3: One Composition - Five Poses


Day 6


Day 4: Flow Posing


Day 7


Day 5: Posing Couples


Day 8


Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression


Day 9


Day 7: The Rules - Chin, Shoulders, Hands


Day 10


First Weekly Q&A Session


Day 8: Rules - Hourglass, Body Language, Asymmetry, Connection


Day 11


Day 9: Styling & Wardrobe


Day 12


Day 10: Shooting Curves


Day 13


Day 11: Posing & Shooting - Groups of 2, 3, and 4


Day 14


Day 12: Posing & Shooting Families


Day 15


Day 13: Products & Price List


Day 16


Day 14: Marketing & Shooting the Before & After


Day 17


Day 15: Phone Coaching & Scripting


Day 18


Second Weekly Q&A Session


Day 16: Posing Young Teens


Day 19


Day 17: Marketing & Shooting - Family First Demographic


Day 20


Day 18: The Corporate Headshot


Day 21


Day 19: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare


Photoshop Video: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare


Day 22


Day 20: Photoshop - Warping & the Two Minute Rule


Day 23


Day 21: Posing Mothers & Daughters


Day 24


Third Weekly Q&A Session


Day 22: Marketing & Shooting - 50 & Fabulous Demographic


Day 25


Day 23: Shooting into the Backlight


Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight


Day 26


Day 24: Marketing & Shooting - Girl Power Demographic (18-30s)


Photoshop Video: Girl Power Demographic (18-30s)


Day 27


Day 25: The Beauty Shot


Bonus: Vintage Backdrop


Day 28


Day 26: Marketing & Shooting - Independent Women Demographic


Day 29


Day 27: Sales & Production


Day 30


Day 28: Posing Men


Day 31


Bonus: Pricing




Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 1


Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 2


Marketing Part 1


Marketing Part 2


Money: What's Blocking You?


Bonus: The Folio Shoot


Day 32


Photo Critiques Images 1 through 10


Photo Critiques Images 11 through 27


Photo Critiques Images 28 through 45


Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67


Photo Critiques Images 68 through 84


Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105


Photo Critiques Images 106 through 130


Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141


Photo Critiques Images 142 through 167


Photo Critiques Images 168 through 197


Photo Critiques Images 198 through 216


Day 33


Identify Your Challenges


Identify Your Strengths


Getting Started Q&A


Rate Your Business


Marketing Vs Pricing


Facing Fear


The 28 Day Study Group


Selling Points


Interview with Susan Stripling


Emotional Honesty


Day 34


Sue's Evolution


28 Days Review


Student Pitches


28 Days Testimonial: Mapuana Reed


How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation


Your Block: Seeing is What You're Being


Your Block: Valuing and Receiving


Building Confidence: Your Own Stories


Building Confidence: Your Self Worth


Pitching An Experience


Pitching An Experience: Your Intentions


Pitching An Experience: Social Media


Final Thoughts


Lesson Info

Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression

This would be one of the most-asked questions in my email or my forums or my Facebook. How do I get that incredible connection? I can only show you through Live View how I work for and ask and connect with people. It is not about what I say, it is just what about I do. So today I'm turning the Live View camera onto eyes and you get to see when people are giving true and beautiful connection. I feel like this is a large component missing out of so many people's portraits. I really need you to master this so that you can take beautiful portraits of everybody that you photograph with a full, gorgeous connection through the eyes. Hi everyone, today we are talking about expression, and I think that this is probably one of the most important things you can learn as a photographer. It's also a connection, and I want to show you how I can connect with my clients. Everybody thinks that there's a preparation process, that somehow I'm making her feel all relaxed or I'm speaking in a certain voice...

