Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 1
I've had nothing but letters on you have transformed by business. And I did not transform your business, actually you did. I transformed my business, and I transformed myself, and I'm about to go to the next level on my own self transformation because you guys have taught me so much. And you also taught me that I'm still thinking small, and that my next level is going to be five times bigger than what I am doing now in my personal growth, okay. So, you guys have shown me that I've been on this journey too. This has been really amazing for me. The confidence I have gathered as a human being just being able to speak you all, deliver to you all, has significantly changed me. And I am 150% grateful for that, from the feedback and support that I get is unbelievable. I threw out the very first challenge as being The Natural Light Studio. I thought this was so 101 that people would complain about how one on one it was. And yet, this is kind of what made me laugh, I'm gonna be really honest wi...
th you here. Recently, recently? Three years ago I was doing a consultation in a studio. And I was shooting, I'm a natural light photographer, so I can't sync a flash, you know, when people say she can't sync a flash, she can't sync a flash. I'm a natural light photographer. Don't like the look anyway, even it I could sync a flash, don't like it, so never learned, so I can't sync one. And I'm shooting with this newbie photographer who has hired me to come into her studio, and my shutter speed is getting lower, and lower, and lower. And I can hear the clunk, clunk of a show, I do that all the time, a show slutter. (audience laughing) A slow shutter, of a slow shutter. And she says to me, "I need to up my ISO, right." because I can't shoot under 30, under 30 because if I do under a shutter speed of 30, because obviously I can't hand hold anything under 30. And I went like this, yeah, yeah. (audience laughing) And I remembered thinking, there's so many things you do automatically, you know, when you up your shutter speed, and up your ISO, and slow down your shutter speed, and then you know when it gets too slow, you've got to up your ISO. But, nobody had ever told me that you can't hand hold something under that shutter speed. Nobody had ever told me that. I'd never learned it. Nobody had ever told me that. So, I'm always hand holding, holding my breath, trying desperately to keep still. And my works always a little bit out of focus and a little bit soft. This newbie photographer taught me something that I would have always been too afraid to ask, because people would think I was stupid. All right. And what happens is you go through you life and you build this business that makes millions of dollars, and whatever. And you still don't ask the one question, that one question, that 101 question that you should have asked, that you never did. So you pretend that it's just all good, and you forget about it. And it was the relevance to that that made me think this new photographer taught me three things that day that I'd already been, I was always too afraid to ask. And she paid me for the consultation. So, when I did the 101 for the natural light I though you guys need to know this. That because when I shoot a natural light, I shoot with a v-flat and one reflector. And I make it look like a beauty dish, not many people do it. Not many people can do it like me. Not many people can make it look like me. And the one thing that everybody writes on Facebook when I post in images, your lighting is always so beautiful. Your lighting is all so beautiful. Not one person commented on that video. There wasn't, everyone was like, yeah, natural light studio, I know all that. Nobody commented on it. Nobody said much about it. Does anybody wanna talk about it today.
Your studio has white walls. And so, it just bounces back, and that really beautiful. But, I have sort of beige walls.
My studio in New Zealand doesn't have white walls, just the studio that we were shooting in in Seattle.
It's so even though and your studio is so beautiful.
'Cause I bounce light everywhere. There's eight reflectors in there.
Yeah, all around.
I'm bouncing light everywhere I go. Everywhere is about reflected bounced light on polystone boards.
Gotta go to Lowes.
Okay, let's go this way.
I was getting huge shadows on the face, and I realized it's because I had this open window, a huge wall of just huge window. And I wasn't putting those little silk organs.
Yeah. That changed the look completely.
Yeah, so, in the challenge where I take her away from the window, and you watch the hard light go into open light, such a basic move that all photographers should know, that most photographers don't know, very.
I think the most difficult thing for me is keeping the polystone boards upright, and where you want them, and moving them around so that.
Oh, they fall down, and they squeak.
Oh my gosh, yes.
And they're a total pain in the butt.
And there's stuff all over the floor, and but.
I know. Somebody emailed me yesterday and said I bought the polystone boards and they're too tall for my ceiling, what should I do?
Well, I cut a foot off of them, because nobodies eight feet tall.
I told her to chew the top off. (audience laughing) Just like, all the way along. (audience laughing) It's like a watermelon. We'll be all right. Okay, natural light challenge, keep it basic. This is the one thing I wanna say about the natural light challenge, do not be afraid of asking a stupid question about your shutter speed. So not be afraid to ask a stupid question about your f stop. So not be afraid of understanding the relationship to f stop, shutter speed, and ISO. Do not even be afraid of doing that. It wasn't until I started shooting film that I really understood the concept of having a 50 shutter and then upping my ISO in order to let more light in my camera, opening my lens up to 2.0, letting in too much light, diffusing it with a nine, what have I got, with a nine stop density filter when I'm outside and I wanna shoot wide open. But, I need to block the light going to it. And that's how I do that. So, at the end of the day, you know, you learn the basics, but even the most advanced photographers, I was talking to Tony Corbell, wonderful man. He teaches a great lighting class. And he said he ran a workshop for advanced lighting. And whenever everybody got there, they started to talk, and he realized that they were at the most basic level for lighting. And they'd come to an advanced lighting course. So, he said he taught 101 lighting throughout the course. He didn't say anything. He just was like these people came for an advanced class, and he said I took them right back to 101 first. I broke it right down for them, and they all came up to him afterwards and said I have never learned so much at a course before. And this is, this advanced lighting was amazing. And he would say really, you know, you're teaching, you're stripping it back. We have egos, and we don't ask questions. And there are simple things that we need to know that we're not asking.
So, I think for me personally, the one thing that was really surprising seeing you work was how little light you actually use. I was shocked. I, you know, all my images were so hot when I first started shooting, and I was just shocked.
So, you were trying to let more light in?
So much light.
So much light.
And I was trying to cut light down.
Always, you're always trying to cut light down.
And I have a question here for Kia. And there was quite a few people who had seconded this. Who said, does Sue have any advice about natural light studios in the part of the world where there's very little daylight during winter months like Finland, or Sweden, et cetera?
