Forums > Critique > Serious Critique > What is serious critique?

Photographer

Brian Diaz

Posts: 64119

Danbury, Connecticut, US

This forum is for those wanting to give or thorough, serious critiques (hence the name).  BS won't be tolerated.  If you post here, be prepared to give well thought out and helpful responses.

Jan 12 10 05:13 pm Link

Photographer

Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

Serious Critiques is for the more formal full-portfolio, full album, or deeply critical multi-shot recent work critiques.

Be sure to state your career objective and/or artistic goals.

"Which image should be my avatar," "which are my best/worst," "what images should I delete to shrink my portfolio," etc. go in the main General Feedback section, not here.

If the main feedback section is "short attention span theater," this part is supposed to be the exact opposite.

This applies to responses as well as critique requests. If it's short and sweet, it needs to be deep. Simply pointing out best and worst is not a valid critique here, you need to be able to articulate why and how it can be fixed.

If you see problem threads, please use the CAM system to report them with the "forum issue" label here: http://www.modelmayhem.com/contactamod.php

Thank you for your help and cooperation.

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A self-help guide is here: Things We Keep Coming Back To

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Critique Section Guidelines

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Artists come to the critique area for help, not for pointless berating.

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BAD CRITIQUE: "Your work sucks."
GOOD CRITIQUE: "I think your work sucks because..."

BAD CRITIQUE: "It's all amazing, good job!"
GOOD CRITIQUE: "I'm impressed by your work, the {X} is amazing because {Y}. Good job!"

BAD CRITIQUE: "A naked girl doesn't make a good photo. You're nothing but a GWC."
GOOD CRITIQUE: "Your images are all {X} and {Y}, and your portfolio lacks {Z}."

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KEY GUIDELINES*

{1} Do not call someone else's critique invalid based on the quality of their own work. You will be warned the first time, and possibly banned from the critique section for repeat violations. If it is that obvious, then it is that obvious, so don't make an issue.

{2} Do not repeat posts. Do not bump your own post to the top of the list more than once a day. Do not create more than one new request for critique thread per day.

{3} Do not call anyone a GWC or put down any person in the critique section. Photographers starting out often try to copy what they've seen, and the results can always be haphazard and look bad even when the photographer has the best of intentions.

{4} Do not just ask for love. Do not just ask for people to post comments on your pics pages. Do not just ask for tags. There is an Announcements feature on the front page and the Shoutbox is also available for this sort of thing. This is a place to ask for serious help and advice toward improving your work.

* These are guidelines, not rules. Following them is more courtesy than urgency. Hopefully by following them you will help keep the section from becoming unruly.

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THINGS TO REMEMBER

Use discretion when requesting a critique.

Do not come to the critique thread with camera phone pictures, webcam pictures, or unclear snapshots.

Be specific in requesting a critique. If you are requesting a critique on a specific image, then link to it in your post. If you are requesting a general analysis of your portfolio, then post a link to your pics page.

KM von Seidl wrote:
If someone asks, "what do you think of photo 1," my question is, what am I looking at? What am I looking for? Why did you take the shot, what was it's purpose? You trying fashion, glamour, a specific lighting technique? As a model are you trying to present yourself in a certain way? How is someone supposed to offer help or observations on something so nebulous as "what do you think?"

When critiquing, remain on topic and be specific, polite, and helpful.

Respond directly to the original poster at least until the thread has gone past 41 posts (when a second page appears).

Do not argue with other respondents about their critiques or attack their work and credibility.

Use a critique thread to comment only on photos or aspects of photos which the OP has requested critique upon. If you have negative opinion of their other images, just let it go. If you wish to dispense with this rule, ask the permission of the person requesting a critique before launching into a tirade.

Disagree with the critique of others in a respectful manner. Remember that critiques can be extremely stressful, and adding to that stress by flaming other users is not allowed.

