Shoot: Glam the Dress, Black (Alex)
What I did was, I changed her outfit, because it seems when you're building a folio, or when you're building a posing manual, gets a bit boring when you're in the same outfit, so I'm gonna keep changing it up, because every time I change up an outfit, I change a backdrop, and every time I change a back drop it inspires me to start doing different looks, even though the poses are fundamentally the same. I always start off static, and when I say static-- come this way, Alex. Put your back here, like that. When I say I start static, I always mean still. I never start going and start moving a client quickly. I'm always gonna start here. I wanna open up this space here. Don't move, and I want you to bring your chin all the way around to me this way. I want you just to drop this under here. Rachel, are you gonna come here? Help me out. You can just sit down there up and down if you can, and I just want you to lift up, thank you. Perfect. I just want you to put your elbow back to the wall, Al...
ex, and don't let go of that. That's a girl. Elbow back to the wall. Starting on my wall shot, chin all the way around. We want this to look a little bit more couture, so come down. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna turn my angles all nice and square, and when I say square, I'm just gonna take that out, cause that's just a little detail shot. Oh, sorry. Hang on, better take that one off the counter. Chin all the way around to me this way. What I do, is when I take a detail shot... Chin all the way around. There we go, chin down. Relax those eyes, good girl. When I take the more fashion-style shots, I shoot squarer to the body always. I'm quite square anyway, 'cause I'm more of a fashion style of portrait, but basically, the whole point of the magazine shoot, is that we're either crossing the shoulder, or we're just making it open up the body so it's nice and square, so no matter where I take this shoulder from here, I bring the chin all the way back, so it's more fashion model than portrait. You're giving me little sweet eyes like this, and now you're in the black outfit, I want you to give me that fierce, that's it. Relax your mouth. Bring your chin around. Don't move. Now drop your bottom lip, Alex, so it's just stop. Chin down a little bit more, and then I'm doing more fashion style crop. So when I do more chin up, I wanna do her more looking supermodel than not. I want that bar stool, and I want the soap box. What I wanna do is go back to this back wall, and go straight into like a cover girl pose for me. You can just put it up onto your waist. So keep it there. That's it, so we're keeping the skirt up nice and close, and I just want you to lift up long through your neck and shoulders. That's a girl. You must lift up tall, and then bring your chin forwards. Stop, don't move. That's exactly right. Now what I want you to do, is you're a little bit like this, Alex, so I need you to drop your elbows. You need to go square to me, so turn towards me. That's it, a little bit more. I'm just gonna tuck your skirt up into here, and that needs to be tighter. Don't look down, you stay up. I'll just deal with that.
I love how you can change her look just by changing the look in her eyes.
Well, you know, it's such a different look. When I'm doing something portrait-- Drop your shoulders. Bring your chin back, neck back. That's it, back back back. That's it, stay there. When I'm doing a portrait, I want her to be more smiley in the eyes. When I'm doing something a little bit more fashion, I want it to look more fashion, so I need you to pull back with your chin. The chin has a little bit of a higher fashion line than a portrait does, so if you can bring your chin down just a tickle, just a tickle, there it is, right there. And I'm shooting nice and low. Now bring your chin down. Okay, stop. Just this axis here, don't move. Just relax that mouth. Then I'm more about being in here, so I wanna try and create it a little bit of a cover shot that looks like it's on the cover of something. And then, before I get out of cover shot, I start moving into this way. Stop. Real fierce shoulder movements, so it's a movement that you wouldn't normally do in portrait. No, no. Yeah. Stay there, and I'm more likely to come down to this one here. So that's that rolling shoulder move that you always see models do. They collapse forward in their body, and they roll their shoulders forward, and then the chin sits nice and high. It's really gorgeous. From here, I always grab on the black fabric, the layer from the top of this dress, because it always works up and over the shoulders. The first thing I do is sort of just take one layer, I just