New Zealand. (Sue laughing) Seattle, you need to be in hair and makeup by eight and nine. You need to be shooting by ten, and you need to be wrapped by 2:30. So, you need to either get two shoots in nice and close in your middle part of the day, and you will be shooting either in big, wide open spaces, with bigger windows if you can, or closer to the window. That's just the way it goes. Our cameras shoot with really high ISOs now. But, you don't want everything to be too grainy. I will of to 1600 if I have to when I'm shooting. I will go to 3200 if I had to. But, my camera can handle it. 5D Mark 3 can handle 3200 really well. And the Nicon shoots in the dark. And we all know that. So, at the end of the day, you can pump it up. You need to allow, so what I do, it's like any studio that you go into. You need to check out your space. Check out your space and then make that happen according to what space it is. The second challenge was about mapping the outfits. This really was for no other reason than I needed you to understand when I have two women in the studio how I'm preparing their five outfits to flow together. This was really just about flow. It's a great video to watch because it ended up being, we didn't have our producer that day because he was producing something else, and Susan and Sean were listening to me and didn't tell me to shut up at all. So the videos nearly two hours long, instead of one hour long, which is hilarious. And they're like, oh we got a lot of footage. And I was like oh well, bonus video. (audience laughing) So, you get to see me map the space, but you also get to see the colored corners I had, and how I mapped out their outfits, how I've already seen the flow and the images in my own mind. And then I'm using my map. Now, when you're learning my map, it's very important that you learn to flow through the flow paces, but then put your own spin on it. Because the idea is I'm showing you the basis of how to make money, the foundation of how to sell a folio, and what you make out of that is entirely up to you from there. So, that challenge was really about this one. The more I can connect with my client before the shoot on what to wear, what to bring, the more committed she is to having her shoot done, turning up for a shoot, and spending money with you. It was that simple. That is the bottom line. In the workbook I'm gonna give you a whole lotta things to tick off. But, really, I'm gonna give you the bottom line of each challenge. And the bottom line of this challenge is when I ask somebody to bring in five outfits, I need to talk to them and educate them on what those are, how they want of to look, how they want to be photographed. I walk into my shoot not only fully prepared, but my client comes in fully educated. And that is the difference in a really good client and one without. One composition, five poses. This, really, I need you to start moving. I need you to get out of bring stuck in one position in front of the camera. I cannot have you sitting in front of the client taking 20 shots in the same pose. Everybody does it, and you need to start moving them and directing them with confidence. This was about just showing you what my basic posing manual has showed you all along, that I can move a shoulder and hands in significantly change a composition by going left and right, forward and back, or using my zoom. So, I need to get you off being static. I need to get you to move in the 180. This whole challenge is about getting you moving. Did this make you move? Did this make you move your clients hands? Anybody wanna jump in there?
When you're shooting with five different outfits, do you do standing to sitting in each outfit?
You know, it depends on whether they're standing. So, if they're in the v-flat, and they're standing, I might take them onto the chair, if I think the outfit looks good. But, I'll just keep flowing through the poses. If I've got them on the wall, and they're just rocking the wall, and they ca do lots of different wall poses, and they're doing all the side arms, the back on, I wouldn't add more. Because, I know I've got like five to 10 shots that easy can go in their folio. I'm gonna move on. If they're struggling on the wall, and I know I've only got two or three, then I will move them into a chair, or keep that outfit, or ditch the outfit and go for something new. I tell my clients to bring in five outfits, and they always bring in 15. All women do, and then they'll tell you they've got nothing to wear. (audience laughing) All right, so, there's more multi-choice there, not only my multi-choice in my wardrobe, but there's multiple choice to change them up. Put a flower in their hair to change their outfit. Take some clothes off. Hold skin shots, whatever, fabric, anything. There's millions of choices on what to bring. The most important part is not what you're changing, but the connection to getting them into that shoot with the right clothes, turned up, educated, connected on the phone, and like you. The five poses is going to sell you multiple images, okay. Every single time I photograph a girl, if I can change her pose five times, I can sell five images. If I take the same shot, I'm gonna sell one. Even if she's smiling different, her expression is different. It's just not the same. So, really, really important. The next challenge was about the flow. Do you wanna ask a question about the five?
Yes please, about the outfits. Vaughn had a question about, for a new photography business, what are the key wardrobe items to have on hand to augment what the client brings.
Yeah, I never did. My studio, I never had a single thing. Only when I started to do the big flouncy dresses did I start having accoutrement in my studio. If you have accoutrement in your studio, you will ultimate clone people, a clone, clone, clone, clone. However, I've always had fabric in the studio. Because, I had a girl turn up one day without any outfit. She had black t-shirt and jeans. And I was like, well you didn't read the email? And then that's when we realized she didn't read the email. People don't read the email. That's why you wanna get them on the phone. That's why you wanna connect with them on the phone. You wanna coach them. Style them. Tell them it's a styling session. Say it's all part of the shoot. They're gonna turn up. And so, then I realized that if I'd had accoutrement there I would have an outfit, but I had black fabric. And I actually tied her into a dress. So, first I made the black fabric like a strapless dress with a cumber bun. And then I used the cumber bun like straps. I make four different outfits with this black piece of fabric, and shot her multiple times. And she bought an $1800 folio. So, I did that on the fly, and I always keep fabric in the studio for that reason, and scarves. But now I have more of my own stuff, but I don't advise it. You don't need it. You do not need it. If you do your job in the educating, then they'll tell you what they want to wear, and they'll go shopping for it. Women love to shop. We need an excuse. Yeah, you're not taking anything away from us by expecting us to go and buy something for the shoot. You know, you can go to Forever 21 and buy outfits for $26, like incredible outfits. I go in there on the sales rack, and ah, it's just crazy. Really beautiful little dresses for cheap, cheap, cheap. Okay, this flow posing for me would be the most significant advanced move that you can all use in the next year. And sorry, master in the next year. Okay, because flow posing for me was, remember, I showed you how to pose her on a couch that didn't move and, til we straightened it up, and then on