Sue's Posing Guidelines
Well, welcome to day one of Inside the Glamour Studio. I feel like last time I talked so much about everything that I do. I touched on my brand, my marketing, my business, my selling, a lot of personal attitude, getting out of your own way, and just going forward with a clear vision of where it is that you wanna go and what it is that you wanna do. And I think that my whole message really comes down to simplicity. So, I think a clear vision is always the most simple recipe that you can deliver over and over again. I know that a lot of people try and reinvent the wheel when they shoot or when they're starting their business, where they're so conflicted about what they're starting and how they're starting it, but the truth is is that the more simple that you can create your brand, and the more simply you can communicate what it is that you do, that's all that a brand is. Now, as a photographer, you do that by taking good photographs. When people look at my website, there's not a lot of w...
ords on my website. It's really more abut the images telling a story, and I'm coming now for more of a "show, don't tell". That's kind of my mantra from now on is show don't tell. I don't really want to you know, choke people up with words about an experience they can have when they can visually see it. And I am incorporating a lot more video into my advertising marketing. So this morning, I wanna show you something that I've learned over the last 20 years that I taught myself. And it's called flow. It's just flow technique and flow posing. It's the idea that you can create a shoot, and just flow through it by moving somebody else's body and right down to the last direction. Now as you know, seeing me shoot, I just don't just leave people out there on their own, I'm very very controlled in my directions. And that's okay if that's your style to be more fluid and freestyle, then that's not a problem. You can stay with that, but I need you to still give them more direction on how they should look and where their body should be, because you want your client to look the most beautiful they can look. And you want to save yourself editing time. That is the most important part. So for me, I'm going to do this next hour uninterrupted. I'm going to do 10 to a hundred poses, I feel like I'm doing the Guinness Book, "Sue Bryan is going to do 10 to a hundred poses in an hour." And I had three hours of sleep last night, and I was thinking, dreaming about posing, and then I dreamed about Nicholas Cage. Which is really weird, but. (laughter) So the idea is I jut wanna show you so you can just watch, how I would flow through a shoot, and how often I change, and when I change. And you guys have got a counter, so when you think I've taken a shot that's really beautiful, I move around. Now, just so that we are on the same page, I deem, I deem any change in hands and composition as being a new pose. So, I look at it in three different ways. I change my composition, so I can either come forward or backwards with my zoom, that I'm gonna shoot this on the 24105, which gives me a different crop in camera, because I do not shoot more than one image in the same crop. I can go left or right and up and down within my frame, because it gives me a different composition. Number three, I can move 180 degrees around my client, generally if they're on a backdrop, I get usually, or a wall, I get around 180 degrees movement. So if I, and then fourth, I can make them move their body and their hands by directing their movement. So that gives me a multitude of scenarios, because I've got the ability to come forward and back, the ability to go left and right, the ability to go 180 degrees. I've got the ability to turn them 180 degrees and at the same time, I've got the ability to change their body language. Now, I have to try and do all of that with a believable pose, which is not pose, it's direction. Okay so, it's not about posing, it's about directing to a true body language, to something that I believe they would actually do. And then at the same time, after I've changed my composition, I've moved forward and back, sideways around, I've moved her around, I've changed her hands, I've sculpted her body, I've lifted her up through her pose, after I've done all of that, I wait one second just for that beautiful connection in the eyes, which finishes my portrait. So, this is something that takes a lot of practice, but it's so incredible to watch because it's such a small movement, I think it's such a small movement and I'm not gonna stop and break it down until afterwards, and then I'll break it right down and show you how I map it in my mind and how those poses and direction are already in there for me. So, all I do is access that part of my brain where I know what works. There are certain poses that don't work with certain body types. So there are certain things I would avoid if I had a different body type in there. But I only have one girl to try this on. I've just met Rose, Simone has done her beautiful hair and makeup of her. And she's never posed for us before anything like that, so she's just coming in fresh, just like a client would and we're just gonna work her