peel it out. Now there's about five layers. Elbows out, so back to the waist. There's about five layers on this tulle, so just with simple styling like that, it wraps around the shoulder. Come back into your waist, like here, and now come in tighter onto your waist. So just like that, you start creating that real tapered fashion waist. As soon as you get that tapered fashion waist, don't move. It's more here chin back this way, Alex. Don't move your body, so just move your chin, and lift up tall. You're going like this, and you're bringing your neck down. I want you to lift your chin high, elbows back, that's it, and I want you to just straighten your head up to me, and chin down a little bit more there. That's the one. This is where I'd put some air in her hair. Now you can't hear me when the air goes in, so I'm not really talking to her on anything important that you have to hear, other than chin forward and down, Alex, chin forward and down, Alex, chin forward and down. Often before I blow the hair in this sort of fierce cover girl look, I bring it all forward like this, because it makes a difference in how it blows. Lift up nice and tall. Bring your chin down. Engage it to me here. Stop. (air blows) Give me some light, Rachel. More, more, Simmy. Give me some light, Rachel. You gotta come into here, that's it. Into her, not me. Come around, that's it. There ya go. Lift up tall, Alex, tall, tall, tall neck. Lift up here, good girl. There it is. I wanna make that cover girl-- look at the difference in her here from here. She tapered her waist. She's got that nice wrap around her shoulders, but as soon as I lift her up and start blowing hair into there, she starts going into that real sort of cover girl look, right? It looks really, really, you know, it's like boom, the hair just pops out.
These series of photographs definitely have a much bolder sense of feeling to it.
Yeah, 'cause it's the black, it's a little bit more model-y, so we're pulling out more model poses. It's a little less princess style, a little less sweetheart. Bring your feet around here, and what I want you to do, take your hands out, just bunch this up. Put your legs apart, and push down with your hands. That's it, so nice here, lots of volume, and let's turn you (sings) right up onto your toe. So what I want you to do now, Alex, is bring this angle in here, so turn your body this way. That's it, come towards me. What I do here, is I'm gonna open up her hair so that you can see the shoulder working. Just make sure we make this up top. I'm gonna open it up, make sure I get that nice line down. Using that shoulder, I want her to point her toes right up onto. Point your toes as high as you can, even show a little bit of knee, and we're there. Rachel, give me some light. Chin around this way, and work that shoulder. That's it, perfect. Chin around to me. To here, there ya go. From there, there, there ya go. A little bit more, Rachel, come in.
That pose looks incredible with the tulle flowing all over it.
I love it.
Chin down, chin down, chin down. Stop. There ya go. From here, I can do pretty much any of my fashion quarterly sort of poses here. What I do need to do is get a second box in, so I can stagger the knees. Take this foot off, and push this one across. Bring it to the edge, other way. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna give her two heights to her knees, and then I can work her legs together. So bring your knees together, right up onto your toes. Soon as I bring her up onto her toes, her legs just look so long, right, as soon as it pops up. Now, I want you to sit forward onto that tulle. That's the one, so just sit forward into it. Now this hand, unclaw, good girl, and bring this in, and work this chin around that way. That's the one. So I'm gonna do another fan blow. Now, tall up here. There ya go, you just grew another six inches. Point those toes for me, Alex. You gotta make those toes and those legs work for me. Perfect, don't move. Always a little bit of a break in the front arm. Give me some light. Bring your chin around to me. Bring your shoulder with it. Stop, bring your chin around to me. Stop, bring your shoulder with it. Stop. (air blows) Lift up tall, hang on. Lift up tall. Bring your chin forward. Work your shoulder in, stop. No fan.
Judy C. Elements really likes this pose a lot.
Okay, work the toes. Bring your chin this way. Put this hand through here, slide it on through. Come towards me a little bit more. Don't move. Bring the shoulder in, ah ah. We always have a break in this front arm. That's a girl. Stop. Bring the chin back, that's it. Bring your shoulder to meet the chin, not the other way around. Don't move, don't move. That's perfect.
