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Glamour Photography

Lesson 20 of 36

Natural Light Studio

Sue Bryce

Glamour Photography

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

20. Natural Light Studio

Lesson Info

Natural Light Studio

we're going to spend this next little section talking about natural light studio so I get asked a million questions about what my studio looks like about where I shoot and used today you saw me photograph the girl's images and then you saw the girls in the little corners where they were being photographed and I know a lot of people don't quite believe that it's really as simple as it is for me uh samona on my camera bag I have that white share you able to get that for me okay so wrapped up inside my think tank camera bag and my think tank camera beggar's got both of my cameras in it in three lenses better apex and a polaroid camera rolled up in a tight little ball I have this which is police to chiffon so it is just a very light sheer fabric you can see through it it doesn't have too much of a sheen on it it's around four dollars a meter and I carry this in my bag because um the one thing I cannot do when I'm not shooting in my studio the one thing I cannot do when I'm on location is d...

iffuse light if I don't have something to defuse it now you all know that I have these large palestine reflectors and when I go on location they cannot come with me that is the one thing I do not take with me is the large palestine reflectors I can't but what I do is I have a smaller vision which I can pack into the car now today we've just got a really tiny vision just to show you but my polystyrene that I pick into the carrier about four times bigger than this so they're not the big ones I just keep them about the size I do not have the pop out reflectors because I think the white styrofoam time is a bit a reflector and I will carry them around to location it's not a problem of course when I travel overseas I will bye so you can go to hime depot or whatever what do you have here called home do that you go to hime depot and buy a palace story in shape that is twice as big as that which is quite portable fee to use and I leave them places I give them two photographers but I prefer this and so if these two things are in my bag then I can defuse the amount of light that's coming through a window and I can bounce it back and those are the two things I need to control light this here is about I think it made us long and I also have a packet of pens in my bag and I'm not above draping this doubling it up using pins but I will cover any window double it up I can make it look pretty I can pretty much hang it off anything and it gets a bit teddy I have to wash it every now and then but basically what it does is it diffuses the amount of window light coming through a window and if that's my only light source then this morning when we did the poses with some minor so we did some minor against the wall we did simona fled on kava girl we did some minor during freestyling lying down and sitting in the cheer all of those prices they're going to be done within two meters of each other okay so I will work around one corner so let's break that down this here is my studio in new zealand and what I did was I built an internal wall so about one point two meters from the window I put a wall in here as in a little corner so it was right here and what it did was I actually now did into the floor it didn't move it was just a just a floating corner I could pose down this line with leaning against this war with the light directly on them or I could go around the inside of that imposed them against this war with the light brushing over them this way the only light source in the studio is running along this side and so I could also turn them around and photograph them fled against that wall so for the people that have brought opposing manual you'll see that there's a number on the floor which I met out the studio and I called them scenario one two three four five six seven eight nineteen eleven twelve dating so at any time I could change a position to what I deemed a scenario one two three or four and I could say shooter and scenario for against the mid grey background with the curtains pulled closed and that watch here and my staff already knew how we were going to shoot it so I kind of mapped out the studio with the light look the best and I painted the studio white on one end in mid gray at the other end there were two four walls in the centre one was mid grey one was light grey and when you close down the curtains it's significantly altered the light in that room because that is the beauty of light whether it's natural or artificial when you change the amount of light that's coming in and out of a room and then you adjust your focus for your model the light changes quite significantly in the background of course so when I wanted it to be like in fresh on the great background I just opened the curtain right up like this when I wanted it to be doc and more scylla waited I close the kitten down so just a shaft of flight was coming into the silhouette but it's the same background so obviously you need two types of curtains in your studio you need a net that diffuses light and then you need natural light are sorry thick black out curtains and they control how much light and they go over the neat in couldn't and they control how much light comes in and out ah lot of photographers shoot boudoir in motels or hotels and ironically motels and hotels have block out kittens in a neat generally because people want to sleep in and they want a dark room so I find generally hotel rooms do lock down a lot of lights it is easy to get a double curtain like that but if you're shooting on location at someone's home you do have to ask the question how much it's light is in the house and for a non photographer most of them cannot to their question a lot of people say I don't know it's normal or there's lots of light but