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Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67

Lesson 55 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67

Lesson 55 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

55. Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67


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

Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67

Right, this current slide, number 47 we're at. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, and connection. This is a beautiful shot to me and I would've done anything to see this shot looking at the camera instead of looking away. I would've done anything to see this shot looking down with a big laughing smile. Body-wise I think you've done beautifully. She's a curvy girl, she's got arms, but it works for me. Beautiful color, I love how this print is executed. I love all of the sub-tones, the jewelry, the dress, everything works in this image. I just am seeing a lot of looking away images and I wanna see that connection. I'm always looking for connection, but I'm gonna give this a high rating because overall it's just a beautiful image and it would sit very beautifully in a folio. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection, let's go through that. Chin, it's forward, but it's not connected to the shoulder. Shoulder is not connected to the chin. There are no hands i...

n the image so it's not applicable. Hourglass essentially is if we had just popped down her back line, so we'd just put an arch into her back which would've given her a little bit more of an hourglass than a flat back, straight down the back. Which is really, really important. Body language is what happens when the chin and shoulder go together. So at the moment she doesn't really have any body language, she just looks like she's leaning forward and kind looks a little ticked off. So I wanna see some body language in the body. I wanna see why is she leaning forward and is your shoulder working and is that booty popped out in the back? Give it a little bit more body language. She looks really young and at first you think maybe she isn't working her body 'cause she's younger, but then you see her tattoo and she's not that young. So she's a beautiful girl and she's got a great bod, so she should be working it a little wee bit more. Assymetry is applicable in the sense that it's cropped to the left. Connection is sort of there, I would've loved to have seen more body language. Focus is there, expression not so much. Composition, I would've just taken out whatever that is in the background 'cause it looks like a trash can and it distracts me. If you had brought her chin to the front and her shoulder forward, this would've been a perfect composition. So Photoshop, no, there's still too many lines on her neck and that trash can could've gone outta the background. But hair and makeup is excellent. So close, but not quite close enough. Working these images together need more. You gotta do more than photograph a pretty girl leaning forward. She's gotta be a pretty girl that makes me believe in her pose, that makes me believe what she's doing 'cause I really want her to just bring the image together perfectly. It's just gotta work. Chin, should, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. One of the two things important about this shot is that arm just does not work like that, it just looks wrong. It looks stumpy, it looks short, and it looks cut off. Had that arm been down, and the more you look at it the more wrong it looks. Had that arm been down and she was just leaning against the wall, you will have fully pulled off this image. One, is this looks un-photoshopped to me, so that means I want you to pump your contrast a little bit more. If you're having trouble doing this shot and pumping the contrast in the backlight, meaning your highlights are blowing out, then I want you to either layer mask in Photoshop, brighten up the face, and the layer mask back on. On 28 Days you own it, 'cause you've put this image in. There is a Photoshop section for 20 minutes just on retouching the back light. So I want you to bring that face forward and then bring the highlights down in the background. So that's a Photoshop issue. Her expression is cute, her chin is forward and down, but that arm in the front an that right arm is hourglassing, so you've nailed that. But what is that? You wouldn't lean like this against a wall and have a conversation with someone. It's not a sexy pose, it's just making her arm look stumpy. Bring these arms down unless they need to be there. And if I was gonna bring her arm up, I would've maybe leaned it against the wall and just had the elbow touching with one hand like this in her hair or one hand working this expression here and touching her face all the way down would've worked. So elbow instead of armpit. And that looks like I'm smelling my (sniffs) armpits, so just watch that. Okay, I call this pose the breast examination and I have always called it that because I feel like that's what they teach you when you examine your own breasts. And to me it doesn't look like a body language, it looks like a breast examination. So a beautiful girl, a beautifully lit shot, and a beautiful outfit. And to me it was ruined by that I don't believe what she's doing. So I wanna believe it and I just feel like sometimes hands can be so difficult to pose. Because to me this shot is so incredible, but when the elbow is that high, so it could've been here, when the elbow goes up and over and the hand comes to