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Experimental Portraits

Lesson 4 of 30

Shoot: Ballerina Look

Sue Bryce, Lara Jade

Experimental Portraits

Sue Bryce, Lara Jade

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Lesson Info

4. Shoot: Ballerina Look

Lesson Info

Shoot: Ballerina Look

I first want to introduce you to two people that have been set. Felix is a really great photographer himself do you want to introduce? Actually, I'll say he's assisted some of the world top photography is he has a lot of assistant assistant experience as per se, but maybe you introduce a little bit more about what you know about. Yeah, laura and I have been working together for about three years, three years, and we've done it's oil, commercial jobs, fashion shoots, london, new york everywhere, and we always seem to be doing something crazy around the world on dh over the years we've worked together, and I've kind of got a good idea of what lara wants and really been able to learn a lot about how to interpret her vision. So I kind of came to the creative life guys and said, you know, I'm happy people was asked me about these behind this thing behind the scenes things that we do little adjustments, things that I know lara's also looking at and the things that I can also see from the mon...

itor screen while she's shooting. So I'm kind of going to try to verbalize a lot of those things and give a re ally idea ofwhat happens behind? Yeah, because this is what would happen on set a lot of fashion photographers and a lot of photographers himself they're purely focused on the shoot at hand. They have a digital assistant who would work on the computer on the tethered there'll be processing images and there's like a light and assistant who is there to do and they're not there to duel the lighting and do things for you they're there to translate what you want into the light. So for me, if I was on set with felix, felix knows my life anything but say he didn't know, you know, I would tell him, okay, this is a diagram or this is what I'm after and shame reference this is this is what we need to replicate, and we would talk about that, and he would then start to understand, so you'll see that today on set, I'll be working on set with thing and I'll get him to move things and he may also come in and say, what about this and that's? What makes a good photo assistant as well? And you have pdf that you're going to be a way we wanted to throw it out there that we want we want to get the most, you know, the questions that you asked about what assisting lighting, what are we doing with the light meter? It is a light nieto, how do these you know, how did these lights actually work? Is that magic and on dh I'll put together a pdf that gets down there that you can download with the resource is at the end that has I want to get some questions from you guys as this goes so basically what we want you guys to do out there is jump into the chat rooms in the creative cues room and make sure to note in your question that it is for felix you can say like assisting question and we're going to take the best questions and felix is very, very generously offered to write up the answers to many of those questions as many as we can get and so go into the chat room and ask those questions make sure to note that they are assisting questions for felix and we will collect them and the and the pdf will be posted later this week and one more thing before we get started is felix, where can we all find you in your work online? So my twitter instagram handles at felix coons that's f e l I x k you and they e remember say z not said on dh my website is felix kun's dot com right thank you, thank you on the second person I'd looked into juice is a beautiful aaron a mean aaron have what together you probably remember her from my last creative live in new york and she did an amazing job and she's going to be styling all of my chutes today, and I picked her because she really gets my star. She pulls vintage, he pulls designers, we really have the same kind of idea and visual thing this policy do you want to talk a bit? Yeah, quickly because they were going to go with styling tomorrow about what you do, what you kind of sore from today, and also about the pdf that you're going to be given away as well. S so, yes, I worked with laura lot it's been about two years, and we've produced so many amazing shoots that really proud of I consistently think about laura every time I'm out, I'm always at a store thinking, oh, horrible like this, so maybe I should get it and bring it along on the next shoot and possibly based ah, whole shoot around it. S so I really I think it's, really important for a stylist to work closely with the photographer to create one big vision were constantly going back and forth before a shoot. I'll send her a lot of looks ask her for input is, does she like this dress? How does she feel? Little photograph and we went ventured shopping the other day, which was great, so it was nice to have both minds together on one, because s o I'm sure a lot of people have questions for you, but that's why aaron is also going to be giving us a pdf if you buy the course you can get all of those questions that people asked about stylist is while city wanted let's talk about that kind of things that you would yeah, I constantly get emails from people in college people out of college, people making a life change, and they all want to know how I got into the business, where I get the amazing clothing from and I'll answer those questions and many others in the pdf. Well, thank you so much again, no problem, and felix, if you need thio, communicate with me as well. My twitter instagram handle is aaron o'keefe five like the number e r I n o k e five and my website is aaron o'keefe style dot com and I'll field your questions thank thank you, thank you. So I would love to introduce you to the set right now, so this is actually all model alexis, if you want to just stand out here and actually I just found out she's, a ballerina, as far so it's perfect, I didn't know that when we cast her, but I cast