September 6, 2012

Live Blogging: WPPI U Portland, Oregon 2012 – Day 2


By: Byron Roe

We’re stoked to be back for Day 2 in Portland, Oregon at WPPI U!

Sue Bryce: Contemporary Portraits – Pose, Direct and Connect

Session Background: Sue Bryce has spent 22 years mastering posing and direction as she evolved and redefined contemporary glamour portraits.  She shares her amazing tips and tricks on sculpting, lengthening and flattering all body types. She will teach you about flow posing, confident direction and creating and capturing connection and modern images that your clients will want to have.

Here’s Sue Bryce and were going to be talking about what women want….

Women want to look younger, feel more beautiful…inside and out, (and this is important because women are most of our main clients right)!  SO TRUE, SO TRUE

Learning to take control of your shoots is a great way to start creating better images.  She’s found that posing doesn’t come naturally to most people and that it’s all about practicing this art.  The more variety of images you can give your client the more you’ll sell so learning what to do with arms, legs, chins, ect, ect….is HUGE!

First start with positioning arms, hands and legs in a “believable” pose that people can make sense!  It’s about the diamond (not the rock) and how Sue poses with the arms and hands to create this shape.

Sue focuses her posing any body type on these fundamentals:

  1. Chin: Being aware of slumping and getting clients to sit up from their neck and extending forward with the chin.  Avoid multiple chins!!
  2. Shoulders: Turning the shoulders forward and back and rolling the shoulder forward is a great way to create asymmetry.  Bringing the shoulder and chin close and using the hands lightly touching the shoulders works well.
  3. Hands: Have the mind of their own but need to be relaxed.  Using the verbiage “Ballet  hands” is a great way to get clients to understand how they should be using their hands lightly.
  4. Hour glass: Creating this shape using arms, hands, hips.
  5. Body language: “Flirt with the camera”….but remember women who are flirting do NOT naturally put their hands on their BREASTS or BELLY for starter!!  Think actual REAL body language!!
  6. Asymmetry: Pose from the feet up for starters.  Use arms and hands to create different triangles that are non-matching.
  7. Connection: Sue’s directing a model through mirroring what she wants her client to do.  Her use of mirroring what a client needs to do their their body is the secret to get clients into positions that are not normal.  Also, she never really stops talking since when you stop talking your client will reset their body.  More direction will prevent clients from also feeling awkward by the process as well.  Learning how to direct your clients in an effective but effortless way is what separates masters like Sue!

Learning to pose curvy ladies-Very important since this is 95% of your clients:  Have clients turn 45 degrees to your camera and move weight onto back foot.  This makes a huge difference to making clients look slimmer.  Lengthening a clients body by posing is the key!  Draw their hips back and come up on the front toe crossing the front knee in front of the other knee.

Valuing your work

Remember you are a service provider and you are here to offer your service’s to helping your clients.  Get better at helping your clients get what THEY want!!  It’s about the service you offer your client not how your work compares to those around you.  SO, focus on your clients rather than yourself and you WILL NATURALLY begin to create a stronger and more successful business!  Since it’s not about you…then STOP worrying if your good enough!!  Your good enough if your clients are excited with what you’ve created for them!!

Create a visual story of what you do!  This is how your clients (more importantly, POSSIBLE CLIENTS) will get excited about wanting to work with you!  Tell a story visually of what you do behind the scenes with video.  People need to see themselves in your past clients.  People need to see how you will add value to their lives otherwise they will not want to spend their money with you!!  Use Youtube and get those video’s up!!  You are a visual artist so show people who you are visually!!  Connect with the clients YOU want to attract by showing how amazing they will look, (and how much fun they will have), working with you.  Does your price list tell a visual story of what you do?  Is there a flow to everything you show or do people get uninspired?

Give more physical and mental value than the $ amount you receive.  If you do this you will be making a difference in the world, people will see value in what you do and success will come!!

Thanks, Sue!  It’s always EVER inspiring!

Kevin Kubota: 10 Lighting Tricks in Your Pocket

Session Background: With a few simple lighting tools and techniques, you can create most any style of light anywhere. Good lighting is what separates hobbyist photographers from professionals. Learn the top tips from a pro with 20 years of commercial and portrait lighting experience.

