In this realm of the arts, and probably with any career path in life, people with thick skin and an open mind have a huge advantage over those without it. As long as I’ve been involved with photography, I greatly value and appreciate those with whom I’ve had discussions and critique time with. It’s nice to have friends, whether photographers, makeup artists, models, graphics designers, etc. To periodically get together, discuss where we are at and what’s happening, show new work, give and receive critique and kudos. Of course many things are subjective. The whole idea with critique for photographers is to discuss what strengthens the image, what may take away from it, and then come to your own final conclusion.
Many people, myself included have been known to develop an attachment to a specific image, and miss a fairly obvious flaw. Or be your own worst critic! That’s one reason it’s nice to view your peers as just that, and not competition. We can all help and encourage each other. And there are times when a layman can effectively critique work, you never know. Every opinion does count and should be respected! I am very grateful to those who have helped me, no matter how nice or harsh they have been. Without that, I couldn’t have gotten where I am. I don’t want to stop here either. If I can provide that for others as well, it feels good to pass it on. Good karma folks.
I said nothing about telling someone what they want to hear, which many newer artists are looking for that. I can promise, if that doesn’t change and they don’t become mature enough for critique, they have a dim future. Not all my work is technically perfect. But it’s a never ending quest to keep seeking and growing. Aligning yourself with respected colleagues will promote growth. Cheerleaders don’t promote critique for photographers or any other. The easier thing is seldom the most beneficial for growth. Open mind, willing spirit, and tenacious desire to grow, the winning formula.