with Courtney Slazinik
Critique Me-Tiffany at Tiffany Adelman Photography

Read How to Critique a Photo
Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.

Thanks to Tiffany at Tiffany Adelman Photography for sharing the following image.
Settings: f/5.6, SS 1/200, ISO 200

  • May 21, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    I think the pose and expressions are phenomenal. The teeth and eyes on the girl seem a little unnaturally white. Location is nice.

    • May 21, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      Thanks Therese!
      Her eyes were almost a blood shot red, (these are my kiddos), cause we live here in Hawaii and she of corse thought it was a good idea to go surfing with her dad that morning before we went to take pictures, grr, lol!
      So I tried to correct it, but it looked really weird to fix her eyes and have them so much whiter than her teeth, so I fixed both and thats what I got! lol, but thank you :)

  • May 21, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    The pose is great! I would have made their skin/eye sockets and teeth more natural looking, lighting is great!

    Great job!

    • May 21, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Thanks Whitney! Again, like I just commented to Therese, it all started with my daughters eyes, lol, I was trying to fix the teeth to match. :)

  • Ali
    May 21, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Wow, this is a great photo! It’s sharp and the kids are both looking at the camera! I like how the photo is composed, but looks like the photo was taken from a low position which is including a lot of the sky that is blown out. I might would try composing the photo the same way, but from a slightly higher position to try to exclude some of the sky which is difficult sometimes to get correct exposure for skin and sky. Bringing out those pretty blue eyes is a great idea! But, in this case I think the photo looks edited so it should be taken back to a more natural look. Overall great work!

    • May 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Thanks Ali!
      Great suggestion, regarding the higher position next time. Thanks :)

  • Cora
    May 21, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Adorable! What a lovely picture. Both of their eyes pop! The only suggestion I have has already been mentioned which is get from a different view point, in particular, higher up looking down a bit. I read an post (I believe from click it up a notch) about avoiding your subjects heads from being in the way of the horizon, because it’s distracting. Overall, a lovely picture that I’m sure will be a treasured keepsake for years to come!

    • May 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      I just read that same post about the horizon :) Of corse it was after this photo, lol! I will try that next time though, thanks Cora :)

      • maryam
        May 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Can you please link that post, I also wana read that.

        P.S Love the background and their smiles

  • Amy
    May 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    I’m truly amazed how you could get both children to smile, look happy, AND look at the camera at the same time – nice work! When I critique I look for about 3 seconds and then close my eyes. Then I try to think of what stood out and if it was in a good way or a distracting way. For me, I find the eyes and teeth a tad over-edited. I think if you drew that back it would be extremely helpful. Otherwise a nicely composed, sharp photo! Good luck!

    • May 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Amy, that’s a great way to do a critique! I think I’ll try that :)
      As I commented earlier about the teeth, it all started with my daughters eyes, lol, they were sooo red, so I had to make them this white to drown it out, and then the teeth looked funny so this is what I got when I fixed them to match-ish.
      As far as both of their eyes, I didn’t edit those at all. I can’t edit them or they look super fake. I see that they look edited, but I promise I didn’t touch em :)

      • May 22, 2012 at 4:29 AM

        You know I just realized when I said I didn’t edit the eyes, I meant the blue part, lol! I did edit the white part, as I’m sure everyone has read at this point. haha! Typing while my 10 month is awake and not napping is challenging! :)

  • Pam
    May 21, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Im in love with the photo, I’m an amature but my suggestion would be to scooch the picture to the right alittle so we could see more of the back of her hair. Love the bright happy smiles on both kids, love them up for me.

  • May 21, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    What a lovely photo, nice use of the rule of thirds! The exposure on their faces is spot on, and the skin tones look very pretty in a natural way without being over processed. I also like their facial expressions and the sense of motion.

    My only suggestion for improvement echoes what others have mentioned–the bright white of your daughter’s eyes and teeth, especially next to the more natural looking whites of your son’s eyes.

    One way to tone down whitened eyes and teeth in Photoshop is to add a blank layer on top–then when you open your brush tool, select sample all layers. Once you’ve whitened the eyes, lower the opacity on the adjustment layer to get a more natural look. While lowering the opacity, you could look at the whites of your son’s eyes to try to match that. I usually do one blank adjustment layer for eyes, and another for teeth since it gives more flexibility when adjusting opacities. Then you could merge the layers down and do the rest of your processing.

    Thanks so much for sharing such a beautiful shot!

    • May 22, 2012 at 4:03 AM

      This is a great tip – thanks! Over-editing is my nemesis… ;-)

    • May 22, 2012 at 4:15 AM

      Thanks Benita! That’s a great everyday general editing tip to remember!

  • Rachel
    May 22, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Sweet photo! I especially love the expression on that little mans cute face :). At first glance, I thought perhaps their faces were over smoothed in pp, but from seeing the other comments I am guessing I was picking up on the super white eyes/teeth challenge. I am just learning to use lr, and I know it can be tricky to use a light hand with all that power at your finger tips :)! Thank you for sharing!

    • May 22, 2012 at 4:16 AM

      Thank you Rachel! :)

  • Teresa
    May 22, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Gorgeous! Wow would be proud if this was a photo of my children.

    The only thing at all that I even could critique is that the eyes and teeth of the girl look way too white. I know that has been mentioned but honestly that is the only thing I see. Otherwise a perfect photo. Maybe fix her hair a little up top where the braid starts since it’s coming out or edit that out next time.

