New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash

Show Critique
Had a client claim they did not like their photos and that they where not good. I want you to be a bit brutal so I know if they are right... (show more)
Exif Data
  • Canon EOS REBEL T2i
  • EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
  • f/5
  • 64mm
  • 1/200
  • 200

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Guil Schotte

    Sorry to hear how things went.  Clients can be difficult sometimes.  When I shoot projects I always sit down over coffee with the client beforehand and talk about their likes and dislikes – try to get a sense of their style.  Are they hardcore traditionalists?  Experimental? Fun loving?  All of this helps me to build a shooting plan in my mind.  If somebody loves a photojournalistic look, focus on those in-between moments during the shoot (this is where having a second shooter is useful) – don’t deliver standard posed portrait shots as your mainstay.  Conversely, if you learn that the client wants very standard 3/4 lighting portraits with classical poses, don’t present a lot of shots of their shoes or the folds in their skirt!  Did your client say what exactly they ‘did not like’?  If they couldn’t express that clearly, it may be because they had something in mind that they aren’t seeing in the results.  Was it a mood or feeling they were looking for?  The pre-shoot interview might have revealed those preferences.

    For this image, the exposure looks good. You’ve got the walkway/bridge along the lower 1/3 meridian, which generally is a good compositional choice.  You might try cropping to move the two subjects either left or right (depending on what else is in shot) to make a more standard rules composition.  

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  2. Matthew Saville

    Hi Jared,

    Sorry to hear about the clients’ dissatisfaction. It is immediately obvious just by looking at this one picture that you’re a very competent photographer, with both visual talent and technical skill. So, let’s get that out of the way before I “brutally” critique…

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  3. A
    Matthew Saville

    OK so, first let’s break down this image itself: Firstly, while the exposure, focus, color, and overall framing/composition are great, I do notice this bench first. It might be something I’d photoshop out, if the image were a 5-star or if it were being printed.

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  4. B
    Matthew Saville

    The trash can would also need to go, of course. But not in a “proof” image, just in a final print or a 5-star portfolio/blog shot…

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  5. C
    Matthew Saville

    I feel like the pose isn’t a problem, it’s a bit simple but it works and I don’t know if the couple would have been the type to want something super elegant and modern. That’s something you’d just have to sniff out beforehand.

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  6. Matthew Saville

    …Which brings me to my final bit of input for this image: Based on this image alone, I think the issue is more likely to have been client expectations management, than any actual failure of either technical or artistic quality. So, either this just isn’t what the client expected, period, …or they’re trying to be unhappy with you just so that they can get out of their contract and/or get a refund or something. I hope it’s not the latter, but if it is, you have to be firm with those types of clients. For example if they absolutely demand a refund and/or an exit from their contract, then you should definitely consider offering it, just to get them out of your hair and be done with it, but you should also inform them that if they accept a refund or if you nullify the contract, then you won’t be delivering them any high-res photos, or if you already delivered them, they are legally prohibited from using them in any way, publicly or privately, since you own the copyright to the images.

    Hopefully you’d never have to actually take action against them, and the thought alone would incline them to settle for paying you whatever they owe, and move on.

    But, please feel free to expand on the specifics of this situation, so that we can better assist you in making sure this is handled professionally and productively!

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