The Art of Critique, Part 4: Receiving Helpful Feedback
Part 4 of 5 in our series discussing the role of critique in our growth as photographers and artists.
- Remember, one of the best ways to advance your technique and artistry is to get honest feedback from others, not just a pat on the back for a job well done.
- Don’t take feedback personally, even if the comments were not phrased in the most kind or gentle way. React to what they say, not the emotion underlying the comment; as they may have all kinds of personal “baggage” that is being touched by your photo, and coming out in their comments.
- If someone just says, “nice photo” or “I like it” or something positive that lacks details, feel free to ask them to explain what they like about it and why. If all the feedback is positive, and you are feeling brave, you can even ask, “do you think there is anything you might consider doing to make it even better?”
- Remember that you get to decide which feedback you agree with or not. You will likely get a variety of feedback from the members of a critique group, some of which will be different, or even completely opposite. It’s your job and prerogative as the artist to choose what feedback you want to implement.
- Take notes if you need to so that you can go back to your photo and implement any post processing recommendations that you agreed with.
NOTE: The approach we share is by no means a complete or definitive philosophy. It is simply a consolidation of what we have learned in our decades of exploring and growing in our photography practice. And what we have learned by participating in numerous informal and formal critique groups. We hope these insights will be helpful in your own photography journey.