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Jacquie_Spector
05-17-2008, 01:09 AM
okay - trying again to get images up for people to see.:confused: I'd really, really appreciate any and all comments. I'm very new to all this and have so much to learn. :( If you go to http://s284.photobucket.com/albums/ll8/Lopearv/
you should find 5 images I'm considering choosing from to enter. All images where either natural light or a bounce flash (no studio work). oh, I"m supposed to mention that one of them is an abstract maternity nude. Thank you for taking the time to look and comment!!:) Jacquie

Lori_Clapp
05-17-2008, 02:02 AM
Jacquie, I can't really critique because I'm learning also. But I just wanted to tell you I really like them. I love the twins, and the colic one. My son had colic, and that's exactly how I felt! Nice images - I'm sure you will get critiques from the people who know what they are talking about!

P.S. If that Jeff Dachowski guy gives you advice - ignore him. He doesn't even know how to work a camera.;)

Auralee_Dallas
05-17-2008, 02:34 AM
Hi Jacquie
You didn't say where you were going to enter your images. Would it be a PPA affilliate or the PPA Nationals that are coming up?
I'm not a Master, but have entered these competions for a few years. There are others on this forum who have much more experience than I and are Master Photographers.
I love the lighting on the twins. I would crop it differently. More off the top and then burn in the mother's arm to frame the children.
"Wonder" is wonderful. It is so delicate and would look great as a watercolor. For me personally, I'd like to see more of the child. I feel this is your strongest image. If this were my child, I would purchase this image.
The abstract maternity could be improved with some different cropping. The lighting is very harsh. I think as a "fine art" print it is interesting. I think an expecting mother would like it too--it's a very different perspective.
I don't think "Momma" is competition worthy. There is a foot dangling just above her head and to me, although it is humerous, it doesn't fly for me.
The last one to me sort of looks like an "out take." I photograph many moms and infants and young children. I KNOW how hard it can be sometimes. Here is where I really wind up with a lot of images and a lot are never shown to the client. Even with the title "colic" I'm not sure if it would fare very well in competition.
These are only my opinions and I hope you get some of the others to comment. Each of us see an image in a different way and like Lori said, we are all still learning each day.

Jacquie_Spector
05-17-2008, 02:52 AM
Thank you Lori and Auralee - it's the Nationals that I'm thinking of. Interesting that you looked at them in terms of purchase power.. is that what they look for, as opposed to 'art' for 'art's sake?

Jacquie Spector
www.spectorphotography.com

Auralee_Dallas
05-17-2008, 03:19 AM
Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
A phrase you hear on this forum often is "it's a great client image." That means, that your clients probably love it, and most likely have spent a lot of money with you. For competition, the panel is looking for 12 particular things.
I'm trying to attach the 12 elements of a merit print.
At the lower levels of competition, there is a numerical scoring system. This is not used at Nationals.
Where are you located? Is there a local affiliate of PPA in your area. It would be great if you could actually see a print competition.
Actually, I think I know where there is a link to one. I'm going to go look for it now.
edit: couldn't find it. If you can try to look at a Loan Collection book or PPA monthly magazine.
Keep on asking questions--we are all here to help.

Ashley_Short
05-17-2008, 04:10 AM
Jacquie,

I favor the one of the twins. The lighting is really beautiful, and I agree with everything that Auralee said. In the image "momma please" I actually was more distracted by the contrast of the black/white in the top corner than I was the foot, although now that I know it's there.......it gets to me. In the pregnancy shot, the my eye keeps going to the hand, and it's a bit distracting. It's just so bright and sort of coming out of nowhere.
"Wonder" is really adorable. I'd almost like to see it a little bit more vibrant, but I guess that's not what watercolors are all about, huh? ;) (I'm new to competition, too!) Take my opinions as just that- opinions! You asked for "any and all" so there's mine.

Good luck,
Ashley

Jacob_Chinn
05-17-2008, 06:39 AM
I like the twins shot best as well. However, I because of the shadow on the elbow pit (I don't know what that part of the body is called:) , I thought at first his arm was amputated. A little different cropping would fix this, but I guess others didn't comment on it so perhaps others won't see it the way I did.

Jacquie_Spector
05-17-2008, 01:35 PM
thanks Jacob & Ashley (someone else did mention cropping that image). Thanks Auralee too for the list. I work out of Boston and do maternity and baby/family. The colic image, which is me favorite, was during a client shoot but not one she chose (obviously). I try to cover all aspects of parenting and not just the 'pretty' shots. A lot of my crying and more somber images do get purchased, this one just went a bit far I think.. i still love it as a story telling image! I will look into the PPA in MA and get involved when I have the time (ha!).

Cheri_MacCallum
05-17-2008, 02:02 PM
Jacquie,
While these are images that would definitely sell, competition is a whole different world! Here's what I see:

twins: The lighting is wonderful and their expressions are beautiful, we have distractions here. Mixed keys for one. They are in light clothes and the background is black. Seeing the ends of Mom's hair and the back of her hand ( unattractive angle for hands) is distracting!

Wonder: Really sweet of this little boy. The horizon line is going through his head. You might want to soften it a little.

Self port: The converging lines and contrast in the viewer's upper left are a distraction. Remember the eye is drawn to contrast, color and detail and there's a lot (except color) there to draw the eye.

Mamma please: Cute idea, but falls short with the mixed keys and pose. The black background that is showing in the viewer's upper right pulls the eye. I know you were going for how Mom sees a child, but the angle we see her makes her look like she's down in a hole I think partly because she's so close to the material.

Colic: The natural lighting is nice! Here we have mixed keys again and the unattractive back of Mom's hand. The wrist has a funny bend to and while I know that's a natural occurrence when holding a baby, we need to pose the hands differently for portraits. If you gave it a different title that suggested it was more documentary it might work.

This is just my 2 cents and hope it helps!

Jacquie_Spector
05-18-2008, 12:04 PM
thanks so much for the feedback. All of the images are documentary - none were posed or 'pre thought out'...I'll work on them. I'm getting the idea what type of image seems to work best for competitions. Thanks again for the great feedback!

Jacquie Spector
www.spectorphotography.com

Don_Chick
05-18-2008, 01:47 PM
All of the images are documentary - none were posed or 'pre thought out'...I'll work on them. I'm getting the idea what type of image seems to work best for competitions.

The best competition images are those that excel in satisfying the 12 elements. The criteria doesn't care if the image is "posed" or "unposed", studio, location or documentary.... Look through a PPA Loan or Showcase book, you'll see plenty of all types of images.

You can also see beautiful images online at http://www.asofp-online.com/portfolio.asp