Flawless, creatively correct exposure.
Aperture, shutter speed and/or ISO are used variably and for artistic effect.
Masterful handling of exposure in challenging light.
Consistently good exposure choices in simple lighting situations.
May struggle with challenging lighting conditions (occasional blown highlights/shadows)
Many images slightly off (by 1/3 - 2/3 stop) in simple lighting situations.
Poor control in more difficult lighting situations (backlght, low light, hard/high contrast light)
Images frequently underexposed and/or overexposed.
It appears the photographer is manually controlling exposure on some level (manual exposure mode, semi-auto mode, AE-lock, spot metering, etc)
Image exposure is all over the map and doesn't appear to be managed/controlled by the photographer at all (standard auto and matrix/evaluative metering)
Remarkably beautiful use of light.
Depth and dimension in every image.
Lighting used effectively for mood or narrative impact.
Effectively brings light into the eyes (catchlights).
Showcases a variety of lighting.
Occasionally flat lighting..
No significant exposure issues, but light is often flat and even.
Experimentation with varied lighting shows little control (evidence of blown highlights or clipped shadows)
Eyes sometimes lack catchlights.
Most images lack contrast and dimension
Frequent shadows in/around the subject's eyes
Frequently blown highlights or clipped shadows.
Little indication of awareness of light.
Frequent shooting in full sun, mixed lighting or inadequate light without managing these difficult situations well.
Reliance on onboard flash.
Remarkably beautiful skin tones.
Color tones are constant across different lighting conditions.
Deliberate and consistent choices with color and white balance. (Applicant must demonstrate these choices are intentional, consistent, and contribute to story or mood.)t.
Global white balance and/or skin often appear slightly (but consistently) cool, warm or tinted.
May have occasional color issues such as reflected color or shadow undertones.
Apparent effort to choose an accurate WB.
Skin tones vary from shoot to shoot.
Significant struggle with reflected color, shadow color and mixed lighting.
WB may vary in a single shoot.
Color is occasionally grossly inaccurate.
Noticably poor color.
Inconsistent color tones throughout the portfolio.
Varying WB from image to image - it's clear the applicant is not aware of or choosing the white balance (WB) setting (no corrections for shade, etc)
Powerful use of compositional devices and design elements.
Outstanding balance within the frame.
Purposeful and effective choices with compositional rule breaking.
Composition enhances the story or mood being conveyed.
Posing is clearly deliberate and designed to both flatter the subject and advance the story.
Occasional use of triangles, leading lines and other compositional devices
Consistent use of the rule of thirds.
Posing is usually well thought out and flattering to the subject.
Few careless limb chops or awkward chops.
Occasionally distracting elements within the frame.
Occasional use of the rule of thirds.
Starting to see a connection between subject and viewer.
Some careless limb chops/awkward chops and/or poor subject placement.
Similar poses and compositions used throughout the portfolio.
Mostly centered compositions.
Emotionless, awkward, or disconnected subjects
Abundance of extremely tight, vertical images.
Frequent careless limb chops (chops at feet, wrists, hands, etc)
No clear intention with regards to where the subject is placed in the frame.
Horizons/gravity line often placed in the middle of the frame.
Processing is flawless and remarkably beautiful.
Processing contributes powerfully to the photographer’s overall style and vision.
Processing is clearly identifiable by commercial actions or presets.
Processing may lack richness / depth/ dimension
Processing may not be consistent in style across images, but it is solidly executed.
Lack of refinement in processing yields out of gamut color, local noise, or artifacting.
Local adjustments poorly executed (noticeable haloing, smoothing beyond skin, etc)
Some oversharpening and/or blown channels.
Notably inconsistent color and tonality throughout the portfolio.
Mix of SOOC images and images that are overprocessed.
Several types of processing in one session or gallery.
Skin is oversaturated.
Color out of gamut or channels blown.
Images appear to be SOOC.
No color, contrast or sharpening adjustments.
Perfect focus, sharpness and clarity.
Appropriate and varying depth of field from image to image.
Focus and DOF used as an element of storytelling.
Frequently accurate focus.
Occasionally has insufficient DOF to keep critical elements in focus.
May not effectively isolate subjects with focus (excess depth of field).
Occasional slipped focus (shoulder, nose or ear, etc rather than the eye.)
Often has insufficient DOF to keep critical elements entirely in focus.
May experiment with DOF but frequently misses point of focus.
Extended DOF (f/8 - f/11) as a rule.
Primarily center focus (and center compose as a result).
Style is distinctively identifiable as belonging to the photographer and could not be mistaken for the work of another.
Images elicit an emotional response.
Images inspire and captivate.
Images generally showcase creativity and thoughtfulness but lack a consistent style or unifying facets across the portfolio.
Some images indicate a creative experimentation that, while interesting, is also discordant with the rest of the portfolio
Images adequately capture the subject at hand but do not suggest personal vision or unique perspective.
Images show effort and may impress the average viewer but are unlikely to be impressive to other photographers.
Approaches may seem cliche to more experienced photographers.
Casual snapshots unlikely to impress the average viewer..