Forums > Critique > Serious Critique > In search of overall critique.

Photographer

Bold Belle

Posts: 99

Chanute, Kansas, US

So, I have been at photography since I was 14, though I know I'm very inexperienced in many aspects. I pretty much have the basics of the relationship of ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture down. I'm sure I still have problem with composition.


Anyways I'm wanting an overall critique of my work. I love the idea of working for a magazine but for a more realistic goal, I'm wanting to make a business for myself out of Glamour/Boudoir/Pin-up photography maybe get into fashion photography.

Though anyways along with overall critique of my work. I would also like some suggestion on what kind of set-up would be best for a beginner glamour/boudoir/pin-up photographer. I do have a little set-up. I like to work with strobes (I have a off camera flash, but would like to get more once I master that, or studio strobes)

Which I would love to do on-location and studio work. Anyways yea with the critique.

Mar 19 13 11:33 pm Link

Photographer

The Effective Image

Posts: 3943

Lansing, Michigan, US

"Though anyways along with overall critique of my work."

Huh?

Your composition is okay... nothing exceptional.
What I don't get from your images, is a feeling of interaction with
the models. They are standing where you put them. Their expressions are sorta
'Let's get this over."

So, some suggestions; Work with the best models you can find. And yes, that may mean paying them. Work with 'average' folks, you get 'average' images.

Pay attention to backgrounds. Blurring them a bit by using a large aperture sometimes isn't enough. Look around, there may be a better location nearby. Try shooting from different angles. Get very low, the sky is usually a pretty simple background. Don't let 'lines' run through the model's heads.

Set up for boudoir/glamor? Depends on your budget... got $100 or $10,000?
Ya gets what ya pays for. Try to 'cheap' out, it'll show.

Just my opinion.

Mar 20 13 04:23 pm Link

Makeup Artist

ArtistryImage

Posts: 2836

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Compelling narrative...  chic wardrobe... bravo!

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130101/12/50e344ec6cc5a.jpg

Mar 21 13 08:05 am Link

Photographer

Bold Belle

Posts: 99

Chanute, Kansas, US

The Effective Image wrote:
"Though anyways along with overall critique of my work."

Huh?

Your composition is okay... nothing exceptional.
What I don't get from your images, is a feeling of interaction with
the models. They are standing where you put them. Their expressions are sorta
'Let's get this over."

So, some suggestions; Work with the best models you can find. And yes, that may mean paying them. Work with 'average' folks, you get 'average' images.

Pay attention to backgrounds. Blurring them a bit by using a large aperture sometimes isn't enough. Look around, there may be a better location nearby. Try shooting from different angles. Get very low, the sky is usually a pretty simple background. Don't let 'lines' run through the model's heads.

Set up for boudoir/glamor? Depends on your budget... got $100 or $10,000?
Ya gets what ya pays for. Try to 'cheap' out, it'll show.

Just my opinion.

As for what you quoted, I was typing this when tired. So I probably didn't make sense in quite a few sentences. Though anyways,

Anyways thank you for the critique. I think the lack of interaction comes from what you said that I just kinda grab who I can get. So I'll get some money put behind for paying a model (maybe while Im at it add to that).

As for the set-up I have about a  1K - 2K budget. Well soon will from the pell grant left over. I should probably put that towards a model (maybe a MUA/Hair Stylist)

Mar 21 13 12:41 pm Link

Photographer

Bold Belle

Posts: 99

Chanute, Kansas, US

ArtistryImage wrote:
Compelling narrative...  chic wardrobe... bravo!

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130101/12/50e344ec6cc5a.jpg

Thank you ^-^

Mar 21 13 12:43 pm Link

Photographer

Kincaid Blackwood

Posts: 23403

Atlanta, Georgia, US

You're getting ahead of yourself.

I don't know how old you are or how long you've been doing photography but that doesn't matter. The important thing is where you are right now in your development and you have quite a way to go. People want to know that you can deliver something and that you can deliver consistently. If you deliver consistently, they'll judge whether or not the thing you offer is worth the price you charge. If they look at you and think that you're hit or miss, no rate is low enough for them to feel like you're worth it because they'll be judging based on the worst thing you offer.

That being said, half of your photos are forgettable at best, memorably bad at worst. The shirtless guy? Flush both pictures and don't look back. The brunette with the black shirt standing in the field? Lose that picture and forget where you put it. The two of Taylor Chevy? Take them down. She's cute but it's not enough to take a picture of a cute model; you need to take stunning pictures of people (cute or ugly).

Your most engaging photo based on lighting and composition is probably this one:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120528/11/4fc3c9b71578c_m.jpg

Make that your avatar.


