Forums > Critique > 19 year old with an above-average modern portfolio

Photographer

DSimonSayz

Posts: 2

Aurora, Colorado, US

Yo MM! My name is Darian Simon and I'm a Photography student at The Art Institute of Colorado.

I've been shooting for about 4 years now and plan to allow my passion for photography take me to a career path best fitting to my creativity.

My style is simple. I enjoy creating art & being outdoors.

I live & shoot by natural light

I would love & appreciate any critique or opportunity that you may have for me.

Nov 11 12 08:26 pm Link

Photographer

DAVfoto

Posts: 2324

New York, New York, US

what do you mean by above average?

Nov 11 12 08:31 pm Link

Model

ChaiNoir

Posts: 345

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Above average ..... .....

Nov 11 12 08:32 pm Link

Photographer

The Effective Image

Posts: 3959

Lansing, Michigan, US

Collages.... aarrrrgh... above average? Not with collages!

Just my opinion.

Nov 11 12 08:34 pm Link

Photographer

Chaf

Posts: 470

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, US

Hey Darian.

I like this:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120514/02/4fb0d085b3da3_m.jpg




but the rest is boring or mediocre. I'm sure you can do much better!

Nov 11 12 08:34 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Kim L Makeup

Posts: 33

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Nice work, but I think your portfolio would be a lot stronger if you just picked the single best image from each set instead of putting everything up as collages.

Nov 11 12 08:35 pm Link

Photographer

Mark

Posts: 2916

New York, New York, US

the first row is indeed quite good but other than image 25 the rest is ho hum/

Nov 11 12 08:55 pm Link

Photographer

Lee_Photography

Posts: 9230

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

“”Yo MM! My name is Darian Simon and I'm a Photography student at The Art Institute of Colorado.
I've been shooting for about 4 years now and plan to allow my passion for photography take me to a career path best fitting to my creativity.
My style is simple. I enjoy creating art & being outdoors.
I live & shoot by natural light
I would love & appreciate any critique or opportunity that you may have for me.””

The first question that comes to mind is how long have you been in school at The Art Institute of Colorado, I was expecting higher quality images in your portfolio.

The Effective Image wrote:
Collages.... aarrrrgh... above average? Not with collages!

Just my opinion.

This ^ is true


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120514/02/4fb0d20dd33a2_m.jpg
To center the models in your photos, is not showcasing your composition skills
Busy backgrounds are distracting backgrounds, use your 85 mm lens wide open, if you do not know why yet they will hopefully teach you at The Art Institute of Colorado
Pose your models, face head and body in different directions, do not point toes at camera
You need to add supplemental lighting to the models eyes, use a reflector
Your choice in lighting is showing the models skin imperfections

"[19 year old with an above-average modern portfolio]"

When I saw this heading I was expecting to be inspired by your work, wish that had been the case


Study hard, and practice every lesson they give you

Nov 12 12 05:14 am Link

Photographer

B R U N E S C I

Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

Since the advent of accessibly priced DSLRs, the term "above average" doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence.

Sadly, a cursory examination of the OP's portfolio does nothing to dispel my initial scepticism.

OP, more work, less self-congratulation. Rinse and repeat for a couple of years then ask again. And don't be satisfied with anything less than "outstanding" either.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Nov 12 12 08:07 am Link

Photographer

William Kious

Posts: 8841

Delphos, Ohio, US

Your portfolio absolutely screams, "Average!"

The fact that you're enrolled in a school owned by EDMC only supports the screaming.

Confidence is one thing... misplaced arrogance is another.

Nov 12 12 08:13 am Link

Photographer

JMHSPhoto

Posts: 412

Windsor, Ontario, Canada

-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Since the advent of accessibly priced DSLRs, the term "above average" doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence.

Sadly, a cursory examination of the OP's portfolio does nothing to dispel my initial scepticism.

OP, more work, less self-congratulation. Rinse and repeat for a couple of years then ask again. And don't be satisfied with anything less than "outstanding" either.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Everything he said and more.

Your post work is non-existent. Nothing say's MINE.

Nov 12 12 08:28 am Link

Photographer

Matt Knowles

Posts: 3571

Ferndale, California, US

Compared to your 19 year old girlfriends who shoot with their iPhone in the bathroom mirror, you're above average.

Compared to the other photographers here on MM. You're average.

Compared to any photographer who is making a living from their work, you are below average.

And I agree with the others dump your collages.

Your portfolio features a lot of photos of ordinary locations, with ordinary looking models wearing ordinary clothes, posing in ordinary ways, and most feature boring lighting and composition.

Hate to be harsh, but if you start off telling us you're 19 and you have an above average portfolio, you better have something to back it up with.

Nov 12 12 02:59 pm Link

Photographer

William Kious

Posts: 8841

Delphos, Ohio, US

Matt Knowles wrote:
Compared to the other photographers here on MM. You're average.

Compared to any photographer who is making a living from their work, you are below average.

This is equally asinine.

Where do you think you fall on this continuum?

Nov 12 12 06:39 pm Link

Photographer

DVP Photography

Posts: 2874

Broomfield, Colorado, US

You do seem to have basic technical skill and a knowledge of composition.

