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Emotional Honesty

Lesson 72 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

Emotional Honesty

Lesson 72 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

72. Emotional Honesty

Next Lesson: Sue's Evolution


Class Trailer

Day 1


First 2 Years: The Truth


Teaching 2 Photographers in 28 Days


Rate Your Business


Year One in Business


Day 2


28 Challenges




Price & Value


Checklist, Challenges, and Next Steps


Day 3


Day 1: The Natural Light Studio


Day 4


Day 2: Mapping Your Set and Outfits


Day 5


Day 3: One Composition - Five Poses


Day 6


Day 4: Flow Posing


Day 7


Day 5: Posing Couples


Day 8


Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression


Day 9


Day 7: The Rules - Chin, Shoulders, Hands


Day 10


First Weekly Q&A Session


Day 8: Rules - Hourglass, Body Language, Asymmetry, Connection


Day 11


Day 9: Styling & Wardrobe


Day 12


Day 10: Shooting Curves


Day 13


Day 11: Posing & Shooting - Groups of 2, 3, and 4


Day 14


Day 12: Posing & Shooting Families


Day 15


Day 13: Products & Price List


Day 16


Day 14: Marketing & Shooting the Before & After


Day 17


Day 15: Phone Coaching & Scripting


Day 18


Second Weekly Q&A Session


Day 16: Posing Young Teens


Day 19


Day 17: Marketing & Shooting - Family First Demographic


Day 20


Day 18: The Corporate Headshot


Day 21


Day 19: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare


Photoshop Video: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare


Day 22


Day 20: Photoshop - Warping & the Two Minute Rule


Day 23


Day 21: Posing Mothers & Daughters


Day 24


Third Weekly Q&A Session


Day 22: Marketing & Shooting - 50 & Fabulous Demographic


Day 25


Day 23: Shooting into the Backlight


Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight


Day 26


Day 24: Marketing & Shooting - Girl Power Demographic (18-30s)


Photoshop Video: Girl Power Demographic (18-30s)


Day 27


Day 25: The Beauty Shot


Bonus: Vintage Backdrop


Day 28


Day 26: Marketing & Shooting - Independent Women Demographic


Day 29


Day 27: Sales & Production


Day 30


Day 28: Posing Men


Day 31


Bonus: Pricing




Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 1


Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 2


Marketing Part 1


Marketing Part 2


Money: What's Blocking You?


Bonus: The Folio Shoot


Day 32


Photo Critiques Images 1 through 10


Photo Critiques Images 11 through 27


Photo Critiques Images 28 through 45


Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67


Photo Critiques Images 68 through 84


Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105


Photo Critiques Images 106 through 130


Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141


Photo Critiques Images 142 through 167


Photo Critiques Images 168 through 197


Photo Critiques Images 198 through 216


Day 33


Identify Your Challenges


Identify Your Strengths


Getting Started Q&A


Rate Your Business


Marketing Vs Pricing


Facing Fear


The 28 Day Study Group


Selling Points


Interview with Susan Stripling


Emotional Honesty


Day 34


Sue's Evolution


28 Days Review


Student Pitches


28 Days Testimonial: Mapuana Reed


How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation


Your Block: Seeing is What You're Being


Your Block: Valuing and Receiving


Building Confidence: Your Own Stories


Building Confidence: Your Self Worth


Pitching An Experience


Pitching An Experience: Your Intentions


Pitching An Experience: Social Media


Final Thoughts


Lesson Info

Emotional Honesty

I feel like the biggest 'who do we all have' is always ourselves, of course, you know, getting out of our own way. I feel like the most powerful force in the universe is enthusiasm. Because enthusiasm trumps pretty much anything else. It takes away fear, and it's beyond confidence and bravado because when you're excited about something, even an introvert becomes an extrovert when they're excited. So, I've seen complete introverted people just become complete extroverts when they love doing something. So, the slide that I'm going to bring up is my final slide for my diagnostics or my business diagnostics, is this pink graph that I have. And basically, I need you to really pigeon-hole those areas and then start working on them. If you join the 28-day study group, you can go to the file and find the challenges that relate to where you're scoring the lowest. I think at the end of the day, the biggest hurdle for most people is this one here. I feel like everything comes down to where you th...