This definitely has a magazine feel and look-- to it, yeah.
Chin down, chin down.
From there, I want you to stand up.
Do we have the second box to this?
Rebecca West Photos says, "Love this look, she's bringing out the sexiness without the sleaze."
Sit down. Gather the skirt up. Yeah, right down, like that. Gather her skirt up, that's it. Perfect, perfect. What I wanna do is, I want you to bring your knee up, Alex. That's it. So I want it to be up like that-- I've got it. Yep, that's it. Let me see that leg. Point that toe towards me, and really gorgeous long pointed, that's the one! Makes your legs look so long. Sit up. So sit back down, and I want you to come forward and just hug this knee, like me. Yep, that's it. Okay, hug it out. That's it, nice and closed. Good girl. Now, this elbow goes across, stay there, and your arm goes around your shoulder. I need a reflector. I need your chin back this way. I need you to point your toe to me, nice and long. Lift up tall, Alex, lift up really tall. Can see it. Chin down, that's right. Chin this way. That's it, gorgeous. Okay, just cover that leg with a bit of tulle, one layer, so I can still see it. It's just not so bright. Just lift up at the back, that's the one. Chin around to me, and that nice, fierce look. That's the one, good girl. Don't move. Give me some air, Simmy. So before you put some air in there, I'm gonna change this up, and then I'm gonna put the hands down here to the side. Don't move. Work that foot, work that toe, work that knee. Stop, stay there. (air blows) Big smile, Alex. Chin down, chin down. Okay, stop. Lift up. I want you to do this. You can't be symmetrical to me. I want you to point your toes, stay working on your body. Lift this heel off, work that leg for me. Take your right arm back a little. Stop. Turn. Stop. Lift. Okay, chin slowly. There it is. Relax that mouth, good girl. There ya go. From there, I want you to turn this way. There, right there, bring your chin all the way around. That's it, more, good girl. Stay there, Alex. Okay, chin all the way around. That's the one. Simmy, her top, quick. Alex, look at me. Chin around. Chin around. Keep coming around. That's the one. Work it here, that's it. Stay there, don't move.
The slight of the cheekbones, it's really beautiful the way it's contrasting. Yeah, it's kind of contrasting in the way, it's almost like a fashion light. I'm just waiting for that arm tether, one moment. Don't move, Alex. Bring that top up, Simmy. Too low. Can see it turning, that's it. Just waiting, won't be a sec. Nearly there.
I don't know, her hair just keeps getting bigger.
Yeah, in my world everybody has big hair in some way. I've still got no tether, sorry. My bad.
Renee loves how you see the detail in every frame. (man mumbles)
Can you talk more about how you're separating the black, Sue--
Using the light to separate the blacks?
What I'm really doing is, the light is just doing it's own thing on that black backdrop, so it's almost sitting as a dark gray, which I really like. I think all I'm focused on is getting that reflector back to her face. She's actually sitting in quite a contrast-y position, cause we're so far away from the direction of the Sun, that it's giving her quite a dark line around the outside of her face from her hair shadow, and even the reflector's not sort of lighting her flat, so it's just giving her a real fashion type look, but just with natural light, so it's quite neat how this is happening. (camera clicks) There we go. And I'm shooting, you'll see nice and low, 'cause that's the secret to taking anything that looks fashion. Anything that looks fashion is nice and low. (laughs)
That's nice and low.
See what I mean? So see how it just looks like fashion lights, it's just got that contrast feel to it, that's where I'm sitting. The difference is I see a lot of people shooting up here like this, and that to me is portrait. That's not on the counter, that one. This to me, work that shoulder, give me some fan... Is what I call fashion. (air blows) Chin up again like that, stop. (camera clicks) So I would rather create that look there than create that downwards portrait angle. That downwards portrait angle to me is just too, I don't know, it just doesn't look right. It doesn't look fashion enough to me. I've stood her up, I've sat her on a chair, and I've sat her down. I started against that wall there, so I pretty much just moved her down that backdrop as I went through that flow pose, so this'll be a really good manual for you to work through, as you're starting to be a little bit more portrait-couture. Let's just quickly so if we can throw around the top layer of her dress, so stand up. And Rachel, get you back in.