because she's a beautiful at the real look for this what I want to do is just talk a bit more about the technicalities before we kind of jumped into the set here so bronco of actually kindly supplied us with this lighting kit the actual ease at home it's the sense oh, a kid we're not going to be using the strobe today because I want to show you how easy it is to just use the continuous light source and the modeling light is perfect for that I know photographers like proble river seeing a lot of natural light photographers favor continuous light if they don't have the the natural light coming in from like a window source outside so what we've got is we've got the model in light on full power right that's on the full prop we've got it on a boom stand here with the arm kind of coming out and I'm going to be adjusting this I'm going to shoot a kind of experiment because when I come into something like this I don't necessarily know I have an idea of what I want to know, which is I know I want it to be quite soft but I don't know exactly where I want the light off or until I start playing around with that so as I go I'm gonna be explaining why I moved things what that is and felix if you could just pass me the camera okay, so I'm using here, my cannon five d mark three I have a fifty mil lens fifty mil, one point two fifty mil, one point eight or one point for us also equally as good I have this for quality purposes, what I'm doing with the settings right now for this and this is just a general setting from what I'm telling you because I don't meet her and the reason for that is I've learned to use natural light I didn't meet him when I did natural when I'm in the studio and we have digital and it's so easy to meet it on camera it's not like we need to use film and we've got to meet her and exactly that's it. I know exactly from experience what kind of generalized setting would be for this? And then I meet her an experiment and that's what I did for natural light shoots the studio shoots and it's okay for people to do that you don't need to go out and get expensive light meter unless obviously went to and there's no right or wrong way in that as well. So for a general setting, I'm going be adjusting this, but I just want to kind of throw something at you so you understand that my ire so for a natural light scenario would be between four to eight hundred and that is to let a cz much sliding as possible, we haven't got a huge light source is not a lot of power in this light is kind of a warm light, so by pumping up the I s o two, four, two, eight hundred we can then and the reason for that, might I add, is that the aperture I want? Lo? I really want something soft, so by having the opportunity so and having the should've speed quite lois, well, my I s so goes up to compensate for that and the other thing, I would do my white balance, because this is a warm light it's set to the wool setting, and that makes this cooler on the preview, and we'll shoot in role, so you can always just that after a swell. So what I'm going to do is actually, I'm first going to tell you about this setup and why I've got that, because I know a few people ask about that there's always a lot to remember when we first set up, so I've got this backdrop from the proper room actually was funny because I came in with a general idea of what I wanted. I went into the problem and found this great homemade texture that drop and what was great about this is it's just really simple it's, almost like a metallic kind of its something that photographers like liebovitz or probably reverse e and I haven't elephant backdrop myself she makes them for any of this but I am drawn to the text you back jobs because when you photographed him with stuff like or strobe it's always very different you can pull a model off them it's a different text you can shoot wide and just get a softer texture. So when I do things like this, this could be made from a simple polly board. It can be made from a b flat, which you can get from an installation d I y store like home depot and it's in the installation section. I know c mentioned that on one of the previous courses and there's, also a website online, could set shop dot com, which is where I got my and the kind of expensive, but what I wanted to mention is they have a really great video on how to make the corner and how to take them together as well. So that really helped me, which I have in my studio, and then reason that was set shop that shot dot com ic the and we have this white v flat on the side on the corner because that is reflecting some of this light here back onto him, we don't want a lot of shadow with this, we wanted to bounce some of this light back onto her face now if we had it the other way and we had the black side that would enhance the shadow through my studio I have the corners white and I have the corners black on what's great about that even if I was shooting on a white background by having the black on each side we would have the outline around the body would bring the model off the background which would add death always have the white to kind of fill it almost like a light, so we have a lot of reflection back so as well as using light v flats justice important in the studio and can enhance a lot as well as you see with suze work and as you see with mine as well. So this is where felix would pop in because he would be the technical guy in a sheet. So if I said, hey felix, this is my concept this is my mood board, as I showed earlier, I want this stuff like this is who I'm inspired by I would give that to him obviously I need to know what to do he is not there to have my back and I'm just relying on him because you need to know to translate that so he is here to kind of go over that so when I showed you this and I let you set this up today what did he do in why? Wei, I know from having one with you in the past. You can you like this really soft light? So that's what we conceptualized together? Yeah, for this one of the things we did to achieve a soft light. This is a five foot octa box it's very large it's a beautiful soft light source. Usually