View Full Version : Brand spanking new...

05-02-2011, 02:31 AM
Not to photography but to competition and this forum. I am a portrait painter turned portrait photographer and I specialize in talent headshots.

I would love to find a mentor if anyone out there is willing, please let me know. I'd like to work toward my certification with PPA and competition is awe inspiring and the idea of being judged is down right scary -- although I am by agents/clients every day so I don't know why this is scaring me so much. Perhaps it is the unknown.

I'm not even sure where to start. I'm posting a fairly raw image of an Atlanta sports personality and legend that I've taken in the last week so you can see where I'm starting from. The only editing I've done here is some slight color adjustment and removal of some stray facial hair.

If you would give me some starting points, I'd really appreciate it. I've got a lot of the pretty senior girl in country setting and swaddling baby newborn as well as very intimate bride and groom or children running on the beach -- but this image is really more who I am.

Thanks much!

05-02-2011, 03:39 AM
Welcome Katherine-
I'm excited to see what the big guns (Keith?) say and I'm excited you are here. This is a great place to grow.

05-02-2011, 05:54 AM
Welcome to the forum, Tracy! And welcome to print competition! Have you ever seen print competition before? What do you know about it, and what are your goals for competition? Meaning, do you want to take the top prizes and fMe and fortune (hahaha!), do you just want to get your feet wet, do you just want to not embarrass yourself? Knowing what you'd like to achieve certainly will help direct the comments in the most constructive way.

I really enjoyed the image you posted. I think it makes a great promo piece, would look great on a book cover or bio page. I think you probably captured that personality well. That being said, I don't know that it will be a merit image in competition. There isn't enough direction of light, and my eyes start at the bottom of the image and want to stop at the cigar rather than follow it up to his eyes. You're certainly not going to embarrass yourself with this image, but I don't believe it will merit at a district or national level.

On another note, I would highly encourage you to invest in a copy of past Loan Collection books (available through Marathon Press). They can be a great source of inspiration, and can give you an idea of what the best of the best look like. I'd also recommend joining the Georgia PPA affiliate if you haven't already. I don't know if they've updated the website yet with the most recent results of print competition during the state convention last month, but that's another good place t go see what is doing well in competition.

05-02-2011, 11:29 AM
Just watched my first competition judging this year and it was really a good experience, you get a real idea of what makes a great image in the judges eyes, granted the panels and judges switch for each competition but the same points come up and you can begin to see the patterns in what does not make a merit image and what does not.

If you get a chance to see one in action, you will get a good idea of what this is about.
For certification, i would suggest removing your emotional attachment for your image choices and focus on showing technical proficiency, with competition images go with your emotional attached images but then leave lots of time to have critiques and make changes, really be real about your work and be open to other suggestions.

05-02-2011, 06:02 PM
Thank you all! I will invest in that book. I do want to start with getting my feet wet and not embarrassing myself.... and then go from there. I hear what you are saying and will start reviewing for more emotion provoking. I have an awful lot of pretty but so does everyone and I'm afraid those really won't get me anywhere, but lost in a crowd....

It' funny, I stopped on the cigar too but I guess after meeting the man, the cigar is a part of his face so it was the familiar part of him. If you don't know him, to just stop on the cigar doesn't get you any further. Thank you for pointing that out.