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1st portrait

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am looking for critique here, this was an image from a request to take pictures of a child; the parent would like 4 images on canvas (3 children - individually, one all together on canvas)

here is one of the images

what could i do to:

1. make this image better
2. improve things the next around?

comments both positive and negative - please be gentle! lol welcomed

thanks for looking

Paul

Brand:Nikon CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D200 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:Nikon 50mm f1.8 @ f2.8
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:31 May 2011 - 2:40 PM
Focal Length:50mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/1.7
Aperture:f/2.8
Shutter Speed:1/350sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Title:1st portrait
Username:woodrow woodrow
Uploaded:2 Jun 2011 - 1:34 PM
Tags:Black & white, Portraits / people
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Daisy_intheMill
2 Jun 2011 - 3:32 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Paul,

I like it - the lighting looks soft and flattering, I like the variation in textures of her plaid dress and curly hair. She's got a lovely happy expression also. I always try to get a catch light in the eyes as it brightens/livens them up - the main draw to a portrait is usually the eyes - a lot of expression comes from the eyes. With her looking off camera it's a nice image - looking at camera could be even better ie interacting with the viewer - that's where your skill as a Portrat photogrpher comes into play to get her to interact with you - And as is people all over, different people will like different things - (I did a session the other day with 6 girls and their favourite pic from the whole session was one of one of them looking off camera! Ha! )
One of your best critics will be the Mum - if she'll give you comments honestly and without being guarded. Ask her not to be kind but expect the worst Wink Try showing her the whole session and pick up on what she likes the best.
I hope that's helpful.
I look forward to seeing more Smile

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woodrow
woodrow  7153 forum posts Scotland
2 Jun 2011 - 3:57 PM

Thanks Jude, will upload sme more

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AnneWorner
AnneWorner e2 Member 6612 forum postsAnneWorner vcard United States42 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jun 2011 - 4:38 PM

You've received excellent critique from Jude - good start here - it's just the eye contact that is missing - it's what engages the viewer and gets us to connect with the person in the image.

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Daisy_intheMill

Thanks wefi - should know what I'm on about Wink I'll upload my off camera pic later - and you can decide yourself Smile

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom854 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jun 2011 - 4:55 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I like this. The composition is different and succesful, but you do need to check that your customers actually want this type of thing and not something more conventional. I don't mind the lack of eye contact here, it really is a nice image.

I wonder about mono. Again, do you customers want mono - if so, OK. Having had to shoot mostly mono for 40 of my 50 years in photography, I now use mono for what it is good at - gritty stuff, street photography and reportage. Pretty kiddies go best in colour for me.

Paul

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Adrian_Reynolds

Don't know enough about portrait to comment Paul, but I do know what I like, this is a delightful image.
Adrian

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mikesmith
mikesmith e2 Member 1045 forum postsmikesmith vcard United Kingdom35 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jun 2011 - 9:00 PM

For me an ordinary portrait has been made a little bit special by the fact there is no eye contact. I get the sense from this shot that she is a lovely cheeky little character. If so...you have done her great justice with this capture. Who am I to speak?....I don't/can't do portraits
Mike

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searlem
searlem e2 Member 738 forum postssearlem vcard England1 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jun 2011 - 10:10 PM

I like the mono treatment, the lack of eye contact can work, however in this case I am not so sure, the little girl appears to be looking at someone out of shot, which unfortunately I find slightly distracting.

Mark

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Jestertheclown
2 Jun 2011 - 10:23 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I think that the lack of eye contact works well here.
It gives the shot a candid, unprepared feel which suits this little girl very well.

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Daisy_intheMill

That's VERY nice!- such sharpness in her eyes and yet softness in her hair. I've just noticed the lens you're using - my favourite in my kit: )

And that eye contact is great - it makes me wonder what she's about to say with her lips parted.
Has mum commented yet?
I love them in black and white as it draws you in more and allows your eye to concerntrate on expression - rather than just taking in the picture as fait accomplis - if you understand what I mean Smile I do find that the 'average' client does like colour though - but I always show them the alternative. I hope you've enjoyed doing these - any more?

Last Modified By Daisy_intheMill at 3 Jun 2011 - 4:48 PM

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woodrow
woodrow  7153 forum posts Scotland
3 Jun 2011 - 5:49 PM

In image 2 I used f2.8 & focused on her eyes to get them sharp & get sme softness in rest of the image. There was a window behind me that gave enough light

Using a prime is really nice - it's a lovely lens to use

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