I am a volunteer photographer for a dog rescue and we do our fundraiser calendar every year with photos of dogs we have placed.
I had done the photo shoot for this dog when he was in foster care, and submitted this photo for the calendar.
I was told it looked "too busy".
Could you please critique?


The image is fine but I agree it does not work well as a portrait due to the lack of separation from the "busy" background. Shallow DOF would definitely help. One of the good thinks about digital is not all the effects have to be done at capture. Here is a version in which shallow DOF was simulated in software. This version could be done better with more time and the original but hopefully this gives you the idea.