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Photography Question 
Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005

Senior Portraits

Hey-Low all!

I just did my first senior portrait session and would love it if you could find the time to check out my images. I was somewhat satisfied with it. I felt that I could have done a better job, but what's done is done.

Anyhoot, thank you so much for your time! Your critique is greatly valued!

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Elizabth C.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31

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5/28/2006 5:59:58 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Without wanting to be harsh, I'll ask you Elizabeth, what it is YOU feel you should have done better. After that, I'd ask you if you put those images that you feel need improvement up on line, were you just looking for more derogatory comments?

Okie dokie, here ya go: Generally, the lighting is way too flat, under or overexposed. The posing is essentially "snapshot" style. And hocus pocus, a number of them are badly out of focus. Oh, and the color balance/saturation is waayyyy off in some of them.
But then, what do I know. ;>)
God helps those that help themselves.

Say g'night Gracie.

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5/28/2006 6:39:44 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Btw, I'm talking about the people shots only. I think your still life shots are much better.

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5/28/2006 6:47:11 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Good day Elizabeth,
I do agree that you have posted some images that are out of focus.
How ever, I do beleive that you should keep trying here. You have a wonderful eye for style and and creating a moment. I love the verity in body angles and backgrounds.
Do work on eye direction.
And as you can see when we start delving in to Portriture, we quickly see what angles work for certin body statures and facial types.
I do beleive this was a VERY worth while sitting and My opinion is that overall, you have done a great job.
and I am looking forward to your next Portrait sitting.
Keep up the great work and have fun with it.


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6/1/2006 7:44:33 AM

Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Let me preface what I'm about to say by stating the fact that I am NOT an expert, nor do I do a lot of portraiture. A question, also, before my comments, are these the outtakes or what you will provide to the client? What Mark and Debby said are true, and she seems to be the resident expert on portraiture here, so I would definitely put weight in what she says. I will tell you how I feel about the shots another way, though (not technically). If I were the young man or his parents paying for these pictures, I would be sorely disappointed with them, and a little irritated (if I'd put money out for a tux, my time, etc). Hopefully, you did them for a friend for free and for practice, and can re-shoot. You may also think about this - I have some difficulty shooting in manual focus, as I have astigmatism in my "shootin'" eye, and my glasses are not conducive to having them on and shooting. So what I may think is in focus is not, when I have my spec-tackles on back at the laptop. Keep it up!


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6/1/2006 11:56:23 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Good Morning,
Andrew thank you for the kind remark,
Portraiture is my work, my hobby and a beauty that excites me.
I really enjoyed your gallery and your creativity.
But to all those who stop by here, I would like to point out, This is a Fifteen year old girl already prepareing herself for a carrer as business woman and artist.
We all need to take a look at the bios of the people here sometimes and
celebrate these younger artists, so excited and brave as to jump into such a competetive feild with not much more then a tool and thier passion.
Elizabeth, I am so glad to see you embrace all you have to learn, I beleive that you are meeting and will continue to succeed in meeting the goals in your Bio.
Portraits are a wonderful way to celebrate "His" image.
All my best for your continued success,

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6/2/2006 6:33:34 AM

Kerry L. Walker   First, I would like to say that I have probably keet up with your gallery more than most people here (guess I feel like you are one of my "kids") so I have seen a lot of pictures come and go. I still have "Alone" on my computer because I loved it so much. These are not, by any means, examples of your best work, not because of any technical problems but because they don't have that unique style that most of your work has. Of course, being as young as you are, you have not worked out your style for portrait photography so, give it some time and practice and you will create your own style. The next time you shoot a portrait, shoot from your heart, like you do with your other work and it will come.

Now, to the technical aspects. Learn to use some fill flash. Many of the pictures have too much shadow, especially where we can not see the young man's eye because of the shadow from his eye socket. That could be solved with a little fill flash.

Now, to completely contradict myself, I would like to say that I really like the 18th. picture from the top, he one with the girl looking over her shoulder. I really like this pose. It is one I have used several times and plan to use many more times. The thing I like about this one is, in addition to the pose, the shadows! I like the play of the light over her, with the highlights and shadows both on her body. I like the way it is almost completely burned out on her left shoulder running into complete shadows on her right shoulder. Although this may not be technically correct for a portrait, it is artistic, which is what I expect from you.

I also like photo # 10 & # 16. As portraiture, they are lacking because the subject is not looking at you. As art, they excel for the same exact reason. The fact that they are not looking at you creates a mood for the picture. (As you probably know by now, I really like photos that create a mood.) For a portrait, # 16 would have been better shot in complete shade to eliminate the highlights on her hair. As art, I like it just the way it is. I like the photo of them shot from behind for the same reason as I like #s 10 & 16. It is a good mood shot.

I like # 19 for the expression on her face and because he is out of focus. It lets you know what she is looking at without bringing too much attention to him.

I also like # 22. Great grab shot.

As you can tell, I like artistic type photos a lot more than I like regular portraiture (sorry, Debby, LOL) but then I would stink as a portrait photographer. LOL, again.

I know you didn't ask for any comments on anything other than the portraits but I really like "Waiting".

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6/2/2006 7:38:35 AM

Kerry L. Walker   PS: I really like "Elegance" too.