You have like ten minutes to go.
Sue, Emily Hone says, "I love how Sue isn't trigger happy. You're so deliberate, and it's wonderful."
Thank you for that, because I also get that I can be quite forceful, so I do have to be careful when I'm focused, when I'm concentrating, that I don't get stuck into being too directional, because if somebody is not getting something right, I repeat it. Or if their movers, so if I find them wiggling, I'll say, "Sit still, lift up," and they wiggle, and I go, "Sit still, lift up," and then they wiggle, and I'll go, "Sit still". I start sounding a little bit schoolteacher, you know, "sit still". Because I kind of get into my shooting mode, and I start seeing poses unfold, and I'm sitting poses, and they're wiggling around, and it gets really annoying for me. I kind of think, "Sit still," so I start being quite directional, and then people are kind of... I have to be very aware that I'm not being too, you know.
Do you ever get a ruler and just slap their knuckles?
I want to get a ruler. Slap, smack! The idea here, was that Tiff found this amazing fabric here. I have absolutely no idea what it is.
Mesh. Let's just put that over the shoulders, just low over the arms. I try not to bring anything too far up over the shoulders, in case it doesn't look too '80s glamour, but I see what works. At the end of the day, I could do something like this, and we took such a cool fashion type shot of her. We did this with the cream, so let's change it up a little bit more. We could put it up here. We could make it look a little bit more like a fascinator. I always want fabrics that I can just twist.
I wanna style. I always keep clips in here.
This is made with the same fabric, but it's different.
Okay, stop, stop, can we stop? Because look at this. As soon as you see something, now turn her that way, and see this?
That looks great.
That looks amazing.
As soon as you start seeing that unfold, that's kind of to me where I wanna be. Like I just go there, I'm gonna pin that.
Very, very fashion.
And if you stop, and just don't try to do it, just stop and do something like that, you'll just make it work. I'll bring it around and finish it off. Put that hand down. I'll bring it around and finish that off. Hmm, hang on, I might actually put that--
These pieces always seem so complicated, just looking in the photos, but they're actually very simple.
This is really easy. I don't know if Sue is going to go back to the demonstration, but I'll show you the role of it.
Okay, stop, I want you to put your hand here. Now, whatever I do, I can't put her in portrait pose now, because she's looking too fashion. So I like the light down here, so let's go onto our knees, okay. I also like the fact that when people are on their knees they can scissor their legs. And I want the hand to come around the body like this. And I want that real fashion-- there she is, can you see that? She dropped into it herself, and right there. We'll bring this in. And I'm gonna shoot this quite low. Okay, from here, I need you to come around to me, your whole body. I need you to drop this hand down. Stop, don't move. Good girl, bring your chin around and up. That's the one. Bring it around. Chin down. (camera clicks) Chin up to me, with that shoulder forward. More, more, more. Okay, I wanna sit down, okay? 'Cause I like the light even lower. I want you to go back into there. Stay in front of this light. That's it, right there. I want you to sit up real tall and I want you to bring this elbow back in. No. Yeah. Just your elbow like that. And this elbow here. I want you to lift your chin up to me. Don't move. Okay, and it's all about creating this here. Chin around this way. Stop. Okay, all I wanna do is keep creating that look, that cover girl look, so I just wanna keep tapering the waist. I wanna keep shooting her low. Give me a slight tip this way. That's it. Okay, stay there. I want you to turn this way.
Vffperan says, "She really knows how to make a woman look amazing a very simple way."
Okay, go this way. Go this way. This way, this way. Stop, stop.
And in a very small space.
