by Skip CohenCopyright Jeff Henshaw. All Rights Reserved.
Here's one more reason why I love the Internet and social media...
I'm the biggest photographer's groupie in the industry. I love what you guys do and I've written about it before. I am NOT a professional photographer, even though I know more than I let on. Having been president of Hasselblad and Rangefinder Magazine/WPPI I've had some of the finest photographers in the world as teachers, but my personal passion is the marketing side of the industry.
The Internet gives me a chance to follow the trends in photography. I follow dozens of blogs, forums and we probably share some of the same icons. But the best part of social media comes with actually calling and talking with some of the photographers whose posts I'm reading.
Yesterday a post in the Newbie Professional Photographers forum caught my eye and I love what Jeff Henshaw wrote. I don't know a single thing about what started it, but I've seen so many forums that lost their momentum because of the "thin skins" he mentioned. I immediately called him to see if he was okay with me lifting his post. Here's what Jeff wrote and for anybody who has a problem with a little adult language, try not to be offended...
An unsolicited OPINION on the "people are being mean" vein there seems to be going through this page... If there is one thing in "business" that gets you damn near nowhere, it is thin skin...
As someone who loves photography, I cannot get behind the idea of a group of people who are out to seek out critiques only to be outraged when they receive a response/opinion/judgement that tells them that they shit the bed. As someone who has taken far more sh*tty pictures than great ones, I'll tell you what.... the opinions offered that I actually considered/valued were often the opinion of my wife who knew me best and knew that the pictures I was taking were shit.
How about we all take ourselves a little less seriously, value our work a little more seriously and as a result have a better documented experience of this crazy shared experience we all live out called life? ... Jeff Henshaw
Jeff is based in Massachusetts and I love his comment about "value your work a little more seriously". I loved the shot on the left from one of his galleries and enjoyed his attitude even more. He's not an experienced veteran, but he's got the passion and is working to build his business.
The truth is, put your work out there for critique, take it all with a grain of salt, accept that everyone has their opinion and accept that some people just need to be trolls.
Work to create images that leave people speechless. Make your work habit-forming and never compromise on the quality of any image.
In the end remember what my good buddy, Dean Collins, used to say. All the critique in the world doesn't matter if your client liked the image. Why? Because...
"Beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder!"
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.