First, our Quote of the Week (which has already made it’s way around Twitter).

So, Peter was our in-studio guest for our “Blind Photo Critiques” episode of “The Grid” this week, and during the show we brought up one particular set of submitted portraits that had a lot of problems and Peter is trying to be as kind as possible with his comments but you can see he’s really struggling with it.

We ask him on the show, “If you had to give this photographer one bit of advice, what would it be?” and he’s really trying to be nice, so he tells them they need to take a “Beginner’s portrait class,” and Matt is trying to help Peter pin down what the problem is, so he asks Peter, “Lighting? Expression?” and this sets up our “QUOTE OF THE WEEK” (it’s the 2nd line ahead), “so Peter says “I don’t know what to say about those picturesâ¦reallyâ¦I just don’t⦔ (wait, here it comes):

“I take pictures people would want to look at, and I guess they⦔

and he stopped right there…and we all just lost it knowing that what  he just said would surely be our Quote of the Week.

You gotta see it, though, to appreciate it — it starts around 33:15 mark in the video (above). Despite his inner-struggle not to say what he’s really thinking (and people commenting that he’s being too kind), Peter was really great on the episode (as always) and there’s a lot to learn from him during the show, so I hope you get a chance to check it out.

Peter Just Wrapped His First Book, and It Rocks!
Peter was down here literally finishing the final chapters for his first book which we’re producing for Peachpit Press, and it’s called “PETER HURLEY: THE HEADSHOT” and we are super-psyched about it. I’m the Editor for Peter’s book and I cannot tell you what an amazing learning experience this has been for me. In fact, I learned stuff just yesterday that made me want to go back and reshoot my last shoot — it’s just that good. The book is heading into production and layout now with our in-house team (all the writing is done), and I just cannot wait until it’s released (early summer) because I can tell you right now, it’s going to be an absolute smash hit. Congratulations to Peter for literally knocking it out of the park.

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.

18 Comments

  1. (Not to rub that photographer’s nose in it, or anything.)

  2. Yeah, hilarious. Unless your the photographer in question.

  3. Ask and you may receive.

  4. Great video. Scott, you always give me great tips, so here’s one for you. To keep the pop-up notifications from showing when your recording a show, you can turn on Do Not Disturb on your Mac. Click the notification center icon, scroll up and put it on do not disturb—It will keep messages and email (and all other) notifications from showing up. ;-)

  5. A really enjoyable show. Having Peter Hurley and Joe McNally in back-to-back weeks was inspiring to say the least. And it was a lot of fun to see the three of you squinching for the camera at the end…thanks for taking my suggestion! :-)

    Have a great weekend!

    –John

  6. Scott. Have you noticed that everyone you touch, turns into another shade of gold?

    You are a blessed man, and the people that are around you, and your wife, are also blessed.

    Pretty amazing when you think back and remember how all of this started. And now look. I don’t really have the right words for the appreciation felt for all the things learned period. If I was pushed… Amazing? And then exposed to all of these people and things.. I’m in awe everyday I see and learn something new here.

    Frank, Joe, Peter, Matt, R.C, Moose and the slew of others.. Just have a brighter shine. YOU did that. Pretty Cool.

  7. It was definitely funny!!!!
    Scott I would like to remind you that the customer service form has been filling up with members, that are growing impatient. I along with other kelbyone members want an explanation for what happened to the customer service form.
    Sincerely,
    Alex

  8. Scott, can you comment a bit more on a consistent look to help me better understand? I just visited Peter’s website and looked through his portfolio. Amazing shots, but I would say that if you were to pick 4-5 photos from different galleries and put them beside each other they wouldn’t necessarily look consistent. IE-Some of the photos had very different processing and styles. This type of inconsistency was part of the critique given on today’s episode. Thanks!

    • Hi Colin: Yeah, I think you need some clarification on this because you’re not looking at Peter’s portfolio like an editor or buyer would, because no-one is going to hire Peter to shoot one type of shot from each of his portfolios. They are supposed to look individually different (just like my NFL football looks much different than my travel photography. My shots of US Army helicopter pilots look much different than my beauty head shots). Go look at Peter’s Headshot portfolio. ALL the photos in that portfolio look consistent, so if someone were to hire Peter they know that their headshot would essentially look like one of those. Now go look at Peter’s “Lost People” portfolio. If you wanted to hire Peter to do an article for your magazine and he shot it based on that look you requested, he would be able to put that photo into that portfolio and it would look right at home there because he can deliver a consistent “Lost People” look, no matter who the subject he’s shooting. He has a trademark look for his head shots, just like he has a trademark look for his Lost People. The consistency that’s missing in your work is that it looks like it was taken by five different photographers. If someone hired you, which of those five photographers would they be getting? Hope that helps. :)

    • Hi Colin: Yeah, I think you need some clarification on this because you’re not looking at Peter’s portfolio like an editor or buyer would, because no-one is going to hire Peter to shoot one type of shot from each of his portfolios. They are supposed to look individually different (just like my NFL football looks much different than my travel photography. My shots of US Army helicopter pilots look much different than my beauty head shots). Go look at Peter’s Headshot portfolio. ALL the photos in that portfolio look consistent, so if someone were to hire Peter they know that their headshot would essentially look like one of those. Now go look at Peter’s “Lost People” portfolio. If you wanted to hire Peter to do an article for your magazine and he shot it based on that look you requested, he would be able to put that photo into that portfolio and it would look right at home there because he can deliver a consistent “Lost People” look, no matter who the subject he’s shooting. He has a trademark look for his head shots, just like he has a trademark look for his Lost People. The consistency that’s missing in your work is that it looks like it was taken by five different photographers. If someone hired you, which of those five photographers would they be getting? Hope that helps. :)

      • Got it. I wasn’t thinking of it at all in terms of an editor or buyer wanting a specific consistent look. Thanks for the reply!

  9. I don’t know if he meant it that way, but I thought Hurley’s cited quote bordered on the profound, so much so, I might steal it for my own (well, I’ll attribute…). I need to please/satisfy myself with my images–but aspiring to have others *want* to look at one’s photographs has an inherent nobility attached to it, too.

    How few photos there are, comparatively, that one pauses to view just a little bit longer, or returns to view at a later time. There has to be a reason that happens. To try and achieve and capture that reason in one’s own work can only better the final image.
    .

  10. Even though everyone has different tastes it is SO nice to hear these types of critiques from you. THANK YOU for this service. After hearing all of the little things that jump out at each of you in such a wide variety of images, I looked at my own work and now see areas to make improvements that I never would have noticed before. Thanks for helping me to sharpen my eye for those details that lead to “photos that people would want to look at” ^_^

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