, or I'm saying certain key words. For me, it's about controlling the direction. But I want to teach you the fundamentals of how to move the expression, the face, and how people move their faces for the camera, and how you can change that and take the most incredible photographs of people. Now interestingly enough, when I track back through my first year of business, I taught my business partner how to shoot, and I realized that throughout that time, she wasn't shooting as good as me because I had been shooting longer and I had more experience, but she was matching me dollar for dollar in the sales room. And then when I taught my other two principal photographers, they were also matching me dollar for dollar in the sales room, and yet I realized that the first thing I taught them was how to get this connection. So today it's all about connection and expressions. I really need you to nail this challenge above all others. If there is something that I need you to bring to all of your work, your wedding work, your family portraits, it's the ability to capture this open expression on people. So today, this next hour, it's all about that. Let's get going. I have a beautiful model client today, Kenna Klosterman as you may recognize here from CreativeLive, and Kenna's gonna take us through live expression and I'm gonna show you how I can change Kenna's facial expressions and her look and how I can get her to smile with her eyes and everything else I do. And you get to see this through Live View, let's go. So Kenna, what I want you to do is, I'm focused right on your eyes. I'm going to start recording here. So as you can see we've got Kenna in Live View now, and all I'm gonna do with Kenna is lift her into a proper sitting position, so nice and tall. Push in your chin forward a wee little bit, Kenna. And now on that one, just bring your chin forward and down. Okay, when I get people into their first pose, and when I first start posing them, the only things that I'm really getting them to do is stay focused on my lens, it's a very hard thing to do. People put a lot of tension in their faces, everyone carries tension differently. So until I start moving people, I don't know where they carry their tension. And so as I start to move them I'm gonna point it out and show you. So Kenna, all I want you to do is to relax your mouth. That's it, keep your lips together. Relax your mouth and then bring your chin down half an inch more to open those eyes up. As soon as those eyes open up there, I know that I'm setting the pose from the feet up. I get everything into play, I like what I see, and the last thing that I ask for here, after my focus, is slow down your blinks Kenna, that's it. When you tell people to slow down their blinks they become aware of blinking. Now she's thinking about blinking and she's starting to slow her blinks down. And then all I ask for is a tiny little smile in the eyes. Now when I say in the eyes, everyone instantly smiles really quickly with the mouth. So it's kind of like an instant reaction. So go back to, completely relax your mouth Kenna. And when I say a tiny little smile in the eyes, give me a little more, that's it, stop. There it is, as soon as I see that, I know I've completely got it. Now exactly the same, I'm gonna just jump in front and take a still, as I want you to bring your chin down a little bit more, that's it, and I'm going to shoot a little closer and a little higher. just to show you when I lift her eyes up. Now chin down a touch, give me that tiny little smile in your eyes. As soon as I see it, I can capture it. Now this is a perfect example, chin down, I need a little bit more, little bit more in the mouth. Okay you're giving me eyes, but there's just not quite enough on the mouth. Look at the difference between those two shots, one and two. Just a tiny, tiny touch of an expression. Okay, so sitting up nice and tall, resetting your chin position, that's it. Now tiny little smile in your eyes, Kenna. And just a little bit more smile in your mouth, there it is. Okay, have a look, Kenna's got a smirk, okay? And a smirk means one side comes up higher than the other. Right, now when I said that, she did four different smiles. So she started out here, and now I'm gonna talk her back through what she just did quite automatically. A little bit more on the smirk, good girl, a little bit more smile, that's it. Chin down a little wee bit more, that's it. Now just a little half-smile Kenna, so just a little, that's it, I like that, now a beautiful full smile. Not your biggest smile but just a really nice open, good girl, let it go, that's nice I like that. Keep your chin forward Kenna, don't throw it back. And now give me your biggest kick-ass gorgeous smile, go. (Kenna laughing) All right, so let's have a look through those and I'm just gonna show you the difference of working your way up through that expression. Now, here we go, one of the most amazing things about the open eye expression is, bring your chin down Kenna, now lock and engage straight into that lens. Look at me, good girl, that's great. Now I ask for stillness first, so I'm always like, hold that, hold that. And just a tiny, tiny, tiny little bit more in the eyes, so just tipping forward with the chin. That's a girl, I love that, that to me is everything. That there is the look that I want from everybody. Now let's have a look, if I turn Kenna this way, and on the chair just rotate around, Kenna. That's it, little bit more, keep going. Now I get her to push her shoulder forward more, more, more, that's