When you request a critique, you are opening yourself up to aggressive criticism of your work and techniques. If someone says something unfavorable about your work, that does not give you the right to cop an attitude with them, or to critique their work in return. In posting in the critique section you are asking for come what may: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

When you give a critique, it does not need to be all positive, that would be rather pointless. You are asked to make constructive comments. Simply saying work is bad does not help anyone and makes you look petty. Say why you hold with a certain opinion and provide details.

Do not make it personal or take it as personal. That is a site-wide rule, but in here it is doubly strict. The character of the artist requesting critique is not up for critique. Stick to the image or images which the artist requesting a critique has indicated.

It is usually best to critique only the work of the person requesting on in the first post of a thread. Attacking the critique of another poster is forbidden. That includes attacking the credibility of someone’s critique because of their apparent ability (or lack thereof).

Keep in mind, the thread is for the benefit of the original poster, so all comments should really be directed at them, and the sole purpose of those comments should be to answer their questions and to help them improve.

When you are critiqued take the critiques to heart. People are coming to your thread to help you improve. Even if you disagree with someone's critique, really think about what they suggest to you, and do not discount someone's opinion because you find their work to be sub par. Others often see what you've looked past, regardless of their apparent skill level.

If someone starts getting hostile in their critique of your work, do not get into an argument with them. Either thank them for their input, or ignore them. Getting into childish arguments only serves to make you look bad, even if they started it.

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REFERENCE

My critiques suck! Do yours?
http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=10349

How do you critique?
http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=8294

Something to go on in the critique forum
http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=9314

critique etiquette and other good reading.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=14426

Should there be some general rules here..?
http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=7336

commart wrote:
Editors and teachers often have a tough choice to make between a) serving their profession and b) doing what's best for the talent or student.  In leisure and recreational settings (and, alas, some college majors), encouragement and interest in process may prevail.  In business and professional settings, interest in the success or maintenance of the state-of-the-art in the enterprise may be considered more important than the individual: that's a call where one may have obligations to principle (high craft standards; high expectations about talent and its development) or to an audience or investors, in which case talent may be asked to deliver or disappear.

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guidelines written and edited by Kaitlin Lara and Ched
http://www.modelmayhem.com/member.php?id=58120
http://www.modelmayhem.com/member.php?id=7174

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Useful threads from other areas of the site:

UdoR's "Modeling Success: RESEARCH"
http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=76842

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from the Blown Highlights thread in Photography (http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=90229)

J n X Photography wrote:
I was at the bookstore a few days ago and saw a book about a Sports Illustrated photog and all the swimsuit models he's shot for their swimsuit edition magazines.

I saw a TON of blown out highlights...for you pros out there, why is this acceptable out there in the real world but when I read critique comments (mine and others) it's frowned upon here?

Ched_ wrote:
This is complicated, but I will attempt to explain.

If you are a beginner asking for a critique here on MM, I'm going to put your work in a zone of theoretical technical perfection and see what sticks outside the box. I'll then tell you where you're missing the mark and usually why and how as well. You go back and try again, return with new problems, and I analyze the new images for what is outside the zone. Eventually you will develop a level of mental control over the camera and your subjects. You'll know what works and what doesn't, and the pictures you were taking when you started will look amateurish to you fairly soon.

Once you start taking pictures that are in the zone (don't have any major flaws) on a regular basis, you have learned a level of control. Once you have control, you can start breaking out of the box and getting back to why you started taking pictures in the first place.

Think about, The Karate Kid, "Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off." You learn the moves, then you can innovate.

I know of no law against busy unbalanced compositions, no law against not having the subject's eyes in focus, and no law against blown highlights. However, to take interesting pictures with the confidence required to get what you want when you press the shutter release, knowing how to control compositions, focus, and exposure is very important.

When I give advice in the critique section, I proceed with the assumption that every photographer needs to get to a point where clicking the shutter release is the most boring thing imaginable, because before you touch it you will already know exactly what the picture is going to look like in the end. Planning the shot and looking at the print in the end are the real fun parts.

