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my original critique was based upon my lack of knowledge of the image engine in “youpic” – I did NOT know the program cropped the photo. I went back to see that I could indeed click on the image to see your intended jpeg. I was not judging you on your merits.

With shots 7512, 7511, 7510, 7517, 7514 & 7515, I prefer the composition of 7510 & 7515 the best – rule of thirds, the subject is day-gazing within the frame (no sense of “Hey, what’s that over there?” and we can’t see it), the light is falling on her face in a Remnrandt style. 7511 is a close runner-up, although I would have placed a small reflector on her right side (our left) to recapture some of the features lost to shadow.

Tiny Dancer needs a TAD fill light, perhaps from stage left?

Img 6604 on the go-round is a winner for me EXCEPT if she was not looking into the camera. My ‘niche’ (if you can call it that) is candids of children. A child’s candid image is always a better capture than one posed. There’s something innocent and unexpected about that.

Img 6021 could use some more lens element flare, if that’s what you were after AND some fill light to capture her hair color through the sun.

Climbs 7/8 I think would have looked nicer in color, plus (assuming it was shot RAW) playing with the whites & blacks in LR to get more contrast.

Ryker Bath – a drop less exposure, golden ratio or rule of thirds in the crop, COLOR, and let’s see all his fingers! 🙂

Bubbles – too many areas white clipped (look at the histogram), and color would have been AWESOME here as bubbles usually cast a greenish-purply-orangy rainbow reflection which would have worked quite well here against her white dress. Maybe even a fill flash (low power) for catch light in the eyes and on the bubbles as well.

In general, when it comes to kids, COLOR works best. People want to see the pretty colorful dress, the sharp tie, the colorful hair clip, the golden locks. B&W is one of those love/hate things I guess but it’s tough to get away with the dramatic nuances that only B&W can provide – with a child.

I can afford to be a niche photographer because I already have a day job – that is, my photography work is ONLY candid children shots. I don’t do weddings, formal portraits, bar/bat mitzvahs, senior or glamour shoots. More still, my market is a very small tight-knit community here in NYC of special needs kids. These are subjects who can’t / won’t look at a camera or even acknowledge the photographer in the room 2ndary to moderate-severe social anxiety disorders (typically ASD). The shoots I take on occupy much time in preparation, mostly for me to come to the families for a sit-down to understand what type of shots they want and for their son/daughter to become acclimated to me. This time ALONE could take ~3 hours over 5-6 days of me coming to the home and sitting with the family so their child gets familiar with me as a person who is interested in them.

These are mostly folks who are in possession, in some extreme cases, of NO ‘presentable’ photos of their children besides very blurry iphone snaps and perhaps some baby photos before the underlying condition manifested. They are also often weary and strung out from the likes of unprofessional ‘pro child photographers’ who have assistants clapping, singing – and sometimes yelling – with puppets on their hands, “look over here, Brian!! Brian!! Over here!! Look at the frog!!” – then the ghastly comments, “Mom, is he not understanding us…?” “I don’t think we’re gonna be able to help you Ms. Smith…”

My wife and I were one set of those parents years back. My frustrations brought me to hire a pro sports photographer at $250 / hr living by me. Our first shoot was a stark raving success due to his dedication and on the fly thinking (forget the tripod or the studio setup, my daughter was on the move!) In Central Park we spent 4 hours with this gentleman – he definitely was working for his money – running, laying down, sitting, jumping up. He was sweating profusely by the end, as were we, but we had a WONDERFUL afternoon and, more importantly, so did Francesca. I spent some time speaking with this fellow about how to learn what he does so I could reproduce it at home when the moments were right.

He sent me to B&H with a list and the name of a sales person, and the rest is history. First a 50D, L-series lenses, then a 1Dx, then flashes, tripod, light meter, software, new computer to process the photos, and on it goes until today. Just a Dad who wants to photograph his little girl with everything I had in me. Money was no object. My gear totals prolly $25k all in, but it’s what I needed to capture my daughter’s moments in time.

Francesca’s outgrown many of the ailments we initially feared would hold her back in life (thank God, as many children are not so lucky) but out of the ashes came this ever growing circle of acquaintances we’ve come to know over time in doctor’s offices, therapy groups, play dates and the like who follow me on my blog and see the photos I’ve posted of my daughter and other kids and ask “can you help us?” to which I always say “Sure, I’ll try.”

Only recently have I started charging a fee for my service ($100 / hr) but the parents – so far – have been grateful for the dedication I’ve given to help their son / daughter shine through photography. I get maybe 1 gig a month (which is really all I can handle without sacrificing patient care).

Sorry this was so long, but i thought it best you understand my story.