Photo Critiques Images 28 through 45
Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. So, if she's pregnant then that's a perfect shot. They've got a little love heart on the belly and if she's not pregnant you've done a terrible disservice 'cause I've just called this girl pregnant in front of the world. Try and get the boy around her body a little bit more. So Jen, come here. Really, really important with the boys is that her body is really dominating. So he's behind her like this with this shoulder poking out and if you had her turned here a little wee bit there and had him step a little bit further here, his body and shoulder is bigger and would have dominated, and he would have looked more even. And then he could have brought his expression around to her this way instead of sitting up top on the top of her head like this. He could have come around and engaged with her a little bit more. So he could have kissed her cheek, they could have kissed each other nestled nose to nose. So, bringing his body around ...
a little wee bit more but other than that it works because they're a couple and thanks, Jen. He's licking his lips. So he's holding his mouth like this. So just watch expression because the girl's really working it but he's not quite working it there.
Danny in the chatroom said that photo is hers and yes, she is pregnant.
Oh good, thank you. (laughs) Because we don't put our hands on our belly unless we're pregnant. So it's very common when you tell a guy to grab his girlfriend, he'll do two things. He'll often go up under her elbows and he'll put it, his arms up under here or he'll hold her tummy up under here. And it's something that just looks instantly pregnant if they're not pregnant. So, remember to engage the hands, hands go around and so, if it's not pregnant then very, very important. Yes, I like you in it and congratulations on being pregnant. All right. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. Chin is working definitely. Her expression is perfect and it's beautifully edited. I love the lighting, I love the way it's shot. Now, I just want, I could have taken this image, this hand here so I'm gonna mirror it. This hand here outstanding. This hand here is throwing, okay? So you've got two choices. Get an assistant to throw and place her hands 'cause this image would have been perfect. If you had her place the hands and had somebody else throw the fabric. One of the most important things you're doing with throwing is they're throwing and trying to set their body, their expression and their body language in one go. So something always suffers, it's either the head goes back, you lose the expression so they'll do this perfect body pose and their face is like this, or one of their hands is in a throwing position. One day I nailed this perfect shot of a girl's face and she was just working it, and then the next shot the arms and the skirt were perfect so I head swapped it onto a better hand shot. But I can, please, please just try getting somebody ask to throw the image. Secondly, she looks too thick through the waist and we don't want women to look like that. That is a basic lasso, right click, free transform, right click, warp and pinch in that waist because she looks like Pink and she looks really hot, and the lighting is beautiful. Just that throwing arm and that waistline. All right. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. I don't like functional poses. Functional poses are very fashion but not very beauty. There's a difference between being in a fashion type pose and doing poses that are being turned legs, like look I'm a fashion model. I don't do that because to me it's not beauty. Fashion is awkward and asymmetrical and look, I'm a waif and I haven't eaten for years, and they're all very like hungry looking and wistful. But beauty is about beauty. Beauty is not about looking hungry, beauty is about looking hungry. And it's about rocking that body. I feel like she's holding her dress and she's got a broken knee. I don't look at that and yet the shot itself is so beautifully lit, and I love that off camera flash and I really love that night time shot. Also if I was talking to this girl or if we were checking her out and going like, hey, look at her. She wouldn't be standing at a bar going this would she? So I always look at it like this. If you're being looked at and the image is about you being looked at it's about you doing something that is worth looking at, not looking broken or hungry, and we don't want broken or hungry. I want engaged. So, I would have loved to see more, I bet you there were more shots here and saying that just because I don't shoot fashion doesn't mean you can't shoot that fashion style, it's just never sold. Her dad would look at that and go, "I'm not buying that, Katie. "You look like your leg's broken." Everything else is amazing. Okay, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language and connection. The only thing this shot's missing is symmetry. It's definitely down