First Weekly Q&A Session
Hello, internet, and welcome to CreativeLive. I am here with Ms. Sue Bryce. We are here at CreativeLive's studio, exclusive studio, for 28 Days With Sue Bryce where she has been working hard for all of you. Today is the first of our Q&A sessions that we're gonna do every week as you are going through the 28 days. So first of all, welcome, Sue Bryce. How are you doing this morning?
I'm very good this morning. Thank you. Welcome everybody and happy Monday to you all.
That's right. That's right. So everyone, just like usual, we are going to take your questions from the chat room. So today, since there are two live broadcasts going on, we are on creativelive.com/live1. And so therefore we are also in the chatroom that is creativelive.com/chat1. So join us there. We see that there are a number of you already in there, already asking questions. Just like normal, again, use the live tab to chit chat with each other about your on topic conversations. But we're gonna be focusing today o...
n the first seven days, the first seven challenges, and specific questions for those as you've been going through them. But before we start with that, Sue, I just want to take a minute to explain to everyone how 28 Days is working again. Because it is very different than anything we've ever done at CreativeLive. So we had our first two days kick off in Las Vegas on March 8th and 9th. And that was incredible.
Thank you. Yeah, I enjoyed that.
And then we are releasing, CreativeLive, on the course page, we are releasing one video per day. That started on March 11th and so there have been seven videos so far. Today is day eight. Those are released around 9:00 AM Pacific time. And those are available for when you purchase the course. So again, at this point, you purchase the course. When we started, when we kicked off the first day of those 28 days we did five free days. For 24 hours after each one was released you could watch that for 24 hours. So that is done. We just wanted to give you a taste, a flavor, of what these videos were for those of you who haven't been able to watch them yet. So I know we had some questions about that. So from here on out you need to purchase the workshop in order to have access to those daily videos. And that being said we have one free watch out there. Just again, for those of you who might have missed anything. And that is day number four, flow posing, which of course is classic Sue Bryce. And you can find that, again, on the course page for this workshop. It should be able to link to right beneath the video that you're watching.
That's a good one too because we flow pose over one couch and then we do the same flow pose over one small box. I wanted to be able to take it right back to minimalist. And we've basically just done as many poses as we can. And that video comes with a posing guide of all the poses too. Not for the free watch, but if you buy in, that is one of the things you get with it. That is one of the most significant ones because I want you to understand how easy it is to create multiple poses with something as simple as a box or just a simple couch without going and buying multiple props.
Cool, cool. So again, you can go and check that one out on the course page. I think, with that, let's dive into this because we just have an hour with you today. I wanted to start, maybe, asking if you could recap what the first seven challenges were. Go.
The first one came out was natural light 101. It's not a big video, that one. I kept it very basic. I just really needed to show people how I create that flat beauty dish light with a reflector and just diffusing the light with a natural light curtain. So that's pretty much really 101. I shoot a girl on the inside of the window light. I slowly move her away from it so it gets softer and softer. I diffuse the light. I bring in a reflector. I show you how I can bring her forward and around the V-flat. And it really was quite simple. And I didn't get a lot of questions from that. Although I did ask on Facebook yesterday to send me some natural light shots of people that were practicing and I got some stunning, maybe 84 emails, of stunning natural light images, beautifully lit. I asked for challenges thinking that you would send me where you went wrong. But I think everyone thought I meant from your natural light challenge. So I got bombarded with these incredible shots. And I have never seen, up until this year, throughout this year of teaching on CreativeLive I've never seen such consistently high natural light beautiful work.
People are doing it.
Beautiful work. I was like, "Oh my god!" I was opening them and going, "Wow, wow." In fact, I didn't get many bad ones, at all, probably none. Everything was medium to outstanding.
That's really exciting to hear.
The second one is mapping sets and outfits. Unfortunately my producer was working on another show that day so I talked for too long and that video is nearly two hours long. Which is good for you guys except for you have to watch me and listen to me for two hours. I wanted to teach you about two girls. About how I can efficiently pose, outfit change, mat the shoot for two girls. You need to work fast. You need to work efficiently. Your clients cannot get tired. After hair and makeup you need to have the shoot wrapped in two hours. I also need to have good time management so I can run a business. I need to make money and I need to shoot through the incredible images of both girls. So what I've done with this is I just blogged this challenge this morning on suebryce.com/blog. I'm going to blog every challenge this week from last week. I'm gonna blog every challenge every day from here on in. Because last week I was in Vegas, so as you know, nothing happens in Vegas.
There's a lot going on.
It took me a couple of days to get over Vegas. So I'm going to blog every challenge. And you can direct more questions there and come back to me next Monday with the next seven challenges.
Tell me what is on those blogs. I mean, everyone go check those out. But what do you have there?
I've done some screenshots of what it is that you're learning. I've then taken what the challenge is and what I want you to master. Then I'm going to add some Photoshop videos so you can actually see me take them to a finished product. Because everything you're seeing is coming out of my camera raw and I wanted to show you the raw, the truth of what comes out of my camera. But then I want to show you how I then take it from Photoshop to sellable. I'm gonna add those as well. Which videos have mapping guides, which videos have posing guides, et cetera. And basically what it is that I want you to learn. And for the people that haven't bought it yet, I need you to understand how comprehensive this is. Mapping a set and outfit is about efficiently making money. Everything I said to you in Vegas is true for me. I want to teach you how to be a better shooter and I want to teach you how to create an income from it. And it has to be financially viable and it also has to be a product that your clients really want. So this is what all of these challenges come back to. Challenge three was one composition, five poses. This comes with a basic posing guide. Obviously, at the end of the day a lot of you need to learn better direction. If you can change five poses with simple flow then I can get you to sale multiple images if you're creating multiple images in a series. It's something I'm really heavily trying to teach. It's always about keeping your flow moving so that you create multiple images and then sell multiple images. Five is about posing couples traditionally. This could be for any age, any weight couple. I've just gone with the real traditional poses in studio. What I then do, again, is I shoot the demographic, which is 18 to 30, which is the girl power demographic, and I show that the biggest marketing tool for that marketing demographic is shooting couples. So I take Sherry and Monty and I pretty much Calvin Klein them out in terms of taking them right through the arty background. So you'll get to see couples traditionally in this week. But in three weeks time you'll get to see me take couples through to more fashion. So just keeping the basics. And also, every single time the message is if I can get the boy into the shoot, the sale gets bigger. So if I can entice my clients with really good couple shoots then I know I can get boys in, I know I can get my sale higher. Challenge four is flow posing. That's the one on YouTube. It's the one I want you to go and watch. I flow pose over a couch. I flow pose over a box. I've created a map, a posing guide, that you can print out for this. This is free to watch during the whole month so that you could get an insight. The big, I think, kicker for me is I refuse to teach anybody through a live tether unless you can see live through my camera. So I've posed in live view.
