You have already formed and opinion of the image above by the time you started reading this sentence. Guess What? Good or Bad, that's your personal opinion. Yes, you may find 5 people to agree with you, but you can likely find 5 people that do not agree. As you well know, everyone has an opinion. As a photographer, it's how you choose to use or disregard the opinion that matters.
The Opinion That Matters Most
Photographers should be concerned about the opinion that matters: The paying client. If the person paying you is not happy, then you have a problem that you need to resolve quickly. If that happens on a consistent basis, then you have a more serious problem that needs a solution. That solution may be revamping the way you shoot and light subjects. Whatever the solution is, you need to find it and find it fast.
The Opinions That I Care About
As mentioned above, the paying client has an opinion. For me, as long as they are happy, that's what matters most. In addition, if the phone continues to ring and inquiries continue to come in, that means potential clients like my work enough to get a quote. So I see that as a good sign that I'm doing something right. The reality is that my portfolio, as well as yours, will not appeal to everyone. No matter how hard I work on updating images, improving my lighting skills, etc., it still comes down to the opinion of the person viewing the images and whether they like what they see enough to inquire about my services.
In addition to the clients opinion, I do care what my wife Brenda thinks because she edits most of my work and she often shares her opinion with me. Most of the time that is good.
I also try to be critical of my own work and look at what other photographers that I like are shooting to evaluate my opinion of how my work stacks up to both local competitors and non-local photographers that I like.
I care about the opinions of those that I know, like and trust including those that I know will be honest with me about their opinion of my photography work. I can decide if I see it as constructive criticism and want to change something or if I don't agree and simply accept it as their opinion and move on.
What About Forums And Other Forms Of Photo Critiques?
I'm far too busy to let negative criticism that brings no value to my photography get in the way of staying busy and doing what I love. I'm not letting someone (even nationally known) bring me down because of their opinion. I'm all about improving, but I really don't have time for an opinion that truly wastes my time. For example, although I have not had a critique of the image at the top of this post, I could see someone saying that the necklace is too big or that the hair that covers the neck and chest should have been styled different or that the subject should have been in blue and not red, Blah! Blah! Blah! Well, at the end of the day, the client is happy (#1 priority). My wife and I are happy plus the image has been well received on social media. Again, everyone has an opinion. You and I have to choose what to do with it.
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