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Jennifer_Brum
03-22-2007, 10:01 PM
Any feedback for this image and it's competition potential would be appreciated...

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q40/photobyjenbrum/stolenmomentbybrumlowres.jpg

Ooops- I posted the one with my logo. Ignore the logo. Sorry.

D._Craig_Flory
03-22-2007, 10:18 PM
Hi Jennifer;

I would like to see the background blurred behind them ... especially the chandeliers. The subject layer position needs to be moved a touch. You need a good thin accent line to give separation from the background layer.

I wish we had bigger than a wallet size to look at.

Don_Eisenhart
03-22-2007, 10:56 PM
You are gonna get dinged for multi points of interest.

The couple, the chandalier, and the candle.

BTW, I have found it best NOT TO photograph your light souce.

Jennifer_Brum
03-22-2007, 11:06 PM
Interesting... I hadn't even thought of the light sources as points of interest. I thought they added to the romance. But, I can see what you mean.

Jennifer_Brum
03-22-2007, 11:07 PM
Hi Jennifer;

I wish we had bigger than a wallet size to look at.

I'm trying to repost bigger...

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q40/photobyjenbrum/repoststolenmomentbybrum.jpg

Don_Eisenhart
03-22-2007, 11:22 PM
Now that I look at it bigger, I had a print slapped down because the bride was of larger size.

Just a warning...

Ron_Jackson
03-22-2007, 11:47 PM
Oh Donnie that's just wrong! If a judge or group of judges ever commented like that, they should be removed. We can't all go out and hire supermodels to do our comp prints. Don't get me started. I already kissed and made up on the step mount issue.

Jennifer, I am not a judge nor have I ever competed so you take anything I say with a gain of salt and listen to those who compete or judge. However, This couple is the area of greatest contrast within the framed window. The light backgound does tell the story. I am not as bothered by this as D. Craig and Donnie. But, I am not a judge or competitor so what do I know. Nice image and it was great thinking on your part to capture this moment.
Ron

Don_Eisenhart
03-22-2007, 11:58 PM
What Ron said!

If you were not paying attention, you would have miss this!

Ron is so wise, that we (okay, I) lost sight if this image from the couples perspective, and only looked at it from competition.

Jennifer_Brum
03-23-2007, 01:24 AM
Now that I look at it bigger, I had a print slapped down because the bride was of larger size.

Just a warning...

Yeah- that is a shame. She was the most beautiful bride I have had in ages... and I get some really pretty girls. She just had an energy that was gorgeous!

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q40/photobyjenbrum/IMG_9703.jpg

Beautiful girl no matter what her size!

Ron_Jackson
03-23-2007, 01:48 AM
Donnie please don't take my comment as saying you were wrong in any aspect. I just meant that the judges were wrong by knocking down a merit due to a girls weight. Just bad judging and bad judgement.
You're cool and I respect your comments as always.

Yes, she is a beautiful girl and bride.
Ron

Will_Price
03-23-2007, 02:23 AM
Very beautiful Bride. She reminds me of Delta Burke, and I really like the window image.

Don_Eisenhart
03-23-2007, 02:34 AM
Donnie please don't take my comment as saying you were wrong in any aspect. I just meant that the judges were wrong by knocking down a merit due to a girls weight. Just bad judging and bad judgement.
You're cool and I respect your comments as always.

Yes, she is a beautiful girl and bride.
Ron


Ron,

Not at all. I got hammered by a judge who thought my bride was too big. Got hammered again by one who thought was not pretty enough, and again by not liking the expession on the brides face.

I gave up after that.

This images was created not for competition, but for the happiness of the couple.

In that, it has been admirable!

Ron_Jackson
03-23-2007, 02:50 AM
Donnie, (and Keith please feel free to comment about this) are you telling me that they actually would tell you this after judging your work? I mean, is that telling eveyone who wants to compete, you better get familiar with the liquify tool if your people are not slim and attractive?

Betty_Huth
03-23-2007, 03:23 AM
I probably shouldn't even get in to this, but what the hay... Pretty people always do better in competition than less pretty people, slim people do better than heavy, younger better than older unless it's a character study. Remember Competition is a game. If you want to win you need to know what does well as a general rule and what does not. Judges in my experience have never said these mentioned do better, they never talk down a print because of these things, but they just don't seem to score high. An exception would be where a judge sees something particular in an image that he/she will like well enough to fight for the print.

This in mind as we choose images for competition we need to remember these things and choose accordingly. Make you people as "pretty" as you can and make them look as good as you can without overdoing. On Jennifer's image, it did look better in the smaller version. I thought it had a nice feel. Maybe toning down the chandolier and the candle just a bit would help make them less distracting. I did find the pose a bit static and judges will always jump on that. A bit too straight up and down. When you have your couples doing poses on images you think you might want to enter into competition, have them exagerate the pose greatly. It will feel funny to them, tell them it will, but the result will be something much more dramatic. This is how you get the extra points for the merit.

