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Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105

Lesson 57 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105

Lesson 57 from: 28 Days of Portrait Photography

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

57. Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105


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 85 through 105

So, another classic example, I've talked about this twice, I really enjoy this image for a couple of reasons. One is, she's got a very soft expression, two, her eye makeup is pushing a line for me, but that's okay. Again, when it comes to makeup, there's a lot of personal choice in there, so I can't always critique that. I would love this shot more if that right elbow was moved into the center of the image 'cause then it would take her waistline right down to the center. Everything else about this is fine. If you put the elbow out and lean the head, you're gonna get a tilt on the head. If she'd brought her elbow in and just touched down the side of her face it would've been more of a beauty image. It still works but this is one example, when we were talking about cropping before, about not cropping into an arm that's going out of frame. The left arm works on the cropping, her right arm doesn't so much work on the cropping 'cause it's too much in the frame. So, just bring the elbow acro...

ss, taper right down to the waist. Other than that, it has a general beauty and softness that I really enjoy. So it seems nitpicky, but try the elbow in. We've been correcting that all morning. Okay, never, at anytime, do I put people side-on to the camera. The only time you will ever see anybody side-on in my frame is when their shoulder is forward and they're looking back over their shoulder. So that would be as close as I would ever get to a side-on frame. Everybody else is 45 degrees. So this is a classic mistake. I'll bring out both girls for this because it's a double pose, and I'd just like to show you a couple of things. Never, at anytime, have I ever gone back-to-back. So you'll never see this image from me, it is so much better doing front-to-front and doing the face shot. So we do the love heart, which we did earlier before, where they put their arm each other at the back and hold elbows, then their faces go out to their shoulders, and then their faces come together. So, don't come together with the chin. Bring in the top of your head Jen, that's it. So we create this love heart but if you wanna make this more of a fashion-style shot, then what you can do is cut it off here, shoot it horizontally, let's get a frame, so we can frame them up and have a look. So I'll just put this one down, oops, sorry. So we can frame them up nice and square, and we can crop it in nice and close, faces nice and close to the camera. Now if you wanna crop in even closer, you can come into here but just do a number one with them, so that's cropped to the top of the head, nice square faces, making sure the faces are the same distance apart. It never works with back-to-back, but let's try, and Nikki turning her back to Jen. So if Nikki turns her back to Jen, and then you can just touch her elbow which brings your shoulder in. You drop your hand onto your hips, so slide down, Jen, so that your hands, no, no, on her arm, there it is. So if they're sisters, they're connected there. So you could crop it there and there. So Jen, bring your face in now, and as long as the faces are engaged, and you crop to the top of the head, that's where you wanna be. Back-to-back never works, 'cause is you go back-to-back, ladies, then the first thing that happens is neither of them can get their face back to the camera, which is what this shot is suffering from. So either connect one, connect both, but don't have them back-to-back, because I would never, if you walk away, I would never shoot a girl on her own back-to-back tipped back, looking back, okay? So what I'm doing with both shots is connecting two girls in one image and connecting them to each other, okay? So, unfortunately that's a fail for that reason. All right, chin, shoulder, hands. Why do we place our hands on our body? 'Cause we look at what our hands are touching. Her hand is touching her thigh, I'm looking at her thigh. It's a shame because if I take this out of the image, if I take this hand out of the image, or if I take around her waistline, I look straight at her face. This is a beautifully executed image, with a photobomb hand, okay? So what's happened is that hand has ruined the image because it's photobombing down through the image and going, hey, look at me. And you know hands, jazz hands are so naughty because they wanna just take over and they just wanna say, like, you know the little fist comes in, or the little claw, or the little T. rex hands, but when it's a photobomb hand it's kinda like, look everybody, I'm down here, look down here, look down here, and I've stopped looking at her beautiful face. Her shoulder's connected, her expression is excellent, good crop, good angle, I even like how she's on the front of the chair but the way that you popped that hand across is just like, bugger, so close! So how about we take it to the hip, we touch our hip we slide up, our elbow goes back, we define our hourglass, we shape the hip, we take the hand out of play, we look hot, we look sexy, we have an hourglass, and then we're looking at the face, okay? Watch those jazz hands. All right. Here