ink you are and what you think you're worth. Now, I read once that when a woman walks into the room, she looks at everybody looking at her. And it occurred to me if that is true, then the gauge of who we think we are as women is made up in our own head by what we think people are thinking about us. Now, we make up these huge stories in our own minds about what our truth is, and I don't believe that it is the truth. It's the truth according to you. Now, if I walk into a room and people look me up and down like that, I have two choices. I can believe they're either jealous of me because I'm fabulous. I can believe that they are admiring me and, therefore, attracted to me. I can believe multiple things. I can believe they think I'm fat and ugly and old. But I believe that. You, what you're thinking when you look at me, I don't know the answer to that. So, that is made up by my perception of what my reality is. Anais Nin said, "We do not see things as they are, "we see things as we are." That could be the truest statement in all of the kingdom that was ever spoken. That means when it comes to business, I do not see things as they are, I see things only as I am. Now, it took me many years to work that out. What you think of me is none of my business. What I think of me is the most important thing I have and own. I posted yesterday, "The vision for who you are "and where you want to be "is the most important thing you own." You really have no concept or perception of who you truly are. It is made up simply of the people around you and what they mirror back to you. So, if you are around a lot of people that tell you're brilliant, tell you're brilliant, tell you you're brilliant, and then you go out into the world and you find out that you're not that brilliant, or rather that there's a whole lot of other people out there more brilliant than you. So, I came to the conclusion that it really comes down to how you feel constantly. And feeling or emotion is something that we very rarely acknowledge. I know for a fact that when Brene Brown put out Vulnerability, it had one of the biggest hits, her Ted talk, it was absolutely amazing. But one of the things that she sort of is preaching is that we are not vulnerable enough. And when I thought about vulnerability, the word is pretty well associated with me because I feel like in all of my creative lives I've been incredibly vulnerable with my truth, my failings, and where I was. I have been on this platform for nearly two and a half years. You have seen me physically change. People comment on that regularly. That is my personal body that we're talking about now. It's not my work, come and criticize my work. But when you talk my physical body, that's just so weird, isn't it, that I am a photography instructor. I'm a portrait photographer first. I teach other photographers about photography, and I have conversations about my body and my weight. But part of being that and sharing that is you share lots of who you are. I found the journey of my vulnerability has really changed me, but I'm going to tell you a very honest truth. I adore my family, great people, but we're not very emotionally honest. We're kind of made up of binge drinkers and binge eaters. We tend to be binge drinkers and binge eaters because it's a little bit easier than telling you how we really feel. We're not a big 'I love you' family, and that's okay, a lot of families aren't. But I know when I'm with my family that I feel loved. So, as I moved away from my family in 2008, I've walked closer and closer to my personal goals and dreams. And it occurred to me the other day the further I got from my family, the more true I came to myself. Now, my family do not control my future and they do not have any impact on my career. They celebrate it, they celebrate me, but we're a very distant family. And it occurred to me that as I went out in the world away from the people I know every day, I started to become more and more emotionally honest with my friends, and with my loved ones, and in the relationships that I was building. And it's very different from the life I grew up in. So, I could blame my family for holding me back, or I can take what I've learned and go back to my family. So, the other day it occurred to me that I should perhaps ring my family and say, you know, I've lost quite a lot of weight, I've become even more successful, my business has taken off, I'm really following my purpose and my true path. And it occurred to me we don't say I love you or talk about goals or dreams, because although we're an open, supportive family, we're kind of emotionally dishonest. And since I've been away from you, I've become more and more emotionally honest. My friends, all of my friends, text me and tell me they love me every time I talk to them. My parents don't do that. So, whether you're a lovey family or a non-lovey person, or you're not a hugger, or you're into hugging, I mean, when I first came to CreativeLive, everybody hugs and I was so awkward. I was the awkward hug in the family. And now I'm just like bring it on in, you know. C'mon, everybody. I'm so into hugging now, I've made my family hug each other, like when I see them, I'm all like, yeah, big hugs. And I'm so into it, it kind of freaks me out. Because in New Zealand, we lean in and kiss. We don't like body contact, so it tends to be more of a air kiss. And so when I first got here, I tried to kiss everybody and nobody kisses in the U.S., they all hug. So, they would go to hug me, I'd go to kiss them, and we'd get that awkward hump thing going on that was like ugh. Anyway, it occurred to me that in my emotional vulnerability, in my distance from my family, I've become more