Photo Critiques Images 11 through 27
All right, so chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, okay. I get the mood of this image. I would've done anything to see an image of this girl's face. To me, this is not a portrait. She is lifting up her sleeve. I get that the touch, which is what I teach, but if you're going to touch and be whimsical I would rather you have touched like this and just touched the shoulder and looked away. So remember I have two real eye lines. I have straight to the camera and then I have down my own body line 'cause I want to look at my own body because that's a sexier body language. That to me is I'm adjusting my bra strap so I get how beautifully this was shot and I get the mood of the shoot and I would've loved to have just seen her touching her shoulder and either looking away or looking straight at the camera. Yeah, opportunity here you put in one critique, you could've put in any others from the shoot and I would've loved it because you've really nailed the back light. You've nailed th...
at exposure and I think that's beautiful but I'm not connected to this girl. This is not what I call a portrait of a girl. This is a moment and it doesn't look like a moment that's candid. It looks more like to me a more functional moment. All right, slide number 12, okay. Love this connection. Big rule breaker here. Chin's perfect. Chins are connected, eyes are connected, expression is connected, and I'm like "Yes!" It is way blowing out through the highlight but not on the screen but on this screen so I have to be careful of that, it might be a screen thing. Her arm needs to be inside of his arm. Remember, rule number one. Boys go on the outside, girls go on the inside. Boys go on the outside, girls go on the in- we are the inside spoon ladies. The inside spoon looks smaller than the outside spoon. The inside spoon tucked in, the outside spoon protects. Put his arms on the outside. Hers slip in. If her hands had have slipped in, she would've been able to work her body language and her shoulder. So you lose points on shoulder. You lose points on body language and unfortunately 'cause that changes the way if she had it arm inside and worked her shoulder more and she was smiling at it in this way, then it would've been more protective and gorgeous. So close. I bet you they bought it. Great connection. I have not once in the last 12 slides pulled up anybody on connection yet so you know that's a big thing for me but get these arms on the inside. It is very natural for a man to grab a woman naturally and put his arms around her waist but she must come in the inside of his arms. Chin, perfect. Shoulder, we don't need it. Asymmetry is in this image. The asymmetry of this cover girl shot is in the cropping and composition so that's why the shoulder doesn't work forward. Whoever had did this has been listening to me. Hourglass, excellent. You could've given her a little bit more oomph on this side, on her left side, giving me a little bit more light in there and photoshop to really accentuate her waist. We want her to look hot, hot, hot. Body language is perfect. It's got beautiful connection through the eye. Good connection, expression. Composition is great, photoshop is perfect. Hair and makeup I really love and yeah, I have to give that a five out of five. That's such a basic, strong, sellable, everyday image in my studio. Well done. Chin, perfect. Shoulder, hands, no hands in the image. Hourglass, yes, her elbows are on the inside of her body. Okay, just watch this. It is very natural for lean bodies when they bring their elbows in to bring their shoulder cave in. So when her shoulders cave in, she needs to push them out. She needs to make them bigger. Jen, come here for a minute. I'll show you, this is a classic example. I can't move this thing. You slide them around this way so that you're front on to that camera. So bring your elbows down and cross them over like this girl has. Closer with the elbows. See, what's happened is her elbows are here and here. So just pull your chest back, that's it. So leave your elbows forward, that's it. Now, bring your shoulder in nice and caved in, no in. See, she's in there. And so in the camera, her shoulders are caved in and it makes her too narrow down the side. It's a very common problem with a leaner body. Push it out Jen. So square up your shoulders and push them out. They can just push them out like that and also if you want to see the side to side, you can move that side to side there and there and it's not so- just on this image, this right shoulder is just too tucked in up here and it looks awkward. Other than that, that flower to me. Interesting placement. I would've pushed the flower back and