Which is incredible. You are in your mind. You are in your vision.
Exactly right. And I don't believe you can learn from the side. I mean, from the side you can see what angle my camera is at and you can see basic things like where the reflector is, how far I am from the window. But the truth is it's until you see those subtle movements through my camera you don't get it.
And I just want to make a note on that, Sue. The free watch is on YouTube but the easiest place to go find it is on the course page for this workshop. So you can just hit play there. It says free watch.
I don't even know if it's on YouTube. I was thinking about the fear video, which I've got on YouTube.
Which is also on the course page.
Okay, on the course page. On the course page I did a keynote on fear. There's been a big of a joke about that, fear, fear, in Vegas. It was the most amazing keynote for me personally. It was the keynote I've always dreamed of delivering on CreativeLive. I'm so glad I did it. It really meant a lot to me. I believe so many people just have this wrong idea about fear. And I want you to go and watch it. It's on my blog, it's on the course page, so there's multiple places you can see it. Challenge number six was connection and expression. Obviously you get to see Kenna, working eyes. It's about that subtle movement. This is probably the most important challenge and one of the most basic challenges and yet one of the hardest at the same time. It's a strange challenge, this one, because this would be the most asked question, is how do you get this connection. And then the seventh challenge is we start with the roles, and that is chin, shoulder, hands. So I've broken down the roles to chin, shoulder, hands. I'm showing you live view. And then challenge eight, of course, was hourglass, body language, and asymmetry. Just breaking them up one by one. I just want to hear from anybody that wants to talk about the first seven challenges. Any questions, any challenges.
Well, they're coming in already. Of course the internet has questions. So they're flying in. So again, we're just gonna be looking at questions that come from these seven challenges. So keep it focused on those. So let's start talking about light. Allison's Eye Photography. "Natural light, can you talk about how to create "the really dramatic lighting that I've seen "in your black and white work with natural light?"
Yeah, so two things, Allison. One of them is as you saw in natural light studio, I closed down, I closed down, I closed down, I closed down that gap. The smaller the gap the harder the light. The less reflector, the harder the light on this side. When you get to posing men I shoot, Adam Bauer, I shoot him through a small hole in the window like that. It's a silhouette light. And I shoot dark, artsy, black and white, real grungy fashion, Calvin Klein-esque. The less that gaps is in the window, the harder the light. It's a great video to watch. I talk about it in natural light studio. But in posing men you get to see it in full action. And how I get my finish is I edit on Alien Skin. And Alien Skin has asked me to do a Photoshop video for my blog in the next three weeks. So I'm gonna create a video for you guys that will be free to watch on my blog on how I can go really film noire with editing software like Alien Skin. Exposure 4 is my favorite.
So when you say the gap, that is between the V-flats.
Close the gap of the curtain, or the V-flats, or whatever is blocking your light on your Window and that gives you more intense, hard, concentrated natural light.
All right, fantastic. Thank you. Question from Beech Tree Photography. "If you have a north-facing window for light "do you change your white balance to warm things up?"
If you have lots of white you change your-- You change your white balance, whatever you're getting. People say north-facing. It means nothing to me. We're facing two different directions and every single day the light changes in here. That's the beauty of natural light. It's really, really unpredictable. I set on auto white balance and the only time I ever really shift is it's a really sun day and it's going too yellow, and I'll either put it on auto, or sunny, and just take it down to a colder because I like colder work. But honestly, you're shifting your auto white balance to whatever you're getting. And it will shift every 10 minutes, every hour.
Okay, so north-facing, south-facing.
Just light. Great. Somebody had asked about the cyan cast. What do you mean when you say the cyan cast to your images with natural light?
So on my Photoshop I have set my curves as an action to give me one stop of cyan, magenta, green. So basically if you go control-B on your computer, on Photoshop you're gonna get a color wheel. That color wheel has an opposing red, cyan, green, magenta, blue, yellow. In order to take yellow out of an image you have to add blue. Just basic color 101. So I've set that curves in one stop of color and I tend to always go towards a colder way of shooting. I believe it takes the yellow and the red out of skin tone. As soon as you take the yellow and red out of skin tone it looks more magazine, more fashion. So I don't desaturate. I go colder. There's a big difference between taking the saturation of color out and going towards a colder tone. I am always attracted to a colder tone. Although that is changing. I'm definitely warming up this year.
Just like you're starting to wear color in addition to black. (laughs)
I'm wearing red underwear.
Well, there you go, everyone. Green yesterday?
I did, for St. Patrick's Day. I had a green top on.
Question from Carolina Y. Caroleena Y. "Natural light studio, any suggestions for bouncing light "around in a room that is too small for V-flats?"