However overall I agree with comments above about being "average".  Also I agree with dropping series.  As  a photography student I would think you would now understand that a single image must be strong enough to stand on it's own, tell a story  or create an impact.  Series just group poor images together to strive for an impact.  Never works.

Also, why would you limit yourself to working outdoors.  There is a whole world in the studio where you can control all aspects of creating the image.  Try it, you'll like it.

Nov 12 12 11:27 pm Link

Photographer

EdwardKristopher

Posts: 3377

Dallas, Texas, US

:-)

Nov 12 12 11:40 pm Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32468

Poulsbo, Washington, US

Darian,

When it comes to declaring the quality of your portfolio, it's best to leave that for others to judge. When you call your work "above average," you leave the door open for others to say it's not. You might even be challenging people to do so. What you're doing is the boxing equivalent of leading with your chin.

If your work is truly above average, people will see that for themselves.

Nov 13 12 05:30 am Link

Photographer

PDF IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY

Posts: 4604

Jacksonville, Florida, US

Darian : Yes as many have said lose a few of those collages !!! as for 19 and a student......lesson one be humble, let others praise you !

                                             Good luck, and best wishes, Paulie

Nov 13 12 05:41 am Link

Photographer

Chuck Ibey

Posts: 19

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

As soon as I read the title of your post, I thought "uh oh".. Why do you call your work above average? Sure, your pictures look nice.. but what makes them above average? I did enjoy your 4 part picture in your portfolio, cool idea. Like others have said, the collages don't really work. They seem to give each picture in the collage less impact. Choose your best, and put that up. There's not much more critique I can give.. My work and skills fall in the "average" category, and I'm cool with that. I'll always be working towards "above average" though wink

Nov 13 12 05:56 am Link

Photographer

Neil Snape

Posts: 9473

Paris, Île-de-France, France

It's important to have an ego about what one is doing.

So that is the good part you have.

Above average maybe at your school. I taught at Parsons Paris. There you wouldn't make the entry with your current MM port.

You have too much pop color, too much sloppy technique, and you have no voice in your pictures. All they say to me is you press the button when it feels good. 

Today, there was a thread on Keep Cool or something. That is young photography, where one starts. MM is dangerous if you want to emulate others it gives you a twisted idea of up and coming photographers.

There was a young person here , Grant Thomas who was taken on by Jed Root when he was 18. Seek out others like him and see what they do. Compare yourself to those, then you have a scale to place yourself in.

Nov 13 12 06:01 am Link

Photographer

DG at studio47

Posts: 2365

East Ridge, Tennessee, US

that judgement is best announced by third party sources. almost anyone can ring a bell or blow a horn that is in their own hand. best wishes.

Nov 13 12 06:08 am Link

Photographer

Stephoto Photography

Posts: 19929

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

Check the ego a bit (never looked at your portfolio) and keep working at it. When you think you're good; you're not. When you think your shots suck and are never happy with them? You're headed in the right direction

Nov 13 12 06:11 am Link

Photographer

Christy - Lynn

Posts: 972

Elmira, New York, US

Why is your age relevant?

Nov 13 12 06:29 am Link

Photographer

L Cowles Photography

Posts: 833

Corona, California, US

I think your better stuff is on your front page down below whee no one looks for it--not in your portfolio.

Nov 13 12 06:43 am Link

Photographer

Trialsinner

Posts: 151

Somerville, Massachusetts, US

SPierce Photography wrote:
Check the ego a bit (never looked at your portfolio) and keep working at it. When you think you're good; you're not. When you think your shots suck and are never happy with them? You're headed in the right direction

Disagree. If you're never satisfied with anything you do, you're probably working in the wrong field.

Nov 13 12 06:52 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12899

Atlanta, Georgia, US

-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Since the advent of accessibly priced DSLRs, the term "above average" doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence.

Sadly, a cursory examination of the OP's portfolio does nothing to dispel my initial scepticism.

OP, more work, less self-congratulation. Rinse and repeat for a couple of years then ask again. And don't be satisfied with anything less than "outstanding" either.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

QFT

The multi image stuff has to go, you have images that are supposed to be fashion like but don't have the right models, and you comps and crops are boring or just plain wrong.

Keep practicing and keep looking for feedback, it's a way to improve

Nov 13 12 06:54 am Link

Photographer

Carlos Occidental

Posts: 10548

Glendora, California, US

Where's the OP?

Sorry to mention this, but all you need to get into the Art Institute is a heartbeat.  And, lots of loans and grants.  Or, rich parents.  It's one of the worst offenders of money grubbing "for profit" colleges.  Not saying you won't get a decent education there, because teachers are the variable.

Nov 13 12 11:54 am Link

Photographer

Brandon Rittenhouse

Posts: 116

State College, Pennsylvania, US

Carlos Occidental wrote:
Where's the OP?

Sorry to mention this, but all you need to get into the Art Institute is a heartbeat.  And, lots of loans and grants.  Or, rich parents.  It's one of the worst offenders of money grubbing "for profit" colleges.  Not saying you won't get a decent education there, because teachers are the variable.

