Am I Ready to Start Selling?

TheBromad

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I did my first senior picture shoot for a family friend today and here are the results....
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If someone is willing to buy, then you need to decide whether you want to sell.
 
Yep... if people are ready to give you money, then you're ready to start selling. That said, the images you've posted here aren't quite in the category I would expect for professional images. They seem a bit soft, and almost all of them suffer from 'racoon eyes', that is, very dark eye sockets which is usually the result of lack of supplemental light. I would practice up a bit more before hanging out a shingle.
 
Yep... if people are ready to give you money, then you're ready to start selling. That said, the images you've posted here aren't quite in the category I would expect for professional images. They seem a bit soft, and almost all of them suffer from 'racoon eyes', that is, very dark eye sockets which is usually the result of lack of supplemental light. I would practice up a bit more before hanging out a shingle.
Would a light reflector help?
 
Yep... if people are ready to give you money, then you're ready to start selling. That said, the images you've posted here aren't quite in the category I would expect for professional images. They seem a bit soft, and almost all of them suffer from 'racoon eyes', that is, very dark eye sockets which is usually the result of lack of supplemental light. I would practice up a bit more before hanging out a shingle.
Would a light reflector help?
It might, in certain situations, but the thing that will help most is learning and using strobed light. Photography is all about the control of light, and until they put a dimmer on the sun, a speedlight, or studio strobe will almost always make life easier.
 
Tirediron is far more adept at the technicalities of photography then I am but you are trying to take these shots using only natural light.

IMO you need to research the "quality of light".

Then you need to do some work understanding available natural light. A reflector is useful but generally only when you have an assistant to position and hold the reflector.

Are you ready to pay an assistant?

I would suggest you begin with knowing how fill flash changes an image.
 
these are all pretty contrasty which may be your style but there are large burnt out areas in his face and lots of color noise.
In some of these his head is uncomfortably close to the margin that
 
I not a huge fan of the processing myself either, but it seems to be trendy.

I like the lighting in the first -- the rest all suffer from racoon eyes.

My biggest issues is that all the images seem to lack any sharpness and detail--your lens seems to render like mush. I'd personally have tossed every single one of these because they looked out of focus.
 
^^ as mentioned above.
On #2 the focus spot seems to have been on his left hand, left front of leg. And I assume you used a shallow DOF on the shots as the face and shirt emblem are OOF.

On # 8 the same issue. Look at the fence links and watch them go from OOF to In-Focus just before the hand then fall OOF again.

Maybe learn a bit more on how to use your camera's focusing system and spot focus on ppl's eyes and using the correct DOF/Aperture. Maybe your shutter speed was a bit too slow for the situation too?

Your photos have no EXIF data to help us evaluate.
and remove the UV filter if you are using one.
 
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I gotta be honest, and I mean no offense or disrespect here... but if you are asking if your images are good enough to sell in a BEGINNER'S forum, I would say you are probably not there yet without even looking.

Honestly, your images aren't sharp enough. I don't mean to be a jerk, I am just saying that you need to work on that a bit more before reaching a "sales" level... and by sharp, I don't mean moving the sharpening lever all the way to the right in Lightroom, I mean actually making the faces (the eye regions especially) TACK sharp.

Since you asked.
 
You seem to have had some good ideas for portraits outdoors, I'd just watch in a couple where he seems to be slumping a little probably because he's tall and had been sitting for some time. You got a great smile in the first one and that's the one I like the best, I'd maybe crop the left side some to eliminate or at least minimize the blur.

It looks like you need to get in more practice with using the camera to make sure the focus is spot on and that you're getting proper exposures. Keep learning the technical aspects and get lots of practice with your camera - go out there and take pictures on your own to make sure you're getting good quality photos before you bring subjects/clients into it. Seems like you have potential if you keep working at it.
 
Thanks for the input guys! I'm definitely going to buy a speed light and practice with it. And practice on my focusing also. It was just hard to tell shooting at such a shallow DoF.

btw these were shot on my t3i with a 55mm 1.8

The some of the shots were at 1600 iso because I wasn't paying attention (my mistake) and then I switched to iso 400 for the rest.

I'll get the hang of it eventually lol
 
Most 50 mm f/1.8 lenses (even expensive ones) don't deliver their sharpest focus at f/1.8.
Be sure to stop the lens down a couple of stops, to f/3.5 or smaller (f/5.6 is a smaller aperture than f/3.5), to get your 50 mm f/1.8 lens to where it's sweet spot range of sharp lens apertures starts.

A visual art truism is - Light advances, dark recedes - which applied to portrait photos means your subject should be some lighting ratio brighter than the rest of the image frame. Today we call that 'pop', or a main subject that is well separated, in a variety of ways, from the rest of the scene.
Using flash lets you control the flash exposure separately from the ambient light exposure so you can make your subject a lighting ratio brighter than the rest of the scene.
 
I was thinking along the same lines in a way as far as aperture - you have some scenic backgrounds, why limit the depth of field so much? You'd want to bring the viewer's attention to the subject and not overpower the subject with all the colorful foliage, but with the beautiful fall colors I'd want to use that and take that into consideration taking photos this time of year.
 

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