a white box, same poses that you can't tell me you don't have. Where do you get the white box from? I made that white box. You find them everywhere. IKEA has a little white ottoman, just a footstool, just something to sit on, that's all it is. It's just a box, and I painted it white. And the idea is that it doesn't matter what you're posing them on as long as you can confidently go through the flow. So I want you to start thinking now, and you watch this challenge. This I something that you have to practice. When I have a girl, and I have a piece of furniture, I look at it an I think, how many different ways can I photograph her on this furniture? How many different ways can I photograph her to make her look good. What can I do on this furniture that makes her look good? Can I get her to lean on it? Can I get her to, what can I do? I will do anything. I'll shoot up close, but what I'm doing, by putting peoples elbows on things you give them hands to their face. Because they can't bring the hands to the face when they're free styling right? When you're sitting on something, you give them a reason to recline and lean, which sends the body down from the front. So, they can't recline and lean into nothing. So, whatever it is, think of 100 different options and ways to use it. And the flow pose was about taking a simple box, and then replicating, how many poses? I think we got 63. 63 poses, and she's just flowing through them, and for the person who just put on the chat room, what if it's a curvy girl, 'cause Jessica was very long and lean? Exactly the same poses. She will just look a little curvier though. Okay, so, really, really important is learning how to flow. Now how do you learn how to flow? Nobody taught me how to pose, nobody. Okay, I used to look at magazines, and go how do they do that pose? And then I would get a normal body in, like just a normal size body, and I don't mean curvy, just a normal, everyday body, 5'3". A girl would sit down and I would go to do a pose, and I would look at the magazine, and I'd go, my client didn't look like that. And I had to learn how to lift them up and over into the pose, to lengthen their body. And it was all for me about lengthening, and opening up, and then body language. And then I realized that I had such a large repertoire of poses that I could actually flow through them, and that's how I made a manual out of it. Because, I had so many, like, I was like try this. And I would go to a shoot with one new pose, okay one. So I had 10 already locked down, and it's like, right, I've locked down cover girl, and that gives me boom, boom, boom, four different crops. I put the fan in the air. I make her laugh and fall forward, and I put that into black and white. There's five images. Now, I lay her down. I do one, and then I do two. And then I do three. And then I do four. And then I do five. And then I've got five different expressions. And, when I do it, I shoot to the left. I shoot to the right. I shoot to the left, put in some negative space. I go forward, and then I go back. There's five more. Then I'm gonna stand her on the wall, and I'm gonna of one. I'm gonna go two. I'm gonna go three. I'm gonna turn her around. I'm gonna make her laugh, and then I'm gonna make her dance. Okay, and then I've got five more. And then I've got 20 images, go and change her outfit again. And I would sit on the bar stool, and I would do fashion quarterly, and rocket sideways. And then I'd turn her to the front, and I'd go one, two, three, four five. Now, for any of you that's saying, you know, like, then you'll all look like Sue Brice. (audience laughing) Yes, yes you will, sort of. (audience laughing) Then you can put your own spin on it. But, only after you've sold a good solid $1800, okay. Then by all means, spend the hell out of it. Do whatever you wanna do, but just learn what makes women buy portraits. And learn this, I got my entire education from fashion magazines, and then I spent my entire career trying to make a normal body look like a fashion model. Okay, that's what I mastered. Anyone can master this. It's what we all want. There are more women's magazines per capita than any other genre in the world. Because, we drink them in. We can't get enough. I actually banned, would you believe, all trash magazines from my house and my studio about eight years ago. I don't think they're pro woman. I think if they how Posh Spice with cellulite, that that is not a positive message that I would want around my nieces. That is not a positive. I'm sure Posh doesn't want that. And I think that's revolting. And so I banned them. So, I have this thing where when I go to the supermarket, even whole foods has some trashy type mags, you know like, not really trash, but, or when I go to the supermarket, or store, I always stand in the longest queue so I can read as much trash, and look at all the pictures, and then I put it down, and I don't buy it. (audience laughing) Because I banned that from my home, but I still read it. And when I go to the doctors or anything like that, I'm like, oh, trash, trash, I go early so I can read the trash. (audience laughing) It's true, I do that. But, the truth is that at the end of the day, this flow is where it's at, okay, learning this flow. But, what you're going to do when you've mastered this flow is you're going to confidently pose, okay. You're going to confidently pose me. So, when we were training, we were in a shoot one day, we're waiting for hair and makeup. I gave my camera to Susan, and I said take a photo of me. And she was like, okay. So, she's taking a photo of me, and I'm standing there, and she's like, right. And I'm like, this is crickets, I can hear crickets. I'm like, you know, what do you want me to do? And she's like, toggle toggle toggle, bleep bleep bleep, focus focus, toggle toggle. And I was just like what do you want me to do. And she's like, oh. And I'm like Susan, what do you want me to do? And she like oh, I'm freaking out. And she takes the shot. And I'm like oh that's fine. And then she shows me the back of the camera, and I'm like, oh God, wait on the back foot. Tell me what you want. Tell me what you want. 'cause I can't see the back of the camera. So, people think, 'cause I can pose, that I know what to do. That's not true. I can not see the subtlety of where my chin looks good. Is that too low? Is that right? Is that high? Can you still see there? Are my arms come back? Have I got enough shape in my body? Do you want me to go back on my? I can't see that. So, after 28 days I gave her my camera when we were out at the location shoot, and she just picked it up and she was like, bring your chin forward, move your head this way, bring your chin forward, push back on your weight. And she was just doing what I naturally do, which is directing people when you pick up the camera. And I was listening to here, and she was like, got it, that was beautiful. And you know what she said? She said the one thing that I've never told people to say that I say, and she's picked it up, and that was there it is. Okay, so you know when I'm in camera? And I'm like, sit up nice and tall. Bring your chin towards me. Relax you mouth, okay. Slight tilt this way. Bring your chin down now, there it is, stop. 'Cause I can see it, right. There it is. There it is. Because it's when you go from here and you're there, and then she goes, now bring your chin forward, and I bring my chin forward, and them I'm there and I relax my mouth. And I being my eyes up, and she goes, there it is, stop. And she said that. And when she said that, I was like, oh that was a proud moment. (audience laughing)
I said that? I said that?
