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    I have been shooting less than a year.. Mostly my kids.. self taught. I have a canon xsi most shots are with a 50mm 1.8 lens. I shoot in manual. I edit some in lightroom. I have been trying to work on focus and seeing light.. Please let me know what you think.. some of the photos on my youpic account are older and some are as recent as today.. hopefully you can see a difference.. anyways yall are the harshes bunch of critics 🙂 so please let me know what you think for a beginner, self taught.. I shoot in natural light.. I do not charge or really photograph for anyone else except maybe friends…



    I’m not a fan of selective color, especially the eyes of a child.

    You’ve chopped off hands, feet, foreheads, arms, & necks.

    B&W?  Not feeling the mood there.

    You need to practice composition.

    You need to practice the interplay between light AND shadow.


    You say you’re seeing the light, but you’re not applying it.

    Pet Peeve: every noobie asiking for critique says the same thing – “I don’t charge, and I know I need way more practice.” Then they have watermarks on their photos…? And, what’s the meaning of ‘imperfectly imaginable photography’? I mean, I had to think about that for 2 minutes or so to finally conclude there’s no link between that name and any of the photos on youpic, except to you alone..



    Generally enjoyed the photos.  I will address a few specifically.

    sundown princess (15 of 15) is a bit blown out and a bit cloudy due to contrast and exposure.  It is not my favourite look but having just come back from two days of seminars given by many professional photographers including at least three that have been published in National Geographic, I can report they have a few with similar light and exposure in their slide shows.  This would be a stronger photo if the camera were panned right a few degrees so the whole shoe was comfortably in the frame.

    sundown princess (12 of 15) feels like the camera is tilted a little.  The dress is blown out on the sunny side, it would be better if it were not blown out.  She could be a little further into the frame.

    selfie has lens flare.  Selfies are difficult unless you have a camera that has a preview screen that faces you.  I think it is a pretty fair photo.

    I like IMG_7542, although the light on her face is pretty flat and it looks like there is a film over her.  A lot more mid-tone contrast would help.  How you adjust mid-tone contrast depends on the editor you use, it is different than overall contrast.

    #need a better camera 🙂 has nice light.  It is another I like a lot.

    IMG_6604 is a cool way to get a panning blur without having to practice panning.  I think it worked well.  There is an unfortunate bar in the upper right corner.

    IMG_6021 could stand a bit of mid-tone contrast, and there is a light flare at her stomach which makes no sense.

    ryker bath (12 of 14) has the fingers cut off; one of the many photos EyeDocPhotog is complaining about.   B&W needs really good light, good tones, and strong graphics.  In a lifetime of looking at photos, I can count those B&W photos that have had enough impact to be memorable on my fingers.

    camilledavis182 is the spot colour photo.  The lashes are sharp.  The iris is sharp.  The eye colour is quite muted.  As spot colour goes, I think it works pretty well done like that.  It might work better with a different crop.  Perhaps one eye, or two, but not one and a half.

    The watermark is a strange name.  Like EyeDocPhotog, I’m not sure what you are trying to say.




    ok thanks for your opinion.. I’m confused on what you mean by chopping off necks? Also I guess black and white is a preference and not yours.. I tend to really like black and white. Did you view the photos by clicking on them? youpic does crop the images on the first page.. unless you click full view. As far as the water mark goes.. that is from my personal blog.. which is more a diy design.. I just decided to use it also on my photos since they are on a public form, not that anyone would want to use them, but if they did they are marked.

    I also am not a big fan of selective color.. the eyes of my daughter were done like that on accident actually, I had added a tiny bit of green to them in light room later changing to black and white the color was left in.. I didn’t notice it until after export.. I have been debating of going in and removing it again or leaving it as is. I have gotten mixed reviews on it.. It is my only “selective color” photo I have..


    I am surprised of your pretty harsh critique considering you are not a professional by your own admission, “I am an eye doctor, not a pro photographer. But that being said, I started practicing this art some 7 years ago when I realized I could not keep up with my active daughter without some photography knowledge. 65,000 shots, later I think I’ve learned a few things.”


    so needless to say as I can no longer view your images, since the account has been removed, to see if I think your advice is something I should take to heart. I think I will take it with a grain of salt. Especially since you offer really no solutions other than complaints.. but again thanks for you opinion.


    thanks camera clicker. Those were helpful.