pulled her hair back a little bit. Thanks Jen. I would've pulled it back a little bit more. It's very dominant. It's taking me away from her face. I am not sure on this image of the sharpness of the eyes and you're gonna lose some big points if you're not giving me sharp eyes. Expression is excellent. Watch your highlights. I think it works on the screen, not so much on this screen. Watch your highlights and just to me- oh I get it her hands are this way. Her hands tucked in here and that's why her shoulder's up. If you bring that elbow out a little bit more you won't have that tight then you won't close up that diamond too much, very very important. Chin, yes. Shoulder, no, 'cause it's not applicable. Hands not applicable. Hourglass, body language, asymmetry, no. So there's no asymmetry in this shot. This is what I call the passport photo. It's not a fashion crop. You've got the top of the head and you've got mid to color 'tage. I really want to highlight this. Jen, come here for a minute and grab that big frame on your way. This is really really important to me. Nikki can you bring me the next frame down, this one's too big. No you stay there. I really need to show you this. This here is where this crop is. It's got her mid-frame there and there so showing the top of her head that's how you crop a passport photograph. This is a magazine shot there and there. So it's just a simple drop in your composition but as I pull away I simply pull away and I pull away and go down just a touch more so I look at it like this. Crop number one is the top of the hairline to just abpve what I call nipple line. When you pull back, you go to the top of the head to just below the boobs. Then you go top of the head to the hips and then you go top of the head to mid-thigh. One, two, three, four. It is when you go one, two, three, four,but as I pull away, keeping the top of the head cropped. You don't have to crop into the hairline, just balance it with the bottom of the image. So what this is missing is that balance so this image is beautiful, she's a beautiful girl and if it had have been dropped down lower, a little bit more even light in the face and get rid of that dark bag under her eye. That is not an eye bag. That is a shadow. We don't remove bags. We remove the shadows under our bags which stop us seeing our bags. Nobody buys a double chin, a muffin top, or dark circles under their eyes. We spend our days trying to get rid of those things, not buying portraits with those things on them. We are women. Remove the bags, remove the double chin, remove the muffin top. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. I was so drawn to this image when I saw it loaded on a full page as she's a beautiful girl and I was instantly drawn to it. The makeup for me, it sits on a little bit of a borderline of too much make up, but if that's what my client requested, then I wouldn't change that 'cause I'm shooting for them, not me. Be very careful on the shoulder and elbow pin with lean girls because their elbow pin looks good just watch the shoulder pin doesn't go back too far. So to explain that, remember when we flatter the body from the front, we pull our elbows in and back. Just make sure you're not pinning the shoulders back. So the difference between- I have a curvy body so when I bring my elbows in, my elbows come into here. If you see Jen do it and she puts her hands up and pulls her elbows back, if she pulls her shoulders back too far she's gonna go too narrow. So if you shoot that from the front, she's gonna be too narrow in here and I don't want her to be there so I want to pull the elbows back without dropping the shoulders. So do it like this, put your hands out like they're on a platform. Lower. And now just pull your elbows to the back like somebody is holding them together here and then you drop the shoulders forward and as soon as you drop the shoulder forwards, they stay out, elbows go, and then you can relax these hands down and shoot it there. So just don't pin those shoulders back. Thanks. Although I will say, this image here one of my all time favorites. I love the asymmetry. Flowers, outstanding. Hair is beautiful. Good connection. A little over photoshopped in the face, but just a little bit. I'm sitting right on the border for me. So just watch we're not over photoshopping the face. Again, small electronic image, would need to see it in high res before I made that exact decision but well done. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection, asymmetry, composition, hair, make up, focused expression. That's a five out of five for me. I can't fault that. It's a beautiful image, it's a sellable image. This is the sort of image people come to my studio for. This is the sort of image they've walked out of my studio for the last 12 years owning. It's framed, it's beautiful, it's on the wall, it's timeless. Five out of five, love it. Okay, we've got a before and after. Our first before and after. So we've got chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. The only thing I'm gonna fault in both of those images is the lighting to the face isn't flat enough so we've got too much shadow and lining on the face. Remember, I'm more for Rembrandt lighting and contouring the face with lights but beauty imagery is not about contouring light. Beauty imagery is about a flat beauty dish style light which is her before shot is actually more flattering with a flat shot than her afters are. I feel like there's just a little bit too much contouring on that face although the pose. Her body line, her body language, and her expression and the crop and composition are excellent so to me those shadows and dark lines have put too much depth in her face and I think they're pulling away from just locking into those eyes. When you have the flat beauty dish style light, you really are drawn to the eyes because that's the one part of the face that you're really taken with. When you have shadows in the face like this, you're pulled away from the eyes and expressions so that's really really important. You're coming back to the eyes every single time. Chin, no that chin's sitting too high and it's turned away from the camera. So from the front, she's here and her chin is too far this way. So we don't look past the camera. If I was talking to you, I would be talking to you here but I wouldn't be like "Hey how's it going." "What are you up to?" because that's not a believable body language to me. Bring the face square back to the camera with the shoulder forward. So she's turned her chin toward her shoulder instead of her shoulder toward her chin. So you bring the face back to the camera and you bring your chin forward. Her hands' perfect 'cause they look natural. That's how she would've sat down. It looks like she's naturally doing that. Very hard to do to have natural hands. So we've got chin, shoulders turned away, shoulders pushed back. Shoulder needs to come forward, chin needs to come back to the camera and gauge the expression. I like her relaxed expression but because her face is turned away, that is not an expression that looks engaged to me. Had she come back to here, then she could've locked into the camera there, worked her shoulder forward and then you would've nailed expression and body language and shoulder. Three easy critiques in one movement. So remember, working that shoulder forward. It's well exposed and everything about it is pretty. Her hair and makeup is outstanding. It's a good shot. It just could've been a great shot. There's really big difference between a shot that a client will buy and a shot that will go on your 'folio. I want you to start pushing through making sure you've got 'folio shots, but I really want to make sure you're nailing, nailing that connection so that your client buys your photographs. Really really important.
So I want to let you know how much people are enjoying this online. Ark Photo said "Oh my goodness, this is like" "being back in high school at All-State choir tryouts." "So excited, these are great images in here." so people are just going crazy.
Awesome. And you know what. This is what it's all about. This is about you guys putting it out there and showing the world- Too many people say to me "Oh, well it's easy for you because you're Sue Bryce." I didn't become Sue Bryce overnight. It took me years and nobody was there to critique me and when they did they never gave me constructive criticism. I always felt like I was being brutally criticized or I wasn't being helped in any way and you know the cool thing about this is this is a genre that I've been shooting in my life time. These little tweaks make the difference between a good shot and an outstanding shot and if you can learn these tips and go over them over and over again and stop making these basic mistakes, just keep coming back and practicing so that you're setting this in your mind, then you're creating this great imagery every, every, every, every, every week and if clients are buying them and everybody's happy. Chin, shoulder. The chin is folding down. I love the hand. I love everything. I am not a fan of looking down shots. If I look down, I'm gonna look down the body. I would've loved to have seen her face but I get it. It's a beautiful shot. I don't know whether how sellable that is because I've never been a big seller of looking away shots. It's not an eye line that I like but you've nailed everything else. The chin, the