Q and A About Lara's Photos of Sue
Fashion tv from singapore laura when you were told that you had this opportunity to shoot so what was your preparation like? What did you do? What did you did you ask her anything do? What was your process like to prepare for this shoot? Well, the first thing I did was think oh god, you know what? What am I going to do? I want to make sure that these are the most amazing images. She you haven't had someone take your photo in how many years did you save su? Twenty four. Twenty four years. So for me to be the first person to do that, I was amazed the first thing I did and I remember research and I was actually researching how I could photograph her because you know, this is what this workshop is experimental portrait but I didn't want to make this an experimental shoot I wanted to show soos true beauty I don't want to put textures on the top of the photos I want to show true toe as she is there's not a lot of retouching on her here it's just toned in very simple skin retouching this is h...
er. As we see her I was researching, you know catherine zeta jones because whenever I look, atsushi always reminds me of her, so I was just looking at like vogue covers pictures that say annie liebovitz would take of people what is it about the beauty and what to she bring out of people so there was just a lot of preparation in that um I knew already about the light I knew I wanted a classic backdrop I didn't want to overkill the photographs I just wanted it to be about sue I'm calling you basically okay I'm sorry so when you were actually shooting teo lena rela wants to know whether it was difficult because she I was doing what she would normally do and not listening to directions writing how is the experience of actually shooting someone who is so good at opposing already actually I felt like she all those times she's photograph someone when you actually put in that position yourself and I've had it being photographed but other people you don't remember you're in a position of farmer ability that's all you're thinking about when someone's taken a photo you're not doing that and you can't see you can't see those poses so when she was actually in front of the camera she was giving me something but I still felt like you know I had to give her some tonight to pose there as much as possible because she's going to give me something but she's still in that place of vulnerability then I need to kind of make her feel comfortable and that's why I talked a lot throughout the photo shoot I had her in front of the camera. Well, we even test in the light just to get here in that position. If okay, this is where I'm going to be sitting and actually the first shots I had a sitting down on a chair when I took away the chance, she was like, oh god, you know, because that was like a position of grounding the chair to the ground, and then you take a rough that and again, the vulnerability comes out. So is the course of the day went through. You actually became a lot more comfortable with the shots, and with the red dress, these with some of the end is well, and I feel that you could tell it the start of the shoot in the black dress. There is some kind of sadness and vulnerability, and then there's, a kind of letting go on the shots in the red dress, and it was interesting when we're watching the video on laura, you did. To that point, laura was saying, gosh, I didn't realize that I wass posing so much and talking so I didn't notice I was doing that but I think it was kind of a mental thing that I need to look after this person it's kind of you see someone who is vulnerable in front of you and oversee them close to sue and I care for her and as soon as she kind of opened up and it was kind of like you know it's okay and even you said see like everyone I was like what can around you like felix do you want anything? Do I need to get you anything and everyone kind of had that kind of emotion about them they all wanted to look after sue and really help her kind of help her with her vulnerable stage so I'm posing in felix kansas got a large reflector like a you know once that I hate you know the silvery went well that catch like and he's using that to create the wind so he's got the big game slapping it for about half an hour to make my here blow like this which is beautiful and every time I look at him he stopped going no and then I would do the oh larry keep going and I look and I forget it's definitely go sometimes it's that moment where you know you have to just kind of make someone that makes someone sad like get them to tell his story because in that it's usually not while they're posing but it's while they're letting go that you kept to the best expression and I felt that that was the whole shoot with syria was it was such a great experience for me oh go ahead teo I was just going to say everybody in the chat rooms they're saying can we see the image is going to see the images you know I I feel beautiful no matter what my weight is nothing I feel beautiful but inside you know like I get what my physicality is and what my pages and all that I get that but I've always felt beautiful I have a beautiful mom my dad loves help you before my mother is I feel beautiful um I feel beautiful is a piss and uh but when you suddenly have your superficiality like you know I'm gonna be photographed how could I forget that I don't photograph the outside of people will photograph the inside of people you know? But all I keep thinking about was what I wasn't you know like oh, I wish I was younger I wish I'd done this ten years ago we show a slimmer I wish I was this that was just that I wish I'd be too close um and I remember thinking at the time that I just felt like I didn't want to be made a fool of and I didn't want to be embarrassed I didn't want to pay make a big deal out of myself, and I remember thinking I photographed this amazing personal trainer and new zealand, and just before he took the first photo, she said, stop, my greatest fear would be that I would feel incredibly beautiful and that you wouldn't be out of capture it, and when I see the photographs, I would be disappointed, and I remember thinking that would pay the ultimate description of what my clients experience, and what I experienced is that their ultimate fear is that you come into sea and the photographer whose ass has not delivered you have not got them to that