when you get there there isn't so always about controlling light this is something I've pulled out of the manual just to show you that you can sit down on the floor underneath the window it would be equivalent to having a high window like the back wall here on the studio in sitting down with your back against the concrete floor that these images our shot within a meter of the window so that cheer is right up against that window you understand she's sitting I'm here so it can't be the photographer so t was gonna be made a photographer I've got the cheer right here the window light is the heir and I'm sitting right up against that window but you can't see the window on my shot because I want is much natural light hitting my subject is I can so let's say we bring that cheering so sandy sandra bring that watch here so that camera can go down you're the photographer t why sanders gonna bring the white cheer and our light sources here but imagine we've got it nicely covered you're going to sit down and be photographed so on your right side feet tipped away push your bum out to me this way elbow on their nice recline hand backslide right knee up beautiful knees together chin around predicting your front shoulder forward t wise photographing her straight on not on the angle you're always straight to hear that's it so you're shooting straight back this way and our reflector is right there a case she's that close to the window light she's that close to the reflector uh you're that close to here and you're bouncing like straight back to her from your only light source okay but my sheet of styrofoam is to a cz two point four meters high so also ultimately if you've got a big studio space here I am I've got the cheer butted right up again and I've got a window there with a sheer over it block out kittens squeezing the light and I've got a massive reflector here my client feels pretty safe right now because she's surrounded by walls she doesn't feel like people are watching her she certainly can only see me and it's kind of a safe feeling I think the big polystyrene reflectors work two ways they bounce beautiful light but they also enclose you and make you feel quite safe so I think it's a really good way to see how close you are now if you are struggling to bounce light in I will put another reflected down here to bounce up to her face on a box in front of here in a second big one here I will surround people and reflectors before I would use artificial light I'm that stubborn this is probably one of the most significant things that I ever did as the digital cameras got bitter in the last four years I started to turn because remember we couldn't shoot into the light with the early digital cameras they just could not take that extreme light they if you exposed for this pat here and hear your highlights would burn and then if you exposed for highlight or a mid tone you're dark areas we just have absolutely no detail and as the camera's got better and better it wasn't until I got the five d that I started to shoot straight back into that light now I know a lot of winning photographers and kids photographers love doing that outside sort of dawn or you know sort of it son see it but what I started to do was I started to shoot my portrait's don't rick lee back to the window and this is really interesting my last twenty seven photo shoots what okay two of them were so out of the last twenty nine shoots twenty seven were female photographers okay said this year I photographed twenty seven female photographers in australia and the one thing that a ll the photographers say to may is I love everything in the backlight because all the photographers are really drawn to the backlight so whether you're using it for lingerie whether it's just a nude beauty shot of it because I love the white sheet I loved the look that she's naked even though she was wrapped in a white sheet when she lay down and I unwrapped here just to show her hip line but she was actually wearing a g string and I removed that on photo shop then I shot here on a beard straight into the windows in the bedroom with white blinds down so the white blinds were down so let's just do that for a moment so you can actually physically see it I need you to see it you look fantastic okay so right now simona has um sit a man is here because we're going to do it here on makeup do my next so yeah loving that okay sue me I want you for this all right so let's talk about this back fight what you need is if you have a strong light you need to have quite a thick sheer curtain that couldn't must be quite thick because if there is had like coming through or bright light coming through you cannot do the shot so bunch up a nice nick could and if you have to add more nets as a diffuser so if you have a nice strong light source but you want to defuse the amount of light coming through make sure you've got lots of knitting then what you do is you place your model client right there yeah this is exactly how we shot this and I'm going to shoot it directly back to that light now the most important part about this and I can't do it for the camera is to have to mess of reflectors here and here all right because the only light source in the room is coming from the air so I'll shoot you right there within a meter of that window with two huge reflectors here in here right up to the ceiling big big reflectors with just enough room for me to poke may head through here and like t y I said you should get a reflector and cut a hole in the middle second just poked my lens through it that is not what that is differently a good idea okay so from here I will sit down at this level I will have to big reflectors here in here and I will shoot her through there so what I'm doing is I'm trying to bounce back the only light source which is there to her face so I can meet her for her face in camera and expose for her face my camera is so good now that I'm not bringing out all those highlights and I shoot in roar so everybody