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Keith_A_Howe
11-27-2008, 02:35 AM
Just a plug for the print mentoring again this year at IUSA. I know it always fills up fast. Most people who participate seem to feel it is helpful. Here is the link to read more about it.

http://www.imagingusa.org:80/print-exhibit.php


Keith

Jackie_Haggerty
11-27-2008, 02:38 AM
This is exciting, and was a great experience last year. I think my assistant is interested in signing up - I sent her the link. Thanks for posting this Keith! I would recommend it to all!

Rick_Massarini
11-28-2008, 03:02 AM
Anybody who doesn't take advantage of this offer is missing out on a GREAT learning experience. Heck, there are members entering a contest to win the opportunity to have their portfolio critiqued by Anne Geddes, while you can have your images critiqued by one of the PPA-PEC International Jurors by just asking. Personally, I'll take a Keith Howe or a Kaye Frey critique over an Anne Geddes critique any day. And all you gotta do is sign up for it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark_Levesque
11-28-2008, 04:31 AM
It really is a great learning experience as they walk and talk you through your images, explaining how best to crop and present them. Sometimes they will see "the picture within the picture" that will get you to see a better interpretation of your captures. Because a great image is not merely what you capture, but also what you exclude. I am very much looking forward to bringing some images to Imaging for critique. What a great way to learn. If you are making the trek and have any interest in improving your image making, you should bring some prints for critique. It's one of the most direct things you can do to improve your work, IMO.

Andrea_Chapelo
11-30-2008, 04:31 PM
I did this last year and was lucky enough to get Keith as my mentor. I will be doing it again this year. Maybe I will be lucky enough to get Keith again:D

Stephanie_Millner
11-30-2008, 06:10 PM
Totally signing up for it this year. (Only reason I didn't last year was my laptop ended up in Afghanistan) How many prints can we show? Any guidelines around it?

Todd_Reichman
11-30-2008, 07:42 PM
Is this mentoring mostly for comp? If so, do they have people that can evaluate competition albums?

- trr

Rick_Massarini
11-30-2008, 08:54 PM
The mentoring is focused around creating winning competition quality images, but when you learn to improve your competition work, the quality of your other work also improves. Since there are a lot of judges qualified to judge wedding albums, I'm sure that there will be someone available who can critique your album for you. Since many jurors have more than one side to their businesses, any PEC qualified juror can give a valid opinion on how to improve an image, even if it is not in an area where they would normally judge.

Heather_L._Smith
12-01-2008, 03:05 PM
Thanks for the reminder, Keith!! I got to do this last year and it was remarkable. I will definitely be doing it again.

Keith_A_Howe
12-01-2008, 05:11 PM
Is this mentoring mostly for comp?

Todd, I thought I read somewhere that you weren't going to IUSA. Did you change your mind?

It is primarily intended to help people with thier potential competition prints but I OFTEN have people who are just wanting some feedback on thier work, they have no intention of entering at this time. That is perfectly acceptable. The end goal of print competion is to raise the standard of professional photography as a whole. So helping someone who is not intending to enter also accomplishs that goal.



If so, do they have people that can evaluate competition albums?

- trr

As Rick said any judge can give you valid feedback on a wedding album. However if you want a critique from an approved wedding album judge then just request that at the time you sign up. I am sure Jim Dingwell will do his best to accomodate any requests. FWIW all affliate jurors who want to judge albums just had to resubmit two sample albums in early November for evaluation. There is also a requirment to be a working wedding photographer in order to judge wedding albums.

Keith

Keith_A_Howe
12-01-2008, 05:13 PM
Totally signing up for it this year. (Only reason I didn't last year was my laptop ended up in Afghanistan) How many prints can we show? Any guidelines around it?

I can't remember off the top of my head if there is a specified number. I think 10-12 is good. Too few and we really don't have any choices about what would be best to enter. Also if you are just looking for feedback in your work, if you bring too few we really don't get any feeling for what your strengths or weaknesses are. If you bring to many, too much of the short time is wasted just sorting through stuff. Plus with too many we have to rush through each image and don't have time to go in depth. If you just can't narrow it down, put 10-12 in one file and then have a second file with 10-12 more. That way if the mentor wants to see more images, you have some ready. That being said, if you only have 4 or 5 images you want to have looked at, don't let that stop you from signing up.

Keith

Todd_Reichman
12-01-2008, 09:14 PM
Todd, I thought I read somewhere that you weren't going to IUSA. Did you change your mind?