emotionally honest. And in my emotional honesty, I have to own a couple of things. I have a brother who makes a lot of money. I have another brother who doesn't. I have a sister that doesn't make money, but not because she can't, because she refuses to. She's one of the most talented artists I've ever seen on this planet, and she makes me look like a cartoonist. But she refuses to earn money and wear shoes, or jewelry, or makeup, or dye her hair. Clearly, I'm the antithesis of my big sister. That was a struggle for me because I felt with every pair of high heels I bought, and with every piece of gold jewelry I bought, it was against her nature to be a hippie and a boho super cool chick that cared more about the environment. And that somehow that was some form of shallowness on my part. So, I struggled with that, owning who I was, even though it's entirely me, and she probably doesn't care. I realized that the more I walked away from them, the less I felt guilty about earning money. Because I could probably pay my baby brother's debt to society, but he will never learn his lesson if I do that. Now, I've realized that as I walked away from him, I could keep more money in the bank without the pain and guilt of having something. That my emotional honesty was when I stood up and said I wanna go and move to America, and I'm going to start my business there. And nobody told me not to because the further I got away from the people who loved me, they had no reason to hold me there. That my best friend calls me every week and I have been gone since and says when are you moving back. It breaks my heart because I love this woman. But she chose a husband and babies, and I chose an international career and we parted ways in 2008. I speak to her every week, and every week she asked when I'm coming home, and I'm not. Because right now I've got stuff to do and I'm ready to fly, and there is so much guilt attached to that. If something happens to one of my parents, I'm gonna have to go and look after them, and right now I'm on the other side of the world. If I lose a family member, I can't even fathom what that would do to me, living here, living my dreams. Because we all have this guilt, and this need to look after everybody else and not follow our own path. The further I got away from my family, the more I lived my truth. I'm not asking you to move to the other side of the world, I'm just asking you to be emotionally honest with what it is that you want. Because we not only lie, we not only tell stories and lie to ourselves, we lie to others. I have seen myself being unable to speak about what it is I want. I have struggled to assert myself. I've struggled to value myself. It was reflected in my income, my business, and my body. I realized that when I got brave enough to say what I wanted and own it, then I could have anything I wanted to create when I was brave enough to stand up. You know there's so many good quotes out there, would you disappoint another to be true to yourself. Would you disappoint another to be true to yourself? Well, I read something, Oriah Mountain Dreamer's The Invitation. I read the other day, it came up on Facebook. Oh, I love these videos that we share and the stories we share. Of this woman that works in an old age care and she talked about the 20 things or the 15 things people talk about on their death bed. And one of the first ones was I wish I was brave enough to live the life that I had always wanted. I wish I was brave enough to tell people I loved them. I wish I was brave enough to be the person I want. I had seen people lose their voice, get tumors in their throat, and all they want to do is express themselves emotionally. They want to be able to tell somebody they're angry with them. Well, you cannot change somebody else's behavior. But you sure as hell can change how you react to theirs. You sure as hell can not put up with any form of disrespect. And I'm going to tell you something about disrespect. Throughout my lack of value, my lack of emotional truth, and my lack of ability to stand up for myself, to earn an income, to live the life I wanted, to own a business, to be even valued as a human being that was capable of owning my own business. Before I even got to that stage, I felt in my life that I was largely disrespected. And just recently in the last year, I met somebody who significantly changed how I viewed that disrespect. Because he showed me that I was disrespecting of him and, therefore, I felt disrespected. And I realized that when you grow up and you're emotionally dishonest, you're trying very hard to be something that you wanna be and you don't know how to get there or how you're ever gonna achieve it, you know you're not living in alignment with your true dreams or goals. There's a whole other lack there. And all I wanted was for somebody to rescue me and respect me enough to push me forward. So, I expected everybody else to do that for me. And it never once occurred to me that I wasn't doing that to other people. In fact, I was resentful a lot. And I was resentful of other people. And I was resentful of other people that were successful and other people that were carefree, because I didn't seem to ever find that balance. Emotional honesty for me has really changed my course. And I'm kind at the stage now where I still find myself holding my voice back from asserting myself. Now, I stand up here in front of so many people, and I speak to thousands of people, and I voice my opinion, and I'm strong, and, you know, I'm sassy, and I'm bolshy and I'm bossy. But do you know how hard it is to tell somebody that they hurt your feelings? Or that you don't want something. Or that all this responsibility