what we've done, is we've cropped too much of her right arm, we've got a classic feet sticking out of the top of the head. Now, this image works in a nice, easy, relaxed shot because it's a pretty classic image that most photographers take, but I just wanna see a little bit more space on the left or right. You know, you could've done this without her feet poking up at the back, you could've turned her on more of a 45 degree angle. You've got great connection through the eyes, a cute little smile, her hair and makeup looks good. I would like to see a little bit more retouching to the face here. She looks really natural, it's a casual hair and makeup, but I can still see a shadow under the bag. There are two lines underneath the human eye, one of them is a natural eyelid and the other is that little wee bag there. That bag does not belong there, the eyelid does. You take this one off but you leave the top one, okay? I'd like to see a little bit more retouching on those darker circles under the eyes. And just watch, it's just too cropped off on the arm, it's cropped off on the half right arm. All right, now, I've got a before and after here, so let's talk about the before and after 'cause it's been presented, so, let's talk about it. It's a beautiful shot, and I think without the before shot, I would've aged her as quite young, because she is very, very young. And she's obviously a teenager, but this works, I mean, the hat works, the hands are beautiful. She has very, very feminine hands, which is great. Not many hands work in an image like that, she's got great nails, and it works. You got a little bit of a dark dip under here which you could've lifted up on Photoshop a little bit, but the truth is, is this just needs a nice little cooler filter on it just to lift it up a bit, but this is a great little shot. I like the before and after, I like the idea. To me, the before shot's too good, okay? You pumped more contrast into the before shot than you have in the after shot. And so, I kinda, the before shot looks quite funky so, remember just keep it really straight with the before shot and just a little bit more finishing in this one, and I love it. But you've really nailed that hat, good hand line, and, it's typically the sort of shot young girls come for, it's fashion-styled, it looks cute, I like what you've done. All right, let's go back through our list. Remembering, our critique list is this. We're going, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, asymmetry, connection. The connection is about the connection to the eyes, to the camera. There's a difference between connection and expression, okay? Expression is what they're doing and connection is how connected their eyes are and where you look at the eyes in an image. This is a really strong connected image to the eyes. She has beautiful hair, she has good makeup, classic cover girl. Have you notice that I've rated highly a lot of the cover girl shots today? Because you are getting these cover girl shots right and it looks great. What I don't like about this image is she's doing a classic thing, where a lot of girls suck in through their midriff and when you suck in through your midriff, two things happen. One of them is your boobs come up, and your shoulders come up, and she looks to me like she's sucking in. They don't need to suck in their belly, get them to relax it because you're shaping her waist in the pose and with Photoshop anyway. So she just needs to relax through her midriff. So when I see the boobs pop out like that, I'll always say to clients, just relax through your chest, you're pushing your boobs out. And instantly they do this, and they relax their boobs, and they looks smaller, because what goes away from the camera looks smaller, what comes forwards looks bigger. She's got good hourglass, good shaping through the waist, but here's a great little tip. When you do use cover girl, and you use cover girl in close, so you can see the thumb is pushing into the waist, you're creating a smaller waist, in Photoshop, remove this little triangle here, because you've created a new waist, and you now no longer need that excess. That excess is the squeezed-in part when you've got your hands here. So you could just Photoshop that out, and you've trimmed and tapered her waist right down. So other than that, it's a good standard cover girl shot. Watch the crop on the head, 'cause it's coming in a little bit too tight. We don't wanna crop our number three, which is belly button to the top of the head, in the hairline. That's a number one, on the hairline, up to here, and then we go two, and then we go three, which I'm gonna post on my blog tomorrow. Sue, Aurelia has asked about cover girl hands, she said I've had a hard time with extra-curvy girls getting their hands on hips and them not being able to curve the hands due to the lacks of flexibility, thumbs in particular end up digging into the waist. Okay. So that's what, is the Photoshop really the answer for that? Photoshop is the only answer to this. What you're doing is you're creating a little bit of a faux here, so what you're doing here, is the hands come up to the waistline out here, if you shoot it out here, I've got no waist, it's not gonna look like I've got a tapered waist. If I bring my hands into here, often people roll forward with their shoulders and elbows, you don't want that because it looks like a front row, or a linebacker, it becomes forward. So what we wanna do is keep the elbows back, but