by Skip Cohen
I get a great little publication called The Week. In the "Best Columns: The U.S." section from a back issue is a summary of an article by Ashley Merryman from the New York Times, entitled, "Giving Every Kid a Trophy".
Ashley wrote, "Losing is good for you," But as your children return to school and fall sports, they are stepping back into a fantasy land where everybody is a winner and everybody gets a trophy....telling them that everything they do is wonderful does not inspire children to succeed. It undermines their motivation to compete and strive for excellence, breeds narcissism, and leaves them unprepared for life's inevitable failures...to raise successful kids, we need fewer trophies and more losing."
It's only a little stretch to connect this to the need for so many photographers to grow a thicker skin when posting images for critique on any of the various sites, including your own Facebook page. Every image you create is not going to be appreciated the same way. Our entire industry is a melting pot of opinions, tastes and style.
If you share an image with the public then you've got to prepare yourself for criticism. I've seen images score a perfect 100 in competition and still be criticized. It's simply the nature of the beast.
So, here's the point and I've written it easily a half dozen times over the last few years...Remember that beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder! It doesn't matter what people think if your client was happy. However, take people's comments enough to heart to consider those who are giving you some good constructive criticism. They just might have a point to help you make your work stronger.
Last on the list - don't post if you can't handle the criticism and remember, "every kid can't win a trophy!"
Photo Credit: © chones - Fotolia.com
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