Dec 16, 2011

AMAZING Portfolio Critique – Chris D

Second Ever Portfolio Critique

Chris, Iram, and I are very proud to bring you the second ever portfolio critique on Phlearn! The goal of this critique is to help not only Chis, but the whole Phamily become better.

This Episode is over 2:00HR long and took me over 12 hours to make. I know it is asking a LOT to give that much time of your day to this. Don’t feel like you must. We cover 6 images in this Critique, a perfect way to break it up! Watch one or two today, and come back for more later.


What I want from the critique:

I want to know what’s representing me in the best way. I want to be able to define and refine my style. I seem to shoot lots of different things but I prefer the portrait/fashion/anything to do with people stuff.
How do I push my images further? I feel that I could do more and excel in conceptual photography. I want to know which images are holding me back and why the strong images are representing me the best way.

Direction I want to take my work:

I want to be able to do photography for a living. I’m giving myself a timeline of around 2 years. I don’t want to have any regrets when I hit 30! I have a good job now, but it’s not fulfilling in the way that photography could be. When I was working in Regina, I was getting pretty busy. Then I moved to MTL, and asides from a mediocre 365 project, really didn’t do much. Recently I’ve been getting back into it and I cannot let it go this time.

What You Will Learn

  • 1:00 – Intro with Chris & Iram, and why this critique is important
  • 9:00 – Starting the Critique & Ground Rules
  • 11:00 – Image 1 – Hot Pants
  • 22:00 – Image 2 – Purple Shoes
  • 38:00 – Image 3 – Girl on Floor
  • 57:00 – Image 4 – I whip My hair back and forth
  • 1:00:00 – Image 5 – Beer Ad
  • 1:15:00 – Image 6 – Landscape & New Day
  • 1:20:00 – Why it is VERY important to be picky
  • 1:28:00 – Online Portfolio Critique
  • 1:45:00 – How to write a proper ABOUT page
  • 1:59:00 – PASSION

Your Critique

We need your help! A critique is best when it comes from many sources. Please post your ideas and comments on how to improve. Chris has agreed to be around all weekend to answer questions and help out.

If you are someone who comes to Phlearn often, but doesn’t comment much, now is the perfect time to do so. This is a safe environment and everyone undersands our intentions are to help each other.


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image
    Chris Lane

    Just watched through the first two images and agree with almost everything Aaron says. With the faces I think part of it is that women (people) can relate to a faceless woman (person). They can project themselves on this person. Once a face is seen and features can be established, it makes it MUCH more difficult to “become that person.” Though with the second I would have left the nose, as it gives just a hint of a face. But eh, thats just me. Great critique so far!

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      Thanks for the feedback Chris.  I think I agree with you about the nose in the second image 🙂

      It was fun to follow along with your reactions on twitter.

      Thanks man,

      • user image
        Chris Lane

        I just finished the last hour, phew! that was a long one. One critique to Aaron, I would suggest a little less rambling and increase the pace. You did an excellent job, but I think you went on and on about the same thing for longer than necessary. Like you said on one topic “ok, thats enough, you guys get it.” I think you could have done that a few more times. 8)
        Aaron was spot on about the retouching. Some of those definitely were too much retouching (the eyes and the guy in particular).

        For the landscape, I couldn’t tell it was HDR, so that’s good. I sometimes like HDR when its over the top, but usually its much better when it is subtle like that. So, well done there. I agree with what Aaron said about the processing on your landscapes and how it is all over the place. I like the ones you have that are of less work. They look so much more natural. But whichever route you take, its nice to stay on track.

