Photography Critique :: Episode 6

March 15, 2009 | • Critique

Here is the second half of last night’s critique. Or should I say this morning’s critique. Yes, we do get a little too chit chatty at 1:30am as Casper noted in the comments of episode 5. We will tighten that up a bit for sure.

For this second half episode we look at two very talented photographers specializing in children photography. Gloria says she is passionate about her craft and she just started her business one month ago. If what we have to look at is a photographer in business for only one month, then she is going to be a force to reckon with in central Illinois.

We wrap it up by looking at the work of Anita. Anita is another talented child / family photographer who feels like she is in a rut right now. I chose her work to critique for this “passion” theme because it seems as though her passion is running low. Anita, Meg found a great quote and we dedicate it to you…

“What saves a man is to take a step. And then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.” – Antoine deSaint-Exupéry

I’m going to knock one more episode out by tomorrow and then transition into doing these about once a week or as I can get to them. We have had a blast running through these this week and establishing this series, but I have an intense schedule for the next four weeks so I have to get focused on the shoots on the books and Gulf Photo Plus at the end of the month. I’m hoping to snag some guest photographers at GPP to help me critique some sites while I’m there. We shall see.

Cheers, Zack


  • James said on March 15, 2009

    Really loving this stuff Zack, keep up the good work!

  • BlaneyPhoto said on March 15, 2009

    Best episode yet. Thanks!

  • joseph tutlo said on March 15, 2009

    cake or death? uh… cake please.

    Zack&Meg, these are great. And entertaining to boot!

  • Keith said on March 15, 2009

    Wow, better than Anne Geddies(sp) I’d agree.

  • zack said on March 15, 2009

    @Joseph – Well… we are all out of cake.

    So your choice is “or death”. We didn’t know there would be such a rush.



  • catalina said on March 15, 2009

    Those were 2 great websites to critique – there’s always room for improvement and I feel that was a great lesson learned from watching this episode.

    Thanks for the Rock and Roll Confidential site – I shoot music/bands so I will greatly enjoy going through the Hall of Douchebags gallery and see more of how NOT to shoot bands.

    Meg you crack me up!!!!

  • Keith said on March 15, 2009

    No brick walls and No train tracks, … Where’d I put my sticky notes?

  • Eileen said on March 15, 2009

    These two photographers made me uterus ache for more babies. Haha. Not really, but they did really inspire me to shoot more babies…. with a camera… of course. My husband found your jokes a little too entertaining. 😉

    Thank you for this episode!

  • Scott Williams said on March 15, 2009

    I have been getting so much out of these critiques. Thank you.

    Have you considering submitting these to iTunes as a video podcast? Seems almost like the perfect format, or would you need to drop the resolution?

  • zack said on March 15, 2009

    @Scott – I’m just trying to figure out how to host the files in such a way that you can subscribe to them from iTunes. I have the conversions ready to go.


  • Chris said on March 15, 2009

    Zack and Meg – love these. Thank you for your time and insight.

    Just one question. Do you have a flag?


  • Gloria Barker said on March 15, 2009

    Zack, after getting over the complete shock that you chose my website for critique, I watched the episode 3 or 4 or 10 times…and I can’t say “Thank You” enough!! I consistently doubt my ability and to have my work reinforced by someone like you is not something I can even put into words. I would totally come to Atlanta to photograph your new baby (but might charge more than $50…since I just did raise my prices…) ; )
    Thanks again…I am completely over the moon right now!


    p.s. you won’t believe this but I had never seen that shot of the babies in the pumpkin by Anne Geddes…honest to goodness…

  • Ryan said on March 15, 2009

    Cutting back to only once a week? With the response you’re getting from these, it looks like you could take a break shooting photos and charge people $50 a pop to critique their work.

    Hmmm…*light bulb*

    These vids have been some of the best info I’ve gotten from an online resource. Thanks again.

  • heesoo said on March 15, 2009

    This may have been said before but I love the fact that you AND your wife does these critiques… In a way it’s probably a great way to spend time with each other and her side of view is always appreciated even tho “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about because she’s not a photographer” (ur words not mine haha)

  • lanne said on March 16, 2009

    BRILLIANT post. I just flicked open my gallery and hit delete on two images whilst listening. THANKS Zack and Meg.

