Loading...
August 11, 2014#

I gave her a Napkin . . .

I gave her a napkin at a restaurant. I was nervous – approaching strangers is hard.  I talked about her and watched her for about 10 minutes before I got the courage to walk over.  I didn’t have a card (I know business rule 101 ) “would she think I was some hack, unprofessional or some weirdo” the thoughts all went through my head.  I said Hi I am a photographer my name is Sue Bryce I would love to photograph you, I am embarrassed to say I do not have a card on me right now but I have put my details on this napkin if you are interested please call me.  She said she looked at my website and thought she would call me to say thank you but no thank you.  She called and I answered she said “Why do you want to photograph me I’m old” I replied you are one of  the most beautiful Women I have ever seen” She told me on the day why she said yes.  She is the mother of Anton Yelchin a very talented young actor here in Hollywood and one day she was offered by a very famous photographer who was shooting Anton He asked can I photograph you and she said no, part of her always regretted it so this time she said yes.  She also told me as we were walking into the studio “you do realize Sue I will not like ANY of these photos” I turned to her and smiled you see that single sentence is all I need I said “OH I’ve heard THAT before”

We spent a little time talking and telling stories she talks of her beautiful talented son with pride and complete joy she talks of her Husband and their beautiful story of triumph moving from Russia to America learning a new language and then her story comes forward Irina is nearly 64a famous Russian Ice Skater her journey is something that could be a movie or a great book.  This woman is sitting with me telling me her beautiful story and there is so much power and light coming out of every pore. I dream about a day when I am in my 60′s and her hair cut is something I will be brave enough to do one day.  She talks about growing older and changing  and then she stops and says “You know I don’t really care what people say about me any more.  Sometimes people say Oh look she’s got no hair maybe she has cancer or she’s too thin or look at her clothes and her makeup and I just think I dress how I want and I like it so I don’t care’ I admire her strength her charisma but mostly I love her power.  She said I will let you photograph me on one condition you let me teach you how to ice skate.  So I did today I skated with this incredible lady she twirls around the ice like she is dancing on air and I admire and envy every part of her. I wanted to photograph her because I wanted to talk to her, because when you photograph people you see their real truth not the sometimes truth that comes out of peoples mouths but how she feels about herself and how she holds herself in front of the camera and of course how she deals with the vulnerability of having the camera turn towards you when your soul is quite bare. I wanted to know what her secret was so when I go towards 50 and 60 I can take part of that with me.  Sometimes you just see someone that you just HAVE to photograph.

I showed her her photos today she loves all of them.

Warming up, telling stories

Warming up, telling stories

Me doing my pitch There are very few certainties in my life Irina but I can quite comfortably say you WILL like your photos hehe

Me doing my pitch There are very few certainties in my life Irina but I can quite comfortably say you WILL like your photos hehe

Traditional Portrait a simple soap box and an Oliphant back drop

Traditional Portrait a simple soap box and an Oliphant back drop

I love this Portrait because it represents elegance and sophistication and pride

I love this Portrait because it represents elegance and sophistication and pride

Mirror me, note Studio Mascot and Producer Cookie Bryce she sat on Irina's knee for a few photos of course

Mirror me, note Studio Mascot and Producer Cookie Bryce she sat on Irina’s knee for a few photos of course

Simplicity is always the best One light

Simplicity is always the best One light

Phase One 55mm lens 1/500 s f/4.0; ISO 200 Charcoal Oliphant backdrop One strobe through Scrim Felix Style

Phase One 55mm lens 1/500 s f/4.0; ISO 200 Charcoal Oliphant backdrop One strobe through Scrim Felix Style

Phase One 55mm lens 1/500 s f/4.0; ISO 200 Charcoal Oliphant backdrop One strobe through Scrim Felix Style

Phase One 55mm lens 1/500 s f/4.0; ISO 200 Charcoal Oliphant backdrop One strobe through Scrim Felix Style

Phase One 55mm lens 1/500 s f/4.0; ISO 200 Charcoal Oliphant backdrop One strobe through Scrim Felix Style

Phase One 55mm lens 1/500 s f/4.0; ISO 200 Charcoal Oliphant backdrop One strobe through Scrim Felix Style

As always I am barefoot

As always I am barefoot

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

_B0A5614

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

This outfit blew me away Leather pants WOW

This outfit blew me away Leather pants WOW

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

Phase One 1/500 s f/3.5; ISO 100 One Strobe through Scrim Felix Style simple soapbox on Black Vflat

This incredible Woman has taught me so much about what I want to be

This incredible Woman has taught me so much about what I want to be

 

 

