In that case, it is a great photograph of a beautiful child .
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
1. The eyes arrest attention, and draw the viewer into the picture. That is very well done.
2. The expression is one of those that will become hilarious later on in life. People don't generally smile or laugh very often, 90% of the time they have a neutral expression on their face. To me the expression says something like curiosity or surprise, but also a slight sense of not wanting to be in front of the camera, like hesitation. That's how I read her face.
3. With time this picture will become more and more valuable to both you and your daughter. Make sure you print it and present it nicely, maybe for her 20th birthday or something.
4. The colors are very saturated. That's neither good nor bad, just a fact.
5. That out of focus arm does make her seem a little disjointed, and it does bother me somewhat.
All in all it's a charming portrait with a pretty strong expression, that communicates well with the viewer through those crisp and clear eyes.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
I find the picture a bit disturbing, as she lokks a bit like a doll and I'm not sure what the image is trying to convey. In that sense it leaves the viewer with questions which adds to the power of the image.
I like the fabric -- it really brings out the baby-smooth skin. A solid color would have been bland and detract from the skin. And I really enjoy being able to see her right hand...being out of focus, it does not lead me off the image. I like the way it also defines the distance between the child and the fence. The image is very 'kid'...drawing from having raised triplet boys. The expression (and the eyes) is what makes this an interesting portrait instead of just another snap of the kid. Kids can be very intense -- we just tend not to see it in posed photos.
Her head size may seem a little out-of-proportion, but that is realiity for you -- kids' bodies tend to grow into their head size.
Great portrait! I do not recommend any crop!
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
Some of it might be monitor calibrations. Supposedly my monitor is calibrated but what do I know for sure compared to yours? To me the picture is perfectly good and the expression is cute like she is making a kissy face. The background is like a classic hand painted image.
That said I find the jpg painful to look at. It looks very digital and terribly over sharpened with odd pixelation going on in the background. The overall contrast is way too harsh and unpleasant. It almost looks like a color Weegee shot. If it was digital I would think you need to go back to the raw file and adjust the curve so the white point is farther out. If it was a negative you hired me to make a print of I would take a piece of film box cellophane and wave it under the lens during exposure. On my monitor that shirt that is so sharp and busy hurts my eyes.
I'm not really drawn to it but I would try something.
Crop the bottom up to where you take out the arm skin on the close arm. When you do that you pull the attention immediately to the eyes. Any skin not adding to the picture should usually be removed in this type of picture.
Because of that I would have probably shot the picture horizontally but I don't really know what you had to deal with at this location.
I'm not a huge fan of the expression but it's a kid and sometimes that's what you get. Some may think it's cute, but personally I don't really.
But crop like I said and the eyes are far more powerful.
Your flat lighting is not really to my taste but your background is handled well. I'd try for more of a direction of light.
I know the photography world is filled with fill the frame types but I rarely do. I want cropping options later so I'm far more loose in shooting so I have options. That probably came from shooting square all those years.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.