Skip to main content

28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 59 of 85

Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141


28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 59 of 85

Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141


Lesson Info

Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141

Chin, shoulder, hands, excellent. Hourglass, yes. She's tapered. Asymmetry in composition? Perfect. Hair and makeup? Outstanding. Photoshop? Zero. Killin' me. Beautiful shot. Love to see this before and after. This woman here? This woman here spends more money than anybody else I've ever seen. This woman here is who comes to you for the makeover, and they have executed this beautifully, but I feel like they have finished it poorly. Um, a little bit more Photoshop, come on. You can leave those crow's feet in. Just soften them down. But just a little bit more to her face. Really accentuate her eyes. You would've popped out her eyes if you'd put a burn in on her top under lid on her wet line, a burn in around her iris, and a little dodge just to make her eyes go pow. But everything about that is good. Um, seeing the scarf around her arm brings me to this question from sparklehoof, who asks, "Can you suggest ways to pose women with larger arms?" Um, 28 Days is all about arms. There's n...

othing in 20 days that doesn't discuss arms. Arms is one of the biggest things that I pose every single time I pose. Everything I pose is around arms. Pull them away from the body. Lengthen them, and if you can't, then make them smaller on Photoshop. Which is just another reason, everyone, to purchase 28 Days, to see all of those videos. And Sue really does cover the arms so well in those. It's all about the arms. A woman won't by a shot if she doesn't like her arms. Like this shot here. She wouldn't buy this shot because of her arms, okay? Other than the fact that she's kinda leaning on a camera bag, it's the arms that kill this for me. So, when the arm is too blocked up like that, it's because what she's leaning on is too high. And now, if she had, the photographer had come around a little bit more and lengthened that person by having a smaller thing to lean on... The camera bag or the suitcase doesn't really work. You could've found, you know, you could've found somewhere to sit outside. Another chair that would've worked or a layer or stairs where she could have reclined more, stretched out her body, lengthened her body. Because right now, that elbow has got no triangle underneath it, so it looks big, and the legs look blocky, and it's stopping you from looking at her beautiful face. You've gotten so close in the hourglass, but what you've done is shot it too low and not extended her out enough to put some space around her body. As soon as you put triangles and space around her body, then you get more movement. You get more open in the body. Alright, you know, actually, I really like this. I'll tell you why. This is a really classic shot for me, because women always buy this series here. I feel like her hair is a little bit wiggy. "Wiggy" meaning it's coming onto her face too much, so it could've been pulled back on her face a little bit more. And I just wanna talk to you about static movement. This pose here, where I teach you about putting the arm behind the body, it's- I want you to focus on this. She's on a diagonal, like this, okay, which is what's wrong with this shot. If she was straight up and down and her hips were out, which would fill the frame, then it would work that her hand was behind. This is a classic model pose. It's when they interchange their arms. So, they work the shoulder forward, which she's not doing. So, she's just on a diagonal like this, which is close, but not quite. What I love about it is the tone of her dress, the blonde of her hair. The way it's been shot in the background works, but I just wanna see a little bit more control in your body posing here to here. So this pose here, when you swap and do this change, is all about that hand going under and this hip going out. This hand can fall out, but it really has to be this sideways moment. So, a lot of the time when I'm directing, I'm like, "Push it out, and push that hip out." Now, you'll see that in 28 Days a lot. When I shot Nicola and Celi, they're doing a lot of changeovers, a lot of elbows back, because I'm shaping from the front, which is that classic fashion-style covergirl, you know, with more body that really, really works. Alright, chin? Yes. Shoulder? Yes. Hands? Okay. The double hand is hard. I do do it a lot. It looks better if the elbows are stretched out a little bit more. You've got a good booty. I feel like this knee is too close to the camera. If it was pushed back, you'd be a 10 out of 10, okay? We haven't seen a lot of lying down or ottoman shots, interestingly enough. A lot of covergirl. This knee is just very dominating. Push it back, but you're at a good 45. I am looking at her face, but I'm looking more at her booty, which means that this is projecting forward. I'm drawn down because it's projected toward the camera. Keep it