August 3, 2014#

Jennifer Hudson Workshop

She is a prolific fine artist award winning talent gentle human soul and simply a lovely girl.  I wanted to attend a fine art workshop this year and I chose Jen’s for all of these reasons. I wanted or rather needed to be in a place that wasn’t teaching or business or money just Mountains and Art and reconnecting.  Her opening talk Falling to my knees nearly had me falling to my knees and when she spoke of restoration I had a silent weep.  I forget to restore as a business owner as an artist and I resonated with this need.  I highly recommend this workshop I will say no more about it everyone there was on their own personal quest and mine I will keep in my heart.  I had some big realizations about my next goals and I loved just being a student and learning, learning to just be quiet and listen to where the mind wanders. I chose my model for her innocence and my concept was to photograph her in a start of beginning like a new artist in the early stages of my career but without the panic of trying to make it or be noticed just new and fresh and raw and filled with joy at making images.

www.jenniferhudsonfineart.com

All shot Natural Light on the Phase One 1/1600 sec;   f/2.8;   ISO 400 Edited on Alienskin 20% Colour Photo and 20% Slightly Yellowed

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 11 copy

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 9

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 8

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 4

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 7-bw

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 10

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 5

 

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 3

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 1

Sue Bryce Jennifer Thoreson 6-bw

 

 

August 3, 2014#

My first Strobe Shoot

Remain calm do not panic.  After 25 years of shooting natural light I am not going all strobe simply TEACHING AN OLE DOG NEW TRICKS.  Yes I’m the old dog and yes this a great new trick.  It definitely has it’s place in the gorgeous vintage portraits that I have been creating.

My lighting set up for Jenna shoot. Strobe to the wall bouncing back through the scrim as taught byPhotography by Felix Kunze in our last creativelive class. The point of this class was felix to teach me to replicate soft Studio light that competes with my beloved natural light and change my staunchly bull headed closed mindedness to try studio lighting.

See that course link HERE

I feel weird defending why I do not use lights in the studio.  In 1990 when 80′s Glamour was leaving the land of cool it simply was us evolving with the trends and natural light portraiture was everywhere.  It was time to take off the soft focus and push our film grain.  Remember at this time E6 was being cross processed and 35mm 3200 Black n White was the new BLACK.  I turned off the soft boxed and never turned it back on.  Noone could have taught me this better than Felix he understood the look I wanted and I love the result and will play a lot more over the coming months.

Sue Bryce Jenna 4

Phase One 1/1600 sec; f/4.0; ISO 100 One Strobe lens 55mm

Phase One 1/1600 sec; f/4.0; ISO 100 One Strobe lens 55mm

Phase One 1/1600 sec; f/4.0; ISO 100 One Strobe lens 55mm

Phase One 1/1600 sec; f/4.0; ISO 100 One Strobe lens 55mm

Phase One 1/1600 sec; f/4.0; ISO 100 One Strobe lens 55mm

Phase One 1/1600 sec; f/4.0; ISO 100 One Strobe lens 55mm

Sue Bryce Jenna 5

June 1, 2014#

Did you trial Exposure 5 after our workshop

Did you trial Exposure 5 after our workshop? I’m putting the AlienSkin code here on the blog so you can return to it when you’re ready, you have till June 20th to get the discount.  I am posting some of my favorite go to filters but Im sure you’ll find your own.

Promo code is FKZ0514 It gives the discount of 30%. The promotion is live now and is set to end on the 20th of June. www.alienskin.com 

Exposure 6 is in late beta and isn’t quite ready for a debut.  Anyone that purchases version 5–taking advantage of the discount–will receive a free upgrade to version 6 when it’s released. Version 6 has creative focus capabilities of another one of my favorite products, Bokeh. So, there’s an extra $100 value of software coming your way.

Felix and I would like to thank you for your questions and hilarious comments and support we had a blast.  I look forward to watching this young man turn into an extraordinary force in the photographic industry.  I hope AlienSkin assists you in the creation of beautiful images I know both Felix Lara and I love it and we hope you do too.

If you haven’t  seen our workshop yet here is the link The Lighting Challenge and see how we challenged Felix to create beautiful soft portrait light to match natural light.  Gorgeous Hollywood portraits and more

Workshop Image Natural Light

Workshop Image Natural Light

Workshop Image Studio Light

Workshop Image Studio Light

Original Image no filter.  Light retouch to face & extra bright sequin's. Slimming through waistline.

Original Image no filter. Light retouch to face & extra bright sequin’s. Slimming through waistline.

Definitely my Go To Black and white especially for Hollywood shoots desaturate image open in AlienSkin 5 Daguerreotype 75% with less grain.