Execution of the concept in photography is like, if you're a chef and you are cooking a meal: coming up with the menu and recipes and then later tasting the finished product with a bunch of friends is fun. Doing the work in the kitchen is just work. You need to learn the photography equvalent of "chicken broth needs salt, but a tablespoon of rock salt poured into two cups of chicken broth is not going to royally suck and be ineddible, but a tablespoon of rock salt coating the outside of a baked potato will make it good." You need to know cause and effect in the process of photography for the same reasons you do in cooking. This explains both amateur snapshot photography and also the popularity of tv dinners.

Blowing out a highlight accidentally because you didn't know how to get the right exposure and blowing out a highlight intentionally to emphasize a model's musculature are two very different things.

List of emoticons:

smile wink neutral hmm sad yikes big_smile tongue lol mad roll ninja spam offtopic bunny nuts banghead

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No begging for tags in Critique!
http://www.modelmayhem.com/p.php?thread_id=214461

"On the one hand, the friend who is familiar with every fact of the story may think that some point has not been set forth with that fullness which he wishes and knows it to deserve; on the other, he who is a stranger to the matter may be led by envy to suspect exaggeration if he hears anything above his own nature. For men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they can severally persuade themselves of their own ability to equal the actions recounted: when this point is passed, envy comes in and with it incredulity."

                                         - Pericles of Athens

Jan 13 10 01:14 am Link

Photographer

Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

x

Jun 01 11 10:26 am Link

Photographer

Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

x

Jun 01 11 10:26 am Link

Photographer

Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

x

Jun 01 11 10:26 am Link

Photographer

Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

x

Jun 01 11 10:26 am Link

Photographer

Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

x

Jun 01 11 10:26 am Link

Photographer

Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

x

Jun 01 11 10:27 am Link

Photographer

HalfMoonColorado

Posts: 788

Greenwood Village, Colorado, US

And don't post an x.
What's up with that?

Aug 31 11 12:51 pm Link

Model

Stormee

Posts: 2463

San Antonio, Texas, US

Jun 13 12 04:31 pm Link

Model

Malcolm Brown

Posts: 8

Edwardsville, Illinois, US

I wouldn't mind a critique

Aug 30 12 08:21 pm Link

Photographer

Simple Pics Photography

Posts: 8

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Being new to MM I would appreciate any constructive criticism.  If you are harsh I am not going to sell my camera tomorrow so let me know what you think and how I can improve my work,.  Thanks

Oct 20 12 08:53 pm Link

Model

Gaijin Ryuu

Posts: 6

Cascais, Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, Portugal

I am also new so if anyone would like to help me improve by criticizing my 'portfolio' I'm up for it ^^

Oct 29 12 06:07 pm Link

Model

NiyahSimone

Posts: 2

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

I would love constructive criticism! I just want to be better smile

Dec 22 12 12:55 pm Link

Photographer

Elizabeth S Boyle

Posts: 5

Guildford, England, United Kingdom

thanks for posting the Rules. I would like some critique on lighting. is that possible?
thanks.
Sarah

Jun 12 13 07:29 am Link

Model

Meganme7878

Posts: 3

Chicago, Illinois, US

Serious opinion on my profile? What could I improve/get rid of?

Oct 01 13 10:43 pm Link

Artist/Painter

J Mark Collection 2014

Posts: 10

Catalina, Arizona, US

it would be very valuable to hear what other artists, photographers and models think of my works posted at MM. If anyone would care to give it a shot, please scan my photos and paintings and lend me your thoughts.

I would be most appreciative.

JM

Oct 28 13 07:20 pm Link

Photographer

Rad Tirado

Posts: 13

New York, New York, US

I was always told to stay away from having "Tunnel Vision" so the horse blinders are off and I'm trying my best to be the best photographer I can be. Explain what I'm doing wrong. All critiques are welcomed. Fire away!

Nov 25 13 07:14 pm Link

Photographer

cc production

Posts: 12

Huntington Beach, California, US

Would love to have some people tell me what they think of my images.