the middle. It's also shot down. I do like you to come lower. I would love one of those elbows to be, throw the assymetry around the body. So I would like if she was sitting I would like just one of her elbows to tuck in. So Jen, come in and this is a really important thing for me when I'm looking for assymetry in my composition. Just sit in the front there and I want you just to touch the couch on either side, like that. Okay, so this is something really, really simple. I want you to slightly move this way with your shoulder now towards me, that's it, so that your shoulder cage is coming away from your hips. And then bring this elbow around. So slide back, slide back, slide back. So, just finding a little bit of assymetry here. From the front I would work her body, like I would work her body like this, okay? So, I would find that groove there where I'm pushing her chin and shoulder away just a little bit and I'm bringing that movement in here just to find a little bit of symmetry. The elbows could have come back a little wee bit more sitting up nice and tall, chin forward and shoot a little bit lower but it's a beautiful shot. Thanks, Jen. It's well-exposed, it's got good connection. She's obviously wearing an almost bridal dress so, whether you were doing a glamour dress or not, I don't know but well done. Just watch asymmetry, just try and get a little bit more movement in the body. Don't just make them work their expression, make them work their pose. I wanna believe it. I wanna look at that girl and think that she really believes in that moment that she's beautiful, that she feels beautiful, that she looks confident, that her body is rocking, that she's connected to the camera and that I really believe what she's doing. Okay, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. This has got a great connection, it's got a great expression. What it hasn't got or what it's got is it's not cropped tightly enough or it's not pulled back enough. It's sitting in the mid zone and the mid zone makes her look big because unfortunately her breasts fill up that whole frame. So, what fills up the frame makes her look bigger and you can't see the shape of her body. You would have been better to go in closer and straighten her head up so making it really fashion or pulling back and just getting a little bit more shape in her body. I like her hair and makeup and it's nice and sharp, it's nice and good through the eyes. She's got a relaxed mouth but her mouth is very sexy and her top is very pretty. So just watch that you are mixing up the right beauty. Okay, so I kind of look at it like this. When they're wearing something sexy my poses are definitely more sexy and more open mouth and more sort of less smiley. When they're in something pretty I make it more beauty and beauty is about a softer expression than an sexy expression. It's more about the soft sideway smile and the eyes and that little expression in the mouth. And I would have just either straighten her head up and cropped it number one or I would have pulled back to at least number three and gone top of the head there to the hips 'cause then I would have seen the movement in her shoulder which is where you got that asymmetry. So you rocked the asymmetry in the pose but not the asymmetry in the composition. Okay. Chin is not forward enough, shoulder is not connected in the shot. So, this is a side arm passport shot. So, there's the passport shot and then there's the side arm passport shot. It doesn't show her body line, her shoulder line, her decolletage or her breast line, and her expression is not engaged because it just looks like a nervous look back to the camera this way. Okay, so all you have to do is turn that face back to the camera, pull back just a little bit, drop down, connect her shoulder and connect her expression to that camera, okay? So, this is not lit very well in the sense that I can't see that catch light in her eye but I would really like to see a little bit more reflected light coming from the right hand side and turn her face away from the light. I don't do the look back to the camera. Never at any time do I position somebody at and get them to look backwards towards the camera here because if I was talking to you you would just turn your face to the camera. You would be here. You wouldn't look back at me and talk like this because then you would look scared of me. You would look back at me like that. So you would turn your face directly to that camera and talk back to me this way. You wouldn't just go like this and talk to me here. You'd be right there. So that to me is a disconnected body language. Is everyone still critiquing alongside me?
They absolutely are, very exciting. You know, one of the cool things, Sue, that you're doing is going through the list every time you look at a photo and just keeping people understanding that they do need to touch on all those points for every single photo.
Yes, you do.
So that's great that you're going through the list and then I love that.