it. Now bring your chin all the way back to me Kenna, that's it, I'm gonna tip my camera down just a little wee bit here. Now I love that, and what it does is, give me a tip this way and now bring your chin back to your shoulder, that's it, so that you're really working that shoulder towards your chin. That's it, don't move. See how that changes her body language. Now I have a shoulder working into her expression. Now Kenna, very gently lean forward and away from me like this. Just let me refocus Kenna's eye so that you guys can really get how powerful this expression is and why it works so beautifully. I'm just gonna refocus so that you can come back to Live View and see this. My Live View is better than anybody else's view, 'cause you can see through my camera. So Kenna, you need to lift your chin up half an inch and you need to tip this way more, that's a girl. Now you need to bring your chin back to your shoulder, stop. Don't connect them though, just have a little gap. So it's forward not down, that's the one. And now I need you to lift your chin up to me, stop, half an inch, and give me a tip, and so I want that beautiful tip-back expression right there, I need that gorgeous little smile in your eyes, perfect. And then I just want you to do, relax your mouth, okay? This is how I get a sexier mouth, I don't want the pout or sucking the lolly, I call it, the candy. So what I want is for you to turn your shoulder away from me Kenna, more, that's it, stop. I want you to bring your chin down, that's a girl, don't move. See her eyes just popped up, give me a slight tip in this way Kenna. That's it, stop, that's it, stop. Okay push that shoulder away from me, more, more, more, chin down now. There it is right there. It's not a cute smile, I want you, tip in, tip in, tip in, there you go, stop. I want you just to purse your lips together and give me all that expression through the eyes. You've got it, there it is. Okay I'm gonna take a couple of stills here, just so that you can see what I'm seeing. Okay now chin around to me a little bit more Kenna, push your shoulder away from me. More, more, more, stop. Okay from here, I'm going to move that, love that. Eyes to me Kenna, push that shoulder away from me now. More, more, chin down. (shutter clicking) Now open that bottom lip to me. Okay, so this is really important that we address this. Come back to the camera with this eye. Come back to this camera, sorry. Okay, let's go back, I'm just going to refocus my camera again. 'Cause every time I move Kenna, I want you to see my Live View. I'm just gonna refocus that there. This is something that does not look good on everybody, and that is when you push the chin forward, that's it, and down. Okay, now I want you to relax your mouth. And then I want you to drop your bottom lip, okay. So the open mouth brings two major problems, oops sorry. The open mouth brings two major problems. One of them is when people open their mouth, they open it too wide and it becomes like a fish face. So when people open their mouth up and yeah. Or they open their mouth and their eye expression goes to nothing. So often they'll do this, they'll go. And their eyebrows come up, okay, it's about relaxing your mouth down. Now if I feel like she doesn't look good with her mouth open, I would tell her to put her lips together. Okay so I will always try that look, so I will always say now Kenna, relax your mouth, drop your bottom lip, now lift your chin up half an inch to me. Okay no stay open, just lift up. That's it, just lift your chin up half an inch, stop. That to me is that real supermodel face. And if people don't suit it, don't shoot it. So if it looks weird, just say lips together Kenna. And give me a tiny little smile in your eyes. If I think she looks beautiful there, that's where I'm gonna shoot it. Okay so really, really important, work your way through that. Now what we're gonna do, is I've got three more girls here. I'm going to show you the difference in all of their expressions, so that you can see that. Now the hardest thing about what Kenna's doing right now is, you're looking at her in my Live View, is she's now holding that. And that's what we want people to do, we want people to hold that look to the camera all the time. Now the second they go relax back to a normal facial expression where you're not aware that a camera's on you and that you go to a blank expression again, you have to get people back into that. Now people do the strangest things. They hold tension, they quiver, their lips quiver, and sometimes you have to get people to really stretch their mouth, to relax it. And you know, you want to be able to always come back to that reset position with the smiley eyes. Once you teach people this the first time, they do it over and over again. Let's have a look at Kathy's expression to camera. So straight away in a sitting position, I'm just gonna push your chin forward and down just a touch. Straight down, Kathy, there, so your eyes are open. So I want your eyes into here, not to me. Good girl, just bring your chin back to the camera this way. All right, halfway back, that's a girl, stop there. Right, that's where I want to be in terms of face. She's projected forward to the camera, I've got an nice open eye to the camera. You can come up half an inch. Don't get people to look up through the top of their eyes. Relax your eyebrows down for me, good girl, that's wonderful. Now that is such a subtle expression, so if you can see the shift there, that is incredible. That was just about