Well, initially we didn't think we were going to make the trip since our biggest bridal show of the year is the Sunday of IUSA. However, we were asked by a group to show up to appear at thier booth so we're going to fly in for just Monday and Tuesday. We'll be staying with family for the rest of the week there so if anyone is staying extra days in Phoenix let me know.



As Rick said any judge can give you valid feedback on a wedding album. However if you want a critique from an approved wedding album judge then just request that at the time you sign up. I am sure Jim Dingwell will do his best to accomodate any requests. FWIW all affliate jurors who want to judge albums just had to resubmit two sample albums in early November for evaluation. There is also a requirment to be a working wedding photographer in order to judge wedding albums.

Keith

Thanks, I'd like to get a little educated feedback before submitting this year. I'd prefer to do better than last year and I've got a little experiment that I want to run with regards to what we enter this year.

thanks

- trr

Kimberly_McNabb
12-02-2008, 03:41 AM
Thanks for telling this info here; I signed up. What should I take as far as the prints? An album of the same person or some 8x10 prints of different subjects? How many? This will be my first Imagind USA - don't really know what to expect !

Stephanie_Millner
12-04-2008, 04:56 AM
Keith, should prints already be set up for competition with the step mounting? Or just the image?

Kimberly_McNabb
12-04-2008, 05:25 AM
I just signed up and he said they do not have to be mounted.

Rick_Massarini
12-04-2008, 05:47 AM
I would work up the image just as you would expect to enter it and then just print them as 8x10's. You can do the borders, accent lines, step mounting, whatever you want, and you can get a critique on how the image would score as presented. Presentation is the fifth of the twelve elements of a merit print. How the print is presented means a lot. The judge can critique your presentation as well as the image and can sometimes make a suggestion on how to improve the presentation by changing the color of a mat, or the color or the width of an accent line.

You can, of course, just bring in the raw image but you would lose the opportunity to have the image critiqued as to it's presentation quality.

Stephanie_Millner
12-04-2008, 05:52 AM
Thanks Rick. I think I'm going to bring them on my laptop so I can zoom in. Good idea? Bad idea?

Rick_Massarini
12-04-2008, 05:55 AM
It's both...

Good Idea - you can bring a ton of images for them to look over without having to pay of any prints and you can make color and cropping changes on the spot.

Bad Idea - You have to lug a laptop around with you all day.

Erin_L._Clark
12-04-2008, 12:38 PM
I got my appt. :) He said bring 8-10 8x10 or larger prints. If you were to do with presentation in mind- I imagine an 8x10 is not going to be big enough. What size is normally submitted for competition?

Keith_A_Howe
12-04-2008, 02:32 PM
Erin, The print mentoring is you and a judge sitting at a table looking at your prints. It's not a "formal" presentation. 8x10's are just fine. There is no need to go to the expense of making any bigger prints, especially considering the judge may suggest changes that will require reprinting before entering. Personally I prefer to see the whole file and not a cropped version because often I might want to suggest a different cropping and need to know if there is more room in the file or if there is some issue that would prevent the crop I might suggest. It is not expected that these images will be worked up as you would present them for competition. Some people bring worked files, some don't. The whole idea here is a learning experience and to find out what changes should be made BEFORE you go to the expense of printing the actual comp prints. If you have any other questions about the mentoring sessions I will be glad to answer.


Keith

P.S. I just went back and read what Rick wrote about having the print ready as you would present it. I hadn't seen that before I wrote my reply above. Rick is right that if you have it all cropped and bordered, stroked etc, you can get feedback on your presentation ideas but remember the judges doing these critique sessions all judged at national judging last July. Not trying to blow my own horn here but as Helen Yancy said - if you are asked to judge at national it means you are considered among the best of the best judges. So anyone doing your critique will be experienced enough to envision presentation. What we can't envision is what might have been in the portion of the image you cropped off. So I still prefer to see the whole file. If you want, take a grease pencil and draw on the crop you are thinking about. Most judges will comment about how it should be presented and why. If your person doesn't say, just ask.

Keith_A_Howe
12-04-2008, 02:58 PM
It's both...

Good Idea - you can bring a ton of images for them to look over .

Again I caution anyone about bringing too many choices to review. Time is limited and you don't want to waste it sorting through dozens of images. 10-12 is about all we can really respond to in the 15-20 minutes allotted. Another hint, If you are bringing images on a laptop, while you are waiting your turn get it booted up and the first image ready to go. Don't waste time once your seat is in that chair. I know 15-20 minutes doesn't sound like much, but remember those judges are all giving up several hours of thier convention time to talk to as many people as possible. Every year there are people who want a critique but there just aren't enough available slots. So the best thing you can do to get a good use of your time is be ready. Then don't waste any time explaining why something is wrong with the image. You don't get to offer explanantions in an actual competition. No judge needs to hear excuses. None of us are judging you as a photographer, we all know there are challenges that arise in any situation. We are not judging you, just judging the image in front of us. A problem with the image may not have been within your control, but it is still a problem with the image. Offering explanantions will not make you look like a better photographer in our eyes. It will just take up time we could be talking about which image is a better choice.