knows the recovery tool in both light room in raw is the single best invention and the planet which brings your highlights up teo you know a new tool which is great so in terms of using that bet quite so in terms of using the back light these images airil shot exactly the same way standing in front of the window kneeling in front of the window sitting in front of the window and lying in front of the window and why you don't you agree that they all have a different quality and what is that quality because something very cool about the way that they're photographed in terms ofthe the way that the lighting you know that back white is beautiful it's a very hard like to achieve commission aly with light because I think it looks quite official I love the backlight and how natural it looks so I do sort of challenge you to keep practicing it to try it you'll notice that everybody has a very flat light to their face it's not shaping their face it's hitting them directly at the face you also notice in each one of the catch lights that you can see two very large reflectors either side back to them because there is so much like bouncing back in and every one of these instances there was not a second light source in the room other than the light that's behind them okay now you know how I shot when I shot t y on the black background and she was wearing black and she has dark here straightaway soon as I put on the dark background my camera wanted to jump up to stop so I shot it two stops under this is the opposite when he writes it girls down in front of the white window and especially if they're wearing a white color because I never shoot the back light in a dark color it looks horrible then the first thing that it does is it goes under exposed so I push my camera up usually a stop and a half so I'm looking at the back of my camera and I'm shooting for the image that I'm seeing on the back of the camera right okay so from there what I ve done any questions about the backlight because I think the backlight is something I get asked about all the time it's address it so we can move on so when you have your talking about shooting and blocking the light when you are blocking that light with that sheer are we talking sunbeam are we talking cloudy day when do you see the need to put that up or do you always put that up it's always out it's always up only for status I would never shoot on diffuse light okay ever so I I always have a curtain in my studio that shere is to double up if they if I'm on location and the kitten is not enough or if there is no couldn't I will pin that in the window in the studio that we've set up there was no netting on the window see they have those strange the nations on the outside so I have penned this um neat I've ended up on the window I've doubled it and impending to defuse the amount of light coming in there is for on location if this was my studio I would get the venetians removed and I would hang nets in the curtain with a block out couldn't over the top this studio distinct unique skylight which is not a bonus for a photographer it drops highlight you have to bounce a bottom reflector up to otherwise you get a really bright forehead and you can see the shadows going down on the face and you can't shut down a skylight so you can't close a curtain over a skylight and bring that light down so it actually worked against me here but this was just an example off how I can sit up a natural light studio in anybody's lounge okay any other christians about the back light that's what is your um okay I work under the best is au is one sixty three twenty or six forty generally when I'm shooting into the back light you can see the grain and the music it six forty if I have to go up to two thousand because the light behind his brighter and I need to expose for the face I will go up to two thousand but around six forty is all you need and shoot it about a stop in a little higher yeah I just watch the back of the camera shooting around six forty and it always looks beautiful you're doing like a two point eight well I never shoot lower than two point eight ever because you just it's too risky even two point eight is risky for is good but yes I will go to two point eight on the lower lens is but I can't go lower on the twenty four twenty five because it's a four point now anyway right yeah but I can't shoot it and a lot of stuff any other questions about the backlight brief sessions is one green on an overcast day where it's darker and not giving a lot of light can you still have the backlit effect you can but the only way to do it is to take your client right back to the window and put the reflectors so close to her that you really are just poking your he'd and your lanes in between I've pushed it out too that you do get it you can't do it can you remind us again about how far you push your s o er two thousand I woke up to thirty two hundred if I have to be you very really have do because remember you're only pushing your eyes so to let light in this lots of light coming at the lean so it's not the problem it's not the light amount in this shot the problem is how much reflected light is going back to who face because essentially even on a double date if you turn your camera to the window light it's living lots of light in so the camera is not going to get confused or starts throwing out you know your exposure to match what it's doing is you're not bouncing enough light back to the face to get that beautiful light on their obviously the face is always going to be two stops under the background so when you expose for the face the backgrounds gonna blow out so what you're trying to do is not get that extreme light you're trying to even that exposure out a little bit more another way to get around it and I've actually done this before and I know it sounds terrible but I bracketed for the face and then I took the shot again bracketing for the background and then I blended the images together because I could not get this shot without flaring the background so I didn't break it straightaway dropped my exposure took a photo another photo put them together in war and a couple of folks have asked do you turn the indoor lights off when you're shooting with natural always yeah and do lights have to go off because they can't shadows and they put the other highlights of sorts uh one more quick question how do you avoid getting the lines from the window pane well this is weird that's exactly what I was going to say that the weird thing about this little lounge is a soon as I covered up those donations I thought you know I'm going to get a letter right across that my model and it didn't uh I don't know why I weave and talked about it these formations are no these venetians on the window and as soon as we took a tish out with it universal them so we diffused the amount of light coming in and it must tonight even if I don't know enough about like maybe somebody else cannot answer why didn't do it but it didn't because what we did then was we wanted to do some teeth so we set up a natural light studio based on two things we defuse the amount of light coming through the window and we had a large polystyrene reflector on the left so technically that large polystyrene your victories fifteen dollars in the box is in the middle of fifteen dollars and then the sheer curtain hanging in the window is eight dollars so it's under one hundred dollars we decided we could just sit up a little space like this and as long as I have good natural life throughout the day and I could control the amount of light heading my client there was nothing I couldn't do in this space so we got four sisters these four border sisters came in and we did a shoot of them and we didn't individual short of them of each girl and then we did some group shots of them just sitting on the polystyrene like this see how they've all got the legs up I said that I could get them as close as they can and we're pushing them close that can work in their front shoulder long chin forward connecting to the front shoulder but bringing their heads and together so that their body language is all together um and we photographed other than their we did a curve so we dropped the half box on its side we've got here to recline forward so here I am comes away from her body she's tipped in a forty five we've still got one light source with a star of hermann viktor on the left one light source coming from the right and one light source coming down so we had a reflector underneath at the bottom to bounce like their captor here so we could get a nice soft even like all over here and then I put this in there to show you how I take these smaller effect is on vacation to this video is on my website um and it's a great video for you to see when we're on location how money um reflectors I took with me because we took four out that day and you can see some owner holding them basically what we did is the only light source in this shot is behind here so if you put somebody with the only light source behind them without our afflicted to the front of them you will never like the face like that ever because it will simply be dark in the front and you can see in her catch light what is picking up is the white reflector right and said there is the shot with her only light source and she has a natural he'll light with the light that's behind here so you know um it's just such a beautiful soft light and you can see the one single catch light is that reflected there on the right bouncing back so there is a reflector here on the left hand side bouncing in a swell to try and even it up but that reflect is not hitting her eye so in this one exactly the same position is casey the other girl in the white sheet were in the same room that room only has one light source and that is behind here so there is no other window she is lying on a white beard propped up on pillows just in underwear in the top and I'm shooting his straight back into that light so I have to reflectors in front of here one at the bottom there that you can see and one to the right going in and I'm literally picking through the little crack in the corner of those two reflectors so essentially if she's on the beard let's imagine that this is the beer light is here and the reflectors are big and around here like this and I'm just poking my head through here she's in her room of white and because we've defused the light she's in the middle of a huge soft box wouldn't you say because the walls are white the bids white she's wearing white the blinds are white and the two big perfect is go to the ceiling so she's sitting in the middle of a nice big soft box comes to photographing it there's nothing that you can't do as soon as I look at this shot I'm very limited as to how I can move straight away she is being shoved into the back light I can see the bottom of the blind so gonna remove it I'm going to make sure the shadows around her face I can just like them and photo shop um and also I did take your foot out there because of back to me when I could see her toes and I retouched it to that now there was just one sort of single capture into the natural light with no other light source and it's such a beautiful shot and it's a shot that's bought me lots of work because after I did this go a shoot I posted this and I got so many phone calls to say I'm a god I just love the shot can I have something like that this is when I really started to shoot into the back light as often as I can because I think it's so pretty okay so that shooting into the backline and into that any questions about that yes about a billion people are asking a few you spot metering value to me yes I spot made it on the back of the camera to the face usually when I focus on the I I obviously spot made it around the face because I only ever want to make sure the exposed that the face is exposed beautifully and that the eyes are incredibly shop and that is the most important thing that I'm looking for