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1st portrait

By woodrow  
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


Tags: Black and white Portraits and people


Daisy_intheMill 17 145 1 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2011 3:32PM
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
woodrow 14 153 Scotland
2 Jun 2011 3:57PM
Thanks Jude, will upload sme more
AnneWorner 14 620 43 United States
2 Jun 2011 4:38PM
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.
Daisy_intheMill 17 145 1 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2011 4:52PM
Thanks wefi - should know what I'm on about Wink I'll upload my off camera pic later - and you can decide yourself Smile
paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2011 4:55PM
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.

2 Jun 2011 8:41PM
Don't know enough about portrait to comment Paul, but I do know what I like, this is a delightful image.
ColouredImages 17 47 35 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2011 9:00PM
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 have done her great justice with this capture. Who am I to speak?....I don't/can't do portraits
searlem 14 38 1 England
2 Jun 2011 10:10PM
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.

Jestertheclown 13 8.5k 254 England
2 Jun 2011 10:23PM
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.
Daisy_intheMill 17 145 1 United Kingdom
3 Jun 2011 4:48PM
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?
woodrow 14 153 Scotland
3 Jun 2011 5:49PM
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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