bringing the eyes down. A lot of people sit with their eyes up to the camera, their eyebrows up to the camera. Also take all the tension out of your mouth now, so completely relax your lips and just, lips together, that's it, and relax now. Okay, so if you see how Kathy just does that. Now I'm gonna take a shot of that, that's just about having a completely natural mouth to camera. So when Kathy's mouth is relaxed it is actually sitting slightly open, which looks really cute. So let's take a shot, and I really like that. Okay so that's her relaxed face expression. Bring your chin this way, that's it, stop, good girl. So bring your chin down just a little, relax those lips again, and then I want just a tiny little smile in the eyes, good girl. Notice how Kathy's mouth came up just a smidge on either side, so when I asked her to smile through her eyes, it just instantly popped up. Lips together, Kathy, and this time I want a little bit more smile in the eyes. Little bit more, good girl, there you go. See how that just jumped up straight away to just a little bit more of a smirk. Now hold that, now here's the problem. If I get Kathy to hold this, it starts to look fake. And I'm gonna take a photo of it because now, that is no longer a true expression. Okay lips together, and just do a little smirk. Okay and then a little smirk, little bit more and hold that, and that does not look real to me. So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna take her back to relaxed, that's it, lips together. And I just want a tiny little smile through the eyes, good. See how when she first does it, it looks so real? From here, also watch this. I want a beautiful huge big smile, biggest smile you've got. Good girl, there it is. Oh I love that, that's so cute. Okay, stop, now I asked her to smile and then I hesitated, and I waited until she held the smile. This time no smile, Kathy. Chin down half an inch. I want your eyes to me, good girl. Now see how I always say that, eyes to me? Do you notice when I say eyes to me, she locks into the camera? Now gorgeous big smile, go. This time I took it as she hit her full smile. So let's have a look at the difference between those two images, I feel like those two images have quite a significant difference feeling for me. So when I go back, I look at the two of them. Don't let people hold a smile, it looks really artificial. I want you to get this smile as it comes up, straight into a true expression. Okay coming back to life, you. I want you to put your lips together and just give me a tiny little smile in the eyes. And now just a little bit more in the mouth. Good girl, there it is. Okay, so exactly what I did with Kenna, I'm gonna start to move her body position around a bit more. Let's go this way, and just, this way. And I want you to work, yup, you can bring that little box around on your feet, just slide it around. That's it, and bring this shoulder forward Kathy, and then bring your chin all the way down. Now don't tip backwards, tip forward. So your whole body, I'm gonna move my camera. Your whole body comes forward. Now, stop, look at the expression that Kathy's doing right now, I'm gonna take a photo of it. That is very, very typical of what most people start doing. That's your listening face, okay? She's actually listening to my direction, and so that is her listening face. She's got her eyebrows up, she's got an open face expression. So resetting the expression on every shot is really important. Bring your shoulder forward Kathy, more, and bring your chin around to me now. Okay now give me a slight tip down. Now as I always do, as I take this shot and set this shot up, I'm working the shoulder to the front because I want to create this beautiful body language. I want her chin, I want a slight tip this way, that's it. So I'm working the chin back to the shoulder. I'm gonna slide that arm back so it looks good and you're gonna be leaning forward, but not with your head back. That's it, so this way, and then chin down now to the camera. So I'm just gonna reset my focus so that you can see this come into play in Live View, and I want you to push your chin towards me, Kathy. So I'm just gonna reset, soon as I reset this focal so, there on Live View. I really like seeing you guys seeing what I'm seeing through my camera. Okay sitting up nice and tall Kathy, bring your chin towards me and down, down, and work that shoulder across. Now, straight away, Kathy's gone too far down on her chin. I'm gonna take a shot of that. No, stay down there Kathy, listen to my voice. Okay and give me a slight tip this way, good girl. As soon as I see her come down too far, I think the eyes look odd so push your chin towards me now. Towards me, not down. That's it, now down. Okay let me just check my focus. Okay so I noticed that she was just looking up through her eyes like this so I'm gonna take it back and then I'm gonna record that. Okay, chin down a touch, shoulder across, all right. Relax your mouth now, good girl, love that. Straight away Kathy went into an open mouth, relaxed position, and then push that shoulder across, Kathy, bring your chin down, that's it. Now give me that little wee smirk. Just that tiny, that's it, that's right there. Forward with your head this way, work your shoulder, that's it. There's her listening face again. Okay, that's it, chin around to me now. And chin down, that's it, relax that mouth, that's beautiful, it's right there. And now lips together and give me a little wee smile in the eyes. Little bit more, work that shoulder though