Assignment Five Feedback

Again I was delighted with my tutor feedback on this assignment. This was an up-close and personal view of the type of photography that I capture regularly, so the feedback was especially appreciated as it truly confirmed that my work is of a good standard.

Initial comment:

You have demonstrated good technical and visual skills, your ability to work with people is very obvious here and a real strength. The images produced seem to be what the client wanted and you went to some pains to provide what they required and you have a coherent body of work to meet the brief. You have done some excellent research into a large variety of photographers and this has informed your approach.” I feel that my preparation for this assignment was advanced. I carried out a great deal of research into portrait photographers, and found myself constantly browsing baby photographer’s work to gain endless ideas on composition and techniques. I feel that client relations is a huge part of photography, and therefore I put great emphasis into ensuring that my clients are happy and at ease during the entire process.

Below are some of my tutor’s positive comments on my assignment images:

Image 3

“This is a parents dream image! You were right to angle the babies head to the window to catch the light, this spark really works.” This was one of my favourite images of the set, so I was extremely pleased with this comment! Previous research has taught me to always angle the subject to the light in order to create that all important sparkle. My tutor went on to say: “Because of the direction of the gaze it would be usual practice to have a bit more image on the right. This again provides that balance.” This is a valid point which I had not noticed before. I had concentrated on zooming in solely on the face, but having read my tutor’s advice, I can now see how the balance would work much better with a little more image on the right; this is something I will improve upon in my next shoot.

IMG_6112 (2)000

“Another nice moment you have captured and you reflected on what you saw as the strengths of the image. It has great focus and is an interesting composition. You said you reshaped the mother’s chin in this image, this was a real attention to the clients needs and it looks natural so good work.” I have taught myself editing from scratch, and so this comment was much appreciated! The request to remove the double chin was a bit of a worry for me; but I am very happy with the results, and again it is all part of accommodating the client’s needs.

IMG_6215 (2)1

“This image is a real change from the first four. As you say it could be read in quite an ominous way, but it does invite some questions. The warmth of the wood and the selective focus changes this from a traditional baby shoot to a documentary or more creative exploration. It does tell a story and as part of the whole gives a different perspective.” This was a risky image to include as it was so different from the previous shots. However, I felt that it showed the baby’s new surroundings nicely, and added in an interesting image to the set. I was happy with this comment, as documentary is a style of photography which I am beginning to explore and capture more.

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Below are a few areas my tutor felt could be improved upon:

“Would have liked to see you look at some more baby photography artists? Consider the work and success of the well known photographer Anne Geddes. Her approach to photographing babies inspired much of what is expected today.” I carried out research into Anne Geddes in a previous module, and actually furthered this research by comparing Anne Geddes with Sally Mann. The creative and imaginative style of Geddes’s work provided me with many ideas upon approaching this assignment. Therefore this previous knowledge aided my assignment greatly.

“Consider also that although it was kind of you to ask the client what they wanted, it may be beneficial in a commercial sense to have a variety of options that you give them. This way they won’t ask for extra things you are unprepared for.” Unfortunately a hyper-link on my blog was faulty, and my tutor was unable to access my client briefing. Therefore she could not see that I had given my client a variety of options to choose from prior to the shoot to avoid unexpected extras; see here. The mother stated that she would like images of just her son captured, but on the day of the shoot she changed her mind, and I felt that it was beneficial to my reputation to be as accommodating as possible.

“Have a look too at how much you crop the sides of the image, I think it could benefit from some more? Also think practically for your client, if they frame the image it might nip the head and toes!” This is such a simple point yet it is something I hadn’t even thought about. When capturing images in future, I will definitely remember to keep in mind that the clients may be planning to frame the shot- so leaving space at the sides is a must.

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Below you will find my tutor feedback in full for further reference.

Check some of the hyperlinks for the blog, they seem to send me where there is nothing, although much of the work is there through the menu (though I couldn’t find the brief for the baby shoot?)

You have demonstrated good technical and visual skills, your ability to work with people is very obvious here and a real strength. The images produced seem to be what the client wanted and you went to some pains to provide what they required and you have a coherent body of work to meet the brief.

You have done some excellent research into a large variety of photographers and this has informed your approach. Keep exploring this area and the theoretical elements.

The reflection you provided is honest and searching and you are developing your own personal style. Keep working on the refinement of your images, in particular the lighting and composition, as you have bought together so many other elements so well.

Feedback on assignment Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity 

Assignment 5- New baby

You have approached this assignment with a real client and have begun to work on the fine negotiations required for this type of shoot. You did some prior planning and your consideration of the backdrop blanket and knitted nappy cover work well for this type of shoot.

