One of the major advantages of being at an international convention, surrounded by a multitude of talented photographers from all over the world, is that you have this terrific opportunity to line up a shoot, update the headshots, and get some real experience on the other side of the lens. Which, as any good shooter knows, goes a long way towards bettering you as an overall photographer. I had a terrific opportunity to do just that when I met up with Sue Bryce, an Australian-based shooter (originally from New Zealand) who I’d met socially. I saw some of her work and loved the way she worked with light. She has a strong eye for shooting and a strong eye for editing – it means something when a subject has been touched up but you can still see pores, scars, laugh lines – well, you know, the real person. I got to see a few of her images out of camera while we were shooting, and I have to say that I’m a big fan of doing such fantastic things with hair, makeup, lighting & style of shooting that editing is a lovely, soft enhancement. She works efficiently, too – I think we did all prep and shooting in under 45 minutes. Sue tells me that she has to work her clients to their car – they just keep wanting to stay there with her and feel beautiful. Yeah, I can understand. I promised I’d show the rest of the shoot when I posted my new avatar on facebook and twitter, and several (quite) determined friends have followed up accordingly to ask where the heck the photos were already 😉 The truth is that I was a shy to show a couple of these, not because I don’t think they are seriously quality photography (I know they’re seriously quality photography) but mostly because I’m used to seeing myself racing after children and couples most of the time – and when I’m coaxing women to show more facets of their personality, I’m safely behind the lens: the easy part. In the end, though, I realized that I couldn’t quite ask my clients to open up and show me more side of themselves if I’m too chicken to do so. Plus, now I have a great response when I show women lovely photographs of themselves, and they say … I don’t know, I love it, but … would you want a photograph of just you? Thanks, Sue, for making the shoot so easy for me, at least, and so much fun. I’m excited to take back some of what I learned from you to my own clients – and I’m already getting prepared for our next shoot when I get back to Australia in early 2011!