Image Doctor: Pensive
Photographer: Ken Swanson
Camera Type: Canon EOS 450D
Lens: Canon Zoom Lens 18-200mm
Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec
Adjustments: RAW Colour Image. B/W conversion, and all adjustments done in, Lightroom 3.6. Original image cropped.
Photographer's Comments: B/W Portriat
Image doctor's advice
Maidens have always been the most common muse for red-blooded photographers. I know, I have been there myself.
I think what is important for photographers to remember though, is to convey the subject in a real form, rather than imposing what the photographer thinks the subject should be look like.
In this particular image the subject looks very submissive and while that may appeal to some viewers, I feel it is a rather dated view of women. If you were to ask the subject or her family what they thought of the photograph, I think they might tell you that it is a little too passive, if not awkward.
I am certain that you could take this photograph from a similar angle, with the subject's head in profile but if you were to have her eyes looking up towards the horizon I think the photograph would look a lot stronger.
Now… the other thing that I would change in the photograph is the vignette – it is way too heavy. One indicator that the vignette is too heavy that it is bleeding over the top of the hairline.
If you are trying to make a vignette convincing, try achieving it using lighting on the background rather than in postproduction. The result will look better.