Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Just want a few opinions.

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    Just want a few opinions on my latest work, not other photos from my website. I’ve had those discussed before and I’m trying to improve. Please let me know what you think.



    Wyatt and his family needs a little more contrast or saturation in the first frame.  Also, the horizon is not level.  The wall would be unusual here because it seems to be an outside wall but it also seems to have a baseboard.  It also has lines that should be vertical but which are leaning.  The left edge has a bright line that leaves the frame about a third from the bottom.  Admittedly, the crotch shot is of a male, but it’s still a crotch shot.  The posing seems unnatural.  The second frame is a photo of the baby’s nose?  That’s what’s in focus.  There is a lot of wasted space in the frame.  If you cropped the third frame nearly square, just at the bottom of the baby’s hand, it would improve that photo.  The fourth frame is kind of cool, children’s heads grow a lot in the first few years!  That frame shows that very well.  The older child may be a little too bright, but it is the best shot so far.  The fifth shot seems like you were too close again.  Part of the head got cropped, as did an arm and most of the legs.  I have no idea what you were trying to show.  Shot six makes no sense, too.  It was a newborn session?  Where is the newborn?  I just see an over exposed older child sitting on a wagon.  The seventh frame has the light in the wrong place.  The newborn is over exposed in the eighth frame.  Focus is half an inch too close to the camera in the ninth frame, but a deeper DOF would help more than adjusting focus for the eyes.  The tenth frame is too close again.  I suspect the baby is in the glove, the closeness and focus make the edge of the glove look like the sole of an old shoe.  The adult’s arm detracts from the shot.  Newborns are challenging.  Try for environments conducive to even skin tone and natural looking poses.  Pay attention to light, exposure, focus, depth of field and framing.





    This is what I do portraits. With that said…I love your first image.


    #1 Your composition of the 4 family members is spot on

    and the little boy looking at the camera is sweet. Good job.


    #2 I see where you were going with this. I don’t think it works though. He is starring off into space [I realize we are dealing with an infant, you can’t cue an infant]. You could keep the shallow depth of field you are after, but I think you would have been better off filling the frame with his face from a different angle. Although you can’t cue the baby, I will have a mother just off the edge of the frame talk or sing to the baby. Babies respond to their mother’s voice. Just a thought.


    #3 Again I see where you were going but the baby’s fuzed out head at the bottom takes up too much of the frame, it’s visually distracting. Maybe you could have found another angle from which to shoot and concentrated on the babies hands together, putting just enough of their faces in to put context to who’s hands they were.


    #4 I love you shot it on a quilt, smart choice. I like the kids are bare skinned, it’s sweet the older bro is looking and smiling at the baby, but again I would keep shooting and patiently wait till either the baby noticed the other kid or I might ask the older boy to tell the baby a joke, give a kiss, tell him a secret and then you would have some interaction between them that would look natural.


    #5 Here I might have swaddled the baby, or have someone hold the baby and focus close on his face. Kids at that age are always making weird gestures. I have had 3!


    #6 Sweet. Looking off camera is fine. Just keep working it though. Kids in action or absorbed in something that holds their attention is the way to go. As far as cut off body parts. I have no problem with that but remember you should always cut off a body part anywhere but at any joint otherwise they can look amputated.


    #7 Mom & Baby, Sweet. I like the fact the background is the fence. You do have to be careful in contrasty light. If you are going to do that make sure it looks like it was a creative choice and not that you didn’t see it and failed to move your subject into better light.

    I don’t know if anyone is there when you’re shooting cause a diffuser disc or something as simple as a bed sheet blocking that light would have evened the light out. Keep waiting for the moments of calm on the baby’s face. When you see a baby reacting it can feel a little disconcerting to the viewer. [One time I had to wait 2 hours before my client’s baby stopped crying]


    #8 This shot I don’t see enough of the baby and Dad’s expression is a bit flat. I’m not being mean to him, just truthful. This is [without a doubt] the hardest part of being a portrait photographer. Getting your subject to truly emote in front of a lens they are uncomfortable in front of. What I do is talk to my subject. I might just ask the guy:” What are your dreams for this baby”? I might even tell him, “Don’t tell me just think about that question”. Inevitably he will start showing emotion without realizing it.


    #9 I have no critique on this one. Adorable and spot on!


    #10 I know what you were trying to do but there are way too many elements in this shot to work.

    What was your visual goal? The baby’s feet?, his future in baseball?, the mom’s touch? It too much of a mash up. I think here you needed to pick one of those and drop the rest. And then play with the others separately.


    I hope I gave you some things to think about. Keep going, keep shooting, keep working. Really look back at your images and try to figure out what worked, what didn’t and why. If you do that with each shoot, you’ll continue to improve.


    Good Luck!


    I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve posted a comment to ANYTHING on these forums, but I just couldn’t let this one go. This is a classic case of a critique from someone who knows what they’re talking about and someone who doesn’t. I’ll let the OP and those who have already commented or anyone else who might contribute to this thread decide which is which, no disrespect intended.


    Hi Sharra,

    Obviously I’m one of the 2 people who gave a critique. I understand what your saying. I think it’s important to say what you think though.

    Right, wrong or indifferent I feel people learn from it all as I have in the past. I went to the WPPI convention in Vegas and there were many differing opinions and styles of photographers there. At first I was insistent on only listening to those whom I agreed with photographically but then I realized there was a benefit to being exposed to both. I learned more as a result.


    That being said be brave, I’d love to know what your option is and why you feel the way you do.

    I try to take every opportunity to do better at what I do.

    Hope to here your opinion soon.

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