Critiquing 102

I have recently joined a group on social media where a lot of people will post their work and are looking for critiques on that work. Let me state that on social media you will probably not receive the type of critique you really need if you want to improve your photography skills. In my area there is a photography group that has held group critique sessions and at one of this group critique sessions a friend of mine came and brought one of his photos. Now this friend is someone who makes his living as a photographer which means he is a professional. Well this group of hobbyist photographers looked at his image and was giving suggestions on what other shots he should have taken as well as the one he was showing; they were not critiquing the photo they were looking at. Later my friend told me he had taken all of the other photos but he was only supposed to bring one photo to the critique session, so he brought only one.

I am not saying that group critique sessions are all bad or that you will never receive a proper critique on social media; what I am saying is that you need to be aware of who will be giving the critique. To get a; for lack of another term; “constructive” critique you need to find someone who is an expert and who you trust to give you an honest look. If everyone is always telling you that everything looks great then you are never going to improve. When a qualified person gives a critique they will not only tell you what they feel is wrong but give suggestions on how to fix it. If you really want to improve seek out the artists that you feel are better then you and get them to critique your work and most of those people will not critique over social media; they have an image to protect and they probably will not risk their image by getting in a debate on social media. I believe every artist can improve through a good critique session.  The trick is whether or not you want to improve by going to the right person or persons and only you can make that decision.

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