place or seen that beauty or pulled that light, or somehow you haven't connected or delivered what you say you can deliver and that to me was how I feel. I think that is how I feel when I do any client I have to deliver, you don't always deliver, you know, there are days you just off when you don't deliver and, you know, win it to you, you suddenly understand the significance I keep saying this last year and a half go on, be photographed and then use thes images to market yourself. It's a photographer, because what did a story on your block and social media? Then I understand what this feels like, I've been saying that for so many years, if we foot every photographer I photograph and I photographed a lot of photographers I've seen used my images in your studio frame one on the wall credit me and say I understand what it's like to be photographed these in my portrait's use your own story to sell your own chutes because what an incredible experience exist in photographs for your children you know if you've got kids being them because one day you won't be there and they will be more priceless than anything you could even do I know this I've lived my life with this so I know that it's true and they know it and I understand it but until you do it it is really, really, really something you will avoid all right? So I feel like we're going to have a mob of people storming the studio if we look at the pictures are safe with fist once I really picked out that I love because and why I love them so this is what I do with my reveal a war but this is why they made me do this I now cell like this so the images of printed and ready to go um it means that the client can take them home the day they come and view them it has so much more impact I've done live in viewings since uh I decided to do the reveal wall and I've had a one hundred percent take home since I started doing it now, my students are doing it. Um nikki is shooting in my assistant nicky closer shooting in her own right. She did, who first revealed this week and she got a one hundred percent take home, doubled her sale. Marijuana is running her studio in hawaii. She went from a seven hundred dollars average to fourteen hundred dollars average overnight. And now it's going to push that higher again, she's now, during reveals and sales, I make them take the top five images off the wall and talk about them and I've bean filming the reveals because I want people to understand the impact of both printed images and seeing yourself like this not digitally, not clicking through, not delete, delete, delete how can you delete from there? It's not a delete that is, that is a take home experience, isn't it? So I got the idea from september issue of vogue I saw then create an entire issue for september on the wall on a light box, and I watched her and a wind tow walk up and tear away some fashion shoots and ruin the lives of some young photographers and, um, in one fell swoop, and I remember thinking imagine walking into a room and singing a wall of images that you just had taken, like a week before. So the questions are very standard. I put it on my blogged so in bed with sue dot com fort slash blob you'll find it's only a couple of weeks back. Um what happens if they don't buy anything that's the risk you take the mets a recyclable on the images can come out and either going a folio before and after folio or in the trash um what a waste of money if they don't spend well, what a huge bonus if they tripled their sale on or take home everything so that's the risk you take one hundred dollars for two thousand uh is that the odds that you play er on your own work uh the connection, the touching the tange ability, the feeling, the emotion and what I really love is the aspect of the reveal. So can I just be really candid? My very face, creative life? I'm craig's months and asked me to shoot the students and reveal the images and I said no because I like americans it's such an american thing to do kiwis would never do that like it would just be weird just not like that and it turned out to be the most incredible part of my workshop and people still to this day email may and go a year and a half ago I watched those women see their photographs for the first time and I thought, I want to do it for people and I just didn't understand our culture is so about dyp sit down and shut up and don't make a big deal out of yourself but you know what? I spent my high turned up making big deal myself way I remember from that first time being able to hear the students thoughts as they looked at their own pictures. So can you can you show us the pictures and then show us your share your thoughts about each one? Why you love it your thoughts? Yeah, I love her brits and mario testino in any benefits I think my entire business is based on the work of these photographers and that's what that feels like to me it's like it's, like being photographed by one of the greats soon to be very great uh I just think it's beautiful and it's feminine and I think I look curvy and peace and I love my hair so my makeup addis did my hair makeup say christine cabin thank you so much she did a beautiful job wearing red in this image, which is crazy. So when I was in my early twenties, I used to wear white all time read in black and that goes with my three colors and then suddenly whitened read just dropped away and, like became my my thing and I don't lack for twenty years I were black and they don't like people who look at may we're just tuesday is this color yet when I were rid I feel like a stop sign and everybody staring at me so it's the most crazy things and what was your choice in the wardrobe because I remember you gathered some clothes on the rack what was the reason behind you choosing knives I saw that this red dress online and it was forty dollars and I ordered it and I ordered it three weeks ago and I thought I hope it fits a and it just has a big scooping back in it just really beautiful now when I pulled it out I squeezed into it and it was so tight and I just felt so desperately I'm comfortable in it I see two larry you can take us sitting down shop from me on the front I'm only and she was like all right going to it and so I did it set down that walked off and it's amazing and I know better because I've been photographing women and dresses that don't half stitched on with nothing under them for twenty two years it