Kathy, you've got to give me that body language. That's the one, I love that. Okay really work that shoulder across, more, more, chin down. And I want a huge, big, gorgeous smile, go. That's the one, get it as it goes up. It's really important that these expressions, when we work through these expressions, we do them and get them fresh. That we get them as soon as they come up, we get them straight away. Okay so bringing your chin back to me this way. No, everything back, that's a girl. And chin to me, face to me. All right, chin forward and down, down, down, stop. Not that far, come up, now Kathy, relax your eyebrows, that's it. So that was really amazing, chin down a little touch more. I'm going to try and get that back on Live View. All right there, and you had your eyebrows up, and you were looking up through here like this. So do that again for me, you had your eyebrows up. Okay and then as soon as I saw that I thought, okay another thing that people do all the time, is I say drop your eyebrows. Okay, go back up again, just up and, you weren't that high. You were kind of listening up, so just, that's it. I'm gonna show you a photo of that. I see this all the time, I always say to people drop your eyebrows, drop your eyebrows. And it changes the expression on their face. Push your chin forward just ever so slightly and chin down, beautiful. Now look at that, 'cause Kathy has beautiful big lips, and they're together and they just sit so fully. I just absolutely love that, just more smile in the eyes and you're there, okay a little bit more. So what I'm gonna do now is go through a couple of little smiles so from here, smiling with the eyes Kathy. Beautiful, now I just want you to give me just a little wee bit more. Just a little wee bit more, more, more, more in the eyes, that's a girl! That was gorgeous. Okay, just a little wee half-smile, that's it, I like that. All right, now nice full smile, not your biggest one, good girl. Okay and now a nice big smile, let it go, gotcha. Notice when everybody does their big smile they throw their head up and kind of laugh? It's a movement, and so you've gotta be prepared for that. And also remember that everybody has a different way of smiling and everybody has a different way of getting there. But if you take control of your client while you're posing them, they will do anything that you ask. As you can see Kathy's got her eyebrows up now. Relax them, good girl, perfect. Now tiny little smile in your eyes. This is where I would hit Kathy right now with a fan. Let's do mouth open with her and see if it looks good. I want you to relax your mouth completely, that's it, and I want you to let your bottom lip fall open. That's a girl, now lift your chin up half an inch. That's the one, okay, now if this suits her, the only way this is gonna really suit her is if she really works those eyes for me. No you just closed your mouth instead of smiling (both laughing) which is perfect, that's what you've made today, but what I want you to do for this one is your real supermodel face. I want you to put your hands out like this, and I want your eyes to go flat and elbows tucked in, good girl. I want you to lift your chin up half an inch and open your bottom lip. So just let your bottom lip fall open, but I want lots of expression through your eyes, good girl. No, don't close your mouth, keep your eyes on me. Just relax your bottom lip, there it is, eyes up to me. Okay now, mouth's open too far, so I want you to relax it a little, chin up half an inch, half an inch, and just drop that bottom lip open a little bit more. I like that. Okay now bring your chin up to me half an inch, lips together. Lots of expression through your eyes, go. Good girl, let's have a look at those three shots and see the difference in what we like. And also, do we like to see Kathy's mouth more open, half open, lips together? Where does she look at her best, where does her mouth look gorgeous, and where is it that she looks at her best? So I'm just gonna go through all of those and just lots of sparkle in the eyes, good girl, that's gorgeous. And see straight away, when I ask for sparkle in the eyes, she instantly lights up through the face. She lights up through her smile, so straight away I'm going to go there every single time. And also Kathy Jay here has one of those amazingly beautiful mouths that go with a big smile, go for it, like that. And I love that. And so work with people, work with what they've got, have a look at where they hold the tension in their face. All right Susan, just bring your chin towards me a little wee touch and go chin this way, ooh not so far. Halfway back, okay, relax your mouth completely, that's it. Now, for you, a relaxed mouth, lips together. That's the one, I want you to give me a tiny little smile through the eyes. Just a little wee bit more, okay, now, when you do that, have a look at this. If you don't move your mouth, then it doesn't look like smiley eyes. So I want a little tiny smirk and a little bit more expression through the eyes. Okay so little wee bit more, good girl. Now give me a little wee bit more. Remember if you blink when I take a still, I'm just gonna readjust here. If you blink tell me because I'm in Live View. Okay so from here, tiny little smile through your eyes. And a little bit more in your mouth, on your lips. Little bit more, little bit more, there it is. Okay so for Susan, she needs a little bit more smirk. Okay so I'm going to look at it and I'm gonna say, and I'm gonna ask for what I need. Also, have a look at