I’ve been a Portrait Photographer for 23 years. Lara Jade is 23 years old. What could she possibly teach me. Ha sound like lots of Grumpy Old think they know everything photographers in our industry. Last June I met Lara Jade Fashion Photographer, at a combined workshop in the Gold Coast of Australia. We were both teaching a one day. Her on Fashion Photography and me on Photography business. My rule, whenever I speak at a convention, is to stay and listen to as many speakers as I can. A: because I want to learn B: I want to stay current and C: I’m not a headlining Rockstar thats there to sing a few numbers and leave. I want to KNOW my industry.
However . . . there are a few things I wont sit through. Lighting (Ignorant over exaggerated yawn) Posing! because It’s my thing and it frustrates me to watch people do it badly (not saying every one does, just being blighted and one eyed . . . hey its MY THING, I’m a little protective OKAY) and a few others, anyway. So what made me feel compelled to sit through a Fashion one day, easy answer Lara. I liked her immediately. As we were shooting, I was enjoying watching the students see and experience. I enjoyed watching the models & stylists work and I jumped in everywhere I could. Then Lara set up this shot. She set up the model and walked outside and shot back through the window. I love it, Loved shooting it and loved the result. wow so simple so beautiful.
This image is unretouched. I am on the balcony, using sign language to the model and the reflection is The Gold Coast of Australia, beautiful.
This was my favourite so I finished this in Post. You know I love the look at camera and close crop. I cleaned up the glass and then added some colour sprays (YES, I will demonstrate this Nov 27th on my shooting day on creativeLIVE)
The lesson here is this. How do I use it in my Portrait work? How do I make it my own? and a thank you to Lara Jade. You uplifted me and inspired me to try something new. You taught me something. An old Photographer, a new skill. You reminded me that you must be humble to learn and I am both thankful and proud of you. Your future is going to be very bright indeed.
A few months later I found myself leaning back over a fourth story balcony on my hotel room in Paris. The most beautiful city in the world is wrapped all around me. I shooting through the glass window to Jill who is sitting on the edge of the bed inside. The reason you can see Jill is that is my shadow covering her. It took quite a few goes to get my body in the right position, but then I got it. In post I softened the edge of my black shadow so it’s like a halo around her. I sprayed colour into the reflection and cleaned up the glass.
Don’t stop Playing, don’t stop learning.
I am preparing my presentation for PhotoIgnite New York next friday night. My subject is the difference between Men and Women. All rolled together in an action packed/standup 5 minute routine. I cannot wait. So as I’m pulling Boy images to match my Girl images I was struck with a thought, which was awwwwwwww cute, I WANT ONE (just joking) really it was I WISH boys were more into portraits. Why don’t boys spend money on Portraits. Well that is my PhotoIgnite. Loved every one of these shoots. So lovely to experience the contrast of photographing boys and look forward to tap dancing my way through an intense and explosive PhotoIgnite presentation live on creativeLIVE Friday 26th October. Please join me.
We are all guilty of shooting multiple images in one position and trying to sell more than one. Here is a little practise video for you 23 shots in 4 minutes.
This little video of the Flow posing technique I demonstrated on Day 4 of my last creativeLIVE. Keep the movement, look for shifts in background and light, change composition in and out left and right. If you can’t zoom step forward and back. Keep the direction strong and consistent. Small movements but constant movement. Keep talking. Practise lots.
The images you see to the right on the video are straight from camera no retouching
Shooting 180 Degrees with Sue Bryce from InBedWithSue.com on Vimeo.
Image Left is Image one was shot at f 2.8 1/50 ISO 1600 and Image right f 2.8 1/50 ISO 1600 was last . . . a full 180 degree movement.
Jill Bzreznski-Conley came to me via a message from a life long friend Nikki Closser. Her story is both remarkable and life changing. Her only request of me was to help tell her story to the world. With the help of creativeLIVE and social media we were able to shout out to as many people as we could to help share this story. To educate the world better about Breast Cancer. To change the face of Breast Cancer, and in Jill’s own words to Help Women. Even ONE WOMAN. Not because she was only 32 when she was diagnosed and had a double masectomy, and her battle has been fierce and brutal. Not because bone cancer now has the upper hand, but because all she wants is to help others. This remarkable young women will change the way you live.
For the last four days myself and Hailey Bartholomew (film Maker) have been filming, shooting, laughing and getting to know Jill. We feel, that some how the blessing is ALL ours. That we are lucky enough to tell this story to the world and to share this amazing trip to Paris. Our lives have been changed forever, and yours will be too. She reminds you to live with courage and dignity to have fun, to LOVE with everything you have, to never stop fighting and never ever stop giving to others.
One day I was off to Paris on my own, a week later I was with a team of 8 Women from four different countries. Joined together to shoot this doco for Jill. This documentary will take some time to edit. I shot over 400 stills of Jill. I am so honoured to announce that creativeLIVE will feature a special day just for Jill (dates to be confirmed) So you can watch her story and meet her. You can also join us on our mission to help photograph women going through this battle and bring beauty and joy into their lives (more on that soon) But I cannot leave you without a few highlights.
When she saw the Steven Khalil gown for the first time . . .