This. If you want a really great education in photography, go to an actual school like RIT or MICA. The Art Institutes, for the most part, are a joke.

Nov 13 12 01:29 pm Link

Photographer

Escalante

Posts: 5367

Chicago, Illinois, US

Wait a Second here ,
I thought You had said it was a "modern Portfolio" now it is a 'Above average portfolio"  ?

Nov 13 12 01:36 pm Link

Model

Frances Jewel

Posts: 9149

Dayton, Ohio, US

*Yawnz*


Sorry I find your portfolio boring and uninspired. Who ever has been feeding your ego needs to stop. You are lacking depth, creativity, passion....I could go on but all of a sudden I feel the need for a nap.

Nov 13 12 01:46 pm Link

Photographer

Stephoto Photography

Posts: 19929

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

Trialsinner wrote:

Disagree. If you're never satisfied with anything you do, you're probably working in the wrong field.

I hate everything I've ever done photographically, including what I have in my portfolio right now. With a passion. I look at it, and go "ew". I push myself to do better, because I know I CAN do better.

See where I'm going with this?

Nov 13 12 02:43 pm Link

Photographer

Trialsinner

Posts: 151

Somerville, Massachusetts, US

SPierce Photography wrote:

I hate everything I've ever done photographically, including what I have in my portfolio right now. With a passion. I look at it, and go "ew". I push myself to do better, because I know I CAN do better.

See where I'm going with this?

I always want to get better and better.  I'm hungry for growth and new ideas.  I do not hate my work, though. If I hated everything in my portfolio, I would delete it.  Why even bother showing it to people.  If you disgust yourself, then you aren't pushing yourself to do better, you're going back to the drawing board every time.

Nov 13 12 10:35 pm Link

Photographer

tenrocK photo

Posts: 5442

New York, New York, US

OP, bend your knees and lock the elbow once in a while.

Nov 13 12 10:45 pm Link

Photographer

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS

Posts: 554

Pomona, California, US

Your not above average.
Humble your self and practice your craft.

Nov 13 12 10:47 pm Link

Model

David Kyung-min

Posts: 1182

London, England, United Kingdom

If you want to see an above average 19 year old whos also been doing photography for 4 years.

www.bastian-jung.com

Thats above average.
You need to work harder, your arrogance is just going to hinder your development.

Nov 14 12 03:18 am Link

Photographer

D0127H

Posts: 1135

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Trialsinner wrote:
Disagree. If you're never satisfied with anything you do, you're probably working in the wrong field.

One look at a portfolio reveals a photographer that truly believes they're hot stuff ; )

Nov 14 12 05:32 am Link

Model

_ Robyn Elizabeth _

Posts: 436

London, England, United Kingdom

David Kyung-min wrote:
If you want to see an above average 19 year old whos also been doing photography for 4 years.

www.bastian-jung.com

Thats above average.
You need to work harder, your arrogance is just going to hinder your development.

Dear lord, that's guy's only 19 his stuff is amazing.

On topic(ish), what I have noticed both on MM and in the outside world, is that the people who progress the fastest are generally the ones that are aware of their short comings because they push to improve rather than being satisfied with where they are.

Nov 14 12 05:37 am Link

Model

Seker Pare

Posts: 186

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

ouch

Nov 14 12 05:37 am Link

Photographer

Le_Demimonde

Posts: 100

Boston, Massachusetts, US

David Kyung-min wrote:
If you want to see an above average 19 year old whos also been doing photography for 4 years.

www.bastian-jung.com

Thats above average.
You need to work harder, your arrogance is just going to hinder your development.

Changes name to "Rampart Gestalt."

Nov 14 12 05:42 am Link

Photographer

Trialsinner

Posts: 151

Somerville, Massachusetts, US

_ Robyn Elizabeth _ wrote:
On topic(ish), what I have noticed both on MM and in the outside world, is that the people who progress the fastest are generally the ones that are aware of their short comings because they push to improve rather than being satisfied with where they are.

Knowing your shortcomings is completely different from despising everything that comes out of your camera.  Seeing where you need to improve and tackling it with verve and confidence leads to faster improvement in the people I've come across.  Being hungry only means something when you don't have enough food, not when you dislike what's in front of you.

Unless you somehow get off on being a faux-tortured artist, I think the 'everything I do is crap' attitude is just as detrimental as the 'everything I do is the best thing that ever happened' attitude.  It just sounds fake to me. Pretend humble.

Nov 14 12 07:16 am Link

Photographer

Francisco Castro

Posts: 1859

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

I'm a lot older but have been shooting for about 4 years. My work is, "okay". However, I spend most of my shooting time learning to hone my skills behind the camera, and my post shoot work.

I read the articles in the "Edu" section of MM, and I contact Retouchers and other photographer when their work catches my eye.

Eventually, I'll be more than just, "okay".

It's not false modesty, and I am not some tortured artist. I am just some guy who has learned to separate my ego from my work, look at it objectively, and know to seek guidance to correct my shooting bad habits.

Nov 14 12 07:40 am Link