they have another diffusion club sides. Good point. We took it out because the the modeling lamp the bulb isn't that strong. We wanted more like to come, but we talked about earlier wasn't too strong and we're already going quite high open I esso n low on our aperture and shutter speed where we want as much less diffusion as possible with them. Exactly. So when we go back to the flash, will put that back in to make it softer against the flashes can be quite harsh on the the white board here on the side I know if you can see it it's it's actually to phone call boards like lara mentioned where you can get that simply tape together, very easy to make and it's beautiful also for using with this kind of simulated natural light set up that we have here and, you know, it's, a lot of portrait photography is eve used we'll have bees in a way always learn how to simulate this kind of natural light idea and one of the tips is just think off the light as if it's a window and that that is it was a breakthrough for me and just learning about light and you know, you see all these beautiful light setups or just lighting situations when you're out and about through a window you could actually replicate that by using artificial light yeah, we've just a quick question for laura when you know you said that as you're looking for models you were looking for someone kind of ethereal so what is your process for finding a model for one of these conceptual shoots? Yeah, well, first of all it really depends on the theme, so for this I'm looking for somebody that well, obviously I've looked for a reference before this and visual reference and I can see that usually that kind of stall and that's certain type of model that certain totally works for that theme now when I was casting for this I was given a lot of model packages and I was set on alexis because of the one sickle look her beautiful thick eyebrows have symmetrical face I wanted the hair quite wispy and light, so I was looking for all these elements for that if you wanted in the beginning when I did photography, I reduce friends for portrait photography and conceptual photography, then I started working with models such as models on model mayhem and cast in that way, and now, with the model agencies, I go free the agents and kind of cast from that as well. So there's many different ways of getting people, and I think starting off with your friends is most important to build a portfolio to get to the next step as well. Definitely. And, aaron, do you want to start? You're talking about about how you conceptualized. So lauren, I discussed the chute ad nauseum, of course, and we decided on ballet theme and when I'm styling fashion photography, it's important not to get too literal. So she's, obviously wearing ballet slippers with ribbons, not the way that an actual ballerina performing would wear it, but this is the key element. Teo tell the person who's looking at the picture that this is a ballet shoot. Now the rest of the look does not have to be literal. So we have this dress, which is obviously not a ballet costume and a criminal in which is also not a ballet costume, but the sheep ends. The coloring really gives it a feel for a ballet, but with a twist, it's important not to get too set in the theme. It's also hard with a pool mature for a conceptual thing, it's more like a test so it will be aaron would need what's called a pole letter and a whole letter it's from a magazine that enables her to go out and lend clothes from showrooms, piers and designers and they give her like a liability. So you're responsible for those clothes now for a test. We're not doing it for a magazine and we're not doing it for a publication, so she has to source from her contacts in her reputation with people, don't you? Yeah, this is where reputation really comes into play. Yeah, I borrowed all of the clothing here and I have to schmooze with the pr people and burying a lead butter them off, and I'm constantly sending thank you cards and just treating their garments with care they don't want to lend to me if I send things about crumpled in a ball, so because of my relationship with people, we've got this beautiful dress from thehe they specialize in gorgeous, gorgeous gowns and short dresses, and I think that this shorts short one really works with mellie theme I think that the coloring is good and the texture and I know that lauren I love to shoot with texture so that's another reason why I chose this dress okay, okay, way are ready to go all right, so I'm going to start and again with those settings, I'm just going to remind you and then talk about changing them. I am at one sixty shutter speed f, too, because I want the softness we've got quite a soft light coming in here, and it also goes along with the theme and my eyes so it's quite high up four hundred and again because I'm using not a strong light source that works for this and then the white balance is set to bull because of the temperature of the light as well, okay, so I could just show up, so I'm just gonna meet this while you guys do that. We're not one other thing. We've actually put the light not directly facing the model it's coming the skimming just in front of her that again gives it a bit of softness it you know that fed that it's called and they can have they can end up having like a hot spot and you get like a hot spot on the skin and if you don't point it directly at them, you khun mostly minimize that and I just want to talk about the benefit of having the stand with the arm and that's because general stand there also not, you know, if you want something that's quite heavy on their they're not great at holding a lot of weight for one and also you can really get in at higher angles with using an arm and also, you know, it's coming overhead rather than having like the stand underneath, so a good way of using this would be to have the light kind of coming over the top of the model if you wanted a backlight and then having a light up front so it's always important to think about getting a c stand or roll in stand with the broom arm on top as well if you're into this