Sue Bryce, Sydney, Australia – The Raw Files Interviews by Ashford Daly Photography
Sue Bryce, Photographer based Sydney, Australia – The Raw Files Interviews brought to you by Ashford Daly Photography
When interviewed: April/May 2012
Interviewed by: Greg Daly and Mary Ashford of Ashford Daly Photography, Professional Wedding Photographers in the UK, Europe and who will also travel internationally overseas.
Sue is a prolific photographer with her beautiful makeover portrait and couture photography having been published extensively throughout Australia and Internationally.
With amazing passion and determined enthusiasm Sue gives back to the photography industry with high levels of motivation, great warmth and absolute class.
Sue has been commended for her work with many of the professional organisations worldwide, and through exacting photography competitions for the elite, winning and achieving many prestigious accolades in her own right through her sheer brilliance and hard work, for example, Australian Portrait Photographer of the year for 2011 and the very recently announed Australian Portrait Photographer of the year for 2012 as well – two years running is a major achievement by anyone’s standards (well done and many congratualations Sue).
Sue is an Antipodean female photographer we have openly admired and been inspired by so hugely for many years, and now our mutual connections have made it possible for us connect, share, admire some more and excitedly bring you this personal interview insight.
We heart you Sue – our own huge thank you, bear hugs, and until next time – Much love ;o) xxx
WHAT ARE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC SPECIALISMS?
Contemporary Fashion Inspired Portraits, Posing and Photoshop.
WHERE DO YOU OPERATE FROM / WHERE DO YOU COVER GEOGRAPHICALLY?
I’m a photographer based in Sydney Australia but work anywhere in the world. I marvel that my portable office is a 17” Macbook Pro, Wacom tablet and camera bag.
WHAT IS YOUR ETHOS?
Enthusiasm is the answer to everything. When you work from a place of enthusiasm everybody is attracted to it. When you are enthusiastic about everything you do, you work with complete passion. Create an empowering experience for my clients
For those photographers back in the UK who don’t know about yourself, tell us a little bit about you and your business?
I am a Portrait Photographer from New Zealand currently living in Sydney Australia. I specialise in Makeover Portraiture. Originally from the 80’s Glamour trend I have spent the last 20 years modernizing it and putting a contemporary spin on it. I shoot natural light only and offer a professional Makeup Service. When I was ready to go out on my own in 2003.
I built a portrait studio in my country garage and turned it into a high volume studio in a year.
Did you go to school to study photography or are you self taught?
I am completely self taught and learned on the job from the age of 18 years. I got my first start in shooting portraits in a studio at the age of 22.
Who or what influenced you to become a photographer?
My Mother was a professional retoucher and she was my inspiration. I worked in the art room at a lab for 4 years as a retouch artist. When I saw my first glamour shoot come through I said to myself “I want to do that!”
Tell us about your rise to success? What main challenges have you faced, learnt from, but may still have had to go through again a few more times over the years?
I have felt successful in so many ways. The first time I learned to sell my work. The first year of my business. Learning to shoot video, winning awards. There are millions of milestones in my career. The challenges: well I do not know our industry without challenges. First I shot on a medium format Hasselblad then someone gave me a bad 35mm digital camera and said here this is the future. I used to retouch with a paintbrush then someone said here this is Photoshop learn how to use a computer. I have seen every possible change in our industry, and I am still here. 2 global financial crisis and so much more. These are just normal life challenges. You learn you evolve or you die.
What’s your best lesson learnt?
Listen to your client! They are one that is paying you.
Who inspires you today? What are your key influencers in life today?
Oh I have some amazing friends. Pippin and Ray Schembri. Marc & Tiffany Angeles. Tamara Lackey – Great business owners – Photographers – People.
I’m inspired by Driven hardworking people that have a Healthy Wealthy positive mentality to life and business. People who are actively creating their own futures.
These people inspire me.
How important do you feel mental attitude and positivity is to any photographer today?
The more I read and learn the more I create. The more it works for me. Photographers are in a gloomy state at the moment. All I hear is the same complaints. Everybody’s a photographer the market is flooded. My friends don’t discuss this they go to work and make it happen. While photographers are sitting around whingeing about it someone is out there getting it.
Where is your place or what is your ‘thing’ for relaxing?
Movies & books. No TV for me. I could watch a movie everyday. I love the visual stimulation it motivates so much creative shooting in my photography
How important is Photoshop and actions in producing your final images?
For my genre its part of the package. But for everyone else its personal choice.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
I feel incredibly challenged by every shoot I do and each time I photograph someone it gives me the opportunity to present something I haven’t before. They are all special. And the day I don’t feel like that I’ll stop being a photographer.
What’s the strangest thing you have been asked to photograph?
My own profile shot. It was the single most hilarious experience.
Do you have a favourite image you have ever created…?
Yes…. I love this image so much. I love it because it challenges many people. I look at it and I think “wow I did that”.
Its called HOPE I wanted to make something that represented Mother Earth.
Hope is eternal.
The value of workshops and training for today’s professional photographer, and what do you get from delivering training too?
I only see benefit from workshops when they’re being presented by masters of photography or business and they can actually teach you something that will take you to the next level.
The benefit in teaching them is I get to watch people lift their level of work and empower them to create a good income and life.
How much time do you spend training as opposed to photographing?
10% teaching and 90% shooting. I’m fully booked shooting for 9 months. Im creating more online training product so I can reach people when Im busy.
You have recently undertaken a programme of speaking, training and presenting to the great and the good across several continents. How have you found that experience and what led you into it?
Canon asked me to talk in Perth because in Australia there are not many female speakers.
I also have a different genre that not many are doing and it’s quickly coming back into fashion. It puts me in demand at the moment but the travel is great and I try to shoot at least 5 shoots in every city.
