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Model
Ashlen Rose
Posts: 3
San Francisco, California, US


I am not sure if I am suppose to post this here or in the retouching forum but I figured here would be better because I would like advice from photographers. I did a TF shoot and the the photographer edit the photos  to give to me. He/she asked if I liked them and I am not sure what to say cause I honestly don't like the editing.

Am I suppose to be honest and tell him/her they don't look right? I don't want to offend him/her but I also don't want him or her posting them in thier portfolio or facebook linking me when they aren't appealing. Is there a tactful way to let him/her know? Or is it a rhetorical question that one asks expecting a positive comment?

Please advise sad!
Dec 02 12 07:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AG_Boston
Posts: 345
Boston, Massachusetts, US


You'd be amazed what some people feel is a good edit.

Was it only the edits you didn't like? What about the rest of the photo qualities?
Dec 02 12 07:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BlueMoonPics
Posts: 4,257
New York, New York, US


I personally want honesty.
I've had models ask me to fix hair or do a little bit of adjustments to the figure too.  Sometimes I miss little things.
I don't personally take offense, I want to have the best file possible for them and me.

Others may take it personally and be offended. It's a tough situation.
Dec 02 12 07:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 38,049
Portland, Oregon, US


There is no absolute correct answer.

In some ways, it is like a woman asking if her butt looks big in an outfit, there is no safe answer.

Some photographers will appreciate honest feedback while others will get butthurt, and when they get butthurt, there is no telling what they will do.

Unfortunately, if you really are not happy and know that they can be post-processed better, keeping quiet does not get you the best images.

I say this often, but it is so often the case, it is up to communication and getting to get a feel for the person you're working with to have a hint how they are going to respond to honesty.

Of course, there are good ways to reply and bad ways to reply.

Obviously, saying something like "No, they look terrible, you did a crappy job" is not going to be as warmly received as, for example, "If you're open to making further changes, I do have some suggestions on things that could be done to improve upon the images, let me know."
Dec 02 12 08:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,533
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


it will really depend on what you don't like and what the photographer is working with.  if they look over sharpened and its because the photographer had trouble locking focus theres not a lot that can be done and talking to them will just bring up something they clearly dont want to talk about. so in that instance...your choice is to shut up and walk away or say something that will sour your relationship with them. (theres no nice way to do it).

if you think they are over-processed or too 'instagramish' (i just invented that word) then again you have a choice between walking away and asking if there is a way to have more natural versions?

if you think they dont resemble the work in the photographer's port (the reason you shot with them) then just ask?

there are variations of these themes but the basic  idea is if you dont ask you get nowhere. if you ask, you have to try to say it in a way that leaves them options. "can you lighten this?" might work. or not. "this sucks" doesn't give them any room to move.
Dec 02 12 08:08 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 6,098
New York, New York, US


A lot of photographers would get butt hurt, just as a lot of models wouold be insulted if I told them that their tattoos make them unusable make them unusable for what I shoot.  Probably best not to comment, at least if you are not asked and you don't plan on shooting with that photographer in the future.  The trick, if you feel you must, is to mention it in a positive way.  "Do you think that this picture would look beter without the fuschia tint you added to the wedding dress?" is gentler than "Yuchhh! Why the hell didja do that?!!!" But unless you're paying for it, probably better to just let it go.

FWIW I don't mind an honest and sincere comment.  I'm usually honest enough to spot my own mistakes, but gentleness does go a long way.  I probably feel bad enough about it already.
Dec 02 12 08:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,611
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Ashlen Rose wrote:
I am not sure if I am suppose to post this here or in the retouching forum but I figured here would be better because I would like advice from photographers. I did a TF shoot and the the photographer edit the photos  to give to me. He/she asked if I liked them and I am not sure what to say cause I honestly don't like the editing.

Am I suppose to be honest and tell him/her they don't look right? I don't want to offend him/her but I also don't want him or her posting them in thier portfolio or facebook linking me when they aren't appealing. Is there a tactful way to let him/her know? Or is it a rhetorical question that one asks expecting a positive comment?

Please advise sad!

Why did you agree to shoot with them in the first place if you don't like their work ?

Dec 02 12 08:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Renato Alberto
Posts: 868
San Francisco, California, US


Personally, I like honesty!!
I have a model that I respect tell me once that she loved the shots we took, but did not like the way I edit the photos. She was American Indian, and thought that I had made her skin too light!
I appreciated her honesty, I changed the edits on the photos, and guess what "She was right, they looked a lot better!"
It did not affect the mutual respect we have for each other. We have shot together many times, and now I know how she likes her skin to look like.
So, my 2 cents, be honest and polite. You can like his work and the photos, and just not like the editing part.

IMHO.
Dec 02 12 08:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Craig Allen Studio
Posts: 4,307
Tacoma, Washington, US


Ashlen Rose wrote:
Am I suppose to be honest and tell him/her they don't look right?

Please advise sad!

Yes. You did your part.

If he says he can't fix them ask him if you can have the high res files and seek a retoucher (that you like) and see what can be done with the images.

Make sure you get written permission from the photographer before you contract the images to be retouched.

Dec 02 12 08:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Ashlen Rose
Posts: 3
San Francisco, California, US


Images by MR wrote:
Why did you agree to shoot with them in the first place if you don't like their work ?

