Handling photography criticisms.
I admit, i don’t handle criticisms pretty well.
A few days ago, one of my beach photos which i thought was really good, ended up being labeled as a “mere snapshot” on a local photo site. I was devastated and discouraged. They pointed out the technicalities where my photo fell short, and i became angry that these people weren’t able to see it the way i saw it.
This is the one thing i hate about photography: some people rate your work on a set of numbers and grids. Rules, rules, rules… but i just wanna press that damn shutter purely for the fun and love of it!
Then i came to a couple of website posts that made me rethink my approach to photography criticisms. I wanna share them and hopefully help others in the same predicament. :)
WEBSITE POST #1: How to Handle Criticism
(read the original post at http://nonphotography.com/blog/thoughts-about-photography/how-to-handle-criticism/)
… I believe it has a lot to do with my approach to photography… when a perfectly exposed picture is not necessarily a good picture and when the practice of taking pictures follows an inner drive instead of a set of instructions created by someone else.
I mean, how can people criticize my pictures without appearing a bit foolish? How can you tell someone their picture is, for example, not composed correctly when this person doesn’t care and maybe even promotes off balance composition?
… I know, most articles, books and “professionals” will tell you, you should listen to criticism and try to learn from it. They will tell you that criticism improves your photography.
I’ll tell you what, the only thing that will improve your photography is you… you doing your thing just the way it feels right to YOU.
WEBSITE POST #2: The Photographer I Am
(read the original post at http://www.riffspics.com/2009/04/photographer-i-am.html)
… Sure, there are rules to follow in creating good photos but rules are also meant to be broken. In the final analysis, if you are satisfied and happy with the finished results, that is all that matters.
Photograph for me is fun, as it should be for you. Sure, you want others to like your shots as well, but I believe that if you are shooting to please someone else, and not yourself, then that takes all the fun out of it…
So, your photography may be better than mine and I applaud you for it and I just might learn from it; someday I just might get there myself. But, in the meantime, I intend to have fun in my world and shoot for me. Some will like my work, some won’t no matter how good it might be…
In a nutshell, it simply goes back to what makes you shoot. Do you do it for others? Do you do it for yourself? If the latter’s your answer, then no criticism should faze you and you really have nothing to worry about.
So what if the horizon’s in the middle of the frame, then?