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Chic Critique is THE elite magazine, community, & resource for women who love photography (yes, we’re biased!)
Our mission: critique | confidence | community
Get your CHIC on with our Celebrity Photographers who inspire, teach, and critique to help increase confidence and improve your images!


Happy Friday!

It’s time for another freebie from our friends over at Prairie Sweet Boutique!

Just in the Nick of Time! Prairie Sweet brought all of Chic Critique Forum Members a gorgeous Christmas Card Template to use this crazy holiday season! Enjoy the card “Cherish the Season”, and may your shooting, editing and designing be bright!

Get yours FREE in the forum: Prairie Sweet Boutique Cherish the Season

Cherish the Season BACK sample Cherish the Season FRONT sample




It is almost the holidays and the CR-A-ZY-NESS has already started.  So to help you our a little bit and relieve some of the stress we decided to show you some eye candy (ideas) for your upcoming holiday shoots!



{Image Via:}



{Image Via: Brittany Stover Photography}



{Image Via: Pinterest)



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{Image Via: Pinterest}



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Today’s top trend comes from Cheron Cowan, Designer, CEO CGC of NYC Accessories, LLC (Brand Name:MINIM)


Cheron, please describe MINIM for us: We specialize in transformable camera bags for female photographers who travel. The bags are named after pioneering women who have excelled in male dominated fields.
What makes your bags unique? 
The bags are 3-in-1 bags that are highly adaptable to suit the needs of the female photographer who is constantly on the go. Two of the bags expand to accommodate more equipment while all the bags come with a detachable clutch for social or personal needs. For the bags that expand, they additionally can be carried as a backpack or via a trolley. Also, equipment does not need to be removed to expand the bags and there are multiple points of entry so that one does not have to rummage through one compartment to access another.

Tell us how your business came about.
  As a designer, I started out in architecture school. While I appreciate fashion, I appreciate function more. While living in a small New York City apartment, I had to downsize and needed personal items that were multi-functional. I am someone who turns long scarves into sweaters by tying them a certain way or recycles old socks into arm warmers. When I began to design the bags, they were more out of necessity. Friends began to comment and inquire and I eventually turned them into a hobby and then a business. Initially, the bags were not camera bags. They were in the general category of light-travel bags. While at fashion events, though, women photographers began to comment and take interest. Because of the bags adaptability and the needs that the bags met for female photographers, I began to focus on this niche. Many of my female photographer friends have aided in fine-tuning the designs.

What is your most popular product? The Zaha Bag is the most popular. I have had men take interest in the Zaha Bag, as well, because of the color-blocking.
We would love for you to get to know and love MINIM for yourself!  Please visit them at: 



FLASH SALE | Video of Steps to Senior Success with Leslie Kerrigan

Did you miss the LIVE event with Leslie Kerrigan sharing her juicy secrets on Steps to Senior Success? No worries! Get the video recording download before the price goes up to $79 FOREVA!
seniorologie image 700

In this 90 minute LIVE web event, you will learn:

  • Getting to Know Your Senior Market
  • What Research to do
  • Create a System that Creates Buzz
  • Creating a Memorable Senior Experience

Video Recording Download:

$39 for forum members. Price will increase to $79 on 11/14!

(must join forum first)

$59 for non-members. Price will increase to $79 on 11/14!

You can check out more of Leslie’s work at: and on Facebook here.



The 5 Finalists in Photography Idol & Assignment 2

Wow! We had so many people vote yesterday for their favorite image from the Top 10 Finalists!

We’d like to thank the Top 10 for all their hard work & effort! The 5 who didn’t make it to the 5 Finalists will all receive a 1-year membership to Chic Critique Forum {$78 value!}


Claire Dam Photography  |  Kara May Photography  |  Cris Passos Photography

clairedam   karamay  

The 5 Finalists were selected based on 50% popularity vote and 50% from votes by this week’s judges.


(in no particular order)

1. Anna Pociask:


2. Tabitha Patrick:


3. Tatyana Sandulyak (Nephesh Photography):


4. Tasha Price:


5. Kristie Bradley:




  • Nov. 12th:  We’ll announce the 5 Finalists and give them a different photo assignment to complete within 4 days
  • Nov. 18th: We’ll showcase the 5 Finalist’s Assignment Images and hold a LIVE Critique with our Celebrity Judges (1 pm Central Time)
  • Nov. 19th: We’ll showcase the LIVE Critique video on our blog and allow the judges & public to vote for their fave for 24 hours
  • Nov. 20th: The Photography Idol winner will be revealed on our blog & will be crowned our newest Celebrity Photographer
  • Finalists will be selected (from 10 contestants to 5, then one winner) by a combination of popular vote and votes by Celebrity Judges
  • All finalists will be announced on the blog, Facebook, and in our newsletter so be sure to subscribe to those to find out who made the cut

ASSIGNMENT 2: Color & Composition

COLOR: Photograph one or more persons. Use complementary colors in your photograph (ie a girl with bright red hair with in a green dress).

Complementary colors are found on the opposite sides of the color wheel.