Okay. Chin, yes. Shoulders, not applicable. Hands, perfect. You don't get hands in the hair very well. Not many people can do hands in the hair without looking like a barbie doll so I'll do barbie doll hands. It's when you tell people to put their hands in their hair and they make this awkward like, look, I've got my hands in my hair or this one but this girl looks like she's really got her hands in her hair. The only way you can stop people from doing awkward barbie hands hair or awkward barbie face hands is to make them actually hold their hair. And so, like hold your hair, like do something with your hair. Don't just put your hands up to your hair or turn it side on like this 'cause you get those awkward poses where people then do this and it looks really wrong. So, love it. Hands, outstanding. Body language, totally get it. Asymmetry not so much but this is the only time I would let you turn the face slightly away from the camera because she's smiling. So, whenever people smile they'll move just a little bit. A smile is about this body language. It's about when you do a bit of a laugh and you go or you go here. So you either go up or you go slightly to the side or you drop straight down and you really laugh. Those are really laughs. That means that she was really smiling. She wasn't just going like this, she was actually laughing with a slight movement. That's the only time that movement looks good. It's well-exposed, it's nice. Excellent expression, good Photoshop, beautiful makeup, beautiful overall, well done. Excellent shot. Sure she was wrapped with it looks like the cover of a portfolio. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. Okay. A few things with this one. One of them is the arm that you can see. The arm that you can't see is excellent, you've got a good waist shape, really good line through there. Really good, she's a curvy girl but you've shown her breast line, her decolletage. You're on a perfect crop number three, top of the head to the belly button. This arm is not flattering at all, it's still sitting out too far. Tuck it in a little wee bit, clean it up with Photoshop. Women will not buy images if they don't like the arm so tuck that back in. Hair and makeup I'm actually going to drop this image for hair and makeup more than anything. Her expression is really, really good and the connection is good. It could have been a little bit more shot asymmetrically so either left or right. But her hair and makeup, I think her hair just looks a little bit too dead there or it just looks a little bit hard. And also I'm seeing a lot of bronzer. I like spray tans but just watch the bronzing around the face. Keep it a little bit flatter and just try and work those elbows a little bit more and watch that asymmetry. Okay, chin, shoulder, hands. Beautiful image, beautifully shot image, beautiful soft expression. I like the hair and makeup. If it was for an event or she turned up like that really good. If my makeup artist did that here I would have said no because it looks a little bit too bridesmaidy for me in terms of being glamour. But again, I never know. Well, she could be a bride, she could be a pre-glamour shoot, it could be anything so I can't comment that much on her hair. Outstanding expression. I can see the shoulder could have been in a little wee bit more but it's an innocent face, innocent look. Good hands, good connection, good Photoshop, good makeup, good overall. Well done. All right, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. You know, this is an image that I do all of the time, this is an image that I really love. This is an image that I sell all the time so this is being beautifully executed. I want you to watch one thing. Nikki, come here. This is such an interesting shot. Two things happen here particularly with leaner body. Sit your butt that way and face that way. Okay, put your hands there and there and bring your chin. So, one of the things that happens is when you work the shoulder forward, okay, two things happen. Can you bring your chin around as far as possible. Okay, you've got to watch, everybody tips backwards which is what this girl's face is doing. So this is where I stand in front of her and I go like this and I go tilt your head this way. Stop, now bring your chin and shoulder together. There you go. So that simple tilt changes the body language so significantly in this shot. Secondly, if the hand is forward it makes the boob smaller and the back bigger. Nobody wants small boobs and a big back. Everybody wants a small back and big boobs, okay? So, taking that line back, taking this elbow back and just tipping that tilt that way and then connecting the shoulder makes that shot perfect. Thank you, Nikki. This shot here is beautifully shot, good connection, I love the flower, it's well-lit, it's in the back light, I like how you subdued the highlight. I just would have seen a little tilt that way and a little elbow back would have made that perfect. All right, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. What you've done here to slim her body is excellent. Good dropping of the shoulder but her head is too far down which means you're too high above her. The whole point of tipping curves down is that you don't need to shoot down onto them. You tip their shoulder down to open up their body through here. All my curves videos the ones that I sell on my website, the ones I've done for 28 Days, everything I've done for CreativeLive is about opening the space up here for curvy girls. It's about dropping that front shoulder. Remember if that hand is coming into that frame so that little spider hand is just popping into frame, swap it over. Just swap it out there and then it would have just been a top. If you had lifted her chin up or shot this lower it would have been perfect. So well done on the curves. Just remember, if you pose her on the back of the shoulder, she's gonna look wider in the back. If you bring that around a little bit more and dip her down she's gonna look smaller in the back, bigger in the bust which is what we all want. And watch this bit of fabric here. So, this bit of fabric if it hangs down you can go and tuck it into the back of the pants or skirt and you can just really slim down that back line waist. If her body was that wide and you couldn't slim that down she should have had more weight on her back foot because you wanna create space between the back of the body and the wall, right? Everything in posing is about creating that space there and making a diamond in the back. Then I can work and curve her body in and just create a bit of waistline. Other than that well done.