        On the website, I completely agree with the URL/name. When you sent me the link on twitter I thought it was some kind of multi-artist site. Something similar to 500px or flickr. Or maybe like Aaron said, an agency. But I do agree with what he said about your name. I had no problem pronouncing it, but thats because I know German names. A lot of people won’t. It is unfortunate, but what can you do? Maybe go with Chris D like he said. It certainly works for Joey L.
        I don’t really think its a problem to have a variety of images in your portfolio, as long as it is the type of stuff you are going to shoot. But, you could break each section into series. That tends to be nice, and gives more images to view. That also goes with what Aaron said about the stories. As for the lifestyle images, really that first image is the only lifestyle shot. What he said about that, something where you want to be there, that is the definition of lifestyle photography. They almost always have more than one person, and the people are shot more candid (even if they truly are posed). So the rest of that group is definitely portraiture. Not that they are bad, but the category is wrong.

        The About page, I both agree and disagree with Aaron. I think what he was explaining is more like a mission statement page. The “here is what I can do for you” page should not be mixed up with an about page. I think an about page Should be about you, specifically. I do have to make some changes to my own in this regard, but it is nice to have a short version and a long version about you. But as for some of the wording in there, I agree with the ambiguousness. You should definitely say what you do and why you do it. I also agree with dropping the bit about music as there is nothing in your portfolio that enforces it. You don’t really have any music related photos.
        On the contact page – I wouldn’t say you are terribly busy if you aren’t 😉 As for the email, I think its fine. Its not like you have to retype much (though you could limit it to just [at] instead of having that AND the [dot]). I know it is done to reduce spam bots from gathering up your email address and today anything to have less SPAM is a good thing.The form is a really good idea though. You could also add your social networks on the about page.

        Really great talk on passion. It is absolutely vital. Chris, I don’t know what you do for a dayjob, but I know my wife is getting tired of me asking when I can quit! For me though, I have a wife and three kids and cannot financially afford to do that. I don’t know what your situation is and whether you can afford to quit but don’t go crazy either. You are definitely still young and do what you can while you can, you have a lot of time ahead of you. I’m 28 and am definitely impatient like you seem to be, but take this time to get better, build a client base and work your way in there, that’s what I’m working toward anyway.

        Man, this got about as long as the video! Sorry about that, but I’m super passionate like Aaron, though I probably wouldn’t have tears about it 😉 Great critique, great artist, look forward to more videos!

        • user image
          Chris Deutscher

          Wow man, that’s a lot of information, and I am super grateful that you gave it.

          I couple of the key points that I need to put some real thought into are the name, the about page, and the categorization.

          When I initially chatted with Aaron we talked at length about me feeling I had a lack of direction in my images.  I realize that it actually comes across that way on my whole page.

          You caught onto the reason I had my email seperated, but it is annoying!  I wouldn’t want to type someone’s email address! (I don’t care if it only takes a few seconds).

          Thank you for all of your thoughts man, they add weight to what everyone else is saying as well.


  • user image
    Jenna Petrone

    Chris, while watching this video I responded to each image and wrote it all in a document.  This may be a lot, but I hope my feedback helps you out.

    Image 1:  I feel as this image could be a good advertisement
    for clothes because the image focuses more on the outfit rather than who the
    person is.


    My favorite part of this image is
    the way her hands are placed and her hair flowing down on her right side.  I also like the way her head is cut off.  It cuts out her identity and makes the viewer
    make up their own stories about the image.


    One suggestion I would make (if you
    haven’t done this already) is to make a series based off this image.  The series could be of several pictures
    focusing on people’s posture, body language, clothing.  It would be interesting to see several images
    right next to each other and be able to get a different story out of each one.



    Image 2:  This shot is very casual and simple.  It has a relaxed feel to it and it doesn’t
    look posed which I think draws the viewer in the most.  I think the strongest part of this image is
    the position of her legs and the comfortable feel of it.


     I agree with Aaron, I think this could be an advertisement.  Little details like the bra strap falling off
    her shoulder and the position of her legs makes the image appealing to a broad


    A suggestion I would make is to pay
    attention to details being lost in shadows. 
    I think a bit of dodging needs to be done around and on her hair.



