Image Critique By Sham Of The Perfect


Back in March one of my Fresh 48 newborn session images was critiqued over at Sham of the Perfect blog. Sham of the Perfect is a community of documentary family photographers from around the world, that now has added image critique to their arsenal.

Now I will say, it is ALWAYS daunting to submit your work to be critiqued by other photographers. But these three ladies all gave such valuable feedback that has already changed the way I work on images during – and after – sessions.


Celina: “I just love the moment captured in this image, it really depicts how a mom feels after giving birth.”

Natasha: “I think that the choice of the black & white conversion is a good one – it brings the focus on to the mother & away from the hospital equipment.”

Kym: “The exposure on her face is lovely! Shooting in hospital rooms can be tough, and I think you did very well with the composition and framing. You captured visual interest, and a moment any new parent would be happy to have in a birth session.”


Kym: “I love the black and white, but think the shadows, especially around the baby and her left arm, need to be slightly lightened. Also the hot spot on her right hand to the crest of the blanket could be toned down.”

Natasha: “You would still be able to see that she was still at the hospital by the bed & the wrist tags etc, all of that stuff to the right of the bed doesn’t add anything to the story.”


Celina: “In a perfect world I would have loved to have seen more of the baby’s face… Perhaps taking the photo from a slightly higher angle would have helped or again by cropping in or shooting closer. That would also we get rid of the wires to the right which I find don’t add to the story and can be a little distracting.”

Kym: “I thought at first if she was in the pains of labor, until I noticed the cap on the baby. Her expression is somewhere between mid yawn and crying, which is what confused me. I feel that if you had positioned yourself more towards her shoulder to be able to get a peak of the baby’s face, it would tell the story a little stronger.”



This was one of the first images I made during this hospital session. Because I wanted to capture her yawn I did not have time to get in closer than where I was standing, still putting together my gear. I tweaked the image as best as I could thanks to the feedback, and some of the advice I will apply during future sessions.




Although I do totally agree on the comments about the toning of some shadows and hot spots, I feel like I still prefer my original composition.



Thank you Kym, Celina and Natasha for your honest feedback!

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Documentary newborn and family photographer serving San francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and surrounding areas