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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!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun | Celebrity Session by Kara May

It’s Spring and that means COLOR! Check out this fun, fresh, and colorful Senior session by one of our Celebrity Photographers, Kara May.





We are so excited to introduce Jen of Jen Carver Photography.  Jen will be providing critique as one of our April Celebrity Photographers.

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Jen Carver Photography is a professional Children’s Photographer that specializes in portrait, editorial and Commercial Photography. Her work has been published in the book “Photographing Children” by Master Photographer Ginny Felch, and has had her editorial work featured in several children’s fashion magazines such as Babiekins, Model Life Magazine, Elite Child Model Magazine, Beyond the Camera magazine and Beauty Bliss Magazine. Her work has been featured on Rock The Shot, NAPCP and Inspire me Baby. She has worked with commercial clients such as Persnickety Clothing Company, JoyFolie, Tom & Drew Boys, Es + Es ,Minikin and Lullabye Landing. She also teaches In-Person workshops around the country and online, coaching portrait photographers at all levels how to push yourself creatively and take your business to the next level.

Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?

Having your work critiqued is an important and constructive step in developing. If your intentions are to help and offer advice it is crucial to be honest and deliver the critique in a positive way, pointing out the strengths in the image and areas of improvement. This will allow the artist to continue to push forward in the areas they have mastered and focus on the areas they need to improve.


What camera do you use? Favorite lens?

5D Mark III , 85 1.2 and 70-200 2.8


What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?

I have been mentored by a former commercial photographer that I worked with for years. He has given me positive critique, guidance and constructive criticism. His continued advice pushes me to be better whether it was on technicality, to overall artistry, how to structure my business or moving beyond portrait photography.


What 3 words would you use to describe your style?

Whimsical, soulful, childhood.

 Everywhere,from light, to locations, to styling ideas, to my mentees, my children, antique stores, book stores, everywhere. Inspiration is truly everywhere.
What is one specific way that you balance work and family?
This is a goal for 2013 for me. To be honest I have not done a good job with balance and family. It is so hard, and i am many times torn over my passion for photography, combined with my ambition to grow my business, eagerness to have a clean plate, and my desire to be present with my family and my children. They have made many sacrifices for me these past years as my business has grown and evolved. Thankfully, this year I will be able to take a step back in my portrait sessions so that I have more time to be with my family.
To find balance you really need to be disciplined with your business. You need to have a business structure that allows you to plan ahead and determine how much time you will have to spend on each project. You need to determine how much you can take on and how much need you make and price yourself accordingly based on that workflow. That way you will have time for your family, for future opportunities that may arise with your business, and time to plan out the future.
Best biz/photo advice?
Dont try to do everything the hardway. Ask questions, take workshops, join forums, ask for critiques. There are talented people everywhere that have been in your shoes, save yourself lots of time and sleepless nights, take a chance and put yourself out there. You will be so glad you did! We are all learning from each other. The one thing about photography, you never stop learning, you can always be better.
What have you learned the hard way?
How to Balance. I am too guilty of becoming that mouse on a wheel. Never being able to look beyond the current day. It wasnt until I developed a good business plan and adjusted my business accordingly, that I have been able to look to the future, personally and professionally.
How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?
I think it is really important to look at the competition out there, and develop a business strategy that will set you apart from them. Whether it is how you conduct or personalize your sessions, to the product or services you offer to your shooting or processing style. Finding that niche that sets you apart from the others is key to growing your business.
Where have most of your 2011 clients come from (besides WOM)?
What is your most popular product?
My Online and In Person Workshops.


Want Jen of Jen Carver Photography to critique your images? Sign up for a 4-week Critique HERE!



Blog Love Week 11

Chic Critique Forum Blog Love

Do you post on your blog only to hear crickets? Do you sometimes feel like you are talking to yourself (and maybe your Mom) on your blog? Do you need some LOVE?

Chic Critique is here for you, girl. In 2013, we are doing a weekly feature on our blog every Saturday called “BLOG LOVE” where you can showcase your  blog posts on Chic Critique for lots of love.


  • Use this as motivation to blog at least once a week
  • Boost your SEO: your thumbnail will link back to your own blog for lots of publicity and SEO lovin’!
  • Get blog comments from our fans
  • Show off your work
  • Get published! One of your images might be featured in an upcoming issue of Chic Magazine

It’s so easy! HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

You must be a member of Chic Critique forum to participate 

  1. Post some pics on your own blog with a link back to Chic Critique
  2. Every weekend, submit your permalink (not your main blog address) from your own blog post to the frog icon (see sample below) to our weekly Saturday “Blog Love” blog post
  3. Your image will then show up as a thumbnail on OUR blog and allow our readers to click on your image to check out YOUR blog.

Need a reminder? We’ll help remind you in our weekly newsletter and on Facebook so be sure to become a fan and subscribe to our newsletter.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the other entries because that is half the fun! Also, submit your photo early since those seem to be the ones who receive the most comments.