kind of photography that enables you to angle it down slightly, which is seems you have a normal stand, you can't yeah, it hits the stands as soon as they hear also mimics just kind of daylight, it never comes. Yeah, because we're always trying to think of the way light is like the sun the weight would move the way it's angled down at the model and for this I like it kind of down, especially portrait light I think it's important to kind of replicate the way in which old artists would replicate the window light coming through when they were paint people so that's the way I'm always I see it and that kind of comes into play in the way we would process images to make them look like a painting we want to start first of the basics of lighting it in the right way so that when we process it, we can also make it look like a painting as well. So I'm going to go ahead and start shooting with this and then kind of explained to you why I'm leaving things, how imposed and what I'm looking for, and if it's any questions from there or from you guys in the studio audience, I'd be happy to take them all right, elektra. So we're just going to start straight on for me and for this, I want all the poses to be kind of soft, so because you are a ballerina, you understand the ballet hand really well. So whenever imposing people, especially in this thing and what's perfect about this is it's a perfect excuse for me to use the ballet hand, which I love, which is soft hands, pointed fingers elegant kind of poses around the shoulders. So I'm going to start posing her and you can kind of follow the way the idea if we start straight on and commedia cross our t's here and just open your mouth just slightly and I do that just to relax the model a little bit instead of it looking too forced a swell, okay, beautiful, okay. On what I'm looking for when I'm doing a straight on shot symmetry so I'm giving myself a bit of space around the model here and you can start to see when the images come through the kind of space I'm given I always give a bit of space at the top a little bit of the site and we don't have a lot of room on here this could be a wall in your apartment or a wall outside you don't need a lot of space to do these kind of shoots or if you like soo and I with photo shot, you can extend the war and put in different elements as well beautiful and if you could just time slightly to the side and then hand yet great so if you notice her hands always pointed just like you don't want this this you don't want claw hand do you want a soft and if it's not working, just get them to shake it out as well? Beautiful and if you come straight on to me again and just kind of cross that leg over yep that's it and if I get the leg and that just kind of gives him more elegant kind of leg the bottom instead of it being a stunt like that so whenever I'm shooting like a full length I always kind of want the cross kind of posture and everything peter and I just want to show the difference of the light if we move it back, so if we move this back, just wage a slightly will have it so by moving it back this way and move the head of the light gray yet so it's a little more feathered, so this is a little more feathers, so the falloff is the little less, which means it's not as contrasted, and for this I'm all about the softness, so I would start out on something I would think I'm keeping the same settings right now and then I'm coming in and experimenting again, a lot of spreading the light for full length shots that's what we and you'll notice my manual focus and the reason is because I've lent and a lot of people asking this before I learned to manual focus because originally it had a broken lens and I was so sick of the lens kind of zooming in and out, so I begin to trust my eye to use this, and I always focus in on the I locking in the eye and then leave and you'll hear it click when I leave it as well, and I have my center of focus in the center. Around then, that's why I could lock in on the I move and you'll notice I do that a lot. So for this it's a very shallow depth of field it's very easy to miss. So when I'm doing things like this, I shoot a lot of pictures because it's very easy to get one that's out of focus, and I like that it's very shallow because this is the kind of theme would get it's very soft, it's very thrilled as well. Beautiful, um, right now, um, felix, do you want to explain the height of the light and why we have this? And then I'll go into one of the questions is how do we determine the height of the light? And we always looking actually at the I came, how deep is that a cave? Because sometimes the brows and create a shadow battles usually, you know, alive and awake and it's fine, so we've we've done because this is a fairly bright shoot is created a fairly large catch light in the eyes, and you'll see that come up on the screens as well. So we're just making sure that a lot of the light catches the eyes you khun bring it up to create a moody a effect or down to create even cleaner image. When we were talking about earlier and engaging the audience with that eye contact in the emotion that's something I have in my study work you always see that there's an engagement with eyes as well so this is a great way and you could also and we do this a lot with when I'm on set we pump in a circular reflector about here and this would bounce back the catch light of the silver into the ias well, so if you are missing some of that because your lights quite high having a silver reflective bounce that light backup and achieve catch light in the eye it's a really good way of doing that yeah, you might even see me kind of moving this up and down slightly as the model's face is dipping forward and back just to make sure we have that consistent obviously if we made her fit or we kind of extended her we wouldn't move the light to adjust that as well so I'd love to go in and stop posing again and kind of explaining that and then from that all right, alexa so we'll start straight on again and I'm bringing her off the background just slightly to add a bit of depth as well if you just slightly