The other issue you might want to consider, most laptops are not as bright a moniter when on battery as when plugged in. So we won't be seeing the image at it's best on a moniter. For that reason and because of hauling the weight around all day, you might want to just bring prints.

Keith

Rick_Massarini
12-05-2008, 12:29 AM
...
Good Idea - you can bring a ton of images for them to look over without having to pay of any prints and you can make color and cropping changes on the spot.
Bad Idea - You have to lug a laptop around with you all day.

OK - I apologize - I should have thought a bit more before posting that - no more quick posts for me. Last year in Tampa, I brought only 6 8x10 prints, and Keith and I ran out of time before we finished going through the last one - so bringing in a whole bunch of images really isn't the way to go. I was just thinking about the print cost vs carry weight aspect. I still like the 8x10 prints better than the laptop. Sorry about that - please forgive me Keith!

Rebecca_Eastman
12-05-2008, 05:12 AM
Yea! I got my appointment for Sunday afternoon.
Now I have to figure out what to bring. Since this is just to help my skills (not for competition) I am thinking about bringing a variety.....like outdoor, studio, seniors, family and children?
Or should I stick to one subject so they can better judge my skill level in that area?

Keith_A_Howe
12-05-2008, 05:47 AM
I am thinking about bringing a variety.....like outdoor, studio, seniors, family and children?
Or should I stick to one subject so they can better judge my skill level in that area?
Bring what you want help with. If you want help with all areas then bring a variety. If you want help with mostly a certain thing, bring mostly that.

Keith

Erin_L._Clark
12-05-2008, 02:51 PM
[QUOTE=Keith_A_Howe;188364]Erin, The print mentoring is you and a judge sitting at a table looking at your prints. It's not a "formal" presentation. 8x10's are just fine. There is no need to go to the expense of making any bigger prints, especially considering the judge may suggest changes that will require reprinting before entering. Personally I prefer to see the whole file and not a cropped version because often I might want to suggest a different cropping and need to know if there is more room in the file or if there is some issue that would prevent the crop I might suggest. It is not expected that these images will be worked up as you would present them for competition. Some people bring worked files, some don't. The whole idea here is a learning experience and to find out what changes should be made BEFORE you go to the expense of printing the actual comp prints. If you have any other questions about the mentoring sessions I will be glad to answer.

QUOTE]

Thanks Keith- I definitely won't be bringing larger- just thinking outloud that an 8x10 in presentation form would be too small... I have my appt. for Sunday. Now to get my prints picked out. :-)

Keith_A_Howe
12-17-2008, 10:18 PM
Just wanted to bump this up to the top again. I talked to Jim Dingwell today to set up my time slot to mentor and he did mention it was filling up. So you might want to get signed up if you haven't already.
Keith

Peter_Bauer
12-18-2008, 11:39 PM
When I participated in the mentoring last year (which is a wonderful opportunity) I got some tremendous feedback on presentation that I would not have received if I had presented unmounted 8x10s. If you do your own printing and mounting, you may want to take the time to create 16x20 mounted prints. If you don't, you may want to consider printing your 8x10s as you expect to present them. It's also not a bad idea to also have a print of the original, perhaps even a 4x6, so that suggestions on cropping can be based on the actual pixels available in the original capture.

Also, as has been mentioned, the folks doing the mentoring are among the best of the best. The feedback you receive through these mentoring sessions is not necessarily the same that you might receive from a judge at the local or state level. (And, as I have learned, you may get suggestions from different levels that directly contradict each other. National trumps state, since your merits are earned at regional/national.)

One more quick note: If you think that you can't handle criticism and that you can't bear the thought of rejection, participate in the mentoring process anyway. These are wonderful people who have your best interests at heart and will do what they can to make you not only better in print competition, but also a better photographer. Without hurting your feelings. (This is not American Idol!)

Keith_A_Howe
12-27-2008, 03:59 PM
I have not talked to Jim Dingwell to know how full the mentoring is but I do know that he does everything he can to accomadate all who ask. So give him a call if you havn't already for a time slot.