    Image 3:  The first thing I noticed about this picture
    is that the angle of her body.  I feel
    like it’s a bit awkward and it’s hiding parts of her body that need to be


    I agree with Aaron, this image doesn’t
    grab my attention like the first two did. 
    Also, pay special attention to the details when retouching.  Her really white eyes are a distracting
    element of the picture.



    Image 4:  First thing that jumped out to me was the
    lighting.  Most of her hair and the left
    side of her face are too blown out. 
    Second, her little hair strands on the left side need to be taken care
    of somehow.  They are distracting and don’t
    look like they belong because of the way the lighting was set up.  The background is also a bit distracting;
    maybe blur it out to help the viewer focus more on the subject or just change
    the background to something that’s simpler.


    The thing I enjoy most about this
    photo is the unconventional pose of your model. 
    It’s not something you see every day and it could be something interesting
    to explore as a series.



    Image 5:  I agree with Aaron with the live strong
    bracelet.  It’s the first thing my eyes were
    drawn to while viewing the picture and I think it would be best just to remove


    I also don’t like the crop of this
    photo, I feel like there could be more of his body and arm in the picture.  Also, if this is an ad for the beer, you
    might want to incorporate a background into it. 
    Put him on a beach while at a BBQ with friends or something.  The plain background won’t help sell the


    Image 6:  I like how the two pieces of wood on the
    sides of the picture sort of frames this landscape.   It’s simply an interesting scene and it makes
    me wonder what has happened in this area. 


    This is also kind of an
    anti-landscape photo.  Of course, it has
    landscape elements in it but in the foreground of the picture you mainly see
    things that humans have left behind. 
    This is a successful landscape just because it’s not conventional and
    different than other landscape pictures.


    I also wouldn’t have guessed this
    was an HDR at first glance, so good job at using it as an effective tool!


    Website:  I don’t know much about web design but I
    agree with what Aaron said about making your images in each section consistent.  I think that would really help with the
    presentation of your work.



    Your work reminds me of Nan Goldin’s
    work.  Her work is more documentary style
    and she captures moments she lives through. 
    Your work leans more towards advertising but they are captured in such a
    way that makes it feel like casual documented images.  I feel like you should keep going in the style
    of your first two images and your landscape images as well.   : )

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      Hi Jenna,

      Thanks for taking so much of your time to give me your feedback, I truly do appreciate that. 

      I like the ideas you gave around making series of images around a similar theme.  I think that would help in the overall presentation of my images, which as I discussed with Aaron, I struggle with!!

      One thing that resonates with me in both Aaron’s feedback, and yours here, is the retouching.  When I take a subjective look at my work being presented to me by Aaron, I can really see the different stages in my photography, and my experience or lack thereof driving certain editing/retouching decisions.

      When he was talking about the different fairy tales as a way to show me the inconsistencies, it really clicked for me.  The way my portfolio is presented right now is segmented into different experience levels of my photography.  I need to work on refining my style and making it more consistent.  IT would be a better experience for the viewer and clients will know why to call 🙂

      Thanks again Jenna and as always, you too Aaron.


      • user image
        Chris Deutscher

        Thanks for taking the time Reem!
        In regards to image number 4, I can really appreciate what you’re saying.  I was going for a similar look to the black and white hair one that I have (to build a series of sorts), but you’re right….it wasn’t executed quite correctly. The problems with the hair that Aaron pointed out are now GLARING at me.  The blown out frays of hair look like tubes, kind of…not natural.  
        For anybody interested, I didn’t cut out the model and place her on that background, it was just shot with a backlight, but in reality that amplified the problems in the photo instead of make it better.  Live and learn!
        I love and appreciate the feedback that everyone is giving! Thank you so much, you have no idea.

  • user image
    Ian Arneson

    Thank you so much for Phlearn, from the bottom of my heart and I’m sure with others as well. I remember emailing Aaron way back about some input on pictures I took of weird ass statues, and even back then he was supportive. So with the utmost respect and sincerity, Thank You Very Very Much For Phlearn.