Definitely my Go To Black and white especially for Hollywood shoots desaturate image open in AlienSkin 5 Daguerreotype 75% with less grain.

A little more drama Wetplate with Brush Painted 75%

A little more drama Wetplate with Brush Painted 75%

Strangely this is Wetplate color and I really like it

Strangely this is Wetplate color and I really like it

Technicolor Process 4 faded 100% I am always drawn to cold tones and strong warm tones my goal is always to push away from natural skin tone.

Technicolor Process 4 faded 100% I am always drawn to cold tones and strong warm tones my goal is always to push away from natural skin tone.

This is my favorite filter Fade all leave strong reds 100%

This is my favorite filter Fade all leave strong reds 100%

Probably used on 80% of my shoots in Polaroid 600 Yellowed Aging removed - Added Blue to bring down the yellow & desaturate 10 %

Probably used on 80% of my shoots in Polaroid 600 Yellowed Aging removed – Added Blue to bring down the yellow & desaturate 10 %

Original Image from the workshop

Original Image from the workshop

Another favorite BW go to Calotype 75% less grain.  Brings me straight home to film days.

Another favorite BW go to Calotype 75% less grain. Brings me straight home to film days.

Original Image from Workshop light retouching on face.  Shot with Strobe

Original Image from Workshop light retouching on face. Shot with Strobe

See how my go to Fade all leave reds changes the whole tone of this image

See how my go to Fade all leave reds changes the whole tone of this image

I double up filters this is Fade all leave strong reds and NoonDaySun about 50% each

I double up filters this is Fade all leave strong reds and NoonDaySun about 50% each

Another favorite is NoonDay Sun.  Almost reminiscent of our C41 to E6 X process era

Another favorite is NoonDay Sun. Almost reminiscent of our C41 to E6 X process era

My pick of Images of Katie in my most used B/W Daguerreotype 75% grain 43%

My pick of Images of Katie in my most used B/W Daguerreotype 75% grain 43%

June 1, 2014#

Amy – Behind the scenes of a Sue Bryce Shoot

People feel vulnerable mostly when they are about to be photographed.  They apologize A LOT! Sorry I cut my hair. Sorry I’ve put on weight. Sorry my skin has been so bad lately. Sorry I didn’t know what clothes to bring.  That list goes on and on.

I started filming all my sessions last year and interviewing them asking them everyday questions about themselves.  This is one of the first of about 30 videos I am editing.  This is Amy’s shoot behind the scenes, her feelings and her seeing her photos for the first time.  A very real and enjoyable insight into my daily life as a portrait photographer and the complete joy I get to experience watching these women unfold. Enjoy.

Photography Assistant: Nikki Closser
Hair and Makeup: Kendra Springer
Filmed & Edited by Shaun Levra
Music by TripleScoopMusic

May 15, 2014#

Your Best Beautiful

About 10 years ago I dreamed that video was the next big thing for Photographers I have experienced the invention and growth of the DSLR and the impact of Social Media in all it’s forms.  The ability to share stories and empower and connect through this media is one of the greatest tools we have.  I dreamed one day I could tell real stories of uncompromising beauty and strength from the Woman I meet and Photograph every day.  I hear their stories, so filled with beauty and hope and yet all with same underlining fear “Am I good enough” and “I hate this but I love this” How do you focus just on the good stuff and let the bad stuff fall away.  I dreamed I could share a message of Self Love and acceptance regarding physical appearance and self esteem that would change a way a woman looks at her self.  For the last 25 years I have watched this grow and take shape and this year I was asked by Olay to capture stories for their Best Beautiful Campaign.  How could I not say yes, we share the same message.  What an honor to get to share my life’s work and the thousands of stories I’ve heard and learned from.

It starts with Hillary 25 years old is two young to be faced with Skin Cancer a mother of two little girls and now a spokesperson for both Olay and Suncare Hillary talks about burning to fit in.  Just wanting to be the blonde tanned beach babe in fashion, the part that got me was when Hillary said “I really wish I had grown up with better self esteem, I maybe would have accepted my pale freckled skin” and that she always hoped as a little girl that all of her freckles would join up and make the perfect skin.  Hillary is a three time melanoma survivor and teaches a message of sun care that can save lives check out her website here if you are interested www.palegirlspeaks.com

Hillary what a beautiful woman you are.  I loved capturing you and your story thank you for all you do.  Olay thank you for this remarkable opportunity I am so blessed to be working with you on this project and sharing these beautiful stories and I cannot wait for more to come out.   To the women of the world EXIST IN PHOTOGRAPHS be comfortable in your skin, love and accept who you are, share and embrace your best beautiful stories and never stop loving, respecting and honoring who you are.

