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Archive 2012 · Clarissa
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Clarissa

Hi gang, did a quick shoot with Clarissa while on my way to shoot the Grand Rapids (MI) ballet last week. Hopefully, I can upload those pics next week, waiting on approval for those.

But meanwhile, here's Clarissa. C&C welcome. Her expressions are pretty much the same because that's what I wanted, and only 1 or maybe 2 of these are going on my website, so I didn't need varied expressions.



3. Trying to decide between B&W and color on this shot.



Feb 14, 2012 at 04:21 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Clarissa

Hi Ron. I'm going to give you my straight feedback since I read where you're starting to do some wedding work and I think putting together the best gallery/portfolio possible is important for your business. Don't take these observations as me saying I could do better. I know it's tougher than it looks.

1. I think this and 2 are the strongest. If I was going to use this for my web portfolio, I would do the following:
- Clone out the white bars to her right, the white round highlight on the mantel next to her head, and the dark smudges on the mantel above her head to remove those distractions. I would be tempted to clone out the mantel ornament, too, but would probably leave it.
- I would clone in some of the fire from the piano shot and replace the bright fire blob that is there now. It's the brightest thing in the frame as-is and really draws my eye.
- The above suggestions could also be interpreted as "spend a little more time working the shot and looking for those background distractions".
- I would select the background, reduce the vibrance, and reduce the contrast to reduce the strong yellow/orange of the mantel and improve the focus on her.
- The angle of the shot sort of bothered me at first (realizing you were probably trying to fit her in the background) but I think the straight-on pose is the bigger sin here. It makes her look a little chubby and makes the image less dynamic overall.
- I didn't care much for the expression at first ( I thought it close to one of those "What is he doing with the camera?" looks) but it sort of grew on me over time. Has a sort of Mona Lisa quality about it.

2. Nice, straight portrait. I would crop it to 8x10 moving her to the right in the frame and add a very subtle vignette.

3. I think you saw some potential in this set-up and I kind of do, too, but as-is it misses the mark for me. If you are set on it, I would suggest the following:
- crop tighter, bringing the right side of the frame almost to her shoulder.
- soften the contrast
- bring back the detail in her bouquet
- add a subtle vignette around her and the bouquet
- play with color balance and b&w alternatives
- smooth out the blotchiness in her make-up on her left cheek

4. The weakest of the set for me. There are two main problems I see:
- she looks like she is busting out of the dress and the over-abundance of cleavage and upper-body skin makes her look much chubbier than she is. The white sliver at the top of her dress is also distracting.
- the lighting is too strong, cool, and direction-less. It just doesn't fit the mood of the pose IMO. You could probably do some things in post to improve the lighting a little but that won't help the pose and upper-body skin.

Feb 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Clarissa

Thanks, Eyeball. I appreciate your detailed response.

On that first one, she kept turning straight at me, I kept repositioning her. I just couldn't get the back light the way I wanted it, and I think this is the only one where the lighting was workable, and of course it's the one shot she's facing me. I wasn't planning on using this one.

The ones I was considering using was No. 2 vs. 3/4. I'm definitely leaning toward the color version of 4.

What you wrote as 4 is really No. 5. It's a shot I was really going for at this venue, but definitely not for my wedding port. I've thought about liquifying, esp the area behind her left shoulder, just above her dress.

Feb 14, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Jim Rickards
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Clarissa

I was going to critique, but eyeball covered all my points and then some. Good critique!

Just a thought - #2 should be portrait to show more dress and less wall.

Feb 15, 2012 at 01:16 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Clarissa

1 - Shooting angle looks a bit high. You might work the bags under her eyes a bit.
2 - Sweet
3/4 - BW for me
5 - Nice mood

Feb 15, 2012 at 04:45 PM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Clarissa

#2 is my favorite here...very pretty girl. I love Eyeball's suggestions for cropping it to an 8x10 and adding a light vignette.

Feb 15, 2012 at 06:13 PM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Clarissa

# 2 is my fav.

# 5, I don't know how to tactfully say it... the cleavage is distracting (not in a good way).

#3/4 - BW

Feb 15, 2012 at 07:54 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Clarissa

#2 for me!!

Feb 16, 2012 at 02:26 AM
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Clarissa

Thanks, everyone, for responding. Looks like on 3/4, B&W got the love. I've never felt that great about my b&w conversion. I look at others, and they look outstanding, really dynamic. I still need some work on that.

I'm glad to hear No. 2 got some love. It was the only natural light shot of the day, and I thought it really brought out her eyes well.

I agree with everyone's assessment on 5. I like the concept of the shot, but it just didn't work for all the reasons already mentioned.

Feb 16, 2012 at 03:19 AM

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