Photo critiques are often requested by new photographers who are just starting off. Usually the point is to try and figure out ways they can improve their photography. It’s a broken way of learning and IMHO, it should be avoided.
Photography is a visual representation of your creativity. That’s it; nothing more, nothing less. As soon as you stop taking photos you want and start listening to what your critics say you should do, your work ceases to be a reflection of your creativity. It is at that point when your craft evolves into being a representation of someone else’s creativity, not your own.
The important thing to remember here is, everyone’s a critic and the internet is full of them. If you’re not shooting for yourself first and foremost, then why are you picking up a camera to begin with? You are your own best critic. Only you can look at your work and decide if you’ve accurately captured a representation of your creative vision or not. There will be an audience waiting for you regardless of your skill level and there will be a critic waiting to criticize you just the same. The sooner you are able to accept that, the sooner you can get back to improving your craft.
Learn to grow from within and follow your own intuition. Don’t allow other people’s boundaries and perception to mold what you should and shouldn’t do. The more you shoot the more you will grow. The more your creativity will evolve. Most importantly, read. A lot. Learn everything you can about how to use your camera, about compositional techniques, and about light. Knowledge is power. The more you know and understand, the more your photos will improve over time. Knowing your camera inside and out will help you understand how to use your camera as a tool for crafting your creative style.
Look at other people’s work every day. Be inspired and discover new creative avenues. Know what you want to achieve, and ask for help to accomplish it. Share your work with the world. Let your vision be seen and experienced by others. Allow others to help you without dictating how you should or should not be doing it.
Know that not everyone will like your work but have the courage and drive to keep going, to keep trying, to keep creating, to keep growing, and to keep pushing yourself beyond what you’d conceive is possible to achieve.
Don’t ask others what you should do different. It’s your work, not theirs. They weren’t in the moment. They didn’t experience it. They weren’t sparked by the same creative vision that ignited you and resulted in you picking up your camera.
The industry is full of so-called know it all’s, industry experts, gate keepers if you will, people who would love to tell you they are the authority on photographic art, as if there are rules and boundaries to what can be considered creative art. As if creativity can be wrapped around a mold and bound to a set of rules and standards.
As cliche as it sounds, success in creativity is what you make of it. It’s in your perception, not in the quantity of likes and comments you receive or the ribbons and accolades these so-called experts claim to hold the key to. Creativity doesnt need to be critiqued because its a form of expression that is unique to each living individual on this planet. Creativity is not taught but is discovered. It is learned through your own exploration and persistence to grow and evolve your craft as a creative artist.