go that way see you in the center great and if we start with the crossed arms kind of yeah, just very delicate with hands beautiful and you'll start to see when they come fruit that I'm giving myself a gap around the edge and it's good because not a lot of us have the opportunity to have these big sets and have these big campus background so this could be a wall and you got in it could be anything you have around the house it could be a backdrop you pain mostly said earlier about the bee flies even spray painting a kind of adams and text you to one of these is perfect for that and the light always hits it differently in natural and in strive as well okay beautiful and it just try some with the hands down maybe across on I'm kind of over so we're looking for those soft poses we're not looking for angles we're looking for stuff to we're looking for movement so a lot of models and you'll notice she's very good at pose and she gives me something and I like that but if she doesn't give me everything I need to kind of give you what I want for it to be my stylist well so for me I'm kind of feeding off what she gives me and then make him suggestions as well all right and just be more delicate with the straight arm just kind of always a little bit yet beautiful can you turn this way towards the light kind of your hand yet great and with pythons up beautiful alexa and I know that about the focus a few of you are wondering why is it that? How can you focus in such a short, shallow depth of field? And what I say is I go in and I focus on the eyes, and as I said before, I lock in and I've got my center point of focus, so in the focus in thing here I have it in the very center I lock in half, click the shutter, and then I move if I've gotta move it a swell and then like that's, why I take a lot of shots, because even if I'm shooting outside and I'm shooting through foliage or leaves, I'm shooting a lot, and this is why I'm manual focus, because I'll move it just slightly each time because you don't want to miss it. But you also want the beautiful softness as well, but it does come with cem risking challenges, which is why you shoot a lot with it. And even when we were shooting the campaign with meilin, we were shooting with crystals in front of the lens on some shots. It doesn't work, but the client knows that that will eventually get it, and they said, keep pushing through it, we'll get that shot in the end and along those lines would be one, two, three, four, five do you shoot looking for the shot or do you shoot and then choose later in post is it something where you're like okay, I've got the only shot that I need and then you're moving on no, I think I kind of I know I've got it in camera sometimes I get surprises afterwards and I'm like I overlooked something but I usually know when I'm shooting because the thing is I shoot eight to ten outfits if I'm doing an editorial and I have to know when I've got the outfit I can't miss that designer that design if aaron pulled that that's her reputation I've got to get that designer in so when I'm doing this and I'm looking for this kind of outfit and sorry what was the question again I kind of get too involved in history hit him like actually just whether you are looking and you get the shot and then move on or whether you take a lot and then find the one you want in post yeah I think when we shooting with shallot it for few days but we do a lot but I'm also moving her around and when once I know I've got it I know and that's just becoming training my eye to understand what works and what doesn't as well and you'll get to know that the more sheet she do, the more challenges she said you'll understand that too okay all right and can I just get you to keep your legs quite still if you put them kind of straight like this yet beautiful and what I'm trying to get from this is a little bit of emotion because this is a conceptual portrait I'm obviously sears a fashion photographer but I want her expression I want the emotion the kind of like a shy pose would be the kind of have a chin down kind of hide in kind of withdrawing away so I'm trying to think of ways that I can express emotion with this so that's why I'm having a kind of turn away to the side right now beautiful are you like me to get some more light on the legs just because your mom along yes actually that would be great and these are suggesting to the assistance made that sometimes you're so involved in this and capturing this and focusing on the depth of field that you need somebody to be able to see this for you so always even at the start get yourself somebody that's a willing assistant that can work alongside you because you always need an extra pair of eyes for this kind of thing as well so I'm just looking here for the skin under the scary yeah see you start to light up a little bit and you you just literally do it visually and it does the cameras cameras really sensitive to these small changes take a little step back again it's very yeah there we go perfect kind of leaned down into rome and yet beautiful great and then more straight on for me unlike that kind of cross in your arm but very delicate they're not too squeezed in just kind of loosened your alfa is yep beautiful and it just cross your leg over again kind of leaning to your leg great. So you notice I often do the poses myself for the models to mirror as well because it's often better than going just move you away because the model good this way this way this way and you'll be like no so I always kind of just mirror it and that helps me is well, that helps me understand okay, that poses like a mental kind of thing oh, I know what to do and show the model for that too photographers yoga yeah looking down is beautiful, okay and just a few more looking down as well. Great became beautiful, alexa and can you try that? But towards the light as well just switch on to mirror that. Yep, great. And if you don't have lights, you can do this with pure window light as well just having a window here text you back drop that you've made and just kind of having that higher so like sue would shoot and it