Please name all your photos. I'm running out of fingers and toes to count on! LOL

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6/2/2006 7:43:06 AM

Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   By no means were my comments meant to be hurtful, and yes, I did fail to read the bio. I didn't know you were a young girl who's just starting out. Honestly, not that this matter of age applies at all to the art and skill of photography, but it does apply to the way one should be addressed when critiqued. Perhaps a little more gently. By all means, keep it up, and you'll only improve!

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6/2/2006 8:17:33 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Gee, Andrew, I mean Sipho, I guess that means you could be as mean as a junk-yard dog to me since Adam and Eve were my parents. LOL

Really didn't think your comments were all that harsh anyway.

As I stated in my previous post, Elizabeth has had some really great photos in her gallery but this is her first attempt, at least to my knowledge, at portraiture. She has an artistic eye and will develop that eye for portraiture.

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6/2/2006 8:27:22 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Dear Andrew,
I did not think you were being harsh either, and I am sorry if you thought in any way my comment was directed at anyone.
I just read your reply and had been thinking of this thread yesterday.
So this morning looked at her gallery again, and this time read her Bio, and was so surprised! that someone so young should ask for critique with such maturity-
hey when we were all young didn't we Know it all,lol.
So I wanted to comment- I thought, by her request and her venture, she was much older.
Elizabeth that in itself is quite a compliment.
and the fact that Kerry has been watchin' your work, well I will as well.
Hope you teach us old dogs some new tricks,lol.
have a great day all.

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6/2/2006 8:40:13 AM

Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   No, no offense taken!! I just didn't know how a 15 year old would take criticism, so wanted to reassure her to keep trying!

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6/2/2006 8:44:31 AM

Kerry L. Walker   "Hope you teach us old dogs some new tricks,lol."

Debby, that is just cruel and hurtful. I admit I am old but calling me a dog? ,dg,bfhk]rpokghmmmrtkhm Oops, sorry about all the garbled letters. My left hand must have still on the keyboard while I was using my right hind foot to scratch behind my ears.

Think I need another cup of coffee.

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6/2/2006 12:33:06 PM

Elizabeth Coachman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2005
  Wow. Well I don't quite know where to start.

I would like to thank everyone for their time spent on commenting and critiquing my work... When I asked for critique, I prepared myself for the worst, and was thus unoffended by sny statements posted.

Mr. Mark: Thank you for your time in looking through my gallery. I was not totally satiisfied with this shoot, but still put it up because I am rarely ever 'satisfied' completely with my work. I am very, very critical of my own work. I put it up to see if the errors I saw were consistant with what others saw, or what else needed my attention.

Ms. Debbie: Thank you too for your kind comments - and deffense - of my work. Your insight was greatly helpful and appreciated. Thank you for your kind comments and thoughts, they help a lot.

Sipho: Thank you for your honesty. The young man I did this for is like my big brother and he is very close to our family. They didn't not pay for this shoot, or even to print. It - the shoot - was totally complimentary. Not offense was taken, btw. I understood your point of view and appreciate your time.

Kerry: Where do I start? From the begining you have supported and encouraged me, even when NO OTHER person even liked them. I have benefitted so much from your insight, support, and encouragement. I understand all of your comments and completely agree. Thank you so much for your time looking through my wokr again and commenting on them. I am glad you liked "Waiting" and "Elegance."

I apologize profusely for all the old people who cannot keep up with the numbers on my photos... lol. I didn't have time to name them all the day I uploaded them and school has been nuts(Love ya, Kerry!).

Well, I think that about sums it up. Thank you again for your time spent on my page. Thank you and good night.

PS Kerry - About Adam and Eve, aren't they like, the first people on planet earth? So, you're like, older than dirt, right, if they're your parnets? (... This is all meant in jest. Tee Hee.)

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Elizabeth Coachman

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6/2/2006 7:42:31 PM

Kerry L. Walker   "PS Kerry - About Adam and Eve, aren't they like, the first people on planet earth? So, you're like, older than dirt, right, if they're your parnets?"

Three days older than dirt! LOL

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6/3/2006 4:44:40 PM

Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  I don't care about your age, gender or race ( we are all equal)

Here it is : the wall was sharp in focus on alot of the pictures

They were also to posed (your fault , maybe not)

The best shot is the whisper and the one of her over his shoulder.

Sharpening will not solve your out of focus.

This happens alot with digital, it focused on the lines behind him because they were deifned (unlike our round shapes) Next time aim for the eyebrow (its thick and camera focus friendly)

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6/5/2006 6:15:16 PM

Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  By the way when I went to look at your pictures, I didn't see any old people that you photographed??

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6/5/2006 6:17:08 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Hello Elizabeth,

Carumba! Many good comments...I'll only add a few, I promise. LOL

Photography; at least good photography is like invention, 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration. LOL The learning curve is at best maddening and often times exasperating. "How can this shot I did yesterday look so crappy today?" LOL

Following the theme of quoting scripture, I think this one might apply.."Study to show thyself approved."

Your basic ideas are good, just some technical tweaking may be in order.

I love anologies..AND I love golf..sooooo, I find photography similar to golf in some ways; the smallest of corrections can bring about great changes..half a stop here, 1/8 second there, angle here, lighting there, think about this and that before you shoot. Just don't try to make many changes in one fell swoop..creep up on it..small changes and look at the results. If you try to correct too much at once, you will have no idea what really contributed to the change.

Final advice? I have to go to a golf question..sorry.
Ya' think Tiger Woods practices much? LOL

"Lucky shot!".."Ya', the more I practice, the luckier I get."

Keep shooting!

All the Best,


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6/5/2006 7:37:29 PM

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