Forum Replies Created
December 3, 2012 at 1:34 am in reply to: Sh*t fauxtogs say (feel free to add your own) #5045
If you’re not doing it full time then you’re an amateur/hobbyist, etc. Nothing wrong with that, but don’t call it what it isn’t. You’re implying that you provide professional results on a part-time basis. Your photos are remarkably average.
Photography isn’t my main source of income (in fact I wouldn’t consider it a source of income for me at all) and I know my way around a camera and a strobe, but I would never call myself a ‘semi-pro’. That sounds pretentious. You’re either a pro or you’re not. There isn’t an in-between.
There isn’t anything terrible about your work, but I wouldn’t associate it with anything involving ‘pro’.December 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm in reply to: Sh*t fauxtogs say (feel free to add your own) #5024
Thanks. Thats what I thought it meant.December 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm in reply to: Sh*t fauxtogs say (feel free to add your own) #5022
What is a ‘semi-pro’?December 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm in reply to: Do I fall under the fauxtog category? #5020
Lighting is most definitely not your biggest issue. Lighting *is* an issue for you, but you need to take 5 steps back from worrying about lighting and focus on honing the basic technical skills every photographer must possess: Composition – Learn about it, don’t just go out and try to be ‘creative’ and call that practicing composition. There are TONS of books and videos about proper composition theory and techniques. There really are ‘rules’ about composition. Do you know any of them? Focus – Nailing focus will help provide sharp results (not withstanding any blur caused by camera shake). Metering – Learn properly how all of your different metering modes work and when you should be using them, and learn what your cameras tendencies are when metering in each of those modes so that you may input the proper EV adjustment.
You need to know your equipment backwards and forwards and strive for creating an accurate rendition of what your eye sees if you want the best basis from which to ‘enhance’ your photos with later on.
As others have said, you’re getting waaaay ahead of yourself and are trying to skip the learning process that every responsible photographer knows they need to go through. Its not as much fun as going out right away and trying to make great photos…but you simply won’t make great photos without learning the basics forwards and backwards. In other words, buying a guitar and learning a simple rock chord progression doesn’t make you a guitar player, let alone a composer/singer/songwriter. And its disingenuous to let people think that of you.
Once you have all of those basics mastered, you can then worry about learning lighting (ambient and controlled). And once you have a solid foundational knowledge on how to use light, will you then be capable of producing quality portraits….BECAUSE you took the time to learn the basics first.
Because of all this, you have absolutely no business charging people for your service. Learn the skills, then get the job.
First photo: The crop is awkward. Look up ‘Rule of Thirds’. She is too low in the frame and your perspective is probably also a little too low to make it work. The big yellow spot (a lamp?) is distracting. Be sure to keep an eye out for distracting background elements while composing your shot. You can either compose the shot differently to get that lamp out of frame or if you really still want that perspective you can remove the yellow spot entirely later in post. Be very mindful about where you crop body parts. In general, cropping at ANY joint is a no-no. The reason being is that it gives the appearance of being amputated. Its distracting.
Then of course from a technical standpoint, the whole image is soft and slightly dark. I’m guessing it was late afternoon and in the shade, so you weren’t likely to get any decent shutter speeds. Did you shoot this hand held? Consider using a support device of some sort for these really low perspectives, like a mini-tripod, bean bag, etc.
Otherwise, your color accuracy seems fine and the subjects expression is pleasant, although not a very flattering angle. Some photographers prefer to give their subjects a head angle that won’t cram the iris so far into the corner of the eye-socket; gives the iris a little more breathing room.
Second Photo: In general it looks more like a snap-shot of two people in mid-conversation. Doesn’t feel like a portrait to me for that reason alone. Again, be mindful of the position of your subjects so that you don’t find yourself cropping body parts in awkward places. Seeing the top of the girls knee and a tiny bit of the sleeve cuff is distracting to me. Her position in the frame is too low which contributed to her being cropped awkwardly. Perhaps you could have also had your male subject sitting on the ground like her, or elevate her a little to get her closer to his height. Also consider the shoulder orientation of your female subject: 1) shoulders square to the camera is usually not a flattering position for a female in a simple portrait. She looks much more broad shouldered than is proportionate to her head and she even looks more broad shouldered than the male subject. That should never happen. Also, consider how it effects the dynamic of the relationship between her and him.
Otherwise, again, you colors look nice, albeit the image is very soft. Definitely use a lens hood if you aren’t already, or if you are, consider using someone/thing to block some light for you.
