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KirkDarling
02-23-2010, 12:42 AM
We had a lengthy certification meeting at Imaging with both members of the certification commission and certified members in attendance. At both that meeting and other impromptu discussions with commission members, I noted a couple of points reflecting back to Michael's excellent sticky about "What the Judges Look For."

One, is that although you might be doing well selling a certain type of product, and even though you are supposed to submit work for certification that is demonstrative of your regular professional work, you still should submit work that displays the best of your talent and skill.

For instance, one commission member spoke of submissions that contained nothing but candid shots of children in open shade. Each shot was individually salable, but the submission as a whole never demonstrated that the photographer knew anything about using even natural lighting to its fullest extent--natural reflectors, backlighting, different times of day, subtractive lighting, et cetera.

Imagine for a moment being a regular figure skater for Disney On Ice, doing a standard routine night after night. You're good at it, and it pays the bills. But one day you decide to try out for the Winter Olympics. You can't just give the judges your standard Disney On Ice routine (even though it had been paying the bills)--you have to show the judges what you can really do. If the prospective Olympic hopeful shows the judges nothing but a "routine" routine, how can they feel comfortable that the skater can really perform in "clutch" situations?

Now, some may say, "But that's not demonstrative of my actual work for clients." The response: It should be.

Another note from the Imaging discussions that Michael's sticky mentions: The purpose statements can't do anything the picture doesn't do. The purpose statement can't explain away an image fault, and the judges can tell errors from deliberate special effects. Special effects work or they don't. The picture stands on its own merits or it doesn't. A one-word purpose like "Portrait" or "Wedding" is as good as anything longer.

Mark_Levesque
02-23-2010, 01:07 AM
To say this another way, just because someone gave you money for it does not make it an example of competent photography. And that is what you are trying to demonstrate. So if someone bought a picture that was "so cute" that isn't a solid photograph, don't use that image. Use the best image you created in the course of that session (even if it did not actually sell). This is the difference between showing to clients and showing to other photographers. With clients, you nod and smile sweetly at any image they want to buy. But to your colleagues, you only want to show the BEST images.

Missy50
02-23-2010, 12:36 PM
One, is that although you might be doing well selling a certain type of product, and even though you are supposed to submit work for certification that is demonstrative of your regular professional work, you still should submit work that displays the best of your talent and skill.

On type I do well in is dance school photography. However, I use a lot of broad and flat even lighting in those shoots. (School owners & directors call it 'clean'.) They like the lighting like that and on a white background b/c it looks "clean" and makes the images good to use for competition. They do like a little shadowing, but not much.

But I will find myself lighting everything like that and not changing things around....

Angela_Lawson
02-23-2010, 05:51 PM
Missy,

That is exactly what happened to me. I had spent so much of my earlier years doing sports and events where parents don't like shadows, that it just carried over into all my studio work too. That's why I didn't pass the image review the first time around. But with all the great assistance and guidance from the people on this forum, I was able to learn "to see the light" better. I was able to pass my image submissions for CPP on the second time around. Now I know when and why I use the lighting I do, and that really makes a difference. :)

Missy50
02-23-2010, 06:41 PM
I talked to one of the directors about having a few more 'dynamic' poses, lighting and shots this year. She is worried about the lighting being different... I told her that she will love it! And that it will be beautiful.

However, we have a plan for a couple of the girls to have individual featured shots in dynamic jumps and poses. They will be featured in her program book and I can use 'different' lighting on them... LOL! They get set in their ways and we follow even if we know it is wrong.