  • user image
    Chris Deutscher

    Aaron, thank you so much!  There is so much that I learned from this and so much that I want to say/discuss/clarify/delete 😉

    I’ve just finished watching the critique, and I want to watch it again tomorrow with a fresh perspective to pick up on even more of all the details you gave me. 

    I truly appreciate all the hard work you put into this man.  I cannot really express my gratitude within the walls of this comment box, but know that you have impacted me.

    To the community:  I would LOVE to hear your feedback too.  And just like I asked from Aaron, I’d like to hear the raw and honest truth.  I’m going to watch again tomorrow, and perhaps respond with some of my own comments, but everything that you guys can share with me would really mean the world to me.

    Thanks everyone,

  • user image
    Anthony Phung

    WOW Aaron, I almost cried with you at the PASSION. Thanks for doing what you do with the critique, it is a real eye opener. I haved learned a bundle tonight thanks to you and to Chris.

  • user image

    *I’m posting this without reading other comments so, please forgive me if I say something that has already been said.  Also, I am in no way a professional so, take what I say with a grain of salt.

    Aaron, you’d be so proud.  I watched this video and took NOTES of my thoughts. LOL!!!!

    So, here I go.

    1st image: While this is a sensual image, there is an innocence to it. With her pulling on her shirt, it seems like she’s trying to hide her midriff. I think that’s why this image has so much appeal. She’s luring you in by “hiding” a little something.

    2nd image: It’s definitely sexy without  over doing it.  From a girls perspective, we don’t have to imagine a hot guy in the image to “get it”.  That image can make a girl think, “I want to be THAT girl. I want to hang out in awesome shoes, lounging around, reading fashion magazines.”

    3rd image: The pose doesn’t match the atmosphere/surroundings.  The post also looks very unnatural and uncomfortable. And from a woman’s perspective, un-comfort does not equal sexy.  At the risk of looking like an idiot…I just tried that pose and it is VERY awkward. LOL

    4th image: The frays of hair look like sparklers behind her head.
    This is just my personal taste but, I’m not a fan of up the nose shots.

    5th image: *random thought* There was a study that showed people who drink (it didn’t matter if it was beer, wine, or liquor) appeared to be less intelligent than people who weren’t drinking.

    6th image: (Aaron’s voice changed a little over night. lol)
    I love this image…I feel like there should be a campfire behind me and I’m leaving for the day to go fishing. =)

    Why it’s important to be picky:  I wish I had the time to be picky. lol Maybe once my girls are a little older. I know that you said you have to pick what you’re passionate about over your day job…but, my day job is very different than the average person. I can’t pick photography over my family. No matter how much I love photography, I absolutely can not quit my “job” to fully pursue a job in photography. =/

    Web design: I totally agree with the transition times. Mine is currently sluggish and it’s driving me crazy. One of these days I’ll get around to fixing it.
    I also have problems labeling photos. It’s either two categories or a hundred. lol!!

    About section: I.Needed.This!  I’ve been struggling with my about section!

    Aaron, your passion is inspiring.  I hope we, as phamily, can make you proud.
    It’s funny that I just said on twitter that Phlearn was about Photography, Photoshop, Phamily, and Passion!

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      some of the big takeaways from Aaron involved the actual website itself. 

      The about me section, makes me look like I’m not sure what I’m doing.  Which is not good in anyones eyes. It’s very difficult to write that kind of stuff but Aaron shed a lot of light on what can make it better.  I do think it’s important to inject your poersonality into things like that, and I guess I accomplished that with my “Dirty Window” picture.

      I’m so excited to start working through some of the changes that everyone is suggesting. 

      I just feel … lucky, that everyone is taking so much time to help.


      • user image

        It’s always difficult to “bring yourself up”.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because we, in general, never feel like we’re doing well enough.  So, that reflects when we talk about ourselves.