is just too much for you and you can't take it on. It is something that I struggle with, but I am moving towards it every, every single day. That amazing little clip from Jim Carrey doing that graduation speech, he said, I'm proof. His father wanted to be a great comedian but he ended up being an accountant or something, and he ended up losing his secure job. So, he learned that you can do something you hate and it's still not secure. Anyway, he said, "I'm proof that you can "ask the universe for anything." And I watched that and I love Jim Carrey. He's actually speaks really beautifully, And so does Will Smith, on YouTube they have a lot of spiritual conversation that's very strong, metaphysical. And the truth is, as he said, how could you not ask the universe for what you want and then honor yourself by going after it every day. That is your emotional honesty. Right now you have to ask yourself what it is that you want. You have to be entirely honest and own it. I've said before, I know I've said this, but I went to an event where there were 13 speakers, and I was the 13th speaker. And it wasn't a photography event, it was a motivational event and we were given 10 minutes to knock out a Ted style talk. And I was the last of 13 speakers. I went along, I watched all of the speakers. I waited until my turn and I got myself all wound up, as I normally do, and all the adrenalin was in my body. And we weren't allowed to speak off a keynote, so I had to hit the 10-minute mark and I had to do it at full power and full pace, and not miss a single thing, otherwise, I was gonna come in early. I was pacing down the back, I was sweating up a storm. But I listened to all 12 speakers. And I got up and I delivered my keynote, and I delivered it from my heart with authenticity and as much power as I could. I got a beautiful standing ovation and I felt really strong. I got off the stage, and they brought up a famous speaker to finish the event. And I could not sit and listen to this woman talk. I disrespected her on every level. I paced the room, I went down the back and ate my lunch. I went to the bathroom twice. It was horrible. Her talk was terrible, it was weak, and I didn't like it all. So, I'm sitting down in the back of this room and I ask myself why are you disrespecting this woman. Why are you disrespecting this woman, because you would only disrespect or envy somebody if they had something you want. So, I finished the talk. I met with all the people afterwards. And then I went home, I opened a bottle of wine. I sat out on my balcony and I watched the sunset. I poured myself a glass of wine, and I had a conversation with myself and it went like this. What does she have that you want? Because she has something or you wouldn't have disrespected her. She has a huge following, a book deal, a publicist, an agent, and she's appearing on TV shows. Much to surprise my ego said, well, I don't want any of that. And my not myself said, "Really?" And the hardest thing to accept in that moment was I wanted something, I wanted some of that. And I wasn't admitting it, I wasn't owning it. I wasn't standing up to it. So, I stood up and I said, alright, I wanna speak more, I wanna do this more, I want to do this, I want this, I want a following. I wanna cult that following. And I said out loud what I wanted. I wrote it down. And then I made a goal and here I am. I was not owning my own path, and it was easier to hate and disrespect that woman than to own the fact that I wanted what she had. And it just occurred to me you don't ever envy anybody unless you want something they've got. Emotional honesty has become a new gateway for me in terms of how I live my life. I try every day to assert myself emotionally. I'm going to try every day to live up to that and be strong, and be brave, and be vulnerable to the people I love. And get, you know, the balls to talk emotionally to my family about the fact that the further I get away from them, the least guilt I have and the least fear I have of owning who I really am. Now, I was a little kid that talked too much, and people always told me to be quiet. And even as a little kid, I remember being hurt by that. Then I was a teenager that always wanted too much attention than everybody else. And I was always hurt by that. So, gradually, in my later teens I just closed down and closed down. I stopped singing, I stopped performing, I stopped speaking, I stopped dancing, I stopped doing drama. And before you know it, 13, 14 turns into 18, and you're not any of those things. And it occurred to me that what you're doing back then when you're 12 and 13, is something you should really look at because that was when you were at your truest, most bravest self. And only through those years do you get too afraid to become who you really wanna be. When I moved to this country, the first thing everybody said to me is why do you speak so softly. And I've been told my whole life I was too loud. There is always a way for you to become who you really wanna be if you are completely emotionally honest with what you want and where you wanna go. And why does that have anything to do with business? Because you are running in direct proportion to your business, and don't think for one minute that you're not. Everything about you, your success, your failure, your ability to make money, and your ability to connect to the world around you and have honest, beautiful relationships is based on that. And I know that most people out there are being emotionally dishonest. What do you do when somebody says, "Are you okay?" and you say, "No, I'm fine." And you're not fine. You lied. And then you keep all of that in and it becomes something else. If I