I know I have posted a lot here recently, but again, I am trying to improve so any CC would be greatly appreciated. I am working hard at correcting what others don't like b/c I know I don't have the professional eye....maybe one day! The families I am doing these for know that I am a beginner. One is a single mom who doesn't have money to get professional shots done, and she is thrilled with my photos, so it makes me happy. I just keep telling her to spread the word!
I tried a new processing on some of these. Let me know what you honestly think. It worked for some imo, but not others. I may have overdone it now......
1) This one was hard for me. I wanted the sunflare to be there, so I positioned them to where I thought it would work. Not sure if it did b/c baby J seems a bit too bright. What do you think?
j&c2-web by sadieruth, on Flickr
2) This is one where I felt like the processing really worked here....
t1wb-web by sadieruth, on Flickr
3) More of baby J
j5-web copy-web by sadieruth, on Flickr
4) I just realized he has something on his chin....I thought that was my computer screen! I will edit that out later. Is this even worth giving to mom. I realized I chin & head chopped, but it was the only one that was decent enough to even process of mr. C by himself. Honest opinions!
c1web by sadieruth, on Flickr
5) Just a quick one of Miss A.
a1-web by sadieruth, on Flickr
There are more on my flickr, but I didn't want to overload the photography board!
#1. I like the idea of the shot. Nice job creating the sunflare, but I do think that Baby is too bright. Dad's position looks awkward too. There's something I'm not loving about the composition here, but I'm not sure what. Maybe the tree over head..I dunno.
#2. I really think I'm just one for clean processing...especially when you're still learning and improving. Too many people use over processing to cover up photography mistakes, so I really think it's important to nail down basic clean processing before you mess around too much with creative processing. Her skin is very yellow with red in the shadows which is just distracting from her pretty smile and eyes. Composition is completely centered without anything making that centering okay...like an in camera frame or something. If you had pulled back and turned this portrait orientation to get the eyes in the top third, you would have had better composition.
#3. Composition of this one is really good. He could use just a little more space above his head and to the right. Again, the processing just isn't working for me....he's so cute, but here, his skin is just so yellow that I'm distracted from his cuteness. I'd love to see the sooc of these. There is a lot of noise in this image as well...was this brought up from very underexposed?
#4. Would have been better to chop more off the top to avoid chopping the chin. This also would have improved the composition by placing his eyes in the upper third of the frame instead of dead center. He has a cute expression though. Color is much better in this image. Still a lot of red in the shadows and it looks dangerously close to blowing the highlights on the left side of his face (image right).
#5. Nice composition, Color is a little better, but still too warm for my taste. I'd clone out those straying hairs in her ponytail, but that's just me. It's a lot of work to do so I wouldn't do it for a free session. LOL.
Sadie...what is your goal? Are you planning on going into business eventually? If so, you may want to change the way you approach a few things. If not....then ignore me.
For people wanting to go into business...focus on what you like and not the clients. I heard a mention of "that's what people like around here". It's good to aim to please your target audience...but better if you can do what you love really really well and then attract your true target audience....if that makes sense.
On the business side as well...don't market to your free clients. Do the best job you can, but don't expect to get any paying clients from them. If they are getting the work for free, then take total control of everything. Don't spend any time retouching images that are not portfolio worthy. If they only get 5 images...then they only get 5 images. You should be working towards whatever number of images you plan to sell in the end...but while you are skill building or portfolio building, you are working you way up. Don't kill yourself time wise when you're not getting paid. Your payment is the images, so if the image isn't worth it, you're not getting "paid" for it. Make sense? Have a contract to prevent arguments and promise no more than 5 or 10 photos.
Also, for all of us. Clean processing first. It's sort of like when you go to art school...even if you plan on being an abstract artist...you still need to learn the basic foundations of realism. Once you master the basics, then you branch outwards to find your style. It is only once you understand the basics fully that you can break the rules effectively and with purpose.
Hope I don't sound preachy....just trying to share some info that has come from my experiences as a beginning photographer. Probably shouldn't have done it here...but oh well. I'll delete it if you guys want.
Wife to Rich~ 8/16/03 Mom to Nathan~ 9/30/07
1. Cute image overall, but the sun flare seems a bit too extreme and I keep looking at the dad's rumpled shirt, which I don't think was to be the main focal point.
2. Good catchlights, but totally centered. Perhaps a different crop would fix that.
3. My favorite - I like the comp.
4. The chin and forehead chop bother me for some reason. And, the dirty chin doesn't. Seems more like a "moment in time" - KWIM?
5. Maybe I'm seeing some color casts from her shirt. ?
Amber - I can't tell you how much I appreciate your words. From what I gather, you have the most professional experience among all of us, and from my perspective, that makes you the most qualified to give advice - especially this kind. Although at the present time I have no goals of going into business, I want the pics of my kids to look like I am, so your words of wisdom are duly noted. Thank you so much.
My "babies" are Abigail (6/06) and Caleb (1/08 )
Amber: please don't delete! I think you gave wonderful CC and advice.
Sadie, I am loving your progress, you are really taking everything you (and we all) are learning here and putting it to use and it shows. I agree with the CC on these and just wanted to say that I love the eyes in #2 and #3!! and what a sweet happy expression in #3, awesome.
~*~ my photography site ~*~
Amber- I don't think it sounds preachy. I plan on emailing you a longer pm b/c I want to explain myself a little better, but I think you gave great advice. I guess at time I do want to make the client happy, and then make myself happy. I worry about the work I am doing, and spend a lot of time on it. I have more questions, but those will be in my pm.
Thank you all so much for your cc. I am trying to take your words and apply them. I hope that I can continue posting and improve b/c business is a dream, but I don't know if it will ever come true.
I'm so glad you are sharing more! I never get tired of picture watching ... it's what gets me through my work day!
1. The sun flare doesn't look intentional enough, imho. Baby looks over bright as does the side of dad's face. Color seems off and just doesn't add to the shot. LOVE that old barn (or whatever) behind them though.
2. I like the processing here. Love the leading lines of the tracks as well.
3. He's so cute! I dunno if it's the processing, but this one looks grainy.
4. I'm afriad this one just doesn't work for me. It's not really the crop that bothers me, but I think it might be the super shallow DOF. The side of his face is OOF and it almost makes his head appear misshapen.
5. I like this one a lot. A LOT! Love the wind blowing her hari and the natural expression. Color, focus, bokeh, it all looks good!
P.S. Amber ... I too appreciate your words. One thing you said that hit home w/ me was that the IMAGES are my payment. What a great way to make myself remember what is truly important in this kind of situation. THANKS!
Sadie - keep practicing. We don't all get it the first time, heck I still sometimes don't get it. Even the most noted photographers make errors once in a while that's just human nature.
I do agree with Amber about focusing on what you like, after all the client paid for your artistic eye not theirs.
-El mommy to B & A
Just chug-chug-chugging along.
Of course you know I am sooooo new, so I don't feel qualified to give any feedback, but I'll try!
1. Not sure about this one. I think dad looks a little unsure of himself with holding the baby on his shoulders and it shows in the face. Baby is definitely too bright for me.
2. Love this. Her expression is great. I'd like to see it without the processing and a different crop (but I'm not good at knowing how to suggest a crop!)
3. Probably my favorite! But I'd like to see it without the processing.
4. Great, clear shot, but not my favorite. I could see a mom loving it though
5. I like this one. I don't mind the messed hair...something about the shirt bothers me....it could be the processing though.
I've had this open for a few days so I didn't forget to reply to it.
I'm not reading other comments so I apologize if I'm repeating anything already said.
1. yes, baby is too bright. but you can mask him so that he's not so bright. This is very centered, which seems to go against the artsy look you seem to be going for.
2. great focus! her eyes look great. She's also centered, I'd prefer a portrait shot. Here the railroad tracks are detracting, I think, because they seem to be running into her head.
3. I'm not liking the processing on this one. his coloring is just really off. But the focus is good, and expression so cute!
4. wishing the chin wasn't chipped. love his pretty eyes.
5. great catchlights! processing looks nice and clean on this one.
Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack
My blog - all things family, photography and crafty