Share your Best Beautiful Story using #olaystories or visit olaystories.com

Sue Bryce Olay Blog 6

Sue Bryce Olay Blog 5

Sue Bryce Olay Blog 4

Sue Bryce Olay Blog 7

Sue Bryce Olay blog 1

Sue Bryce Olay Blog 8

Sue Bryce Olay Blog 3

Sue Bryce Olay Blog 2

May 13, 2014#

Natural Light vs Studio Light May 19 & 20 on creativeLIVE

I want to break lighting down to the easiest way to shoot Studio Portraits in Natural light and then replicate each set up in Studio light to try the same look with both.  I will do the Natural light segment and Felix will replicate it.  I first met Felix when he assisted a shoot with Lara Jade I really look forward to this challenge to see how closely we can combine our skills and create some beautiful work for you Posing Maps Lighting Maps and teach you more about light.  I am most looking forward to learning myself he is a very talented photographer and an open teacher and natural sharer.

About – Felix Kunze: is an editorial and commercial portrait photographer. Felix was born in Berlin, grew up in the UK and now lives in New York City. He focuses on non-models and places regular people in exaggerated situations that highlight an aspect of who they are. Having worked with the top fashion & portrait photographers on earth and through his wealth of experience, he’s known as a lighting specialist. www.felixkunze.com

Monday 19th 9am PST Session One and Two will start with Creating Flat soft beauty light and how I remove and manipulate natural light for contrast and direction.  I will have a female model and a male model to light them both differently according to gender, then Felix will replicate the shots in Studio light no available light at all.

Flat soft light for Beauty Images to more contrast and direction - Image One is side light but bounced in with white reflectors. Image Two is in the same spot with a black half shell pulling light and a small reflector just on one side of the face.  Image Three has side window light one large stationary reflector pulled back on the 45

Flat soft light for Beauty Images to more contrast and direction – Image One is side light but bounced in with white reflectors. Image Two is in the same spot with a black half shell pulling light and a small reflector just on one side of the face. Image Three has side window light one large stationary reflector pulled back on the 45

Monday afternoon Session Three will start with creating Beautiful Studio Portraits in Natural light and then replicate in Studio light exploring a more fashion style portrait.

The focus here is to I know hoe to create this look in natural light so I will teach all of these directions and tricks and then Felix will teach the same scenarios achievable in studio light.

The focus here is to I know hoe to create this look in natural light so I will teach all of these directions and tricks and then Felix will teach the same scenarios achievable in studio light.

Monday Afternoon Session Four we will Use light control to create Silhouettes and Film noir Images most popular with body work, Fine Art nudes and boudoir. We will talk about posing for these genres how I sculpt bodies into available light and how Felix sculpts light into bodies.  We have a female and Male model for this section they cannot be nude but they will be body models (this means undies)

I sculpt bodies around available light - Felix sculpts light on bodies.

I sculpt bodies around available light – Felix sculpts light on bodies.

Day Two Session One its all about that back light YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE IT the question is can Felix recreate it (Sue cracks her knuckles)

The backlight is a huge part of my studio portrait session.  It takes a lot of bouncing sculpting and patience but when you harness it, it creates magic

The backlight is a huge part of my studio portrait session. It takes a lot of bouncing sculpting and patience but when you harness it, it creates magic

Day Two Session Two HOLLYWOOD style, Glamour, styling, Posing and Lighting No natural light for this session all studio light.  I am styling and preparing a Hollywood starlet for Felix to create his magic. I am drawing a Hollywood Posing guide for you.  Prepare to be inspired by this genre my clients are flipping over it.  After Felix and I did the Hollywood shoot for animoto I have been shooting and studying this beautiful genre like crazy.  I was lucky enough to shoot with makeup guru Bruce Grayson this last week he is the epitome of Hollywood Glam a genius makeup artist that grew up with a legend Father that did makeup for all the stars during this era CHECK OUT BRUCE HERE follow him on twitter @Brugray

2 Sue Bryce Hollywood

 

Day Two Session Three & Four Felix Photoshops and Sue Photoshops how I retouch natural light to make it look more studio and learn some of Felix’s most loved tricks.  Alienskin is a big part of our process so we will show you our favorite go to recipes and also I will record day ones retouching and show you Sue vs Felix that you saw shot the day before.

Click this link to Enroll here JOIN US MAY 19 & 20 Take Monday and Tuesday off and join us for a power packed two days of everything Portrait light.  Remember this is a free worldwide classroom I know this workshop will have a huge impact on not only my work but yours too and I really look forward to teaching and learning alongside you.