this, is her, chin bit down and up, is her chin bit, is it there? Okay now give me a little smile in the eyes and more in the mouth. Make sure that you are moving people around to see where they look their best. Also have a look at that slight tilt away here. So give me a slight tilt, go this way, that's it. And now give me a little wee smirk there, gorgeous. Now try the other side, so go back to the center. No, go back to the center first. Give me a little tiny turn, that's it, and then a tip down, and a little smile there, that's it. Now come back to the center again and just give me a little bit more smirk on the mouth, good girl, now I want it a nice easy half-smile. Okay, no, I wanna see teeth. So chin up a little wee bit more, that's it! So nice friendly smile, and now I want a gorgeous big smile, go. Okay so, notice how everybody moves their heads. As soon as I asked her to smile, everyone throws back or everybody goes up and down in their smile, okay? So everybody's doing a big smile and they always want to put a breath into it. Nobody ever really smiles just completely still. Everybody always wants to do a little bit of a laugh and a little bit of a breath in, and I just think you've gotta be aware of getting the smile on the smile up instead of getting them to hold it. Okay so in this position where I turn you this way, and I get you to just bring your shoulder around. Okay leaning forward a little wee bit more Susan, so your body's forward and work your shoulder forward, that's it. Now your chin comes back to your shoulder more, I'm just gonna reposition and refocus. So the reason I'm doing that slight tip this way, is I just want to get a really good Live View for you. So I'll come into here and now I want you to see this with a bit of body language. So she's already doing it, okay? So everybody's already there, once you take them through it they'll just keep doing the same thing. Chin up to me a little wee bit more. Shoulder forward, shoulder forward, shoulder forward. And now chin down just a touch, now really just work those eyes, good girl. Okay and from here I just want a little wee bit more of a tip, don't let your chin go down. Okay lift it up, shoulder forward, that's it. Work the shoulder, work the shoulder, work the shoulder. That's it, no smile, and just there. Relax your mouth a bit more, that's it. Did you see those eyes just come into play then? That was such a beautiful transition. Notice how she's defaulting down, bring your chin up to me, that's it, up. Now halfway down, stop, long chin. Come back to me, stop, there it is. And just work that shoulder in the front. That's it, don't put your chin down though. Come up half, good girl, there it is. And a little wee bit more smile in the mouth, just friendly, now friendly smile. No, no, no, not teeth. I just want you to lighten up the eyes a little wee bit, that's it, see? If you keep talking to people they'll change their expression. Come back to the start, I'm just gonna reset my focus again. And I just wanna show you a quick transition with Susan where I can go like this, I'm gonna focus from here. How many expressions can I get through the face here, okay? I want a completely serious face. Completely serious, okay. Now I want your chin up a little wee bit, and completely blank, no tension in your mouth. Okay, now I want you to lift your eyebrows up, listening face, okay so yup they're up. Now relax your face down, relax your eyebrows down. That's it, now completely relaxed face. Completely relaxed serious face, that's it. Okay I want you to relax your bottom lip so it opens, okay there, and all of those expressions there are generally where people are and then a tight mouth. Okay, everyone comes in around there. So all I wanna do is just keep resetting people to, relax your mouth, okay, and then lips together, and then a tiny little smile through the eyes. And do you know what, I've heard people say I just can't do it, I just can't do it, or I've had a client that just couldn't do it, and I don't believe that. I've never met anybody that can't do it. So that's where I'm at, it's so simple. All right, Ariella, I just want you to bring your chin back to me this way a little wee bit, so that's a halfway back, good girl, stop. Now from here I just want you to completely relax your mouth, lips together, that's it. And then just show me just a tiny little smile through your eyes. That's a girl, beautiful. Now what I want you to do is dip your chin forward, and just chin this way a little wee bit, that's it, so just engaging those eyes even more. And just a little wee tiny bit more smirk on the mouth, there you go. Okay from here I want you to bring your chin up, and I want you to come back, reset, 'cause you keep defaulting to the left. So now I just want you to stay there, and I want you to completely relax your mouth. Yeah, relax it open, good, that's it, perfect. All right now not quite so open. So go back to the start, and just relax it open, and now lots of expression through your eyes to me there, so I can just, good girl, see that? That is just absolutely perfect. You actually have a real, don't move, don't move, don't move. You actually have an absolutely perfect relaxed open mouth, which is really great for your mouth shape and your teeth. Everybody has a different one. Some people look really odd with their lips together. Okay so what I want you to do is I want you to just work through people's facial expressions until you find the one that suits them. Go lips together now, okay, and now tiny little