Yeah, there it is. And you know what, I really don't know, I really didn't know that that was something very significant I said until she said it. I've never told you guys to say that 'cause it's not something you like, and then I want you to say there it is. (audience laughing) But, what I felt, not just as a photographer, but as a women, that when she said it, she told me she could see it. And not, oh my God you're do gorgeous, beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, gorgeous honey gorgeous. That's not telling me what you're doing. That is not giving me direction. You can pump me up as much as you like, but I feel very awkward looking at your black circle. And so when she said stop, there it is, I was like, she can see it. She can see it. She's got it. She can see it in me, and I'm doing it right. That's what that is. You must learn that assertion. So, now I want you to take control with this challenge. Watch this challenge over and over. Practice it side by side. Watch it on your iPad. Have somebody sitting on the box, the chair, the couch. Lift up nice and tall. Bring your chin around. Okay, lift up nice and tall, and push your chin forward working that body. Push that hip out. Stay there lifting up nice and tall. Good girl, push your chin forward. There it is, stop. Eyes to me, now give me expression, okay. Really, nail this challenge. It will make you can incredible photographer. All right, so from here, we went to posing couples. This is something that I've never done on Sue before. And the idea with posing couples is if I, this is the truth, okay, we're only speaking truth today. I don't want to shoot men. They're easy to shoot, they love it. Easy to shoot, no makeup, no reflector, all body language is open, they're confident in front of the camera, totally unlike women. And, easy to shoot, A don't spend any money on photographs, and B, when the boys come into the studio, it's about them. And I don't wanna make it about him. I wanna make it about her. That's my personal choice. However, if I can market to this guy and get him involved in the shoot, my sale doubles. It doubles. Now, I'm smart. I want to maximize my business. So, if I focus on shooting her, and get him in for the last 15 minutes, no makeup. That guy can just walk in and look hot with her, have a single shot, she can fill her folio with 80% of herself, and 20% of him. And then they can put a couple shot on the wall, then I have doubled my money. So, I withdrew traditional posing, traditional posing which was all about them going through traditional sequences in the studio. And I er enjoyed this challenge. I enjoyed this challenge because I love Tiffany and Mack, my friends Tiffany and Mack, and they're such a beautiful couple. They were such a great couple to pose because they're almost the same height. In heels Tiffany's a tall, she's tall, and they're almost the same height, so I was constantly putting her down onto the split level to drop her down so I could stagger their pose. And also because they just have such a beautiful connection together as a couple. And I loved that challenge. So, it was a very traditional posing in the studio. And, has anybody been maximizing that yet? Has anybody started to shoot couples? A lot of you are wedding photographers are already bringing couples together. But, I wanted to do the portrait of that. Feel free to interrupt me with any questions whenever you want, okay, you guys too. Right, then we went to capturing beautiful connection. The fabulous Kenna Klausamen, of course. (audience laughing) You know what that is? That's that moment that everybody looks in your camera, completely relaxed, and smiles through their eyes at you, and it's like a soul smile. This is the one thing everybody ask me is how do you get people to look at you like this. I wanna talk about this challenge. This challenge was really, really, really, important to me. It was one of them most significant challenges of them all, because I feel like as a photographer, I have obviously faults as a photographer, but I excel in this one area. And this one area sells more photographs than any technical ability or skill that I have learned in the studio. So, you can make fundamental posing mistakes, but nothing gives you connection like this. Noting sells portraits more than a connection like this. Would you agree with that? Yes. Who has been now seeing this connection in their photography since they did this challenge? Yes. Who is struggling to get it? Anybody, no, you're all getting it? Okay, pass down, Valerie.
I find that some, with some women, the connection is there right away. And with some women I fight to get it. And I don't know how to get the person that just cannot give me that. When I haven't had problems with other women, but I'll find one and it turns out that it definitely effects the final product.
Okay, so, it's in the expression on the face, and some people do not have a kind face. So, there's an old saying, great saying from thousands of years ago that says you face becomes your biography. And so, if you're a worrier, your sit to worry, if you're a smiler, you'll get smile lines. Some people don't have a very expressive face. And that's where you use the mouth a little bit more. Okay, so, I can fully relax my mouth, but smile with my eyes. And I do it in a way, I'll do it to you. I can do it really easily. So, if I relax my mouth, I can do this. Right, not many people can actually do that. They can't do a full range of expression with just their eyes. Just use the mouth more. Use the mouth a little wee bit more. So, if they're just not coming up in their expression, just say, just talk them through a true smile. 'Cause it will lift the face. It'll lift up through their eyes. And it will make a difference.
So, we have a question from Bethany from Fargo, North Dakota. Can you still make a connection with your client without them looking directly at the camera.
You see, this is interesting. I only have two eye lines, okay. Because, I have looking down my own body, or I have looking at the camera. Because, I don't believe people buy the portrait where they're like this. (audience laughing) 'Cause it's a fashion shot. And what is that? Look away. Look wistful. Nobody, that's not a connected portrait for me. So, if you want your clients to be looking somewhere other than, now, for me, I'm either looking straight at you, or I'm looking at my own body like this. Okay, so, my eyes are down my own body line. Because if I do a pose and I'm looking at my own body line, then I'm within myself. I'm appreciating own body. I'm looking at my own body like this. But, if I look away, like this, or, then I'm looking at somebody else. Aren't I? I'm not looking, I'm not in myself. And if I'm looking at you, then I'm directly at you. So, I don't see that as being a portrait. And, can I get the connection? Yeah, you can still work the body, but you just need to get them to connect to whoever they're looking at. I've never see a person that can do it that's not a model. Models can do the look away really good, but, and heres the secret. If you're gonna get them to look away, get them to look over their shoulder, like, back that way. Don't get them to look froward. 'Cause people do that and it doesn't work. Because if somebody was to walk towards me, I would look at them. But, if I was going to look at somebody in a coy way, I would do it like that, right. I wouldn't go. (audience laughing) So, there's the body language. Kenna.
See the questions are flooding in now about a connection and expression.
So, Sia Buchanan asks, how do you break the bad habits that clients come in with from watching Next Top Model, for example.
Just say don't do that. What you're doing right now, don't do it. And you know what, I have been as honest to say, and here let's try it now. Everybody sit up nice and tall. Relax your mouth. Okay, pull your chin towards me, just your chin, and down ever so slightly, nicely down. I'm gonna give Sue thousands of dollars, thousands, go up and down, up and down. Okay, so from here, right here, now tiny little smile in the eyes. Okay, lips together, tiny little smirk. So, if people are gonna do it, that's when they're going to do it. It's called duck mouth, right. And this is where people want to do this. They feel compelled to do this. (audience laughing) And what they're doing is they're holding tension in their mouth. All of the bad habits they learned from Top Model are tension in this mouth. So, everyone do duck mouth, you know in the, trying to do the pout. (audience laughing) I do it all the time on Facebook. But, there's a difference between a smirk, and duck mouth. Or worse, I've had this. (audience laughing) And I was like, we're not feeding you today. (audience laughing) You're just here for a photograph. So, I will actually go like this, lips together, relax your mouth. And as soon as they relax their mouth, they cannot do duck mouth. I had one woman that did this. She put her tongue up under her top lip, because she thought it made her top lip fuller. (audience laughing) And I would look at her and I would think, what is she doing? And I was like, relax your mouth. And shed go. (audience laughing) And I was like, what are you doing there? Like, you don't need to do that. Just listen to me, relax your mouth. It's about direction, being confident, being assertive in directing.
