Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Constructive Criticism?

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  • #16174
    mcian98
    Member

    I’m a new photographer who recently started taking pictures. I’ve been trying my best to learn a lot about the camera and to use manual mode! I’m looking for some feedback on how to improve my work-it would be GREATLY appreciated!

    http://emceequeen.foliohd.com/view/UTL#dOSJ

    #16175
    nesgran
    Member

    Are you charging these people for taking photos or is it more of a hobby at the moment?

    #16176
    mcian98
    Member

    At the moment, I charge people $30 for an hour/hour-and-a-half of family photography. This is only a starting price, and yes, it’s low, but I do charge people

    On a side note, the wedding picture in the portfolio was taken while I was the guest at a wedding; I do not charge or offer wedding photos.

    #16177
    nesgran
    Member

    Ok, pricing seems right to cover your gas mileage. Bear in mind that you will require insurance and be signed up for taxes etc as otherwise if you get sued or the IRS takes a fancy you’re completely screwed.

    To start off with, it isn’t all that bad. I’ve seen photographers who’ve been in the business far longer take photos at that level but on the other hand there are problems. A few general pointers are that your colour consistency isn’t good. I see warm, I see slightly to rather green and I see varying levels of saturation in your photos from the same shoot. Are you on a calibrated monitor? If not that would be my suggestion to get first for investments in the business. Second would be some form of flash or reflectors.

    I would cull shots which don’t look crisp and sharp like the kid with the bike helmet. It looks a bit odd somehow, have you used lots of noise reduction on it or is just slightly out of focus?

    The shot of the guy in blue shirt and girl stood over him isn’t great. First off the colour balance is very wrong and quite green. The bokeh is distracting, this could have been alleviated by using a longer lens, bigger aperture or just put more distance between the subject and the background. I can’t tell what settings you’ve used since you don’t have any EXIF data on your photos but it leaves a bit to be desired. The bright white patch just left of her head is quite distracting and draws your eyes to that rather than them as they are much darker. This shot would have been helped a lot by some flash. While their eyes look smiley they also look dead, there are no catch lights which help with that.

    The shot of the family throwing leaves you have the family slightly blurred, just like your background and they don’t really stand out. You’ve also got the chain link fence running through the background which doesn’t look good. Again, get the subject further away from the background and let it melt more to a luscious bokeh mess. It will also help with making the people more prominent in the picture. They don’t have to be sharp, only noticeable sharper than the background not to melt into it.

    These are some of the problems with the photos you can work on to get better. My three things I’d suggest is to nail down colour temperature, hue and saturation. Second, get more light on your subjects, they look a bit dull like the mum kissing her small son. They come off a bit grey. Third would be to manage your backgrounds far more than you’ve done in these photos. Most of them have some distracting element in the background. For example like the piano, what is that chair doing in the background. Why is it there?

    #16178
    mcian98
    Member

    Thank you. Regarding the IRS and taxes, I am only 16. That probably would’ve made sense to mention earlier, but nevertheless, it will be good to know for the future. As far as color temperature, I’m still figuring out how to best keep it consistent while also giving each photo the proper color correction/saturation/etc. it needs, but I will definitely work those things out!

    #16179
    mcian98
    Member

    Just to clear things up…I’m 16 (as previously mentioned), and I just started to really get into photography. I shoot with a Canon Rebel t5i, which I got brand new less than 6 months ago. I’ve never taken photography classes, although I hope to soon, so a lot of my knowledge comes from what I’ve learned through books, magazines, tutorials, and my own eye. I haven’t established a full on business, although I charge for family pictures for interested families in the area. I think my first post may have been a bit too vague; in any case, all constructive criticism is appreciated!

    #16182

    The wedding photo is a cracking shot ( I’d gladly have that on my website ) The rest don’t look as sharp, some are not sharp enough to use. The close up of the flower and the bridge shot need to go, the bridge is an okay pic but neither add anything to the portfolio and they actually look out of place in portrait collection.
    Nesgran has already summed up nicely, just a couple of extra points. I can’t help thinking that to kid in the first shot might be better if you could see his face. If you’re going to be selling portraits, clear, sharp faces are a must. And the beach shot needs to be straightened up a bit to level out the horizon.

    Keep on shooting.

    #16183
    nesgran
    Member

    As far as color temperature, I’m still figuring out how to best keep it consistent while also giving each photo the proper color correction/saturation/etc. it needs, but I will definitely work those things out!

    What programme are you using for editing? One good way if you are using lightroom is to adjust colour temp, tint, saturation, vibrance and clarity on one representative shot and then applying those settings to all other photos from the same shoot provided light stays the same. That way you will get a consistent look. In the library module for example you can select to see only photos with flash or without flash as that will make a difference what colour temperature you want. For when you get a backup body (or a better primary body and relegate the rebel to backup) you may need to adjust depending on the camera or lens used. It is obviously not foolproof and you will need to adjust some shots after that but it will give you a very consistent look if the environment hasn’t changed noticeably.

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