Archive for '• Critique':

Photography Critique :: Episode 5

March 15, 2009 | • Critique

This is the first half of a 46 minute critique we did last night. We looked at four photographer’s work and have loosely based this critique on the word “Passion.” A little more than 10% of the emails that are coming in have the word “passion” in them. Passion is awesome! I love me some passion. We all need to find a passion in our life and for many of us reading this blog, we have found it in photography. But… Passion doesn’t mean a thing without some talent attached to it providing you are wanting to turn that passion into created works of art.

For this episode we look at two young photographers named Jennifer and Norton. They most certainly are passionate. It is the talent part of the equation that they need to work on. In the next episode we look at two child/family portrait photographers. One has just started her business and is very passionate about learning and growing. The other is a dang fine photographer but she is in a rut. So the passion is running a little low. Also, in the next episode we see a good way to put the same person in a gallery twice. I’ve gotten emails about that. Sit tight, I talk about that in the next installment.

I expected Meg would be by my side while doing these but not an active participant in them. Ya’ll love her so she’s staying. I love her being a part of this because we get to spend time together doing something fun that helps people, she brings an interesting and “consumer” based viewpoint to the discussion, and she brings a feminine viewpoint to the discussion. I do not let her see the majority of the work that we are critiquing. I want her reaction to be immediate. I on the other hand, go through all of the images before I hit the record button. Be on the lookout for Erik, our studio manager, to jump in on some of these. Those are going to be insane. :)

Many have asked about putting these on YouTube. I am starting to cross post them there. The reason I use for these is because it allows me to scale the embedded video to the width of my blog. I can only get YouTube clips to embed at their native size or full screen. Nothing in between. You can find the episodes on YouTube here. I have episodes 1 through 3 up right now with more coming. Others have asked about making these into a pod cast for iTunes. I’m trying to figure out how to do that and will update you once I figure it out. If you know of an easy way for me to make this happen, lemme know!

Cheers, Zack

Photography Critique :: Episode 4

March 13, 2009 | • Critique

In episode four we take a look at four photographers. I apologize for the music in this one. I hit the wrong station when I started recording and didn’t realize it until after I finished recording this. I was going to do it again but it really isn’t that bad. Maybe I’ll just ditch background music all together.

For this episode we look at the work of Barney, Justin, Michael, and Jay. Barney and Justin are just getting their feet wet. Michael and Jay are in it up to their necks. Not quite fully submersed but close!

If you have questions about this critique just hit me up in the comments. If you want your work added to the critique list please email a link to your work to critique @ ZackArias [dot] com. (That’s Zack with a “K”)

Cheers, Zack

Photography Critique :: Episode 3

March 12, 2009 | • Critique

Today we have the last half of the critique I started yesterday. Molly and Dave are up to bat. Molly is just getting started and shot her first wedding. Dave is a guy who I have known for about five years. I feel you all will enjoy this one because this is a nice pairing of someone who is just getting started and has a number of things to work on next to someone who is bit more established and is starting to refine their style.

I normally do not post links to the photographers who I am critiquing. I do this to be sensitive to the fact that google sees all, knows all, forgets nothing. If a client googles a photographer I don’t want that client to find a critique, especially if it is a tough critique. Rules can always be broken.

David Freaking Jackson. He is an amazing photographer with a clear vision. Be sure to check out his Simple + Dirty project as well. Dave is that rare kind of photographer who can mix weddings, music, and commercial work under one web site and pull it off. I had a little more fun with Dave’s critique because he and I have known each other for awhile. I was surprised that he sent his site in for critique and I was even more surprised that I found something he has to work on. :)

You can keep sending your sites in for critique if you would like. Send them to critique @ zacKarias [dot] com. There are well over 300 sites for me to look through now. The reason I want to keep these critiques as short as possible is because I want to get to as many as I can. I can’t get to 300 but I like having lots of options so keep sending them in. Kudos to Luke from Episode 2. You already changed your portfolio up and it looks much better.

Are you folks still enjoying this?

Cheers, Zack

Critique :: Episode 02

March 11, 2009 | • Critique

I got a little ambitious last night and thought I could get four sites done but I could not do that in less than 40 minutes so I split the episode. Today we have John and Luke. Tomorrow we will have Molly and Dave. So when you see this episode just sort of end abruptly that is why. Also note that I’m taking your feedback to heart and trying to integrate your critique of my critique into my critique. Wow. Mouth. Full.