Sue, can I ask a question?
Jennifer James says, I photograph a lot of women over 50. If I photograph a curvy woman over 50 from eye level oftentimes it makes their breast look even lower. Do I need to educate more on undergarments or do I need to change the camera height?
You know, shooting down on breasts make them look bigger specially if you're shooting on any of the 35 mil or the 24-105 that has any wide on it because as soon as the boobs hit the outer level of the lens working on the best part of the lens, it's gonna drop it down and make it look longer. So I actually find dropping them onto their back foot and then pushing their chin forward and shooting just above the eye line is perfect. So what I mean is don't drop down too low. Drop them back, push their chin forward and just shoot just above their eye line not looking up through their brow. Okay, so they should be there not up there. So just that midline, just above the eyes but not down onto them.
Okay great. Thank you.
Any other questions?
Yeah, there are other questions. People are just really, really enjoying this. So, Mary Ann Sabner had asked about getting involved with the makeup. And for everyone that's watched 28 Days we know how involved you are with hair and makeup. But she asked, "Sue, how involved do you get "and what if you don't like it "do you actually intervene and I find it so hard to do?" Which I understand because it is hard to do especially if you don't know what you're looking for.
This is where you've got to put your big girl pants on, your big boy pants on and you've got to talk to your makeup artist first and you've got to say this. This is the guideline of makeup that I want. This is not about you and this is not about me. At the end of the day I'm shooting portraiture, this is not a folio shoot so I do not control the hair and makeup. What I want is I control how happy my client is and if my client is not happy I have to do something about that. So what I do is I'll say to my makeup artist and I've just booked a makeup artist for tomorrow that I've never worked with, and I say to her, "Listen, this is what's gonna happen. "When you got to the bathroom to wash your hands "after you've done the hair and makeup "I'm gonna look at the client "and I'm gonna whisper to her, "are you happy with your hair and makeup? "Are you happy? "Because you're not gonna be in the room "and she's gonna feel more comfortable telling me "if she's unhappy when you're not there. "When you come back into the room "I'm gonna look at you and I'm gonna say, "Kate's not happy with her hair. "She thinks it's too curly. "Could you pull it down a little bit." And you're gonna go, "Sure, I can." You're not gonna sit there and cry about it and give me attitude because this is really important that Kate walks into her shoot blown away 'cause then I get paid and you get paid and that's just the way it goes. And so, I say that. I actually said that to her and she's like, "Sweet, not a problem. "You can change anything you want. "I don't have that problem." And I said great. So really important you take control before and you say I will change it, I will ask the client if they're happy. I'll do it when you're out of the room like it's a sneaky thing because sometimes they get too attached to you and they don't wanna say they're not happy. And then after the shoot's done they'll go, "I don't like my hair." And you'll be like things you should have told me before I photographed you and worked on your images, not afterwards. Really important. Really, really important. Okay. This poor photographer's sitting there going, "My image is in the background "and she's not critiquing it." (laughs) Okay. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. I am not a fan of the white shirt. I've seen it a million times and I say no to it because it does nothing for the body. I know we have this fantasy of rolling around in a bed with loose curls and a fresh face and a white shirt, a white men's shirt the day after but let's face it, never gonna happen. But the truth is is this is a highly requested shot for me. This is a boob shot. It's traditionally more boudoir. I don't do it at all because I always look at women and say, you know, you get a nice cleavage line but all you get is this bulky shirt. So what is it that you really want? Is it you want a hot body shot with gorgeous cleavage, let's look at a low cut tight top dress that's gonna really show off. I tend to go more towards that than the shirt. When you lie down on your tummy and roll around the bed the shirt just looks like a bulky sheet so it does nothing and you don't see cleavage. But in terms of this being even something that I wouldn't do if you get asked to do the shot you've done it well. You've shown the right amount of boob. It's sexy, it's cute. I like the collar up, means I just got laid. And the hair's fabulous, makeup's good. Good tip down the wall and good connection really to the arms across the body. So, you actually made a shot that I hate work better than I probably would have done it so well done. Okay, we're at number 40. Are you following along with me? Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. You know, this is a beautiful shot. It really works. I go right down her body line. So, to me that body line is more boudoir than glamour but it's a shot that I do and I love it. Be careful with the hand being placed up there. Make sure it's holding hair or touching the face but you've executed this beautifully. Beautiful girl, beautiful shot. Outstanding, you can't really fault that. Same with this one. I love this. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. The arm looks too big, the elbow looks bony or the wrist looks bony but I could have warped that in. I would have warped the back of her hand and arm in to take it out of the shot. Her eyes are dynamic, it's beautifully shot. Nice and sharp, well-exposed, good connection. Tiny little smile in the eyes. Could have done a little bit more but that's a sort of shot that you would blow up and put in your studio without doubt and easily put in your folio. So, well done. I would have just slimmed down that little wrist bone and just taken the back of the hand down just a tiny little bit, just bring it in but good shot. All right. Beautiful shot, beautiful girl, cropped too high. If you wanted to leave that space over her head I would have just brought it down the arm line, I know you've got more so show me more from this shoot. I feel like this is a shot that I would get from my retoucher that I have now got to play with. So, I would drop a filter on this, put in locks on it, put a star sort of filter on this and just make it dreamy and outdoorsy. I mean, it's beautiful girl, beautiful styling. Just watch the three flowers are very stretched out, scrunch them altogether and throw them into here. Don't just place them out there, make it look like she was wearing them and it's whimsy and beautiful, and just watch the tip back. Again, what I did with Nikki when I sat her down before was her shoulder came forward and everybody's natural reaction is to tip back here. So it does look good and whimsical when you've got the whole body and you are tipping back but I'm always making sure I'm connecting the chin because connecting the chin is a bit of body language than throwing the head back to here. So watching the head go back but other than that, it's gorgeous. I just like to see a little bit more Photoshop on that just to make it great. And you obviously had an opportunity to shoot in light and you're obviously in good light so why didn't you find the sun flare, tell me you found the sun flare in the shoot 'cause if you turn that girl into the sunlight with that hat you would have just nailed that shot. You know, the difference is is that's a really nice shot and if that was my daughter I'm sure I'd be happy to buy that. Grandma will buy it, grandma will buy the smiling one, dad will buy the smiling one as well but the truth is is that shot could have been oh my god, beautiful. So just pushing it into the light or bringing out that contrast a little bit, taking the contrast away a little bit on Photoshop making a little bit more garden whimsy would have been great. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. Unfortunately, she's leaning forward instead of back so I would have pulled her hips away from the wall and pushed her shoulders back which would have pushed her belly forward, which then would have pushed her shoulders back and her chin back down. So she's just tipped the wrong way. Okay, so she looks a little bit forward heavy on this one but other than that I do a lot of glamour shots like this of pregnant women and it's exactly the shot they want. They want a beautiful shot where their hair and makeup looks gorgeous and that they're touching their body, beautiful hand placement, well done, well lit. Just the pose, just the pose, just the pose. Remember something, whenever you're photographing somebody you're always looking for the direction of the way the client is moving. If we go from here and look back or if we've got our client leaning forward to me it looks like she's falling forward out of the frame. But if she'd been this way and leaning back into the frame or holding her belly this way or this way then she would have been more on a recline and working her shoulder and it would have been way sexier than pushed forward. But oh, other than that, perfect. Try not to fall over. Okay, chin, I've got time for one more?
You absolutely do.