just bring the hands to the front more, so you're creating that faux waist. Ultimately, what happens when they tip forward or push their booty back is you get some excess here, which is exactly what's happening here, and you simply can trim that out in Photoshop. Remember, you're not making her look a lot slimmer, she's projecting her chin forward, she's got a good shoulder line, she's gonna look long in the neck, her hair looks great, all you're doing is tapering her waist at the bottom of the image so it really works. Anything else, in there? Nope, I think we're good. Okay, cool. So my next shot here, she's got more back than she's got boob. It's unfortunate, 'cause the background in this shot is really beautiful. This is a big faux pas, it's a good shot, and you've good connecting in the eyes, there could be a little bit more in the expression in the mouth. You've got a good shot in the eyes, but what disappoints me about this shot is I've lost her breast line and her arm looks thicker. So if you had changed two things, one of them is she could've tilted forward, and then brought her hand back, and that would've pushed her into the frame which is your negative space here, which is beautiful. You've nailed the focus, and you've nailed the background. The one thing I don't like, and it's a big no-no with here, is they've done a spiral loose ribbon curl, and they've left it, your makeup artist has left it. I really like to see that pulled through. That is a really ten years ago curling hair and it's kinda dateless image, so pull it through, we're into the big soft curl right now. It's about creating a curl and then brushing it through, me, see, giving it a bit of volume through there but brushing the actual ribbon out of it. 'Cause I know she's got very thick, unruly hair, she has naturally curly hair, it's a lot like mine, but just kind of, for your stylist that is, but I'm criticizing styling here, which is really not in the photography realm but in the glamour realm, it's definitely gonna date an image. I just feel like you're so close with this image, I would just like to see a little more boob than back, and all you have to do is tilt forward, nice straight position forward, working that front shoulder and bringing their arm back so that the thick arm is not so dominant at the top. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, okay? We don't really have any hands, we don't have hourglass but what we do have is a really good asymmetry. This, to me, is number two on the shooting spectrum. We're above the belly button, we're midriff to mid-hair height with asymmetry, so this is a perfect crop for me, this is very Sue Bryce. This is very how I like to see, this is an image that every single client buys. This is the perfect crop, great little expression, beautiful hair and makeup. It's one of those shots that, and it is bordering on being a little bit overcropped to the right, which means if you came in on the left crop to fix it, you would be going up to a number two in the cropping and the composition, but it's right where I wanna see, it's perfect for advertising. I would be able to extend this background to a nice blue mauve and put a voucher in there, I'd be able to use this. It's really perfect in terms of standard beauty, magazine, style portraiture because it's a little bit more of a contemporary crop that contemporary portraits, but it's definitely along the lines of what my clients always buy. Now, so is this, that nice close, you're at number one. But if I'm gonna be that close without cropping an arm off, I would rather turn her face back to the camera. So you've missed an opportunity to be a little bit more cover girl here. You've done a pose that essentially is more of a two or three in cropping, meaning pulling back to see the arm. I'm gonna explain this, Nikki, I'm gonna use you. You can bring me a tissue if you want, right there. Just a tissue (chuckles), leave the box but come in, I want you to pose. Okay, I'm really sorry but I put gum in my mouth and I forgot to take it out, and I feel really naughty. (Nikki laughs) I'm just gonna throw it over there. You are naughty, Sue. So, I'm a naughty girl. Okay, Nikki right now, if she stands 45 to the camera and puts her elbow out, which is how this girl is, you've cropped her like this from the front, so it's in there. So it's not showing the arm, it's showing, and it's not showing the boob either, you've cropped into her breast line, so it's neither here not there. If I'm gonna shoot her that tight, like a number one crop which is, top of the head to the nipple line, I'll turn her directly on, put your elbows back, let them down, and I'd just shoot it there like that, asymmetrically, like why have it 45? 