Photography | The Importance of Constructive Criticism

Published:24 Feb, 2013

I have always been very scared of criticism because I never knew how to handle them. But I guess this was all before I identified the rather blurred line between mere criticism and constructive criticism. This is something most people still do not understand and I have found that it affected my confidence with regard to my photography. Most new photographers are usually nervous about showing their work to the public because they do not want to be judged or laughed at. I went through this phase when I started taking pictures. I had created a Facebook page, but I kept it private for so many months and I only showed it to my very close friend because I was sure that he wouldn’t judge me. I later developed the confidence to make my page public and I was very surprised by how many people liked my photos. If there are any aspiring photographers out there reading this now, I would advice you to publish your work. Let people tell you what they think. It will help you grow and it will improve your skills.

It was only until last week that I decided to grow a pair and deal with constructive criticism. I discovered a website that allows creative minds to showcase their talents and I decided to join, so I sent my details and a link to my portfolio and I was very pleased to hear that they had accepted my submission because they liked some of my work. However, I was initially disheartened by the constructive criticism they gave me, but after thinking about it for a while I realised that they were absolutely right. They loved my street photography work and that was what made them approve my submission. But they also said that my biggest weakness is my editing, especially with portraits. They told me to decide what my photography style is. If you read my last post you would know that I discussed something similar. I’ve been thinking of trying out different styles and I know it will take a while, but I am ready to do whatever it takes.

They explained that there are some great photos on my website, but there are also a few pictures which aren’t good enough and would stop potential clients from contacting me. I have already taken action and I have purchased some books on editing and I have been watching a lot of tutorials. I will also be taking a lot more pictures. The email I received made me think about a lot of things. For example, most people compliment me for my street photography work and I know that is where my heart lies, but as a photographer I need to be able to branch into different areas of photography and I quite enjoy portrait photography, so I will be working on improving my editing skills and also training my eyes to identify a good photo.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to share my thoughts on the feedback I received and to show you some of my old street photography work. I haven’t had the time to go out and take pictures because I have been very busy with school. But I will be making a photo diary this summer and you guys will be the first to see it!

Below are some pictures I took at London South Bank last year:

 

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I was able to fit in a short trip to Piccadilly Circus into my busy schedule last week and here are two of my favourite pictures from the day:

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