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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!


Ever wished that you could just hang out with some of your favorite Celebrity Photogs?  Tired of stalking their blogs because you just want to chill with them. Well now you can! Each month we’ll have different Celebrity Photographers floating around the forum answering your questions, giving critiques, talking about business and posting inspirational images. This month’s Celebrity Moderator the fabulous, Jean Smith, of Jean Smith Photography.

jeansmith1 Jean is an on location photographer who is currently exploring the world for one year with her husband and four little boys. For work, she loves all “genres” of people and therefore photographs them all…babies, kids, high school seniors, and couples. She likes to consider herself a natural light photographer, but madly loves incorporating off camera flash into her work as well. Jean is incredibly passionate about photography and teaching others. She, along with her rad husband, Travis, teach photography workshops around the country.

Jean Smith Photography | Facebook  Blog | Twitter 


Receiving honest and constructive feedback on your photography is one of the best ways to find your strengths and weaknesses and find new ways to improve. I am so happy you are here and I am excited to work with you!  

I believe that having someone else view and critique your work is the easiest and most efficient way to find your strengths and weaknesses…as little or big as they may be.  Trying to find those on our own is sometimes impossible as we are emotionally connected to our work and view it completely different than an outside source.


What camera do you use? Favorite lens?
I photograph with two cameras at all shoots and weddings…mainly because I like to switch lenses often and this makes it easier for me. I shoot with a Nikon D3s, Nikon D700, and my favorite lenses are my 24-70mm 2.8 and my 85mm 1.8. I also love my 14-24mm 2.8 and my 70-200mm 2.8 lenses.

What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?
A few years ago, I received some accidental critique that altered my entire shooting style and way of thinking. As a compliment, someone mentioned to me that my images are “very nice and flatly lit.” Gasp! I didn’t want flat. At least not all of the time. I wanted depth, emotion, and drama in my images. So, I became…hmmmm…let’s say OBSESSED with light…both natural and artificial. I forced myself out of my comfort zone and studied and practiced (times ten) shooting in all types of lighting situations.

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Emotional, Happy, Unique

Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Three main things…Pinterest, movies, and editorial magazines or even catalogs. I mean seriously, have you seen the Anthropologie catalogs?

What is one specific way that you balance work and family?
I had a few years of severe unbalance (too much work) and it resulted in guilt, lack of sleep, time lost with my kids and husband, and a resentment toward photography. I have learned several ways to regain my balance, but my number one rule is to decide how much work I can take on while still being able to be a rock star mom and wife and BEING ABLE TO SAY NO AND STICKING TO IT.

Best biz/photo advice?
Don’t start your business until you know you can produce an entire session of quality images, and when you are at that point, DO NOT underprice yourself. You want make it worth your time, effort, and talent.

What have you learned the hard way?
That you can’t “fix” bad light in Photoshop. Get it right in camera :)

How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?
I am a true believer that you need to find your strength in photography and deliver that to your clients. It will not only make you a master at what you do, but will set you apart from the many others out there. I have found that my strength is capturing emotion…through light and relationships. Maybe you are a newborn whisperer. Maybe you are amazing at styling themed shoots. Maybe you only do black and white images. Maybe you love photojournalism and bring that element to family sessions. Find your strength and embrace it. It will become your style and people will come to you specifically for it.

Where have most of your 2014 clients come from (besides WOM)?
I actually don’t do any formal advertising. All of my business comes from word of mouth and social media (thanks Facebook).

What is your most popular product?
Session disc of images

Join Jean the whole month of August in the forum!  

Not a Forum Member?  Get in on all the action HERE!




Guest Contributor | Leslie Vega



Leslie Vega is a seasoned brand designer for photographers and wedding professionals. She founded Leslie Vega Design in 2008 and has been creating breathtaking brands for clients across the globe ever since. From logos to stationery and beautiful web presences, her passion exudes in her work and in her client experience. View her work at www.leslievegadesign.com
Leslie Vega Design, LLC |  Twitter | Facebook | Blog





Today in the Spotlight is our newest Vogue Vendor, SEASALT & CO.



Seasalt & Co. Facebook | Twitter |  Pinterest


Our Seasalt Summers & Davy Jones collections are the ultimate summer must have for any photographer!  Do you struggle with fixing the skies or water in your images? Are you tired of all the work from having to replace a sky because the sky is blown out or the formation is boring? You can now put all that hard work to the side, give yourself a break and get ready to impress your clients and followers. There is no need for expensive training to take your images to the next level. You can achieve the beautiful look you’ve been yearning for with just the simple click of a mouse! Available for PS CS-CC & PSE 9-12 

With our “Davy Jones” Collection! There is no need for expensive underwater equipment or even being in close proximity to a beach to take your images to the next level. You can achieve that beautiful ethereal underwater look in a matter of minutes. This collection of overlays are crafted to reflect a creative underwater experience including water spray Bokeh and oceanic skies to help make those images come to life. 

Video Tutorials :
Seasalt Summers: http://bit.ly/1r8iePp 
Davy Jones: http://bit.ly/1qwSp7U


Seasalt Summers: Wow. SSP hits it out of the park yet again on this release! I’m sure many of us have had the unfortunate experience of shooting beach portraits on ugly, brown beaches with blown out, gross skies. Good idea in theory, but not in practice. THIS changes all that. The water tones and sky tones are fabulous, as is the long exposure water action. Stellar work. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Seasalt Paperie.

Davy Jones: This is INGENIOUS. This is one of those products that you didn’t know you needed until you saw it. The concept behind it is fantastic, and the results are amazing. Such a cool thing to offer your clients, especially if you live nowhere near water. -Clarissa M.

Chic Fans take an extra 40% off any purchase when you use code “chic40” at checkout.

Seasalt & Co. |  Facebook | Twitter |  Pinterest

Wanna be a Vogue Vendor?

Find out about advertising rates and how you can get a FREE full page ad in CHIC Magazine plus lots of other goodies HERE.