Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Critique needed!

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    Hi there!

    I’m the first person to admit that I’m a beginner (and I’m only 19), but my dream is to one day become a professional photographer. I’ve been second photographer in a few weddings and main photographer at one – a friend’s. The couple was really happy with the photo’s, but I would love some professional feedback.

    I got my first DSLR about 5 years ago, a Canon 450D. I can’t afford anything better as of yet, so for now I’m making the best of what I have. (I’m saving up for a Canon 6D and some better lenses.)

    My website is http://www.photosbyanmari.co.za


    So, you are a student who is thinking about a career in photography.  First piece of advice:  Take business courses.

    I only have a few minutes, so let’s talk about a couple of randomly selected photos and see how it goes.

    3726092_orig.jpg, is the first one that opened when I selected weddings.  I think the part in best focus may be the sleeve of the woman working on the bride’s hair.  The bride has “raccoon eyes”.  Fill flash or a bounce device of some sort, either a commercial reflector or some white foam core can push light into the eye sockets to prevent that.  Focus on your subject’s eye, nearest the camera.  Depending on the bride’s preference, I would consider removing the laugh lines, or minimizing them.  There is some keystone distortion and a slight tilt.  The window frame at camera right leans in at the top a little.  The mirror frame at camera left leans out quite a bit at the top.  Some software deals with this better than other software.  Her dress is a bit pink, which suggests white balance is off.  If you adjust to make her dress white, that window is blown out.

    Only got through one photo and I’m out of time.  More later if time permits.


    Thanks, I appreciate the feedback! Just to clarify, when you say “take business courses” do you mean in addition to photography or in stead of? I am planning on becoming a teacher and then perhaps starting a wedding photographer’s business on the weekends.


    You have some nice shots in your portfolio, An-Mari, which shows you’ve got potential! 🙂

    I don’t usually leave image-by-image critique as CC does, but straight away I’d say 3 things:

    1. Good glass will go miles further than an expensive body. I shoot with my 50D pretty often even though I also have a 1Dx – but I wish I knew back then that LENSES are really an investment whereas BODIES lose value 2ndary to booming technology. Every year the industry pumps out newer sensors with more MP and higher ISO, etc. But my L24-105 is still there, 6 years later, waiting for the shot.

    2. Shoot in RAW. In jpeg mode, you’re effectively letting your camera tell you what to keep and what to throw away. A RAW image, on the other hand, gives YOU full control over what you keep. For example, one shot in your portfolio screams for increasing exposure, vibrancy, contrast, and a subtle adjustment of the tone curve – but alas, forget it if all you’ve got is a jpeg.

    3. Know your camera inside and out. Take shots with deliberate changes to every setting you can. Look at the pictures blind (without the EXIF data) and really try to see where the photo went wrong. Some will be obvious, some may surprise you.



    Take business courses in addition, or instead. Most of your photos are good moments with good expressions.  There are some issues that could easily be solved with a few minutes in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop.  Fixes are easier if you have raw files because there is so much more data available.  As EyeDocPhotog has pointed out you have some nice shots in your portfolio.  Actually, I like most of them.  The photography business is 80% business and 20% photography.  Hence, the business courses recommendation.

    If you are planning to become a teacher, photography courses might be the better choice.  Holding a teaching certificate, you could teach photography, which might be more enjoyable than doing photography as a business.


    I think CC’s suggestion of aiming to become a photography teacher is a good one. I taught before I had kids and it is a really full on profession, I can’t imagine running a wedding photography business at the weekends as well, at least a day of my weekend used to be spent lesson planning, marking and what not.  I don’t mean to dampen your enthusiasm, but it does seem like a lot.


    Thanks everyone! I only recently started using Adobe Lightroom and shooting in RAW, so I’m still getting the hang of the editing business and most of my pictures are (unfortunately) in JPEG. I’m having loads of fun learning and experimenting, though.

    As for the photography/business/teaching dilemma… Teaching is my first love, photography my second so we’ll still see how things turn out. But thanks for the good advice!

    I’m glad you like some of my photos!


    CC is the best one to listen to and he’s right on business classes…

    In my opinion….In your friends category…some of the photos are too washed out from the sun, where half their faces are just bright bright with no detail and some are forced to squint from the light.  Just position them differently and use a fill flash or reflector if needed.  If you dont have a reflector, you can use some foil or use a piece of white or colored construction paper.

    For composition, its subjective, but in one of them there’s a cowboy and the grass makes some soft leading lines.  I would position the cowboy in a position where the lines lead to him or your subject.  In that photos case, my eyes follow the lines, but jump to the left for the subject.

    *** also my tip.  when you save or post a photo sometimes double check to see if the colors are what you want on a phone as well.

    it can look perfect on a computer, then totally different when you upload, and horrible on a cell phone. So dont forget to check once in an while to see if everything is close.

    Hope that helps…good luck and have some fun


    Hey, thanks for the forum.Really thank you! http://jtf7f86r5df68.tumblr.com/ – Prisbrey

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