Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Thoughts on my work please? Compliments or Critique but truth please

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    Hello everyone,

    I am new to the forum but not new to the site, this is one of my favorite sites!

    I wanted to ask if you would be willing to give me honest thoughts on my my work.  I have been a part time photographer since 2006 and done lots of training and will continue to train, and also learn daily but it’s something I enjoy to do.  I was hoping to go Pro part time this year but my full time job is IT and it always takes priority since it pays the bills but I really want to make that change.

    Recently I have recieved some critical feedback on some of my work.  I listen, and am better at listening, I ask because I want to know but it’s been a lot lately on things that I thought were spot on so I wanted to ask for a second opinion.  I can spot it on others works but do struggle with seeing it on my own work.  I have learned so much from what has been pointed out to me, but I do want some further feedback.

    This is a recent senior shoot that I did that I would love feedback on:

    http://www.karenleighphotography.com/senior temp password is karenleigh

    Main Site:


    Thank you so much for your time,



    Ok, my first impression is of confusion.  I don’t think your work is particularly bad, but you have not only too much on your website, but too many different themes.  I ask myself what type of photographer are you.  Reduce the amount of images you have in your portfolio, a small number highlighting your ability will be recieved far better than the variety and number of photos you currently have up.

    As far as many of the images listed, especially in the events sections, I find myself wondering why should I care?  I have no attachment to the event and the images themselves don’t really pull me in or create a dialog.  Once again, this isn’t particularly bad, because if you were there they may be an apt representation of what was occurring.  Just documenting an event though isn’t enough, you have to market it, make it something special.  Photography is smoke and mirrors, and you need to figure out how to best represent the event you are shooting.

    Going back to the “why should I care?” aspect, please use this as an example;


    Let me know if you feel as though I’m wrong, but this image serves no purpose in trying to promote your work.  This is not intended to sound harsh, but it is the way I see it.

    Your leaves in the “Fall” section, how many do I really need to see?  Is there enough difference between shots to warrant putting up multiples that all look very similar?  This sounds rude, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t want to search for your outstanding work through your mediocre shots… that’s your job.  You need to only give me (viewer) the option of seeing the best.

    It is almost as if you have a “shotgun” approach to your work… putting so much out there and seeing what hits the target.  I suppose this is good for learning and receiving critiques, but I think you would be better off selecting a couple images and asking that they be reviewed…

    Not much help I suppose, but it is what I have to offer at this time.


    Nope, that is a big help and thank you, that is exactly what I am looking for.  I take a ton of pictures and take them for myself and have a lot of interest in a lot of different types,  but want to work towards going pro and focusing on children and families.  I have always put anything that I like that I take, all photos on my site.  I don’t market myself or am actively seeking professional gain yet, but would like to head in that direction and trying to see what others see.  Thank you, and harsh or not, I want to know so thank you.  I will clean it up.

    Worst Case Scenario

    I hate it when “photographers” can’t find anything more interesting than pictures of their pets to put on their site.. But these are  stunning!



    JustAndy summed it up pretty well, you just have to much okay stuff in between the great shots. Some of the landscapes are great, some are a bit too HDR. Far too many cat shots… 30 Great photos will say much more about you than 30 great shots that are hidden in between 300 others.

    My favourite shot is the picture of you on the about  page. Kudos for having a pic to show people who they will be dealing with. I hope you took it! Your hand looks a little weird but I still really like it… and I hope you’ll take it in the spirit it’s meant, if I say you look quite hot!


    Thank you and yes I took the photograph of me with a remote and mirror on the back of the camera.  I need to do a new one that was a few years ago.

    I will clean it up and remove the ok shots.  Initially I wanted to be a pet photographer, which I still enjoy but I don’t think that will be my main subject to market when I do.


    I really enjoyed viewing your work. My only nit-picky ones are the ones below. I honestly thought the white some-what vignetting at the bottom kind of ruined what was already a good shot.


    I’m kind of in the same boat as you. I have a full-time job doing web/graphic design and I would like to pursue photography as a full-time job but my full-time job pays the bills.