Okay, there's no such thing as too small for V-flats. I've shot in a room that's 2.4 meters high stud. That is the size of a V-flat. Simona's studio in Sydney has a two meter stud and we just cut the top of her V-flats. The good thing about that is we cut the V-flats, sorry, the poly boards, so that they are exactly ceiling height so that we don't need chairs to lean them up against. We just go like this and wedge them against the ceiling. There is never a room too small for a poly board. And if your poly board is too small, cut it down. And if it's still too big, cut it in half and have somebody hold it. But a polystyrene board, best thing in the world, and it's the best reflector you can buy.
Very cool. One more question with natural light. One is coming in from Ronny. "I have problems with people with deep set eyes. "I feel like the natural light can't reflect deep enough "to get a spark in the eye."
I don't have a problem with deep set eyes. Kenna was my subject. I can bring a reflector right to there, right to my camera lens. So I can't even see her until I look through the camera. I can really pull that reflected light around as long as I'm bouncing it straight back to her eyes. You've just got to learn to turn it, really turn it and bounce it in. And another thing is if the light is coming down high you just have to get a little baby whiteboard and drop it down in front of the camera to try and bounce it up. And the same as bouncing it down. Play with light. Once you get a big reflector here, get a smaller reflector and just work it around. But I very rarely get deep set eyes that are too deep to get a sparkle in the eyes. And nothing brings that up than a dodge in Photoshop. A light dodge around the iris. Don't whiten the eyes too much.
Great, thank you. All right, well let's talk about mapping out outfits. So a question from Daphne Chan. Hi, Daphne. "When mapping your outfits and backgrounds "what is the most effective way of doing so? "Do you start with the lightest outfit "and backtrack and move to the darkest? "Also, do you start with the simplest outfit "and move towards the more elaborate ones "that include jewelry, dresses, et cetera?"
Yes, I start from the most casual outfit to the most glamorous. Two reasons. If the makeup and hair needs to get bigger and stronger, they can move towards the more glamorous images. And secondly, the casual outfits are all about those poses. You know, those relaxed, sort of sitting on the floor, jeans, sitting on the box. But by the time they're getting to they're glam, and they're freestyling, and they're spinning, they're a little bit more confident with posing. I tend to go from casual to glamor. And if they just bring in glamorous clothes then I pretty much just work each set. But remember, the whole point of mapping is to efficiently shoot two women. So I tend to map out what they're both going to wear so I'm not changing out a background twice. It's all about efficiency and speed.
Fantastic, thank you. Okay, question from Design Edit. "In the mapping outfits shoot "you said that 10 minutes each outfit and swap the girls "so that you could flow through the backgrounds. "But previously you said, when doing two girls, "shoot one while the other is in hair and makeup. "Can you explain a little bit more "as if you have one artist "and you could be waiting two hours "before you even start shooting."
Yeah, not two hours. One hour. So basically if I have one makeup artist I will shoot the first girl for one hour while the second one is in hair and makeup. Then I'll switch them out. So all up they will be in hair and makeup for an hour. And then the second one goes into hair and makeup while the first one gets shot. All up they'll be there for three hours. If I have two makeup artists then I will shoot them twice. For efficiency in my studio, as my studio started to make more money, I hired a second makeup artist. I found that if I could shoot two and makeover two at the same time I was not only more efficient, I could shot two doubles a day which put me in a place where I was doing an average of 1,850 per client and I was doing four girls in one day. That's when our studio was at its biggest. I get that 99% of you are at one makeup artist, if you're lucky. So you're going to have to do the one, one, and one. But if you can double up, there are lots of ways to do this. I learnt how to do hair and makeup myself, of course. So I could often assist my hair and makeup artist. Or I would get a young makeup artist that's training to come and do work experience and work as a second makeup artist. There's multiple ways to do it to speed you up. But I'm always looking at trying to be more efficient. And don't let your clients get hungry. Because if they're there for four hours, they get bored and they start yawning. And you want them to remember this experience as being really dynamic, and leaving on a high, going, "I can't wait to see these." So keep it flowing.
You definitely do that in your shoots. Okay, another question about light from Dave Dopple via Twitter. I don't know if I mentioned this. We are using the hashtag 28Days on Twitter. "We do not have direct light "hitting against our largest windows. "Can we use some daylight balance continuous lighting "outside the window to get the same effect?"
I've done it before. I was in a dark studio, Simona's little studio, in winter, and I got day lights and put them outside. Then it started to rain so I had umbrellas on the day lights outside hoping that I wasn't gonna short circuit the whole place. It does work. It is not the best option. Our cameras nowadays shoot in the dark. They go up to 3,200 easily. And I like grain. It reminds me of film. You need to just really be aware of what your studio can shoot and what time. Like this studio here, we found it shoots beautifully from 10:00 to 1:30, 2:00. After 2:00, it's out. And we get a hard winter light coming in from this west side. We really want to get the bulk of our shooting done at this time. The only problem with natural light is we really have to monitor. And the only time that that's a real problem is on the darkest of rainy days. But I've probably only ever been stopped maybe twice in 10 years with no light in a thunderstorm in New Zealand. Very similar weather to Seattle and thunderstorm rolled in and stopped me. But Dave, I suggest you bounce as much line in as you can. You can even put reflectors outside to bounce them in. And if you're gonna use day lights, then yes, try it. It doesn't quite give you the same effect but very close. And failing that, I just bought an Ice Light. I know, big shocker. I'm gonna show people how I add light with Jerry Ghionis' Ice Light. It's a great, great little addon. And I've already tried it. So a good filler that's not a flash if you're looking for that look.
And I think what you just said was go out and try it. If you think it might work, go out and try it. See what happens.
Also, don't hold the light, obviously, to your client. Hold it to the light reflector and watch it bounce back at them and watch their face go up two stops and you'll be quite amazed by how beautiful that is.
Fantastic. Back to the makeup and shooting multiple people. Lemon Girl asks, shooting two or more girls, how do you get through all the hair and makeup if you're doing four to five people? Do you have multiple people doing the hair and makeup or are you doing two at a time like shown in the last section? When we had four of us here.
