Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Critique Please

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    I’m practicing portraiture and really have not had any unbiased 3rd parties view and criticize my work. I’ve only started practicing portraiture about a year ago, and only acquired my first DSLR a little over 3 years ago, so I am definitely new. Having read some of the other threads on this forum, I’ll preemptively answer some of the questions that may arise:

    – I have not earned one red cent with photography

    – I am not seeking business for any compensation for of tangible compensation (besides experience gained)

    – I would like to in the future seek the business of paying clients.

    – All of the work I have done with people as my subjects is the result of me asking them to be my practice guinea pigs for my own benefit.

    I would love to become skilled enough to justifiably seek work as a photographer. But most importanly, I seek to know what I could improve on. Thank you!

    Linked are two example of recent work. Both of these are practice sessions (ie people I reached to serve as guinea pigs for my practice. No compensation what so ever).¬† (I haven’t figured out how to create an active hyperlink, so my apologies for having to copy/paste the url into your browser!)

    A business headshot:


    Wedding/Enagement: (Yes, they really did dress the part for me, and voluntarily, I might add!)


    And finally, my first attempt at cramping on Joel Grimes:





    I dont see an edit function, but yes, I posted three photos when I said I would post only two. Oops ūüôā And I apologize for the poor grammar and other typos!


    Very nice images!

    Your executive portrait is done very well. Nice use of DOF and the colors your subject is wearing and background compliment each other. I would make sure to capture the catch lights in the eyes also, it will bring life to the subject.

    Couples portrait: nicely done, great DOF and tack sharp.

    Really like the lighting on the Joel.

    I think you know what you’re doing when it comes to photography. You composition is on point along with your lighting.¬† Just make sure you capture those catch lights.




    Thank you very much for the response. Agreed about the catch lights in the first image. This location was outdoors in the shade of a large steel structure, which, as I had hoped, turned out to be a decent backdrop. It almost looks like a painted muslin.¬† At any rate, I bounced out of a 43″ umbrella on center just above the camera and used a walmart reflector for fill from below, just out of frame. I was paying more attention to ensuring the exposure was correct, and didn’t even think about the catch lights! Thanks for the good tip!

    A couple more images from the same sessions for anyone’s criticism:



    Business Headshot:



    “I have not earned one red cent with photography” my question is WHY I think you have a good eye and you know what you’re doing when it comes to composition and lighting. Maybe you just like getting the warm and fuzzy feeling when folks compliment your work. If you know what your doing stop waiting and get the ball rolling.


    Thing is, I have literally had zero 3rd party peer review of what I do. Plenty of friends and family ‘like’ what I do. But thats typical for ones friends and family! I’m currently joining different online photography communities seeking real critique so that I can learn the tangible things to improve on.

    Next, I do feel competent with my equipment. I know it forwards and backwards, but what I don’t feel competent with yet is directing subjects. That is more of the intangible aspect of photography that I have very little experience with. I’ve been paying close attention to videos of pros on youtube (Peter Hurley, Joel Grimes, Joe Edelman, etc etc), noting what they say, do, etc. And look I for interviews/seminars where this topic is discussed, and so I have some remedial modeling 101 knowledge that has been helpful so far, but I haven’t had very much practical application of the knowledge yet.At a minimum, it would only be fair to myself and anyone willing to hand over some cash for my photos of them that I bring my directorship to at least where my technical abilities are. Would you agree?

    Over the next 3 weeks, I have 8 more practice sessions penciled in doing more headshots, mom/dad/baby, husband/wife, and even a car shoot. I can’t wait to get those done and get that much more directing experience under my belt.

    But yes, again, thank you for your comments. I truly do appreciate it.



    I’m applauding you right now. ¬†Thank you so much for caring so much about what you do, and having respect for the profession. ¬†Thank you for doing it right and allowing yourself to be an amateur/student ¬†and taking enough pride in your work not to jump the gun Into being for hire. ¬†Yay! I am not alone! ¬†I think you will go far. ¬†You have an eye, you have talent, and you can see where you fall short. ¬†I expect great things from you, and I hope things go really well with the directing, and you learn tons from your shoots coming up, and your critiques to follow.


    And Ken,

    I don’t think you realize how hard it is to find good CC like the poster was clearly looking for here. ¬†When I first started trying to tackle marketable portrature, I had a very difficult time doing so. ¬†All I received was nicey nice.

    with that said, I don’t think you will find the cc you are looking for here Arizona. ¬†Try photo.net. ¬†and when you are ready to ask yourself that all important question “I’m I ready”, and you feel the need for pro’s opinions, put together a small portfolio, and possibly an entire shoot for them to look at. ¬†It’s very hard to answer that question by only seeing a few shots, because there is no way to judge consistency, and that as you know, is a HUGE factor to consider.

    I would offer a critique, and I apologize for just giving you nicey nice, but buy looking at the shots you provided, I feel you are beyond my skill level.


    IHF, you’ve touched on something I didn’t mention earlier, but shares a top priority for me: a body of consistent work to present.

    There are two reasons why I’m shooting as much as I can: 1) For myself: gaining technical skill and director experience, and tied for #1 in importance is to have a portfolio of relevant work to present to would-be clients when that time comes.

    I’ve just registered at photo.net, as well as a couple of other photography communities. Initially, I’m just going to observe the communities so I can get a vibe for what they’re all about before offering myself to the hordes.

    Thanks very much for your replies! I thoroughly enjoy reading your responses to others, and I truly am impressed with your photographic art!

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