shoulder, the hands, the hourglass. It looks like, and I'm gonna be really honest, that you've used a portrait software on the face and I hate smoothing software around the face. I feel like the cheek has a bruise on it and the bag under the eye has been softened but not removed. I definitely look at her breasts but I look at her face and flower first so I'm not drawn down that line so it's a good composition, it's a good shape. But I would really have loved to have seen little bit better retouching to the face. I'm noticing a lot of the retouching to the face is not up to par for me but I have a very high standard of retouching to the face 'cause I know what women don't like about their faces and what they don't like about their bodies so let's focus on getting you some more photoshop videos and I think in the next month because I think that would be really really important. So just because I'm not a fan of the looking down shot, I think you nailed everything else. Just watch the over-photoshopping onto the face. Try new clone stamp if you can, it's much more even. The chin is forward and it's defined. She's actually not looking in the camera, she's looking just above it I think. It looks like she is. The direction of her eye has definitely got some movement. Maybe the left eye's got a highlight and that's why it looks like it's floating but it's not. Shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. You know this is a really basic image. It has far too much blusher. I am a big big big pull back on the blusher. Remember, it is a light dusting of pink to the cheeks. This to me looks like a very heavy pink cheek. However, I will say if my client said "I want more blusher to the cheeks," I would give that client that if that's how she wears it. Jen, come here. I'm just gonna show you a basic rule that we talk about and one of them is this is the diamond. It starts at the top of the head, it goes to the outside of the shoulder, down to the midway, out to the shoulder. This is the diamond. We never cross the diamond. So this here is here and here and we don't cross the diamond. So body language wise, she's blocking her heart and if she's blocking her heart that is a protective pose. We only ever cover our heart when we're protecting ourselves. If she was going to open this diamond she would be there and there. So just open up the diamond, do not shut it down. And we hug ourselves. It's about touching the body and then you can even push the booty back which is what you've done. You can push the booty backwards, don't hunch your shoulders though and just drop them down, and then you just hug yourself but no crossing the diamond. This wrong. We never ever bring it up and over and we never ever cross the heart, okay? So big rule. Don't cover the diamond. Accentuate the diamond always. This is the part we want. This is where a woman's beautiful is. Thank you, Nikki. Okay, we've got a chin, yes we do. We've got a shoulder, yes we do, 'cause she's curvy so we drop the shoulder forward. We've got hands well placed. Be really careful of two things. One of them is when we flirt we touch parts of our body that we want people to look at so when we do we touch our hair, we touch our body, we've got all these lines, we touch our decolletage, out to our shoulder. These are all touch points in a photograph. We never touch our belly. You wouldn't walk up to a guy in a bar and go "Hi, how you doing?" All right? We don't rub our belly. We don't rub our breasts. We don't touch our breasts and we don't touch our belly. So just watch when this hand does come here that it's here or up under here not down here. Soon as you put hands on the belly, you look down at the belly. You will look in an image wherever the hands are so if the hands are touching belly or breasts, you will look at belly and breasts. That only works if that's a maternity shot and they're touching the tummy and you want them to look there. Okay, so no hands on belly. If that had come up, fine, but remember at the end of the day, the arms folded poses are either this looks a little bit too corporate for me so I want it to either hug her body like this or I want her hands behind and down accentuating her back line. But other than that, good tip forward working the shoulder body is 45 degrees. Lower half is away from the camera, which is slimming, so that is excellent and I bet you she was happy with that even though her hand is just popping out on her belly there.
Question from Tough Tutusu, "Is there a reason that wardrobe isn't listed" "as one of the points for critiquing?" and people have been asking about wardrobe. How important is it? And you're not really critiquing any of the wardrobe so I'm just kind of wondering...