  • Peter Davis said on March 16, 2009

    Thanks for doing these critiques! I’ve been truly enjoying them. I submitted my site, but even if you don’t get to it, I feel like I’m looking at my pictures in a whole new light already. My wife and I have been going through my site and weeding out pictures and adding new ones that we feel might fit better. You guys are great!

  • Ben said on March 16, 2009

    This is brilliant…thank you Zack & Meg!

  • Alison Greenwood said on March 16, 2009

    I am loving these critiques Zack. Thank you so much for sharing them.

  • Mark Olwick said on March 16, 2009

    Hi Zack,

    I am learning so much from these – thank you for taking the time.

    When it comes to being in a rut by the way, you should seriously check out The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. This book will give you a spiritual kick in the ass and help break a person out of whatever rut they’re in – or free themselves the Resistance that’s blocking their creativity. Amazing book.

    Thanks again to both of you,

    Mark Olwick

  • Rich C said on March 16, 2009


    Caught up with 5 & 6. They’ve all been great, and I’ve learned a lot! Thanks! Been designing a new site to feature my own stuff based on your suggestions to others.

    On the Podcast concept. It looks like you’re using wordpress, and you can create a podcast feed with a cool little plugin called “Podpress”. I used it on my old site for 06 & 07′. Very easy to submit the podcast to ITunes once you’ve setup Podpress.

  • Chris Whitcomb said on March 16, 2009

    The Zack & Megan Show ROCKS!!!! I can’t believe your even doing this and for free no less. Thank you for volunteering your time and energy to help all of us become better photographers and business people. Any chance that we’ll see this on iTunes as a vidcast?

  • Meghan said on March 16, 2009

    @Chris (who asked if we “had a flag…”)

    “I claim this country for India!”

    “You can’t claim it, we live here…all…500 million of us.”

    “Yes, but do you have a flag?”

  • Anita Matejka said on March 16, 2009

    Zack & Megan –

    You guys really are so amazing to take the time to do this. I truly feel blessed that I was chosen and that you could see my dilemma and offered such great advice on how to rectify the situation! I appreciate the kind words. I love these critiques and have learned a lot from each and every one! So, thank you once again!

  • cat said on March 16, 2009

    great work Gloria and Anita! Thanks for sharing your sites.

    And Thanks Zack for another great episode.

  • Ade said on March 16, 2009


    I know you have your hands full, and might not get to it on account of work, but if you can, please critique my site when you can.

    BTW, I still get worked up when I watch your “transformation” video that Scott Kelby mentioned on his blog a few weeks back. Truly inspirational. Got my stagnant juices flowing again.

    Peace, bro.


  • Heather said on March 16, 2009

    I know you probably hear this a hundred times daily but Zack it won’t hurt to hear it again. You truly are an inspiration. These critiques are great, I’m seriously setting aside time this week to change some things to my site. Including music, and people showing up in more then one gallery.

    Thanks so much for doing this. Meghan, I love your input too!

  • Calvin said on March 16, 2009

    Zack, I have watched all 6 episodes. I look forward to watching them again and cleaning up my own site. As I watch and listen, I feel like you are speaking right to me. I know you haven’t seen my site but I see where I have done the exact same thing as others. I appreciate this global feedback you are giving. Thanks!

  • Brandon Perron said on March 16, 2009

    Zack & Meg…

    Do not cut the chit-chat out, that is one of my favorite things about watching these…Casper is way off on tightening them up and from the response, everyone seems to really enjoy the chit-chat…so I say keep it up.

  • Benji said on March 16, 2009

    You and Meg are in inspiration.In photography and life. It is so great to be able to learn from someone who is a father a husband and good christian soul. So rare these days.

  • Darryl said on March 16, 2009

    Hmmm again great information…

    The new age of digital cameras and digital manipulation (Photoshop) is awesome…

    But then it seems like during the advent of typewriters and word processors it would’ve made it easier to become a Herman Melville, Shakespeare, or Mark Twain.

    It seems like the synthesizer would’ve made it easier to be like Beethoven, Bach, or Tachovski…..but technology has it’s limits…in the end it still boils down to the artist.

    I’m still convinced that Air Jordan’s and the Reebok Pump made us all better at basketball.

    Other than that… thanks Zack for illustrating that talent is talent and that’s the truth.