    But again WOW, you definitely have talent!

    • May 22, 2012 at 4:20 AM

      Thanks so much Teresa!
      And you know, I never noticed her hair (I’m super OCD, lol) until the picture got posted on here. I think I was too busy trying to figure out how to get rid of her super red eyes, lol! I think I did a quick “let me get your hair out of your eyes”, cause it was still a little wet from surfing. But yes I see it now, and I think I’ll go in and edit that back a bit, lol ;)

  • May 22, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    This is such a fun picture! I, too, am impressed with how you got them both to look at you at the same time, happily! ;-) And I love the way you composed the picture, too! The things that first come to mind (eyes and slightly heavy editing) have already been mentioned, and I totally see why you did what you did. The only thing I might do differently is pop the color in the background a bit and try to improve the exposure on the sky (in post-processing, probably with an action). I think it would give the whole picture more of a “pop” rather than just the eyes/teeth. Go big or go home, right? ;-) But overall – I love it. This is my style of photography and I dig it! :-)

    • May 22, 2012 at 4:24 AM

      Thanks Kristin! I think I’ll go back in and play around with that a bit and see what I come up with. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Andrea Shoup
    May 22, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    Your kiddos are adorable!! The composition of the photo looks great. Have you tried adjusting the skin tones? What program do you use to edit your photos? I recently learned that you can adjust skin tones by using the white balance dropper in Lightroom to measure tones. R > G > B (Red should always be about 15-20 % higher than your blue values and green should be an average of the Red and Blue values). It has helped me tremendously. If you’re interested in learning more, I can send you a link to the article. Otherwise, good work!! Can’t beat catching a smile from both of them at the same time :-)

  • May 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I like the composition of the picture and the natural smiles. I agree about the sky being blown out. I agree with being at a higher level – either eye level with your subject or from above would be a good way to combat that. I really love this picture and am a bit jealous that you live in Hawaii. :-) Great job!

  • Megan
    May 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Beautiful kids! Super jealous that you live in Hawaii! :(
    The only thing that really stuck out to me is your daughters missing elbow. Its really not that big of a deal but for some reason thats what really grabbed my attention. I do agree with what others said above about the whites of the eyes/teeth and trying different angles to get rid of the sky or move the horizons position. No matter what though – its a fantastic pictures. Great eye contact and expression – and its your kids. How can you not love it?!

    • May 22, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Oh dang, hahaha, I never noticed her elbow before. Good eye! I’ll keep an eye out for things like that next time, so thank you! :)

  • Bethney
    May 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    This is such a sweet moment! I reallyl like your composition and their expressions are priceless! Did you use a flash for this photo? I see pinlights in their eyes and the light on their skin looks very flat. This might be personal preference but I would try and use natural light to give more natural looking shadowing on their faces. Otherwise I think it looks awesome! I would love to have a photo like this of my children. :)

    • May 23, 2012 at 6:39 AM

      Thanks Bethney! I did use a flash. It was really really overcast, so the first one I took came out not how I wanted it to.

  • Pauline
    May 27, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Hi Tiffany,
    I think the expressions you captured are great! Like the previous poster I would really recommend not using a flash outdoors during the day because it gives images an overall harsh feeling of unnatural colour, shadows and light – which is why a few people have commented about the image looking overedited. Under their hands there is also a not very nice shadow from the flash. Overcast days are actually the ideal ( way better than sunny days) for portrait photography because the clouds act as a giant softbox by diffusing the sunlight, making it really beautiful and soft for portrait photography. When working on an overcast day like this I would try opening up your aperture (ie. F2), upping the ISO to at least 400 and slowing down your shutter speed so that you have enough light, without having to use a flash. ( If you set your camera to Aperture Priority it will adjust your SS automatically when you switch your aperture or if you are on Shutter Priority you could slow down your SS all the way down to 1/60 if necessary and it will adjust your Aperture for you) The other thing I love about your image is how the composition allows the viewer’s eye to move into the image from your daughter, then to your son and then out of the frame through the arch of the tree trunk in the background. Good work!

    • May 27, 2012 at 7:48 PM

      Pauline, thank you for the suggestions! Next time we have a dark day like that, I’ll play around with the settings and probably be upset it didn’t dawn on me earlier to do that, lol! Which is another reason I practice on my own kids first, that way I don’t get frazzled with others :)

  • May 29, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Love the expression on their faces and the leading line of the tree branch (which is repeated in the angle of your daughter’s arm.) Both are looking dead on into the camera and yet it doesn’t look posed. Great natural expressions on both. I know it’s been commented above but the two things that jumped out to be about the image was the whiteness of the eyes and teeth. I would add a little gray to them to make them look more natural. Also, the skin looks overly smooth on your daughter’s face. She could, of course, just have gorgeous young skin. : )
    A lovely image and one I’m sure you will cherish!

  • Rita
    May 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Love the photo ..both kids are stunning models, only thing i can say is maybe the eyes are a little un natural but that would easiely be fixed by lowering the opacity….. great job though !

  • June 9, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    oh I just think this is adorable. I love it all. My only critique would be on the editing. I feel like the girl is a little over edited with her eyes and teeth, and I would have brushed out the little loop in her bangs that is sticking up more than the others. But I dont even know how to do all that so you are already better than me! :)

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