Does the space you work in move you and excite you?  …..IT SHOULD!!  This doesn’t mean that you need a mega buck studio….just a motivating place that not only makes you want to get up each morning but inspires you to create an amazing photography business every day!

Lighting is as much about shadows as it is about the light being cast!!  Shadows create shape and form…..flat light is, well….FLAT!

Get that super shallow depth of field look when shooting outside in bright light by putting on a Neutral Density filter that allows you to shoot wide open at 1.4 (1.2 for you Canon users).  Of course your using off camera flash with this concept and the ND filter allows your speedlight to recycle faster for starters.  Sing Ray ND filter is one company.  Variable filters rather than one stop consistent filters cost quite a bit more.  Scott Robert Lim, who spoke yesterday, is now selling a signature ND filter for a price that should allow everyone to have one!!  Looked at it yesterday and seems very nice.

Want great saturation in your backgrounds during daylight hours?  Put the camera on Manual, meter for the background, (underexpose by 1 stop approx) and use a flash to highlight your subject.

Doubling and tripling flashes (or more) allow you to get some of the same power light as one studio mono light.  Kevin’s talking about using an octagon shaped softbox with the ability to mount three speedlights for some nice power when shooting in direct sunlight, (when your flashes are trying to compete with the sun).  Use audio headphone splitters to daisy chain multiple flashes via wireless triggers like Pocket Wizards.

Flash (gel) filters, (Sticky filters are the bomb as there are no contraptions to keep the filters on the flash lens-super quick on and off!).  Use gel filters to get great skin tones inside buildings with florescent and tungsten lights in addition to using colored gels to create different moods within the frame.

Dilated pupils tend to look more alluring than those penetrating eyes.  Do this outside of photoshop by avoiding pointing the flash at your subjects face and feathering it at more of a right angle to the face, (creates way more dimension as well).

Distance Diminishes Depth!  Closer light source =  softer shadow edges  (the opposite applies as well!!)
From Ear to Here:  Place the edge of your source adjacent to the ear and bring it forward along the cone of the lens view.  You get a wrap around effect that allows you to get a great portrait light.

Follow your nose:  Critical with non-diffused light.  When the subject moves you need to follow subjects nose with main light!  Keeps shadows flattering and generally slims face

Home made window light:  Large diffusion panels (some call them scrims) 4X6′.  Flashes are being diffused by this body size panel.

Back light water to get it to sparkle when capturing splashing water!!

What about using flashlights for light source?  Yes you can use these!!  Great way to start using the idea of the Video Light!!  Main light, fill light, etc….(great way to highlight a specific area within the composition) Also, for all you who are apprehensive to use off camera flash and tend to shoot primarily natural light (yes natural light is amazing but many times not always available!) this is a great way to increase your tools to create stunning images!!
1.  LED’s are close to daylight color temperatures.
2. Use gels to create custom color.
3. Get adjustable power lights to vary without moving light source (also play with varying the beam intensity-flood or spot beam)
4. Many are perfect in the 200-500 lumen power range.
5. Painting with light!


PocketWizards-Reliable and easy to use.  Has remote control capabilities with TTL speedlights (use TT1/TT5 system).
Sticky Filters
Gorilla pod-Use when you don’t have 10 assistants!
Multi-mount speed light kits-Faster recycling times for flashes as they aren’t working all to full power
External battery packs boost recycle time as well!  Not bad to have as a backup!

LensBaby “Edge 80” for great tilt/shift creative fun!

Know your LIGHT and what your trying to create (all have their purpose depending on what feel your trying to achieve)
1) Window-Esque light-Using big diffusion panels

How to make:
39″x72″ Lite Panel w translucent fabric
Use PVC pipe as the frame

2) Crisp & Direct-Beauty Dish, Grid Spot or bare flash
Collapsible beauty dish?

