Can I get a critique on my portfolio?

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by Benjgf, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Benjgf

    Benjgf TPF Noob!

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    Okay, I've been trying to make a simpler portfolio to show to potential clients. But I suffer from that disease photographers have where they just want to show every damn piece of their work. How do I make a good portfolio? I'm into editorial, commercial, and music mostly.
    But for now, here is my website or "portfolio" or whatever you wanna call it. Looking for critiques on layout, photography... Everything. Please be brutally honest. Thank you.
    Website is Bgfphoto.weebly.com <-Contains images NSFW!


     
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  2. Didereaux

    Didereaux Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Very inconsistent lighting. If you have a style it certainly is not apparent. If not told by you I would not have guessed this to be a professional portfolio to be presented to potential clients.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Didereaux was rather kind in his comments; I'm going to be a little more direct. You're simply not there yet. You mention the photographers disease of "Wanting to show every image they have", unfortunately you have also caught, "I want to be a pro without learning the basics!", an all too common malady these days.

    This body of work is simply not suitable for presentation to clients. The lighting ranges from unusual to poor, many of your cropping choices are (IMO) inappropriate, and basic, "technical" aspects such as colour correction & white balance are all over the map. You do have some very interesting concepts in your images, but the technical side is letting them down, significantly.

    As a f'rinstance: You have four images of a real-esate agent. In the first, his pose isn't bad, but his chin needs to drop just a bit. The lighting however... you're blasting him from one side with what looks like a single, bare-tube, and the specularity on his skin is out of control. You've managed (whether by accident or design) to get a Rembrandt lighting pattern happening, but that's NOT what you want. In the second image, again, good, solid pose, but the same single side light and his near eye is a black hole and hte whites in his shirt are blown/nearl blown. The third image... this is an ideal real-estate agent shot. friendly, confident, but not cheesy. I wouldn't have gone with the lean, but that's a personal choice, but once again, strong side light and his eyes are pits. The last image has no business being in an estate-agents shoot. He looks like my father used to when Mom was explaining just what it was that I'd done before he got home...

    Lighting for shots like these is really easy. A basic two light set, key light light 30 degrees camera right/left and with the centre of the brolly/SB at about the 7' level. Fill 1.5 stops below, on axis. Done. That will produce a good, solid, albeit not the most exciting headshot light.

    I would recommend turning off your 'Open for Business' sign for a bit and spend some time really honing your lighting skills. The basics aren't hard, and a few weeks of concentrated work should get you to a much better place!
     
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  4. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Got to agree with Tirediron, these are not professional. Some are OK, some are nowhere near OK. If you want clients you need to do one of two things: practise for three or four years, being VERY critical of your own work or enrol on a degree course in photography (tutors will be critical for you).
     
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  5. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ben, First off I have to agree with the previous posts in that your lighting and exposure techniques need work.
    However I think your ideas and compositions are very interesting and show creativity. It takes care to retain that creativity and not get hung up on the mechanics of capturing and presenting your work.
    Consider partnering with someone that has a firmer grasp of the hardware and particularly someone with Photoshop skills.
     
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  6. snowbear

    snowbear Oh Hai I iz Bear! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What they said.
    The pages are slow loading for me -- I give up after 10-15 seconds and move on.
     
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  7. Benjgf

    Benjgf TPF Noob!

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    The Rembrandt was on purpose.
    I appreciate the detailed critique. I guess I'm more into dramatic, fashion-oriented lighting and I'm learning that isn't appropriate for corporate headshots. However, that is what the client asked for because he wanted to stand out in New York City. I also sent him some more "even" photos, but I liked these better.

    I'm going to take the advice someone else left on here and start partnering with people who are much better with photoshop than I am.

    I've spent a lot of time learning "the basics" and it's a little crass to assume that I haven't, IMO. So, I will definitely keep in mind what all of you said. Apparently my portfolio looks like crap, and I will take a hard look at it and dedicate a lot of time to fixing it, along with having a more constant white balance throughout. However, I won't be turning off my "open for business" sign anytime soon.
     
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  8. Benjgf

    Benjgf TPF Noob!

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    I have been doing a lot of researching to find good retouchers lately. Thanks!!
     
  9. Benjgf

    Benjgf TPF Noob!

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    This isn't really a critique so much as it is a general statement that doesn't provide any insight or tips on what to do different and better. Critiques should include a little more specificity, no?
     
  10. Benjgf

    Benjgf TPF Noob!

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    However, I did not start this thread to be combative. You guys are (for the most part) right. My site needs a lot of work and I plan on putting that work into it, as well as the continuity of my photos. I need to get better at adjusting exposure and white balance. Thanks. Anyone else?
     
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  11. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The insight was intended to be the necessity for vigorous self criticism. If you need to ask for criticism you are not ready to shoot for clients.
     
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  12. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    As I understand it, unless you ask for critique, most of the time none will be given. How else will you grow in your craft unless you get feedback from others?
     
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