The Royal Wedding Photos Critiqued

Jared Polin, better known as “The Fro,” recently released a video where he reviews a few of the royal wedding photos taken by famed Photographer Alexi Lubomirski. As this was not just a wedding, but a royal wedding watched by millions around the world, the pressure to execute flawless images I can only image was tremendous for Lumbomirski.

When Polin uses a word such as a snapshot to describe a royal family portrait, that doesn't lend itself to the level of expertise one would expect from someone such as Lumbomirski. Polin describes the second publicly released photo of the newlyweds with the children with words such as “awkward," "snapshot," and "just say cheese!" The final image Polin reviews is described as “Harry where’d your hand go?” I must admit that was the first thing I noticed in the image. Cutting body parts off with regards to how you frame your image can kill the photo, and in my opinion, that happened with this image.

Were there better options for wedding photographers versus Lumbomirski, who is in fact not a specialist in regards to weddings? Sure, but at the end of the day, if the newlyweds and royal family are happy with the images, who are we to judge? Now that we know where The Fro stands, what’s your opinion on the royal weddings photos?

Check out Lumbomirski's work on his website here and Jared Polin's here.

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44 Comments

Kody Cheyne's picture

I don't think Jared was harsh in his criticisms of these photos at all, and I think if it were any other wedding everyone else would be saying the same things. If anything I think these should be judged more harshly than the average wedding because these photos are not meant for your standard family and to be seen by only those close to them. They're publicity photos.

Color Thief's picture

Seriously, who cares what this guy thinks. You should have posted a link to his actual photo website here: https://jaredpolin.com. There you can compare photos like this, https://jaredpolin.com/perry-farrell/ozour12do1r3txtcs0zyzeen8zirc2 that he thinks are good enough to be in his portfolio to works of others of which he is critical. He's a somewhat less than mediocre photographer and his criticism is neither interesting not insightful. There's nothing to see here.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Very fair, though, I think it is important to remember the ability to "do" is not needed to provide effective critique. The vast majority of the top film critics have never even created a film and the majority of the top food critics are certainly not elite chefs themselves. I'd argue what is important is to evaluate the merit of the criticism and if he makes good points that you agree with.

Jedi Master's picture

But hes a photographer. He has very high end gear. Shoots different events. Imo from the images of reviews I can clearly see his work is all talk. Fatt grainger used to be a crappy photographer though his work jas imprpved over time and his reviews has hotten crappier

Deleted Account's picture

Unrelated.

Jedi Master's picture

I agree. Like you said, hes a mediocre photographer. He boasts about his gear but doesnt know how to use it. Everything about him is gimmicky to stand out like the stupid sniffing.

jared polin's picture

you're so right, that guy knows nothing about anything or how to capture a moment.

Deleted Account's picture

Well played.

jared polin's picture

thanks for posting the link to that photo which is part of a photo story. You decided to chose one image and complain which is fine. It's an image showing behind the scenes with Perry Farrell and his wife out to eat before a show. thanks for your concern and checking out my site.

Color Thief's picture

It's not hard to find two more real stinkers in that set, which would put it at three — the same number of images you found to complain about. However, it appears you had much more time with your subject than Lubomirski had with his.

For example - this off-kilter photo where the dirty tissue upstages the subject: https://jaredpolin.com/perry-farrell/8c8rmh4q8bbr92ac1g00eb97g2i2ln This one is also included in the ‘Best of candid’ PORTFOLIO.

Or this one, that's the epitome of a snapshot (also with a tilted horizon): https://jaredpolin.com/perry-farrell/0lrfon4c2p2k7odaxytapj9pdu10mc.

Just imagine how you would have reacted to these photos if they were part of Lubomirski's set!!

Alejandro Ilukewitsch's picture

Color Thief it's always easy to criticize others when you have no work to show. Jared has some pretty cool work just go through his videos, not every image has to be a masterpiece... But I guess yours are so great it's just better not to show them :)

Color Thief's picture

It is easy to criticize whether you show work or not. There’s almost nothing easier. Which is kind of my point. The guy who made the video has spent considerable time and effort building an audience and a brand. What does he do with it? He shits all over another photographer’s work who is shooting in a situation he knows absolutely nothing about. Why would anyone waste their capital on that? The only reason I can think of is that he wants to sell more insurance apps and he’s willing to do it by kicking mud at another photographer.

Jedi Master's picture

Well said. Hes a photographer who does events sells how to videos does how to videos on how to shoot and his work is not great. I wonder why in tony and chelseas recommended youtubes didn't they recommend fro. Otoh eric rossi videos are crap and saw is that pathetic art of the image whos trying to sell sport clothing through his videos and makes him look very low class. Downing another photographer when your work is average + is not. Ok. Amd. Since you dont know if he had 30 seconds or not for the couple imahe then just shut up fro and dont comment. But thats what he does hes and instigator amd gets views because of controversial videos. If youre a regular reviewer like dustin abbot you dont get much views. Ita all hype gimmick and a lot of stinky brown bullshet

Jon Dize's picture

"Downing another photographer when your work is average + is not. Ok." The irony. Where is your work? Is your work just average and if it is... haven't you just done what you charged Jared with doing?

