Well, if you want to hear something great about your photos, just ask your family for their opinion. I guarantee you that they will be wowed!
My sister in law is my “boost confidence” person. Everything I show or send to her is perfect or “Just perfect”. I send her a photo or two and ask for opinion when I need to hear something positive. Even this blog. It’s great, you know.
But seriously, valid critique is something else.
I remember when I first showed a photo of my child to someone who’s not a friend or family. It was the most perfect photo you’ve ever seen and of course the most beautiful child was on that photo. Surprise, but that someone wasn’t thinking about the photo as I did, instead he was focused on the issues… “What?” I was thinking “What issues… the photo has no issues at all!”
Later, when I came to my senses I realize, my child is on that photo, the most loved person in my life. I’m not being objective, I’m seeing just my child not the photograph of a child. It was a hard but necessary lesson. My child is just a kid to someone else. That someone is not emotionally involved and can offer objectiveness.
If you’re asking for a real critique prepare yourself that you’ll maybe hear things you don’t necessary want to hear.
I don’t know if every person feels the way I do but I do know that I had to develop a thicker skin. I wont learn anything with:”Oh, what a nice photo.” But if someone shred my photo to pieces, that photo instantly becomes my learning tool.
My photo being “great” f.e. is usually just an alarm for “Omg, there’s definitely something wrong here.” Either the person or my photo.
One of the first advises in photography I got is that you need to also consider the person you’re showing your photography to. People would say good things just to be nice to you, or, in the other hand, they will pick something just to be meany. It’s human nature. However don’t get caught into that. If they feel your photo is a great one, ask them to tell you the reasons for that opinion and vice versa.
I also want to hear critique from anyone, no matter what they do and know, because I care more about the impact of the photo then about technicalities. Anyone, with/without any kind of knowledge will react or wont react on photo and everybody will know how to express their impressions or at least they’ll try.
If you don’t like it enough to tell me why you don’t like it, I’m still going to appreciate your time and effort and try to understand your point of view.
After I got a fair share of critiques I realize that I can listen, think about that particular critique, filter it if necessary and apply it next time.
Realizing who am I when listening critique made me also better in giving critique to others.
No one was born with an instant knowledge about any craft or art.