The Art of Critique, Part 5: Participating in a Critique Group
Part 5 of 5 in our series discussing the role of critique in our growth as photographers and artists.
- The most useful critique groups will meet on a regular (monthly is probably sufficient, especially for most of us who have busy schedules) schedule. A regular schedule helps keeps us active in creating new photos and growing our craft.
- The size of the group needs to have enough members to provide everyone with a variety of input, but not so large that people feel shy about commenting, or you just run out of time with too many people commenting. An ideal size seems to be somewhere b/t 5-10 members.
- Share the hosting/leadership role. A critique group is best when the members take turns hosting and leading the session. The burden of organization and moderating can be a lot if not shared among all the members.
- Add value to the group. Share new things you have discovered about making successful photos, new places to shoot, new photographers whose work you admire, new tutorials or YouTube channels you have found that are helpful or inspiring.
- Try to comment on each photo shared by other members of the group. Most of us will begin to value what our fellow photographers have to offer. If you say nothing, the photographer might conclude that you think it’s a “bad” or “worthless” photo.
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.