When we started this blog for women photographers, Becks and I agreed that we wanted to enable women to share their work without the worry of ridicule, mean comments and patronizing peers. I truly believe that we all started somewhere once and we all still journey to somewhere else… this is the story of life and this is certainly the case for photography.
I have been a member of many photography clubs – both online and offline – and one thing they all had in common: overall a nice group, interesting people but with a few of them confusing critisicm with a license to be mean… especially those of the gang who were new to the game. I simply cannot see how comments like: “my mother could shoot that better with her 10 year old nokia phone.” or “you call yourself a professional photographer.” could ever be useful … I myself had comments thrown at me that called me a waste of space and how do I dare to charge money for what I do.
Now, for my part, my photography can do with critique. I value critique because it allows me to get better, it may not always be what I want to hear but I can accept it. It’s the reason why I am member of these forums and photographic societies in the first place. So I do appreciate criticism that says: “if you had not chopped her hand off at the wrist, then the shot would have been better.” or “shooting this frame with a different lens would have improved the outcome” – This is something I can work with, something I can implement. However, when someone tells me that a 3 year old could have taken a better shot, then it just leaves me empty and angry and frustrated.
And this is how this place came about. And it’s great to see it slowly developing - slowly but surely – into a nice little place where we can be nice to each other, offer comments to allow others to grow and to support with encouragement.
Why? Because we all start somewhere, we are all heading somewhere and because a clap on the back is nicer than a punch in the face.
What do you think about harsh comments? Do you mind if your peers get nasty about your work? We would love to hear….