Allowing yourself to be inspired by other people's photographs is good for your visual knowledge and helps you recognize great work (beyond that of the masters).
Today's technology allows us to find many inspirational works around the globe, and much of the work of passionate serious photographers is an source of inspiration. amazing Image by Valeriy Khan
Think About the Masters of Photography
Even though you’re not going to publish your comments on the work of the masters, it’s a healthy exercise to practice
giving feedback on their work. Think critically about why the work of the masters is so revered. This book provides a very human approach to the editing behind the iconic images we all have sighed over.
Stop Asking about Gear
Alright, we’ve landed at the reason I wanted to write this article. As a photographer, it’s frustrating to hear questions like, “What camera are you using?” or “What lens gives your images that look….?”
Hearing such comments is tedious, exhausting and somewhat discouraging because it suggests people prefer to know about gadgets more than they want to read the image you’ve published online.
Please, stop asking about gear, and start questioning the image’s author in terms of their “How”, “Why” and “What”:
How was the image taken? Under what circumstances did this image happen?
Why did you compose the image that way? Why did you expose it that way?
What was your intention with the processing you gave the image?
If you’re deeply interested in gear, ask
why the photographer felt that the gear they used was crucial for that image. You’ll be surprised at the answers that will follow such a line of questioning because it also opens up more of a discussion and for you to engage with the photographer and image itself. Image by Mariana Vusiatytska
Be Objective, Not Rude – There's a Difference
Recently I had the great pleasure and honor of reviewing the portfolio proposals of
Photojournalism Students at one of the most prestigious universities in my country.
The exercise took longer than expected because I was really passionate about giving my feedback. I was as objective as possible, and one of the students got the assignment instructions all mixed up, and my first words to her were something like,
“I want you to understand that this is what I love, and therefore I need to speak the truth.”
I tried to encourage her to keep exploring everything and said that she'd eventually find a style of photography of her own, which was one of her biggest worries. Summary
The message behind this anecdote is that we should always try to be objective and honest – but please, avoid being hurtful. If we love photography, we’ll want more people to fall in love with it.
Above all, encourage people to keep practicing every day.
Feedback in Photography – Top Takeaways
Firstly, be honest and be yourself and this means
not being overly harsh about people's work but constructive. When asked to give your opinion on someone's work, look firstly to
take some inspiration from it (even if it's not your style).
Ask questions. Find out the thinking behind someone's choice of composition, use of color, depth of field etc. Further Resources
We've got an amazing guide here on
Advanced Composition. Discover how you can take your experience and skills beyond the ‘rule of thirds' and more basic techniques.
Above all ‘The Advanced Composition Book’ by, Kent DuFault, will teach you the unique art of ‘pre-visualization’.