How to Deal With Criticism as a Photographer

As photographers, posting our work online can be both exhilarating and agonizing. Exhilarating in the sense that our work can be seen by hundreds (if not thousands of people), and agonizing in that with each posted work we open ourselves up to all sorts of criticism. Sometimes that criticism is helpful, but other times it can just seem downright mean. How do you deal with it? Photographer Sean Tucker has this advice:

One of the most difficult things for just about everyone to deal with is criticism. It doesn’t really matter what area of our lives where receiving it in, it’s almost always hard to take. And in the internet world, it can be particularly harsh: internet trolls abound (people who comment negatively in order to get a rise out you) and the more successful your work is, the more likely you are to receive feedback that’s meant to get your goat. As Tucker says,

“Trolls are attracted to good work. They wouldn’t say it, but trolls are always attracted to crowds, and crowds online gather around good work. So if you’re being attacked, you already are doing something right. The reason they need to attack you is because they are frustrated creatives.”

At the same time, not every bit of challenging feedback is meant to demean you or your work. Many folks who are commenting don’t take the time to try to write things in a good way. That means, if you really want to improve, you’ll need to develop a thick skin, one that can take valid feedback (however inelegantly phrased) while letting all the worthless insults slide off you. And if you’re putting your work out there just to get appreciation, let your audience know that and be prepared to apply that block button liberally!

How to Deal With Criticism

In case you’re wondering, this video was shot as a test run for Tucker’s new Sony RX100iv point-and-shoot (except for the final shot, which was done using a DJI Phantom 3 Standard drone). He wanted to see how much of a cinematic look he could get with it. For the sound, he used a Zoom H1 pocket recorder with a Rode Smartlav microphone.

In the end, Tucker was hoping to give his audience either some useful test footage for the video component of the Sony RX100iv as well as some encouragement for photographers and artists having their stuff attacked online. Was it successful? You decide.

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One response to “How to Deal With Criticism as a Photographer”

  1. Bob Gancio says:

    Great video. This happen to me from the ugly hedgehog web site. They’re all trolls there.
    Very 7inspiring video. Thank you

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