I have no control over what a client brings into a shoot. No matter how much I educate them they will turn up on the day with some of the craziest stuff and I have to work on the fly with what I've got. I don't supply a wardrobe as you know although I have accoutrements and I think it's really really important that we do not judge a client's clothes because if they turn up with three black tops I have to try and create 20 sellable images with three black tops. So my goal is to just take what I've got, work with what I've got, and you do not know what these clients turned out with so absolutely pointless critiquing wardrobe to me. What I bring to my shoot will be my wardrobe. Chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. Not a big fan of the looking away shot. To me, if that girl was looking at a camera, it would've just absolutely nailed this shot for me. Obviously this is artificially lit, which is not my thing, but to me it's lit beautifully. It's very sort of '50s glamour. I love her hair, I love her makeup, it's well exposed and it's sharp. The shoulder is working which is wonderful. The crop could've come back just to her breast line. If you had pulled back to her nipple line you would've seen the shape of her breasts coming down into the bottom of the image which would've made that really highly feminine. She's obviously got a beautiful body line. She's wearing a tight top. So it's a little bit high cropped and high on the bust line for me. I would've brought it down to the top of the head and just pulled back a little bit to show her bust line. Everything about that is perfect but to me I'm just gonna say the looking away shot to me has never been a big seller because I find women don't tend to buy images that are looking away. They tend to buy images where they're more engaged. So to me, I feel like she's like this. Which to me is that sort of in between. It's not connected. She has a beautiful face and I would've loved to have seen her either looking down her body so she's connected to her own body language or looking directly at the camera. Okay, chin, shoulder, hands, hourglass, body language, connection. You know this image has been edited really beautifully but it's been edited towards yellow and cyan too much. Again, I get that when you edit something on your computer and then you send it in, it can shift, so I will pull it up on its yellowness 'cause people don't buy yellow skin images. I tend to go towards the cyan, not the yellow. When I go toward cyan and my editing it pulls the red out of the skin, which makes it look more beauty and fashion. Her shoulders are perfectly placed. Her chin is forward. Her expression is differently engaged. I love where you've taken the crop to the top of the head to just below the bust line which is number two in the composition which I just showed you. I love the asymmetry, shot just to the right. So the only thing I'm really going to pull up on this is the color correcting on it and again I don't know how accurate that is but well done. All right. Chin, excellent. Shoulder, perfect. Curve, excellent. Hips are dropped away. She's got a great body line. She's 45 to the camera. Hair and makeup is good. All of that is well done. It doesn't look very sharp on the eyes but that could be my screen. Well executed. Good girl on showing diamonds and triangles. Remember, it's all about diamonds and triangles. We want to create diamonds and triangles in images because it makes the image more interesting and it opens up the body and it slims it down. I love white on white. I always shoot blondes white on white so well done. Definitely a sellable image. Okay, absolutely love this. Really good, shot at 1.2 or 1.8 I'd say. Nice drop away. A little bit too much breeze. A little bit too much decolletage gone. If you'd pull back or just drop down one inch, this would be a ten out of ten for me. This is an outstanding shot. It's a beautiful connected shot. I love the catch light. Perfect hair movement, nice and sharp. Just bring it down. Remember, don't do the passport crop. No nick cropping. Show the bust line, show the beginning of the bust line, even to the nipple line. Trust me, it just balances an image and it just stops them from being a floating head so absolutely love it for every other reason. Beautiful. Okay. From here I've got chin is forward and down. Shoulder is definitely working. Just try with your sideways poses to turn this hand this way if you can. The only way you can do it is take them to the edge of the ottoman. So Nikki come here. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to sit Nikki down and just show you something. So if you sit down on the floor and everybody's natural reaction is to do exactly what Nikki just did and that's to lean her entire body up against the chair because it's that that everybody does. Now, put your elbow on the edge of the chair. Yeah, and point it inwards, that's it. That's it. So the hand now goes away from the camera. Now, push your booty away from the chair so that you're reclining and now there's a big space here. Okay, as soon as you get that space which is what this girl's doing, she's leaning, then she can turn this hand in. Drop that hand down. But she's here like this and her elbow's back here which shortens the forearm and then gives that front hand. So just watch hands and the hand on the back, slide it up Nikki, and elbow goes around the body. As soon as the elbow tucks around her body, she has got the hourglass. It's all about that hourglass, not that leading arm. Now luckily this girl's really lean so you can still see her waist line but if she was any curvier, you really need to pull that hand back. Thanks, Nikki. But other than that, really good shot. What bothers me about the shot, it's a full shot of a girl but it's not a good shot of her face meaning I'm not drawn up into her eyes. The lighting again is very contrasty. Flatten it down, soften it up for more beauty style images and just really draw that eye into the face. In fact, other than that elbow being tucked in, it's a great image and it's scoring high. I would just like to have finished this image myself because I would've just evened through that tone and just really popped that light on the face because I'm getting a really dark cheek down here but a light one up here so I shouldn't really comment on that contrast 'cause it's going to make a difference.