Is there ever a client that you have that you just, they can't do a closed mouth, or a serious face, all the portraits end of having to be smiling 'cause they just look weird with? Like I feel like even me, I have small lips. So, it's very difficult for me to do a closed mouth photo without looking weird.
So, just relax your mouth, that's it. So, your mouth naturally sits open. Mine doesn't. Okay, come and stand up here.
So, when you look at somebody's relaxed face, if they hae big teeth, or anything like that, or a different shaped mouth, this is her and I together with a relaxed mouth, go. Okay, my lips are together. And her's are not, right. So, straight away, that's her relaxed mouth, and that's how I would photograph her. Okay, now, when you do a little wee smirk with no teeth, then that's all up there in the eyes. Look straight ahead. Okay, so, when she does a little smirk, then her lips come together. And now do a, just a medium smile like. Okay, so, you're mouth looks comfortable and relaxed there. Beautiful big smile, go. (audience laughing) okay, so, when you look at me, look at me, relax your mouth. Lift your chin up just a touch, that's it. And give me a tiny little smile in your eyes. So, it just naturally comes out. Start there, and just watch their relaxed mouth. So, where their relaxed mouth is you've taken away duck mouth, you've taken away the fake pout, and the tension. Because when people try to smile they do that. And they hold all that tension around their mouth, and they look so awkward. Thank you that's perfect.
So everyone has a smirk or a relaxed mouth that looks good, you just have to find it.
So, whether you're, cause your top lip comes up like a cupid top lip. And that's why you can see your top teeth. So, if you try to hold your mouth shut, you look like you're trying to hold your mouth shut. Whereas my lips stay together just normally, yeah. So, always look for the relaxed mouth.
So, we have another, I have another question here Sue. And someone, I actually cannot find who asked it, so I apologize. But, how much coaching do you do for expression before you start shooting? So you sit someone down?
And say, you don't do any of that?
I mean, I know the answer to that. But I think that, I would think or assume you have a client come in you say, okay, this is what I'm gonna.
This is what I want from you, none of that.
And it's not, this is what I want from you. Because they're there for you. They're kind of going this is what I want from you. (audience laughing) Not the other way around. So, this is what I want from you. Do as you're told. That would be all of it. Do as you're told, and let me guide you. There's one thing that I do say to a lot of people when they're nervous. A lot of my clients come in and they're quite nervous, and I will say to them this, you cannot see what I can see. Trust me. I do this. This is what I see. You cannot see what I can see. Trust me. Do you trust me? Yeah, you cannot see what I can see. Just trust me, and let me guide you. You cannot see what I can see. And I can see it. I know what beautiful looks like. I will say that and people will go, yes I trust you.
So, one of my challenges is that they're giving the beautiful expression, and then the camera comes up, and then the face starts to fall.
Don't stop talking.
If you stop talking, they default set back to what they were doing. So, it's the expression, it's the pose. So it's lifting up nice and tall. Bring your chin up. Bring your chin forward. Lips together, tiny little smile in your eyes. Camera comes up and they default back. So, keep talking.
Just keep talking. It's directions, strong direction.
Do we have any more connection questions, or should I move on?
Absolutely, we do, that we do. I have a question here from Abigail K. Who asks, when Sue says connection trumps posing, and when deciding between a photo without a perfect pose, but great connection, would you overlook the pose?
You swap. I'd head swap it and get both. And then, make sure I never did that again with my next shoot. But yes, expression trumps pose. But, remember, bad body, bad body crops, bad body lines trump expression. Okay, for a woman. So, if she looks fat, or her body doesn't look good, that's gonna kill, it wouldn't matter what the connection was. She's not gonna buy it. She's not looking at her face. She's looking at her arms. So, just make sure, the pose is important, but connection trumps pose, however, it's got to be yeah, it's really, really important.
Can I ask, so sorry, before you move on, can I ask one more connection question?
I wanna stay on this just for a bit longer.
'Cause I wanna look at these images that are on the screen right now, and I want everybody to see them. You saw this in the challenge. You saw every one of these girls and me talking them through that expression. The one thing about my work, there are no hands in this image. These are passport photographs. They're head and shoulders, okay. I'm using the shoulder and the body with connection. Have a look. Kenna's shoulder is pushed forward. Ariellas is moving. Susan is moving. Kathy's is pushed this way. You can see that they are giving me this. They're giving me their body language through here, because anybody who connects their chin on their shoulder also has body language, okay. Even when they're pulling back their arms and using their shoulders here. Then, every one of them are looking at me this way. Can you see the way they're looking at me? That is connection. That is getting that connection through the eyes, and asking for that little smile in the eyes. That is what makes you look at every one of those girls, and every one of their images, and look them directly in the eye. And you have to look at that and say, they, each one of them are beautiful. And it has nothing to do with their person, or anything about their physical traits. It's what they are showing you is their light. You can just see it beaming out of every single one of them, okay. Ask me more questions about that.
All right. So the questions are coming in about multiple people and connection. So, how do you go about getting connection when it's a couple? How do you go when it's siblings? When you're working not just with one.
You'll see in the challenges that they're the shoots where I shoot two to three times higher than normal. So, I'm holding a group space. So, if I was gonna hold this group space, I would be, sit up nice and tall everybody. Okay, pushing your chin forward and down. Remember, I can't look at you all at the same time, so I'm just going to direct you. Sit up nice and tall, push that chin forward, tiny little smile in the eyes. I'm gonna take a few more because there's gonna be blinks. I'm gonna go click, click, click. Give me that little smile, little expression everybody. Hold it up, little bit more, little bit more, little bit more. And I'll just keep holding that space so that they can all hold up and just listen and direct. And everybody wants to have a great photograph. So, when I will finish, I will always look at a great shot, and there'll always be one idiot that either looking away, looking down, you know, stupid expression, double chin. And at the end of the day they're the idiot that's not gonna look good. So, holding a group space is just about constant direction and talking. Everybody looking this way. Families, especially with children, watch the kids. The kids look away, so easy distracted. Shoot fast, and this is when I do shoot more than normal. Yeah.
A question in the audience.