'Cause you're not showing her body, so it doesn't work. I'd shoot it straight on like a magazine cover, which is very similar to the image before. Or you could've gone back to the 45, had that elbow up, so hold your thumb there, and give me some shape in your booty, so kick on, the other way, 'cause I want your booty forward, there, and then just pull back on the cropping to more there. So you're at the 45, you've worked the chin, you've done a beautiful job of her hair and makeup, but you've just missed that crop a little bit. You're just too tight. So you're giving me a beautiful magazine cover pose but you cropped it too tight. If you're gonna go to that tight one, turn it front-on and push the chin forward. And it doesn't matter how curvy she is, you're in there nice and tight, slightly asymmetrically, and you're gonna nail it every time. Thanks, Nikki. Right. Still have a quick comment. Sure. Nickname in the chat room says, I love how Sue addresses the images from a place of learning and love. I was so afraid to share my images, I'm so glad others we're not, I won't be next time, which I thought was really cool-- Woohoo! And I do feel like, the way that you are addressing every image is from a place of learning and love. I thought you were gonna be (imitates whip cracking). (Sue imitates whip cracking) (assistant laughs) Well, you know it's an interesting thing because I need you to understand a couple of things. I've seen photographers come into my studio, learn from scratch, and make thousands of dollars in the first month. When I did 28 Days, I showed you how much money Chrissy and Karen earned for us in the first four weeks of their employment. Chrissy did four $7,000 shoots in her first month, employed, and she was not a photographer, she was a graphic designer. This is a posing system, it is a genre and a system. It's about learning the basic tricks that make women look amazing, that reference magazine shots that we see every day so that you can sell and give the experience of an everyday woman looking like she's just been shot for a magazine. There are simple tips that make bodies look longer, leaner, and better, and more magazine, and more fashion. Once we learn them, we repeat them, and then we create really great portraits for our clients that they wanna buy every single time. All right, this is a classic mother and daughter image, the only problem is, is even though the daughter has really lean arms, she's dominating over her mother. And the reason she's dominating over her mother is because her head space is intruding into the mother's head space. This where I would've simply looked at this shot and said, I would've simply done this with my hands, mom, bring your chin this way, and I would've engaged her to her own shoulder, and I would've said, daughter, pull back a few inches, because she's overshadowing her. She's hanging over her, and when the body language is forward on the bottom person, it looks like they're getting pushed down. It's a beautiful shot, you've nailed the connection. I would have liked to have seen, more hands locking in together because unfortunately, this arm just runs right down into this arm so they lock, if you'd showed hands, fingers, locked together. And I would've just liked, just seeing mom this way and daughter pushed back a bit, so close to being absolutely perfect. But again, this image would've sold, it would be an image that I would've easily sold in my studio, so good job. All right, we are too high key here, beautiful shot, beautifully done, and I don't know how sharp it is in the eyes, it doesn't look very sharp to me. I don't mind that slight tip down because it's not far enough away to be of 45 faced. It's definitely a good connection through the eyes, but I feel like the mishandling of this image has been done in the post-production or in capture, maybe that you're not editing yet in RAW. I would love to see this image in RAW, and I feel like you've lost the nose, and all we're seeing is a nostril, a floating nostril there, so I would just like to see this taken back a little bit because this is so close for me, but no cigar, (speaking foreign language), okay? I would just like to see a little bit more skin tone, just a touch, even if it's dropped into the cold cyans. It's a beautiful shot, just pull it back, it's too high key, which means it's shot at too high an exposure and you're not using your recovery tool in RAW. This, to me, is being let down by its post-production. We're at slide number 97 on the website, if you are on Glamour Critique, I'm at number 97, if you go to thumbnails or index you can see your images coming up either in thumbnails. I feel like this is a really great executed pose, but that background is too full on. I can deal with this part of the background, but I can't deal with that dark shadow, I go straight to it. I skip her face and go straight back there. Her before shot is too posey, and it looks too good. She needs to be in a ponytail. It needs to be a before and after image. You get a knuckle rap today, because you've seen the before video on 28 Days, that we've done a whole session dedicated to the before shot. She is supposed to be standing up in her before shot, not posing with her hip out. She's supposed to have her arms by her side and her hair in a ponytail. You're very naughty, okay, you've broken lots of my rules here, and then you've gone and done a really nice pose, and you've done a great connection to the hand to the neck, but where's my bottom hand? What am I seeing down there? That poor girl's got no fingers. Where are my ballet hands? Okay, so this is getting a harsher critique because you've done such a great job of the pose and then such a naughty job of the hands and such a naughty job of the before shot. But you can fix this, turn that hand down. Ballet hands. Watch that dark side of the background, either extend your background on Photoshop, or crop it in, or don't shoot so far to the left. And get your before shots looking more like before shots because you want people to look at it and go, wow, before and after! I wanna do this, this looks incredible. Look, she's just an ordinary girl and then they made her look like a movie star, right? Not like a movie star with