    Your website has too much going on, if you’re trying to market your services. If you are a portrait photographer, I would highlight it and make it more prominent. I would put your other favorite pictures either on a different website, Flick, or your Facebook page. From a user/potential client’s standpoint, people will not spend a whole lot of time browsing (usually one page deep maximum), so your best work should be on the forefront.



    OK, first good attitude about critique and it will take you far and allow you to learn.

    I make a living selling art prints and don’t know the first thing about portraits so that is what I will talk about here. (Not a great living mind you but it pays the bills.)

    Regarding HDR, I didn’t see anything over the top and grungy. Even if I saw things that weren’t my taste, they may be someone else’s.

    Art prints are as much about marketing and getting seen as they are about quality. Preferably you will have quality and can get seen. The images I looked at were nice. I will repeat some of what was said above here. Cats are fine if they are different enough but the market is saturated. Every cat lover on the planet that is a photographer shoots cats so there are literally millions of them for sale on line. Personally, I don’t offer more than one processing version of a single scene. (There are exceptions but in general I don’t.) I will generally offer a color and black and white if it works with both and a vertical and horizontal image so the client can choose what works best for their space. The covered bridge is a nice shot but I don’t see enough difference in processing to offer three versions.

    Selling art on your own website is also tough. You have to lead people to it and that is hard to do for art unless you have name recognition like Peter Lik.  There are many print on demand art sites that are either free or have minimal charges that will allow you to sell on their site and thus access their clients. These tend to be pretty saturated as well, but it is still easier to get seen on these in general than your own site.

    Your pricing is on the low side for fine art prints as well. While 25 is in the range for an 8×12 the 16x20s are quite low. The thing with art is people often associate price with quality and believe it or not, higher priced images often sell better than lower cost shots. Lets face it, if you were only concerned about price, then you can go to Wallyworld and buy a $29 36 inch canvas wrap. (I am not making that up, that is the walyworld price)



    Thank you for your advice.  I have actually updated my website in light of the advice provided, which now makes total sense to me.  I will finish it up this weekend.  Thank you everyone for the advice.  I have so many photographs I just put everything up previously but your right it is confusing.

    Jcfindley, thank you!  – where do you post your work?  I use to use art.com but my intent was to do craft or art shows and showcase them in person, I just haven’t got that far yet, but would like to utilize online in the mean time.  I did start a etsy store but working on that as well.


    art.com, or more appropriately for people starting out, artistrising.com used to be pretty good but I will not work for their commission rate. Etsy takes a lot of effort doing treasuries and changing keywords to the “featured” keywords each month. It also helps if you have the “Etsy Style” of photography that sells well there. My best site is Fine Art America, but I am also on a couple others.


    I really think you should decide if you want to call yourself Karen Leigh Photography or Karen Leigh Studios but Karen Leigh Studios Photography is a mouthful. I vote for first option for naming

    You severely need to cull the amount of photos you have one there as others have said. I would get rid of the pictures of your grandson in its entirety or leave one in there in a general kids category. Maybe one adult and one kids portrait category would be a better idea


    way way too many photos 99% of them aren’t good. And get rid of the damned watermark. No one wants to steal your photos and even if they do, what are they going to do with a 72dpi image?


    Actually my photographs have been stolen on quite a few occasions so I think I will keep the watermark.  There is a way to speak your mind and not be rude, but thank you for your opinions, I appreciate it.

    Nesgran, it will transition into one name most likely after my move, it’s drives me nuts as well.   I am relocating and not be doing any photography for a period of time.  I am preparing to make everything private and will reorganize it after my move from the advice here.  My current clients are finishing up and then I will have everything private until I can come back to this.  Thank you everyone for all the great advice, can’t wait until I can apply it!


    rude? Nah, just truthful. Your work sucks. The truth is what you asked for. Lucky for you it appears that you live in a place where the people don’t know any better and you are probably a bargain.


    Not from you but from the others yes.  Thanks again!


    “rude? Nah, just truthful. Your work sucks. The truth is what you asked for. Lucky for you it appears that you live in a place where the people don’t know any better and you are probably a bargain.”

    The only thing that sucks is this attitude. She is asking for help and constructive crit – this comment isn’t it.

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