First Post - Part 1... (Portraits of my Wife)

Registered: Jan 19, 2011
Total Posts: 130
Country: United States

I started with photography not too long ago (bloody amateur to tell the truth) and thought I put some of my shots out here for some comments and constructive criticism. The 'model' is my wife ... Frank

About the Photos: Canon T1i, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L, (2) 580EX II (w/ Pocket Wizards)

Registered: Nov 24, 2005
Total Posts: 15
Country: United States

You have beautiful wife. But crops are too tight for my taste. Although they are well exposed. Maybe you should pull out a little bit of smile from her face

Bert DeMars
Registered: Nov 05, 2005
Total Posts: 306
Country: United States

Your have a gorgeous wife, does she really like being called "Frank". She seems a bit tentative. IMHO, the backgrounds and some of the clothing, compete with her beautiful face.
She might be more spontaneous in a favorite place where she feels comfortable, and not having to play "model". Natural light would like her a lot. Just my two cents worth.

Registered: Oct 03, 2012
Total Posts: 28
Country: United States

She is a brave women and you're a lucky guy to have her model for you. Looks like you were honed in on the face and left the body to find it's own way. The shoulder in #2 is in my face as a viewer and I don't like crowding the shoulders in the 3rd and last shots. Just something to be aware of when composing the shot. Too much fun and it didn't take a 1Dx to pull it off. - Mike

Steady Hand
Registered: Dec 03, 2007
Total Posts: 15596
Country: United States

Howdy Frank,

Welcome to posting in this forum!

I hope you enjoy your time spent here. standard intro to anyone "new" to me on this forum...
My comments or suggestions below are not a criticism of you, your model, your talent or skill. I offer them in a friendly tone of voice and with the sole intent to help you with a second POV and set of eyes. If you read sincere questions and simple suggestions as "criticism" of you, then you will miss how I am trying to help you.

Of course this may be your own "style" or your own "vision" and I suppose we can assume that the images look just like they do because that is exactly how you like them. That is OK too. It just shows that there are differences of "opinion" on what looks good. IF these are exactly what you want and like, then by all means continue making your images look like that and have fun doing it. I can only speak for myself and what I do or do not find appealing in the posted photos. As I always say: "Follow your own muse."


Quick Comments:

She is pretty, and that always helps a photo.

Of this set I prefer the images 1 and 2.

My favorite from the set is image 2, because of expression and turn of head.

In image 2, I would prefer to see a little more space (not much) in front of the face, so I do think the image is a little tightly composed (for my taste).

Others have mentioned the distracting elements (color, patterns of clothing and background). I think color, patterns and other elements can be used to make a very nice portrait...with care.

Registered: Jan 19, 2011
Total Posts: 130
Country: United States

Thank you all very much - I appreciate the different point of views and your comments helped me to view these shots with a fresh set of eyes. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I posted the photos.

One of my main goals in this series of shots was (and is still) to learn about the use of flash lights - initially I thought I should get a "good" camera/lense so I don't have to use a flash. I learned that this reasoning is not invalid but working with flash, softboxes, and different modifiers is actually interesting, fun and very effective.

Registered: Jul 03, 2008
Total Posts: 2764
Country: United States

I would crop close to the hairline and in the last image crop about an inch or two into the hair. I would also look at shooting down about 30 degrees vs shooting up. It is usually a much better angle for close portraits. Don't shoot down if doing full body.