I realize I'm not speaking specifics. So, why's Whitney Renae standing out in the middle of a field in lingerie? Either you use that location to make it really, really ironic that she's out of place (and make the viewer get behind it) or you put her in a setting that makes more sense. Anywhere in a domestic setting would be preferable. A bedroom is an obvious choice but you could also do a den. If you want to do irony, put her in a kitchen. Decked out in come-fuck-me gear, a cigarette hanging from her mouth with a bored look on her face as she stands with a pan in one hand and a spatula in the other… suddenly you have a photo with teeth. It's got a bite and it's making the viewer consider. We see that picture now and all with think is "Lingerie in a field? WTF?"

The picture of your guy without a shirt. You put him in athletic gear and he needs to be a beefcake. He should at least have the body-type of an A&F model (not the little shits they pay $7.50 an hour to fold clothes, I'm talking about the agency models they have in their ads). With his body type, he needs to be in a skinny Calvin Klein suit with the shirt unbuttoned and an untied bowtie. But you have to have a wardrobe budget to make that happen. Which, gauging by your work and location, you probably don't have the budget or the access. That's not a slight; you need a really good stylist for that. When I shoot fashion, I have a stylist and that's her job. She can pull dresses that cost $15K and I assure you I'm on the low end of the fashion world. Fashion is an undertaking.

I got side-tracked though. Brick walls are notoriously bad backdrops because they compete for the viewer's eye. You don't want a background that upstages your subject. And your contrast isn't dynamic enough to make it work in B&W. It just becomes a muddled gray blob with a brick pattern in the background; no one looks at the guy. The pattern of the brick and texture of the grass successfully turn your guy into an afterthought. The picture would actually be better without him in it.

Your dressed up photo of Taylor: The sunset lighting doesn't work because it's not on her. It's on those ugly houses in the background (those houses might be beautiful but they look atrocious here and compete for viewer's attention). She's better off in the field without distractions. We see all sorts of things in this picture which cause us to question, but none of these questions are ones you want the viewer asking. What's she standing on? Why's she wearing that expression? Is that a pile of manure in the background? what's up with the grass-pavement-grass whatever? Why isn't she in the sunlight? What the heck is she doing there anyway? You don't want your viewer confused by the image. Not for this kind of work you don't. Clarity of intent is what you're after.

Also, a tip: when trees don't have leaves on them, they attract the viewer's eye (for one) and immediately make us think of winter. Doesn't matter if it's taken in autumn or early spring. So when the viewer sees that, we expect to see winter-like colors and gear. Not colors and patterns best suited for a sailing excursion in FL. Her clothes are too vibrant, too lifelike for leafless trees and grass which isn't yet green. You want to shoot that, take her to your nearest botanical garden where it'll look like perpetual spring.


This will seem overly negative but it's because the undeniable truth is that your composition needs work and you need to know where things are going south in what you've done. Work on that; it takes everyone time to get good at that element of photography. Once you get that, then think about what lighting you can use for a given genre you're interested in shooting.

Mar 22 13 07:12 am Link

Photographer

Bold Belle

Posts: 99

Chanute, Kansas, US

Kincaid Blackwood wrote:
You're getting ahead of yourself.

I don't know how old you are or how long you've been doing photography but that doesn't matter. The important thing is where you are right now in your development and you have quite a way to go. People want to know that you can deliver something and that you can deliver consistently. If you deliver consistently, they'll judge whether or not the thing you offer is worth the price you charge. If they look at you and think that you're hit or miss, no rate is low enough for them to feel like you're worth it because they'll be judging based on the worst thing you offer.

That being said, half of your photos are forgettable at best, memorably bad at worst. The shirtless guy? Flush both pictures and don't look back. The brunette with the black shirt standing in the field? Lose that picture and forget where you put it. The two of Taylor Chevy? Take them down. She's cute but it's not enough to take a picture of a cute model; you need to take stunning pictures of people (cute or ugly).

Your most engaging photo based on lighting and composition is probably this one:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120528/11/4fc3c9b71578c_m.jpg

Make that your avatar.


I realize I'm not speaking specifics. So, why's Whitney Renae standing out in the middle of a field in lingerie? Either you use that location to make it really, really ironic that she's out of place (and make the viewer get behind it) or you put her in a setting that makes more sense. Anywhere in a domestic setting would be preferable. A bedroom is an obvious choice but you could also do a den. If you want to do irony, put her in a kitchen. Decked out in come-fuck-me gear, a cigarette hanging from her mouth with a bored look on her face as she stands with a pan in one hand and a spatula in the other… suddenly you have a photo with teeth. It's got a bite and it's making the viewer consider. We see that picture now and all with think is "Lingerie in a field? WTF?"

