• (incomplete)

Hi Katherine,

For a start, well done on the crafting of this image. Using available light from the torch to create the portrait has worked rather well in this instance, and I like that you have converted the image to black and white.

The problem  I have with this image though, is believability.

With this image, Secret Readings, you are trying to illustrate a common occurrence in most households; kids who sneak a book (or nowadays a tablet) under the covers when they are meant to be drifting off to sleep! The problem you have in this situations though, is that in fabricating this image you have lost the sense of authenticity that we would normally expect in capturing such an event on film. 

If you were to have walked into your daughter's room at midnight and caught her redhanded reading the book, I think there would have been more of a look of surprise, guilt and potential embarrassment. And if you were to have sneaked a peek without her noticing, my guess is your daughter would be reacting to the book; she would probably be 'eyes wide open' as she read about wizards, zombies or whatever else she reads about.

And herein lies the challenge for any photographer trying to fabricate an image – it is to make the image look convincing. Part of this comes from the styling and the direction of the photographer, but some of this also comes from your choice of talent! It is why when you see good commercials or advertisements, the work is often a collaboration of multiple talents, including the photographers and the actors/models.. 

Next time, ask your daughter to simply look at the book while you make a few photos. I am sure these will be beautiful in their own right. And then for the sake of getting that convincing 'surprised' look, get her brother to throw a toy mouse or toy spider at her!

Be ready to capture the expression. 

I hope this is a help!



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