back, but not so far back that it's popping out of the shoulder, and just watch that you're not red in the chest. So, see in your shadow, you've dropped down to darker. Making sure that you don't get too dark there. If you had stretched out her right arm and pushed her knee back, you would've been perfect there. This is a well-executed lying down ottoman shot. So, it works in lingerie. It works in a little black dress. It works in jeans and a singlet, but if you're in jeans and a singlet, friendly it up. Little bit more smile. If she'd had a big killer smile, I would've overlooked the knee and the hands. So, I like where you're going. You're on a good angle. Dearjackson would like to know about, is it acceptable to play with your hair like tugging it or twirling it or wrapping it around your finger. What is your take on that? Yes, but I notice it's like doing freestyle dancing. You get limited shots when people are moving on their own, but when you're posing them in a way that it looks perfect but they're static, you're gonna get a perfect shot every time. If I'm playing with my hair, you're gonna get a mixture of this. You're gonna get this. You're gonna get this. You're gonna get this. You're gonna get this, and at what stage does my hand look good? But if I say, "Put your hand in your hair and slide out and do ballet hands," then you'll get that every time, 'cause I'm directing the hand, and then I can take ten good shots instead of hoping for one. 'Cause what happens is you get this classic face shot, where she's like going like this, and she's doing this, and, like, she'll be pinching, or it'll be a fuzzy hand and you'll be like, "No!" And it's like, you just ruined an epic shot because you were like, "Freestyle with that hand, "baby, and just see how you go." And it's like, no, we don't tell hands to freestyle because hands, you know, they try and take all the attention away from everybody. You just put hands, give them a job to do, watch them, keep tell- And watch them, 'cause hands are so naughty. And keep coming back to her face every single time. Okay, chin is not engaged here. The- Okay, this is so close. I love the styling. I love the red lips. I love the black hat. I love the dotty dress. But I want you to look at this image and tell me the truth. Do you believe that this girl is doing this? Okay, because her expression does not match her pose. Now her styling is beautiful. You've shot well into the backlight, but you need to straighten that head up. Make it look more fashion, and either bring those hands down, straight down into covergirl, because it's so close, but I do not believe this shot. Now, I want you to look at it and tell me if you believe this shot, because I'm not believing the pose, but the way you've styled her and captured her? Really good. If those hands weren't there, I would've believed it a lot more. If her hands had been straight down like this, I would've believed that little look on her face. But she is doing a very advanced sexy hand pose, so let's look at that. If you were going to put somebody in a position where they've got- 'Cause she's got a very neutral expression on her face, so she's not overtly sexy. She's cute. She should've been here, just with that neutral expression, red lips going... And I would've fully believed that, but you've instead got her to sweep her decolletage and hold the top of her head, which is, to me, a real sexy or supermodel face, you know? Or she should've been, like, really engaged into that shot. She should've been more pushed out on one side of her booty and really in that style of posing. I feel like her expression's misaligned with her pose, but you did get the pose right. You did get the expression right. You just put them together in an incorrect way, okay? Love the polka dots and the black hat. The claw, the claw! The claw! (chuckles) Oh, that claw. Okay, beautiful shot. Shoulder, styling, one arm, dress. Beautiful. Would've loved it if that hand wasn't there or if it just had been softer or even, remember, cupping the breast line and just straight off here. This would've worked right down here. Let it float off. Soft ballet hands. Her chin is connected. Her expression is connected. Sharp, well-shot, well-executed, claw, okay? It's pulling this image down. Let's take these hands out. Do you think hands have been the most critiqued thing today? Do you think hands have been the most naughty thing today? I'm very surprised to say that the expressions have been a lot better than I anticipated and that I'm correcting more hands than anything. You know my definition of hands. My definition of hands is I can tell how advanced a photographer is by where the hands are in an image, no matter how well it is shot. I can always tell when the hands are not placed well where you're at in your advancement for your photography. So if that tells me that you guys are nailing just about everything but the hands, then I'm really, really impressed. And there's that little hand bomb again, okay? Good shot, well done. Heavy makeup for her age group, for her genre, but again, makeup is a choice. I wear heavy