We did two at a time. Four to five girls requires two makeup artists. When I first shot my first five group I remember, Chrissy and her girlfriends. I talk about it in marketing. They were $1,500 average each. Six girls they were. And that is a $9,000 day, ultimately. Paying two makeup artists to be there for the day, it meant that there were two, two, and two. And I was shooting them staggered two, two, and two and then a group shot at the end. Remember, you're focusing on the individual shots. You'll finish with a group shot which you're going to give for free if they buy because there's an incentive. You're not gonna overkill the group shot because they're not gonna buy one. They're gonna buy images of themselves and get a free group shot. They'll love you for that. But more importantly, when it's that many people I make them bring in lunch. I make them bring in a cheese board, a platter. I don't like people stop and have a big lunch because then they get a bit sleepy after lunch. But just little snacks, lots of sustenance. No alcohol until the shoot is starting to wrap up is my rule. And just keep them watered, and excited, good music.
Fantastic. Okay, let's see. From Frankie Wylie. Posing families and siblings. "Okay, four brothers in the studio today. Four brothers. "How on earth was I supposed to pose them "without making them look too feminine? "Ages seven through 15. Biggest challenge yet."
Okay, really good. There's one thing about posing boys and that's they can't really touch each other in certain ways because the body language around it is awkward. When you get to our posing men section, which is a really great challenge, I show you it by Russ and Adam, the same mat. But with Russ I keep it really casual and boy, portrait, family portrait. And with Adam I take it up to Calvin Klein but with the same mat, different crop, different light. With Russ I kept it all with the boy poses, elbows forward. You need to get them close but without touching. You need to have them all in masculine positions. And that challenge is coming up. So I'm sorry that you had that shoot before this challenge because I would have definitely just set them in all the masculine positions but just worked them close to each other without arms around each other or hands on each other.
Thank you. Okay, question from Trinky on posing. "There are so many poses it's overwhelming. "When you're just starting it's impossible to memorize "all of these posing techniques. "Is it okay to look at my iPhone/iPad to look at your poses "so that I know what pose to do next for my client?"
Trinky, go to the flow posing video. Download the contact for the posing flow.
The contact sheet?
Yes, which is not up yet but it's going to be by the end of this week. And I want you to pick your top six poses out of it. Practice six until you master six. Choose another six, practice those. Choose another six. There's 60 there. Until you know every one of them off by heart. You must start small. And I said this to the girls. Look at the chart and tick off. I like that one, I like that one, I like that one, I like that one. Practice it, practice it, practice it. And then implement it into a shoot. Do that with your next 20 shoots until you get bored with them because you know them so well. Once you're there you can move on. Six at a time. You can't do 60 poses in one shoot anyway. It's ridiculous. Who would buy that many images in that dress? What I'm trying to teach you is multiple ways to see over a box or a couch. Keep it simple. Learn six at a time. Put six in. And don't look at your iPhone. Go and print it out. Look at it in a separate room and then go and practice it with a friend first. Or just go in and go, this is the pose I'm gonna do, and then this is the next pose. But one thing I always used to do when I was learning was I would get a blank piece of paper and a pen and I would draw the pose out like a stick figure. You don't have to be a good drawer. I would draw it out and I would show my client. And then go, "I'm gonna pose you like this. "Really fashion on the box." And they were always really interested by this. They used to look at it and go, "Oh, okay, okay." And it seems to me like I was creating a little map just for them. And then I would keep it there in the studio and I would reference it. But the truth is I was referencing a magazine picture that I had just seen and I was copying it in my head. And I used to make it like, I'm designing you a shoot now, Kenna, so I'm gonna shoot you like this. And it really worked. And people love it.
It's all about the spin.
It's all about the spin.
I love that. That's a great idea. Great idea. Okay, we have some people talking about your lens choice. There are a few questions. Hawaii J says, "Why do you use 35 and "instead of the typical portrait lenses of 85, "100 millimeter, 135, 70 to 200. And let me just tell you what people are saying. A lot of people on your boards are talking about the distortion of the subjects' heads using the 35 millimeter. That was from I'm Shutterbug. And how do you determine which lens, which focal length to use?
The reason I don't shoot 85 or up is because I'm usually shooting within three by three meters. I simply do not have the space to shoot with those big glass lenses. I know that they're good. I know that they're awesome. I know that they're sharp. But the 50 and the 35 are my preference. If I have a lean client, the 50 goes on immediately. If I have a curvier client, the 35 stays on. There is lens distortion on the but I use it to my advantage by tilting my camera this way. Because in a slight tilt this way I can bring the face forward. Now, a couple of times I was starting to shoot on the 35 mil I saw the lens distortion on a leaner body and I switched out to the 50 mil. I do say that. I say why I use the 35 like that. Also, the 35, in terms of video, is my favorite lens. So when I'm shooting in the studio I got 50, I go 35, I go 50. I love the 1.2 but mostly I shoot at 1.8 to 2.8. So I do have a very shallow depth of field. My classic portrait lens, which I built my business on, was the 24-105. It was the only lens I used. And when I looked through my focal point on Bridge I was pretty much at 50 the entire time. So that's the closeness that I shoot in. So that's why it is my preferred lens.
Fantastic. Thank you for explaining that. We did have several questions about cropping. K Walla says, "Amazing course, Sue. "Do you ever worry about finger or arm shots "when composing in camera?" And she's referencing, or he, challenge three on five. It says arm shops, but I'm thinking probably shots. And crops. There was also another question way earlier about...
Cropping hands and elbows.
Correct. "I'm getting confused on cropping," from Kelly B. When are the posed arms and hips she crops off a one time deal.