Hope this helps a little.

Betty

Ron_Jackson
03-23-2007, 04:09 AM
Very well put Betty. Thanks for the truthful insight. I suppose I keep thinking in terms of we capture images in the moment and not always preplanned for competition. It's not a perfect world so we just have to learn how to best live in it. However, your comments about the image in question here are very well put. I do agree that the couple is a little stiff and the lights could be toned down in curves to lessen their attention. It is still a very nice image that I am sure this couple has to be proud of.

Margaret_Peterson
03-23-2007, 05:30 AM
The comment that because the bride was heavy,the print might score lower in print compitition irritated me. As wedding photographers we do not go out and choose only thin brides to photograph. Our job is to make all people, thin or fat look their best! When I attended my first PPA print competition I was surprised to learn that some photographers will photograph a subject just for competition. If we could all hire models to photograph for competition, wouldn't that make us more of a commercial photographer? I have found that
a beautiful portrait of an "average" looking subject will score much higher on your bottom line. However I do agree with the comment about the background being too bright.
Margaret Peterson

JohnHeckler
03-23-2007, 05:44 AM
It all boils down to IMPACT! If your subject is fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, whatever, it needs to invoke emotion and impact. If it does that, it will likely merit as long as you didn't blow the technicals.

Jennifer_Brum
03-23-2007, 04:34 PM
Yes. I agree about the background. I'll tone it down, enter it locally first and see what happens. I entered out local print education for the first time very recently and scored 77 & 79 on two prints. I think I would have rather scored a 50! It's like being one number away from the lottery!

Betty, thanks for your comments. I took your class at Florida School about 2 years ago and still use what you taught us on every wedding. You and Ed are awesome!

Thanks!

Joe_Galioto
03-23-2007, 06:54 PM
it's a dirty little secret, but the truth is and has always been: good looking subjects score higher. i used to do a program on earning blue ribbons. unoffially is was titled "bending over for the judges" like it or not it's a game. if you want to win-learn the rules.
as to mp's comments regarding shooting for compitition, i would have to disagree. i myself have taken a thought, drew a sketch, ask someone to model, decided on clothing, background, props etc, etc, etc. it's alot of work and much more work then getting lucking with a customer portrait or wedding. needless to say serveral of my merit & loan prints were done this way. we are being judged on the quility of our photography not on being a lucky studio. so you see it's an even playing feild, anyone can do it if you want to put in the effort.
while i'm rambling a short story: i was traviling in santa fe n.m., i saw a shop named "mother earth-father sky" i said to my wife, that's a compitition photo.
about 3 year latter, while chatting with a client in the studio i found out that she had an apolooso horse(i know my spelling sucks) also a woman that used to work for me had a small infant. also both parents had long dark hair. i went to several vintage/costum stores to find the swade outfits. made a spear & put the whole thing together. schedualed for very early morning about an hour from where we live. got a call at about 4am that the horse was sick and had diaria and everthing was a mess. had to reschedual everybody for another day. well 2nd shoot went great except the chief fell off the horse and hurt his back.
the print was a blue in nj. court of honor and kodak gallery. national loan collection!
was it worth it-yes but not for the awards only. it was knowing that i accomplished a task i set for myself. i could go on with other stories, but nuff 4 now.
do you think i cheated?
joe

Stephanie_Hobson
03-23-2007, 07:05 PM
do you think i cheated?
joe

No, I don't. That's exactly what painters do.

Stephanie

Heather_L._Smith
03-23-2007, 07:09 PM
I absolutely agree with Joe - we have to aspire to create great images - and that is what we are judged on in competition. It really doesn't matter HOW we came to create those great images... if we plan for months and months with an idea that we came up with, or we "get lucky" during a "regular" shoot. Maybe we should be planning more for our "regular" shoots and then we don't have to rely on luck! :) No, really, I love competition because it makes us all think a little harder and a little deeper about what we're doing, which, in the end, makes us all better and more accomplished artists. Right?

Cheers,
Heather

(btw... I like the image that started this thread, although I think it's a GREAT image to sell to a client, I don't think I would recommend it for competition... just my 2 cents.)

D._Craig_Flory
03-23-2007, 07:21 PM
[QUOTE=Heather L. Smith;67632]Maybe we should be planning more for our "regular" shoots and then we don't have to rely on luck! :)

Hi Heather;

That was an excellent point you made. I always recommend doing some images "just for you": on every portrait session and wedding. If a client complains that you are leaving too much room around the subject, or whatever the objection, simply tell them you are doing some to appease your creative side. So when you have an outdoor image of a bride, with flowing veil, back up three times as far away and create some. Try lots of angles and distances. Who knows, the client may like them. But even if they don't, you may just have an image which could merit.

