[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_accordion][x_accordion_item title=”Getting Started” open=”true”]Once again, I’d like to thank all of you for contributing to the 2016 5DayDeal. As part of your contribution using my personalized URL, you’re entitled to a free session of my 10 Image Portfolio Critique (a $350 value). To make this process as easy and enjoyable as possible, I’ve included some instructions and expectations. My goal is to provide each of you with feedback in such a way that you feel confident in your abilities to grow as visual storytellers.

If you have any questions during this process, don’t hesitate to email me (brian@matiash.com) or use my Contact form.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”A bit about me” open=”false”]During the 5DayDeal event, I received an email from a person who is taking part of this critique. In his email, he asked what type of photos he should send in terms of the subject matter. It was a wonderful and appropriate question to ask and I’d like to share my thoughts here as you begin your image selection process.

As you may or may not know, I specialize in both landscape/nature and travel photography. My foundation in photography was built on architecture and urban scenes, as well. I bring this up only to give you more insight into who I am as a photographer. You can always check out my portfolio to see more.

So, does that mean that you can’t send me portrait, event or wedding photos? Not at all! I firmly believe that seasoned photographers who have many years of experience in photo education are qualified to critique imagery from just about any field. So please don’t hesitate to send along whichever category of images you feel best represents you as a photographer.

Finally, another fact about me that you may or may not know is that I am red/green colorblind. It’s something that I’ve lived with my entire life and it has never impacted my own creative process. With that said, this colorblindness affects me most with reds and pinks, aka skin tones. I have never let this prevent me from photographing people but I want to disclose this to you regardless.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Selecting your portfolio images” open=”false”]

I’ve had the good fortune to take part in a number of critiques during my career as a photographer. Some were good, some were not so good, and a few were truly legendary. After thinking a lot about what made me feel differently about one critique from the other varied but there was always one question: Did I represent the photographer that I am with the images I presented?

Many years ago, I dabbled very briefly in the idea of being a wedding photographer. I had landed a handful of gigs and after shooting four or five of them, I paid to have a critique done by a photographer whom I greatly admire. One of the most lucid pieces of feedback she gave me was that the collection of images I presented looked like they were taken by several different photographers. In other words, there was little cohesion to indicate a collective body of work. The image types differed—some were wedding, some were landscape, and a few were candid street shots—and the post processing varied so wildly that it was hard to imagine that one single photographer took them all.

So what does this mean for you? It means that I want you to be very deliberate about the images you select. Don’t just send along ten individual photos that you really like. Take time and think about whether your ten images represents a body of work that represents the photographer you are or that you are growing to become.

Don’t get me wrong. I will be critiquing whichever photos you provide but know that one of the things I’ll be evaluating is whether there is a common thread between each submission. It’s your story, so let’s see if you’re telling it as clearly as possible.

As a reminder, you have until December 31st, 2016 to submit your photos. After that, you forfeit your free session.

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The images you choose to send for critique should be in their final state. At least, that is the assumption that I will be making. So, be sure to get rid of those dust spots, straighten your horizon, and do your best to reflect the style you envision for each photo.

As part of your critique, I may choose to make some live edits to help illustrate a point. To make that task as robust as possible, I recommend sending either your Raw file + the associated XMP sidecar file or a DNG file. For Adobe Lightroom users, I’ve included a screenshot below showing how you can export to DNG.


Of course, you’re more than welcome to send over JPEG files. I’ll still be able to provide a critique on those images but I won’t be able to step back to see your edit history or have access to the full tonal range of your original photo. But again, don’t worry about that at all.

As far as the image details, please be sure to provide the full resolution image at 72ppi if you can.

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Once you’ve selected your ten images, the next step is to send them to me. The easiest way to do so is to copy your files to a cloud-based storage solution like Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, etc. Once you have your image folder synced to the cloud, just click the button below to email me the shared link and I’ll take care of downloading them to my computer.

I have been provided a list of all contributors with your email addresses. I will be cross references the email address that you send your folder URL with against this list. If you are sending your URL using a different email address than the one you placed your 5DayDeal order with, please let me know ASAP to avoid any delays or confusion.


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I take every critique session extremely seriously. My goal is to help each participant get meaningful feedback to grow from. As such, I prefer to use candor when appraising photos. It will do you absolutely no good if I shy away from providing honest and constructive feedback. It is my hope that you share this expectation and are participating for this very reason. Please know that my feedback will be genuine and truthful. That is completely different than being condescending, patronizing or harsh. Providing honest and helpful criticism is a skill requiring understanding and empathy. With that said, if you provide a photo that I genuinely enjoy and see little to improve on, please know that I am being completely honest about it. I am not here to provide a false sense of accomplishment. Everything I put in your video will be 110% genuine.

In terms of a timeframe, I will be recording these sessions factoring two things: the order in which your 5DayDeal contribution was made and the order in which you provide me with your ten photos. I will confirm with each of you when I receive your image folder and will work diligently to complete each session in a timely manner. My focus is on quality—not quantity—and I will conduct the recordings only when I can invest full focus and attention to it. Each of you deserves that and that is what you will get.

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Each critique will be a screen recording narrated by me. I don’t usually set a fixed duration because I don’t want to rush through my thoughts or stretch them to fit some length of time. Just know that each critique will provide a true and complete explanation of my thoughts.

As I mentioned earlier, I may take liberties to edit your photos to illustrate points that I want to make. Just know that they’re purely for illustrative purposes between me and you. It’s completely up to you whether you want to accept my recommendations or not. For convenience, I will provide an updated DNG file (or PSD file) with my edits for you to review at home.

I will provide each of you with a unique URL pointing to a password protected page that will contain your video critique and a link to your updated images. The video will be available for you to stream and download. No one else will be provided this URL and Password except for you. I value your privacy and hold it at the highest regard. Additionally, it goes without saying that you continue to own the copyright to every image submitted. By sending over your images, you’re giving me permission to mark them up for the purposes of this critique and this critique alone. Once I am done with my recording, I will delete all files from my computer. Nothing will be shared anywhere without your explicit consent.

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After you’ve had some time to review your critique, I will send out a survey form asking you to share your thoughts about this experience. I will use that information to further grow and improve this Critique service for future customers.

Speaking of which, there will always be a special rate for Follow-up, Ongoing, and Live Critique sessions. Just let me know if you’re interested in any of these services.