Okay, so here's the deal. Traditional posing was about don't crop off a wrist, don't crop off a hand, don't crop off the top of the head. And all that changed in the third millennia. So basically now it's more about fashion posing. And fashion has cropping, crazy cropping. I try not to crop off on the wrist, obviously. But if I crop through the hand, that doesn't bother me. I have never, in 23 years, had a client say, "I'm sorry I can't buy this image. "You cropped off my elbow." It is a portrait and a photographer's thing to say, "Don't crop the hand, and don't crop the elbows, "and don't do this, and don't do that." Sure, I mean there's multiple rules that I break that are traditional portrait rules. But I'm not trying to teach you traditional portrait rules. I'm trying to teach you contemporary posing which is just more of a fashion edge. So I do crop into elbows. I do crop into arms. But I do address that too. In a lot of my shooting I say I'm gonna go slightly asymmetrical. I am cropping into her elbow. But I'm always looking for asymmetry. I would never crop both arms off symmetrically because it would look wrong. But if I'm asymmetrical I'll crop into one arm and keep an elbow in the side. Not a problem. Definitely keep watching. I do address it a lot in my cropping. I always crop in camera. I never crop afterwards because I know that there is a difference in where you are and it looks different if you don't crop in camera. Yes, I'm a rule breaker. Go for it. Just within reason. It's kind of a big-- It's a big...
It is, but the asymmetry part, that's what made that click for me. And that's one of the rules. So cropping with asymmetry. Love it, thank you. Okay, so a question about what you're using in terms of the sofa and the box. "Is the sofa and the box white for a reason? "I shoot warmer and I would like to use brown."
You are welcome to have a brown couch and a brown box. I have both. I'm very lucky now that I have the opportunity to buy more props for my studio. When I first started, everything was white, and my walls were white. Then I got a gray wall. I painted the wall gray, medium gray, and then darker gray. The white furniture still looked good on the light gray, darker gray, medium gray. Only when I went to a black background did I have to bring in a darker furniture. So what I did because I couldn't afford to was I bought fabric that went over the couch. So I would drape the couch in a black piece of fabric and they would sit on that and I'd shoot them on the black background. So it's personal choice. It's about the style that you're shooting right now. I'm in love with my new brown backdrop so I'm bringing a brown couch back into the studio. It's up to you.
Oh, perfect. There you go. There was also a question about if you could have two color backgrounds, what would they be?
The two color backgrounds that I would prefer would be a midtone gray that goes towards cyan or green. So something that definitely can be colder. And then I would, actually, I would have said, 10 years ago I would have said white and medium to dark gray. And now I would say black and medium gray. So I'm gonna say I would do three. I would do white, medium gray, and black. I'm that monochromatic. Because I can shoot anything on those three. But I will say that that V-flat goes white and black. So if you can get foam or foam core, V-flats white on one side, black on the other, kills two birds with one stone.
Perfect. Perfect. Okay, speaking of those V-flats. Kathy Knots says, "Your couples posing against a wall were leaning. "How do you attach them instead of leaning them "so that they don't fall down?"
So posing them standing instead of leaning against the wall. Well after we did the wall we then went to the free standing position, which is in front of the brown background. You just have to have more solid feet position. So you'll notice there that both Tiffany and Mark had their feet apart. They were standing in a wide stance. And then they can move around. Obviously Tiff is quite tall so we had her legs further apart to drop her down so that Mark had more leverage to come up and over her with his arms. You'll see that in the rest of the video. And the leaning just gives the opportunity to relax into the pose just the same way you lean when you're in an individual portrait yourself.
Okay. Fantastic. Okay, Stephanie asks, "Any suggestions for shooting connection through the eyes "on someone who gets smaller eyes when they smile?"
Connection is not about smiling. Nobody has small eyes with they smize. They only get small eyes when they do a big small. So some people do a big smile and close their eyes down. But those people always can open their eyes up and smile with a tiny smirk. Those people love it when you actually do that for them because the first time they'll see a smiling shot where their eyes are opening. So you've got to keep the eyes open, focus on their up position to really open up the small eyes and then get a tiny smirk here and a tiny smirk in the eyes and they'll love it. It will be the first time they've seen a smiling shot. That's actually the easiest way around that.
Thank you very much. And a question from Danny PG. By the way, everyone, thanks for your questions. They're coming in rapidly and these are great. So again, keep them coming. Question from Danny PG. "Chin out with people who have a very short neck. "What's happening to me is they "tend to get their shoulders up. "How do you do that? Thanks, Daniela."
Okay, Daniela, I want you to sit down, relax your shoulders, lift up your next nice and tall. Push your chin forward and then down. You do not move your shoulders at all. You just need to practice this. Practice it yourself. And when you direct people it's like this. Lifting up nice and tall, Kenna. Bring your chin towards me. And if she comes forward with her shoulders... So come forward to the camera. Let your chin, sorry, come forward this way. So like that. If she comes here. If you come forward and she rolls her shoulders forward. So if she does that then I just have to go no, lift back up again, nice and tall. Drop your shoulders. Push your chin forward and down. It's this axis here that you need to focus on, not this one. And so if they've got a short chin then they're often lean, which means they're not coming forward. They're not coming down, they're just coming forward. Just keep practicing. Lift up nice and tall. Bring your chin towards me. And it works a treat.
Thank you, thank you. Okay, next question. From Melanie T, "How do you deal with reflection "in glasses for both guys and girls? "I'm able to keep the glare off the eyes "in a different part of the glasses frame. "Suggestions?" I am not sure. Am able to keep the glare off the eyes. I've been removing glass, Liz, for 23 and a half years. Before Photoshop we used to do it by hand. And because all photography was flash lit back then we used to have to hand paint in the glare. It's no different now. If you're getting a really bad glare, and you cannot move around, and you're really struggling, you have two choices. You can move your light and rephotograph them and then use the eyes from another image. Or you can just simply take their glasses off, reshoot them, reshoot them with their glasses on, and fix it in Photoshop. It's one of those things. It's like braces. How do you shoot braces? You either ask the client whether they want to keep their braces on or you remove them. A glass glare is just one of those things. You have to move your reflector around. And usually you can push it right to the outer edge and then you can Photoshop it. But if you are having problems, just keep them still, get them to just slip their glasses off, take a second shot, use that part of their eye, and then you're using a real part of the eye. Lasso, edit, copy, edit, paste. Or just lasso, V for moving tool, drop it on, same size, easy. It's like a head swap. Take you under three minutes.
