9 Points for a Better Shot Than This !

It´s winter time

I can remember how proud I was of this shot.

And even if I still like it because of the memories linked to it, I see good and bad things in this shot.

Portrait of woman… And what else to say ? And this is exactly the problem of this shot. The guys who know her will be happy to have her portrait. But what about the others. To make this shot more interesting, we should have more information about who she is and she is doing : Is she getting ready to have vacation in the Mountains ? Has she got a new pull over ? Was it frizzing outside and is happy to be inside ? This what would make this picture much more interesting. Here is the thing : a nice looking woman is OKAY. But you have to be a master of lights to make more than that out of a “just nice smile”. This leads me to the technical aspects : the lights. As far as I can remember I was shooting with continuous lights (Wallimex). I did not enjoy it because I had to go pretty high with the ISO, even at full power. But here, the lights are not very interesting, it’s simply to even. No shadows. And shadows are the soul of a picture. And the background ? It looks so unreal… And the reason was that is was blurred too much during the post processing, maybe to because the background was not nice looking enough.


  • Nice model, confident in front of the camera
  • Good idea : Winter
  • Good styling : pretty realistic
  • Nice body position and composition (having her aiming from right to the left gives strength to the picture !)
  • The shadows in/on the background


  • Almost boring lighting
  • No information about her context (Accessories like ski…, landscape in the background…
  • White balance is too warm
  • Bad use of Photoshop (=Background)


  • set the strobe or continuous light more above aiming down at her, maybe at 45° angle. Hairlight ? I would give it a try.
  • correct the white balance
  • add some artificial snow on her (not too much)
  • Put her a few steps away from the background so I would not have to blur the background in Photoshop.
  • Give her accesories
  • Choose a nice ready-to-shoot background.

This would make this shot more interesting, it lets you know more about her. This makes the difference between a nice smiling woman like any 100.000 in Flickr and a good shot : THE STORY ABOUT THE SUBJECT.


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