Perfect the Art of Posing (Sue Bryce - Glamour Photography Part 2)

[Photo by Sue Bryce]

For Part 2 of the Sue Bryce workshop on creativeLive, we'll recap her tips on wardrobe, hair, and makeup. She also had additional tips on posing to create curves. Sue Bryce is a master portrait photographer who makes everyday women feel glamorous. (For Part 1, see this post.)


Sue instructs clients to bring several of their own outfits to the shoots. But she also keeps a shooting wardrobe, such as scarves, cardigan sweaters, black dresses, and white and nude slips.

A sash is key because it's very flexible. It can be used as a scarf, draped over the shoulders, or tied around the waist to add definition and make them look slimmer.

She doesn't use boxy tops or dresses; her goal is to create an hourglass. Many curvy girls bring loose clothes to the shoot, but ironically loose clothes add weight on camera. Fitted clothes make clients look slimmer.

Sue also does not let clients wear white because white does not accentuate curves. She avoid patterns, which also adds weight on camera.

[Photo by Sue Bryce]

Hair and Makeup

Some basics on Sue's requirements for makeup:
  • No contouring with bronzer, which looks like bruising that she then needs to remove in Photoshop.
  • Light blush on apples of cheeks, no heavy blush.
  • Matte eyeshadows with the exception of dark skin. 

To create loose, sexy waves in hair: hold a small flat iron horizontally, wind a piece of hair once inside the flat iron, then slowly drag it down the length of the hair.

In general, she listens to clients' preferences when it comes to hair and makeup because she still wants them to look like themselves in the photos.

More posing tips

Freestyling and movement
In her studio, Sue would do entire shoot around one corner that has a good light source. She also picks the mood and style of the outfit around the image she's going to take. For example, for a freestyle and moving shot, she'll select a flowy skirt or dress.

Most clients are awkward and stiff so they need specific directions. Ask for one movement at a time:
  • swing around in a circle holding your skirt
  • swing around and trail your arm
  • swing around, trail your arm, arch your back
  • swing around, trail arm, arch back, connect with the front shoulder and look at the camera 

And that's when she takes the picture.

Create curves in a shoot
Sue has a client lay down on her belly, propped up on their elbows, on an ottoman at a 45 degree angle to the camera. She instructs them to keep their elbows in and scoot their lower body down to create length. Then she tells them to lift up in the core through the neck and shoulders, chin forward and down.

This slims the entire waistline and lengthens and slims the arms. Create space in the body: don't let client hunch down into her neck or arms.

Cover Girl
For a cover girl pose, Sue has the client stand facing the camera with feet apart. Rock hips to one side and put hands on waist, but move hands in closer together, with one hand slightly higher than the other to create a faux (and slim) waist. This creates the hourglass shape and slims the waistline.

[Photo by Sue Bryce]

Selling the experience

Sue sells the entire experience. She prepares clients on what to bring and has them get their hair trimmed, get a manicure and pedicure, or get a facial. This makes clients more invested in the process and photos turn out much better.

She also suggests that clients can have a night out on the town after the shoot, which extends the experience beyond the photo shoot itself. This adds even more value to her services.

In general, Sue sells the entire experience in marketing her business, which is why she has become so successful.

In Part 3, we will give you Sue Bryce's insider secrets to building and marketing her glamour photography business. Stay tuned!

Part 1 can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice summary Elaine, I was looking for dressing tips "Sue Bryce" style and I'm glad I found this.