Shameless Bragging

Some of you know that I took some online photo classes earlier this year.  I decided to take them because I needed to update my knowledge about digital photography since I  haven't really been involved in the photography industry since the days of film.  I also needed to improve my technical skills because I'm a self-taught photographer and had many holes in my knowledge.  Anyway, part of the portrait photography class involved a portfolio critique.   The class instructor gave us the choice on the level of critique we wanted, and despite the fact that I have a pretty thin skin and don't handle criticism well, I chose to get the toughest critique that he offered.  Even though I was REALLY nervous about the critique, I wanted to know the truth.  I mean, if I'm not a good photographer I wanted to know so that I could stop wasting time and money on something that wasn't meant to be. 

I had to submit three photographs, so the first part of the critique involved a detailed discussion of each of the photos.  The second part of the critique was the overall review which I've pasted below:



Okay, you asked for a level 4 review, so here's my overall impression: First of all, I think you're doing a good job with the technical stuff.  You've obviously taken the information from the class and APPLIED it in your photos--which is excellent to see.  I'm also VERY VERY glad to see that you're being very careful to work with the light in your photos.


If you look at the photos you've taken recently, they are MUCH MUCH better than the photos you were taking in August and September of last year on your blog.  I hope you can see your progress.  I think your skills are on the level of where I would consider a competent professional to be--and I RARELY tell my students that.


Right now, I think the best place for you to put your efforts is in learning Photoshop and Lightroom.  Your photos are shot very well, but many of them look a bit "raw" (and I don't mean the technical word RAW).  I mean that some of the photos could be taken to the next level with a little digital styling in Photoshop.


Congratulations on your progress.  I'm quite impressed with how far you've come in a short time.  Would you be interested in sharing a few of your photos and writing a few paragraphs about what you've learned that helped you the most?  We're starting a new blog for alumni of our classes, and I think my other students could learn a lot from hearing what helped you to progress.


Jim Harmer

Owner, Improve Photography LLC

Jim's podcast is the number one photography podcast in the U.S, so this review comes from a very well known and respected person in the photography industry.  I am still in shock!   I can't tell you how happy I was to get this review!!  It's really made me want to continue working on my photography and keep learning and shooting as much as I can. 

To see the photos I submitted for my critique and read my story on the alumni blog click here: