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Shoot: Birth of Venus

Lesson 10 from: Modern Women's Portraiture

Sue Bryce, Lou Freeman, Lara Jade, Emily Soto

Shoot: Birth of Venus

Lesson 10 from: Modern Women's Portraiture

Sue Bryce, Lou Freeman, Lara Jade, Emily Soto

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Lesson Info

10. Shoot: Birth of Venus

Lesson Info

Shoot: Birth of Venus

Right off the bat I this thing is really kind of changed my life first I'm not going to drop my camera it's not going to fall off the table when I'm crazy reaching for something has a lock on keep the thing on the bottom this attached has a lock pull it right off no, I'm attached can't get up and it also has a tripod mount so if you want to shoot a tripod, you have to take that thing apart so I basically put it on and I never take it off what this allows me to do it's the locket and if I want to raise their lower the lights stand or the background paper are needed crap a child or fix something I don't have to worry about we're going with camera if you don't use this always put your camera on the floor and not on table because if you put it on the floor it won't fall on the floor, so I try to think safety and being smart assed much as I possibly can this gear cost so much money really want to be careful with it? This is my favorite thing right now because it is that this is a hood hman ...

loop and I just pop it on the back and it allows me to change the doctor and I can see my image up close without any outside light or anything distracting me from it, I can check the focus. I can see every single thing going on almost like it looks on your computer screen. So if you're not on location, you have this thing around your neck. Foolproof way to check your focus check your depth of field look, the clothes look at everything and it's really wonderful! Show everybody when you get to that magic picture, you've shot that you take it over into it, it's nothing like it. I hear people tell me all the time they don't show pictures to the people when they're shooting because they haven't been retouched if you take a great picture who isn't kind of you say, well, you know, it hasn't been color adjusted yet the way I like it or tweaked or tone or we touched, but right now the tubes look how great this is, so speak motivational lee the whole time you're shooting if there is a flaw on your set hair, makeup, styling, there's, no time, better to fix it while you're standing there. So what I thought I would do in this little segment is cooked myself up a tall order to do three quick photo shoots most of my photo shoots take me about twenty minutes to shoot. In their entirety I'm going to show you some things that I do to make my retouching easier and quicker to process and I still have impact so what I've done here this is our venus set that's the background that I picked out of the three that I presented to you from my mood board I heather came in and heather are you close by? Last night we were looking for things we could put around the base of the set so you don't have to build out an entire set but just kind of set there is light behind the background I have one strove sitting back there facing this way that's going to give a glow when you like someone behind from behind it kind of pushes them forward visually s o I have dialed in an exposure on the side remember how we talked about split lighting for the body I've got split light set up on each side directly on each side of her like that well heather's tweaking my set she's going all the way to the edge but if I look at is if I could make a little mountain in the middle then I can photo shop down in easy it's already sort of there if you have your theme there otherwise you can build it in photoshopped totally but I like to put a little bit of it together gives me some sort of sense of comfort heather brought me. I told her what I was looking forward to do, so she went out and scouted and grabbed everything you need here. So the lighting setup is really simple on the top here. I'm working with my bowen's strobe, I have a beauty dish, a grid and a sock over it comes in a kit and I'm taking beauty dish light which normally spreads everywhere, bringing the scope of the spread to a spotlight with the grid. But I didn't want hard light on this subject. I wanted soft light, so I just put the little, um sock right over the top. So I'm powering my lights through pocket wizard three bones has a pulse are trigger that will allow you to connect all lights wirelessly. And now, as of this week, you can use your pocket wizard three so we're working with that. This particular head is set. It's six point o you have six stops, one to six for each one of the powers of this I did a test shot. I let the face first. Then I decided I wanted to see light coming through the background. Well, how much is too much? So you have to test it. The best way you could do is trialling there, you want to use a meter to understand what you're f stops are in line if you have a meter if not you're gonna have to go through a testing period do you learn to see light and understand how much exposure comes from dialing them up and down a stop most of my eyes says that I shoot at or around one sixty three twenty six forty nine hundred based that I esso on nothing more than is there in any ambient light in my shot and how could I use it if it's bright and sunny my eyesight is going to be low right if it's super dark I'm gonna push that idea so uh in somebody's house shooting in a bedroom window light coming in I want to see it I first ship set myself up a shot for the ambient light then I dial down my power so that's how you do it says simple where's the ambient light how could you use it if you don't have any light coming in yourself which is what we're doing here we're not going to be using any of the studio to control that so I want to pick on a nice so that I can get past that past that light's power and control that line on my step I've got there is only one grid over here on this spot that's to keep the light from spilling all over the background so if the light spills all over the background I ruined the mood so we're gonna have a beautiful girl come out as our venus her name is lexie she spend made up hair extensions