All right. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. This is one of the hardest poses for me to teach. It's one of the hardest poses for me to teach because people always do the push back, elbows forward which makes their arms look short and then it's very hard to engage both girls. They forget to put one of the girls behind and then they put them side by side and then they can't get their cheeks together. This is an outstanding example of exactly how I shoot this. But where are my ballet hands? That's my Jerry Seinfeld. Where are my ballet hands? Why did you not give me ballet hands? This is the sort of shot that makes me cry because that is as good as it gets. And then I look down and there's two little side ways hands going like this on the back of the camera, and I'm like turn them down. Give me some ballet hands. Beautiful connection, beautiful chin, shoulders, over the elbows lifted up tall, connected to each other, sharp. Well-exposed, good hair and makeup. Good connection, sisters, fabulous. Bad hands. Well done though. So, this image is absolutely beautifully shot. Everybody's connected with their hands, Baby is perfect. You've executed this beautifully from 28 Days. I'm only going to pull up three things. One of them is mom's legs are not separated and they could have slid back a little bit more so they look a little bit less in the front of the image and a bit more flattering. The mom could have been just a little bit more feminine in her legs and dad should be sitting a little bit higher than mom because he needs to look bigger than mom. Okay, he needs to look like the protector and the carer of the family. So make sure dad comes up just a touch more so his head is even an inch higher than mom's. It's not so much a level of authority but it's a level of protectiveness, manliness. A man will always laud over his family, he will always protect this family. It's just a body language thing. I love what the kids are doing and even though the knees on that right hand side can be a bit distracting but they're still cute, she looks cute and beautifully done. You've connected every single member of that family to each other and you've connected them all to me which makes me believe this shot, and this family will treasure this image for as long as they all live.
Wow, what an amazing start to the day. We do have a couple minutes, can I ask a couple questions?
Oh, I can do more.
I know you can. I know you can.
Okay, we get (mumbles).
I know. We do have to take a break. So, Miss Lisa says, "How do you get the good connection "with a client doing deer in the headlights "even after you've asked for a smile in the eyes "or soften the eyes?"
Okay, so you just have to keep asking. There is nothing else you can do. Nobody is deer in the headlights. You know what, if you're getting deer in the headlights, drop your camera down and just talk to them and watch their expression soften. And then say, "See what you're doing now? "That's what I want. "When I bring my camera up you go really deer "and when I bring my camera down you relax." Now if their expression is quite starey or hard and they don't soften at all when you're talking to them shoot them like that, that's who they are. They're used to it so, but if it's not, if you're talking to them and they've got a natural expression, and then you put your camera up and they go stiff, you're the one in control of that. I have put my camera down in shoots, talked to someone about something random like tell me what you do, Lisa or I love that top, where did you get it from. And then their whole expression breaks and then I'm like, stop. See how you're looking at me right now. Stay like that and then I bring my camera up. You just got to work some people. I have been in shoots where I will go and relax your eyes and relax your mouth and push your chin forward, and relax your eyes and relax your mouth and put your chin forward every single shot, a hundred shots. Frustrating but you are there to direct, you are there to control.
All right, let's do one final question. Couple of people have asked this, so Tough Toodle with regards to the five crops that you, you're talking about the five crops. What about actor's headshots or young children, is there ever a time that a crop is different for different demographics?
An actor's headshot I still do the five crops 'cause I think actor's headshots are quite fashion and magazine. Young kids I still do the five crops. The only time I wouldn't do it is in a corporate headshot. So I will do those five crops, top of the head, top of the head to the nipples, top of the head to the belly button, top of the head to the hips and then top of the head to mid thigh with space at the top. I would do those crops on every single shoot using my asymmetry left and right and using my asymmetry in posing to fill the frame.
Great. Thanks for going over those again 'cause people were asking for a recap on the five crops so that's perfect.
And what I would do is I've got a great visual example of the five crops. It's five crops, I'll post it on my blog tomorrow and Facebook it so you can actually get a visual of the exact measurement of those crops. I went to get them from my posing cards but I noticed in the printing of the posing cards they crop the top and the bottom a little bit because of the size, dimension. And so, it's not the exact measurement of what I want you to do. So I'll go and actually pull the images that are uncropped and I'll post all five images on my blog so you can start working through those composition.