How I Offended the World’s Most Popular Photographer

The advent of the Internet was a momentous occasion, one which afforded me a litany of new ways to continue doing what I have always done best but now with a much larger audience — open my mouth and say things I probably shouldn’t. I know, shocker. Consider yourself a gem from Heaven if you are unable to testify to having done it at least once. Go ahead, cast the first stone.

As an aspiring photographer, like many artists, I had a tendency to find masters of inspiration and just latch onto them for all I was worth. I would follow their work, I would follow their lives, I would live vicariously through their utter awesomeness. But, as anyone who has idolized anyone can tell you, eventually your idols let you down, sometimes through no intentional fault of their own.

How I Offended the World’s Most Popular Photographer

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Learning to Critique

Pop quiz– How many times in an average day do you come across a photo on-line, put there by a photographer seeking critique, comments, suggestions, opinions, or input? Actually, it’s not a fair question. If your day is anything like mine, you lose track by lunch time. Between Flickr, 500px, my students, and the many photography-related pages I follow on Facebook, there are just too many to count. Despite the huge count (or maybe because of it) I find two things that resonate with me about these posts. The first– based on their reactions– is that most people aren’t really looking for an honest critique. They are looking for validation. The second thing that jumps out at me is that most people simply do not know how to give a proper critique.

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