As you aquire potential competition images, drop a copy into a file folder on your hard drive named "Potential Competition Images".

Don_Eisenhart
03-23-2007, 07:58 PM
The comment that because the bride was heavy,the print might score lower in print compitition irritated me. Margaret Peterson

Margaret,

Believe me, it irritated me enought walk out of jugding...

Keith_A_Howe
03-23-2007, 08:12 PM
If someone was to say - don't enter this print because the location will just not do as well in competition, or that chair they are sitting in is just not attractive, I don't think anyone would find that offensive. Yet if we suggest that the model or subject might not be a good choice to enter - then that is upsetting to some. Choosing an attractive subject - at least IMO - is no different than choosing an attractive liner color, or picking a great looking location, a great lighting scheme or a nice color background around the image area. Do everything you can to create the best most impactful image possible - including picking the right subject.

As far as finding/hiring models and creating specific images for print competition - I personally don't have an issue with that. It's not what I usually choose to do but I think a photographer who goes that route probably learns a lot from bringing their vision to life. To my way of thinking - that's what print competition is about - learning and improving - whatever causes that to happen is fine by me.

Joe_Galioto
03-23-2007, 08:31 PM
ps: don't enter ugly babies either(especially if they're your own!)
joe

ps #2 i don't know how to type in green

Ron_Jackson
03-23-2007, 09:25 PM
[QUOTE=Heather L. Smith;67632]Maybe we should be planning more for our "regular" shoots and then we don't have to rely on luck! :)

Hi Heather;

That was an excellent point you made. I always recommend doing some images "just for you": on every portrait session and wedding. If a client complains that you are leaving too much room around the subject, or whatever the objection, simply tell them you are doing some to appease your creative side. So when you have an outdoor image of a bride, with flowing veil, back up three times as far away and create some. Try lots of angles and distances. Who knows, the client may like them. But even if they don't, you may just have an image which could merit.

As you aquire potential competition images, drop a copy into a file folder on your hard drive named "Potential Competition Images".


D. Craig I handle these situations by telling the client, "If you don't like the way I am doing this then you should go to Wal-Mart. I am the artist and no one tells me what to do or even question me. I tell you what to do as long as the camera is in my hands and I am not married to you. Is that clear?!" They always back off and are fine after that. Try it. But you have to do it in a very loud strong voice. After you do this once and lose the client you can then tell them, "But Ron said!......"

Okay folks. Joke time is over. Back to the serious thread at hand here. Ignore my humor. I'm out of green ink.
Ron

Don_Eisenhart
03-23-2007, 11:41 PM
[QUOTE=D. Craig Flory;67636]



Okay folks. Joke time is over. Back to the serious thread at hand here. Ignore my humor. I'm out of green ink.
Ron

Want some of mine?

Ron_Jackson
03-24-2007, 12:08 AM
Donnie between you and me I'm surprised there is any green ink left at all.

Don_Eisenhart
03-24-2007, 12:24 AM
Donnie between you and me I'm surprised there is any green ink left at all.

Yeah, but those we have used it on seemed to have gone away, so I have plenty in reserve...

Keith_A_Howe
03-24-2007, 03:45 AM
Jennifer - I like the image through the window. My collegues have mentioned some of the problems. I agree that the lights can set the mood of the image. tone them down and add more of a warm glow (more yellowish and less orangeish) from them to the lighting. Even out the light striking the outside of the window frame - this is more of a distraction to me than the lights, or the size of the couple. Print is down quite a bit darker (this may solve the light color I mentioned as well). I applaude you for seeing the image at the wedding and trying to make it happen.

Now for some of the issues this has brought out.


Pretty people always do better in competition than less pretty people, slim people do better than heavy, younger better than older unless it's a character study. Betty

Well put Betty, As an entrent you are trying for impact!! You can use other types of subjects if they are helping to make the statment you are portraying.


Judges in my experience have never said these mentioned do better, they never talk down a print because of these things,

Again - Well said.