All right, a question from Quells Photo. Day five, posing couples. How do you manage couples that have an extreme height different? For example, the wife is 5'2" and the husband is 6'4". Do you use steps? How can you find enough poses?
I've done a 6'4" and a 5'2". Would you believe it? I posted on my blog. He's a very tall men so I set him on a bar stool. Now, it was obvious that he was sitting slightly because you could see the tops of his thighs. He was holding the baby and she stood between his legs and the three of them were staggered that way. And it was perfect. You know, what you need to do is bring him down or her up. They still want to have their height difference but you want to do it in a way that looks good. That's where you use apple boxes and get her up or you use a bar stool and bring him down. So yes, he was seated for most of the shoot but he was stiller higher than his wife. So he looked masculine. He had his arms around the whole family. And it worked a treat. Yeah, really great couple, actually. I remember them really well. 6'4", 5'2", and she was probably even shorter than 5'2". In fact I'm gonna go as far to say I think he was 6'6".
Yeah, so a big, big guy, and tiny, tiny girl. And she was little too. And their baby was just beautiful. And he had a chihuahua, would you believe it. Chihuahua is in the shot too. (laughter)
I would believe it. Rebecca Reese Photography, "Any advice on capturing great connection with cross eyes?" Have you ever had that?
Yes, multiple times. My beautiful sister-in-law is potentially going to lose her eye. She's had seven operations on her eye. And she's about to maybe get a glass eye. And she has a beautiful, just such a beautiful face, and her eye will shift in camera. When I met my sister-in-law I did what I do to all of my clients and I said to her, "Tell me about your eye." And she said to me, "I can't believe you asked me that "because I always want to talk about it "and people just never, ever ask me about it." And so I had a family of girls come in and two of them had completely inverted one eye. And they were just the most gorgeous girls. And I said to them, "Tell me about your eye." And both of them had had operations on their eye. Both operations failed. These operations don't often work to correct eyes. And they often try and stitch them. So I asked them straight away. Now, I didn't say what's wrong with your eye, or do you want me to fix your eye because I don't know. Fix what?
What went wrong?
Yeah, exactly right. So I just say tell me about your scar, tell me about your birth mark, tell me about your eye. And every single time I say that they always say, "Oh my goodness, thanks for asking. "I have this scar because..." And then I say, is this something you want me to change in Photoshop. They often say, "Can you," or no. So both girls asked me to correct their eye in Photoshop. They said we would love that. So what I did was two things. I photographed them exactly the same way and I simply lassoed this eyeball, this whole eyeball, and put it across and matched it up. And then the other one was I could lasso the eyeball that was inverted and just shift it across. It looked absolutely perfect. I won't post that on Facebook because that's a very private portrait shoot. And the girls were very, very happy and they bought 14 images. But, you know, it's something you need to talk to your client and that's the best way to say it. Tell me about your eye. Tell me about your eye. And I've never been afraid to ask people anything like that because I'm saying it in a way that is opening a conversation for them to tell me how they feel about it and what they want done with it.
Well, and I think that's great because you're addressing it head on versus waiting until you're sitting there, and you're processing, and you're like, "Oh, what did they want?" And you're making the call for them.
Also, if somebody has something that's on their face, their neck, that is very obvious, it is a big thing for them in some way. They've either grown up with it or they've had it for a long time. It is a very obvious feature of who they are. And to be that interested in someone where you can say, "Tell me about that, Kenna," they love it because instantly they're like, "I get to tell a story now." They don't just go, "Ah, look, it's nothing." They tell a story around it. If people are telling a story they feel very comfortable with you. So as a portrait photographer you should address this immediately.
And that again adds to the connection that you're already developing when speaking with them. Is it the same with tattoos? Because we see that question a lot.
Well, just tattoos.
Well yeah, tell me about your tattoo. Yeah, absolutely. Tattoos always have stories as well. I have a tattoo on my foot and that has a story attached to it. So, tell me about your tattoo is a great sort of...
I like the way you say tattoo.
Tattoo. (laughter) All right, question from Jenny H. About multiples. "When you have several girls in the studio at the same time, "do you send them a preview like a slideshow "or do they come in altogether for the viewing?" How does that work?
Jenny, sell to them two by two. Women always come in pairs. They shop in pairs and they spend more money in pairs. They're easier to talk to than fours, fives, or sixes. Break them down into two by two. That's how I did it with that big group of six and I've done it ever since.
Fantastic. Thank you. Adrian Far in England. Hey, Addy. "Are there props that you can recommend "in a shoot for clients to interact with? "Similar to fashion images where they often have props." So that's not necessarily what you always do, but... Any suggestions?
Adrian, I don't shoot with props. I find that if you bring a prop into the studio that's what you look at. I've had girls bring in a designer handbag and say, "I would like to have a photo with my handbag." And I'm like no. I'm not gonna take a photograph of your handbag. Because if I see a picture, a portrait, with a handbag in it, I'm gonna look at the handbag. If you want to do props, look at Haley Bartholomew. That woman can rock a prop shoot like nothing before because her shoots are more about personality and fun than beauty. Beauty is prop. The only prop on want on there is jewelry and fabulous hair.
Yes, the fabulous hair is a prop in and of itself, right?
Yes. Best accessory in your wardrobe.
I love it. Sue, I just want to address the fact that people are asking, you talked about the 28 days as being not just posing but also business. But those will come later in the days, right? So we're not gonna address some of those questions right now.
What are the general, like what do we need to know, what's coming? So if it's about what's coming then we can talk about that. I'll go fast.
Let me try to find some of that. Because I just saw that come around but I don't have anything specific right now.
