i’m just not a fan of baby photos in general. Plus there is more than just baby work, unless your anne geddes. She kind of killed that genre for me anyways. Now everyone wants photos of babies just like her. I’m hard pressed to find examples of anything that I like that doesn’t look like her stuff. However, if you are passionate about it, by all means. I realize it’s incredibly difficult. I’ve worked on shoots with newborns and kids of all ages. They are not easy. I’ve had very little interest in fashion but if I did, I think I’d want to do kids fashion. I really love the work in this magazine: http://www.milkmagazine.net/
As for watermarks, I hate them. They don’t belong on my photos. In fact, I would prefer that no text were on my photos, but I realize that this just isn’t possible. Most often, the text is badly placed. If you want your watermark to be an ad, then you should just make an ad. I don’t think that low rez images need to be protected on the internet. They are worthless. The quality is worthless. Every once in a while I search a bunch of my images and every once in a while I find someone using it in a manner that i’m not happy with. Most people link back to my site, which is great. That is the very least someone can do. But when people blatantly rip off my images for their own use, I simply send them an email, tell them they had no permission to use it, and ask them to take it down. Usually they comply. If they don’t, I find their phone number and nag them about it. That works. The internet isn’t very confrontational, ppl can hide behind it. You can make it far more personal. But honestly, your images being out there on the internet, with a link back to you, is really all you need. And so rather than fighting the copyright fight, I find it’s just easier to set some very basic and agreeable rules. #1, you may not put text over my images, #2, you must link back to me or credit me #3, you may not make money off my photo.
Sometimes companies use my images without asking and do a bad crop job. I send them an email saying, next time please ask, and if you need a tighter cropped version, please let me know and I’ll supply it to you. Often times its the result of interns not knowing any better. That happens and is excusable. Sometimes you just simply have no control over the images, but these are situations where you’ve been paid money for the images so you have no say. I have two books coming out this fall and I’m starting to see the images out there already and there are really bad crop jobs, they aren’t using the right resolution images so they look pixelated. Huffington Post picked up some of the images for a story on the book and they just look so bad. I tried to contact somewhere there but it was impossible. Instead I contacted the books publicist and said, these look horrible we have to do something about it. And she did.
I didn’t go in depth with the OP because I don’t believe that a critique should be so in depth. I think you should point out a few things that are wrong with the image and then let them figure out the rest. Often I think it’s enough to say that the photo is bad (doesn’t work) and let them figure out why. You never learn anything if someone is always telling you why your images suck. You have to work that out for yourself. It’s called problem solving. But in my original post to the OP, I felt that I went sufficiently in depth on what needed to be said. In college, I actually stopped going to assignment critiques because i felt like I was given too much information. Especially too much positive critique. I finally had to say, will you please stop blowing smoke up my ass. I want to know whats wrong with it. b/c i really hated the images i shot in college. They were horrid. My instructor started critiquing my work on paper and I would show up after class was over to get the assignment back. He wasn’t happy that I wasn’t coming to critique but realized that everyone has their own process. I think he would have been more disapproving if I wasn’t coming b/c the critiques were too negative. I do regret my decision to not return though. I think part of the process i missed out on was learning to read between the lines of what people are saying. Your comment about first liking the image and then basically criticizing the entire thing from top to bottom is very common in the real world. Another common answer to “Is it good?” is “I don’t know, what do you think?” Infuriating.
I used all caps b/c i wanted to convey the point that I was yelling at that moment. White vignettes are bad. They show a complete lack of understanding of film, lenses and why they vignette. I realize that we are past the point of film except for novelty and stalwart magazines that are shooting themselves in the foot with their growing film budgets and I realize that my generation is probably going to be the last to ever see the inside of a darkroom. I see nothing wrong with that; the medium is evolving. But in a lot of ways it’s devolving when anyone with a $500 DSLR thinks they can take a photo and try to make it look like film. It’s important to note that vignetting, while sometimes desired, shows a defect of the lens. It was never intended in the first place but b/c lenses are built with rear elements being smaller than front elements, the front elements cut the intensity of the light on the outer edges of the frame. In digital photography, software was created to correct this issue, adding a crude amount of brightness the area that vignettes. The process is not exact(although when using lens profiles in lightroom or capture one, they are pretty accurate) and overuse results in a really bad effect. At some point, someone thought that was a good idea. It was not. It was intended to be used very subtly to reduce vignette; not create an entirely new kind of vignette.