When you're talking to someone and you're coaching them into it, and they have a beautiful expression, but their eyes aren't directly in your lens, is there anything you say to kind of get them into that? Maybe they're looking at the logo.
Eyes to me, I'll go there. I'll tap my lens, and I'll go, eyes to here. It's really hard. Sometimes people will look at you and you go eyes to here, and their eyes don't move. And you think, oops, they were. (audience laughing) So, some people can float in their vision, and it looks like they're not looking. So, just say, okay, straight down the barrel for me. Straight down the barrel. I will say something like that. Straight into my lens, Kate. Straight into my lens Kate, hold it. Lift up nice and tall, eyes here Kate, tap, tap. And I'll just tap my lens just to make them reengage there. I just feel like the basis of everything I do, when I look at, I wish I could show the natural light images that you sent me, but I can't because of the copyright. But, I will blog them. The one thing I will say about those images is there's still too many gratuitous poses. Because this is no posing. This is just shoulder movement and connection. And look how beautiful they are. That's what people buy, these. They buy that. You don't need to have a hand here and a hand here. And like, what is that? Why would you do that? Okay, if you can make it look natural, then yes. But, if you can't, put your hands down, pull your elbows back, and put some fan in that hair. Okay, vogue 101.
Vogue 101, love it. Just to follow up, can, when you're working with more than one person, can they focus on a connection between each other versus connecting with you the photographer.
No, because I don't usually take photos of people laughing and connecting with each other. I'm more likely the girl group, which is them all together, which you're gonna see coming up in the next few challenges. So, actually I'll come back to that.
I'll come back to the group connection, because I address that with your shoot when we go from shooting with connection to shooting the group.
So, can we wrap this us with one final question that came through.
And I just, it's amazing to see people and how this is a difficult concept to grasp for a lot of people. Ann said, "How can I recognize connection? "I still don't get it."
Yeah, okay. So, the only way to do it is to hold somebody's gaze and practice this. So, everybody turn, there's five of you, five, there's five, five, there's five in a way. Everybody turn to the person next to them. And for those on the five on the end, turn around behind you. (audience chattering) Yeah, okay, and now I want you to hold your gaze. Okay, and I want you to smile only with your eyes. No nervous laughter. No chatter. Just relax your face, hold the gaze, and smile with your eyes. So project a smile forward with your eyes to that person until you see them smiling back at you with their eyes. Can you see that? Everybody can do that. That is what that connection is. Okay, so, what's my best camera? Is it this one? It's when you look as close as you can to my face, and I want you to just hold a gaze here. Okay, it's about putting all of your expression through the eyes. So, you just ask for it, and practice it when you look at other people. Practice the gaze hold, one minute gaze hold. So you can do it with friends. You can do it, just say look, I want to practice this eye expression thing. So, I want you to hold my gaze for one minute. Don't smile with your mouth. And only smile with your eyes. Try it with five different people this week until you can see it, until you can see it over and over again. That's what all of these girls are going right here now. They're smiling, not with their mouth, but with their eyes. Well, Susan's smiling with her mouth. But, you can see that they all have that. In fact, Susan is a classic example of needing to smile. Okay, because she has same tier top lip, same teeth, very distinctive. She's a natural relaxed mouth open. Okay, and if your mouth does open, you are less likely to be able to smile with you eyes that way, without smiling. And she needs to be smiling. You see, Kenna and I, we don't need to smile, because our eyes say it all. Ariella has a little, and both Kathy Jay and Ariella have big full lips. Okay, both of them do, okay, bigger than Kenna and I. And they are half and half, they're half eyes, half mouth. Susan's all smile. Kenna and I are all eyes. Can you see that. But all of them are equate exactly the same connection to me. Even in this one with Susan is probably being the most serious. That's still a sexy shot for her. You know, so, it's a great, great example, and that video, I shot it as you saw, I shot it live for you. And then at the end when I sit down and I do those expressions, did anybody watch that where I did? I haven't watched that. Can you see me change my expressions in my face. Practice it in the mirror. You know, you learn that. It's something you learn. So, when you watch America's Top Model, and they're like, you know you weren't giving a mouth expression. And you always think poor girls. No photographer was there to direct them of or guide them. That's what they're supposed to do. They're models. They're supposed to know what to do. Okay, but this connection is paramount. And it's really everything that I do. I'm not gonna go through the rules again. If you wanna practice the rules, you know this is where I'm all about. This is chin, shoulder, hands, body language, asymmetry, hourglass, connection. Those are my rules. Those are the critique, if you wanna learn how to critique your own work go to my blog. Look at the self critique. These two challenges were just about showing you how it looks good on camera, how it looks bad on camera, why we do it, and what is so important about it regardless of your genre. If you photograph women, then these are the rules you need to learn, the chin, the shoulder, the hands, the hourglass, the body language, and the connection. These are the first go to things that I do in all of my photography. The styling and wardrobe. The styling and wardrobe brought up so many interesting questions from all of the challengers. Because everybody said to me, oh I wish you'd given us more of an idea on what to tell people what to bring. You're not to tell people to bring anything. What you're to do is style them. And if I'm talking to you on the phone, how do I know what you look like, how you dress, what your body shape is, what your age is? I do not. So, I ask poignant questions like, you need to bring in five outfits, are you a casual jeans type of person, or you are more evening gown? And if they say both, then I say I want you to bring jeans and your favorite two or three colored tops. And I want you to go up into an evening look. Okay, that can be the cocktail dress that's in your wardrobe that you never get to wear. And I don't care if it doesn't zip up anymore. I can still make you look gorgeous from the front. Or, like Victoria, I will put my foot on you back, and I will zip that dress up. And you can complain as much as you like until you see the photographs. Okay, and so, really styling a wardrobe was about, again, going back to mapping the shoot, is you cannot map an amazing shoot unless they bring in an amazing wardrobe. You cannot get them to bring in an amazing wardrobe if you do not connect with them and educate them on what to bring. Okay, that sounds repetitive, but that is 101 gonna get you 100% commitment to somebody turning up in your studio. Make your consultation 15 minutes long, instead of struggling afterwards if they don't turn up with clothes. This is where you make a catalog of clothes from the shoots you've done. Bring something fitted. Bring something colorful. Bring something you can dance in. Bring a cocktail dress, an evening gown. If you're brave, bring lingerie. But please, bring it, so that we can talk about how you wanna be photographed. And do that on the phone as soon as you can. This challenge was about creating a second PDF which was about wardrobe. We're gonna go into PDF in marketing later today, but this really was about making you connect with your client before hand under the guise of it being about their wardrobe. Bit really what you're doing is you're educating them, you're connecting them to you, and you're preparing them to get excited for your shoot. If you take 15 to 20 minutes to educate you client prior to them coming into their shoot, whether you're a family portrait studio, a newborn photographer, or a glamour photographer, or a boudoir photographer, you will double your sale, and you'll also double your likelihood that they will turn up for their shoot. I guarantee it. That consultation is more important than anything else you could do in you business.