  • Alex Menendez said on March 17, 2009

    I should have signed up for a critique on the first day you asked, unfortunately running your own business takes you away from the things that you really would like to do.
    I am now coming very late to the game but would still like a quick peek if you have the time.
    Thanks and cheers….

  • Rich Emery said on March 17, 2009

    These videos have been great to watch they are teaching me a bunch! I am not a Pro photographer but by watching these the videos i am able to make my own galleries look better

    Thank you very much

  • Aaron said on March 17, 2009

    Hey Zack

    Quick question I am hoping your eyes have time to see. I just ordered the One Light DVD so I am pumped to learn more! I am relatively new to photography. I currently have a Canon 40D to get me started. Question is this: Could you give me a few recommendations on the key components to beginning a lighting kit. Which off camera flash, which radio sync system, etc. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


  • Kurt Pas said on March 18, 2009

    Hey Zack,

    This is an amazing series you are posting. I gona watch them all! There is a lot to learn from for me.

    If you are not already tiered from people spamming you with their URL, I would love to get some professional comment on my pictures.

    The site is in Dutch, but you do not to understand the words to critic the pictures.

    P.S no fashion or people, just dogs, dogs and also dogs…

  • Mike said on March 18, 2009

    Hello Zack

    Great critiques, you are doing great job, and I like it even more that you wife gives hers opinions too.

    I just wish you would post links to websites you critique.


  • Colin said on March 18, 2009

    Zack, as a mere viewer of this video critique journey I feel as though I’m watching something amazing happening before my eyes. I don’t recall if you’ve said what was the epitomical moment of “Aha! A screencap video critique!” but it’s something special. You have taken the whole web 2.0 thingy and used it to give photography a kick in the pants. Flash is neat and all, and mapping pictures out on flickr is neat and all (OMG GPS!!)…but this is awesome. Critiquing is absolutely not new but the presentation is fascinating.

    Meghan, don’t you dare stop participating! As far as I’m concerned you’re welcome to sing a jingle at the start/end/whenever.

    The Arias Duo! (Sorry, rather lame. One of the things I don’t do well is names.)

    I know I suggested separating out the site critique way back on #1 and Casper suggested in #5 to cut out the chit chat but I have to disagree with him on both counts. 1) I wouldn’t watch if Zack sang the whole episode :) and 2) the levity obviously reflects both of your personalities and while I fully appreciate staying on task it’s also your show and your work. If you can choose what to put in your portfolio then you can choose what to put in your videos. Seems fair. I’ve come to appreciate that these critiques have more than just critiquing in them and I’m totally down with that.

  • Kevin said on March 19, 2009

    re: the chit-chat, i happen to like it. in a 20-40 minute video, solid critique all the time becomes a bit heavy, and it’s really good to break it up with some lighter stuff. You and Meg have a great rapport (although it occasionally feels that you and she have a few too many in-jokes). If you were to keep it a little less inclusive, it might strengthen the videos a bit.

  • Schona Kessler said on March 19, 2009

    Zack & Megan (sp?)

    I totally just got a lot of ah ha moments from this video! Thanks so much for the time you guys put into it and for the humor along the way. Hope you weren’t too tired for church and your potluck was tasty! Have an awesome week! I shall go watch all the others now….

  • RC said on March 20, 2009

    Great… now I have “Dressed to Kill” stuck in my head all day..

    “Let’s go to the library, we’ll have a load of fun, surely.. “

  • Gail said on March 20, 2009

    Fantastic! I’m learning so much and look forward to more episodes.

    Thank you for doing these!

  • AaronVan said on April 1, 2009

    EDDIE IZZARD RULEZ! And so do you guys! Just found your site and loving it! Keep up the great work!

  • Tom Legrady said on April 20, 2009

    I finally caught up with the critiques … and I absolutely love them. You ride a fine edge being honest and blunt without being brutal. people need to be told that some stuff sucks, and we need to see other people’s stuff that sucks, so we can rush off and get it off our web sites. If you were too nice, it would all be pointless.

    Meg is a major contribution, hope you’re paying her well to participate.

    Speaking of which … How about getting a guest star to critique sites with you. Chase has his own blog; David Hobby goes around teaching, so does David Tajeda. If one of them was passing through town and got a promise of dinner and a supply of beer, they might do a guest appearance. Just be stingy with the beer until the video is shot.

  • Pye said on September 8, 2009

    Great critique, very useful. I really get a lot out of this critiquing process so thank you!

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