Acceptable professional photo critique?

gossamer

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Hi all,
So my wife and I and a bunch of friends went to see Chelsea Handler live last night in NYC. We paid for the "VIP" thing where you sit up close and also do a meet-and-greet afterwards, with pictures.

Look at these pictures. Can you believe this came from a professional photographer? Have you seen this kind of thing before? ISO 10,000 with no flash? Is this a specific look that people think is good? What's the thinking here?

I'd never let my photos go out the door looking like this. Terrible shadows, but also a terrible perspective/composition in many of the shots.

https://chandersonphoto.smugmug.com/Special-Events/Chelsea-Handler-/

(use "townhall") He used a 6D Mark II with a 35mm, I believe, so it's a pretty high-end camera. The photographer even used the free version of smugmug. Maybe the thinking is to prevent people from being able to print them? It was intentionally done so poorly? Maybe people appreciate not having a flash in their eyes more than they hate having underexposed pictures with horrible shadows?

It's not reasonable that a professional photographer would charge extra to use a flash, is it?

There were more than 100 people waiting on line for these "exclusive" pictures. Maybe the idea is to get them in and out quickly, and somehow doing a better job requires more time?

I suppose any of these questions could be the reason. I'm curious in what professionals who do this actually think the most reasonable explanation is. As a professional, why wouldn't you always try to produce the best picture you possibly could?

It seems completely "amateur hour" to me.
 
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waday

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There were more than 100 people waiting on line for these "exclusive" pictures.
My guess is that this celebrity didn’t care to have her pictures taken over a hundred times in a short timeframe with flash for each single picture? Seems reasonable to me. These aren’t supposed to be professional portraits, right?

My guess would be that you paid the VIP for the experience to sit close and to meet her, not for a photo?
 

tirediron

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First of all, "professional" simply means the person was paid to do the job, it is NOT a measure of their skill. When it comes to photography, many of the "amateurs" I know are far more skilled than the professionals. Why shoot at ISO 10,000 with no flash? Honestly, I don't know. It doesn't seem like the best plan to me unless perhaps the "star" said, "No flash"; a bit of fill light would have improved these images, which, BTW, are pretty much what I'd expect of a 'C' list celebrity in this situation. My guess, as Wade states, is that you were paying for the experience, NOT the image.
 
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gossamer

gossamer

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Great points, thanks. All plausible explanations, particularly about the possibility that the "star" didn't want the flash, but even then I would have explained how important it was for picture quality.
 

tirediron

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... I would have explained how important it was for picture quality.
I don't imagine she cares. The pictures are just something that she has to do to justify whatever exorbitant price is charged admission, and in all liklihood she wants them over and done with as quickly as possible.
 

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