just was nice with the softness and shoot on a wide up it's just that you don't have to have all of this equipment and I think that's the problem is people try to over complicate it and think and I do know I've got this sorted all this equipment I'm like all good I should learn how to put the re different lights in this set up and then at the end of the shoot I'm like this doesn't work for me what am I trying to do? And then I go back to using natural light and I really appreciate the simplicity of everything and how beautiful and image can be from just what's in front of the camera beautiful and just kind of cross your leg over that side again great chin down just slightly beautiful and again here we're just catching a little bit of the light that count that's coming from from this just to give that tiny little bit of highlight and you notice a few of them was coming for a kind of blood but I don't mind that because I'm trying to push through and get it so that there's a little bit of sharpness there but because it's a final image I don't want it super sharp hey and just take a small step back yet that's it and lean more into body so the skirt kind of goes up this way that's great beautiful on yep. Looking to your shoulder that's. Great. And this is what you need on set. You need this kind of aya's. Well, so as long as I've got, felix is eye on set as the lighting to make it easy for me of you got my hair and makeup and I've got aaron, who sees things like, you know, the ribbons have been down on their leg like this, and a good stylist will jump in and have that. And if you haven't got that to start with, even just having your assistant is your extra pair of eyes looking for the outfit changes looking for the hair that's come out, maybe a bit of makeup that's full and as well, because you're going to be focusing purely on what's going on here and you're not going to see everything else and just put your head into yet beautiful. Yeah, it looks really great elixir just a few more straight on this. Well, yeah, kind of a little bit back towards the thing and I'm just going to feather this a little bit more if we just bring it back slightly. So there's less fall on her great, just the tiniest, they're probably a little bit more, yeah. And then if you could actually bounce this back so we could kind of demonstrate how we could get that catch later really wanted yet so what we've done now is we've moved it back so there's not as much contrast did it the light for lau is like that doctor is here the light fallout is a little bit less there's less contrast and we've added a circular reflector on the silver side which is picking up this light and then bounce him back and giving her, um the reflection and bringing her off the background a bit and lighting in this side and if we put it flat, he was put it flat for me so we can kind of demonstrate the eye yet you kind of say this is a really good beauty light, so if he wanted to do and life's crop hey with beauty, I'm just going to demonstrate that as well and again because we're not doing it so directly it doesn't come out as harsh it's really nice and soft this way yeah, just cross your arms again yeah and put your facing to the side so I just wanted to demonstrate that that's not exactly what I wanted for this, but I just wanted to quickly show you what that would do the oh yeah and if it was up there, you can kind of see how it just brings this side off the back and lightens the side of the face is well ok, just pull it back just slightly because you could pull it from here yet that said, yeah, great and while the white off the b flat here is bouncing very softly, the silver is much stronger so you can control it more directly see what I'm doing is I'm moving myself on every shot I'm never stationed me I'm never click click click click click the model moves I move if the models not movin and I did this with cs today we were talking about we change it up changing even just give me anything because I want to see that development in the pictures were not going to get it straight away we're going to do it we're going to see the final image in about image a hundred of probably a set of two hundred so we've been the middle ok hey just a few more just cross your leg again over elegant yet beautiful and if you put your hands I just straight what kind of lean your shoulders back yet beautiful and then just crossing again kind of leaning into your shoulder that's great and I'm looking for angles more than anything I don't want it to be two straight the stresses elegant it's six hours it's gotta shape itself so I'm looking for ways to with shoulders so whenever I'm doing conceptual work, it is like so all about the hands and the placement in the emotion and relax it's in the mouth and about the way the hair and makeup kind of compliments too beautiful yeah, just relax that's turned great I'm adjusting this ever so slightly as the model moves her face as well just to make sure that all right, I'm just going to take a female because I'm kind of seem I'm happy with what I've got here and then we're going to change the outfit and then come back just take a small step this way see you in the center again great and even if you move yourself because the light changes with that so if I'm here it's different from here it's different if I'm here, I'll show you that right now the further you move away from the light the more contrast to get that's beautiful like safety more if that lean into your arms and chain up and slightly to the side chin down sorry slightly up yet that's a great when I get a bit of the ribbon at the button re beautiful that's it more into your shoulder, a little bit of emotion just kind of with your eyebrows just kind of relax your eyes just a little bit yet like a bit of sadness that yet great decisions about what you can all right, I think we got it. Thank you alright were going to change this outfit into the next one because if I was doing a look like this because editorial, I'd have eight to ten different outfits, but I'm just going to show you two different outfits for this. We're going to meet the