Facebook, it’s what has become the norm

 

The social mediatization that has descended on our sociality in the last decade or so, hasn’t been kind to the art of critique.  We all post our efforts on Facebook, 500 px, Viewbug, or Flicker.  But Why?  Are you just looking for a pat on the back?  A thumbs up?  A like?  Or are you really looking for feedback?  Honest to goodness thoughts and ideas about your efforts.  Ideas that might not jive with what your thoughts are.  In their very nature, these venues aren’t good environments for that. 

 

You, as an artist, a photographer, a creative need to decide that you want to hear these comments.  Until you make that decision you’re not going to be open to other people’s ideas, or suggestions to improve your work.  You must want it, be open to it, seek it, and dare I say ask for it.  Yes, you must ASK for it.  Once you’ve come to that point, you will start to be accepting of ideas other than your own.  I can’t emphasize how important this step is.  It’s only by making ourselves vulnerable that we open ourselves up to accept what we might have done wrong, or how we might improve our work, or have our eyes focus on something that we didn’t see ourselves, though our monocular field of view. 

 

It’s no wonder really.  Ours is a labor of love, we share our heart, soul and being.  If we are pursuing an art form, we find that we are pouring ourselves into our work.  It’s a sacrifice that we willingly make.  A sacrifice of time, energy, resources, and a piece of our hearts.  We have an affair with it.  We don’t want to lose it or have the nature of our relationship with it change.  Sharing our work for someone else to make changes to, is a vulnerability, yet another sacrifice. 

 

After all this work, do you really just want to post a picture and get a thumbs up, “WOW”, “great picture”, “nice capture”, “love it”.  These are all the same type of responses, emotional, a quick way of letting someone know that they saw you on their way to aunt Mame’s page to ask how she was feeling.  Or, do you want to open a conversation about your work?  Start by asking for the constructive part of criticism.  We are back to the asking part again. 

 

You start this process by not only sharing a picture but telling the viewer something about how it came about.  What you struggled with in its creation.  What your goals were in making it.  And then ask for specifics.  Did I meet this goal?  Do you have any ideas on how I communicate my thoughts better?  How could I make that background smoother?  Have you ever done A, B, or C in photoshop? 

 

When I worked in sales one of the first things they teach you is to ask open-ended questions.  Because this leads to conversation, and that’s the goal here.  A dialog about your work.  A two-way conversation about what you’ve created, how it comes across to others and how it might be improved.  Learn the fine art of conversation. 

Part 5

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