makeup, and I'm about the same age. Just not feeling those hands. I really love the decolletage. I love the glittery neckline. She's leaning forward, and she's doing something that doesn't make sense. It's just not something I would do at a bar. It just doesn't have that body language. To me, it's just hooking in, so I would've loved to have seen this. You've styled the hair well. It could be a little bit more upright, and take that hand away, 'cause you would've nailed it. I would like to see more images around the shot just in case, you know, but this hand, it's not believable to me. You know, magnificent. I'm gonna give that a 10 out of 10. That's a beautiful shot. That's a wow to me. That's something you put in your folio. It's something you put on your website. It's a beautiful shot. It's a voucher. It would exist in your folio for many years. It's beautifully- You've seen an opportunity to photograph a girl with beautiful lips and sweeping hair. It works because of her styling. It's outstanding. It's beautifully shot. I love the pull towards the blue tones. Very well executed. Beautiful glamour shot. Very contemporary, and I love it. Love it. Really impressed with that. Okay, my standard issue, again, is there. The chin is forward. We've got asymmetry. Our elbows are back. Everything's working, and she's kinda just got an empty, empty expression. To me, it's like you could've shot this in so many different ways. You've nailed it. I like the "boob tube", and I like the shape of it. I like the contrast and everything. I even like the crop and how you've just got that shoulder in the asymmetry. Standard issue. Maybe you could've tried just coming down a little bit lower so it was a little bit more fashion and either fashioning up her expression a little bit more, so, just a little less of a smile. That's a midway smile that's kind of a little bit too family portrait for me. You could've really sexed this shot up, so maybe you took lots of other shots in this pose and you've got better expressions, but I just feel like this one's a little too, "Hey!". And I don't wanna be "Hey!". If it's gonna be a glamour or a beauty shot, I want it to look like she's just stepped out of a magazine. I want her to either be here, here, or you know, all-knowing. So just, to me that expression is very neutral, and it's very nice, like chocolate cake. [Woman Off-Screen] So, one more? Yeah, sure. Okay. Okay, our chin is forward. Shoulder, hands. You know, not many times do the hands work in symmetrical position like this. It kinda works for this. What I'm let down by is that big shadow under her eye. If this was retouched, it would've been beautiful. You've shot into the light. I really like what you've done. I even like the black bra. I feel like the hands are very dominating, but that's okay. If you'd put them down, I would've liked it more. If you'd crossed them over, I would've fallen in love with it. Beautiful connection. Nice big blue eyes. Two big dark rings under the eyes that I don't wanna see. What it tells me is there's too much of a light source bouncing up from the bottom of the ground, because what it's doing is it's hitting here and bouncing up under her eyes. You can correct this two ways. You could've put a cloth or a piece of fabric in front of her, just off camera, to just, in front of her elbows, that's taking the light off her because it's two-directional. Or, moved two reflectors closer to her to flatten out the light in her face. But it's a gorgeous shot because it's a gorgeous girl. Okay, again, those hands are really strong. Those forearms are starting to dominate. Notice the more you look at them, those forearms are starting to really dominate. I really hope you took more shots and crossed over here, and head may be a little cat. Remember to extend the back arm, to take the front arm and put it across. This is the pose I do a hundred times in 28 Days. It's about going into little feminine hands, and it's about softening up the image so you can really focus on her face. Take away that highlight from the bottom that's bouncing up, that's giving her that glowy look from the bottom.

Class Description

Sue Bryce's 28 Days is the all-in-one portrait photography class that teaches you posing, shooting, marketing, selling, and everything else you need to know to run a successful contemporary portrait photography business. 

This series begins with two sessions of intense instruction on business, pricing, and overcoming your fears. Following the kickoff, Sue delivers short sessions exploring 28 different topics essential to any successful portrait photography studio. Sue covers flow posing, connecting with clients, posing and shooting groups, marketing to your key demographic, sales, and more.

In this comprehensive series you'll learn Sue's inspiring approach to styling, posing, marketing, selling and so much more!


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


a Creativelive Student

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


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


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