body and see what we can get out of her, over an hour and you guys get to watch that unfold. So, when I try and flow pose, my idea is as I started as a photographer, I was always struck by one thing. How do they fill the frame with arms and legs, and still make them look long like they're models. Because I noticed that when real people brought their arms and legs up into the frame, everything just shut down, and they didn't seem to be anything flattering about the body. So I slowly learned that I could bring arms and legs into the frame and fill the frame up, but still keep the body long and slim the body down. So that's something I learned and really just practiced and practiced. And it's something nobody ever showed me, and yet it's such an easy thing to do, so I can't wait to show you that today. But the whole point of shooting multiple poses in one scenario, is that you sell multiple images. Okay, and you have a very short window of time when you're photographing people in the studio. Two reasons. One, is that you might have two shoots a day, and the other one is that you don't want to be be posing someone for three hours. As soon as people get hungry, they get tired. And they don't wanna stop the shoot and eat food because then they get mellow. You wanna keep the energy going for as fast as you can. My favorite shoots are always in the morning. Fresh faced, 9 am, ten o'clock in hair and makeup, ten thirty shooting, out of there by 12. Take my client out to lunch, go for coffee and they've got the rest of the day to feel gorgeous, I've got the rest of the day to edit and prepare my viewing. So, I wanna be functional, I wanna be fast, I want to suit the client's schedule, I wanna suit my light schedule. I know that when in you're in one room with one window you get a very small amount of time to shoot. So I've gotta get in and I've gotta get out. I've gotta make it fast but still a pamper session and not let it drag on for too long. But most of all, I want to deliver on every time I'm taking a shot. Over the next two days, I'm going to teach you, I wanna shoot 30 and sell 30. So the only way you can shoot 30 is to shoot 30 different images and the only way you can shoot 30 different images is to direct your client. Somebody asked me the other day "What is the secret to directing or posing clients?" and I said "The secret for me is confidence and direction." Confidence and direction. I have photographed thousands of women, and I very rarely get a women who can move on her own. Maybe one in a thousand, that can actually move like a model or move on her own, or what she thinks is a good movement. So I find that most people are very awkward in front of the camera, and cannot move at all. That's why I do not leave it up to them, and I do not wanna shoot 300 images to get ten good ones. Okay, I wanna shoot 60 images and nail 30 amazing shots. And I wanna do that within an hour and a half, if not less. You know my rules because I say it on my website, every time I speak I say it, every time I do a presentation my last creative live, I walked you through all the roles. It's chin, shoulder, hands. Chin, shoulder, hands. I can tell how good you are by that chin, that shoulder and that hands. That chin is about lifting and slimming, that shoulder is about connecting and body language, but those hands, those hands tell me everything. Because the hands don't lie. Fist, claw, thunderbird, remember. Somebody told me the other day "Americans don't know what the thunderbirds are." And you all laugh so much when I did the thunderbird, because the thunderbird was an english program that we grew up with. And my American friends were like "We don't know what the thunderbirds are." and I was like "But everyone was like double thunderbird?" and they're like "No." (laughter) and I was like "Oh, thunderbirds are a go? No? No?" (laughter) Alright so, the double thunderbird, you've obviously got it. Those hands for me are probably the what I call your advanced level. That's when I kinda feel like you guys have hit advanced level, when you can direct people that can't move hands. And if you can direct hands, then I think you can really nail beautiful images. It just seems to be that hands change an entire shot. And I didn't move from the floor in the shot, I just changed up her hands. And I could've moved left right, in out 180 degrees and mixed up the shot, but just by simply changing a left hand, a right hand, bringing it up to the face, up to the hair, up around the face, never never never never on the face, never pushing the face, never sitting with the chin here so the chin is up. You bring the hand down, and you let the chin fall into a cup, and it just cups the face. If the cup is too on the face or it's too dominant, you put it onto the neck but you pull it gently away from the face and remember, always ballet hands. So I wanna see more hands, more hands practicing in your before and afters, especially on your flicker contests, beautiful hands, beautiful connection, pull it away from the face, lifting up through the back, long chin forward sitting there. I wanna see more movement of hands. Don't show me eight images that are the same with a different