could say anything about building your business, I would say at the end of the day you've gotta do what makes you really happy. Because when you're enthusiastic, you can find the power to do and achieve anything. When you dream something and you have a clear vision for it, anything is possible. And I would do anything to achieve it. When I have a clear vision for something, when I want something that bad, there is nothing I won't do to get it, there is nothing I won't. I will work so hard in order to get it. I will do what I had to do to get it done. Because that is what excites me. Reconnect to that and just keep going. And, please, that voice inside your head, the one that says you can't do something, it's your voice. The bandwidth that's getting sucked up on the story you've told yourself, your voice. Just tell it to just shhh. And the only way you can do that is to just go easy on yourself, lighten up. You're doing good. Alright? That's it for me. And that's what I've been doing for the last two years. And I'm gonna keep on going. I'm wondering if these guys have any reactions, any thoughts for the day. Because I know a lot of people are commenting in the chat room. What are you feeling right now? Marsha. I marvel at the ability Sue has to clarify things and help us understand, and I appreciate that. And I think you. I'm a little old to be not understanding this stuff (laughing). I don't think so. It's a lifelong journey, right, Sue? Yeah, you know, the one thing about building a business and building a self is I'm very introspective. I'm always learning about myself. I spend a lot of hours analyzing who I am, what I do, how I can do it better. And I feel like every time I get through a massive hurdle in my life, I just meet the next one. It just never seems to stop. And I think, well, that's maybe the point. It's not meant to, it's just a new one. Just feel the growth. In just business, I feel like, especially in the creative industry as photographers, I've spent just as much time talking about photography as I have talking about self value. And I don't know anybody who does that. But I couldn't see the difference. When I was coming up through, I couldn't see the difference between making money and not. And the emotional connection for women is easier to connect to, however, when I tie in the emotional value with men versus income, they instantly are like (snaps fingers), what are you talking about? Because that logic for them is there and they want to understand it. And I just didn't see, to me I didn't see a difference between business and personal self. Because they just seemed to be exactly parallel. And every time you change a belief, your business change. Every time you open up to a new thought, a new idea, and it's one of the hardest things to do, but when you're stuck, the first thing you need to ask yourself is could this just be a stuck thought, could I move this thought. What is a way around this, there could be a way. Even when you cannot see a way through, just ask that question. Open up to the idea that it could just be you. And watch your world change. When I look at the rating of my business and I see all those zeroes and those twos, I see the tens, two tens. And then I've watched the growth over the last seven years, I know that my brand and style comes down to me never feeling good enough as a photographer. But I've learned to accept that I don't have to be good enough, I just need to be good enough for my client. And I don't need to be better than everybody in the world because there's great photographers in this world, but I'm good enough to offer a great service. I know that my balance in personal goals were at a zero because I had absolutely no thought to myself and what I could create. I know that my service and production is always low because I don't ask for help because I do not let other people create my product for me when I clearly don't want to do it. Because if I did want to do it, I would be doing it. I know for a fact that the reason I struggled with my money management was because back in the days when I was living $30 to $30, I had no concept or value of myself. Money would come in, money would go out, and I lived like my baby brother. Poor, blaming everybody else, not my problem. I've turned that around. I have savings. I live, no credit cards. I learned to be more like my big brother. And it just didn't come easy to me. I know that my sales were reflected in my self value. I know that my business goals were made with my limited vision, with no emotional honesty, not telling anybody what I wanted to be. I went to WPPI in 2010 as a photographer. I had just moved to Australia. I saw the speakers on stage. I turned to a friend of mine and I said, I wanna do this. She turned and looked at me and she went, "Phht, everybody wants to do this." And I thought, huh, but I really have something to teach. And she was like, "Hmph" and rolled her eyes. And I looked at her and I said, "Well, those are your limits, they're not mine." And she looked at me and she said, "Wow, okay." And two years later when I was asked to speak at WPPI by George Varanakis and Arlene, both, of course, now of CreativeLive and then CreativeLive, she sent me an email and she said, "You did exactly what you wanted." And I said, "Yeah." No more and no less. Remember that's the rule, no more and no less, exactly what you have clear vision for. So, I see the parallel of both energies being the more I own, the more honest I am, the more I value myself, the more I step into my truth, the more I follow my true calling, the more doors are open for me, the richer my life has become. And this is something that's achievable for everyone.

