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Pretty much a standard hi-key setup, two strobes in umbrellas bounced against white background paper. Other than that, standard butterfly lighting with a reflector to open the shadows. I heavily vignette the image with white in PS to draw attention just to her.


Bob Helvey , December 28, 2009; 10:19 P.M.

Such perfect studio lighting. I think you nailed it and I like the blending of the white blouse into the white background. I would crop a little above the v to hide the freckles,but I am nitpicking

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Scott Murphy , December 28, 2009; 10:33 P.M.

But I love the freckles Bob, she's covered with them! They are kind of faint though, except on her chest and especially around the V in her blouse, but the smoothing obliterated most of them :-((

Isn't it always the way, the most beautiful non-models are the ones who say they don't see themselves as beautiful and definitely not photogenic? She was an absolute natural and in my opinion at least, a 10 on a scale of 1-2. Even my wife commented to me how beautiful she was, now THAT is saying something!

Steve Kirby , December 28, 2009; 11:13 P.M.

I really don't know where to find fault in this image, it is so perfectly executed. Maybe soften the wrinkles under her eyes a tad (I am really stretching things now)

It doesn't surprise me two people gave it 4's. This level of photography is probably so far over their heads or capabilities it's not funny, so just go ahead and mark it down.

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Scott Murphy , December 29, 2009; 10:41 A.M.


Thanks for the comments, but the second half of your comment is really unnecessary. I do not pay that much attention to ratings anyhow. Instead, I wish people would spend more energy on constructive critiques of my photos to point out things I could do better next time. The bottom line is different people see images differently and rate accordingly. I quit a long time ago getting bent out of shape for ratings I thought were undeservedly low, especially in light of the 6's and 7's I received from others. One person on this site automatically gives me 3's on every image I post, regardless. I just see it for what it is; the work of a childish troll.

Besides Monica absolutely loved it and asked for a bunch of my business cards to give to her friends. Her opinion is the one that matters the most anyway, since she was the client and I anticipate repeat business from her!

In the future please refrain from making statements like the latter half of your comments.

Mark Chartrand , December 30, 2009; 09:44 P.M.



Monica is a pretty girl. You have focused well on her eyes. She has very good catch lights and eye contact with the camera (viewer). Her skin tone is very good. She has a very nice smile. The lighting and specular highlights on her lips is good. The background is nicely neutral and blending her white blouse into the background works well for this high-key portrait.

You couldn't have cropped above the "V" of her neckline. The sides of the "V" would have drawn the viewer's eyes down and out of the photograph. You want to crop below where the "V" comes together so that the viewer's eyes have a place to stop before leaving the photograph. You have cropped very well on the bottom.

I agree with steve that you should soften the wrinkles under her eyes. I would lighten the freckles on her chest.

You composition is very good, but I would move her just a bit to her left. You want to compositionally balance the left and right sides of the photograph. The compositional "rule" for this suggests that you position the tip of the subject's nose in the vertical center of the photograph.

She looks very nice, but I would like to see what she looks like with her hair falling across her forehead. I think she would look even better with some of her forehead covered and her hair framing her face closer to her eyes. This has nothing to do with her. I am just not a fan of this hair style.

Nice shot,


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Scott Murphy , January 01, 2010; 07:00 P.M.

A little more tweaking


Per your recommendations, here she is looking 24 again (I won't reveal her real age, but suffice it to say she looks fantastic for a woman 10 years younger than she is! ) :-)


Andrew Piotrowski , January 04, 2010; 08:46 P.M.

I like the original. It is a very good portrait with splendid light and lovely composition. Beautiful smile!

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