smile through the lips, that's it, good girl. Okay have a look through all of these stills and let's work through that progression. So, I want you to completely relax your mouth, and I want your chin to come up half an inch, stop. And then a little smile, don't move your mouth, through your eyes, now just like that. Good girl, that was perfect. Did you see that subtle shift there through the smile in her eyes and her mouth just stayed, it just started to move in the corners. Okay from here I want you to go lips together, and chin down. I want you to give me a nice little smirk there, good girl, that was beautiful. Now next I want you to give me just an easy smile, just a relaxed smile, no that's it, okay. Now I want you to give me a big smile. Okay big, big smile. All right, there you go. So you are full smile, you are full smile, you are a top gum, okay, it's called, it's an overbite. Yeah. Now I always, I love that. I think when you see people go up through their smiles, I actually find when people don't like something about their smile, like if you say oh I hate it when I smile that you can see my top gum, because I get that all the time. If you don't like it, people will tell you that. So if she tells me that, I'm not going to photograph that big smile all the time. Now even if we think it's beautiful, it doesn't matter, it's what she thinks. Now in saying that, I wanna teach you a really important lesson. When somebody doesn't like their smile, and I hear it all the time, I don't like my smile. I always say, I don't care if you don't like your smile, I'm still gonna make you smile. Because I could take a really gorgeous shot of you smiling and I want to make sure that you get one smiling. Just 'cause they say they don't want to smile, doesn't mean they shouldn't smile. You just have to take a shot of them that makes them believe that it's amazing. So, what I'm gonna do here is I took you through her smiles, I just want to show you a connection. I'm gonna turn my camera off and reset. Turn this way, Ariella, and just hold your elbows. That's it, now bring this elbow back to the front. Good girl, work this shoulder forward, more, more, more. And now the other shoulder back. In fact you can go flat hands, and just lean forward, sorry, forward to you, not to me. So go this way, away from me, that way, no, there. That's a girl, now turn back over your shoulder and look back at me, you've got it. Okay from here, give me a slight tip, I'm just gonna focus so I can go back to Live View. There we go, perfect, don't move, and now I want you to keep your face there and just turn your shoulder away from me like that. So just keep your chin there and just turn your shoulder, good girl. Stop, bring your chin back down, okay there it is there. Now, look at that once I connect it, tiny little tip there for me, good girl, stop. Now lips together, little wee smirk first. Okay, work that shoulder up and forward a little wee bit more, stop, more, more, that's it. Stop, chin down now, okay, now relax your bottom lip. Good girl, now relax your bottom lip with your chin up. Okay, see the difference here? As soon as I put Ariella's chin too low, her chin looks too lean. Keep that shoulder forward, that's a girl, stop. Now just bring your chin around to me now, lips together, little wee smirk. Okay and now, nice easy gorgeous smile. Shoulder forward, that's it, gorgeous. And now huge big smile, really bring that shoulder and chin together, good girl. Now see the body language come in with all of those expressions. Come back to the front, I'm just gonna reset my focus. Look at this, not many people can do this. I want you, but this is the shape mouth that Ariella has, so I want you to completely relax your mouth so it falls open. That's it, good girl, and lift your chin up half an inch. That's what I call the supermodel face. Doesn't make a lot of sense, the supermodel face, it's kind of blank and expressionless sometimes. You've got to try and work as much expression through the eyes, which is quite hard to do when the mouth is open. But let's say she was doing a real supermodel position, like put this hand up here for me, that's a girl. And put this hand right up over the top, that's it, now just work that chin up half an inch. That's it, stop, now relax your mouth open to me now. Push your chin forward a little wee bit more, good girl, and really work those eyes for me. So when she's in an up position like that, when's she's doing the whole supermodel rocking the supermodel pose, that makes sense. And all the beauty poses like bring this hand into here, watch my microphone. Hold this elbow, and hold it tight. And then just bring this hand up to the face, okay now cup the face, there it is, and around sort of on your throat. Come back to the camera you've just turned away your chin. That's it, stop, okay. From here I want you to come back this way and then go chin down a little touch more. Okay just come back this way, stop, stop, stop. Okay pull that elbow across, and now I just want you to sit up into this hand, that's it, there, chin this way a little bit. Stop, and this hand goes around the throat more, that's it. So we're not talking on the phone. All right, now just relax, that thumb needs to go back Ariella, that's a girl. Perfect, now just bring your chin back half an inch, stop. There it is, okay, now just lift your chin up half an inch to me and relax that mouth. And I just need this elbow to come in a little wee bit more, that's the one. Relax your hand around your throat more. Okay