    The sunflare on the one of her stomach was not added.. it was just there.. none of the flare was post process all natural.. the backlit ones were older shots from when I first got my camera..


    I guess I just like black and white 🙂 I will try to work on more color.. but I just have a soft spot for it.  Maybe that the design since coming in. Its easier to place black and white images in groups and such on a wall for print. but I do just like them.


    Again thank you for your critique.


    You came here and asked what we thought, and I told you my opinion. If you want to cut it in this hobby, you better develop thicker skin.

    My gut feeling from the watermark is you think you’re at a level where you can charge others for your work. Maybe you can, but I wouldn’t hire you. Little hearts or thumbs up on photos posted to a social media photo site don’t make you a photographer.


    let me say it again I have only been shooting for less than a year….

    I agree that “Little hearts or thumbs up on photos posted to a social media photo site don’t make you a photographer.” although it does mean total strangers find something nice about your image…. thats why I dont take photos for other unless they are my friends and ask me to, in which case I dont charge.. hence all of the photos of my kids.. I didn’t mean to come off as you hurt my feelings you didn’t i just found it ironic that you would give such a harsh critique being that only 5 months ago you admitted you werent a professional photographer..

    I also never claimed to be a professional photographer, I only asked what was thought of my images I have taken thus far with less than a year of practice..

    So again I wasn’t trying to be rude, Or hurt your feelings.. I was just saying that I would take your advice with a grain of salt considering you admitted you were not a professional and I had no photos of yours to reference.

    as for your gut feeling, your entitled to that, but I feel like your being somewhat rude in stating you wouldn’t hire me, I wasn’t asking you to nor am I asking anyone else.. I was asking for opinions on my photos..

    so again I will thank you for you opinion and leave it at that.

    as for the watermark do you not mark your photos?

    While I am not a professional, they are my images, and so I mark them as so, In identification with my personal blog. They may not be the best but they are mine and I’m ok with them for now.. Im sure as I grow I will look back and thin man those are pretty sad.. but everyone starts with some images..

    So I just think it would do more good for those learning, as you said you your self are, to give constructive cc, rather than just be harsh and say what you dont like.. I’m sure your first images 7 years ago were the same as your images today. .




    were not*

    Worst Case Scenario

    I think your biggest problem is that youpic site! I too wondered why you so bad at cropping until I clicked on a pic and got the full image. No one who’s serious about photography would want their pics displayed like that. Dump that and get a flickr account.

    I liked what I saw, even the spot colour is subtle enough to get away with. There’s some focus issues and the BW conversion on some could be improved but I think you have a good eye. Now you need to start finding good photos that aren’t of your kids!

    eyedocs points are valid, so many people think that putting a watermark on an image will make it look professional. I am a professional but hardly ever water mark my images because by the time they get onto the internet, I’ve already been paid for them.  That said, I didn’t actually notice your watermark on first viewing and had to go back to find out what the fuss was about.

    It’s a standard problem here that people ask for critique and when they don’t like the response they demand to see the work of the critiquer. That attitude (and maybe the water mark) are your only faux traits.


    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.


    as for the watermark do you not mark your photos?

    Generally I don’t.  Usually my photos have EXIF data and my more recent bodies write a copyright notice into the EXIF data, which survives editing.  My own web pages, Flickr, 500px, and several other sites where I post all retain EXIF data, so there is no strong need for a watermark.

    If I post anything to Facebook, I will definitely add a watermark because Facebook strips EXIF data.  I will add a watermark if posting to another site that strips EXIF data.  I haven’t thought a lot about the watermark.  I think I might use the URL of one of my web pages, probably the page the photo appears on.

    Sometimes in the threads here, a comment will be made that the photographer is not the “main” photographer because the group is not focused on the camera.  To look into the camera, or not, that is an ongoing question.  I direct as little as possible, and often when I am directing the main two points are “look over there” and “I have a wide enough lens, there is no need to lean together, stand up straight and spread out a little”.  Usually photos of people are better if they are engaged in doing something, even if something is just someone else waving at them.  Other times, a subject looking directly into the camera can be quite engaging.


    Eye Doc, Thank you for your critic. That  was helpful.

    I enjoyed your story. and I would love to see some images if you posted them some time. Sounds like your doing a really good thing.


    worst case,

    Thank you for your opinion I will work on those things.

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