Vote on the best family portrait

Voting has started for our latest contest. This time we asked you to show us your best family portrait and we got some great submissions. Now is the time to vote for your favorite image, you can only vote for 1 shot so choose wisely. Also I ask that everyone goes through all of the images and takes a minute to think about why you are choosing that particular image. You can actually learn a lot by slowing down and thinking about what you really like about the shot. Does the composition really draw you in and engage you? Is the lighting spectacular and adds to the feel of the shot? You can learn so much by analyzing other peoples work.

Also to help you get an insight to what the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) uses when judging print competitions here are the 12 elements that the Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) of the PPA provides as guidelines to print-competition entrants. Based on fundamental precepts for judging a photograph or other piece of fine art, these guidelines are meant simply to give entrants a basic understanding of what constitutes a good image.

  • Impact – the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion.
  • Creativity – the external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.
  • Style – defined in a number of ways. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.
  • Composition – important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.
  • Print Presentation – affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.
  • Center of Interest – the point or points on the image where the imagemaker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest and the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.
  • Lighting (the use and control of light) refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of lighting should enhance an image.
  • Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.
  • Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.
  • Technical Excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color all speak to the qualities of the physical print.
  • Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, paper selection and other elements are part of the technique applied to an image.
  • Storytelling refers to the ability of the image to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.
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    Author: Mark

    Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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    4 Comments

    1. Hello,

      I noticed your website was updated today. Can you tell me if the current contest still ends today, July 9, 2010 @ 5PM PST? It no longer indicates the end time.

      Thanks,
      Beth

    2. Hi Beth,

      Yes, the contest did end on the 9th at 5:00 PST. Winner and some honorable mentions to be announced in the next few days!

      Thanks,
      Mark

    3. anxiously awaiting word on official winner.

      Thanks, Marianne

    4. Coming tomorrow!

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