Dec 19 13 04:52 pm Link

Model

Nikki Nukkem

Posts: 9

North Atlanta, Georgia, US

I am just getting back in to modeling after about 20 years out.  Now that I am an "old" lady, was hoping to get some feed back on how to do do a better job.  Looking for more paid assignments that are with reputable photographers and agencies.  I am particularly interested in vintage looks, but I am not stuck on that genre.  Please help by taking a look at my photos to give serious feed back.

Oct 21 14 09:59 pm Link

Photographer

Lallure Photographic

Posts: 1888

Taylors, South Carolina, US

So, since I only do serious critiques, I guess it doesn't matter if I just use the general critique section, in the first place.

Oct 31 14 07:27 am Link

Model

Josh Royston

Posts: 4

Greenville, South Carolina, US

I would love some critique.  Don't hold back, I'm an adult. lol

Nov 18 14 02:49 pm Link

Model

DeAnneTRoye

Posts: 5

Miami, Florida, US

I really wanted to get some real feedback on my portfolio. I do a lot of lifestyle print, and some catalog work and commercial work. My career goal is to be a consistent working model and I would love to see in ways I can grow to get more lifestyle work, and more catalog work, and eventually also beauty contracts.

Feb 22 15 08:06 pm Link

Model

TesDiamonds_

Posts: 1

Rancho Cucamonga, California, US

I would like if some people could tell me the positives and negatives about the pictures i have posted right now. i have aspirations to model big time mainly exotic and sexy shots. Here's my link, let me know what you think by commenting on the photos.

Link----->http://www.modelmayhem.com/TesDiamonds

Yours truly,
   Tes Diamonds

Feb 27 15 03:55 pm Link

Clothing Designer

Justin Gage Photostudio

Posts: 3

NEWPORT COAST, California, US

please look at my MM and my website and critique my work. I would like to improve the quality of my images. My goal is to become the best Commercial portraiture photographer on the French Riviera. I would like to work mostly in high fashion editorials. I want to have a unique photography style that can be recognizable by the viewers.

Best regards,
Justin Gage
www.justingagephotostudio.com

May 23 15 05:55 am Link

Clothing Designer

Justin Gage Photostudio

Posts: 3

NEWPORT COAST, California, US

TesDiamonds_ wrote:
I would like if some people could tell me the positives and negatives about the pictures i have posted right now. i have aspirations to model big time mainly exotic and sexy shots. Here's my link, let me know what you think by commenting on the photos.

Link----->http://www.modelmayhem.com/TesDiamonds

Yours truly,
   Tes Diamonds

Hello, I looked at your pictures. I think you have some good potential. Some poses are really artistic and complimentary. My advise would be to keep on working with different photographers and find one who's style you like. I think at the end of the day, it is the photographers eye and post processing that is going to give you the best image. I think the picture of you standing shirtless is by far your best photo. But that has to do with the composition of the photo more than anything else. You may also want to consider hiring someone to do some head shots. Otherwise, Just keep on putting yourself out there and keep exploring different creative poses.

May 23 15 10:37 pm Link

Photographer

steeliejim

Posts: 1

Sacramento, California, US

Not sure how to do this or where to  go.  But, I am a photographer, and sent a photo of a most amazing, stunning young woman for your weekly contest.  However, it was rejected supposedly because the gestapo here claimed she wasn't over 18.  I've seen her id. and yes, she is carded all the time, but her birthday is 04-04-90.  What the heck gives?  I did not see anywhere some proof of age is required.  Help!!!!

Jun 25 15 12:15 pm Link

Model

MeganHaggerty

Posts: 1

Oakdale, New York, US

Hello! My name's Megan and I'm fairly new to Modeling.. I would absolutely adore and appreciate some constructive criticism on my portfolio thus far. When I refer to criticism I am talking about posing, facial expressions and even hair and makeup because of the fact that I have done my own hair and makeup for every photo shoot I have participated in. Thanks so much

Jul 25 15 12:53 pm Link