The print mentoring is a chance for you to sign up for one on one time with you and a judge sitting at a table looking at your prints. It's not a "formal" presentation. 8x10's are just fine. Some people bring their laptop with images, If you are doing this, have it booted up and ready so you are not wasting time waiting on your computer. Also have all your potential images in one folder so we can scroll through them quickly to help pick the best / strongest to discuss. Personally I prefer to see the whole file and not a cropped version because often I might want to suggest a different cropping and need to know if there is more room in the file or if there is some issue that would prevent the crop I might suggest. It is not expected that these images will be worked up as you would present them for competition. Some people bring worked files, some don't. The whole idea here is a learning experience and to find out what changes should be made BEFORE you go to the expense of printing the actual comp prints. If you have any other questions about the mentoring sessions I will be glad to answer.
Keith

Keith_A_Howe
01-09-2009, 05:27 PM
I got an email from Jim Dingwell today and in it he mentioned there are still some times slots available for the mentoring sessions. If you haven't signed up you still can. Some of the judges are pretty huge names in our industry and you would have to spend a fortune to hire them for a one on one class. At IUSA you get to pick thier brains for free.

Keith_A_Howe
01-18-2009, 03:47 PM
Hopefully
all those that wanted a mentoring slot were able to take advantage of it. I know I talked with several people about their images. Lets hear from those that participated.

How was the experience?


Would you participate again in the future?

Keith

Kimberly_McNabb
01-18-2009, 03:55 PM
I did participate and Keith actually was the one who looked at my images. His advice was very helpful and he complemented my images as well. I will definitely participate each year and take into account the things you said!

I took 10 8x10 images, but they were not mounted or competition print-ready. We looked at my images from a "how do I improve my work" standpoint more than competition standpoint, but Keith encouraged me to submit something in the near future.

Marc_Benjamin
01-18-2009, 04:26 PM
I got a lot out of my (I was being critiqued) session. After I mentioned that I earned my masters this year, we talked about competition theory, purpose and what else is to be done. It was very enlightening and I walked away with a sense of what to do next.

Stephanie_Millner
01-18-2009, 05:14 PM
I also found the print critique extremely beneficial. We talked about goals for entering and composition/lighting a bit. Even though its great to go over prints online, I got so much out of the one-on-one atmosphere. I just wish we had more time!

Todd_Reichman
01-18-2009, 06:32 PM
Jamie and I really appreciated our session with Keith. We're committed to submitting albums exclusively and that's a difficult thing to get a good critique with online. The opportunity to get some feedback in person was invaluable. Many thanks to PPA and Keith.

- trr

MarkTurner
01-19-2009, 01:41 AM
Lets hear from those that participated.

How was the experience?

Would you participate again in the future?

I participated on Monday afternoon and found it a valuable experience. I asked, and got permission to record the comments so I can go back through with my prints again at a later time. Some of my images were "not competition images", some "needs a little work, like cropping differently or retouching out some fence posts", and at least one that I was encouraged to enter into competition essentially as shown. For those that were "not competition images" I got good feedback on ways to improve my treatment of the portrait subjects in future sessions -- mostly subtle details that will strengthen my work.

I was a bit nervous about the session ahead of time and had mentally prepared myself for having my work torn apart. That didn't happen as the whole process was very positive (except for the short period of time allotted). I look forward to entering the competition when the time comes around.

-- Mark Turner

Ashley_Short
01-19-2009, 07:08 AM
Keith, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time that you did. I really appreciated (and respect) your opinions, and it was really great to meet you in person. And, I don't want to speak for Heather, but since she told me, I'll pass it on- she was really excited and happy with what you had to say about her images and she was also glad she had the critique.

Thanks again!

Ashley

Cassandra_Sullivan
01-19-2009, 12:24 PM
My experience was great too. I received some critique on studio lighting, which was great since I don't work in a studio too often and definitely need improvement. Plus we also picked out a few images for entering in competition (and I'll be posting here soon so they can be refined). I, too, wish there was more time!

Karen_Linsley
01-19-2009, 04:13 PM
I loved my session! The comments were great. I have great respect for these folks who can critique an image while being constructive. This is the second time I've done the print mentoring, plus last year Kieth gave me a personal mentoring session which was quite valuable, so I've had three now and have already learned a lot.

Rick_Massarini
01-24-2009, 05:08 AM
A photo from the Mentoring Sessions at Imaging... Keith in the Mentoring booth....

Erin_L._Clark
01-24-2009, 07:18 PM
I gained a lot of self confidence from the image critique. I didn't bring prints that I wanted to enter into competition but was encouraged to enter two- Just wanting input on my portrait work- they liked my lighting - I'm still learning so much- and wish I had MORE time with my mentors.