ETA – I make a comment in this critique comparing something to Chase Jarvis. What does Chase have to say about the topic mentioned? Read his old blog post here about this topic. Here is an excerpt from it…

We’ve all had it happen, professionals, amateurs, beginning photogs alike. You think you have a great idea…gonna go shoot this cool new concept…then whammo. You see it done by somebody else. You can have more respect for it done well and less for it done poorly, but it’s the idea that counts. And “they” beat you to it.

Know what I say about that stuff? Get used to it.

FWIW, (and if it makes anybody out there feel any better – god knows I need to hear “same here” from some of you…), this happens to me all the time. All my little scribbles and journal notes and lists of ideas, gone poof in an instant.

While we are on the subject of photography and looking at our work I found an interesting video that I suggest you take a look at. Blog reader Kevin Derose sent me his video site for critique. Something a little different than photo critique. I am not going to go into a video critique of the video work that he and his brother do but I do think their site is noteworthy. Especially for the interview with photographer Jerome Liebling. Head over to One Match Films and watch the fifth film titled “Jerome Liebling – Seeing Real Things.” It is a fantastic interview. Nice work Kevin and Jeff.

If you are a working pro photographer or an aspiring pro photographer and you would like to be added to the ever growing list of work to be critiqued then email me your site, flickr page, or blog and I’ll put you on the list. Email it to critique @ zacKarias [dot] com. Notice the “K” in my name. Not an H. :)

Based on initial feedback, I will be making this a regular feature on the blog.

Cheers, Zack

Critique :: Episode 01

March 10, 2009 | • Critique

I really tried to keep each critique to 5 minutes. “Tried” is the key word. This episode is 24 minutes long.

For Episode 01 here I went through the sites of Terrence, Mary Beth, and Nicolas. I’m not linking to their sites nor am I using their full name. I do this so google will not index their names and sites associated with this critique. This is a public critique though so hats off to all of you wanting critique. I hope that we all can learn from seeing the work of other photographers.

I’m going to try to get a few more done this week. For now though, I’m head deep in post production so it is back to work for me.

Let me know what you think of this first episode. Is it helpful? Critique my critique! 

If you would rather watch it on YouTube, you can do so here.

Cheers, Zack 

ETA – If you are a professional photographer or an aspiring pro photographer and you want to get on the ever growing list of work to critique please email your web site, blog, or flickr page to me > critique [@] zackarias [dot] com. Since ya’ll like this, I will be doing this on a regular basis.

The Importance Of Critique ::

March 9, 2009 | • Critique


I had a chance to sit down with Chase Jarvis a year or so ago and have him give me a solid critique of my work.  He was in town speaking for the PDN On The Road conference.  I always jump on the chance to have someone higher up the photographic food chain take a look at my work and give me feedback.  Critique from knowledgeable people will always help you grow.

I asked for you all to send me your work to be critiqued on the blog here and I now have over 150 links to websites with more coming in every few minutes.  I can’t get to them all.  I wish I could.  Maybe I’ll get to them when I can over the next year or so.  BUT… I am getting to some starting tomorrow.  

Instead of putting images here and critiquing them in writing, I’m going to go through the web sites via screen capture video and talk through their work. I’m going to have to keep it short and sweet. Last night I sat down to record the first three sites and I spent 40 minutes talking about three sites. I’m going to try to cut that down to 5 minutes per site, 3 sites at a time.

My Rules For Critique :

1. Tell you what you are doing right without patronizing you. 2. Tell you what you need to work on without holding your hand. 3. Give you a goal.

I’m not here to drag you down but some of you are going to get a pretty tough critique. I’ve had critiques of my work where I walked away fighting back tears because all that was important to me was ripped to shreds.  I am taking the stance of a photo editor or art director. Someone who is educated in the medium, knows how to discuss it, and give you a thumbs up or thumbs down. Critique isn’t to make you feel warm and fuzzy. It is a tool to help you learn and grow. Remember that. So…

Rules For You :

1. Don’t take it personally. 2. Don’t make excuses. 3. Don’t say, “Well, my client was happy with it.” See number 2.

Ok?  Ok.  The first installment will be on the blog tomorrow. 

Cheers, Zack 

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