What do you do when a client shows you their wardrobe choices and you just don't know. They're just not good. How do you tell them? What do you do?
You just do the best with what they've got.
Yeah, I mean, what would not be good? I had a girl turn up one day in jeans and a black t-shirt, and I made a dress out of black fabric. But, you know, I'm kind of quite enterprising like that. I apply, it's called Kiwi ingenuity. We can do, we MacGyver it, you know, on the fly. (audience laughing) Couple of sticks and a few leaves out in the garden, and I made this contour gown for you. (audience laughing) So, what was really important really is that sometimes people bring in not very good clothes. They bring clothes that don't suit them, big baggy clothes. I just make sure when I sit them down I go to the back of them and I'll pull a shirt tight, and tuck it in their bra. But I would literally pull a jacket or a dress around somebody, and then tuck it in the back of their bra, and say I'm just gonna pull this around you so it's a little bit more fitted. I would pose them in a way, so that if they were wearing a big boxy dress, I would pose them in a way when they sat down that I could get the arm around the body to show the hourglass. And then, I would take the baggy bit here that's giving them no waist, and I would tuck that into the back of their tights. I will go and do that. Now, if their cloths, I think probably the worst that could happen is boxy clothes, and the same color. Like, the woman that turns up with five black outfits. Okay, so, that eliminates a lot of your lighter shots. And that's where you have to get just as really creative as you can. Victoria.
This is one of, like, the big things that I come across. And what I've been doing lately, not so much for the women, but when family photography, or my kids stuff, I actually have been doing the shopping for them. Because, they'll see my stuff, and they're like, well can you do it like that? And I have no idea what to do, so would you ever do that? Would you ever go shopping with them? Or just say, give me what you wanna look like and your size, and I'll go do it for you? I find family photographs need more guidance in the shopping area than my style of glamour. Because, most girls get it from my website. I've never had to go shopping with somebody. Although I had a girl turn up for a shoot once and her suitcase never arrived. So, we had the opportunity to go shopping together. And I, she was like, my suitcase hasn't arrived. And I was like come on, let's go to Nordstrom. And we went to Nordstrom in LA and bought her a whole lot of clothes. The idea really is however you educate them, whether you want to shop with them or not, is fine. I actually have a friend who shoots family portraits and she includes $300 into her package, which is $3600 into a family shoot package to go shopping, and the whole family gets a new outfit. And she gets like white t-shirts and jeans for the kids, and measures it. And she actually does that. That's part of her styling service. And it works for her. It wouldn't work for me because I don't have the time. But I would rather educate. Take the 20 minutes to educate them. Create a PDF with outfits to give them options. Show them my gallery online and say, what photos do you like? You know what, it's really amazing. People will say, I don't know what to wear. And then I start asking them questions. How do you want to be photographed? Pull images from magazines, Pinterest, source images from google, send them to me. Tell me how you wanna be photographed. Look at my gallery. Show me your favorite images. And they'll go, well I love that shot with the white sheet. And I'll go, well you don't need an outfit for that, 'cause I have a white sheet. (audience laughing) I've had people turn up with a white sheet. I was like you really, thanks, we'll use that. You know, you didn't need to bring a white sheet. I've got that covered. But, you know, I mean, if you ask the right questions, you'll get a very, very solid understanding of how people want to be photographed, which helps you shoot them, service them, and give them what they want. Shooting curves. This is got to, this is opened a can of whoop ass. (audience laughing) This has opened a can of whoop ass that I have not seen in the photographic industry before. I cannot believe how much people talk about this. I really can't. It comes from posing, come here Valerie. How old are you?
I know. I know this. I totally set her up because I met her in Portland, right. This woman is 66 years old, okay. She's gorgeous and she has a beautiful body, right, as you all do. I can make Valerie look really chunky really quickly with my camera. 'Cause she's the same height as me, okay. So we're short, short limbs. Okay, short limbs, boobs, and you're a classic box shape. You don't have the tiny pier big hips, tiny waist. So I can make her look boxy and chunky really fast. So, when I learned how to pose women, I learned because every single woman wants to look longer, slimmer, and their best. And most of it is about posture. And as I started to photograph curvier women, and then as myself, as I got older and I put on weight, I realized that the one thing that hinders photographs is weight. Which is why models are lean. Okay, models are lean because you can turn a model on any angle, and you can shoot them on any angle. But, there are five angles I can not shoot Valerie on because of her height, not because of her body size, okay. And so, when I learned to shoot, this was nothing to do with shooting people who were overweight. Nobody wants a photograph with a double chin, nobody does, right, nobody, no matter what you're weight. Skinny, skinny girls were coming into my studio 10 years ago and going, don't make my arms look fat. Don't make your arms look fat. And I could get my hands around their arms. But then I realized that you don't see yourself from side on, even in a mirror. You very rarely see yourself from side on. And most people don't realize, turn away from me. Most people don't realize that when their arm is relaxed it looks bigger than it really is. Until they see a photo of that, and they, that space becomes white space, 'cause they've got no sleeve on, and your arm looks huge. And you're like, I've got huge arms. And you don't. So, nobody wants that. So, we pull her arm away and we shape the shoulder. And when we shape and contour the body, it was about learning body language. It was about shaping the shoulder to make the breast line look good, kicking the booty back to make the waist look good, bring the arm back to make the arm look good. Then she sits nice and tall, and she brings her chin forward, because even for a lean body, when she turns towards me, that's gonna wrinkle. Okay, if there's weight on there, it's gonna get worse. Okay, so we learn to do these simple things. Then I learned that the curvier they were, you just dropped it down further, and down further, and down further, because the more space I put here the leaner she looks in her body. The ability to shoot curves came from looking at fashion magazines, and then going to pose the girls. Now, if she was 5'10" and 90 pounds, I could pose her like that without her chin forward in this position without moving. But, because she's short, I have to do that. And I had to learn that in camera. So, I was just like, I can not make an ordinary woman look like a supermodel. And then I was like, oh yeah, I can. I just had to learn how to lift up and push down, and open up the areas which are normally open in a tall, lean frame. The ability, thank you so much. And you really are gorgeous, and I am gonna photograph you when I come back to LA.