was like everything I know I forgot and it makes me realize that if free shoot is a coaching session and every shoot is um just incredible this is my anthropology dress I look naked underneath which I love um, it is the sixth year stress you everywhere, it's, like I feel like I'm from mad men or something and it's such a classic super, I suppose, and I love it and I feel very, very, very, very classically beautiful in the shop. Wow, I love my witness, terry. Um I'm a cord. Ahmadi, my mother is french. My dad is money scottish money, so I'm a fourth generation kiwi. I look very much like a new zealand girls and I I have a very strong, you know, look that says who I am very proud of my culture, and I feel like this image makes me look like my cultural life. I like my mary knows, and I'm not smiling in any of it, just because way got my teeth fixed yet because I'm not my teeth out. So if anybody says wise and she's smiling, then that's, why I'll just have to do more when I get my teeth finished. I have been waiting six months for new teeth, so having bone grafts, I smile like that. Anyway, I don't always smile with my teeth, so I love this image, and I still think even though you're smiling and this still that kind of vulnerability, even with that makes mom, makes you laugh, but it's there's something about it that you chose me and I don't put my big scary time curvy girls unless they asked because you know it's not that flattering and I would never have worn one but when she showed me the picture without fanning out at the bottom my head too and I have to think margo because I photographed this beautiful woman and for my fifty plus campaign last week and she had this gorgeous velvet dress on and I said that's the dress I need for my show it and she said you could borrow it and she leaned it to me and it's so beautiful and it looked beautiful on here and she was like I can't wait for you to have a shot in it so I can block her image and my image so by side and how we both wore it and then she told me this story about how she found it at goodwill for four dollars I'm running a four dollar goodwill dress and I love you even more because I love building dresses from nothing and then these this is all signifies who I am I think this is probably the most incredible image then this that I can see there this look on my face I feel in this one this one of this one crazy expression I don't know I did that I didn't know I did that for lara and that was towards the end but I feel like you were kind of I mean, I I have the women in my culture a very proud to our detachment and I feel like that pride is there. I love that I think this one when I saw the photos and I was editing him, this one really moved me, actually, when I was to something about the eyes of some sadness there, but I'm glad that you picked that one. And I think if I was to have an image that was to signify mia's a photographer of women, it would be that because I just incredible oh my god it's just peaceful wake I throw up and I cried and today I threw up. I cried again. I just I'm in negative calories seriously, I don't know what to say. Thank you. Did you have one more night? That was the right one. And if you wanna get can you get a close up of the wall, the internet with love that and also large aid congratulations. Thank you. Well done on behalf of the internet for allowing me to give to photographing you. Uh, honestly, I can't the criminal bane anybody you just need to understand is photographers and people that there are so many incredibly talented people in this world and when I make them people like clara um I'm overwhelmed by not only the fact that they're incredibly talented but just incredibly genuine and nice and high like him I tickle her friend and you know, supporting our industry is far greater than tearing it down and on a what you do and pay for it so that you can you know, receive yourself two way would love to know is some of the details of the presentation here the way that you're doing the reveal the size of the images and then I know you talked about them adding a little bit but just details of how you present again size how you print them all those three images of seven by teen that's the smallest image on my price list and the reason that they're seven by ten inches because the met has been living by fourteen inches that's a perfect ratio the mets are celtics and for nao um they're the same folio box I sell teo um you know all my clients this won't work if you want larger portrait sales and if you're not selling a folio box for an album, however you'd be quite amazed at how you could still sell an entirely small collection as well as war portrait ce as well um is an upscale by simply creating a package, so if you were to show twenty images or thirty images and forty images in the package was twenty plus three war portrait then it stands to reason they would have tto half that and then choose the three top images for the war. There's more of a chance they'll take all twenty and three war portraits, then they will cut down or just take. And if they were, they would buy thirty or forty. But what is the most overwhelming thing is for twenty three, four years, nearly twenty five years, I've seen viewing clients and we used to click through a projector. We used to click through a computer, and then every night, every single time they go, can you put them all up at once? And the predicted never looks good. The computer never looks like prince to see a tangible print is one of the greatest things that you could give your clients, but I think the one thing is when women want something, they'll touch it. When you hold something, you own it and it's done, you give me your credit card and you could walk out the door with your images right now and it's the cost ofthe getting thirty prince down. So too may it is like the ultimate. What are the questions around the reveal? Because I feel like it just couldn't be bit out here in the studio, did he use the same one for all the shots? Thirty five um I used to fit thirty five and females they wanted wanted to get slightly wider to give myself in space it was a thirty five which was committed by you t like me slimmer so I said to her most of my clearly clients I'll shoot on thirty five mil but right about halfway through the black dress shot she went I'm gonna go back to the fifty so how for those of thirty five