touch down, okay come in closer. That's it, so it's just relaxed, there it is. Now chin up, stop, relax your mouth down, that's the one. Now really give me those eyes. Good girl, that was perfect. Okay, as you can see, every face is different but it's the same for everybody. We relax the mouth first, okay, and then we ask for their expression, we ask for their eyes. We go lips together, relax the mouth. Then we ask for a smile through the eyes and everybody does the same thing. That expression is really important, but it's more important that you sit the pose first and then ask for the expression last. And then keep asking for the expression over and over again, 'cause they will default back to a listening face. One of the most important parts about learning expression is practicing them yourself. So I want to show you a couple of things. With the girls today, it was really easy to see where their mouths looked better, and who looked better doing what, and who needed a little bit more smile in the eyes. So here's a few more tips. When people have no lips, they usually need to have a little bit more smile on their mouth, because smaller-lipped people can look really mean when their mouth is just sitting together. People with nice big lips don't need to put too much smile on their mouth, like Kathy because she had beautiful full lips, she doesn't have to smile. When people have strong teeth or a strong sort of mouth style, a strong mouth shape, like Ariella, she looked better with her mouth in a completely relaxed open position. So I want you to look at everybody's mouth and it's not really a map or a set, this looks better with this. You know, some people just look better with different expressions on their faces. So I want to go through these, I want you to practice everybody being in a tall position, chin forward and down, eyes to the camera. And then I want you to say to everybody, relax your mouth, lips together. Okay that's where you need to be. Everybody needs to be there. Then you can say relax your eyebrows, and people when they're listening to you, or posing, or have their listening face, they will always be eyebrows up. As soon as you say relax your eyebrows, they bring their eyebrows down and their eyes relax. Okay, then they can go into their position, nice open eyes. Remember we tip the chin forward to about here so that it looks open and that it looks really good to the camera, and then we use the eyes and the expression so it's always about relaxing that mouth and then working up from there. So relaxing to here. Now, people are really into doing this, and I'm really guilty of doing this. Duck mouth, okay? A lot of girls come into the studio and they think this looks cute. And they hold their duck mouth, I just say, okay, you're pushing your lips out, so just relax your mouth and bring your lips back together and let me talk you up through it. Then they relax their mouth and I can bring them back up to a smirk without that duck mouth. Also any tension that goes through the lips looks really wrong. A lot of people hold a lot of tension here and then they try and smile, and they do this, and they try and hold it. It's so bizarre to watch. So people will hold it and you can see almost a quiver when there's tension in the lips. So you just have to keep guiding people and talking to them so that they can move through that tension, and have a really beautiful photograph. So it's about relaxing the mouth, opening the eyes, having a tiny little smile in the eyes, and I'm gonna work you through the expressions that I practiced over and over again because I always found that people mirror you. Now when I was a teenager and I used to walk around the house like this, my mom said to me one day, the face you look at mirrors your own. So when you tell a sad story, people listen. And you tell a happy story, people listen the same way. So if your client is struggling to get facial expression, move your face to the other side of the camera and say, like this. And if you can practice those expressions, you're gonna be really good at showing other people. Okay so another thing that I want you to consider is that when you look at a photograph, you look at a photograph with exactly the same expression. So when you look at a beauty image and somebody's really like this, then people look at the photograph and go, oh that's a great shot. And when there's a photograph of you on the wall like this, people go, (laughing) oh what a great shot. It's so weird, we are so trained to look at people's faces and read the expression that's coming back to us. Lots of practice, please. I really need you to get this connection. This connection, everybody can do it. Everybody can do it, guys can do it, and I always call it smiling with the eyes, everybody understands it. So I just really want you to practice these. Go and do some mirror work and practice looking in the mirror. This is what I did, and I practiced all of these. Go, go try now, enjoy (chuckling).

Class Materials

bonus material

Business Checklist
Keynote Part 1
Keynote Part 2
Posing Guide: Set Map and Outfit
Posing Guide: Flow Posing
Posing Guide: Couples Posing
Posing Guide: Curves
Posing Guide: Teen Posing
Posing Guide: Family Posing
Posing Guide: Over 50 Demographic
Posing Guide: Beauty Shot
Posing Guide: Posing Men
How It Works
Styling and Wardrobe

Ratings and 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!


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


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

Student Work