Jedi Master's picture

thats what hes doing. Hes doing it for his self interst and views/money. Im doing it because he deserves it. Ill upload a few images here when I get home. Im not gonna post my link to my work and get spammed and trolled with comments

Jon Dize's picture

The irony of you using the word Troll.

Deleted Account's picture

When are you going to get home? :-/

Color Thief's picture

The author of the video used his public video channel to heap criticism on another photographer. And he did it from a place of complete ignorance about the situation the photographer faced. He doesn't know the time the shooter had for shooting or setup; he doesn't know who edited and picked the photos; he doesn't know if the photographer was required to deliver all photos or just selects; he knows nothing. Additionally he didn't really provide insightful criticism that would be valuable to anyone other than an absolute beginner, which to be fair is probably most of his audience — it's hard to imagine an experienced photographer getting past his ridiculous intro. In my mind he made himself fair game. He should change his slogan to FAUX KNOW PHOTO.

Jon Dize's picture

He does on YouTube what you do here, except he makes more money.

Jon Dize's picture

Color Thief? Where are your photos? Share! To criticize, one should know what one is talking about in the first place. Of course everyone can tell what they like or do not like in an image, but not everyone knows what makes a good photo. Sometimes it is the content alone. Woman falling from the Empire State Building, content is more important than technical merit. A portrait however, one would hope exhibits some degree of technical merit, otherwise just have one of the Butlers take the photo. Or... the Chef.

Jedi Master's picture

Ill post a collage of image then youll do the same.. Otherwise youre just a sham

Jon Dize's picture

Are you ten years-old? But, what are you waiting for... a cookie?

Jon Dize's picture

Shhhhhhh.... Relax!

Jon Dize's picture

.

michael buehrle's picture

i think Fro is spot on for the most part. this was not "just a wedding". the hands shot was a "what were you thinking" moment for me. that's one of the first cardinal sins. i guess that i would have expected more from someone shooting this event.

Jon Dize's picture

Exactly Michael.

Lee Christiansen's picture

In all fairness...

Fro - did you notice the table lamp sticking out of the back of your head...
Fro - why is your camera angle from so low
Fro - top of your hair is cropped off which makes your eyeline too high
Fro - oh no... you cropped your legs off...

I have shot formal group shots with immediate Royality family as the sole invited photographer and I'll say that the older members aren't so flexible - this is why they're wearing their hats - because they want too.

I don' like the 1st image - mainly because of the lighting. But a deft 5 mins inCapture One would have brought it to life much more.

As to the other images and posing - look at the couples' eyes. It's all there. And no - Annie isn't all she is cracked up to be...

michael buehrle's picture

true but he is not the royal wedding. one would think that they would process the photos before releasing them. i agree that annie is not all that but who really is ? no one.

Tony Clark's picture

Everyone is a critic, curator and expert.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Personally, I feel like he delivered mediocre, unremarkable images that get the job done. Which is often the case in situations like this and is perfectly acceptable so long as the client is happy.

Though, I feel that given that he had near limitless resources compared to most shoots he could have done better. He had a chance to create exquisite shots that would make the entire world pay attention and he produced: "meh". Though I'm sure his very famous client is happy with the outcome.

I think where Lumbomirski struggled was a lack of preparation, though, we are not clear on how much access he had to the locations prior to the event. It is possible he wasn't allowed preparation. In situations where time with the subject is incredibly fleeting, it is the preparation that makes the shot.

Take for example Seliger's Oscar portraits, as is the case here, Seliger has only a few moments to work with his subjects. How does he create such amazing images? He shows up with a ridiculous level of preparation. Every single aspect of these shoots is planned days, if not weeks in advance so that when each celebrity arrives he can focus on creating amazing frames that stand out.
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/photos/2017/02/oscars-portrait-stud...

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

he's also photographing movie stars that perform well in front the camera. He doesn't have to deal w/ politics, family drama and 10 children being in the photo. He also doesn't have a limited amount of time to get X-number shots. It's well known that some of the royal people hate having their photos taken. You're comparing apples to oranges.

Ryan Cooper's picture

At the Oscars where he has to photograph hundreds of actors over the course of an hour or two? He has seconds to photograph each. And trust me, actors aren't always great at being photographed while often showing up with ego and attitude for days. You're right, it isn't exactly the same, but my point is that Selliger has things like lighting and composition dialed in and exquisite before an actor even sets foot in his space.

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

You do realize when Mark Seliger did the wedding photos for a rock stars a few years ago everyone was talking smack about his work too back then.

And with high end event like this, as you mentioned, you never know if he was allowed to scout out the area beforehand or if they changed it up last minute. For all we know they told him you can't plug in lights, and you can't take photos near a window for security reasons. Both of those things are 100% possible.

