Peter House's picture

What Should You Be Shooting?

Have you ever wondered what genre you are best suited for photographing? It is incredibly hard to take an objective view of our own work. Sometimes we create images but we don't quite know what our strengths and weaknesses are.

Post a link in here to your profile, or attach a few samples of work, and let us all give you our unbiased opinion on what we think you are best suited to shooting!

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Anonymous's picture I'm a self taught amateur and wanting to build my skills as much as I can. Thanks for any and all feedback weather it's positive or negative. I want honesty please.

Peter House's picture

Hi Seth! Thanks for participating. I have taken a look at your portfolio and here is my opinion.

The good:
- You clearly have an eye for interesting angles and are eager to explore possibilities. Some folks get stuck on always shooting the same thing over and over and over. You deliver a creative vantage point for most of your work.
- You seem to have a natural knack for capturing mood and emotion. Especially in your darker work, which I think you are suited to.

Needs work:
- Your colors. I feel like your color work needs improvement. The skin tones look a bit off in the portraits, and I am not a fan of the color filters or selective color work. It is a bit distracting.
- Composition and angle. Though you explore with a variety of vantage points, which I think is good, I believe you could further refine your composition and angle for each image to enhance them.
- I feel some of your work is underexposed.
- Direction. Looking at your portfolio, I dont know what you want to shoot. People? Landscapes? Fine art? I understand you are just building skills, so this is an exploration stage for you. With time though, be aware that to strengthen your image you will need to move in a direction.

I think you would be best suited to shooting conceptual work and fine art.

Hope that helps!

Cody Schultz's picture
To be blunt, portraits are what I strive for. I pretty much just push buttons and make "pretty" things come out -- that's what i tell people. Don't know if I am any good at this, but I would love to see what everyone thinks of my work. Any and all criticism is gladly accepted :)

Peter House's picture

Hey Cody!

Thanks for joining. Here is how I see it.

The good:
- You are obviously a people person. I can totally see you becoming a great portrait photographer. I think your strength is in environmental portraiture. You seem to have a knack for including the surroundings in your images in a way that tells a story and connects the subject with it.
- People are comfortable around you. You have a way of getting folks to smile and your shots seem non-intrusive.
-You B&W work is quite on point
-The grittiness of some of your work suits the blue collar feel for your environments.

Needs Work:
-While candid is good, sometimes I feel like your portraits cross over into the "caught off guard" territory.
- I'm not a big fan of the extreme angles for some of your portraits. Maybe use it for one if you really want, but I wouldn't use that look too often.
-Your colors work seems a bit underexposed and faded. Perhaps a bit more saturation in some of it would be good.

Keep going! You have a lot of potential! :)

Cody Schultz's picture

Peter, thank you for all of your advice. However, i am finding myself to be struggling to figure out what genre of portrait photography i should be shooting...based on my images on my blog and 500px ( which genre do you suggest i am leaning towards without me consciously knowing it...? I too am a self taught amateur street photographer. Any and all feedback weather it's positive or negative is welcome!I thank you in advance!

Peter House's picture

I'd like to give you feedback but your site doesnt work and portfolio here is empty. Sorry.

Robert Lawrence's picture

I am an amateur looking to build a portfolio and transition to professional. I don't have too many images up right now; I'll try to add a few more this week.

Any and all feedback is always welcome.

Peter House's picture

Overall I think your work is nice!

What I like:
- You understand light well and work with it in a variety of conditions.
- Your colors and saturation is nice and vibrant

What could use improvement:
- Your skin retouching. I feel like you lose some detail and texture due to the methods you use.
- Composition. Personally I feel like some of the images on display have odd crops which cut certain portions of the image early, or leave too much dead space.

I think if you focus on improving those parts, and add more images, you would have quite a strong port. Where do I see you fitting in? Due to your lighting style and vibrant colors, I could see you doing well in the glamour and swimsuit field. Or any kind of summery fashion.

Hope that helps!

Robert Lawrence's picture


Thanks for the feedback! Commercial/fashion work is what I'm primarily interested in. I agree with your assessment. I think post-processing is where I need a lot of work. Also, I do need to pay more attention to composition as I tend to get caught up in my lighting and subject and neglect the rest of the frame. Thanks again! I'll keep working at it!

