February 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm #6487
I’ve been lurking on this site for a while and every time I’m on here I have the burning desire to sell my gear and go back to art (my first love, lol). But I love photography, and it is honestly one of the most fulfilling hobbies I’ve ever had. So…I’m finally sucking it up because I want honest opinions on my work so far and some tips on what I can improve in the future.
Just so it is clear:
I do NOT present myself as a pro
I do not think I am anywhere NEAR pro status
I do NOT charge
Still learning flash photography, so bear with me. Some band stuff (what I usually love to shoot) and some portrait stuff:
Feel free to look around the albums on the page if you want to point out specific examples and give me constructive criticism. *cringes* Ok, go!February 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm #6508
Hard to really get a feel for anything based off just the photos you provided. So I went and tried to look through your albums and WOE too many photos! Some photos have multiple edits as well. You should always chose one photo of a set that best represents what you were trying to convey or show, and there should only be one edit. The one you feel best represents. Your biggest problem is needing to cull down your shots. You need to be more critical of your shots, and look at them as you do an art piece. Take some time to clean up a bit and come back, and ask again. Have a feeling I’m not the only one feeling overwhelmed.
BTW your illustrations are pretty darn good. I really enjoyed them. Present your photography in the same manor and I’ll be able to give you critique.February 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm #6512
Great! Thank you for the response.
I’m sure that others feel the same way as you as I do have quite a few photos. I originally started uploading EVERYTHING because I thought it was the best way to get them to the client(s). But now I have a website that can do private password protected albums, and, well, old habits die hard I guess. I will work on cleaning up my albums. Thank you for the compliment on the artwork, I’ve been doing it for quite some time. Since I was a little kid actually.February 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm #6518
Went through the albums and cut it down to three. Should be good to go now. I was actually surprised how easy it was to pick out which ones I felt were the best of the sets. I thought I was going to have a tough time picking and choosing. I even went through the artwork albums as well, lol.February 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm #6522
You definitely cleaned up. All the links are dead now. I’ll need another link to your page 🙂February 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm #6532February 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm #6615
Sorry it took so long to get back to you
YAY! So so SO much better :). Good job!
I like your concert photography, they culled down nicely, and you caught some good moments. The ones you chose tell me you can see with a deserting eye, and that’s half of what photography is about.
the nature shots dont do much for me. But they aren’t horrible and composition and exposure wise, they are pretty good. I would just try to see things from new perspectives, and experiment more with POV. Practice the rule of thirds, learn about leading lines and how they work. How colors play in a photograph.
your portraiture is just kind of ho hum, but I can see you are getting something. I like your SOOC type editing, and I’m so happy you aren’t playing around to much with it while you learn the basics of photography. I think that’s important to do. There are a few composition rules you are breaking, but I know you will get it with time. I can see it in your work.
now, I want you to look at your drawings and examine them for a minute. See how the subjects are isolated, and the piece of work is all about them? Same goes for portraiture. No busy backgrounds. Like the one portrait you have of that beautiful red head. See the jean jacket behind her/next to her? Do you feel how it makes the image seem lopsided and heavy on one side, and how it makes your eyes leave the subject and roam for a while? If you were to draw this photo, would you include the person that was cropped out? Would you try to isolate your subject and make her the main focus? Now look at your drawings again. Notice the wonderful shadows and light that add depth and dimension? The goal in photography is the same. You are trying to make an essentially flat image, into an image with dimension. The only way to accomplish this is with proper light and shadow. Now go back to your portraits. How would you draw them to add dimension? You would have to add shadows and light and play a little right? The goal is to get that look on camera. Instead of using your usual mediums though, you have to paint with light and shadows. You have to learn how to manipulate and use light to get it to work for you. Google portrait lighting, devour everything you can. Even if you don’t have studio lighting or flash to work with, everything you learn about lighting patterns (google that term too) can be used and successfully captured with natural light. Learn about modifiers and how they can be created and used to manipulate the light in flattering ways. You can do this!
study study and study some more, and shoot a LOT. Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s gonna happen. You’ll make a million mistakes, but that’s the only way to finally get to that “ah ha!” Moment where your experiments become more focused and purposful. Good luck to youFebruary 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm #6618
Based on your intro post why do you have a FB photography page? Why can’t you put them in your regular page? If it’s just a hobby, enjoy it being just that. You’re saying you have password protected “client” albums. I thought this was just a hobby?