COMPOSITION: Incorporate TWO of the following compositional elements into your photograph: Leading lines, pattern, texture, Rule of 3rds, symmetry, environmental framing, or perspective.

NO cropping. We want you to think about the composition before you edit so images cannot be cropped after they are taken.

Email an unwatermarked, full resolution jpeg AND a web file sized at 700 pixels wide to by Fri., Nov. 15th at midnight PST


green & red + environmental framing

{image via}


blue & orange + pattern & texture:

{image via Cupcakes and Cashmere}


purple & violet + leading lines:

{image via Atlantic-Pacific}


Wanna join in on the fun? There’s still a chance to win prizes!


This is open to all Chic Members. Not a Chic Member? Join now!

  • STEP 1: Do Assignment 2 (see above) that the 5 Finalists will be doing
  • STEP 2: Post your image in the forum section titled “Photography Idol > Assignment 2” as a reply (not an individual post) along with your contact info & phone # by Sat., Nov. 16th at midnight PST
  • STEP 3: Wait for the judges to choose one winner from the assignment images that were posted in the forum. If you win, your image will get critiqued during our live webinar on Mon. Nov. 18th @ 1 PM CST and you will win an 8×10 frame from The Organic Bloom
  • Assignment Winner will be notified Mon. morning, Nov. 18th in the morning via phone in order to participate in the live webinar that day.




VOTE NOW: Top 10 Finalists Assignment Images


Claire Dam Photography  |  Kara May Photography  |  Cris Passos Photography

clairedam   karamay  

Thank you to this week’s Celebrity Judges who wrote critiques (below) for the Top 10 Finalists assignment images.

View the 10 Finalist’s assignment images and read each of their critiques below. Then vote at the bottom of this post.


1. Marie Sant:



“Marie, these images are great! Love the queen look of the little girl, great job on the outfit! Light and location are amazing. My only concern here is since the right image is backlit I feel her face looks a tiny bit underexposed. Other than that, looks really good!” -Cris Passos

“This is really darling. I love the colours and the vibe but am troubled by the crooked horizon and the fence posts. My eye goes from the little princess to the fence and since the fence doesn’t add anything story-wise to your image it just ends up being distracting. Initially very appealing though.” -Claire Dam

“Wow, this is stunning. I love everything about this: the location, the prop, the sunflare, her adorable costume, the colors and the composition. This is not over-edited (I love the cleanness of this image) and the mood and childhood feel here is perfection!” -Kara May


2. Kristie Bradley:



“Hey Kristie, Great job on posing your model here! Light, location and post processing looks amazing, the lighting hitting her hair is just beautiful!” -Cris Passos

“Really pretty! I like your use of accessories/props and the peacock feathers add a nice little punch of vibrant color. My only concerns are that your focus is off (I think you’re focusing a few inches in the foreground?) and she needs a little extra breathing room on the left of the image. Otherwise it seems like you’ve covered your bases with a natural pose that has some elements of asymmetry and good use of accessories–well done!” -Claire Dam

“Beautiful overall feel to this image! I love her look, her wardrobe and the setting. The only thing I might change is having her legs turned more toward the negative space in the image but that’s a minor thing. Gorgeous edit, hand placement and overall theme.” -Kara May


3. Tasha Price



“Awesome job here Tasha, pose looks really great! Location and props are amazing, and the pop colors complete the look. Perfect!” -Cris Passos

“Ah yes–I recognize the vibrant colours of Tasha! Great accessorizing/propping, cool location, great model and her pose looks natural with a little asymmetry there. And as cool as that piano is, her skirt/midsection gets totally lost in it–which kind of muddles things up for me visually. A different skirt colour would have set her apart from her surroundings better. Love how you play with colours though–looks great.” -Claire Dam

“Wow, this is gorgeous! That umbrella is an awesome accessory! The only thing to be watchful is the colors….when I brought it into PS the blues were out of color gamut so when it comes to printing the saturation might be too much for most printers. Lovely composition, wardrobe, setting and asymmetry of posing.” -Kara May


4. Lindsey Pantaleo:

Chic Critique Assingment 1- Lindsey Pantaleo


“Great Job on the location and props Lindsey, models are looking amazing, I only wish I could see a little more of his face. Post processing is amazing, looove!” -Cris Passos

“There are tons of cool elements here but unfortunately I don’t feel like it was executed in the best way. The composition makes it feel more like a vintage-car ad then a portrait. Getting in tighter would have engaged your subjects more. And I wish there was a bit more “drapiness” or some bigger posing from your models. All the elements are there–good effort!” -Claire Dam

“I love the classic feel of this image. The posing is very nice, not to stiff yet not overdone. The colors are calm and muted which I think fits nicely with the feel of this image. I think if there was a slight vignette it would draw the viewers eyes to the subject more but that’s minor. Overall a very beautiful, well thought out image.” -Kara May


