USA!USA! wrote in post #16779967
My wife and daughter I wanted in a walking together in knowing I was taking the shot. The rest of the people I could careless wish they was not there but its Prom.
No idea what you are expecting from a photo to always assume point and shoot.
For starters, you seem to be getting a little bit defensive. I think that's a mistake that it's natural for people to make, but it is a mistake. I get it, you're attached to the image because it's your family. But no one else here has the same emotional attachment to these images, they're just going to comment on the images alone. Getting defensive with comments just makes it look more evident that your images aren't sufficient to stand up on their own. It's okay to explain, but getting defensive is almost always counter-productive.
Having said that, there are some legitimate complaints. I'm not going to go too in-depth on each photo (I tend to be overly wordy as it is), but here are some comments:
1) Someone mentioned that it's a problem that you shot the backs of your wife and daughter, as opposed to their faces. I don't think that's INHERENTLY a problem, I don't think it should be a rule to photograph people from the front. Just be aware of what it SAYS when you photograph people from the back. They're moving AWAY from the photographer/viewer. That lack of subject/viewer engagement can instantly be a turnoff, one of the big exceptions being if you have shown or implied what they are actually engaged in. That is to say, if they are walking away from the viewer, then what are they walking towards? That should probably be implied or explicitly stated, otherwise it's way too easy for "detachment from the viewer" to become what the image is actually ABOUT. I speculate that since these are your wife and daughter, you don't want that to be what the image is about. From what I understand, their goal was in getting to the prom. That WOULD be fine, except that it's not evident in the image. I can't possibly derive that from the image, you have to tell me, which means that the image isn't standing on its own.
2) You say that you couldn't care less about the other people, the image is about your wife and daughter. Okay, I see your point. The only problem is that you DID include the other people. Therefore, the image ISN'T about your wife and daughter, the image is about their relationship to what is going on around them. That's not opinion, that's fact. I know that your INTENT was on this being about your wife and daughter, but you shot wide and included a whole bunch of other elements. And it's not about what you intended, it's about what the image says. There's nothing in the image to single out your wife and daughter from everything else that's happening and show that the image is about them.
3) The last image is more effective. That's more in line with actually being "about your daughter". There, extraneous elements have been eliminated, the only person in the scene is your daughter. You've gotten in close, eliminated the elements which have nothing to do with what the image is about, and that image is more about your daughter. It's also still about your daughter's relationship with the environment, but it's also a bit more conceptually clear since you've reduced that environment by getting in close.
Anyway, nice effort and don't get too discouraged. Many of these images have big problems, though I think people could be a bit more helpful in actually explaining why they aren't working. That being said, there are some interesting things going on here, so just keep at it and I'm sure you'll get better. To sum up...
1) Don't get defensive. I realize that some critics aren't really helpful, but you also aren't helping yourself if you get defensive.
2) Realize that what you want the images to be is largely irrelevant when you present them to a wide audience. There's nothing wrong with you loving them based on an ingrained emotional attachment, but that attachment applies to you alone, and critics can't feel the same personal connection. The image has to stand on its own (in most cases). Don't project your personal values onto your audience.