The internet is a great place. People who use it can be unbelievably supportive; perhaps too supportive.
Posting my work onto Facebook seemed like a good idea, but I quickly learned that it wasn’t really beneficial to me. There was the whole issue of ownership of images, for one. There was also the issue of the lack of truly beneficial feedback to my work.
This is going to sound horrible, but sometimes generic compliments don’t really help one grow. That is a great photo, is something you see a lot (not just for me, in case you are about to pop my seemingly inflated ego with that pin in your left hand), but how much does a compliment like that really help?
- Why is the image good?
- Is there something that the photographer could have done better?
- Is there something in particular that speaks to you? Something that you would like to share?
After I pulled my “professional” photos from Facebook, I started working harder on populating my photography blog. Quite a number of images went up, all with their own stories and documentation about what settings I used.
And then I stopped, for various reasons.
When I recently started up again, I thought I would regret the hiatus; however I am really glad that I had that break. Being away for a while has given me a fresh perspective, and to that end I have been going through my portfolio and getting rid of images that may only be there because of a newbie’s enthusiasm: the fire of excitement stoked by compliments from very nice people.
To date I have removed about 40 images, with more in the queue for evaluation. I suspect that the portfolio will probably lose about 10 to 20% of its content, and this is just fine with me.
As a friend told me, you want to show people the best of your best work. I completely agree.
It is my sincerest hope that none of you that read this piece are offended in any way. You all help me by keeping me excited about the art that I like to pursue in my spare time. I truly do appreciate kind words you all spare. I just feel that, despite all the kind words, I can be a better photographer. Hopefully this isn’t all bluster and that I can blow you all away with even better images in the future.