would say because you keep swapping back again so you with that really fireman then you went fifty and you actually can't tell um there's not too much distortion but I use a distortion but you could maybe use a thirty five mil for models or a lean frame but I'm for could be teo you know kirby to kirby are definitely so she was kind between the day there was some passion I forget the name who wanted to know why the thirty five because it seems the opposite you think of distortion and you think of making things look bigger so why are you using a thirty five to distort people to make them look slimmer? How does that work? Interestingly enough it does it makes the face bigger and it makes the background um perspective narrow uh so it bobbleheads you and when you've got a curvy body if you use it correctly so you can shoot lower in the fashion poses so larrys small but I can make her look wide if I shoot here low on a flat angle and so when you get a cootie buddy or really curvy girls, you can shoot lower on a fashion style angle which is just below the eye line so it looks more fashion than portrait but you used the distortion of the thirty five to push the faith board and the booty back so it just evens out beautifully although when she changed out to the fifty she was like you didn't need the city five and he didn't and you know I probably did to a certain degree but you know you'll see it when you see the live video, you better watch the whole thing you can see where she swapped the way she comes back and tries to thirty five because I know you were back in forty talked quite a line and are you the paper that they're printed on? Is this final paper? Is it anything special? These were printed in my studio by nikki, who went up there this morning while I was on seat. When I was leaving my house at seven o'clock she was chaining up with the hard drive and she was like a sea saying there she printed them at my place, the paper stock that I'm using and I'm using the cannon pro one serious printer and I'm using the cannon um, paper stock, now, I am not going to be printing my reveals any more. I wanted to do the first thirteen or twenty, so I could have a really super fast turnaround time, but I now realize it's not something I want to do in my studio. However, a lot of my photography friends have the big cannons, and the big print is the big hits and printers, and they have staff and everything in a big setup where they print their own work and they're all doing it, but I'm not, so I just feel like I need all of my strengths empower to go where I'm at my strongest and they're shooting, and I think my team need to be shooting a marketing I don't think they need to be printing. I'm quite happy to pay for my printing, so I did by the pro one, um, and it's been great, but I want teo outsource that I don't want to do it. I don't this personal choice, we have one more question. Oh, it's making me really excited for your fifty plus campaign, I think many women are going to feel and enjoy it and be able to shed what you did in this yeah, you are likely to see it is ko, and I feel like I, um you know, when I was twenty two I used to photograph fifty year old woman that came to the studio with the same energy that I probably came to lara uh women and fifty plastic could be quite a suited and at twenty two they would just walk all over me and I didn't understand that it was cliff a felt uncomfortable all they felt vulnerable I just thought they were bitches or you know, bossy or rude and I was young you know, like I kid and it wasn't until I started to get into my ladies and I put on quite a lot of white I realized how you feel and I thought no, these women they're not both e they just feel vulnerable and so I realized what I had to do was take control of them and be assertive and in order to do that to an older woman when you're younger, you just have to have a certain amount of maturity and a sort of quality and also you have to have confidence because, you know, walk alive and as I got older through my forties I realized how many photographers there are that older as well and the most incredible thing about that is they have the biggest demographic in the world and there the wealthiest demographic in the world they're the most unmarked in two demographic in the world on when you take control of them they will blow your mind and now I feel like I'm old enough to not only educate them about this experience but I'm also old enough to show them that I'm close enough you know I'm forty two I'm getting close enough to know to show them how incredible that experiences yeah and I want to change the relationship that I have with myself I wanna change the conversation with the relationship we have with ourselves and I feel like that campaign is going to rock and I wanted to be an international campaign I want all photographers to benefit from it I want women to exist in photographs for themselves and for their children I will them to celebrate themselves every year of their life and I want to create videos, interviews and campaigns that show people how incredible it is to grow up grow old and be beautiful so I have ah maybe a final question for you and that was from by chance who said after this experience what is going to change for you in the experiences that you give to your clients or is there anything from experiencing that that will change the way you shoot? I would have thought not but I'm actually quite um shocked at how much I feel like every single image there could be a marketing campaign to mei for every woman that I could possibly photograph I feel like um I forget how important what I do is beautiful in valuing it, you know, it just don't value what you give people. You have any final thoughts on the experience of this shoot from laura with experience of having had the shoot from c I. I'm just so glad that she loves the images, and they touched her as much as I hoped they would, um, just it is overwhelming, because obviously this isn't my area photography, so I put a certain amount of vulnerability on the line from my side, so, yeah, I'm just very, very exciting way have done. Actually, there was one more question and sue what's gonna be your new facebook? How many images of their big forty? Forty? Well, I don't want to wait for the thing she aged about, haven't I? Oh, my goodness, that was kind of a joke. You have t o find out.