little clubbed fingers. All right, we've got a little bit of a collage going on here. Okay, I would never put two images in a collage that look so alike, and the expressions throughout this collage is not enough to want to make me wanna keep looking at all of the images. This is cute, the elbow needs to be on the top of the knee, that knee's just photobombing again. We can't have a floating elbow here, okay? No hands on knees, 'cause we don't want little short forearms. So this is actually lit really well and shot really well, I just feel like all of the posing is too controlled, it's all in here, okay? I want you to lengthen her body. Instead of having little hands over knees and things like this, I want you to life her up, stretch her out, stretch her arms out, create some space around her body and really work through her expressions. Make this woman smile at you, really smile at you, connect through her eyes. You're really close here, and I like what you're doing, but I just need you to push them a bit far. One of the naughtiest things you've done is the one arm crossover in the front here. You've covered up the diamond, okay? Do not cross the diamond. And give me that back arm through here, right, you could've connected it in so many different ways, and this elbow here. So let's go through this, because I feel like there's a couple of real good classic mistakes here. Jen, come on in, and I want you to sit here, and let's grab you an apple box. So let's have a look at a couple of things that are really, really important. We'll put this apple box down, sit up here, and, so one of the things she's doing is she's got her front knee up, and, so you need to turn her apple box up here, and put your front knee up. So her front knee is dominating, and her arm is going across here, and there's no back arm. Okay, so we've closed down all of her body language. We don't see her breast line, we don't see her neckline, we've missed an opportunity here. Let's swap feet and swap hands. There it is, now. Now we've opened up all of her decolletage, stay this way though, and go right up onto your toe. When we go up onto our toe, we lengthen our legs. When our legs look longer, everybody's happy, okay? And then we connect this hand, so we can put that there, and that only works if we connect this shoulder. Now, bring your chin back to the front, and connect to the camera there, okay? So that throat is there. Swapping legs, not having that front foot up there, really big difference. The second one is, is when this image is forward, okay, and her foot is up here, so this foot back up here, her elbow is here, and she's upright. No, no, no, her elbow is back here like this. So that's where we're going wrong, it's down behind her knee. I want to lengthen her up, lift her up nice and tall. Bring your elbow right to the edge of the knee. Come up onto your toe, Jen. If that knee is too high, you slide the box forward, and it drops the knee down. When the knee comes down, she can come forward, and then she can crossover through her hands and do lots of different poses like this, and just let this hand go and relax in the front, ballet hands, this one hugs in there, nice and tall. Bring your chin forward and down. See what that's doing? It's stretching her right up and out and it's bringing her back, because this girl is back here like that, and this knee is just bombing in, okay? Then the other one, is she's got her hand in her hair like this but she's just floating, the elbow's out floating like this. We either bring the box in, bring the toe up, bring the knee up and bring her elbow onto here and then she can touch her face, she can touch her neck, she can touch her decolletage, but we always bring the knee across into the center because we taper the elbow and the knees back to the center of the body. That is farmer Joe, it's like, we don't have our crotch open and we don't like, ta-ta-da, farmer Joe. And I hope there's not a hole in your tights right now-- No (laughs). (laughs) Joking. Okay, we always (laughs), I'm like, farmer Joe. Okay, we always cross our knee and we cross the elbow because we don't need crotch shots, and we don't need to look like we're like, da-da. We wanna make sure that we're in, that we're always tapering to the waist, hourglassing nice and tall, and then we can use this hand on the face but not just leave it out there floating. Because if we're gonna have a floating elbow, we need to be doing something like this, like, playing with our hair in a way that it needs to be there, it's got a reason to be there. Thanks Jen. Yes. Sue, for maybe some of our newer viewers who maybe have not watched 28 Days yet, Chicago Charles doesn't understand the concept of the diamond. Can you just explain that quickly? Aye, okay, shine bright like a diamond. Now that song's in my head. (laughs) Okay, this here is the diamond, okay? It's from the top of the head to the outside of my shoulders to the bottom of my boobs. Not a good diamond 'cause it's a rectangle, but you get it. Okay, this is where I always focus my image. Every part of a woman's beauty exists in this part here. So we never cross the diamond, shut down the diamond, or turn away from the diamond. Every one of my images focuses on this here, even when they're lying on their tummy. So we never cross the hand across the diamond or close down the diamond, unless they're young and we want to close down that body language. This is where beauty is and it's a really, really important part