this breast, it reminds me of how they teach you how to do a breast examination in all of the breast cancer pictures. And I've always looked at this and seen photographers do it and I'm like why do they do that? Pull the arm away, make it body language, have it touching the bottom of the decolletage, have it touching the shoulder light. I can't cross my arm over 'cause I've got a microphone on, but don't have it sitting up in that sort of hook position. Just over there, just maybe bring it down to here, it would've looked better. Just open this up a little bit. Everything else about the shot is killer, I'd love to see the rest of it. I mean absolutely amazing movement, hourglass and body line. Just watch those hands, I've gotta believe them. All right, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. I love this shot. It's beautifully styled, her hair and makeup is excellent, you've got a good lean back, a good tip forward, and you went and put her hands on her belly. So again, maybe she's announcing her pregnancy and that's what it looks like to me. And when you talk to somebody, you would lean against the wall sure, you would flirt, you would put your chin forward, you would put your shoulder up, but I don't think at anytime you would bring your hand across and put your hands on your stomach. It's not body language and it looks wrong. If you'd taken the hands down, you would've killed the shot, absolutely nailed it. And beautiful smile, beautiful makeup, and beautiful coloring. Well done to put that gold in with the pink, works really nicely. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. One thing that I wanna say to people, this is a very, very attractive woman, but she's not a young girl. She's not 20 and she's not pencil thin and she's not supermodel, she's clearly a client, a real woman. And this is the sort of woman that sells portraits in my marketing. So this shot to me is very quintessential of what I would shoot and what I would sell. It's softly shot, beautifully executed. The hand for me is a little bit fist in terms of it could've been a little bit more like this. So maybe instead of holding the shirt, she could've either been like that tucked into the shirt or maybe sweeping across the decolletage or even just gently sort of twisted this way. Using ballet hands. However, I can't really fault this image in the sense that if one of my photographers had shot it, I know it's gonna sell, it's easily gonna be a 16-20 on the wall. She looks cute, she looks sexy, she looks young, and well done. I need you to understand this is not about winning fashion awards, this is glamour portraiture and beauty portraiture for everyday women. This is what it's all about. She looks flattered, the hair and makeup looks great, and I think that's a really well executed portrait. Well done. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. It's hard shooting outdoor portraits. I know it is, but there's no contrast in this image. So we could've popped in a little bit more contrast. It's looking down again, it's neither on the body line. I'm neither here or there. I feel like this is almost close, but not quite where I want it to be. I would like to see that head up. There's a good tip in the front shoulder, good 45 degrees on the lean, which is good. And if you're just a new photographer and you're learning and you're out there shooting natural light portraits outside because you don't have a studio, I would like to see a little bit more sun flare or a little bit more depth. Because you've shot into light, but you've also got light in the front as well. So I'd just like to see a little bit more oomph in the contrast and making sure you've got lots of information. I'm just trying to understand the information around that hairline. But you're close. Chin, shoulder, hands. Chin, chin is forward, shoulder is working. That's a really great connection. Hourglass, not applicable. Hands, not applicable. Body language, yes. As soon as the chin comes forward and meets the shoulder, we have instant body language. Asymmetrical, well it's asymmetrical in the sense. I don't actually know where the crop line is 'cause it's on a white background. The connection is definitely there, the focus is definitely there, and the expression, it's actually on. So her mouth's pushed forward, but she's actually got on with the eyes, which I like. I bet you she bought the shot. Composition, it's pretty well done in terms of breast line. You've got more boob than you've got back, which means the elbow was back which is excellent. And Photoshop, yeah, you could've probably sexed this up with a little bit more filtering. But you know what, this is pretty standard issue. It's a good shot. It's interesting when I look at images like this and the one before, such simplicity is sometimes so perfect. And I know what this girl's shoot would've looked like and I bet you she bought this and would've been really happy with it and I'm enjoying this. All right, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. It's a beautiful image, I'm really distracted by that claw. Watch the claw remember, 'cause we get the fist, the claw. The fist and the claw are the two things that I think standout. They could've been a little bit more of a ballet hand in there. Interestingly enough everybody does the same thing lying down and I might just quickly do this, because I think it's a really significant pose. Jen, come here. So I'll twitch this little fella around. Oops, did I just upset that apple cart? Okay, push it around a bit more, Jen. That's