You see where I’m going with this? You’re saying one thing but presenting something that sends the message you are available to “clients”. If you are taking on clients then good for you. I’m just being honest because I hate fluff. You have some work to do to get to a level that you can take on clients. In the meantime, practice, practice, practice.February 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm #6620
IHF, thank you so much for your critique! I appreciate you taking the time to give me such an in depth review. Concert photography is definitely what I do best, I think. It is the reason why I bought my first DSLR in the first place (a Canon Rebel XS). I like nature/landscape photography, but I know I need more practice learning how to see things from an interesting angle that most people wouldn’t see a certain scene from.
As far as portrait photography, I know I have a long way to go with that. What I liked most about your critique was how you compared my artwork to portrait photography. That definitely clicked with me and you got your point across very well. You’re right about the photo of the redhead with the jacket, I would leave the jacket out if I were drawing her. Great way to look at things! Flash/studio lighting is my weakest point, I believe. I don’t know that much about it and at the point I took the photos of the redhead, I had literally JUST gotten my first hot shoe flash and was eager to try it out. Not making excuses, I do agree that the photos are rather flat and lack dimension.
CoastalTog: I originally only had a Facebook page, so I still mostly link to that a lot of the time. I don’t know why, but thank you for pointing that out. As far as the “client” thing goes, I suppose “client” was a poor word choice. I just don’t know what else to call the people that I shoot for/with on a regular basis. I know that probably sounds like I’m trying to back peddle, but I am honestly being genuine on that part. Thanks for taking the time to respond and offer some feedback!February 13, 2013 at 9:10 pm #6622
I started a Facebook page because I felt I was driving people in my fb feed mad. “I swear if she posts one more photograph, im going to hide her” lol. Im of the understanding that not everyone gives a care about photography, especially beginner enthusiast photographs like mine. I invited everyone to my page so the people who were interested could follow along, and the people who just wanted to keep in touch with me wouldn’t go batty. I was right too because only about a quarter of my friends clicked that like button ;). I just recently added purchase information on my page as well, and it helped me sell 3 finished photographs, bringing my total to 16 different images sold. Does that make me a pro or someone one pretending to be something they aren’t? Am I a fauxtographer?February 13, 2013 at 9:24 pm #6623
I’m not sure what’s it makes you. I was merely addressing the OP’s original post of her qualifiers of being a hobbyist and then subsequent posts eluding that its more than that. I’m certainly not the FB page police but when someone creates a page specifically for photography there is an assumption that the person is intending to do more. I post minimal pictures to my FB page because I specialize in boudoir and glamour and I don’t really want to bombard my nieces (and family – though they all know what I do) with this types of images. “Likes” are typically generated by friends and my friends aren’t my clientele so there’s no need to advertise there.February 13, 2013 at 10:20 pm #6625
I’m sorry I got defensive coastal. It’s just been a very heated day for me, and I didn’t get the same feeling you did from the OP because she clearly has no marketing going on on her page. I shouldn’t have gotten snippy with you though, it was undeserved, and out of character for me.February 13, 2013 at 10:39 pm #6626
It’s all good. I didn’t take it that way. I tend to write bluntly and sometimes (re: a lot) my posts can be interpreted to be harsh.February 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm #6651
So very happy it clicked with you 🙂 I’m just glad they were there to work with. It’s a hard concept to explain to someone without any art background. Having your art to reference to made it easyFebruary 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm #6653
It’s also very difficult to explain art in general to most people. I get a lot of “omg how do you do that!?” when someone see’s my artwork. Answer: I haven’t the foggiest, lol.
Thanks again for your input, and if anyone else wants to chime in with feedback, feel free. I’m always wearing my big girl pants and it’s very hard to offend me. 😉
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