Would have liked to see you look at some more baby photography artists? Consider the work and success of the well known photographer Anne Geddes. Her approach to photographing babies inspired much of what is expected today.

It is obvious in the photographs you communicate well with the models and also in this case the client. Consider also that although it was kind of you to ask the client what they wanted, it may be beneficial in a commercial sense to have a variety of options that you give them. This way they won’t ask for extra things you are unprepared for. It was good that you were able to adapt from the original shoot premise changing to include the mother, but this did challenge you with the composition and lighting choices available to you due to the space. If you knew in advance then it would have been less stressful for you!

I have included a couple of photographers who specialize in baby photography for you to look at as well as a site to explore issues concerning your rights as a photographer. It is good to be informed of some of the ideas around photographing children so you can be confident and prepared in your photography. There will also be some indications of what they charge and what they do as a package that might be useful for your career?

Image 1

This image is setting the scene. The photograph itself is fine and very tightly cropped so some of the cards are cut off but it was what you wrote about why you took the image that really indicated the power of it. It actually made me want to see all the cards on the mantelpiece? As you say it is a real human celebration.

Image 2

The time you spent researching different approaches to newborn photography really informed your approach here. Good wrinkles! It is hard to see how much information is in the white wool blanket in the foreground as the white is slightly grey, do have a look at your original file as this will be important for your print quality. The main focus on the face is lovely and what we first look at although I wonder if it could be cropped tighter or given a little more space to include the legs? Look at the rule of thirds to think about the balance here.

Image 3

This is a parents dream image! You were right to angle the babies head to the window to catch the light, this spark really works. Because of the direction of the gaze it would be usual practice to have a bit more image on the right. This again provides that balance.

Image 4

A gentle colour image, the limited colour palate is powerful. Keep an eye on your colour temperature here when printing as it could become cool with all that white and blue and you don’t want the white throw to look muddy. Have a look too at how much you crop the sides of the image, I think it could benefit from some more? Also think practically for your client, if they frame the image it might nip the head and toes!

Image 5

This image is a real change from the first four. As you say it could be read in quite an ominous way, but it does invite some questions. The warmth of the wood and the selective focus changes this from a traditional baby shoot to a documentary or more creative exploration. It does tell a story and as part of the whole gives a different perspective.

Image 6

You adapted well to the change in plan to include the mother in the image. You have been careful in the posing of the mother and child and it is a beautiful moment. The lighting was a challenge here, as it is quite harsh on one side and dark on the other. This could make it difficult to get a clean print so experiment with this. You have definitely chosen the ‘moment’ but the lighting compromises the effect, I wonder if you cropped closer to the faces if this could help? So the extremes of the light are less obvious.

Image 7

Another nice moment you have captured and you reflected on what you saw as the strengths of the image. It has great focus and is an interesting composition. The white shirt on the mothers’ arm and the baby’s shoulder is a little blown out and over exposed. When photographing babies their skin is so delicate and smooth you really need to take care on the exposure. You said you reshaped the mother’s chin in this image, this was a real attention to the clients needs and it looks natural so good work.

Image 8

This image is well exposed and sharply in focus. The label on the top right of the photograph is a little distracting? Have another look at your composition, as it looks a little tight at the top of the frame against the rest of the image? This image does sum up the end of the shoot well; your whole body of work is almost divided into two different approaches. The classic baby shots then the more intimate detailed shots of the feet, the hand and the cards.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays Context 

You have provided an honest reflection and evaluation of the module and how you have developed. You have definitely grown in confidence and your technical awareness is also grown. An area to still explore is the critical analysis of the genre of portrait photography. The meanings, theories and histories attached to this approach. These ideas will help you be further informed and provide a deeper understanding of the practice of portraiture.

You have done much excellent relevant visual research into a variety of photographic approaches and they have been informative and inspirational to you. This is really good practice and you are developing a solid knowledge of a variety of photographic styles. I like the way you are writing about how they have informed and inspired your own work. You need to also balance this with looking at photographic writing, as this will be the expectation as you progress through the course.

Suggested reading/viewing Context 

Anne Geddes  http://www.annegeddes.com/

Esme Fletcher

http://www.esmefletcher.co.uk/

http://www.the-aop.org (information on model release forms/ taking photographs of children etc)

Wells, Sontag et al

Pointers for the next assignment

Your engagement in the course is a real strength, continue to build and develop this. Keep exploring the questions that arise from your reflections, these could be technical exploration as well as more theoretical issues.

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