Forums > Critique > Serious Critique > Critique my book please!


Peter Jaay

Posts: 16

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

HI all,

Thanks for checking out my post.

Just looking for how others view my work, both other photographers and probably more important models/ stylists.
An over all honest critique as well as any individual image critique would be great. What stands out and what should go and whats missing etc..
As a model why or why would you not want to work with me.

All points are appreciated.


Dec 19 12 11:20 am Link


Staci Bernstein

Posts: 12

Seattle, Washington, US

Hi Peter,

You have an excellent handle on studio lighting and have a nice collection of models and to my eye your portfolio looks quite professional. 

Here are a few thoughts on things that might make for improvement.  If you do know how to light locations and work in exteriors, that might add some variety to the looks you are showing. 

Also you have a lot of models in 3/4 lenght shots and hardly any head shots.  So you might find a bit more variety if you include some headshots and some extreem long shots. 

I like the compositions to be off center and to have a bit more head room so for the dead center ones with the eyeline about the top third line, you may want to take a good hard look at those and make sure they are giving you something extra that your other shots aren't. 

It also feels a bit reduandante to me to show the same models in the single shots that you show us in the collection shots.

I really like the collection shots. You get a lot of nice poses and variety in those.  i think show a sense of motion more than the rest of the portfolio does and I like that and want to see more of that in the big shots.

I'm just figurign out what to put in a portfolio now myself so if you don't agree with anything I say, I'm no expert. And if you want to take a look at the shots I've posted and give me your feedback, that would be welcom.

Good luck!

Dec 19 12 01:09 pm Link


Peter Jaay

Posts: 16

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Thanks for that.

You are probably right with the lack of location shots, with that in mind I added one just now. haha Its more an issue in scotland with the crap weather, makes you kinda hide in the studio.

If anyone else has any points/ comments it would be appreciated.


Dec 22 12 06:06 pm Link


Veit Photo

Posts: 667

London, England, United Kingdom

On the whole I like this portfolio, it contains a number of strong images and shows imaginative production skills and great technique.

However as a way of marketing your skills your portfolio could be a much clearer statement of what you are about as a photographer and where your strengths lie. It could also do with an update, as you yourself mention in your bio. Finaly, there are some duds.

The first thing that throws me, and this is a personal bugbear, is the use of multi-image composites. When there is a clear editorial story running through the set, that's great and something I admire. When it's used as a way of showing multiple similar stabs at the same image it makes less impact that one strong shot. When there is not one strong shot in the dozen then it becomes like a smokescreen disguising your lack of desire to edit.

Of this set perhaps only the bottom image is a standout. The rest are just noise and make it more likely that someone looking at your port will not see the good image.

This is the same deal. Except this time the lighting and styling are good and relatively timeless but on the whole the model doesn't look fresh enough to pull it off.

In this comp there are maybe two images that are strong:

You've made them small and crowded them with images that are not as good. The result is so small that I can't really see what you have done in post production. The image where the model has her arm above her head is probably my favourite of yours, yet it is hidden.

This image could look a lot more contemporary if you directed your light slightly more - flag off the hair, less upward fill and a high positioning of the upper light would emphasise the cheek bones more. Also the expression on the model's face - the big eyes especially - tell me that she currently thinking about what to do next. She's a blank canvas.

This one suffers from a very primitive skin job and the strong highlights on the lower background which snatch attention away from the model:

This is probably the weakest image. Body aimed squarely at the camera, shoulders straight-lined and hunched around the neck, an unintelligent expression, a naff vignette filter that makes her hands inexplicably the focus of the image, dated styling.... etc.

Not much going on in this one either.

I like a good beauty shot, and in your case it would really help to add some variety to your studio work. In this case I think your attempt at high key has obliterated the detail on her shoulder and is rather distracting. I also find the lack of definition in the eyes a slight shortfall - no catchlight and no colour. In some ways I suppose it's interesting to draw attention to the lips and hair with a colour rhyme, but I think the dead eyes and indefinite expression make this image a missed opportunity.

Dec 23 12 05:06 am Link


Jean Renard Photography

Posts: 2170

Los Angeles, California, US

a portfolio is a tool.

If the tool you are showing is getting you the work you need, then carry on.

Otherwise my 2c:

I am not a fan of collages unless they are an entire editorial spread as was said above.
The pretty girl with slick make up, half naked or in some lingerie, is a bit played out on sites like MM and entirely useless in the real world of advertising. You do it well but to get real work from it, nothing in your book shows me you could make the quantum leap to, let's say, a Victoria's secret level in advertising, keeping in mind that guys like Michal Bay are shooting the commercial spots.  Do that level of production and we can talk about those sexy girls in lingerie.

Once you have demonstrated your skill with girl on seamless, move on, repeating the same lighting and general technique just changing out the models is not growth.

Dec 23 12 12:07 pm Link