Becoming a photographer means that you are going to be putting yourself out there a lot more because you will want to show off those gorgeous photos that you worked so hard on. Putting yourself out there like that means more people will see your work, especially online. This will invite some people to comment on your photos. Coming from the right source, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
What you have to pay attention to is where the criticism is coming from. Is it someone that is trying to help you grow? Or, is it just someone trying to be nasty? Sometimes online it’s hard to tell the difference. So here are some tips on how to take and give (CC) constructive criticism.
#1. Consider all CC
Determine if it is beneficial for you. If not, or you can tell it’s just a troll, just Say “Thank you” and move on. Don’t try to defend your work and say well I did that because of this. Trust me it will get the trolls going and you’ll end up in a position where you feel like you have to keep defending your work. You don’t. If you think that the person is being sincere, and you can actually use the advice they give you, then you should interact with them, ask questions, soak up their knowledge. Trust me there are a lot of fantastic photographers that actually love helping others.
#2. When posting your photo for cc, put in the description exactly what you’re looking for.
So let’s say you post your photo in a photography group on facebook. When you post it, but in the description, “I took this photo to practice on my lighting and shadows, I love how the shadows came out, but it is a little soft. Any suggestions on how to make this photo better?” This tells people what you did on purpose, and what you didn’t do on purpose. It also lets them know that you are actually looking for advice.
#3 Don’t take everything Personally
This is important. Listen, I promise, you are going to hear stuff you don’t want to hear. You may feel discouraged, but please don’t! This is an opportunity to grow. If you don’t get feedback on your work you will never know where you are struggling and where you are excelling.
#4. Get feedback from the right people.
So most of the time (Not Always) your family and friends are going to tell you how wonderful your work is because they love you and they don’t want to hurt your feelings. I encourage you to ask your family and friends to give you their HONEST feedback. But I also encourage you to ask other photographers as well. Most of the time they are helpful and honest.
#5. Provide feedback for other photographers.
This is a great way to learn. If you take some time to analyze someone else’s photo, and provide feedback to them, good and bad, this well help you so much. It will help you identify areas that you may need to work on. It will also help you see where you are doing well. It can show you what a good photo vs a bad photo is. Don’t be shy. Just because you are not as seasoned as others doesn’t mean you don’t know what a good photo is. Just make sure you don’t say “Great photo.” Tell the person WHY It is a great photo, or tell them WHAT they could do to improve. Don’t just say “it’s blurry.” Yes, that is telling them what’s wrong, but maybe try telling them how they can get a sharp photo. This will help you and the other photographer grow.
#6. There is a difference in CC and an insult.
If you can’t tell whether the person is insulting you or helping you, most likely they are helping you so just assume that they are and thank them and move on. Unless you agree with the feedback then by all means engage. However, you can usually tell when someone is being insulting. Please try not to engage with these people. That’s what they WANT you to do. Dont’ let them get to you, don’t let them discourage you, just hold your head up, and move on. No sweat off your back.
Okay I hope you found these tips helpful. There are a lot of people out there that are good people that want to help. Take advantage of that. Soak up all of the knowledge you can from others.