So, one thing that's really, really important is I can take a little body, a little wee body, and make it look chunky when they don't have a waist. Did you watch the Photoshop video? Did you see when I shot that beautiful girl in that beaded dress, on the rose background? She's gorgeous. She's a perfect tiny little body, but because she doesn't have that pier waist, hip ratio, she looked boxy in that position. So, I pinched her waste in on Photoshop. Did I enhance her body? Absolutely. Does it look more like it does in real life? Yes. Is this the most significant thing I could teach you as a photographer? Yes it is. Because you're in the business of photographing women, and women will buy anything where they look good. Correct? Okay, a woman will veto a shot if she looks like crap in it. It's about learning how when you shoot curves to drop that front shoulder. And, you know, it was so great for Andrea to be my posing model, because she sits absolutely perfectly in that place where that's her comfortable chin, and she's large breasted. Okay, large breasted is gonna make you look boxy. And straight away, all of her outfits are going to sit not in a tight waist position. So, teaching them how to turn on the 45, drop down, and push that chin forward, is so significant. And really, the only thing here, look what its doing to the front arm. The front arm just glides away. The chin becomes defined. The eyes connect. The hair is beautiful. She looks magnificent. And she's wearing that red dress. That red dress, which is confidence and beauty. And all she had to do was open up through her shoulder. Just open up and push her chin forward, that was it. Okay, so you're just learning to shape and contour with posture. Shape and contour with posing, okay, and that is the difference between taking a good photograph and a great photograph, just working with their body, working with their shoulders, working with their expressions. The chin is the most significant thing that I've taught. Yes, there's isn't a day in the last 12 days when I write a Facebook status, ad somebody doesn't write, chin, forward, and down Sue. It's like, haha. (audience laughing) So, and then I'll put a picture in, and it's like, she's got her chin forward and down. It's like yes, I do try to put my chin forward and down. Everybody in the world should put their chin forward and down at all times, you know. Nice and tall, shoulders, chin forward and down. Okay, but the chin forward and down is so significant in photographs, in corporate shots, in shooting men, and big double chins, and anybody with weight. Sometimes a really lean body has a really little chin, and if they push their chin forward and up, it elongates that, and makes that look longer, instead of coming down. So, remember the curvier you are the further you go down. The leaner you are, the further you come up. But, it always comes forward, away from the neck. And you're always projecting to the front of the shoulder, always, always. That chin just makes such an incredible difference. We're gonna talk about the two minute rule in Photoshop, and warping in the next challenge. But, this is the one that I used in the curved posing, because I'm creating the space with her body. I'm creating the space and getting her to push her chin forward. I've slimmed down the front arm. And I can pinch this waist by simply bringing that line down to there, and opening this line up to here, okay. And it's significant. Isn't it strange in this shot here, which is straight outta camera, and then this shot here. It looks like I've slimmed the whole thing, but I haven't. I've only pinched in that little area there and that area there. When we create space around the body, it opens up and makes us look slimmer. So, when our arms are on the body, we're blocked and we look bigger than we are, because that becomes our two dimension as opposed to opening up space around the body. That's why I need to teach you how to use arms and legs and fill the frame, and bring the legs up, and stagger your posing, and use one knee, and put arms forward, and create space around the body, on all body types to lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Does anybody wanna talk about curves? Is it just one of those things I think people wanna always talk about. Curves are such an interesting subject.
So maybe we can take one from the audience if there's one. And we can go to, go ahead please, yes.
I think for me the curves video was very important, because I feel like you have a lot more to tackle with a client who comes in already worried about that aspect of it. And what I'm hoping to gain is just your confidence, and how you, when you're kind of barrelling through it, because you know what to do, I think that makes them more confident. And so, I think seeing it in action was really that next step I needed to be like okay, if I can own it, then they can own it.
So, so I guess that was more of the statement, than the question, but.
That's exactly right. If you can own it, then they can too. Because at the end of the day, whatever they feel self conscious about, whether it's their teeth, a scar, their boDy type, their clothes, whatever they feel self conscious about, the second you stop taking control, that comes forward. Okay, that thing, and it'll be, I've seen people crippled with self esteem, crippled. I've seen people who's bottom lips quiver when I photograph them. They are so desperately uncomfortable being in front of the camera. Why are they there? Because they maybe look at my before and afters, and they believed for a minute that I could capture it, that I could overcome that. Or, they don't expect that they're going to feel like that until they have the camera turned upon them. And then their vulnerability comes forward. So, whatever it is, whether it's weight, or age, or anything.
But it, oh I'm sorry.
Oh no, go, go.
But even when I was watching it, when you first started I was like, all right, let's see what Sue's gonna do here. Even though you know in your head what your general foundation is going to be, just seeing you put it together I think really just answered so much.
Okay, so really it was confidence, right. I know when I stand there and I'm like 45 degrees, lean your back against the wall. Push that right arm against the wall, good girl. Take your left hand, slide it up your hip. Slide you elbow back. Okay, what I need you to do right now is to push you chin, lift up nice and tall, and push your chin towards me. Now bring your chin down this way, and I go and push their shoulder down. I push their shoulder down, tuck the arm against the wall, and because I'm doing all of this confidently, they are listening to my direction. And they are no longer worried about what, how they look. And then I go straight back to my camera, and then I direct for expression once I'm there. I don't look at somebody and go, give me a beautiful smile with your eyes. Give me a beautiful smile with your eyes. That's a girl. (audience laughing) Click. I go like this. Set the pose, and then I go, eyes to me, okay tiny little smile in your eyes, good girl. Hold it, hold it. I direct the expression through the camera. Did you notice that? I do not ask for an expression and then put my camera up. So, if people change their expression when you put the camera up, they're just defaulting back to self conscious. So that's why you talk to them through the camera. Okay, that's when you say, you reset. Lift up tall Valerie. Bring your chin towards me. Okay, and chin this way a little bit more. Keep working it that shoulder. Exactly as I just told them, now give me that tiny little smile in the eyes. And see, I'm doing all of that through my camera, and it's really, really important that I am.