and everything else pretty match can get controlled in the royal window after that so if I focus just on their face exposure and just on that sharpness everything else can be bought back three thank you yeah so no like meeting I haven't used the light meter since I shot on a hassle bled I haven't used a hessel bled since we became digital in nineteen ninety seven so it's technically being fifteen years since I shot medium format film and yet back then we were given three rolls of film port per shoot we were given thirty six images to nail an entire shoot with one um obviously we had a light meter to the face so we would meet her we would sit the bled we would take the photograph if you've got a blank you had to watch for blinks and then take another one and thirty six was being generous because my boss negotiated it down because he wanted to just do it in two rolls one twelve role of color and one twelve roll of black and white so if you think about back then how we were shooting portrait with twenty four frames or even thirty six frames then you realize now that people are walking out of shoots having shot six hundred nine hundred one thousand images in a chute which they've been ing because that's why people are calling us machine gun shooters because you know you've got a digital camera and you just kind bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang and it's just crazy the amount of volume that people are photographing I've heard people are shooting four thousand images it winnings maur six thousand images at large winnings and then having to process or eat it or even um archive that number of images is she asked out ray gis bring it back to quality not quantity slow it right down the only time I multiple fire is when I'm doing the spinning dancing shots and I'm trying to catch something in the ear or when I'm blowing lots of here with the fan I take multiple images because sometimes you get a perfect look in the here is just not quite behaving and then you just get it and when you get the here you've got the shot bethany p from rhode island has a question that doesn't matter which angle the reflectors or sitting at desks it doesn't need to be leaning back better obviously you have to look at the light and what even the light is hitting here you have to adjust it the best thing about holding a reflector oppa's you you hold the reflector up with natural light source and you look at where it's hitting her face and where it compliments your face and obviously if it's there then that's where you're afflicted stays but when I shoot back to the window it's important that they are straight back to the window you know they're not like that they usually like that so they flat and straight back to the window they're not usually pointing apple down but I'm looking at her face I'm working the life after tougher for will walk up to a client with a reflector in simply look at light like that because I want to see where her face looks the most beautiful when it's illuminated and you watch your afflicted like this bringing an image up to two stops on the side of the face so always looking for your life question from ivy frames will you ever use a silver reflector to pump up the contrast never never I will never use a silver or gold reflector and if I am in a situation where I had to borrow a reflector of somebody I would rather go to an art supplies and for a piece of white cardboard before you so rold gold I'm really sorry to the reflector company that makes reflectors but I hate the glow that sits on the face I just hate it for my natural life flat lighting it looks horrible recently we did a shoot in san francisco we were in a hotel uh we had no reflector we needed an extra fichter so we were pinning up the white towels from the hotel and it worked anything white I just want to say to folks out there who might not be in the chat room cause we're getting tons of people asking about where to purchase things like that and the the flats on dh there is a we've dropped it in the forum so for links of information but the gator board form corps if you go look in the forum you could find out where that weird and so for the other people that died the most asked question I get is ready by the palestine from now we call it palestine in australia I know its star from here the film industry and allah uses a lot of it it's called bead wall because it's made up of millions of little beads this is one of the most asked questions I get google styrofoam I found in every country in every city I go to google palestine and I find out where I can buy sheets of palestine get them at home depot you get big sheet you can get them at refrigeration places but I found a place and sydney that cut's star phone from movies they make movie props and they cut them out and they would make me boxes and they could actually make me a story from tear I could do anything that they wanted me to and you confined places like that but they are the base reflectors anyway I'm going to spend half of that masked star find but it is one of the most asked questions on my block so before we move on to makeup um we would love to know what it was like for you guys to be mocked the model on the other side of the big reflectors reflectors are a safe safe haven they actually are especially knowing you know you think it's a private too then you realize there's a camera in the back I don't care how far back it is you're still thinking and then suit comes with two months reflectors and it just makes all the difference you like okay we're good and you're hiding behind it and even way behind it sometimes like difference tammy had g um feel having you here in my cap down I felt it was very relaxing with simona she's doing your hair just talking and stuff it was very calming it's almost like just call me I'm so nervous coming into it that's sitting with her for about an hour I felt very relaxed almost like a spot like you go to the spot of relax and it's almost high fell