it, stop. Okay, come and lie down on your tummy. So this is really interesting. When I do this pose, the first thing I do is I bring the body line. So if you walk your elbows over this side towards me and then bring your right knee up. Yep, that's it. So to me when I shoot this shot here, I shoot it showing the waistline and then the leg comes out the side. But keep your leg there, Jean, and walk your elbows across just to the other side. This is what a lot of people are doing. So from the front the back carriage pops outta the shoulder. So from the jib, can you got the jib? Because that's the crop I want. That means that the back leg pops out from the shoulder, which doesn't work from the front because it means that the back carriage disappears out of nowhere. So you wanna show the shoulder. So walk your elbows this way and you work this shoulder, not this one. And that's really important that you bring your camera angle around and you see the booty, you see the knee come up, and it's more of a lying down pose more than my back calves popping outta the back of my head. Because sometimes you see the thigh. Like it's a boudoir style shot and they're in their underwear, you see this thigh, it just pops out of the back of the shoulder. And that's because you've got the wrong shoulder sides. So making sure you're moving your shoulders, ballet hands. Good expression though, thank you. And beautiful face, beautiful hair and makeup. And the connection in the eyes, outstanding. So of course it's gonna win for me, it's gonna win for your client. But come on, whoever shot this image knows better with both hands, right? Fist, claw, thunder-bird. I see some claws, I don't wanna see claws. Okay, next image. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. This is one of the images when I first put it up I'm really like oh, interested to look at it straight away. Striking girl, great lip color, far too steary in her expression. Scary, a scary expression. And I wanna soften those eyes and bring that mouth up, but it's the eyes I wanna soften. It's smile with your eyes, smile with your eyes. Soften your eyes for me. Remember whatever your clients name is. So if your client's name is Kate, I want you just to lock them down, relax, chin forward. Kate, eyes to me and relax your mouth. Kate, I want you to give me a tiny little smile in your eyes. And they might move this far. And then you say more. More. More. And you keep saying more until they give you more. So some people have micro movement, but you've gotta get it out there because this is such a gorgeous shot. I love the asymmetry, I love the color. I even like the pose even though it's a little defensive and strong. And the author of this image might say I was going for a strong shot, she's a strong girl. But come on, it's a portrait. She doesn't wanna look pissed off. So make sure she's giving me that connection through the eyes that's making me give that little twinkle of a smile that makes her look so god damn sexy and so knowing and beautiful that it is connected through the eyes and you don't need to do anything else. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. I'm not a flash girl, so I will struggle. I like the silhouette of this image. Beautifully posed image. I would've loved to have seen her chin. Instead of looking out, I would've loved to have seen it down her body line so she's enjoying her body, her pregnancy, she's enjoying the state of grace that she's in. Watch that highlight on that back wall because it's very strong and it's really dominating. And I know you probably put her face towards the light to get the silhouette of that side of her face, but there's a very strong shadow on this side of her face which is not flattering. Bring her face, bring that light around. Put a reflector in if you have to just to pick up a highlight down through the bridge of her nose. Bring that face back engaged to the camera, down that shoulder line, makes all the difference. Oh, I love this shot. And the reason I love this shot is it is such a classic, epic fail for me. It's so beautiful, good connection, great hands, what is that that she's holding? Is it a deformed breast? (laughing) It always amazes me when people put a knee up into an image and it just pops outta nowhere. The hand must go on the knee, over the knee, on top of the knee, or stretch the knee down. You could've done this shot without that knee and you would've nailed it. It's such a great shot. Okay, knees are sneaky and she's got skinny legs. So her sneaky knee just looks like she's kinda holding something really weird. So I always look at it like this, the knee should never come up into the diamond unless she's a young girl and you wanna cover the diamond. For an older woman she's got a beautiful breast line, decolletage. If you had've slit her foot forward towards the camera, her knee would've dropped down, and then her hand would've been on top of the knee and that would've made more sense. Or she can go elbow on knee, hands on knee, but you've nailed everything else about this image. You've nailed the connection. Watch you're not using too much Imagenomic on the face, 'cause I can see the portrait software looks like it's overdone on the face. So if you haven't, I'm sorry, but that's what it looks like. What you're not over-retouching, it's too soft and I wanna see some sharpness. But you nailed everything else, well done. It's kind of hard to explain the amount of retouching that needs to be done on the face. I've seen people in chat rooms asking what is the line? And it's kind of a hard thing to describe what is too much and what isn't enough. It's not so much that I'm saying that they over-retouched because everybody has a level of retouching and I'm guilty of over-retouching, have been my whole life and I've been criticized for it. So I know what that feels like. The difference is I can tell when they've used portrait software on the face. Now I erase portrait software background. I use it on the body, but I do not use it on the hairline or the face because it softens it and it gives that masking look. And I don't like it. I want it to look more natural. So I erase back portrait software around the face and hairline and then I use clone stamp to go under the eyes and any blemishes off there. And then it looks more natural. 