smile. Work your hands. But what I'm seeing is a lot of images from the first workshop are coming back like this. I'll see a pose and I'm seeing a hand like this. Okay. This is called what I call "gratuitous hands." it would have been a better shot if there hadn't had been a hand in there at all. You just put a hand in there because you were trying to do your touchpoints, and it doesn't work. So don't bring a hand up into your shot, unless you can make me believe it's actually a body language. We don't pose, we create body language. Okay so, we don't pose our hands in any way, shape or form that look like poses anymore, those days are done. We only create poses that create body language in our image. That it's something that I would actually do. That it's something that I believe. Okay so you have to make me believe that with the hands. So chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass. We're always trying to define an hourglass. Lean girls want some booty and boobs. Curvy girls want a nice clipped waist, we're always trying to create a feminine line in the women's body. Body language. Everything I do about posing I try to make it about body language. So I want you to start now posing and directing, and making me believe all of that body language, making all of that work. That to me is what I want to teach you over the next three days. Because I know when we talk about connection, we talk about connecting our brand, and the connection of what people read in our brand images, I know that my photographs must tell a story in some way because people identify with them. And that identification brings me work. So I don't need to say "Look at how "beautiful these women are, "and connected they look and feel." I don't need to say it, the images already say it. So make me believe it. And if I can see it in your work, then obviously I'm going to be attracted to your brand. And always asymmetry, we're always looking for asymmetry, or we're shooting with asymmetry, we're going left and right. As a photographer, everybody has there own style of shooting, I definitely like to shoot a nice close crop to the top of the head, that's my magazine style. I've been really challenging myself over the last two years to shoot horizontally because of video. And shooting with a lot of negative space above, which I don't normally do. So I don't care how you shoot your composition, I just want the girl in your image to just be speaking to me. So whatever you shoot, if it's not my composition, or it's not my glamour style, if you're in a field or in an alleyway, just do your style but look at what that girl is doing and make sure she is doing chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, asymmetry and of course connection because if you have no connection you have nothing. I'm seeing beautiful work come through with zero connection from the girl to the camera and that's what I wanna show you these next three days. If you nail that for me, and your work will just triple. It looks just amazing. Without connection, you have nothing. Posing rules, these are my rules and this is what I've stuck to, this is what I've learned, this is how I flow, this is how I've built my business and brand. The more simple you can make this, the more money you can make. Now photographers have been saying to me "I've been doing all your poses, "and I'm getting a little bored. "It's been five months." and I said "Oh okay. So what are you making? "10, 20 thousand dollars a week? You know, "repeating all these poses?" And they're like "Well no." And I was like "Well, the idea is that it's a recipe, "and you repeat that recipe over and over again. "When you get a little bit bored, "that's when you're making money. "Because that means you're nailing it over and over again, and that means you have a product and a brand." Now for the people that are like "I don't wanna work like that, "you know, I wanna create something new for every person "who walks in the door." Good luck with that. The idea was that I created a system, and the system works so well in terms of bookings, money and income for me because I want to tie in everything. I wanna create a brand that works for women, and a brand and a business that works for me, I wanna make money doing this. I don't wanna struggle doing this. And I love doing it. When I get bored, I remind myself of two things. I remind myself that it's not about me, it's about the person I'm connecting with, and then I just reconnect with them, and I also remind myself that my brand, if I'm bored with it, I should just go on holiday and then come back fresh, because my brand is beautiful, and I enjoy the connection of it, so I should just get back into the connection of it and go "Well, this is who I am and what I do." Now, at the end of that day, this is all I've ever done. And I try, I've tried a few times in my career to walk away from it, and I just can't seem to walk away from it. It just seems to work and I seem to love it, so is there anything better in the world than getting up and doing something you love? I mean there's days where I hate it, you know, but that's generally because I've lost my connection, just gotta get straight back into it.