Killer Mini Konbo-
1. Small Photoflex OctoDome
2. Rogue Grid
3. Lastolight Extension Pole


1. Pose and Composition
2. Main Light
3. Secondary light – what to emphasize
4. Balance main and secondary
5. Fill light







The Psychology of Emotional Storytelling – Memory, Story, Imagery

A video marketing piece is one of the best ways to separate yourself from the competition.  Show your uniqueness to the clients your trying to attract, (remember, this “uniqueness” is the most significant aspect that will set you apart from other photographers around you.  Other photog’s can use the same equipment, shoot at the same area, price out products the same….but NOBODY will be YOU!)  Use this to your advantage!!!!  Anton Lorimer from LorimerWorks created the intro video piece Jim just showed.  Anton is an absolute master at what he does and he should be the first person on your mind when your thinking about creating an ultra professional video about you and your business.   I know this because  our video was created by Anton as well and he literally nailed the creation of it first go!

Putting your mind into shooting in the “storytelling mindset”.  Having a purpose for your shots throughout the day by thinking about how you’ll be laying out the days images within the couples album, (think weddings here).  Jim says he might think about capturing not only vertical but horizontal shots of the same moment because he might be thinking about how a group of 6-8 similar images might fit together on a page.  Getting an interesting shot of the bride and groom walking away from the ceremony site to signify the couples moving on to the next step in their lives.  Shooting for the album and shooting for the artistry that goes into the creation of a wedding album as opposed to not having a plan throughout the day and shooting randomly.  Shooting quick bursts, then allowing client interaction (this is not a photoshoot for YOU remember).  Rely on creating the client experience to create real expression and fun-opposite of photojournalism.  Now you don’t have to WAIT for the moment but connect with your clients by creating connections and moments in the process!

Is Our Industry In Decline?  Economy not so good but…..Market pushing us to work harder and settle for less…..WE ALL KNOW THE “REALITIES” BUT……IT’S TIME TO CHANGE THE FOCUS!!
Well…..It’s time to connect the head to the heart.  Jim says that, if he’s “seen tears” in his clients after they’ve viewed their images for the first time, he knows he’s done his job!  The emotion in photography is everything.  Visual and emotional!

Meeting with couples:  If you want to sell it (specific products) then you have to show it to the clients, (doesn’t work just talking about it or showing a picture!!!).  Our art is tangible and use all the human senses to your benefit.  Sounds simple but do we??  Especially starting out when you don’t have a fantastic portfolio is hard to create samples from right?!  Create inspirational shoots of what you want to be shooting to get these sample images.  Yes, samples are expensive but product sales are what will get you to the next level!
Working with clients

Set yourself up for success by giving more up front, such as taking the time to photograph one more moment with your clients rather than sticking to the actual hours your clients paid for, (again, running your business with your heart rather than the bottom line).  This does not mean shooting more for the sake of pushing the button but trying to capture another moment for the client and in the end having the clients more excited about their imagery, and in the end an increase in revenue for you the photograper.  Deals tend to make people wonder what they are not getting.  Don’t reduce pricing but always adjust what the client will receive.

A pre-planned, well designed album spread is as impact-full if not more than the one WOW shot!  Wow shots are as much about the random interaction between all people in a wedding rather than only the background.  Your clients are first looking at how they look in the image not how amazing the sunset in the image is.  Yes the combination of having both is still the best!

Jeff Newsome: The Art and Business of Photography

Session Background: Join Jeff as he looks at the art and business of photography in a totally different way.  He will analyze how to explore ideas without fear of failure.  Listen as he discusses how to ignore all of the rules in business and art in order to find the best kind of success for you.

Jeff says he does things backwards all the time.  He goes light on gear for his weddings, he uses a Lightroom only workflow (no Photoshop) and when times get tough, he’s motto is, “Make Better Art.” Photographically, his style is a style of ‘limitations,’ he says.  He says that the limitations push the boundaries and makes him think creatively so he doesn’t play it safe.  (Obviously, he LOVES pressure- yikes!) Jeff Newsome doesn’t do anything conventional: he says he has: poor SEO, no online print ads, no preferred vendor lists, no phone number or email address on his website.  He hasn’t had business cards since 2006!  He doesn’t have a Facebook business page and doesn’t submit any work for publication…

Why?  Because he only wants ‘his’ clients, he’s goal is to love what he’s doing for 15 more years and don’t burn out.  Who are his clients?  He says that 80% of his clients are other photographers or friends of theirs that have seen his work.  That’s it!

This guy is all about pushing the envelope and using the environment in random and beautiful ways.

“There are an endless number of ways to take a good photo and there is an endless number paths to success.” – Jeff Newsome

Check out his awesome website address and work at: