Home Forums Photography Showcase Request for Constructive Criticism

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  • #4757
    dalelempa
    Member

    Hey all,

    I would love to get some constructive criticism on our website/portfolio:

    http://www.lempacreative.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/LempaCreative

    I know that we are not fauxtogs, but that we also have plenty of room to learn and grow.  I am looking for any kind of criticism: the strongest strengths and weakest weaknesses on any aspect of our web presence: photo skills, web design, marketing, logo, etc.  I am ready for you to hit me with your best shot and I am ready to take it like a man.  You don’t have to be polite; I sincerely want to hear the truth.

    I would especially like to know what you think are the weakest photos in our portfolio, and I can fairly guarantee that I will remove them.  I subscribe to the philosophy of showing only the best of the best, rather than spewing out everything for the world to behold.  Thanks in advance for your help.

    Dale

    #4767
    nairbynairb
    Member

    So I looked through your website portfolio and noticed a few things.

    First, in your ‘Seniors’ portfolio you have 3 very similar pictures of the boy, all edited different ways. In my opinion only the second one is a good picture (the third being the worst.)

    In ‘Portraits’ you’re so hit or miss with the quality. the first two pictures are wonderful, but then the third one isn’t doing anything for your profile.

    The first picture in the ‘Families’ slide has the dad blinking and the mother almost blinking, not my favourite.

    A lot of the photos that you over-edit end up on the green side too, watch out for that.

     

    Other than those few things, very nice images!

     

    #4768

    There is a lot of hit and miss in your portfolio.  I don’t know if this is because you are both shooting and editing, and one of you is quite good, and the other is quite bad, or….  All I know is I’m confused.  I see some fabulous shots, and some horrible flops that should be no where near a pro’s portfolio.  I think I may need to come back another day when I have more time and go through some images with you, and dive a little deeper

     

    #4772

    I’m not fond of tilted images.  Some people seem to like them and I know a few pros that recommend tilting the camera when they do seminars or blogs.  I know others that eliminate anything tilted from submissions to contests as the first step to choosing a winner.  If there is nothing in the image that can be used as a reference, tilting or not is not relevant, otherwise I generally prefer not tilted, although I have seen a few images that tilting probably helped.   When I looked at your images I wondered why so many were tilted.  One might be OK, even two perhaps, but three is too many.  John & Katie, 16 of 21, for instance… Nice looking chandelier, but odd looking when it should be hanging down and instead everything is listing.

    The image of the children holding the frame would be a lot stronger if the couple kissing were also in focus.   Even the little girl does not seem sharp.  If that scene were shot with a really hard lens, then in post processing, another layer was given lens blur and masking was done so the children, frame and couple in the frame were sharp and everything else was blurred, I think it might look cool.  I just found another with the couple in focus and the children and frame blurred!  Same message as for the first image I found.  Try combining the two in Photoshop to see the effect of sharp children, frame and couple with everything else blurred.

    Thomas and Sarah 1 of 13, almost the first thing I saw was that huge downspout drain at the bottom of the pillar.  If this was reportage, it would have to stay, but these are wedding photos, so I think it would be safe to take a few seconds and clone it out, there are lots of pixels available so it should be very fast to do.  Watch the shadows though.  This is one that may have been better with less depth of field to blur out the doors in the background?  In 2 of 13 the brides smile looks tentative and the bridesmaid behind her looks worried.   That picture might have been stronger if they were all in focus, as might 4 of 13, the guys.  In 4 of 13 the groom’s expression is better than the bride’s in 2 of 13, and he really stands out.  It is the better of those two photos.  In 11 of 13, there is that tilt again, it looks like a mistake.   The tilt is there in 12 of 13, and definitely it was on purpose, but why!  And we move to 13 of 13, where suddenly we are at a 24th of May or 4th of July party, or a birthday party or bar mitzvah?  It certainly looks like a totally different event!

     

    Not sure how to identify the image.  “cary-wedding-photographer-09.jpg”, on your web page, B & W, might be a father, tight check pattern suit, grey hair and beard, looking out a window.  Except for the position of his right arm, I really like that photo.  I just can’t figure out why he has his arm up like he is going to block someone.  It does not seem that he is leaning on part of the window and I doubt there is a latch to open a door at the height his hand is.

     

    In the engagement photos, of the guy in a green shirt, I like the “Danger” signs!  I think I would have removed them with Photoshop.

    I would bury the photo (engagements/11w.jpg) of the black couple on the red chairs where the only thing in focus is the foreground weeds.

    Why, when the guy is already a head taller than the girl in the white dress and blue jeans, would you pose them with her standing down slope from him for a kiss, it looks awkward.   If they were standing in opposite positions, it would be easier to kiss and it would look more natural.

    Enough of that.  “cary-wedding-photographer-07.jpg”, the B & W with 3 bridesmaids looking over the fence and the bride turning back to look at the camera is nice.   It would also work well with a softer background.    “cary-wedding-photographer-17.jpg”, black bride looking at new husband, they fill the frame, I like that one.

     

     

     

    #4800
    dalelempa
    Member

    Thanks all for your comments so far!  We have really appreciated having fresh eyes look at our work; since it is hard to objectively judge your own stuff.  We have already implemented some of your recommended changes, so sorry if it gets confusing as we are in the process of updating our portfolio.  The main thing we have done so far has been to remove the seniors gallery from our website and throw in two of the senior pictures into our portraits gallery.  Also we changed out the photos on our home page and slightly adjusted our portraits and families galleries.

    Also, for convenience of communicating, you can right-click on our images to “save as…” in order to see the filename.  Hopefully that will save further discussion from having to describe each shot in order to identify it.

    Updates to our engagements and wedding galleries will be coming soon!

    #4820

    I actually liked your work!

    #4837
    dalelempa
    Member

    Thanks for the encouragement, Samantha.  We don’t mind constructive criticism either, since we hope to learn and grow from it.  I don’t think the other commenters were tearing down our work; they were offering helpful suggestions to build us up as photographers.

    #4841

    Let me know when you are done organizing and cleaning up, and I’ll be back as soon as I can, to give you some input

    #4939
    addidasshop
    Member

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    #5241
    dalelempa
    Member

    Alright folks, we’ve done our homework and our site is now fully updated.  Feel free to mosy on by and offer additional comments based on our revisions.  Thanks in advance for your help,

    Dale.

    #5242

    Your web page is looking good.

    #5243

    Much better!  You cleaned up well.  Still not crazy for the “trendy” colored/filtered editing of some of your photos, but thats just all a matter of different tastes.  The important thing is, your portfolio looks more consistent and clean.  Things are flowing much better, and your really good shots are standing out quite nicely.  Well done

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