Class Materials

bonus material

Business Checklist
Keynote Part 1
Keynote Part 2
Posing Guide: Set Map and Outfit
Posing Guide: Flow Posing
Posing Guide: Couples Posing
Posing Guide: Curves
Posing Guide: Teen Posing
Posing Guide: Family Posing
Posing Guide: Over 50 Demographic
Posing Guide: Beauty Shot
Posing Guide: Posing Men
How It Works
Styling and Wardrobe

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I have purchased four of Sue's courses and love them all. I have learned so much. I found the lesson on connecting with people thru their eyes has made a huge difference in my photos already. Her before and after's made me cry. I want to be able to take these kinds of photos for my family and friends. I just love what she does. She is such a great teacher. I learn much better seeing things done, so this was the perfect choice for me to learn. I love Sue's humor, her honesty, her detailed teaching and sweet and wonderful personality. Her sessions will or should not disappoint anyone. It is the best money I have ever spent on self-help teaching. Thanks a million creative live. You GOTTA LOVE SUE!


Pure gold. Sue Bryce is likable, talented, funny, and an amazing teacher. She calls you on your BS (your excuses for why you aren't succeeding), gives you business, posing, marketing, pricing and LIFE advice. The class is 58 hours long - and you spend the majority of it looking right over her shoulder, through her lens and watch her walk through many, many photoshoots. She verbally and clearly repeats several critical formulas for success so it's imprinted in your mind. Her advice is crystal clear and your photography will dramatically improve after this class. Before Creative Live, you'd NEVER have had the opportunity to shadow a photographer of her quality... hands down the best photography class I've ever taken.


I have just began this course and I am excited to see how following her model will help me to improve and get my business started. I have been through the first two days and there is lots of information to absorb and things to get in order before I begin the actual challenges. I am thankful that there are photographers out there who are will to reveal there secrets ad are truly invested in others improving themselves in all aspects of their life and not just their photography skills. Thanks Sue Bryce for your passion for empowering woman and your knowledge of creating and sustaining a business by being true to who you and commitment to the improvement of others! I am excited to grow myself and my business, I am confident this will be worth every penny! Were the templates for the email PDF included in this course

Student Work