        An approach I’m going to try is have a few close friends/relatives write what they would say about me. That way I can get an idea of what my strong points are and really focus on those in my about section.

        • user image

          OH!  I just had a thought about the 2nd image…as far as the strap being in the picture, I like it. One of the “tricks of flirting” is to let a strap fall so the person you’re flirting with will “fix it”.  It makes them want to make physical contact.  It makes her seem very flirtatious with the strap there.  Just my two cents.

  • user image

    Awesome work Chris and Aaron. Aaron, you’re a legend. Keep up the great work 🙂

  • user image

    hey there, I’m typing this without reading the rest of the comments so I may say something that somebody else said!

    I mostly agree with everything Aaron said but I have few notes to say about 4 of your images!

    image 1: I think this is the best one of them, I really like it I think that its one of those images that could have 1000 stories about it, I love how it looks a bit alluring and innocent at the same time!
    I also love the colors, lighting and pose 🙂

    image 2: I love the natural feel to the image, being a girly girl myself I had alot of moments like that! and I also love the fact that the face isn’t showing!

    image 3: I agree with what Aaron said and how it looks posed! but in my personal openion I think if this was taken from a different angle and the model was not looking at the camera it would look better!

    image 4: I like those hair images but this one seems to not look as good as it should! I think the lighting is a bit off, and the model doesn’t look comfortable! I think these kind of images should look more natural and more fun!!

    the rest I have nothing to add to what Aaron said,

    your work is great Chris good luck 🙂

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      Thanks for taking the time Reem!
      In regards to image number 4, I can really appreciate what you’re saying.  I was going for a similar look to the black and white hair one that I have (to build a series of sorts), but you’re right….it wasn’t executed quite correctly. The problems with the hair that Aaron pointed out are now GLARING at me.  The blown out frays of hair look like tubes, kind of…not natural.  
      For anybody interested, I didn’t cut out the model and place her on that background, it was just shot with a backlight, but in reality that amplified the problems in the photo instead of make it better.  Live and learn!
      I love and appreciate the feedback that everyone is giving! Thank you so much, you have no idea.

      • user image

        just a thought:
        if you made a series of shots with the hair whipping, like 3 shots in one it would look pretty cool! the thing about 3 shots in one is that you can feel the movement and live the story if the image! maybe you can picture the girl in a club having fun!

        I hate cutting out images with hair because I never do it right :/ so the fact that you didn’t change the background is very smart!
        one last thing! creating an environment while shooting is great! I tried doing a hair whipping shot and It was alot easier when I had my ipod with crazy music on 😀

        and we are Phamily and always here to help out 🙂

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      Aww, you are totally right!

      I guess what i meant by that was that I just don’t want to have regrets.  Aaron’s thoughts about passion really hit me hard, as I’m sure they did to everyone. 

      By no means do I belive that passion ends at 30, but it’s a goal that I have for myself that I really want to achieve. 

      I hope that makes sense, because I think what you said here is very important. Really.

      • user image

        I totally understand! Since I’m wizened by age (and I’ve got 10 years on you) let me just say…don’t let a negative motivator like “avoiding regrets” drive you. Tap in to that passion Aaron expressed and live from there. It’s a totally different path.

  • user image
    Andrea Peipe

    Chris, I wanted to comment on every photo so I wrote this down while Aaron was talking (and sometimes before) 🙂

    1. photo –  I love it! The colors and the lighting is amazing and I love (weird I know) that you cannot see the face. It just fits in this case. And the fact that the color of the heart is found again in the background… great! Good that Aaron pointed out the missing highlight on the other leg, I missed that! But he is right, it makes it even better.
    2. photo – I like the story you created here and that my eyes are drawn to her shoes because of the way you lighted it. I am unsure about not seeing her face at all here (except for the nose which is kind of distracting me a bit…) but I think you wanted that. If it were an ad for the shoes (like Aaron said) that is of course a good thing because the shoes are the main focus point! Again, I did not see the magenta tones in the legs but again, it looks better with the changed skin tones. Aaron sees it all 😉

