Course Length 5:25:04

Richard Wood Portrait Photography Critiques

With Richard Wood

Course Includes:

16 detailed videos - 5 hours, 25 minutes of video

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Richard Wood Portrait Photography Critiques

Richard Wood provides portrait critiques to help you create award-winning images. Richard is an award-winning photographer and judge for The Portrait Masters Award and Accreditation competition. He explains how the accreditation points system works and the common issues that judges notice that affect portrait scores.

Learn from Richard and then start submitting for the next round of awards!

Richard recently won Highest Scoring Grand Master, Illustrative Photographer of the Year and Open Portrait Photographer of the Year at the 2019 NZIPP Nikon Iris Awards and wants to share his knowledge with you.

How the point system works:

Accreditation Points and Awards Merits

Score 60-69: No Merit Points (Approaching Professional Standard)

Bronze 70-79: Half Merit Point (High Professional Standard)

Silver 80-89: One Point (Outstanding technique & visual communication)

Gold 90-100: Two Points (Exemplary / Superior / Exceptional)

Silver and Gold Merits seek excellence in all technical fields with outstanding visual communication and narration.

Common issues that the judges’ notice are:

Expression and Connection

  • The expression doesn’t match the pose
  • Stern, blank and/or disconnected look on the subject
  • Too big of a smile or forced smile


  • Too many patterns
  • Styling props are too distracting
  • Lashes aren’t positioned correctly or blended into the lash line


  • Cropped too tight
  • Negative space wrongly placed
  • Shooting UP on subject


  • Hands are unnecessary or need work
  • Unflattering face angles
  • Chin needs to be forward


  • The subject doesn’t have enough light
  • More reflector needed
  • No detail in the shadows


  • Super smooth or Overprocessed
  • Too much vignette, liquify, or warp
  • Warping lines showing


  • Images look over sharpened
  • Image is out of focus
  • Back eye is focused instead of front eye

For more common issues, check out the full judging criteria.


See Richard in the spotlight at the 2018 TPM Conference, and read more about Richard.



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