full designed out for us prompts susan to be our venus and we took a fashionable approach to that. So I met with the girls and we went you know, it was like talking, talking, talking about concepts and ideas and we had our mood board down we planned seashells, not yourselves do we want simple to do we want complex so I lit it with one of my classics. Expos in a short space is what I call this everything's kind of right on top of each other I live with face let the body amid the ambience of the background with my light behind the background because there isn't any ambient light here. So this is a force drugs set up light on the background is make sure that's on for me in the background that that lights actually fire it up the light in the background if I just put the head back there with no control on it no reflector no created no soft box the light's going to spread everywhere and probably blow out because it's what light like the sun coming straight at your back I first did a test with that had a giant white spot in the background so I started controlling that and narrowing it down through my modifier they ended up with like a four inch reflector back there so it's just pointing straight at the back if you decide to do that you either wanted behind the model's head are behind her back so it's hidden because it will show you a hot spot even if you have it balance of the same exposure so face first body second background this is something that I created a couple years ago when I was tired of shooting before photo shop was even around when I do this all the time I need to put play class there, you know textures on it or I'll create something in this environment we have clouds in the background kind of a cloud there for her to be on we took a different route she's not in the water or on the beach she's actually on a cloud. So what happens is when I photographed through this there's no light here this is would be in the dark compared to that so I'm going to use my eye slight and turn it on and it's eliminating it enough to make it show up so you can shoot through flowers you can shoot the broken glass you can shoot through picture frames, you can move it further away so it's more and focus it's really up to you how you go about it what I'm going to do is position it in such a way that the edges are soft and fluffy so you can shoot it separately and use it again make your own template or you can shoot it all the way through sometimes I'll shoot a little bit and then moving away should have claimed so you want to think beyond what you could possibly like um, I doing everything with this I possibly can and then we'll move on from there I'm going to use the seventy two, three hundred lands so I consume in and do a headshot are zoom out, get to the full length. This what? This lens is super light it's great to travel with and it kind of compacts down to about the same size as your twenty, forty, seventy so it's a really good lance to travel with. So you guys want to come on out? Hello? All right, so when I'm shooting, this is lexi. How are you? Good, good, good. I'm gonna have the girls follow with me just like I would do a normal set. So rather than having that issue of everybody goes in, sits down and gets on their cell phone and watches and goes and sits down after they think they've done their job to made the job exist all the way through till I finish taking the pictures, susan created this outfit for me isn't an amazing. So, susan, you want to tell us, just like you had teo create this for her scale of her body and how you thought about that? Just really quick number one, when I come a little closer when I'm asked to create something for shoot, my very first question is I need to get the model size there's, nothing worse for me showing up on set, and it doesn't fit that's the worst. So I actually had to create this one more time. It was done in two pieces. My job is I do not want to have lee have tio lou, I'm sorry, lou have to go back and do any type of photo shop in my world there photoshopped does not exist so his oh, that's, how it really should be. So when I shoot advertising campaigns or any kind of magazine editorial, I have to show it perfectly done. So I just carried that right on into my fashion. So if it's if it's soppy and messy and frumpy it's going to be slipping, missing and frumpy and guess what you're gonna be doing for hours, retouching, wrinkles and stuff that's not been attended, teo, so you don't have to be neurotic about it. And you definitely want don't want that stress to roll into that, so if she could just walk right out and she's ready to go, then it makes my job really easy and we'll sit back. We'll look at it, what about change? What about a variation? Should we had the props, should we not? So what I thought I would do is just shoot this shot and let you guys watch is that okay? Justus? If I were doing it from myself, beautiful. So as she's standing there and we have to remember that she's a human being, and hours and hours and hours of tinkering with the clothes and stuff like that is so important that you just go ahead and say what you want to speak directly speak kindly don't say no, not like that use a sweet calm, you know, a soothing voice, you want to kind of be inside their head like they're your background voice that plays in your head don't eat that cookie, you know that kind of flow to your voice. So whatever mood you're in and whatever anxiety you are experiencing is what your entire shoot will be receiving so self calm, so I'm going to jump in even though I showed you my full length set up, I'm going to step in and shoot her face first waist up I asked her to put the seashell on the left because asymmetry is more interesting to look at then symmetry so if her hair's all on one side and the shell is over there is going to be heavy on one side so usually shell on one side hair on the other since her hair is such an amazing dynamic part of this, I'm focusing on that first and she's holding it in a way that's comfortable and see how pretty her hand is is it's gripping along her body she's got women's curves around the side always inside people standing straight down look wider so always turn your subject to decide first when you're doing glamour, beauty or boudoir because you're