She is the most beautiful girl in the world
She danced in front of the Eiffel Tower at Dawn
When Jill smiles the whole world just lights up
She laughed at the Louvre and gathered a crowd of people in awe of her.
She paid tribute to the man she loves most. Jill loves Barton on the bridge of Love.
Thank you for the support we have received and the love that has been all around us through this whole trip. Reading Jill the comments on facebook last night she had tears streaming down her face. This girl is a torch that will light a million fires.
I can pretend NOT to be to concerned what the Photographic community in general are doing, with regards to trends and actions. But the truth is we do trend, and when we do we create market driven product. When we trend there are two reactions – the people that run with it and the anti trend setters that are busy being what everyone else is not (which by the way starts a new trend ha) We are followers by nature. Part of me thinks I know about being different, because I kept Glamour alive when it was a filthy word so I was going against the grain for most of my career.
BUT, I am also totally open to admit that I have tried, experimented and enjoyed most trends that have come and gone in the last 23 years. Film Styles E6 cross processed & 3200 35mm BW the list goes on. . . shooting styles and Yes that includes Actions, treatments and certain looks. People always email me and ask if they can buy my actions and I don’t have any. I use Totally Rad Actions Jesh De Rox Actions, Itty Bitty Textures by Jinky Art and Sheye Rosemeyers Eye Candy, all of them I love. But they do not make the base of my Style/Brand they simply enhance certain images when they fit.
Getting to the point of this blog. I wrote a guest blog post 2 years ago about Actions and someone ripped me apart blah blah unoriginal bad form using actions instead of being better educated WHAT EVA. It occurred to me in this moment, that actions and trends are everywhere but what I have been really trying to do for 10 years (since I transitioned into digital) is replicate FILM. I finally think with the amazing cameras that we now have and the editing software available to us that replicates all of the old film styles we are finally there. I choose an image open it in Photoshop RAW and then when I open it in Photoshop I choose the tone and mood of the image, like below. Would love to hear what film editing software you are playing with?
All of these images are treated with Curves not actions. All of them create entirely different moods and I like them all.
A mini Film by Hailey Bartholomew www.youcantbeserious.com.au I’m bringing Hailey to creativeLIVE in January Showreels & Showing off. YAH
Check Hailey’s Showreel her beautiful work on Vimeo and her 365grateful page (It’s a life changer)
I wanted to share this story. Inspired by an old Britney Spears song would you believe. ‘I’m not a girl, but still not a Woman’ to connect to the teenage/Seniors School market. Im so exhausted after my creativeLIVE week I will have to return at a later date to tell more story. I will simply say this. Hailey Bartholomew D.O.P Film Maker & Great Mum and all around super human being, you amaze me. Mindy Gledhill your music is out of this world gorgeous. Triple Scoop Music thank you for bringing great artists to the accessible realm for photographers. Anna, your light is so bright, your love of running and the pure joy you exude is infectious, good luck training for the next Olympics. Thank you for letting me be your Photographer.
Let our girls be girls. Let them become Women slowly. Women of substance. Help teach your children acceptance by being gentle with your self first. Love Sue. x
Little Girl with Great Big Plans from InBedWithSue.com on Vimeo.
Hair makes so much difference, and always has. I have had a lot of conversations with makeup artists over the years. About the transformation process. If you made me decide between having Makeup done or gorgeous Hair I would choose gorgeous hair. Lets face it, Photoshop can actually do makeup now. There is even a plugin for false eyelashes and they look SO REAL. When I am at my most casual, no makeup just Lipgloss and Lashes, If I have a gorgeous blow dry I feel like a million dollars. One of the best pieces of advise I can give is this. Any Portrait Photographer, if you cannot offer a Hair and Makeup service, educate your clients on getting their hair done before their shoot.
I do find watching every one learning the Glamour thing really intriguing. Especially seeing the Before and Afters coming though.
Sage counsel 2: When you shoot a Before and After make it look like a Before and After! 99% of the time my clients are smiling in their Before shot and their hair is up or back, they are ALWAYS straight to the camera arms at their side. I don’t want them to look tragic but I want them to look clean faced like a Beauty Magazine. I want there to be a distinct WOW factor to their Before and After. Try and keep it plain, but with lots of connection. Join us on Aug 31st creativeLIVE to watch Simona do what she does best STYLE GLAMOUR HAIR, Im in Seattle the count down is on!
Its not more powerful than Father & Daughter or Mother & Son for that matter. But the Mother & Daughter demographic has been by far the most rewarding in terms of relationship marketing and success (bookings and sales in my business). I love doing the Mother & Daughter shoots they really are my favourites, it seems to work great with any age Mother & Daughter. On my next creativeLIVE workshop I’ve got three sets of Mother and Daughters to shoot live for you. Here’s a little tip: I market to this demographic as something they can do together but I make it clear they will go off on their own, for their own style. This has made a big difference to the booking. If the girls are teenagers they like it to be made ALL about them, and secretly so does Mum. SO I say “You need to bring two outfits to Match each other (something light and something dark) Casual or formal.’ Then I say “three outfits that are totally you (individual) Anything you would like. Be daring”
I shot these for Jamie & Mia this week in Las Vegas. Mum’s are so special, Tutus are fun and laughing and dancing never gets old.