Do you observe fellow photographers as competition, or as friends? Are they a pain in the neck, or a valuable source of knowledge and inspiration? And how do you take criticism from other photographers? These are some of the topics I have been thinking about lately. Seeing and publishing my fair share of photos, information and comments got me thinking – why am I grateful to other photographers? And surprisingly, not only positive points came to mind. There are some things that are pretty negative, yet I am grateful for them. These are some of them, and let’s see if you agree.
Sharing great photos
This probably goes without saying, but you should be grateful to other photographers for sharing their remarkable work. I am saying this because people sometimes feel insecure and intimidated by great photos. They get discouraged and think they’ll never be that good. However, you should take inspiration from such photos, instead of feeling insufficient. Look up to your favorite artists and use their photos to set the goal for developing your skills.
Sharing bad photos
A lot falls under “bad photos”: blurry, over/underexposed, poorly composed. Photos without a story, or simply aesthetically unpleasing. In a word – whatever you consider being a bad photo. Even these photos are something you should appreciate rather than mock when other photographers publish them.
You can define what is it that you dislike about the photo and make sure you don’t make the same mistake. Just like you learn from good photos, you also learn from bad ones. Also, I think we all need to appreciate the photos of newbies, no matter if we like them or not. It’s not easy to start publishing your work and get yourself exposed to public criticism.
Criticism is not pleasant, but it’s necessary. Of course, I am talking about constructive criticism and the comments that point out to your mistakes. When someone highlights them, you will be able to pay attention to them next time and take better photos. No matter how uncomfortable it is, criticism is necessary. It makes us better photographers and helps us grow.
“That photo is hideous”, “When I take a photo like this, I delete it immediately” and so on. I’ve received comments like this from time to time. Probably each of us has. There is absolutely nothing constructive about them that could improve your photography. So why should you appreciate them?
Well, nasty and unconstructive comments help you learn to deal with people. This, in the first place, helps you learn not to take things seriously and distinguish constructive from pointless criticism. In the long run, it even helps your photography. Maybe not the photographic skills, but it helps you deal with people. And you’ll agree that a skill like this is vital if you are a professional and photograph people. So, appreciate those nasty comments and take them as an exercise rather than let them annoy you.
Posting tutorials and BTS images
Of course, you should appreciate the knowledge other photographers share online. This one also probably goes without saying. Thanks to these tutorials, you can learn new skills and perfect your techniques. You can get new ideas or learn how to turn the ones you already have into photos.
Friendship and support
Last but not least, I believe we should all appreciate the friendship and support some fellow photographers offer, rather than get annoyed by those who see others merely as competition. There’s a lot of rivalry and vanity in the photographic world. But fortunately, there are many photographers who share my view and offer support instead of sabotage. I learn a lot from them and I’ve had some great photo shoots with them. We exchange ideas and information (after all, that’s what we here at DIYP do). And finally, I believe this point of view can get you some valuable friendships, even regardless of photography.
These were only some points that crossed my mind. I believe you should appreciate practically everything you get from other photographers – no matter how negative it may seem. Every piece of information, every comment, and even the most negative comment can be a valuable resource and a step towards improving yourself – both as a photographer and as a person. Do you agree? Why are you grateful to fellow photographers?