Recently I put out the question to you what you wanted to know about the photography business. Christine asked “How do you handle criticism from other photographers?” Here is your answer:[youtube]http://youtu.be/QDh7C9keIDM[/youtube]
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Thank you Beate ! 😉
Just what I needed to hear – and get a refocus!
Unfortunately, I had some photographers ‘discussing’ with me my work – in the end they only put me down and left me insecure and confused.
Funny thing – the clients (of the same 3 jobs I discussed with these photographers) were totally happy with my work. Hm. So true what you say! Thanks!!!!
“Beauty is in the eye of the checkbook holder” — Dean Collins
I would also suggest that if a mentor gives you advice, it is a good idea to tell them that you acted on their advice and what results you got in a follow-up. This will let them know you are not wasting their time.
Philippe – I may steal this one. I love it..
I offer several photography classes and workshops between Rocky Mountain National Park and south Denver. I have a quote, one of my own, included in the student workbook of one of my classes: How do I know if my photography is good enough? Answer: If they paid you for it, it was good enough for them.
While unsolicited advice or criticism is rarely welcomed I believe to subscribe exclusively to the idea that the paying client knows the best when it comes to “professional” photography is a dangerous assumption.
That is dangerous advice in a world where you can purchase a camera, put up a website and advertise as a professional. The most dangerous part of that advice is that many times those purchasing the product that results from this type of operation know little if anything about a professionally created portrait. Sure, they will buy it for a couple of bucks and then you validate your lack of experience by accepting those few dollars?
Certainly if you are earning your living as a photographer you must consider the idea that your expertise and experience figure into your style and quality of work; aside from what any client thinks or is willing to pay for. This, in my opinion, should be a something we as professionals work on, on a daily basis. Constantly improving, learning and experimenting to make “our product” one clients aspire to own.
Without insight, albeit, from fellow experienced professionals, we in turn respect we follow a road blindly. Criticism of any kind can be difficult on the ego regardless of experience or expertise. If we instead put our desire to create a better product in forefront every time we climb behind a camera then criticism can be a valuable tool.
The problem is that with digital and the internet everyone is climbing over each other to prove they know more, that they are a better photographer or they know a way to do it far better. This agenda provokes comments and criticism without solicitation.
You wouldn’t think of walking up to someone using a camera and leveling your comments or judgments on their abilities. Certainly, I realize that there people like this but we instantly label them as someone with out any form of social skills and in most cases ignore them. Yet this happens on the internet all the time.
One last point, if a criticism is given on your work try to detach the emotional aspect. Focus on your desire to learn and create a better product. Let that be your guide and then review their comments. If they have credibility and truth act on it. If not, IGNORE it.