'cause what I don't like is what I said before about the last girl, I can see the lines under her eyes are still there. They've just been portrait softened, so they haven't been removed. They're just softer and that's what I don't like when I can see portrait software. Now sometimes I'll photograph some people and whether it's the camera or how you're retouching it can look waxy and it looks like you've used software and you haven't. So this photographer might be sitting there going well I haven't even used portrait software and she's saying this about me. So I'm just saying it in general what I've seen today when I'm saying that they're over-retouched. What I'm really saying is they're over portrait-filtered and you should be retouching more hand to the face, 'cause I'm seeing just too much softening of the whole face including the eyes, which I don't like. You also take it off the eyes and don't you take it off the mouth as well? The hairline, the eyes, and the mouth. It's more about eyes and the hairline, because you don't really look at people's mouth when you talk to them. You do look at the frame and the frame is definitely the hair, the hair is definitely framing. So chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. I know that shoulder's in there, it's cropped out. The chin is down. You know this is one of those classic images, one thing bugs the hell out of me about that and that's that there. Anything I look at that's not the eyes is gonna bug me. So that really bugs me is that little hoop of hair. She is just sitting an inch too low in her chin. If she'd come up one inch it would've just opened the top of her eyelids up 'cause she's doing what I call classic looking through your eyebrows. So her eyelashes are touching her lid, which means she's too low. So if she'd lifted up two inches and then brought that shoulder forward, you would've nailed the shot and if you had removed that hair. I feel like it's all there, she could've had a little bit more smile in the eyes, but you've nailed it. And I would've liked to have seen a little bit more of that 'cause it looks really pretty. And this is so close, I know that this is a sellable image. That shadow on the nose which is caused by the light source, softbox you've used, means that you just need a bit of reflector over here to soften that beauty dish. Because from a distance that hard line on her nose looks too hard and I would love to see it a little bit flatter. So turn her, lift up the chin two inches, popping that shoulder forward, flatten that light down on her face and you would've got a really beautiful magazine style shot. Chin, shoulder, hands. Chin is sitting on the hand which we have to be careful of, although it's not pushing the skin of her chin or her cheek, so that works. The highlight on her hand is far greater than the highlight on her face, which makes her arm look white, which means you're gonna look at it. In terms of the close crop, that is what I call a number one. That is the top of the head and to the nipple line, but then this hand just pokes up and it's very white. It only works because she's actually got a tilt on her head which is unusual 'cause normally that doesn't work. And her hair is not very well-framed on the left-hand side of the image 'cause it's going out of frame so it looks over-cropped. But essentially it kinda works altogether. It is not a solid beauty image, it's more of a friendly image. I would've definitely taken down the contrast of this image so it wasn't quite so highlighted. The makeup for me is okay. I would just like to have seen a tiny little bit more expression. If you're gonna lean on your hand, it's gonna be more friendly. And if you're gonna lean on your hand, then you're more likely to lean and do this because you're touching your face. So it's more likely to be a cute, friendly face touched little smile, kinda cutesy. But if it was a beauty shot, then she would've been directly upright chin and shoulders with just her hand touching beauty style to her face like that. So different expression, different vibe, different feeling. Close, just keep working on a little bit expression through the mouth. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. Beautiful shot. This woman is a classic no chin. You've pushed it forward, you've given her some chin definition. You could've given her more. I would've made her push her chin further forward. I know that she was probably pushing it right forward. What I would like you to do here, and this is a perfect example of being larger busted, being wide shouldered, and also not having a really good chin definition. I like that light and I love that wall pose. You've created a diamond in her back. I see you've even tucked in the top there, so that is executed perfectly to my rules in terms of curves. And I really hope that she bough that shot because that necklace is beautiful. It's enough to compliment the black outfit, which a lot of curvy girls wear a lot of black. So they tend to bring in a lot of black so that's really good that you dressed that up with her necklace. And good connection, cute little smile. I just would've pushed that shoulder forward a little bit more. Just making sure you're, and you're 45 degrees when you're dropping the front shoulder to create space, that you're not going too high with the back shoulder. Make sure you're pushing that down in back too. So there are so many poses for curves where we're twisting the body, we feel like we're taking the weight on this foot, we're doing this here, we're pushing our chin forward, that really hurt. So move through them fast. Let them stretch out, go again until you really nail it. But well done, I know exactly what you did here and I'm very proud of you for doing that. Sue, Jennifer James would like to know if you ever push down the shoulders in Photoshop at all or move the shoulders at all in Photoshop. Yeah, I don't so much push them. Not shoulders because I never shoot shoulders high, but I'm experienced enough to watch shoulders go up and that body language is so uncomfortable. Whenever anybody's high in their shoulders, it's the most awkward body language because to me it's like a teenage body language. It's a don't look at me and I'm protecting myself body language. So whenever I see it come up, I'm the first person that's going to say drop your shoulders and lift up tall. Drop your shoulders and lift up, chin forward. Drop your shoulders. So it's something that I'm constantly resetting. I have moved shoulders, but I move them in more than down. So if I feel like the shoulders are dominating and they look wide, I will bring the shoulders in, but never really down. I have actually made necks longer. So just using the lasso tool go break the hairline, I go down to the bottom there of the neck, I go up like a V, and then I circle the head, and then I copy and paste. I tap up a couple of times, lengthen the neck, erase back through that neckline, and make sure there's no erase line or cut line in the neck. It lengthens the neck significantly and it's actually better than dropping shoulders in Photoshop because shoulders are very hard to place. As soon as you drop the shoulders, you change the length between the bust line and the shoulder which makes the body look awkward. So to lengthen the neck is actually better than to drop the shoulders. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, and connection. I would've done anything to swap her hands over to her back hand being behind her hair instead of her front hand, but that's what we're faced with. There's two things about this image, it is so beautifully setup. It's a great dress, it's a great necklace, great jewelry. And I love this couch that she's lying on, it's very soft. But we've got the back of the hand, people, the back of the hand. And two things. When this hand comes up, let's all be reminded about what hands we don't do. We do not put hands up between the hair and the face. Because what are we doing right now? Oh, hi Jane, nice to hear from you. Oh, great. Hi Santa Clause, I've been really good. Okay, we're talking on the phone. I don't want people talking on the phone. Secondly, we do not place our hand to the side of our face like I am so sexy right now, I am just so sexy and I'm like this. And we do not lean our chin or our cheek onto our hands. We cup the face, touch the face, slide down, or we touch the throat, but we pull this hand away from the face. Because what this is doing it's making her look like this. Instead of having her hand back here like this and she looks like she's got a short neck or no flexibility, she could've been up here like this with this hand just sliding down touching the top of her neckline, touching the bottom of her chin line, engaging her chin to the camera instead of being down like this. No talking on the phone. No hand up here, no hand on the face. We take the hand out, we put it behind, we touch down behind the hair. Then we put the chin down, engage the eyes to the camera. Other than that, everything about this image I like in the sense that I don't like the hands, lift her up a little bit higher, but you've styled this shot beautifully. Hair, makeup, couch. Everything else, like it. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. This is a really typical outdoor portrait shot that you would take for a nice family photograph. It works, it's really simple. It's one of those images that I wouldn't put on my wall in my studio, but it's very sellable. And yet I can't really criticize it because the truth is is it's just a good standard shot. She's got her chin forward, she's smiling. There's a million different poses I would've put her in as well as that, but well-executed and good start. well-exposed, nicely shot. I actually got an email about this image because the author of this image emailed me and said I do this shot all the time in my glamour shots, what I don't like about it is I make it look like they've got a fat back and I wanna know how to execute this shot and show the dress off by executing this really well. So this was actually a question was emailed to me and I really wished afterwards that I had got you to write a question about the shot so that I could actually answer what it is that you wanted to know more about it other than just tell me it's good enough. And when I saw the shot this is exactly what I would've criticized it for, so I was glad that I knew the results. So Jen, come up here. Really interesting shot. Very often I get beautiful gowns and I get the look back shot. And you know the look back shot for me, so if you go chin all the way there and then touch your thighs with your front hand and then look at me. Just go like this and just slide your elbow back like that. Yeah, away from me. So that means her shoulder is now shaped, her elbow is back, and then her chin is here. And then I get her to tip forward so that she's going outta my frame. So that's when I crop that typical frame there and there. In fact, stay there. I'm gonna get this frame. I'm just gonna disappear and leave you up there all on your own. Okay, that's when I do this here and I do that shot there which is that kind of look back, shoulder forward image there. But when I'm doing the back shot, this changes everything. So from here, Jen, I want you to face this way and I want you to put your right toe right up onto this way. And then I want you to look back. Now, see what that did when she changed the weight? She got her booty out here. So I'm trying to kick her booty out so she's got shape there. And then I'm trying to get her chin this way. So really this image comes down to how far I shoot it. So if I shoot it here I can still see the back of her dress, but then I've gotta come around to here. But the problem is is this photographer has come around to here and now the client is leaning back and looking back at me. So can you lean back and look back at me? So that's where they've shot it right there and that's what we don't wanna do. It's too far back because what it's done is even though Jen's lean, it's wrinkling her back. And nobody no matter how lean you are is gonna give you that flattering back line. And as soon as I swap the weight of her feet to her back foot, so your booty goes out this way. Yeah, no, the other way. Yeah, as soon as I do that I smooth her back out, but then she loses her bum because your bum goes away from the camera. So what they've done is they've pushed the bum to the camera. And turn around a little bit more, keep going around, keep going back, and lean back and look at me. Lean right back. That's what they've done there and it's what I don't want you to do. So what I do want you to do is bring her body back to the front a little bit more. Kick your booty out to the front and back. That's it. Lean back a little bit with your upper body so you've got a nice shape, that's it. Now look down with your chin, that's it. Just don't turn too far, then you get the best of both worlds. You can still see her face, but she's not looking back at you. You can see her shoulder, but the best part is you can see her breast line. And from the front the breast line, and then the booty line popping out the back, and then the slight bend here on the arm looks outstanding. And then the chin goes long and looks down and you've got two options, she can either look straight down at the ground or straight up to camera. And boom, there it is. You get the back, the shoulder, the look, the body language, everything you wanted. Cool? Sue, CanadaConnection and ARCphoto both say how helpful it is to have that frame when you're showing that, so they're really enjoying that. Keep it closer then actually, Jen, because if it stays close and it does really help. Yeah, it really does. So I found this extendable frame in LA and I really wanted to buy it, and then I was traveling back to Australia and I didn't. So I tried to get someone to make me one, but Kaleo just bought me a whole lotta frames so I can actually show you compositions. Okay, we're at number 65 if you're critiquing alongside me. If you're not critiquing alongside me, then go back to it, But 65 is where we're at. And everything about this image just screams out outstanding to me until I look at those hands. The hands, the hands. The elbows are coming down wider than the shoulders, which makes her wider. Remember if her elbows come in, then her body goes down to an hourglass which tapers. We wanna bring her elbows in that come down towards an hourglass in the center. This is vitally important when you look at these girls and pose them is that you just get their elbows and push them inwards, okay? Really, really, really important. Makes such a difference. Nicky, come back in and come and sit here. I really feel like this is a such a difference. Watch this. When we kneel down on the couch and then we're here and then we put our elbows here, our elbows make us as wide as our body are. So use your thighs and come up and over your elbows to grow. You see Nicky and I are about the same height without heels, so we should be the same height when we're in this position instead of down here with our elbows forward. The first thing I'm gonna do with her is push these elbows inside her body line. Now I don't want her hands towards the camera. So come on into the middle a little bit more so I can see. If I'm gonna take one out, then I'll do this one out, and then I'll do this one across. That's okay, because that's asymmetry. But what I'm doing is I'm lifting her body up, I'm making her long, I'm bringing this inside the body line. What I don't want you to do is suck them both in to the body line like this, that doesn't work. So one always has to be symmetrically a little wider, but as long as it clears the inside of her body line. You need to see from the camera how small her waist is. And even curves look smaller if you take my waist from out there to in here. You wanna make me smaller by tapering me down to the waist. So interestingly enough men work in the opposite. We don't taper their waist, we broaden their shoulders. So men go from a tapered pose out to a wider pose. That's why men I call it when they have tennis balls under their arms and they puff out like this. That's why men pull their chest out, their shoulders come out, their arms are strong and the elbows sit out. Their elbows go out and our elbows go in. Thanks, Nicky. So what's really important in this shot here is those hands, I hate them. And yet everything about this image is beautiful. I love the wallpaper, I love the coloring, I love the expression, I love the girl. I believe it, I just wanna see those hands and elbows come in a little bit more ballet hands. Ballet hands, people, ballet hands. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. This works, it works for me on one screen, but not on the other. Good, soft hands to the front of the camera which is very hard to do. A beautiful expression. Watching the tip back because the tip back can make the difference between a really confident pose and one not. So when it's tipped back, it looks less control than when it's tipped forward with shoulders back. But other than that, I can't fault that. She's a pretty girl, beautiful expression, I love the hair movement, and I like the shoulder, it's working. So that all works for me. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. We've got the chin going, we've got the connection, we've got the expression, I love her outfit. That arm and her breast line looks really good. Two things. One of them is okay, I really have to be careful about which screen I'm looking at 'cause my personal screen, this is way more contrasty which means the highlight on her boobs is really white. I love this woman's outfit and for a curvy girl she is absolutely rocking this outfit. I feel like that front arm is just too big. I just would've liked you to open her up a little bit more and watch the arm doesn't intrude. This is a really interesting part of curvy girls particularly watching the arm doesn't intrude on the breast. This is where we pull the arm back and make the breast look bigger. So it's about she's here and it's squashed, so it looks bigger and wider and she's down like this. But I would rather her be pulled back here. Remember we want the back to look smaller and we want the boob to look larger. So really working these arms back. And even on curvy girls, watch the elbows aren't out because what we don't want is to bulk them up. We wanna push down lower and squeeze in. And then squeeze the boobs in, because boobs are really malleable. So we get lots of movement in boobs and when you've got curvy girls with big busts, you can squeeze right on under their boob line and it just slims them right down. So just watch this front arm. Open up that shoulder a little bit more or slide their elbow back a little wee bit more. You can even do this, you can even reposition elbows there to give that boob space there, which sends the back down and opens the shoulder up. And a little bit tighter of a crop would've worked for me. So I would've liked to have either seen more of her spotty dress or less of the top of her head, but cropping right in there. And remember you could've done straight on, elbows back. Sue, can we talk about what good cleavage is? There were some questions that came up about different corsets or supportive bras or things that people should buy or have for their clients. But I know that you're very specific about what is bad cleave and what is good cleavage. Maybe when there's too big of a gap in between the breasts or something like that. I know it's hard to talk about. Well, it's not, it's not hard to talk about, it's a big thing. Women are very particular about their boobs and so if I see an outfit and I can see a lot of cleavage, I always take them to a mirror and it's like right, sit your cleavage, make sure it's exactly where you want it. That's a really good way of saying make sure your boobs are in alignment, because if one's up, one's down, one's in, one's out. Some people like to have space in their cleavage like they like to put their boobs outs so they poke them out. Other people like to squish them together and lift them up. I find anybody that wears something that shows their cleavage instantly is very aware of their cleavage anyways. So they'll walk in going you know, do my boobs look okay? So mostly they're asking me, but I treat it no differently than hair or makeup. I'm like check your cleavage, make sure your boobs look fabulous. And most girls are like pumping them up and arranging them and doing their thing. So. So it's really up to the client-- It is. How they want it to look. Yeah, and how much boobs they wanna show. I've had clients say this is showing a little too much boob this dress. And if somebody tells me something in a shoot like is this too booby? Check it straight away, because you don't want them not to buy the image 'cause they show too much boobs. Recently I did a shoot and it was quite cleavagey and she said this dress is quite cleavagey and we didn't really have an option with the dress 'cause there was no pinning it, it was a tight bodice. So in Photoshop afterwards I closed the gap in Photoshop. I just lassoed and warped the cleavage together and removed the actual boobs and just hid the top cleavage line. And I just warped the dress together and she like it better warped together. So talk, talk, ask, ask, but don't guess and don't assume.

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