    3. photo – hm. Something does honestly not work for me here. I don’t like that my eyes are immediately drawn to the golden shoes instead of her face. No idea why that is but it is. I (sorry!) find it kind of boring, you know? It does not draw me into it like the other two. Don’t get me wrong, it is well done but… I guess it just does not work for me. I also don’t like it too much that the tones of the floor are about the same tones as everything else (her skin color and her hair). I actually did like the eyes before Aaron pointed out they are too perfect to be true. I guess eyes are really hard! To me, if you would crop it a bit and the legs were not visible, it would somehow look better. And then my eyes would also go to her face instantly! But remember, this is only my opinion!!

    4. photo – While I kinda like the hair (because I generally love hair flips) and the light behind her but I honestly find the red background distracting and the parts where the blanket (is it a blanket?) is crinkled distracts me too. Also, Aaron is kinda right, we are wondering where the light source is! But then again, sometimes we see movie posters where the subject is very backlit but we do not see the light source. Also, the whole kinda looking up her nose thing is not my kind of thing. I LOVE hair flip shots but done in a different way! I did a collection of hair flips of others on flickr once if you want to check what I mean:

    Jeez, I find critiquing so hard…I hope you are not hurt by my honesty Chris, that would make me very sad! I think you have great potential and some awesome shots (I also added you on 500 px) and I cannot wait to see the rest of the critique later! :))

    Have a great Sunday! 


  • user image

    A few notes:  overall i agree with the critique of the images and the retouching. The landscape shot, for me, is too busy.  my eyes float all over the image, which can be a real challenge with HDR.  It’s pretty, but what am I looking at? 

    On the notes about the specificity of the text in the website, thank you!  That is certainly something I am  going to look at today in my own site.  It is something that I, as a developing photographer really struggle with because I love so many types and styles of photography, and I feel like I should show well executed images of a lot of styles to show my versatility, when I haven’t worked out how to provide that continuity/story/style that defines me. I feel like I’m too new to have locked all that down, and it feels confining as well. if you want to bash away. 

    Aaron, awe inspiring to see the passion.  A little intimidating and deflating at the same time.  I also have a day job that I love which is not photography, but spend hours and hours every day learning and shooting and editing (and watching phlearn).  When I see things like the last 10 minutes of the video, it almost makes me want to give up photography, not because I don’t love it, but because I don’t know if i have what it takes, and if I don’t, what’s the point of spending all this time and money?   In a sort of a weird “russian nesting doll” type of irony, I recently had one of my photography students (I’m a teacher and photography is one of my subjects) tell me that looking at my work made them discouraged because they didn’t think they could ever be that good.   I’m not trying to toot my own horn, maybe Aaron you have artists that you love their work so much you get discouraged that your work will never live up to that.  The danger in inspiration I guess. 

    Ah well, I ramble,  thanks to Chris, I really learned a lot about making the camera a portal instead of just a camera, keep up the great work!  You too, Aaron, you are changing the world, don’t ever doubt it. 

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      I’m really stoked that you also learned so much from the crit as I did man.  I love that Aaron can impact so many people, it’s really changing the world man.

  • user image
    Ovi Gherman

    somebody please tell me how can i see all the free episodes. If i click on “Free Episodes” there are only 30. Where can i find the others?

  • user image
    Laetitia Messinger

    so I watched the whole episode yesterday and it really hit home. it was soo inspiring! i told my parents about it today and what i learned from it, and i started crying. like a good cry, a cry that showed me just how much i want to work as a photographer and keep growing and getting better at it.
    thank you so much for putting yourself out there and sharing!

  • user image

    Thanks for the last few minutes Aaron. I printed a document in Helvetica Bold (capital letters) with the words: Bust yo ass/ Be passionate/ Work hard/ Be awesome. It hangs on my wall now.

