@Haylott, I think you took the statements out of context where I had said I didn’t charge/yet I did, etc. When I was going through college and even before when I just liked taking pictures, I did not ever advertise that I was a photographer for hire. The couple of paid gigs I did were friends who approached me, because they liked my other non-portrait work and knew I was trying to develop myself as a photographer. I basically only charged a minimal fee for my time, and no one had an issue with that. The first wedding I did I was also asked to do. I had been doing portraits a little here and there, mostly just practice shoots, and had just started working for a photographer. The bride was well-aware I did not ever do a wedding, and was aware I did not have top-notch equipment. They couldn’t afford an established photographer for their wedding. I believe I did a good job for my first and for what I was paid (which was very minimal as far as weddings go) but I don’t have many of those images posted online because they no longer represent my skill level and I don’t want them to have an ill effect on my portfolio.
I do have trouble figuring out what someone said by the bride was not smiling at all… In almost all the photos posted, she is. Her smile is kind of small, not big/toothy like most smiles I guess, so maybe it’s a misinterpretation? Either way, I gave them 250 different photographs from their wedding. In no way was their time “wasted” with any of the shots, that comment is quite rude!
I don’t advertise that I do weddings; right now I do them for friends only, except the 2nd shooter opportunities. I have another scheduled for this coming fall for that studio I was a second wedding shooter for, since the wedding is in my part of the state.
The baby/blocks photo- the parents wanted it. So I got some blocks. Is that my strongest image from that session? I don’t think so myself. So I think it’s unfair to call it a representation of my ideas as a whole.
As far as actions, I do not use them and forget about the rest. Actions are only a part of what I do to edit. My workflow is to start with some wb/exposure/noise reduction in Lightroom, then take into Photoshop for fine-tuning adjustments including curves, blemish reduction, liquify certain things when necessary, skin smoothing, skin tone adjustments, eyes and teeth, some exposure, and then I will apply an action or a few actions usually as a last or almost last step. Within a shoot I try to keep the actions used consistent so the photos flow. Some photos online may have been the “extra enhanced” versions (like, hazy, vintage, black and white, more obvious actions, etc) where I also have a clean edit that I may not have posted, and I probably should more so that people can see the difference and that I do both.