Portfolio building – getting feedback.

I love all my photos. Really I do. Even the bad ones. This can be a real issue when building a portfolio. That’s why it’s a good idea to get an outside opinion. Preferably from someone in a different field from you. They can just look at the images without knowing the back story behind each one. It allows them to be more honest in their feedback. And I guarantee you will be surprised by their opinion and feedback.

So to put this to the test, I posted a set of images to my Google Plus account yesterday and asked people to pick the image they liked the least. I didn’t post all the images that I am trying to decide from, but a small sampling to try to get a feel for what people like and dislike. Here are the images:

Billy Idol


Alicia Keys

Red Hot Chili Peppers / 2012

Accept / 2012

Tesla 2012

Now, I thought that the Alicia Keys image would get the most votes as the weakest image in this set. The colors are not that vibrant and the tone is really different to the others. What really surprised me was how many people thought that the shot of Flea was the weakest since it didn’t have the energy of some of the others. For me, the shot of Flea has more meaning than some of the others since it was used as one of the wall wraps at the Valley View Casino Center and anyone who attends an event there will see it.

I still have not come to any conclusions as to which images will stay and which will go. At the same time as the public request for feedback, I also sent out a private request for feedback to a select group of friends whose opinion i really trust. It will be interesting to see how those comments compare to the public ones.

More to come..



  1. My favorites in this set are Billy Idol and Frank Hannon.. Least favorite of this group is Pitbull..(the jacket throws it off for me..)

    I like a couple other of your Accept images rather then this one..

  2. Alan,

    For me, and forgive my ignorance as I don’t know who the guy with the flying-V is, but I thought that shot, Alan_Hess_portfolio-8.jpg, was the weakest of the ones you presented; Compositionally it just didn’t stand out among the others. He is obscuring the drummer, but some of the drumkit can still be seen jutting out from behind him – that bothers my viewer’s eye.

    Just my 2-cents worth; keep up the amazing photography! I can’t wait to purchase the Alan Hess Concert Series coffee table book someday!

  3. Hi Alan,

    All great but my least favorite is the bass player.


  4. Bonjour Alan,
    we almost met at Orlando, I was doing also 2 booth with Dan ;)
    I personally love the last because I have also a Les Paul Custom Deluxe White

    I love your photos and I am jealous because I used to play in a Rock band in Paris for many years and will be amazing to be able to shoot some guitar heroes.

    Take care, Thierry

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