Also, if you have any suggestions on how to get started in that field, they're certainly welcome. I'll take any and all work I can get at this point.

Chip Rauch's picture

What a GREAT idea for a discussion group! I'm pretty new to DSLR Photography... been shooting actively only since November of last year (2014) but I've REALLY caught the bug. I'm currently taking a class on Portrait Photography but that isn't something I've done much of. Most of my stuff is currently Motorsports stuff. I sort of fell into a gig as the "official" photographer for a Performance Driving Experience company. (One of those deals where you bring your sports car to the racetrack and they teach you how to drive it on the track). I go to the events and shoot all the cars and offer them for sale to the attendees. I've sold a few so far but I'm mostly focused on getting better skills. I'd love for some real constructive feedback on some of my work.

There are a lot of duplicates on these 2 sites... but the Viewbug one is a little more current.

Peter House's picture

Let me say that you are doing very well for someone who has only been shooting with a DSLR a couple months. Good for you! I think you clearly have an eye for motorsports and I would probably pursue that. Anything automotive related. You seem to connect with that better than anything else in your port. I sense it comes from a deep passion and appreciation for the fine details of a car.

If you do pursue automotive work, look into some more advanced retouching techniques over time, and practice them at your pace. I would also urge you to explore lighting stationary vehicles as that might be a fun challenge for you.

Regarding your people pictures, they capture nice moments, but there seems to be a soft glow and diffusion in most of them that isn't necessary. I would recommend skipping that part in your retouching process.

Hope that helps!

Chip Rauch's picture

Thanks for the feedback!

Joseph Parry's picture

Hey everyone! I'm not really one for words because once i start talking it just never ends hahaha! So I'll just let the shots do the talking instead! Would love some feedback / criticism. Many thanks!

Peter House's picture

What can I say.....dang.....I really like your work haha.

I feel like you have a dark mysterious quality about your vision that helps capture a very interesting mood no matter what you photograph. Almost like a sinister quality to your images. I would run with that. Your landscape images are wonderful and I could really see you doing some conceptual and ethereal work. I would actually really love to see you create some dark fashion images captured in one of those outdoor settings.

What could use improvement? Not much really. I feel like you have a good crasp of color, light, composition, focus, post, etc. At this point the only thing lacking is a clear sense of direction. You need to create more images that define the kind of work you want to do. Over time you will amass a wonderful port, this im sure of. Can't wait to see what the future holds for you.

Hope that helps!

Joseph Parry's picture

WOW Peter... Just wow... Thank you so much! I believe I've started doing just that since I posted here last! you can notice it in the latest shots on my 500px!

Thank you so much Peter!

Vitaliy Latanskiy's picture

Hi Peter, would love to hear your opinion on my work
I've been shooting for some time and recently started using PS for editing. i'm still searching for the style i like and your feedback would help.

Thank you

Jay Sullivan's picture

Hi Peter
I tend to work in a vacuum so I appreciate any feedback I can get. I've never been comfortable photographing people so I do mostly animals. I'm afraid I'm becoming a one trick pony. My profile link is

I am a bit older than most...and remember much of the advertising signs and buildings you see here, when they were brand new. It fascinates me to see how time and age so gradually changes everything and how they still make such a bold statement. It all looks like beautiful art to me now....the rust, the broken glass and faded colors. Bringing it back to life gives me great, great pleasure. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Would love some critique on my work!

Justin Berrington's picture

Hi Peter, I've never had a real critique so I am looking forward to what you have to say. I've been shooting for about a year and feel like I want to go towards portrait work. Particularly beauty work. Thank you for your time.

Hans Sterken's picture
Fire away. I'm really torn beween landscape and portraits. Gravitating towards portraits I guess.

Taylor Leffkowitz's picture
My wife and I are self taught amateurs wanting to turn our hobby into a full time business. We love this community and are open to all feedback both positive and negative. Thanks everyone!

What's good FStoppers!

I'm a full-time student, part-time freelancer in Minneapolis. I shoot mostly concerts and music-related journalism, and I'm pushing towards a broader range of editorial work.

My portfolio is at

Please take a look. Go at it.