Take it like a man

So after the posting about doing whatever you want with your art because your opinion is the only one that matters, how do you improve? If you never listen to anyone chances you won't improve as fast. At some point you will take a photo that is good and that you like but that won't be enough. From a creative standpoint you need to always be pushing yourself and learning, but that does not mean you should ever forsake the technical side of your craft. You can always find many, MANY people to tell you how amazing or how horrible your art is but you need someone to tell you how to improve it. You need an honest, blunt, helpful opinion of your work. 

I did a shoot a while back of which I am incredibly proud (and will post soon). This shoot was pure personal work. I put money in, there was no paying client, and we had a concept that I loved. We worked hard, I pushed myself, the two guys I was shooting killed things on their part. We are all incredibly happy with the results of our shoot. I want to learn though. This shoot was purely for my benefit, so if it's going to benefit me I should get everything I possibly can from the shoot. If I have a good photo, I want to know the little details I can work on next time to make an even better photo. 

This is when you ask someone for critique. In private. Someone you trust, someone you respect. You can post the photo blindly in a forum, but that will not give you the kind of critique you need. You need someone you trust because you have to know that they will tell you the truth (no matter how painful it can sometimes be) about your photos. You need someone you respect because you should be talking to someone above you in the artistic food chain. Always be looking up, always be moving forward. 

Finally, when someone is willing to be blunt and tell you their actual thoughts about your work: TAKE IT LIKE A MAN. This is not the time to defend, this is not the time to excuse. Its a little like getting a spanking as a child, the more you cry the worse it's going to be. If someone is taking apart your work (in private, when asked for) you need to listen humbly and learn. After my shoot I sent one of the photos to a friend, he took it apart. It is always hard to have your work under scrutiny but it helps in so many ways. 

Lest I give you a post with no photo, shot this out the car window last night. Hope yall have a great Friday everyone!