So basically I'm gonna cover all four shooting demographics. So I'm gonna show you the 18 to 30 year old, 30 to 50 no kids, family first, and 50 plus. I'm not only going to show you how to shoot those four girls. I'm gonna show you how to market to those four demographics. Those are the four biggest shopping demographics in the world. And we need to create folio images and shoots that service those four demographics. Every one of us belong to one of those demographics and so they're coming as well. So that's about shooting and marketing specifically just to those genres. Then we have sales, products and pricing, post production, all the stuff that's coming.
So much. And you can see that on the course page where we list them out. So Decla Scotleaf had asked when do you review the images with the client? Before retouching, and who makes the selects? Will you be talking about that later?
I actually select 30 images, 25 to 30 images depending on how big the shoot was. I do that myself. I then retouch each image two minutes each and I show them a retouched image. I do not show raw images. It is part of my brand to retouch what I do. It is part of my style. I would never show un-retouched images ever. And if I can't show them in person I will Skype call and screen share. I do not post images, I do not send images, I do not send content sheets.
Great. Let's see, a question from Katie Nixon. We have been seeing you shooting, obviously, in these. Do you shoot auto focus and recompose or use the in camera focal point?
I use the in camera focal points. I toggle them around and then I auto focus and recompose. So both.
Always on the eye.
Will we be talking about... Okay, so there are more questions about couples and different body sizes. What about when the woman is quite a bit heavier. Do you have some suggestions for that?
Yes. Whenever I do posing twos, so when I do it with the girls, and posing curves, remember it's about using the curviest one and the slimmest one against each other. So it's about slimming one down. So that will come up in posing families. And I think you'll really enjoy that because it's a bit of a joke that I have with my super lean girlfriends, how I turn them to the side and take my weight off the back foot in order to slim them down. This is something I go over a lot. It's in every one of my CreativeLives, is how to pose a curvier one. Basically, the person with the curves goes onto their back foot with their chin forward. The person that's leaner turns wider to the camera and that's how you use his or her body language against the other one to slim down the curvier person. I will go into that more if you want to see more of that. But it's such a basic turn and it just works so well.
Great. So a question from I'm Shutterbug. Day one. "Why did you choose to choose "on the opposite side of the room from where the light was?" Why did you choose to shoot on the opposite side of the room from where the light was.
Because when I first gave you the example, everybody is drawn to light. But I was drawn to the bounce of light. I don't want to go exactly where the light is. I want to go to the opposite side where the light is bouncing to. The light in that bedroom was so strong it was putting a white cast on that wall, on a white wall that was bouncing back to the gray V-flat which just made a perfect light to get that even beauty dish. And all I had to do was put up another reflector. So don't always go for the obvious. Don't go for where the light is coming in. Go for where the light is bouncing to and then bounce it more.
Great, thank you. I think that's sort of the... Until you get that, you are just looking at that straight on light versus the reflected. As least I was.
I used to set, as a new photographer, I'd go to shoot outside and it would be hard daylight. And other than going under shade, and then I'd go under the trees and I'd get spots. And then I'd go in the shade and it would go dark. And I was like, I don't know what to do. I didn't know how to pull to the edge of that shade and pull out the light from the hot spot into the dark spot. You learn to manipulate light as you get better. And it's about trial and error and just practicing. But that was simple. It was a hard white light and it was bouncing it. It was perfect.
Excellent. So we have a couple of people asking about educating your clients for wardrobe. How do you do that? That was from Tatiana and somebody else wrote it.
So that's coming tomorrow. That's our challenge nine. What I've done is, oh, gosh. If it's not tomorrow it's definitely this week. It's called styling... It's called styling wardrobe and it's about designing a PDF. So you know how I am a big advocator of the email PDF? What I've done is I've given you a whole lot of options to design a wardrobe PDF. It works for family portraits as well. And basically this is all about educating your client as to what to bring, what looks best, and I'm giving you lots of different options to do it. And they're very pretty, and very, very... It's actually quite exciting. It's one of my favorite ones to shoot. And it was also one of my favorite ones to put together for you guys. That is definitely coming in one of the challenges.
Okay, fantastic. Let's see. Let's see, questions about business. What size are the photos in the folio.
7x10, but you can do whatever you want.
Okay, let's see. Recommending wardrobe. Sales sessions, are men involved? This is from Kimberler. If so, are they invited when there are two women and we're selling two at the same time?
Okay, the first question you ask when somebody leaves your shoot is you have your price list which you, which you've already given them three times. So they've had three touch points on your cost. You've got your price list with you. You've got your booking date to come back and see your photographs. Kenna, is there anybody you would like to bring back to that sales session that will help you make those decisions? And if she says yes, my boyfriend, or my husband, or my dad, or my mum, then you must say to them, make sure John is completely educated on what to bring back on, on what we cost, so that he doesn't get a fright when he comes in to buy your photographs for you. So give him the price list. Tell him what you've been through. Show him that experience and make sure that he comes in, that he's prepared for seeing your photographs. You've prepared your client. Don't hide money from anybody. There is nothing worse than somebody coming to a viewing who is not connected to you, not connected to the shoot, kiboshing the sale with their arms folded because they're getting it for the first time. And a lot of women will bring in a guy or a mom and expect them to pay and they'll just sit through the whole viewing like this, angry that they've been ambushed. So educate, educate, educate.
Yikes. Okay, we just have a few minutes left, Sue. A couple people were asking about shooting into the light and how do you not blow out the background. That was from Exrue, "And I'm unsure as to how she was shooting "right into the light in the window "and didn't blow out the background "while exposing the face right."
That is an entire challenge. It's called shooting the backlight. It is my most requested image on my folio. Now, when you are getting requested, an image is getting requested, it's selling itself for you. So all of the backlit images on my website are definitely my most requested images. So what I've done is I've done a whole shoot into the backlight so that you can see it in action. I expose for the face. I diffuse the light. I reflect light back to the face. I push the camera a stop and a half to two stops up because the meter in the camera reads too much light and wants to shut it down. I'm shooting one and a half stops over and you'll see that in a whole challenge in the next two weeks.