    I am going to quit school in a week (I already have a degree) and then I’m going to art school in September. I am doing photography for over 200 days now and it’s the most wonderful thing in the world. I enjoy shooting and editing so much, I am just so passionate about it. I see the world through my 50mm lens. When I’m in school, I can only think of what I’m going to shoot today and how I’m going to do it. I think about f/stops and shutter speed numbers when I see things. Basically everything I do in my free time is photography related. It’s hard to be a photographer these days because everybody can make nice pictures because everybody has a nice camera. I am going to work so hard to make mine better, and even better. Because I WANT to be up there, on the top. I want people to buy my prints and enjoy looking at them. I want people to cry because of an emotional photo.

    I don’t think that I would be where I am without Phlearn. I don’t know how to express how much I’ve learnt from this community. The printing, skin tones, little tricks that make my workflow more efficiënt, everything. Thank you so much. I feel so inspired that I’m going to edit my photo of today now instead of going to bed. Just thanks man. You are awesome.

  • user image
    Tavis Glover

    Great job as usual Aaron! You really pointed out some great flaws and provided solutions by explaining and giving demonstrations on how to fix them. You are like superman when it comes to pointing out color variations! This is something I need to work on and be aware of. You must have sensitive eyes to be able to spot all of that, pretty freakin’ amazing. I was cracking up during the Corona critique because of all of the mixed and suggestive things that you were pointing out. I agree with the neck hair, the skin retouching, and the anti-corona feeling of the image. Way to stick your neck out Chris, and want to take the risk of getting critiqued in order to grow. That shows your determination!

    Aaron, I can really see that you are passionate and sincere when you say you want to change the future and that you are trying to help us all out by dedicating most of your time to Phlearn. I really appreciate it, and I know the others do!! It is weird how we feel this drive to create art and share it with the world. It’s an unknown driving force that pushes us to create even if it is only to help others, and enrich other people’s lives. I can’t explain the feeling. Keep up the great work Aaron, you are changing the lives of many people!!

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      I love your reaction to the Corona image because I didn’t even think about that stuff when I shot it!

      Instead of having a fun shoot with a buddy, if I’m going to post stuff like that, it needs to be more well thought out!

  • user image
    Eiríkur Brynjólfsson

    this is so grait community.
    on my smal/big island we have a nice communtiy of passionate ppl. We have nice active site on photography, contest, qritique, articles and every ting related for that. In time i have spent critiques other work or getting on my work, what i feel. that peaple whant critique on there work, in that way they can feel better for what they are doing or done, and for most part to be recognised. in some part thats kinda in me alsow. but i dint realy see that clearly before. what i see is to better on what you love u must love all part of it. have passion on all part in it, shareing your work and knowledge, alsow show passion to other around you, that you admire and dislike.
    Aron! you´re totaly gona have a big affect on photographers around the world. and they you affect, realy affect are gone share your knowleg on.
    So i know what i whant to do the next year.

    and to you Chris D.
    after some look on your portfolio. my eyes often focus in the middle of the frame. and i will lose the story of the picture.
    I get this fealing on the lighting is more experimntal than prepared.
    I know its a cliche. but mastering one light sorc is the key. for me its totaly change the planing for shooting, i doo now.
    And the models are just missing that spark, that sell the picture.Communicating with models to bring out the best in them, for me. That is the hardest thing to learn. and i think that is the 50% punce that comes from pictures of people. If you can turn up that game. you are on your way to be awsome photographer

  • user image

    Wow!  What an epic video!

    I got so much out of this critic, from the story telling, retouching, the website review.

    Kudos to you Chris for putting your work out there, and kudos to you Aaron for your unrelenting passion to your craft and more so the Phamily!

    Chris, I would you to do a series on the “mystery woman”.  A+ quality in your shots.

  • user image

    Thanks Chris for sharing your talent in photography, and thank you Aaron for your passion that you share with All.  Just want to say, passion doesn’t end at 48 too.