I love the photos that he took they look great, so its not that. They ended up HEAVILY processing the pictures which is what is wrong.


Thank you everyone for all your advise, opinions, and responses, I greatly appreciate it. I think I know what to say now smile

Dec 02 12 09:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Keith Allen Phillips
Posts: 3,479
Sacramento, California, US


Ashlen Rose wrote:
I love the photos that he took they look great, so its not that. They ended up HEAVILY processing the pictures which is what is wrong.

So are they more heavily processed than the photos in his portfolio that made you want to shoot with him? If they are a huge departure from his normal work then I wouldn't feel too bad about asking him to lighten up a bit and do his normal thing since you like that more.

Dec 02 12 09:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Ashlen Rose
Posts: 3
San Francisco, California, US


Keith Allen Phillips wrote:
So are they more heavily processed than the photos in his portfolio that made you want to shoot with him? If they are a huge departure from his normal work then I wouldn't feel too bad about asking him to lighten up a bit and do his normal thing since you like that more.

Yes they are very different, he/she was trying to give them a special look but it just doesn't look right at all.

Dec 02 12 09:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 38,049
Portland, Oregon, US


Sent you a PM smile
Dec 02 12 09:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,159
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


I get the impression that most models simply gush over any photos that they receive. Maybe that's because they feel that the positive feedback makes it more likely that the photos will keep on coming.

Personally, if a model doesn't like something, I'd rather know about it. I may or may not agree with the model, but I'd rather have honesty.
Dec 02 12 09:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mortonovich
Posts: 5,399
San Diego, California, US


Keith Allen Phillips wrote:
So are they more heavily processed than the photos in his portfolio that made you want to shoot with him? If they are a huge departure from his normal work then I wouldn't feel too bad about asking him to lighten up a bit and do his normal thing since you like that more.
Ashlen Rose wrote:
Yes they are very different, he/she was trying to give them a special look but it just doesn't look right at all.

Well then since the person asked, and you're not too crazy about the heavy post work, and you based your decision to work with this person on their prior work which had a lighter touch; feel free to voice your opinion.

eta: Oh yeah, I guess I said what Keith said. Ha!

Dec 02 12 09:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GM Photography
Posts: 6,068
Olympia, Washington, US


Ashlen Rose wrote:
Yes they are very different, he/she was trying to give them a special look but it just doesn't look right at all.

If what you received is different from what you expected based on the person's existing work, I think it is OK to say something in a tactful way.  Something along the lines of "I appreciate and understand that a trade shoot is an opportunity for us to both experiment and learn, but my decision to shoot for trade with you was based on the work you currently have in your portfolio.  Would you mind providing some less heavily retouched images that reflect the style in your portfolio?"

Asking them not to display the images they retouched is going over the line.  Whether you like them or not doesn't matter, they aren't going to hurt you even if they are awful (it may just be a matter of different tastes) and those images are the photographer's "pay" for providing you with his/her services.

Dec 03 12 06:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Abbitt Photography
Posts: 11,483
Oakland Acres, Iowa, US


While I think it's fine to politely say something, the time for you evaluate a photographer's skill, including editing skill is before you agree to shoot with them.

Typically with llamaing, you agree to offer a llamaing service.  The agreement typically does not include the llamaing getting to evaluate the photos and dictate how they will or will not be used by the photographer.  The usage is typically defined by your rights and what the llama release states.

If you don't think a photographer will represent you well, what you really need to do is avoid working with him/her in the first place.
Dec 03 12 06:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,359
Salem, Oregon, US


on a TF shoot you don't usually get to tell the photographer what to do (unless that was agreed on in advance). if you don't like the images he sent to you for your use then you can ask for more or ask for unedited ones (or a different edit).

i let my models choose their favorites. they don't always like the ones i choose.
Dec 03 12 02:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,678
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


Ashlen Rose wrote:

Yes they are very different, he/she was trying to give them a special look but it just doesn't look right at all.

Okay, in that case i would say something along the lines of "i really like the photos, but i noticed you edited them differently then you normally do. I really like the style of editing you did in this pic (choose one from the photographers portfolio that you like).. Is it possible I could get (choose your favorite shots he sent you) edited in that way?"

sometimes you're damned if you do, damned if you don't- so it never hurts!

Dec 03 12 02:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,678
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


wow, double post!
Dec 03 12 02:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kawika Photography
Posts: 110
San Diego, California, US


You were part of a team so talk to them with a focus on you learning why they did what they did. Was it their vision? Were they trying something new? Do they actually not know what they're doing? Bad day? Who knows. If you approach it with a learning mentality you'll let them explain before they get defensive. Then based on their answer take it further if it needs to. You might discover it's the best they could do with what they got. So many possibilities. GL

Edit: I see they were trying something new. In that case they should have done two edits; the way they know works and the experiment.
Dec 03 12 02:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Black Swan
Posts: 1,080
Phoenix, Arizona, US


There is an old saying, "It's not that we ask for so much as it is that we settle for so little." 

Don't settle for anything!
Dec 03 12 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Joseph Peffer
Posts: 287
Miami, Florida, US


Could have been a rushed job. I know photographers who turn around photos instantly filter and process them like crazy. And sometimes it looks nothing like there original work. I would just let him know. Say you want to be more natural etc. Anything to hint to ease up on the retouching.
Dec 03 12 09:59 pm  Link  Quote 
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