of learning how to pose and learning how to shoot beauty and glamour-style images because that diamond is the most beautiful part. Thank you for the clarification. And this is a classic example of diamond being shown, we're at the top of the head, we're down to the bottom of the decolletage, I love this image. I love this image because I love the background, it's beautifully executed, it's a gorgeous shot. I don't know whether it's on black Gatorfoam or on a backdrop but I'm loving it. What I don't love is that her expression just looks a little wonky. If she had had a beautiful expression, I could not fault this image. She's got movement, I like the asymmetry in her body line, it's well executed in terms of focus, it's well executed on all levels, but I kinda feel like she's just here. She's just on a little bit of an awkward, wonky, not really smiling, not really giving me a true expression. If I had really seen a relaxed face here, a relaxed mouth and smiley eyes, I would've been blown away by this movement in this image. It's got so much potential but, I'm just not believing that expression. Expression trumps everything. And when I see a killer image like this, and I'm not seeing that expression coming in, I'm just, I'm not believing it. I wanna take hold of this model and keep giving me different faces until I get one that I really believe. And so as much as I love it, I'm not feeling it and that really bums me out, because it's got so much incredible, right things about it that what's wrong about it is hurting it too much. I can deal with this crop, I like this, it's a natural image, she's a natural kinda girl. She's not overly glam, she hasn't got the big glammy hair and makeup, but she's smiling, it's a beautiful crop. I like that muted tone and the black and white. I like that you've gone towards the cyans, I like my black and whites like that, a little bit low contrast, and a bit of color popped in there. I like it a lot, she is really smiling, it's a good crop, it's a number one horizontal, which is a tight crop, but it works for me, so, it's good standard image. I would like to see more images around this shot to see how well you actually executed other shots, and if you shot it like that, but I mean, I can't fault that. I love shots like this. Shots like this are real, I mean, to me, this has got reality to it that is very different from being over-glam. Not all of our clients are big hair, glammy, lots-of-makeup girls. I mean, just 'cause I've got big hair and wear lots of makeup doesn't mean that women I photograph are like that. I get lots of girls in that just aren't big makeup wearers, that never wear makeup. They'd only take their makeup to a number one or two on the makeup spectrum, and I'm quite happy with that. So for a natural image, I think this is beautiful. That's really beautiful, good connection. Okay, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, not really important, hat works, I like this shot. It's a beautiful shot, it's over-retouched, okay? I feel like I'm seeing softness on the face again on portraiture. So, I love the connection, she's got a tiny little smile on her mouth, but that smile is all on her eyes, you got a little bit of arm in there. This is the sort of asymmetry I want, this is the sort of shot that sells to every single girl. I've seen it a million times, you watch my workshops, I'm always like, get up close, shoot to the top of the head, slightly asymmetrical to the nipple line, this couldn't be better. But I just feel like it's pushed too far in the softness on her face. Gorgeous expression, great hair, love that hat, and I love that you put a hat on her, but you haven't felt compelled to put your hands up in there, which is a good thing, so it doesn't need it. So I really like it, well shot, love the color. Got beautiful eyes. What is that? Okay. Many times in my lifetime, I've had people come in and say, I love this handbag, or I love these shoes, so even if I'm not wearing them can they just be in the shot? But you know what, when people come in with something like that, if this was a perfume ad, then I get it, she's holding a bottle of some description, or maybe it's a crystal, but it just doesn't belong in that shot for me. All I'm seeing is this. It's a little bit too much. Okay, I don't get it. So, I don't get it, if it was one of my photographers, this is where I would say, now, you know what, this is a critique that comes down to personal opinion, it's not a critique that comes down so much to technique, but I will say one thing. If that bottle means something to her, maybe you could've held it to her heart, maybe her mom gave it to her or, it could've been a very special gift, or it could've been something very important. It could've been held to her heart, it could've been shot in a way that it was significant to her, but I kinda feel like it doesn't really exist as anything, it's just kinda here. And because I don't get it, I don't like it. If I was to take this hand away, and I was just to see this image of this girl, I like it, I think her hair could've been a bit softer and brushed through, those curls are a little bit too sculptured for our era, right now, but other than that, her makeup looks good, I just don't get this. Beautiful shot, it's a little bit too in the center for me, which means there's no fashion crop. This sits just inside one, two, three, four, five. Let's go through that again. Jen, come on up. So, okay, let's make this really, really