5. Dee Sisk:

DSisk Photography - Assignment 1


“Hey Dee, these images are fabulous, love the location with those yellow leaves (and all the gorgeous bokeh) model is really pretty and I think the poses are great, the only cc I have is for the left image I think she looks a little too warm (it can be because of all the leaves reflection, other than that, fabulous job!” -Cris Passos

“Less is more baby! And you would have said more if you’d just submitted the image on the left–of the model moving. Her dress is asymmetrical with that cut-out going into the bottom-left corner and her elbow almost mimics those lines. And same for the flare at the bottom and her hanging arm. Lots of great angles, really nice natural pose and I love the kinetics of your model. But that right image just detracts from all the greatness of left image.” -Claire Dam

“Wow, the colors here are gorgeous!! I love the saturation of the fall leaves. Stunning location! The model is beautiful and I like her posing…very fun and not serious and stiff. I would just be careful on the saturation of color on her skin. There’s a lot of magenta and yellow color casts that will magnify in printing. Other than that I think this image and the overall composition is beautiful!!!” -Kara May


6. Amanda Star:



“Amanda, I think this is a beautiful representation of your work! Love the overall magical feeling. The pose is great and even her look on the right side works well with what you propose here! Fabulous job!!!” -Cris Passos

“I’m really torn about this charming diptych. I like it but your subject is so distant that I don’t feel very engaged in the story. Also it’s really easy to lose white dresses on cloudy skies–she’s melting into the background a bit in the right image. But your concept and the posing is very charming and hard not to like!” -Claire Dam

“I love the feel of this conceptual shoot! Your use of props is very creative along with her wardrobe. Stunning image, posing, edit and creativity. Your composition and use of negative space is fantastic as well!” -Kara May


7. Anna Pociask:



“Anna, this is an amazing image, location and composition are perfect! Love the pose too, Awesome job, congrats!” -Cris Passos

“Whoa, super striking at first. But the more I study it the more it feels a little too contrived. The antlers are cool but I would way rather be able to see her foot complete that nice long line into the rocks. And the uke is being held in a really unnatural way. So, love the colours, love the composition and location and your model is great, but the propping in this image needs some fine-tuning.” -Claire Dam

“This setting, wardrobe, model and props in phenomenal!! I love the fall colors, the beauty she’s surrounded by and the gorgeous model herself. Her posing is perfection…not stiff at all but nice and asymmetrical. Your composition is amazing and your editing is perfection (not overdone). Gorgeous image overall!” -Kara May


8. Tabitha Patrick:





“Tabitha, I love the black and white proposal here model looks good this looks like an editorial shoot, love the overall feel! Amazing job!” -Cris Passos

“Like I said to Dee, less is more! And your entry would have been stronger if you’d just submitted the image on the left. The lines are gorgeous, your lighting is really cool and your model’s outfit/accessories are great. Feels high-fashion to me! But the image on the right feels a bit awkward and contrived–you had it with the sitting-pose and that would have been plenty!” -Claire Dam

“Very edgy, commercial style shoot. Her wardrobe is perfect with how her hair and make-up are done. The use of posing here is very cool and unexpected and offsets nicely the ridged lines of the geometric dress. Love the simplicity of this. Very clean and captured beautifully. Lovely!” -Kara May


9. Evalani Stockton (Timeless Keepsake Photography):



“Evalani, looove the mood of this image! Location and light looks really good, and the pose is great as well, also I even love the fact you had the crow there it really blend with the dry feel of the location. Awesome job!” -Cris Passos

“This image has a rich story to it–I’m really drawn into it and find myself asking weird questions like: “Is that crow hers?”  But I feel just a tiny bit uncomfortable about the composition–I wish she was more centered or closer to the bird. And I wish I would see some of her legs or feet, because I can tell with that nice hip that she’s got some good angles with her knees. Intriguing image.” -Claire Dam

“Amazing setting! The wardrobe is gorgeous along with the hairpiece. I think I want that! ha! The only thing I’d be watchful of is her skin tones. She looks a little grey and I know that that is kind of the editing style but there’s a fine line so just be careful with the amount of cyan that’s incorporated in a moody image like this. Her posing is lovely and works very nicely with this image. And that crow in the background is subtle perfection. Beautiful image!!”  -Kara May


10. WILD CARD ENTRY WINNER by Tatyana Sandulyak (Nephesh Photography):



“Tatyana, I think you were very creative with your entry, location is good and I love the lighting. You did a great job on posing and post processing.” -Cris Passos

“The contrast, ethereal lighting and the movement sets a really lovely vibe and your use of props/accessories is fun. The pose here isn’t my favorite, it feels a bit stiff and I’m wondering what her legs/feet are doing, but I can’t help but be intrigued by the image as a whole. Great job!” -Claire Dam

“Tatyana, gorgeous execution of the stylized, conceptual shoot.  Very creative use of feathers and location.  The edit is gorgeous!  Not overdone but just enough to give it the wow it needs.  Her expression is a little empty, doesn’t pull you in as much as I would like…so just be watchful and guide your subject a little more here, but I know that can be very, very difficult.  I think the lighting is stunning.  Overall I think this is a wonderful image.  You should be very proud of this.” -Kara May



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