A bit too straight up and down. When you have your couples doing poses on images you think you might want to enter into competition, have them exagerate the pose greatly. It will feel funny to them, tell them it will, but the result will be something much more dramatic. This is how you get the extra points for the merit.
Betty

This last bit is so true! I would like to add to it though. I have found that clients like the dramatic as well. They are used to seeing the fashion magizines, MTV and television adds. In composition (even traditional head and shoulders) diagonal lines add motion, emotion and drama to the image. The old Masters used to say, "if it bends - bend it, if it turns - turn it, if it twists - twist it and preferably all three in the same image". I would like to suggest doing more drama and interaction between our subjects - especially in couples and weddings for every session we do will directly effect the amout of $'s they will be willing to spend with you. The thing we need to do is take what we learn in competition - composition, lighting, posing and apply it to our clients work. Almost all of my competition prints are from client images. Alot of success in competition is more the skill of the photographer at making the best of any given situation rather than saying that it is not having "luck" at getting good looking subjects. I won't argue that it helps when you get a good looking subject in a great location with all the time in the world to make your images. The more you put into every session does effect the type of sessions you get, and it helps when you have several possible images to choose from when it comes time to choose competition images.

Ok I will get off my soap box now. Good Luck Jennifer and Good Luck to all who try to improve thier work (I believe that is all who are on the forum as you would not be here if you did not want to improve)
Keith

Dan_Leary
03-24-2007, 04:19 AM
Wow, I just checked into this thread and what a head spinner. I just want to comment that I had an image at states that, in several instances, I was told it would've scored higher if the subject had been more attractive. Now, I could've been upset by those comments or I could've took them for what they were worth and use the lesson in the future. Here's the thing (and if I'm wrong, someone correct me)... affiliated competitions allow you to enter four prints...four. Those should be the best four images you've made that entire year. Not the ones that we are emotionally attached to. My last bride survived cancer twice in her 22 years... I have a personal attachement to her because I know her story. But I know I'm probably not going to win any merits with her album. It's just the way it is. But I also know that I have a few brides coming up that are knockouts... and I better be on my A-game that day. Competition is a learning game... you learn how to better your work all the time so that in the instances when you do have all the ingredients to make a good comp print you can. The upside is that you will (or at least should) better yourself so that you can provide the same quality of imagery to all of your clients regardless of age, shape or size.

Dave_Cisco
03-24-2007, 05:02 AM
If someone was to say - don't enter this print because the location will just not do as well in competition, or that chair they are sitting in is just not attractive, I don't think anyone would find that offensive. Yet if we suggest that the model or subject might not be a good choice to enter - then that is upsetting to some. Choosing an attractive subject - at least IMO - is no different than choosing an attractive liner color, or picking a great looking location, a great lighting scheme or a nice color background around the image area. Do everything you can to create the best most impactful image possible - including picking the right subject.

As far as finding/hiring models and creating specific images for print competition - I personally don't have an issue with that. It's not what I usually choose to do but I think a photographer who goes that route probably learns a lot from bringing their vision to life. To my way of thinking - that's what print competition is about - learning and improving - whatever causes that to happen is fine by me.

Again, I sooo agree with you on this.:)

Now..who did I upset the last time I agreed with you?:D :D

Marc_Benjamin
03-24-2007, 06:00 AM
i used to do a program on earning blue ribbons. unoffially is was titled "bending over for the judges"


Hey Joe,

Was the rest of that title... "and slapping them silly for silly scores and coments" ?

Anyways, Jennifer, I like the overall feel of the image and it reminds me of a Jennifer and Charles Maring shot that I've seen a few years ago. Framing within the window is good and the overall romanticness is there.

Next time, an image like this would score higher if the background elements were a little cleaner and none of it actually crosses the subjects. Also, the window itself is a bigger draw than the subjects and seeing this image as a BW or dreamy sephia should help with that. The subject themseves could do a little better by having more interaction, like I wonder how it would look like if the bride gently holds the back of the grooms head while kissing him? Something that might also play against this image is that we've seen a whole lot of these that are well executed.

As far as the idea behind not so good looking people in competition, I say that we need to do everything that we can in order to get the most impact out of the 90 or so seconds that our images are up. We need to play on how the human mind reacts and most times it reacts better to pretty and shinny things..... ohhhhhh shinny!

Anyways, even if you do have uglies as subjects, steps can be done in order to either use it to your advantage or make the most out of the situation. Example, if the bride is just not that much of a looker, then how about turning her head away from the camera? Ever wonder why there are sooo many of those from behind / anticipation shot type images?


........now do I get a slap?

Jennifer_Brum
03-28-2007, 07:17 AM
Tonight this image was awarded third place in the People's Choice competition for the Professional Photographer's Society of North Florida guild meeting.:)

Ron_Jackson
03-28-2007, 12:10 PM
Congratulations Jennifer! I am very glad to hear that. It's a beautiful image. Many comments here to show how it could improve but the image as it is certainly is a winner and now you have the ribbon to prove it.

Don_Eisenhart
03-28-2007, 02:38 PM
Tonight this image was awarded third place in the People's Choice competition for the Professional Photographer's Society of North Florida guild meeting.:)


Good for you Jen!

Jennifer_Brum
03-28-2007, 05:30 PM
Thanks everyone!