  • user image
    Daniel James T. Cook

    Like Chris’ wife, I watched this while washing piles of dishes and cleaning stuff. I can’t do that in Pro episodes because I have to focus on brushes and things. When I was done cleaning, I curled up on the couch to watch the rest. This was the most edifying free episode I’ve seen so far. If anyone every has any criticism about Phlearn and question whether or not it is about freely GIVING the highest quality education away, then I’ll point them to this episode and tell them to show me a better resource.

    I have made Phlearn my home however much it annoys Aaron with my constant Facebook and Twitter cheers because of exactly the quality and insight that this episode shows. There’s nothing like it out there.

    Now if we just had a better forum…. Chris: Massive props to you for offering yourself up at the alter of public critique. You’re brave and definitely absolutely cool for it in all of our eyes.

  • user image
    Andrea Peipe

    5. photo – The yellow bracelet thingie was the same thing that caught my eye too as in being distractive. I am not sure if I agree with Aaron about the retouched skin but then again once he pointed out where it bothered him, I now see it as well… you know the beard part under the chin and that the skin is very retouched. Man, I always think the shots are awesome and then Aaron points out a few things and then I see it too 😉 
    @Aaron: your Corona story here was very much fun to watch ;D

    6. photo – Wow, awesome perspective! There is so much details here that I want to think about and I really like the background!

    Oh, I know how to say your last name 😀 Being German has advantages 😉

    Chris, on your website I really like the b&w hairflip shot! Much more than the hairflip shot with the red background! The b&w one rocks!! And there are generally a few really great photos on your website, like really! 

    While I do like the photo in your about section A LOT but like Aaron said, I  would leave out the music part because it comes across as you not being completely believing in your work! Try to show people you rock and want to be a photographer more than anything! 

    And Chris, definitely change the email address! I thought the same thing like Aaron, I would hate having to rewrite the address when I wanted to send you an email! I would do that as the first thing 🙂

    Ok, now I am questioning all my work and have to go re-do a few things 😉 

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      Thanks Andrea! 

      I am now on a quest to change my last name! 😉

      I’ve made some of the changes that everyone has suggested and implementing them where I feel right about it.  I am dedicating every moment of my free time to improving and I feel so lucky that people have taken the time to share any thoughts with me

      Thanks so much.

      • user image
        Andrea Peipe

        Again, most welcome! I think the whole critique thing is a great idea and helpful for all of us because it makes us realize small details and the like! 

  • user image
    Jane Sampson Photo

    I like that Chris stated up front what he wanted from the critique. I felt Aaron did an really great job providing his honest opinion, sharing his knowledge, and providing detailed explanations of why he would change this or that. And BONUS, I was completely surprised by that wonderful critique of the website as well.  I could relate to the advice given on every photo and especially the comments on the website.  I’ll be taking another look at my portfolio for sure. 

    Great, great, great!   AND wonderful work Chris.

    • user image
      Chris Deutscher

      Hi Jane, I totally agree with you about the advice he gave on the website!  Makes you really think about what you’re posting and more importantly, WHY.

  • user image
    Dan Tidswell

    This was really inspirational to watch and has given me a LOT of food for thought.

    Chris D, thanks for being so brave and Aaron, top form as ever, though the passion kinda got you towards the end there 😉

  • user image
    Erik Ryan

    I am so happy that I watched this entire video. Chris D, Fantastic work man and I hope you have come a long way in the last two years. Aaron Nace, The best and most inspiring ending EVER! Thank you so much for PHLEARN!!!

    • user image

      Thank you so much for watching and for the kind words! It really means a lot to us here at Phlearn! 🙂

  • user image

    I just started 2 days ago to watch this awesome videos, and i feel like i have been catch by all the magic of it. I want to say thank you as well as many of you here and also hope to improve as much i think i can do with your videos.

    thanks bro