Third Photo: Again, looks like a snap-shot of two people paying attention to something else, even a frame-grab of a video. A bit of a green color cast. The quality of light is nice, although I feel the image as a whole is slightly dark. Soft, too. For men, having the camera-forward shoulder higher than the rear shoulder is somewhat of a feminine stance. Men generally look more masculine with the forward shoulder a little bit lower than the rear, (and without squaring the shoulders to the camera of course, speaking in general).
Compositionally, at this point, if you just learn about and practice the Rule of Thirds, and then learn more about posing, you’ll be off to a great start compared to a lot of inexperienced shooters.November 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm in reply to: Will someone please go tell this woman she is a fauxtog? #4909
Anna, who here called themselves pros? I don’t think I’ve seen that at all.
The real issue that everyone here has is that there are too many people out there charging for photographic services when they clearly don’t know what they are doing yet. Your argument that everyone has to start somewhere is completely valid, however, you should never be anywhere near your starting point in photography when you begin taking clients. That is the big issue here.
edit to add that I agree with Soaring Turkeys on the point that most of the people in this topic doing the chiding and finger pointing are quite bad themselves.November 10, 2012 at 1:39 am in reply to: Critique Please #4479
IHF, you’ve touched on something I didn’t mention earlier, but shares a top priority for me: a body of consistent work to present.
There are two reasons why I’m shooting as much as I can: 1) For myself: gaining technical skill and director experience, and tied for #1 in importance is to have a portfolio of relevant work to present to would-be clients when that time comes.
I’ve just registered at photo.net, as well as a couple of other photography communities. Initially, I’m just going to observe the communities so I can get a vibe for what they’re all about before offering myself to the hordes.
Thanks very much for your replies! I thoroughly enjoy reading your responses to others, and I truly am impressed with your photographic art!November 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm in reply to: Critique Please #4468
Thing is, I have literally had zero 3rd party peer review of what I do. Plenty of friends and family ‘like’ what I do. But thats typical for ones friends and family! I’m currently joining different online photography communities seeking real critique so that I can learn the tangible things to improve on.
Next, I do feel competent with my equipment. I know it forwards and backwards, but what I don’t feel competent with yet is directing subjects. That is more of the intangible aspect of photography that I have very little experience with. I’ve been paying close attention to videos of pros on youtube (Peter Hurley, Joel Grimes, Joe Edelman, etc etc), noting what they say, do, etc. And look I for interviews/seminars where this topic is discussed, and so I have some remedial modeling 101 knowledge that has been helpful so far, but I haven’t had very much practical application of the knowledge yet.At a minimum, it would only be fair to myself and anyone willing to hand over some cash for my photos of them that I bring my directorship to at least where my technical abilities are. Would you agree?
Over the next 3 weeks, I have 8 more practice sessions penciled in doing more headshots, mom/dad/baby, husband/wife, and even a car shoot. I can’t wait to get those done and get that much more directing experience under my belt.
But yes, again, thank you for your comments. I truly do appreciate it.November 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm in reply to: So what classifies a 'real' photographer? #4465
Soaring, what do you consider just a ‘photographer’ to be then?November 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm in reply to: Honest Opinions #4464
Agreed with YeahRight. The outlet is indeed distracting. Keep an eye out for those things. Honestly, it would take but a few seconds to clone it out in post if you really felt compelled to shoot there. Keep shooting!November 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm in reply to: Critique Please #4463
Thank you very much for the response. Agreed about the catch lights in the first image. This location was outdoors in the shade of a large steel structure, which, as I had hoped, turned out to be a decent backdrop. It almost looks like a painted muslin. At any rate, I bounced out of a 43″ umbrella on center just above the camera and used a walmart reflector for fill from below, just out of frame. I was paying more attention to ensuring the exposure was correct, and didn’t even think about the catch lights! Thanks for the good tip!
A couple more images from the same sessions for anyone’s criticism:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8339/8170128875_6f6f7bbce0_b.jpgNovember 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm in reply to: Critique Please #4452
I dont see an edit function, but yes, I posted three photos when I said I would post only two. Oops 🙂 And I apologize for the poor grammar and other typos!November 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm in reply to: So what classifies a 'real' photographer? #4436
Youre misunderstanding the point. You can be a real photographer simply by being the person the manipulates the camera and composes the shot. Your motive for taking the photo doesnt matter when determining if you are simply a ‘photographer’.
Those questions are asked of people to verify whether or not there is intent to be seen as a ‘professional’ photographer. Offering services, products, and experiences for monetary compensation when youre knowledge and experience do not warrant providing such things is the real problem people have.