going to get the curves, the breasts I hip and round those shapes making s make a see if you can all right and as the head is coming toward the camera even though she's a little taller than me let's have an apple box I like to shoot by looking right into the eye so I'm going to jump up, take one shot, grabbed my loop and look at it and then I'm gonna have the girls come in and make adjustments just thank you so much so camera level linds level if you're shooting a beauty shot, the lens goes straight into the eyes if you're shooting a three quarter, you need to be seated if you're shooting full length you're sitting on the ground almost so enhancement of the body your eye will go visually wherever the lens level is so you think that way is you're shooting so I'm going to jump up here the life right here in my shoulder so I'm going to zoom out my focus point is on the eye closest to me let's pull the shell and just a little bit interest back just to touch beautiful bosom and we're a little hot there close down beautiful you're right beautiful awesome right on the screen it's even hotter see, I think we're getting close there I think this light probably needs to come down there's a little too much attention can you come over to this light for me? Just adjust the power we have these split half and half and sometimes I like to see the light and sometimes I don't highlights come forward visual ing shadows go back and I think there's too much attention to the hair when I want to see the face so the face light is the thing we want to concentrate on so what do you set out there now? One five let's talk it down to one and take a shot I think if we look at these images up close you'll see that the sidelights are making all of her things all the little jewels on her outfit sparkle so you want to see the things but not oversee the light so when you're making a creative judgment so see how all of the beads are eliminated and you can see all the detail in the fabric that's how you want to think I want to see the detail but not too much light all right so let's assume on back out a little bit and if you want to check the hair and make sure everything's perfect before I shoot so while she's doing that I usually have my crew stand right beside me or sit beside me and we talk with each other with the subject all the way through traditionally so if something moves in the hair falls away it could be a just had intended to just right there all right so cock your wrist a little bit and show me maura the top of the shell beautiful and I would like to see kind of happy eyes but not necessarily smile beautiful gorgeous turn your head a little bit more straight on toward me beautiful let's bring your hand maybe to your hip here roll your shoulder back a little bit beautiful gorgeous eyes susan this is such a beautiful outfit yeah did yourself and now I'm going to back up let's spring so now I'm going to shoot three quarter so company grab that for me and let me sit about here so three quarter shot to me is stopping at the fleshy part of the knee as the leg narrows she has long, straight legs but curvy or people their legs have shape and form if you crop of the narrowest point on the body that I knows that person gets dinner there if you crop is the thickest point on the body the idea is that maybe they could be bigger so I always have a vanishing point or I'll make one with the pose so as I'm shooting now I'm dropping myself down on that hip level okay so her curves are in the ass naturally on dh turned the top of your foot toward me on the front they're beautiful and let's rotate that shell around some looking at the pretty sound of it that's that's pretty can you hold it up like you were listening to it beautiful lift your elbow out a little bit great this beautiful can you lift your hip out just a little further to beautiful awesome so I go ahead and crop in the camera turn your body around toward me straight up that's what? Keep your hips to the side tell me to the side great this beautiful bring your elbow around toward me looked your elbow out on this side you wanna check in so if the image is flat, the only connection that she can give me emotionally is to either look at me or bring her head toward me? I walk around to say hi, susan, how are you? I lean into you so a few photographing a model and you're making a cop card or a headshot for her and these head shots are appearing with others lying on a table. The one that's going to jump out at you is the one that has the best connection, right? Might be just a pretty face otherwise, and so if something's arms are crossed in there, leaning back there removes from you, but if they're leaning forward, they're engaging to you. So a photograph that selling someone has to be engaging in that way. So most of what I do is head forward. I usually say I spend a lot of time saying head forward and if someone is diminished in the chan head is out like this that far actually, it doesn't photograph that way. Most people when you asked him to do what they're going to go like this, but it just takes a while to learn how to ask for what you want. I usually say linear chanda, my hip so let's refocus and go again beautiful how's that light it's still a little too bright there, I think I think I turned it all the way down a half so these heads are really wonderful they have full stop settings if you could just simply dial from one to six or you can choose intense of a top stop so I could look at that so, you know, I'm still seeing too much of the side of her leg or for example, that was she was really curvy and I went to slim her down. I might want totally do away with just a tiny bit of light so you have the option to go intensive stops all the way down, which is wonderful it really does make the option for you to be creative and be forgiving to someone shape just through light. Okay that's great now let's, if we're down as low as we can, then we go out maybe a foot wonderful, beautiful pull up a little bit through the chest great, roll your elbows toward the camera, lift your elbow out on that side bring your head forward and your chin down great beautiful pull that around to your ear. Awesome gorgeous can you kick your hips a little bit this way? Beautiful. So I use words that allow me to get what I'm looking