Keep going, keep going, keep going. Stop, don't move. And now, chin around. Chin around.
That's the best shot so far.
Chin around, chin around. Stop. Around and down. Down. Lift up at the back. Okay, Alex, you need to put this hand out here. That's the one. I need you to length and then chin. Okay, don't the reflector, Tiff, it's perfect right there. (camera clicks) Okay, I want you to keep going around. Keep going, keep going. Stop. Chin down. You know, essentially, she's in a position right now which is very '80s glamour. She's in a position, she's in a outfit there that potentially would've been in my studio in the late '80s. And I just think that it equates to that sort of late '90s fashion that was starting to become quite edgy for contemporary portraiture, but she doesn't look like '80s glamour. So, you know, if you can make that work, then obviously that's the ideal. I want to keep her fascinator on, but her hair has gone to... I want her hair out so it's all on one side. I want hair out and big like it was, but on the other side. Stay there. Just stay there. Yeah, you can lift that. But just pull it out--
"Sensational, crazy, cool. Fascinator is awesome. Love the hair piece."
Indie John says you're the master of mirroring and it's his ah-ha moment.
Okay, that's enough.
So you're still shooting up.
Yeah, yeah. Okay, turn towards me. That's the one. Sit up nice and tall and cross this arm over in the front. So bring this one back, but just cross this one forward. I just want it in, elbow tucked right in. Good girl, there it is. Nice and long. That's it. And straight out to me there. Relax your mouth. That's the one. Stay there. Long chin forward and down. Down, down. Stop. There you go. Okay, I would throw, just have just a one minute throw. So let's take this out, girls. Let's do a one minute throw and then we can move on. What's our counter at for our couture manual?
Cool. Stand up. Okay, so the only fabric we have... We don't really have anything.
Yeah, that's all right. We're about to lose that. We're gonna make sure these dresses are on a little tighter.
Shauna Lofy says, "It's almost Victorian, it's timeless."
I missed that one, what was that?
"It's almost Victorian, it's timeless." And the Rebecca West Photos said, "There's a lovely synchronicity between Sue's creativity and Alex's embodying it."
I better show Alex. There.
Sue, you're at 30 minutes.
Yep, yep. Kate's ready.
And Shauna Lofy says, "Alex is going to love her shots, they are jaw-dropping." I like her smile after seeing 'em.
You look amazing, Alex.
Okay, hold. I want you to hold the skirt first. So I want it bunched up, girls. So just give me as much wrinkle as you can. The skirt's kind of starting to lose its shape a little bit, so we screw it up. And I want you to do something very similar with the rolling shoulder, but this time like this, side to side. Skirt, flick, working your shoulder towards me. Yep. And I want you to move it--that's it. I want you to keep working your shoulder. I need a reflector. So I'm gonna shut it down. I'm gonna turn on the fan and I'm just gonna do some quickfire shooting like I did. So Rachel's gonna stay up here. And so that's gonna be fast and it's gonna fancy. You're not gonna hear me, I'm just gonna keep telling her to connect her shoulder to the front and keep moving. I'm just gonna keep encouraging her. Okay, from there, go. (air blows) Move, Alex. Move the dress. Okay, don't pull your elbows out at the back. I just want you to flick it out like this. Okay, flick it out, cross it over. Not up in front of you, just off to the side. That's it. Move your feet. Move your feet. Good girl, good girl. Look down. Move your hands, Alex. Keep moving. Work those shoulders to me, slow down. Remember bring it around, look at me. That's it. Go. Keep going, move your hands, love. Chin down, chin down. Look down. We got it. Thank you.
I do have to go.
Kdphoto22 says, "Alex's smile is amazing."
Done. Alex, jump out. And thank you so much, Alex, that was amazing. You've got 70 shots there. (crew applauds) You've got 70 shots there so that everyone can start learning, including you, 'cause you're a photographer, aren't you? So you can go home and study all 70 of your shots and then start doing them on your clients.