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

When you hear the words “glamour photography,” what comes to mind? Pink backdrops, feather boas, soft focus, blue eyeshadow and lots of hairspray. You get the picture. But thanks to master photographer Sue Bryce, there’s a new kind of glamour shot, one that’s beautiful, contemporary and taking the market by storm.

Bryce has hit on a formula that’s kept her portrait photography business thriving for two decades, and she’s here to reveal all of her secrets. In this three-day workshop, you’ll learn everything you need to know about posing, eye lines, hair and makeup techniques, and wardrobe. You’ll also get advice on building your own business and successful marketing practices.

Whether you want to focus your business on glamour shots alone or simply improve how you photograph women, this course is a game-changer. By the end, you’ll have the skills to bring out both the inner and outer beauty of all your female subjects.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Define your style, brand and target market.

  • Market your business creatively and get yourself noticed.

  • Figure out what women want and sell to those desires.

  • Pose your subjects by following Sue’s rules: chin, shoulders, hands, hourglass, body language, asymmetry and connection.

  • Use natural light to make your work more modern.

  • Include husbands, boyfriends and families in your shoots.

  • Create before and after shots.

  • Make women of all shapes and sizes look and feel fabulous.


Michael And Dawn

Dawn and I watched the workshop taught by Sue on glamour photography with much anticipation, and we were not disappointed. In fact after only the first hour we turned to each other and, at the same time, said "We should go ahead and purchase this course." Which we did on Sunday, the last day of the three day course. The CreativeLive team did a great job on producing the workshop, the set looked great, the sound and camera angles were unobtrusive as they should be, and the on-screen talent were engaging and approachable as usual. They interjected with questions from the audience in a timely and relevant manner, and humored us all at times as well. As it should be, the real star of the workshop was the information that Sue was providing, but a very strong supporting role was Sue herself. Even though she never made it past the 9th grade, she displayed enough wisdom to make us think that we wasted a lot of time sitting in school. Sue had both Dawn and I captivated, her likable New Zealand accent, was so warm and soothing, that I think we would have listened to her say almost anything. However, "anything" was hardly what she had to say, no-no, she had a great deal to say, and we found all of it so educational and inspiring that we can't wait to put what she tought us into practice. Sue's "Keep-It-Simple" approach to glamour photography is refreshing, she does not complicate a shoot, nor does she complicate the business end of things either. Her philosophy is "A confused mind says 'no.'" So her pricing, marketing and re-pore with her clients is simple, understandable and repeatable. Dawn & I fully recomend this course to anyone looking to engage in glamour photography, not just for the mechanics of learning the studio process, but more for how to think about the process and your interactions with the client, we think that Sue's interaction with her clients is her real "secret" to her success; she makes the photography session for the client a wonderful experience and that experience is what gets them to market her via word-of-mouth exposure, which is the best kind of atvertising and best kind of accolade for a photographer. Thank you Sue, we were both entertained and educated and a little bit mesmerized by your workshop. Hope to see you soon on the CreativeLive stage. Michael and Dawn Mitchell Digital Mitchell Photography

a Creativelive Student

Loving every moment of this course so far and I've learned so much from Sue's gentle but wise words. It's so important to be true to yourself and as much as I've enjoyed most of the Creative Live classes I've taken I've had a much different personality than many of the teachers, I am so happy to see how Sue is able to stay calm and quiet and still maintain perfect control of the situation...I had huge anxiety sometimes at shoots thinking I should be bold, boisturous or entertaining to be successful. Looking forward to following her class today in between my son's hockey lucky my computer is in the kitchen and I can watch and still keep things at home fairly sane! lol thank-you, kerry

a Creativelive Student

Watched 80% of it live and after constantly screen grabbing :D I BOUGHT IT. This was my 3rd time watching a CreativeLive and my first time purchasing a course. (Loved Zach and Jody and will probably buy that when the time is right...still a little scared about weddings.) ANYWAY - SUE IS AMAZING!!! She is so open, inspiring, fun, funny, knowledgeable, TRANSPARENT, giving, smart, creative, expert, unapologetic, grateful, enlightened, adorable, gorgeous, hilarious, yet still imperfect and human and not intimidating. She will make you laugh and cry as she laughs and cries. You cannot argue with her MANY YEARS of experience. She is just in love with what she does and it is contagious. I have told people IN PERSON that her online CreativeLive course changed my life. I bought another online course for 2K last year...where was Sue back then? This is worth more than the 2K 6 week course I took. I obviously have a girl crush on her!