I don't know why photographers default to blaming everything on the photographer first as they didn't any preparation.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of most of Seliger's work, personally. I was merely giving an example that when you don't have much time with the subject the bridge is gapped by preparation.

But yes, exactly why I mentioned it, we don't know the full story. So long as he met the needs of the client, he did his job.

Though, I will always be of the camp that if the shoot goes sideways, it is always the photographer's responsibility. However, I likely wouldn't have been able to do better in the same situation. In fact, I'd have probably screwed it up worse.

Robert Escue's picture

I think the photos are fine. If you are going to make a comparison about photos of the Royal Wedding, shouldn't everybody be looking to the photos taken by the late Lord Lichfield who shot the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana to compare and contrast the style and substance of the photos and the styles of the photographers? I have the book "Lichfield A Royal Album" in front of me now and there is a fair amount of snapshot quality photos in it. If I am not mistaken, Lord Lichfield wasn't a wedding photographer either.

Corey Roberts's picture

this guy is whats wrong with Photography in 2018, Fro you felt the need to justify your critique so many times saying oh im never going to BUT............yes but you didn't and thats the end of the story. There is something called empathy which you seem to lack, maybe just stick to teaching beginners how to make a photo and thats that.

ROBERT PAULSEN's picture

I've never seen the Fro's work until after I read some of these comments. His work has nothing to do with the fact that I agree with his critiques and I enjoyed his delivery. My personal critique was a lot harsher than The Fro's and my results would have been a lot worse than Lubomirski's.

There is an unlimited number of wedding photographers to choose from. If I saw these photos as the only photos in a portfolio, I would not have hired them for my wedding.

The comparison (in the video and comments) to crappy Instagram quality photos may have been intentional -- something casual and modern to connect to a modern era. Less "stuffy" photos may help the common-folk connect with the family.

Jonathan Reid's picture

There aren’t enough 🙄 emojis in the world for this guy.

Peter Timmer's picture

He had 25 minutes to shoot all the official portraits, so no time at all.

Given the fact that children are hard to control and easily get distracted i think he did a very good job. I also actually think the lighting is pretty ok, it's got some nice rembrand lighting on most of the faces which actually fits a royal family. Now there are a lot of things that could have been done better but with the fact in mind that he had so little time het did a pretty good job and i think the newly weds are happy with this shot.

Now you can say he should have set up lighting beforehand but we don't know anything, when dealing with Royals it can be very nitpicky and everything is scheduled. Maybe the room was not available long before the shots had to be made. Maybe it is not allowed to put lighting above their head or in certain places because of escape plans.
I know for instance the Dutch royal couple visited a ceremonial ship launching once and all electric sliding doors had to be kept open because they could fail and stay closed, causing delay or blocking escape routes.
Now imagine a wedding like this, everything is planned to the second and silly rules like this will definitely be something you are forced to abide by.

Cutting of the hand does look a bit awkward but i can imagine this being the best shot of their expression, and sometimes you have to make sacrifices.
Now scrolling through the portfolio of Jared it is obvious he makes sacrifices in every photo he takes and that's ok, because photo's have to tell a story and sometimes imperfect factors can make a photo interesting. And while Jared is an average Photographer (skill wise) it is ok for him to critique. It's his right to do so..

And if these were my photo's i would accept his critique and i would also be frustrated especially because of the hand.
Stuff like that still happens to me from time to time and the only thing to do with it is learn from it.

Now if you look at the engagement photo's you can clearly see there was more time and they could pay attention to the details, so in the end i do think it was a matter of not enough time.

Robbie Keene's picture

I won't even watch this guy any more. He is a fairly mediocre photographer with a massive ego. He teaches nothing because he knows nothing. All he ever does is negatively criticize. That's his whole youtube channel in a nutshell.

Martin Georgiev's picture

Speaking about attention to detail. Did anyone notice the name of the photographer who took the royal wedding photos was misspelled 3 times in the article?

Nara O'Neil's picture

It's spelled Lubomirski, and props to him, he earned his spot there, and proved why with some great images.

Susana Luzir's picture

It is always difficult to publicly evaluate the work of any other person. When the evaluation is positive, that's okay for everyone. When the evaluation is negative, ups.
I agree about what Fro said about the pictures, but I did not like the way he expressed himself in this video. I believe he didn't do it with the intent to attack, but when we produce content on social networks, we have to be even more careful about what we say.

Ryan Brenizer's picture

Dennis Reggie used to say “Most wedding photographers photograph a princess for a day. I photograph a day in the life of a princess.” Here that is literally true. It’s not that criticisms are useless, but the job and the point of it are almost alien to the nature and purpose of what we understand as wedding photography.

Also keep in mind that if he did take any amazing, incredible, photojournalistic photos … he’s under no obligation to show them to us and it’s very likely that’s not what they want to share. They have no need and have control, and he doesn’t need to either. He’s doing fine with that whole being a handsome prince himself with a heck of a c.v. thing.