There's so much to come in these challenges. Sweet Jones Photography, "Question, day three. "One composition, five poses. "Do you do the same flow on each backdrop "or you do different ones, and how do you choose?"
It's not about the backdrop. It's about learning to flow. With every flow that I have I have 10 to but I will only use five depending on their body shape, how they move their hands, their arms, whether they can bring their hands up, whether they look good with their hands up. The flow is about teaching you to move, to direct their movement, and then to move yourself forward, and back, and around. It's about getting you out of your comfort zone of doing what I see every photographer do when they start out. Put somebody in a pose and then shoot the hell out of it, one pose. I want you to learn to direct, not pose. So it's about learning what movement looks good, and when it doesn't work, as you will see, some poses don't work for me. I just move on. But doing it confidently and assertively so that your client feels comfortable.
I think that that's the key, having been shot by you, is that you're constantly directing and you're not stopping. So whether it is the right place to be, and you say stop, okay, hold it there, and you're still talking so I don't even have time to think about what I'm doing right or wrong. And that's the key for me, having experienced that.
It's the constant talking that makes people so confident. Because then it's like, "Shoulder this way, Kenna. "Chin this way, chin this way, stop." And if you hear me say stop you know I'm liking what I'm seeing. But if I keep moving you, eh, I'll go no, okay, try this, elbow out. I've moved on. But I'm not panicking or shooting a shot that it's not working. Just move on, keep flowing.
Excellent. Well, we're out of time. That went by really quickly. Thank you so much for all of your questions. Do you have any other things you want to say, or mind people about this past seven days?
Today I'm gonna put all seven challenges, all eight that have come out now, up on my blog. CreativeLive will put it on the course page or the blog as well. I'll social media that so that you know where it is so that you can read about it. If you are already on the challenge you don't have to do every challenge every day. You can bulk it, you can work it over the next six months. This is not a time challenge. This is just about every day giving you one new thing to do that will change you. Some of the challenges you may have already mastered. Some you may be learning from scratch. But whatever you do, just keep on them, don't stop practicing them, and every time you get a client in your studio go, "Oh, this would fit the body language challenge," or, "This would fit the natural light challenge." Whatever it is, just keep it going. And it's about breaking them down into individual challenges. I feel like everything I'm teaching you in this 28 days I've said in some degree on a CreativeLive but maybe over 10 minutes. You get to just do one subject, one hour every day, until you master it. These 28 things are how I taught my photographers. They're the fundamentals to what I do. And it's just gonna be really, really amazing if you work each one, really master each one, and practice it. So every day I'm gonna put it on the blog. And I'm gonna add the Photoshop and the finishing touches as well because I really feel like I want you to see how I take it to a finished product. And on the blog today I put up challenge one and two. And on challenge one is the keynote that I said about fear. It's on the course page, it's on my blog. And if you didn't watch it at CreativeLive, watch it. It's a big one to help shift you. Because it's not one of the challenges but I feel like these are the things that are gonna get in your way. So I've called it everything that's gonna get in your way to making money and having a business. So I can teach you posing and lighting until the cows come home. But if I can't teach you to get out of your own way then I'm not gonna teach you how to move forward. So that's a really good one. Enjoy that. And thank you for your support on Facebook because it has been really great.
Let's mention again the Facebook group that is setup so that people can join that because that is where there's a lot of people talking, a lot of people posting their images.
All day they're just posting images and asking for critiques, and critiquing each other. There's over 8,000 people in there, InBedWithSue, one word. They just asked to join.
InBedWithSue, search for that group. And yes, it's a private group so you will have to ask to be joined. But that will happen.
Also on that group there's a phenomenal amount of support of PDF vouchers. Whatever you're working on, people just go, "Help me with this." And people have been listing their own PDFs and talking about... They're actually helping each other more than I'm helping them through it. Yeah, that group.
What a great support system. InBedWithSue.
And it's gentle. The critique is gentle, it's supportive. No dramas, no whinging. That's in the rules. I only want to hear positive comments. And I don't mean positive critiquing. I only want to hear working towards getting better. Not, "Eh, guess what this client said." That is absolutely a waste of time.
Great. So once again everyone, you can, if you haven't already, you can purchase the 28 Days With Sue Bryce on the course page. There should be a link to it right beneath what you're watching. And this is available, it's normally $299. It's available for 199 through...
This month. Through that 28 days. One again, Sue, on behalf of the internet, I just want to thank you for how much work you have put into this program. It truly is encapsulating like a grand finale. Not necessarily a finale, but it's just, everything that you've spent your entire life building to and you are laying it out for $199. It's truly incredible. No matter what style of photography you do. And I have seen that because I've been part of the filming of it. And I just want to thank you for that.
Awesome. Enjoy it.
We don't have a huge group of people here to give you a round of applause. You know that I love applauses. But everyone, one more note is that right now, today, there is another workshop going on on another one of our channels. And you can get to that just by looking at the, when you go up it says watch live, there's a drop down menu. And that is Laura Shoe, who is back on CreativeLive teaching about the output modules in Lightroom. So again, normally, like I've very familiar with the first two modules and yet the web galleries, and even going to print, and all of those last few things that I just leave behind but they're so valuable, so valuable. So that is a three day course that Laura is teaching right now. You can hop on over to that. Also if you came in late for this Q&A we will be rebroadcasting not only this Q&A for the next overnight but also that free watch video which is flow posing, which is day four. So on this channel we will be replaying those, both of those, today, throughout the day and overnight until tomorrow morning here Pacific time. So everyone, good luck on your challenges. We will see you back. Keep going to Sue's blog. And keep talking to each other. We will see you back here next Monday, same time, same place. And thanks everyone for joining us. Bye.