I found a terrific quote on perspective in Kathryn and Ross Petras' book..."It Always Seems Impossible Until It's Done".
"Don't believe them when they tell you how bad you are and how terrible your ideas are,
but also don't believe them when they start telling you how wonderful you are
and how great your ideas are.
Just believe in your work and you'll do just fine."
I remember a podcast with good buddy, Matthew Jordan Smith. Matthew talked about the importance of developing your own style and referenced his early days, just starting out. With many of his images he'd repeatedly ask people he respected what they thought, often taking the criticism too seriously. As his skill set grew he learned to develop the self-confidence for a stronger belief system in everything he did.
The same thing happens, especially with photographers who post images in the various forums on Facebook, asking for a critique. Whether they're happy with the comments or upset, they've forgotten the real issue. It doesn't matter what everybody else thinks, but if the client liked the image.
My old buddy, Dean, who I've quoted hundreds of times said it best...
"Beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder!"
Everybody knows when an image they've posted lacks some key ingredient. It's like Sheila asking me to taste the sauce she's made and saying, "Tell me what it needs!" "More salt" might be the photographic equivalent of "it's under-exposed"..."Too spicy" might mean in photography, "Tone it down a stop"..."More sugar" might be "A little catch light in the eyes would be nice."
Sheila also might completely disagree with whatever I suggest and love it just the way it is. She already knows, given the chance, I'd put more garlic and salt in everything we eat. So if she thinks I'm wrong, it's pretty simple. She's confident that she's dead-on with the right flavors she wants and there is no further discussion.
Posting images on line is no different - we all have different tastes and most of the time if an image is really bad the artist knew it when they posted it. You know when an image isn't your very best work and that's okay, just stop acting hurt and surprised if somebody doesn't like it.
That brings me full circle and back to advice I've been giving new photographers for years...
"Ask for advice. Listen to what everybody tells you. Then, do whatever you want that feels right."
As always, wishing everybody a terrific weekend and one filled with great friends, plenty of good hugs and plenty of time to believe in yourself and appreciate whatever path in life you've chosen.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.