May 5, 2014#

What do you do when your client turns up with no clothes

It went like this circa 2003 I was shooting in my Garage/Studio I had no wardrobe, no accouterment AT ALL and no budget to get one.  A client and her teenage daughter turn up for a Glam shoot and I say where are your clothes I’ll hang them for you: What clothes? says my client.  They were both in jeans and a black Tshirt. insert [Alfred Hitchcock music] Okay so I go into the house – my house and I have nothing nice they can wear.  I find a Black satin scarf a pink sarong and pull some flowers out of the vase.  I spend the next 1.5 hours making as many shapes as I could with this fabric,  Halter neck top – one shoulder dress – boob tube – shoulder wrap – flower in hair.  Client spends $1200 I learn the biggest lesson.  EDUCATE your clients better.  However they do not always turn up with wardrobe or even good wardrobe so slowly I started to build what I now fondly refer to as the ‘Collection’ but I am a bit of a do it yourselfer as you know and lets face it the first 5 years in business I didn’t have budget to spend on fancies.

Around that time a girl came in for a shoot with a big tulle skirt I took the shot and thought one day I will own 20 of these skirts.  I said in a dreamy-oneday-voice where did you get it? she said My Mum made it.  Of course my mother can make anything and she taught me to sew so I started making them myself.  It started with tulle skirts I would get the clients top and add the skirt it glammed up everything and yet made it their own.  Then came shoulder pieces hair pieces and belts.  Last week I was doing a shoot and my client had booked 4 dresses from Rent the Runway (great business by the way) but unfortunately she hadn’t considered Easter weekend holiday and her dresses missed the shoot by a day.  I put her in a vintage top that I paid $21 for followed by a tube of red fabric $16 and a coral dress I paid $14 for and then for the finale I wrapped her in green tulle $12 for 20 yards and put flowers in her hair.  Her shoot was a great success and I video’d the whole thing so you will see that soon.

I BELIEVE – There is ALWAYS a way to make it work MAKE IT WORK

YOU NEED TO KNOW – It doesn’t have to be expensive just creative (have fun with it)

YOU MIGHT THINK I HAVE EXCEPTIONAL TALENT (and thank you) but I mostly hand sew very badly so no excuses anyone can do this

I always have plain scarves, wraps and cuts of fabric that would be my go to when shooting scarves are great as wraps low and around the arms a great way to flatter arms and break up lots of skin.  Also a good way to bring the hands up into shot and give the hands something to do so they look natural..  Start with Black White then all the prime colors.  Always have ribbons on hand they are cheap and when you start looking you’ll find them everywhere on gifts on shopping bags.  They make great belts when you need to define the waist they make really great neck pieces when you need something simple and they are also awesome in the hair.  Anyway the point is what started out as a valuable lesson became a hobby I get lost in making these.  If you are not creative I bet you have a Mum or friend or Grandma that loves to craft.  Enjoy #mcgyver #kiwiingenuity

Fabric at Fashion District is $8 - $10 a yard that is the best way to get new Backdrops

Fabric at Fashion District is $8 – $10 a yard that is the best way to get new Backdrops I collect old jewelry broken jewelry anything beaded.

This is my Makeup Artist Katie.  She turns up for work and I say “What color Bra are you wearing” she wasn’t ready for a photo shoot today but luckily a nude tank top and a few pretty pieces and we are away.  Wrap the Neck the arms and the Shoulder and the waist.

Ribbon, anything that sparkles.  Fabric samples like this stitched on to scrunched up tulle.  tip: buy cheap white silk ribbon and dye it with tea or cheap red wine anything (leave it in the sun)

Ribbon, anything that sparkles. Fabric samples like this stitched on to scrunched up tulle. tip: buy cheap white silk ribbon and dye it with tea or cheap red wine anything (leave it in the sun) The Fabric on this neck piece is a fabric sample stitched on  scrunched up tulle with a pink ribbon that I saved from a gift someone bought me.

I made this headpiece for $23 stained it with Tea bags I have had 8 women offer to buy it. One said $300 I said NO it was my first. The top is just a cut off of tulle tucked in to her bra at the back

I made this headpiece for $23 stained it with Tea bags I have had 8 women offer to buy it. One said $300 I said NO it was my first. The top is just a cut off of tulle tucked in to her bra at the back

same head piece as above on the neck.  Old scarf around the shoulders

same head piece as above on the neck. Old scarf around the shoulders I paid $4 for 2 scarves and sewed them together.

SHOUT OUT: Found this great wholesaler at Fashion District today thats sells the prettiest sparkles trim trimEXPOonline.com Thank you for great service Eli

SUBSCRIBE