I didn’t become a presenter to talk about myself, but to teach something.
I built a business in my garage that made $480,000 in its first year I’ve grown up in this industry.
Did you enjoy your weekend of online broadcasting through the creativeLIVE team, in March 2012. What was your big learning through reaching out to so many eager photographers, all willing to listen and learn from you?
The Creative Live weekend was the single most amazing experience I’ve ever had. The team at CL are incredible. The incredible support I got from the photographic community was overwhelming and then there was the 6287 emails I had to answer!
Top tip from Ashford Daly – If you want to experience the creativeLive session with Sue for yourself, please check the link to find out more about downloading and purchasing the Glamour Photography 3 day workshop session.
You work regularly with trained and experienced MUA, when offering your Portrait Couture service – which is absolutely beautiful by the way – how do you feel about using regular known contacts, or are you as comfortable using someone you haven’t met or worked with before, if booked solely for the day?
I prefer not to work with somebody I don’t know but I carry my makeup cards with me everywhere I go so if I’m not familiar with them I can train them to do it the way I like. I am also trained in hair and makeup and often do it myself when needed.
Your top tips when photographing women, especially those who may be very self conscious?
Learn how to pose, direct and connect. Take control. Learn how to lengthen and slim the body.
Have you ever thought about writing a book for photographers? Or exhibiting your work?
No I wouldn’t write a book. My life’s not that interesting. I’d rather run a marathon if I had that sort of time on my hands.
The importance of blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc to the modern professional photographer? Your thoughts?
It’s the future. It’s all about connecting and story telling these days.
How do you interact socially? Tell us a bit about your blog: ‘In Bed With Sue’.
40% positive opinion, 40% knowledge 10% personality & 10% self promotion. 2 blogs a week religiously is the fastest way to grow a following. I love blogging it comes naturally to me. I followed this etiquette recipe and I loved watching it grow from 3000 visits a month to 3000 a day.
The Best way to master a style that will sell to high-end clients – your advice?
Outstanding quality, consistency and service. Once you reach this you can justify charging a premium for what you do.
Aside from referrals, how do you attract your client base to you – what magnets or advertising do you employ or put out there to attract your paying clients?
Social Media, story telling thru my blog, YouTube and Vimeo. Any audience orientated events like expos, private events, charity functions and anywhere I can talk with people because when I talk about what I do I have a 100% booking rate.
What it takes to become a successful photographer today in your opinion?
Being multi skilled these days is imperative. Persistence, consistency, enthusiasm and drive. People connection and a general desire to serve and connect.
Apart from sheer hard work, what would you say has been the main key to the success of your business?
Complete joy for what I do. Sincerity. Injecting my true values into my business
How important is art to your photography?
It’s not. What I do is more service orientated than art orientated. I am an illustrator when I draw that is art. When I shoot it’s a service.
Do you own any art?
Yes… my sister is an illustrator and my Great Aunt is a very famous oil painter. I have pieces from both of them. My mother is also a sculptor and I have 2 of hers and my best friend is an oil painter.
What do you feel professional photographers today must concentrate on or set as goals for their business and for themselves on a personal level too.
Pulling their head out of the negative space that the industry is in.
Photographers need to stop bitching, and pointing the finger and start running a business.
What’s currently on your must do list photographically and personally this year?
To evolve photographically and take my service and imagery to the next level again. I always strive to be better every year to learn more about my craft. I want to delegate more. To live the dream, create the life I want.
What are the global trends emerging for the year ahead as you see them for photographers regardless of the style or photography or type of photography they shoot and offer?
A Global Glamour Revolution of course.
Just kidding, better service hopefully and more communicative connected marketing to a consumer that’s sick of being shouted at – more connection to giving people what they want.
A word of solid advice to the UK and professional photographer audience who may be reading this.
During times of economic slump the biggest enemy is our attitudes. It is our thoughts our positivity and our energy that creating our now. That’s hard for anyone to hear, but I believe the more struggle you see the more you get. Put your creative brain on and evolve with the times/economy. You can be market driven without compromising your self and your industry.
Your top three tips for photographers today?
Learn from a Master. Someone who can shoot and make an income.
Learn how to make money before you try to start a business
Or go and get a job in the industry.
Get on with it. Get off forums, take action offer dynamic product and service
Is there another type or style of photography that you would like to experience that you haven’t done already?
No other type of photography interests me. At 18 I knew I would be a portrait photographer. Human beings have a fascination with SEEING THEMSELVES, we are quite captivated by our own reflection. This is intriguing and I will never tire of it.
What’s your favourite naughty and secret treat?
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
That information is classified!
Actually not as many as you may think because Im also a sensible girl with money and in my defence I am a plain dresser black skirt black top, so shoes are my ‘thing’
What are you up to in the next few months?
I’m lucky enough to be presenting talks in Canada and Brazil and my shooting diary is fully booked until March 2013
So for more information on you and your professional photographic business, where can people go to find out more?
Facebook: Sue Bryce Photographer
The Raw Files Interviews by Ashford Daly Photography are brought to you by Greg Daly and Mary Ashford.
We hope you enjoyed the above RAW Files Interview brought to you and published by Ashford Daly Photography.
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The RAW Files Interviews – Introduction to the series can be found here.
Hugs and love,
Mary and Greg ;o)
Ashford Daly Photography Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 7709 522626 – client sales line and enquiries only please…
All images © Copyright and Intellectual Property of Sue Bryce – The RAW Files Interview © Copyright and Intellectual Property of Ashford Daly Photography Limited. All rights reserved.
Footnote: Upcoming courses on creativeLIVE with Sue Bryce:
Inside the Glamour Studio – August 2012
28 Days with Sue – March 2013
Marketing and Promotion with Sue Bryce – May 2013