clear. Number one, for me, is that crop where I shoot the top of the head, so the top of the hairline to just, I'll pull out to here, so just on the boob line. Okay, it's set number one. If I'm gonna go that close, I don't want it to look like a passport photo, so I'm gonna drop it down and then slightly asymmetrical, okay? Then, number two, is I go a little higher on the head, and I pull back to about mid, just underneath the breast line. Then I can see where the waist starts tapering. This shot here is neither, because it's sitting in that mid zone, but it's got lots of room at the top of the head, and it's cropping into the right arm. You would've done better to straighten her directly up to the camera, put this hand up, like hers, see your left hand is up, sorry, yeah, and elbow in. You would've been better to shoot her directly there, or even there with the space that way. But because she's working this shoulder, it's more like a double negative. So what's happening is, you're working the hand, and you're working the shoulder. You should've done one or the other. So she should've either had this hand down, left hand down, and work the shoulder, or she should've been straight with working the hand, but she doesn't need to do both. And the crop's just a little bit high. So if you crop the top of this image, you can do it on Photoshop, and drop it down a little wee bit, then you'll be right on a more fashion crop, okay? Thanks. Exactly the same pose, but done with another crop that's still too low, still too high, sorry, and off to the right. So this is the same sort of pose that is done, unfortunately, too high. So you've done everything right. What you've done wrong, is those are really bad eyelashes. Okay, they're big spider eyelashes, and they're coming off in two places, so, it's unfortunate 'cause she's a beautiful girl and you've got good hair. This here is very distracting. Get rid of it, that line, coming out of the frame. You've absolutely nailed her face, her connection to her shoulder and her hand, but that is a bad crop. So unfortunately, what you've got right is negated by what you've got wrong. There's also a softness to it, in terms of it being black and white that is not black or white. So it's sitting in that low contrast range which is not helping her. It needs to either be punchier, or you need to pull back more. I would love for that shoulder to have been in, I would've loved to have seen this image pulled back again. And if you didn't style the makeup, unfortunately those lashes, can be fixed on Photoshop, because when eyelashes start to tip out like that you can hit that little bit there and clone it out and you can take off the outside eyelashes so they're not so Daisy the cow. 'Cause those Daisy the cow eyelashes that splay out like that look horrible up close. But really close with the body language, good expression, tiny little smile on the eyes, the face angle to the camera is good, it's just cropped too high and to the right. All right, our hands is where we look, and what I'm looking at is the bottom of this image, okay? It's lit very hot in the front of the arms and not back to the face. There's a big dark shadow coming in on her right-hand side, which makes her look dark under the right, which doesn't look good. So it's getting hit with either a soft box or too much light on the right, and if that's natural light, then what you needed to do was drop the hands down, drop the knees down, which would've dropped her shoulders down. And you haven't got a good reflector in here, because I can't see the reflector. I can see a little bit of reflector in this eye, and the catchlight's either coming from a soft box or a window, but that hard shadow there ruins this, you need to flatten this down, by bringing in a better reflector, dropping those knees down, dropping those hands down, so that I stop looking at her hands in the front and I look at her face. Now she's got great wristbands on, so if you'd brought her knees down like we just did with Jen, brought her elbows up into the frame, you could've included the bracelets because the styling of this image is beautiful. Your hair and makeup's gorgeous, I love the hairpiece, and I love the bracelets but because they're out of focus, and they're dominating the shot, they look like her hands are tied together, so it's very distracting, and it's taking away from her face. So I would've just played a little bit more with sliding the feet forward, bringing those hands down, bringing the hands up into frame, flattening out that light just a little wee bit more. You know, this is a classic mother and daughter shot, it's an easy buy. This is what they come in and they buy. Their shoulders are slightly working, daughter's is working a bit more than mom's but that's okay. Mom's got a nice tip, they've got a good connection, the hair and makeup looks good, it's well shot, well exposed. This is another shot for me that's really stock standard, it's the sort of standard I would expect my photographers to be turning out on every day, beautiful portrait of a mother and daughter, not something I'm gonna go and put on the wall, not particularly something that's gonna make me go, wow, but definitely something worth selling. And this is the sort of image that a mom buys of her and her beautiful daughter, and they look alike, and mom looks fantastic, would be great to see a before and after of these girls, well done.

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