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| p.1 #4 · First Engagement of the season |
if you number your pics, it makes it easier for us to comment on specific pics. You say you weren't happy with the results, and it felt stiff and lacked variety.
For me, there's only three real keepers here -- but those three are rock solid for me. They are the very last three pics in the whole set. The first and second (the b&w one) of those three are just stellar, for me.
You say you wouldn't normally shoot 1 and 3, and I say, "Are you kidding?" Huge potential with both of those shots. For No. 1, I would have moved to the middle and made it a straight-on shot. (Not everyone would do this.) This would eliminate the glare on the picture above them. Next, give your flash off-camera. In this case, i probably would have kept it exactly where you originally shot from, and then set the flash to fill two steps under-explosed. You've got some great light coming in from those two doors/windows, use it!
As for No. 3, I really really like your setup here, and I even like how the light work even with the flash on your camera (though I would clone the flash out of the TV screen!). But their pose... there's no connection there, there's no intimacy, they are just two people sitting on an ottoman. Get that fake flower vase out of the picture, or at least so it's not blocking them, and then tell them to get sexy with her in front of him. So many different things you can do there in this setup, I'd love to see you do a re-shoot just for this shot alone.
Shot on the stairs looking down. Holy cow, so much potential here too! Right now, you're shooting down on the tops of their lovely heads. First, I would stage the shot, and adios the table and plant in the lower-right corner of the pic, and then possibly adios that black cabinet or whatever in the lower-left. That would really clean up the clutter in this picture, and you'd be surprised at how little things like that impact a shot. Slow down. Become an art director/set designer before you are a photographer. Now the couple. Lots of choices here, from them laying down on the stairs, to an intimate embrace with her looking up, eyes open or closed. As for lighting, I'd get a couple shots like this, and then set up for some more dramatic lighting.
The back of their heads looking out their balcony. I think you/they wanted a shot of their view. You can do this without shooting the backs of their heads.
I like the B&W closeup of him behind her, her turning toward him a bit -- but he's too dark. You lost too much light on him. I love the light on her, nice and dramatic.
B&W shot of them sitting on porch, him muzzling her neck. Problem with this shot IMO is that they're both faced away from you. We lose him completely, so we can't see he's really being intimate. Shoot from the other direction, or turn them to face you, and it gets better.
Shot of them on their bikes in front of house. I get it. They're on their favorite toys in front of a house they love. But find a way to get them connected in the shot. She's blocked by him, not so good. Then get another shot of them with their bikes wide open, getting that sweek bokeh you got on the the last few shots.
So you've got some nice shots here, and others with serious potential. Nice job! Overall, I'd say get that flash off your camera, and shoot more of your shots wide open (2.8). Look forward to seeing more from you.