for without being intimidating, beautiful all right now I'm going to jump all the way back and shoot at the low angle and shoot through the fabric so you guys can see when I was first doing this, I use plastic bags or and I used the rappers that came, the film came in, and I started getting some really cool effects, but it will not show up in a light, fluffy way unless you illuminate it. So you can't just put any kind of light source there. But for me, this is color correct. And it matches the same kind of quality of the light amusing already so straight out of the tube. It's already on the right plane for us. So sick model. Can she use it for one second? Yes, absolutely. Okay. Okay. All right. Good. Just getting over the flu. Our models are human, so sometimes it's, good to stop and start on that on that same note. One on a role with that there's a subject for you. I've had people fall out standing up with their knees locked. It's always a good idea in your makeup room if you can have skittles. Eminem's lot of girls come for their boudoir shoots and they've not eaten. And they've been working out for weeks and they'll get here and for the hot light makeup on and they're holding their breath and they faint. And then once you can almost do you or have you ever photographed anyone and you noticed they have nothing left to give you? You can ask for things and ask for things it's usually because they haven't eaten so one of the things you could do is be prepared for that. Give them a sprite orange juice or something like that and then reboot step away. Start again also standing in the heat, legs locked. Just make sure that people take a break and sit down. So, does anybody have any questions? Well, we definitely do. We would love if you guys have questions, go ahead and get the mic shared around. I worked with the team on a chute before and it was total chaos. Everyone wanted to lead and the model was very fragile. So while you do encourage people to be doing their own jobs and taking care of everything, how do you manage the team on a set? Well, the first and most important thing that I do is I try to control everything before we get there. The communication about what to bring, what to wear, what the set looks like. An all the working parts. I tried my very level best to make sure that's an order, but there's another issue to address that I haven't really spoken to you about, and that is when it's really? We're all moving so fast, it's really hard to stop and think about this, but it's so important that you have your code of ethics, of how you want the tone of conversation to take place in your workplace. For example, I don't allow the makeup artist and to be in the other room talking about the boy she met last weekend in all kinds of ways. I think your imagination can follow me conversation in the makeup room and on my sets, all about the subject. Once we finish shooting and we leave that set in, the image taking process is eliminated, and we've finished that job, then if somebody wants to confide in you about something that stressful in their life, you could do that. But any time that chaos goes on the control between the communication between your whole team, the respect that that team has for you doesn't it hasn't existed clearly are being clearly described. For example, I asked the makeup artist always communicate really well with subject and make sure they're motivated. Sometimes people come to you and they've been in traffic and that argument with somebody on the phone or whatever before they get to you and you have is your best job to really, really get past that, so I'm going to shoot this very quickly. So I'm going to turn on my ice light here the eyesight has one power high but it also has a rheostat so you can adjust the power up and down I usually take a test shot take a peek at it and if I want to see more or less of this I can so I've positioned it close enough to me so it's the depth of field is controlling how sharply it's focused so I'm going to sit down low knee level and my object here is to get all of the set and her so I can see that kind of clearly through here and then I arrange this fabric so that I can just barely get it in the edges of my friend you might have to move it I got these little metal loops michaels and this is more of the pill a batting beautiful let's take a peek of what we have there still plugged in well so I think it could be a little bit warmer more let all right I'm gonna shoot kind of quickly for you beautiful pull this down right here so it's even all around so beautiful beautiful and I'm focusing right on her face right on her eye beautiful and again beautiful and my vision it creates kind of the same illusion and add some sort of sense of reality that she's actually in the clouds since the super simple easy trick to dio um, less or more, or you can shoot it with totally without it. Can you hang in there for a couple more? No. Huh. Beautiful. Awesome. Beautiful. I take my time each set of the way. All right, that's probably planning. I think we're at a good spot if you feel okay. Thanks. You guys can take her away. And then what we're going to dio next is move on into another situation. But in the real world, if this was actually something I was shooting and I had a couple hours to play with this I would have shot the beauty, the three quarter, then the full length with and without the little loop to shoot through. I would have also let her go away and shot the loop, put it around in different places on the background, saved it, and then, if I wanted to use it or not, I had the option. So it's better recover your basis. Why you're actually doing the photo shoot. So pretty simple for light. My kid, I showed you today and my class has six lights. I have never needed more than six lights unless I was shooting in a really big event space, good ballroom or something. In this particular case, I can usually do for three or one that's. Usually how it balances out for me. So I like the face. The body makes some sort of illusion with the background and develop out myself just a little bit. So, essentially now I could go back and process these out and just tweak a few things. So I'm already ahead of the game. I'm thinking of the end result before actually even take the picture.