The picture of your guy without a shirt. You put him in athletic gear and he needs to be a beefcake. He should at least have the body-type of an A&F model (not the little shits they pay $7.50 an hour to fold clothes, I'm talking about the agency models they have in their ads). With his body type, he needs to be in a skinny Calvin Klein suit with the shirt unbuttoned and an untied bowtie. But you have to have a wardrobe budget to make that happen. Which, gauging by your work and location, you probably don't have the budget or the access. That's not a slight; you need a really good stylist for that. When I shoot fashion, I have a stylist and that's her job. She can pull dresses that cost $15K and I assure you I'm on the low end of the fashion world. Fashion is an undertaking.

I got side-tracked though. Brick walls are notoriously bad backdrops because they compete for the viewer's eye. You don't want a background that upstages your subject. And your contrast isn't dynamic enough to make it work in B&W. It just becomes a muddled gray blob with a brick pattern in the background; no one looks at the guy. The pattern of the brick and texture of the grass successfully turn your guy into an afterthought. The picture would actually be better without him in it.

Your dressed up photo of Taylor: The sunset lighting doesn't work because it's not on her. It's on those ugly houses in the background (those houses might be beautiful but they look atrocious here and compete for viewer's attention). She's better off in the field without distractions. We see all sorts of things in this picture which cause us to question, but none of these questions are ones you want the viewer asking. What's she standing on? Why's she wearing that expression? Is that a pile of manure in the background? what's up with the grass-pavement-grass whatever? Why isn't she in the sunlight? What the heck is she doing there anyway? You don't want your viewer confused by the image. Not for this kind of work you don't. Clarity of intent is what you're after.

Also, a tip: when trees don't have leaves on them, they attract the viewer's eye (for one) and immediately make us think of winter. Doesn't matter if it's taken in autumn or early spring. So when the viewer sees that, we expect to see winter-like colors and gear. Not colors and patterns best suited for a sailing excursion in FL. Her clothes are too vibrant, too lifelike for leafless trees and grass which isn't yet green. You want to shoot that, take her to your nearest botanical garden where it'll look like perpetual spring.


This will seem overly negative but it's because the undeniable truth is that your composition needs work and you need to know where things are going south in what you've done. Work on that; it takes everyone time to get good at that element of photography. Once you get that, then think about what lighting you can use for a given genre you're interested in shooting.

I am quite okay with the critique 'cause brutally honest will help me improve my work. So, thank you. Do you have any ideas/concepts for a beginner to use to build on? I knew that there would be plenty that I needed to improve on. I think part of it is living where I do so no real art community. So most is self taught/Youtube. Then to add not quite flourishing with aspiring models.

Which as was suggested to pay a model. Which I hope to soon. I'm planning on getting some books on different aspects of photography.

Mar 22 13 08:34 am Link

Photographer

Kincaid Blackwood

Posts: 23403

Atlanta, Georgia, US

SparksFoto wrote:
I am quite okay with the critique 'cause brutally honest will help me improve my work. So, thank you. Do you have any ideas/concepts for a beginner to use to build on? I knew that there would be plenty that I needed to improve on. I think part of it is living where I do so no real art community. So most is self taught/Youtube. Then to add not quite flourishing with aspiring models.

Which as was suggested to pay a model. Which I hope to soon. I'm planning on getting some books on different aspects of photography.

Concepts? Not necessarily. You intend to shoot attractive people; start with that and start simple. Go to the nearest bookstore that has fashion or glamour (the lad mags like Maxim) magazines, purchase a couple of copies (go for European editions) and really analyze what they're doing conceptually and try to mimic. What do they show and what don't they show? How are they using depth of field to separate the subject from the background? What settings (as in location and its attributes) are they using? How does it enhance? Do I have anything near me which looks remotely similar?

Begin with that and focus on composing your photos. Don't think that it'll be something you master in a matter of weeks. It is something that you'll constantly work on improving as the years pass by.

Mar 22 13 07:38 pm Link

Photographer

Bold Belle

Posts: 99

Chanute, Kansas, US

Kincaid Blackwood wrote:
Concepts? Not necessarily. You intend to shoot attractive people; start with that and start simple. Go to the nearest bookstore that has fashion or glamour (the lad mags like Maxim) magazines, purchase a couple of copies (go for European editions) and really analyze what they're doing conceptually and try to mimic. What do they show and what don't they show? How are they using depth of field to separate the subject from the background? What settings (as in location and its attributes) are they using? How does it enhance? Do I have anything near me which looks remotely similar?

Begin with that and focus on composing your photos. Don't think that it'll be something you master in a matter of weeks. It is something that you'll constantly work on improving as the years pass by.

Thank you. I'll be doing that

Mar 24 13 11:45 am Link