next theme and the same gatsby as well, all right, so while erin is changing her quickly and we would love to ask you some questions while she is changing, we're gonna have people go ahead just moved behind us where we're moving fast today. Uh, we're gonna ask you, first of all, let's see, archie wants to know, can laura explain what she was going for with this chute? So you're taking these original images? What are your thoughts as you're doing composite in, you're gonna put around different than what you're what you're fighting for all of my chutes I'm doing, I'm just doing a lot of textures and overlays because that's something I do, even with my fashion work today, I'm doing a lot of using those textures that you saw that I'm going to give you guys too to put over, change the color almost to make it look like it was took on like an old film camera, said that's what I'm all about, I want to make a really cinematic beautiful portrait things that win awards things that people really engaged to that you know actors, dances all these people we'll engage too but it has to have an idea obviously my fashion photographer but for this I saw ballerina had that in mind I wanted to do something sad, something beautiful, something you know, that's why I kind of brought aaron in to kind of bring the styling together and I chose this backdrop as well, so I'm using kind of like colder elements so I see the background is kind of code with gold why that's? Why I chose that the hair is wispy that makeup is very dewey on the skin so it has got that kind of ice and we were talking about elements with sue and for me that is kind of more a nice a cold, a kind of look which I'll then process into like a coda kind of field with the retouching a swell fantastic and actually that brings up your fashion work adrian far who's a regular we love in england wants to know are there issues with using textures in your fashion work our magazines a bit funny about it? Do they not like it? That's a really good question because I have I actually have the one picture in my portfolio where it's got the girl with the flower pink flower that has a slight text to run it and when I actually put some photos on a block before and everyone said this isn't fashion, this it's photo manipulation, and it was crazy because, yes, sometimes people don't do textures in that, but if then you looking things like w in v magazine and there is over ways of paint, and I think fashion is such a playground that you can do so many different types of things with the clothes with the processing with the textures. I don't think it's a problem as long as it looks professional. Well, another great question. Well, first of all, do we have any questions in the studio when you're posing are someone who maybe isn't a month and you get that person that does the vacant, I think, yeah, you can't quite get across. Yeah, then how to engage with the camera specially using, you know, family and friends or some random person you see on the street, any kind of tips you can give us and how to help them engage with the camera and get across so first and foremost, I think you might need to make the subject feel very comfortable and that's even meeting them before it's, either at the start of the shoot, talking with them, having coffee with them, getting what they want from the shooting, kind of sharing your ideas it's about I think that music really helps some set something that they like and they can engage too I think that the catch like this specially you have to get even with somebody that's not used to modeling because as soon as you add a catch light and means we were talking earlier and yesterday about twinkle in the eye as soon as you get that that's already a connection and then you just need the emotion from it and the emotion will come as you go aswell so as long as they feel comfortable they're letting go and like feeling more relax things like relax in the mouth so not like it's more like just a little bit of a relaxed at the mouth like kind of just get them to shake it out every movement I get like even see yesterday we just changed it up even if it was something she felt silly doing I was like just change it up because you'll start to see if they give you different poses then you'll be like, okay, that really works for you and sometimes certain things work for people and sometimes they don't and you don't know that until they're in front of the cameras well so you just need to put all these elements into play and then all of a sudden all kind of come together as well model is almost ready but let's take one more quick question you were using a bit of a reflector today on set, and I noticed on your facebook page you did a vintage lingerie shoot yellow doors yet and you brought you explained your lighting setup and you did a scrim, and yet a couple of lights are you starting to incorporate, bringing more reflectors and lights to your natural ating is definitely and I think mainly on commercial work because they want to see the detail in the clothes, so I can't be too soft. So when we are on safer that shoe, when we were out on location at the mention clients push you to shoot all day, and we hate us photographers shooting in natural light midday, because if they're over the sun being quite high in the sky and it being the ugly kind of shadow on the face, so scram enables us to soften that and a scram is simply a frame. Oh yeah, there we go so I can show you, and I've just added this to my kit, which is the centrepiece, and they are kind of expensive, but you could make something like this with a piece of canvas is, well, a piece of cloth and it's simply a frame which, if diffuser cloth over the thing, you can use this with lights, a lot of photography, izzy's thiss teo, even further diffuse and put this on a frame. You can use this with natural light. You can have, you have the frame, so you can kind of angle. This is, well, right. I sometimes she's, like just straight through it to get soft, big light source outside. A lot of factors make these. Yeah, there was one thing to say, but I know that I always have been.