Class Materials

bonus material

Photoshop: Alison Action
Mentoring With Sue Bryce
Photoshop: Victoria Action
Pola Negatives
Emily Soto Posing Guide
Lara Jade Posing Guide
Lou Freeman Posing Guide
Sue Bryce Posing Guide

Ratings and Reviews

william mazdra

Occasionally, things fall into place, and you end up with the kind of event that we just watched. It was marvelous to see these four amazing individuals contribute their own perspectives and content and to see them interact with one another. It was honest, brilliant and a must have to view many times over. One of the best courses on Creative Live and further evidence that Creative Live is going from strength, to strength and is worth every bit of our investment and time.

a Creativelive Student

This was such a great 3 days! Each one of those women are so inspiring in a different way. Sue Bryce is my absolute role model and it was a great experience to get to watch and listen to her. She makes her lessons relatable and very easy to understand and remember. So many small tips and tricks that will make a big impact on how I shoot as well as how I market! Thank you Sue. I had never heard of Lara Jade and Emily Soto before this started and I can say thank you to creativeLive for the opportunity to be inspired by two other amazing women in the photography business. The unique style and confidence they displayed was great to watch. I don't shoot fashion, but I was able to take good bits and pieces from it all. I am stepping out of my box... starting today! Thanks again to each of the women and cL for putting this all together. Kristin Campbell Journey Images, Alberta, Canada

Kim Sleno

As a participant in the live audience, this is a fabulous course, from Sue Bryce's honesty in helping a person to look within themselves to find your own motivation, her wonderful real examples of posing women, to Lou Freeman's posing for boudoir this is a course that will help a person learn a craft and where they might want to go. I loved Lara Jade's vision of fashion and how she has arrived at such an early age. Emily Soto brings a different dimension to fashion photography that is inspiring, from her use of vintage cameras to her editing skills. This is a course for anyone wanting to learn about photographing women. I highly recommend. Thanks CreativeLive !!

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