Senior Rep Cards | from Prairie Sweet Boutique | Friday Freebie

Spring is just around the corner!  Time to start gearing up for the Senior Photography Season.  Our friends at Prairie Sweet Boutique have just the thing to help you spread the word about your Senior Photography Business:

a Set of 4 Anna Senior Rep Cards  {$24 value!}

These Senior Rep Cards are FREE to all Chic Critique Forum Members.   Get yours in the forum:  MARCH FREEBIE

Prairie Sweet Boutique Freebie

photography by Jill VZ Photography

HOW TO USE:  Create Senior Rep Cards for each of your senior reps for them to give to friends and classmates.  Include your studio’s logo and contact information as well as one or two gorgeous portraits of the senior.

SWEET TIPS:  Put the Senior’s contact info on the card as well so they can use it as their very own calling card ~ makes them even more likely to hand these out to all of their friends!   Another tip:  Give a set to ALL of your seniors (not just reps) and create an incentive for when one of their friends books with you.

For more SENIOR TEMPLATES and other sweet designs from Prairie Sweet Boutique, Visit: and

Prairie Sweet templates for photographers



5 Tips for Gorgeous Rainy Day Images

by Jamie Rae, Contributing Editor

I should have webbed feet.  I am Oregon born and raised, and live in an area that is often referred to as a temperate rain forest.  I am not sure where the temperate part comes in, but we sure get a lot of liquid sunshine- and I have never learned to love it.  Since I live in such a saturated part of the world, you would think that I would have a natural penchant for shooting in the rain.  Not so!  For a long time when I saw those storm clouds coming you would be more likely to find me curled up with a good book and a cup of tea than outside braving the storms.

It wasn’t until I was forced to shoot a wedding outside under rainy skies that my web feet finally found solid, if not soggy, shooting ground.  Being forced out into stormy weather emboldened me and opened me to the creative side of stormy shooting.  Below find five tips to help you find your own webbed feet!

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1.  Be brave

For yourself and your client, reach down inside and squash that stormy weather squirm.  What feels like misery can turn into adventure with the right attitude.  Put on a cheerful face, be determined and positive, and your energy will ignite as enthusiasm from your subject.  Remember that while most people are huddled away inside beneath wool blankets and boredom, you are the one out there still creating.  Your attitude is your number one asset, so keep it positive and embrace the adventure!


2.  Use Your Surroundings

Enlist your creativity to find shelter from heavy rain.  Just because it’s pouring doesn’t mean you can’t shoot outside.  I have used bus stops, overhangs, porches, umbrellas, bridges, groves of trees and parking garages.  Just make sure you choose a location that allows ample light to stream through the clouds and onto your subject.  rain1 (1 of 1)

3.  Create A Story

How many amazing movies and books start with moody, interesting weather?  A lot do!  That’s because stormy weather inspires a variety of moods.  Take advantage of your unusual backdrop and use the movement of the clouds and shifting light to inspire your creativity.

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4.  Find the Light

Even during stormy weather you will find that there is a direction to the light you are using.  The sun is still hiding up there!  The light will filter through the large, natural diffuser up above and provide even light for your subjects skin as well as catch lights for the eyes.  If you are seeing that spark of light in your subjects eyes, move them (slowly) in a circle until you see the light brighten their face. 2013-03-06_002

5.  Protect your equipment

Professional cameras and lenses can withstand some windy and wet weather.  I always am sure to carry a towel with me though, and dry off my equipment frequently.  You can also purchase plastic covers for your camera that will protect your camera and lens from the elements.  As a true Nothwest native, I never have.   As a last resort, bring along an assistant and an umbrella!


Jamie Rae is a natural light photographer in Portland, Oregon.
She loves helping women tell their unique story of beauty through photographs and does so through portrait and wedding photography.
She lives for learning, lovely light, and the occasional daily chocolate.






Monthly Mentor on OCF & Chic Challenge

Did you know that we have monthly “Chic Challenges” in the forum to help you advance as a photographer?

This month’s challenge includes a $200 Gift Certificate to Bellevue Avenue! Plus, we will publish one of the winning entries from the last 4 months in our Summer Issue of CHIC Magazine!



NEW! We have a Monthly Mentor every month who shares expertise exclusively in the forumEach Monthly Mentor creates a video just for you and will answer any questions you may have regarding my video & business ALL MONTH LONG…so bring it!


I have over 10 years of experience in the field of photography, and am now in my 6th year full-time as part of the thriving professional photography community of Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Although my post-secondary training was as a midwife, I continually work towards technical and creative photographic excellence through continued education, community roundtables and on-location experience.

I have been an affiliate photographer for the bereavement photography organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep for two years.  I feel like my photography experience along with my midwifery education helped prepare me for this difficult and rewarding position.

I operate a fully-equipped photography studio in a 19th-century cotton-mill-turned creative industries complex in Hamilton’s industrial district, and I specialize in portraiture: engagements + weddings, and bumps to babes to graduates!

My most recent notable is that I am the Reigning Queen Supreme of the Chic Critique Photography Idol Contest 2012!    (Aka: the winner).

*all the images here are shot using off-camera flash (OCF) which is the subject of my vidayo!  So even though I don’t shoot OCF that often it’s a skill I’m proud and thankful to have in my back pocket!



















Ask Claire a question HERE

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