Class Description

Bring your most imaginative ideas to life with Lara Jade and Sue Bryce's dynamic workshop on illustrative portraiture. This course will stimulate your creative senses and show you how to produce magnificent conceptual fine art portraits.

Lara Jade started her own lucrative career as an international fashion photographer by doing experimental self portraits, fine art and book covers. Sue Bryce is a multi award-winning Illustrative portrait photographer who specializes in creating beautiful images that look straight out of a fashion editorial. 

Lara and Sue will break down every step of their process — everything from scouting for creative props and settings to styling and shooting your portrait. Finally, this dream team will bring all the elements together in Photoshop and show you how to polish your raw photos into pieces of art that reflect your own unique imagination.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Sues Textures


Lara Jade Textures

Lara Jade Textures for PC

QA Erin OKeefe Stylist

QA Felix Kunze Assisting and Lighting

Sue Bryce and Lara Jade Lighting Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



This was my first Creative Live course and I thoroughly LOVED it! While contemplating purchasing the course, I was a bit weary because some of the reviewers commented on how they wished they could have seen Sue Bryce give more in depth information about one of her projects, but there is SO MUCH information that is packed into this class. I LOVE Lara Jade and her work is amazing. The enthusiasm that both instructors bring to the class, their eagerness to share their workflow and wonderful retouching methods are worth every penny and then some. Going into the class, I already was familiar with Lara's beautiful fashion photography and really wanted to know her trade secrets so for me this was everything I needed. For me, the bonus feature was getting an insight into Sue's wonderful mind and how she conceptualizes, photographs and retouches her amazing portraits! Wow, I learned so much and I HIGHLY recommend these ladies and this course. Creative Live just one more thing... please, more LARA JADE courses!!

Kristen Clapham Photography

SO glad I bought this one...!!! Check out Day 2 - "the gospel according to Sue Bryce" - it's absolutely awesome - if you feel like you've been in a creative rut then you've gotta own this and watch it repeatedly!!! Thanks Sue, thanks Lara, thanks Creative Live team... another GREAT workshop!!


fantastic to see Lara in this; she's so natural and inspirational, and so generous with her resources. I would love to see her do another course, maybe with Felix too as I love his lighting and creativity. More, please!