Does my photo suck?
Mikey and I are sitting at Peet's Coffee in Beverly Hills, California (that's how we roll!) and a fellow lightenupandshooter that really liked his image told us that some dude emailed him and said his composition was not good and blah blah blah!
So we decided to write a post about this topic because it is extremely important!
It blows our minds how little confidence people have in themselves and especially in their photography. Confidence is probably the most important feature to becoming a great photographer and it is the easiest thing to lose.
We can't believe how many times we have seen this scenario happen:
- A photographer takes a photo that he/she is especially proud of.
- He/She shows it to his/her friends and they love it.
- He/She shows it to their family members and they love it.
- He/She shows it to other photographer friends and they love it.
- So now the photographer is feeling extremely confident because 30 or so people have told him/her the image is awesome.
- With this new found confidence, the photographer posts the image online so that the entire world will see it!
- Wow! It's great! The colors! The subject! The illumination! The composition! All in all there are 2 or 3 hundred comments complimenting the photo.
- And then....THE ASSHOLE!
- That one person that says..oh it's not sharp, oh the composition, oh the this, oh the that! You broke the rules! Your not a good photographer! Blah blah blah! And when the photographer asks the person for help, they simply respond with another dumb comment!
- Guess what? The confidence he/she had from those 2 or 3 hundred comments has just been magically erased by - THE ASSHOLE!
- To the photographer, THE IMAGE NOW SUCKS, HE/SHE SUCKS AS A PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE UNIVERSE HAS SHIFTED AND MADE THE ASSHOLE THE CENTER OF IT!
So let us just clear this up:
Now there are things like constructive criticism and professional suggestions that will help you become a better photographer, but in NO WAY does that mean your image SUCKS!
Ok, so how do you know which is which. It's simple actually. Just take a look at the photos of the person that critiqued you. If you think THEY SUCK...well just smile and never think about them again because they are just talking because they have nothing better to do. If they are good photos and you can respect them as a photographer, take it as constructive criticism or a professional suggestion. Try to do better, but in NO WAY does your present image suck! We all start somewhere, and we all have room to improve, but we don't improve if you don't have the confidence that you can.
One of the things that we can not stand about the internet is that it has created these internet trolls that do nothing more than want to ruin peoples day. They think their way is scripture and if you don't see eye to eye, then they will get their thrill off by belittling you. These people are simply ridiculous.
In any case, there are so many photographic rules that work, and they've worked very well since the beginnings of photography. But, and it's a huge but, if photographers never broke the rules photography would not progress! So we say...break the rules sometimes, experiment, develop your style and be confident about it.
The rules of photography should be renamed to, photographic suggestions. Rules sound so definite that people misunderstand. If they were rules it would mean that there is NO WAY to have a good photograph unless you followed them, and that is simply NOT THE CASE!
So are we telling you to always break the rules, NO! Are we telling you that you shouldn't know the rules, NO! Are we telling you breaking the rules can work, YES!
We don't want to single out any photographers, so check out your favorite one's. We can almost guarantee that they will have at least one image in their portfolio that breaks the rules!
Keep this in mind folks, photography, like almost everything else on this planet is a fad based industry. You will love pictures today that you will hate tomorrow.
On a final note, if there is a case where you love the image and 300 people are telling you it sucks...well simply name yourself an ARTIST and not a photographer and that will end the discussion since ART IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER!
So what is the point behind all this babble? Be confident and don't let internet trolls with really bad photography interfere with your style!
This is a life lesson, be confident with yourself, your images and just about everything else. Be confident enough to be able to smell out the assholes from the crowd and let whatever comes out of them simply fade away into the internet wind!
Now go and take some more of those sucky images and post'em on our site, our flickr group or wherever else you want!
LIGHTEN UP AND SHOOT!
Oh, if you don't believe us...check out one of my favorite posts ever written:
The kick ass music you are hearing is from Jeremy Buck and the Bang, check them out at http://jeremybuck.com/