Photo Critique: Fashion and Beauty

In this live photography critique show, now available to watch as a replay, Karl offers his professional feedback on dozens of fashion and beauty images submitted by KTE members.

As he gives his trademark ‘harsh but fair’ opinions, Karl covers a range of techniques and strategies, sharing a host of useful tips to help you improve your own photography, in fashion and beauty and beyond.

Particularly valuable is the real-time retouching he does on many of the shots, demonstrating how some simple post-production work can quickly transform good images into great ones.

If you enjoy this members’ image critique, be sure to explore our archive of Live Photo Critiques, where you’ll find 20+ more sessions like this one.

And of course, we’ve got dozens of relevant photography classes in our Fashion and Beauty Photography and Retouching sections.


  1. Hi Karl,

    Thanks for the critique of my image. It was really interesting to hear your thoughts and see how your slight grade adjustments altered and highlighted different elements in the shot… greatly appreciated!



  2. I am learning a lot from the video. I will have to look at some of your product photography courses also or future shows when I have the time. Kudos to your team also.

  3. johnleigh

    Hi Karl I appreciated your thoughts and feedback on my shot great to get your wisdom.

    I wonder if I might get some of your wisdom on the well meaning comments I get from various former colleagues and general advice I see online advising photographers that they must choose and focus on one niche or small part of photography in order to succeed.

    Ive always been drawn to shooting people in portrait and fashion/concept work but also I do enjoy product shots – whilst you have made a success of not focusing on one area do you feel today that its better to “niche down” to a small area to make marketing and pitching easier?

    1. Hi John, most commercial photographers don’t specialise to begin with as they need all the work they can get. Even when you make it to the top like Jonathan Knowles you’ll still see that JK shoots products and beauty shots. So I wouldn’t get too worried about it, my best advice is shoot what you enjoy shooting as that’s what keeps the passion going. I know a successful commercial photographer who also enjoys shooting weddings, he does the weddings under a different name and website!

  4. Masausuki

    Hi Karl, thank you very much for your critique and opinion for my photo(feather with unusual makeup). I really appreciated it.
    I wasn’t able to watch the live stream, but watched the reply.

    Here I would like to share with you some facts about the shot.

    The body line you modified was really helping for leading eyes to the hot spot in a photo.
    But interestingly it was an original body shape which I shot like that in camera. I haven’t used any liquify filter for this.
    I need to learn more about this sciences behind of leading viewer’s eye efficiently.
    I couldn’t aware for this during the shooting. That was a great advice to elevate my photography level higher.

    About the lighting, i lit the model with 3 lights.
    Para 133 at unfocused position, P70 in the center of Para at the same angle.
    And a Pulso spot for the background gradient.

    The idea of using feathers is my original idea. I bought 600pcs of white feathers and placed them carefully with a makeup artist. The model had a lovely Afro to place the calamuses directly into her hair. We didn’t have to make anything like a hat.
    The shot was all about juxtaposing in term of playing with texture and colours.
    The makeup was inspired by some old editorial photo which I found randomly awhile I was searching ideas on Pinterest.

    At the end, as I haven’t posted anywhere the photo yet, I will take your advice to liquify the body shape to enhance the quality;)
    Again thank you very much for your critique and your advice! KTE is honestly changing my life!

    Have a great day.


      1. Masausuki

        Thank you very much for your replying Karl.
        Do you mind to ask you about your comment during the critique about my image?
        I think you said you might do a couple of little things except reshaping the body.
        I’m very curious about it.
        It was about 1:15:26.

        1. Hi Masa, no that was just a figure of speech – ‘the couple of little things’ was referring to the reshape on the body with the liquify tool, I couldn’t find fault otherwise.

          1. Masausuki

            Hi Karl. Thank you very much for your reply.
            Ok I understand it.

            Again thank you very much for your critique to elevate my image and knowledges.
            Have a great day.

  5. Hi Karl

    I wasn’t able to watch the live stream, but I did watch the replay.

    Thanks for the compliments on my photo.

    Have a nice day

  6. Thank you Karl for your great feedback. It’s an honour to hear these words from the photographer I admire most and from who I learned the most!

    Best regards

  7. Today’s live photo critiques was very informative. Although it sounded as though my lighting was on target; however, I understand why my mannequin shot missed the mark. Dodging and burning is an area that I see I must advance my skills. It would be helpful to me and possibly other photographers for you to add a class on “flagging”. As you mentioned, several of the photos you critiqued today, would have benefited from more light control (if done right). Eric Smith

    1. Hi Eric, we have covered some flagging in many recent live shows but a dedicated show on it might be a good idea too.

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