Professional Photographer Critiques Boudoir Images: You Are Not as Good as You Think

Starting off in any genre most photographers will go through the feeling of being on top of their game. This is until years later when they look back at their portfolio and cringe compared to the work being produced now. 

Michael Sasser is no stranger to boudoir photography as he has been shooting for over a decade as well as teaching workshops over the country. Recently he decided to dive into his old work to see how it compared to he current portfolio. "We all start somewhere and I started very far back. I already knew how to use a camera when I started shooting, but had no idea how to pose or what I wanted my boudoir pictures to look like" he wrote. 

In this hilarious video he critiques his own work with some lighthearted tips for his former self. Between the lighting, posing, and storyline behind his tips he manages to also help newbie photographers from making the same mistakes he did when starting out. As in Sasser fashion, he not only explains where he went wrong but also how it has improved in a timeline using the same pose over the years. If you have went back and critiqued your own work leave a comment with your then and now images. 

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12 Comments

Sean Shimmel's picture

Watched it all and appreciate Michael’s generous assortment of examples and detailed commentary. Thank you JT.

liliumva's picture

I think self assessment after years can really help you grow as an artist. One thing I like that he did was not tear himself down so much, but give a good critique and way to fix the issues at hand. Anyone can say their work is terrible, but if you actively try to critique your work and see where you messed up it can help you in the future!

Spy Black's picture

Although some of these could have been better, all I think about is; did the client like it? If so, success...

Vincent Alongi's picture

While I subscribe to that concept, I'd also want to master the art... be it boudoir, portrait, etc. If I can perfect the style, it would attract more clientele. There's a balance of "I don't care about critique" and "it will help me step outside of myself" for the betterment of my product.

Spy Black's picture

It wouldn't be professionally smart to not advance yourself, yes there's a balance between getting the work out from where you stand and being better.

Alex Herbert's picture

I've delivered both photos and videos to clients that they were over the moon about. It's nice to make someone happy and I do get something back from it, but it in no way changes the way I feel about my work. I was not happy with what I delivered and can only see the errors I made when I review the material.

Vincent Alongi's picture

I've been there. It's interesting how the client can find value in the product while we may think it's horrendous. But... I don't mind that. I'd rather have them happy than not. And I'm fine with being a harsh critic of myself rather than be lulled into patting myself over the back.

Alex Herbert's picture

Exactly, I'm a 'photographer' I should be critiquing my own work and picking apart technical shortcomings. As the client they only care if the image 'looks good' which is really all that matters to them.

Mutley Dastardly's picture

It's a very useful video - even for non-boudoir shooters (i'm having no interest of giving commands to living creatures - but one never knows that we have to make a shoot like these - and in fact i enjoy his way of photographing and explaining things). Selfcritique is important - and something you should learn.

Catherine Bowlene's picture

I'll second that. People do not like any critique and it is rather hard to critique yourself. Still, you won't get any improvement without it.

Philip Philippidis's picture

His definition of impostor syndrome is wrong, or at least incomplete.
What he describes is simply low self-esteem and self-doubt.
There are six criteria of which at least two must apply for the impostor syndrome to be applicable:
- The impostor cycle
- The need to be special or the best
- Characteristics of superman/superwoman
- Fear of failure
- Denial of ability and discounting praise
- Feeling fear and guilt about success

I wish people wouldn't dilute medical terms by using them as buzzwords when they don't fully understand them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome

vik .'s picture

it was bad then its bad now :)