Start a dialogue, don’t just request feedback
Focus on a specific challenge
What was your vision?
A “thank you” goes a long way
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One of the best reasons for being a PhotographyTalk member is the opportunity to interact on the Forum with thousands of photographers from around the world at all levels of skills and experience and interested in the full spectrum of photography genres. The Forum and the genuine help you receive there is the core of the PhotographyTalk community: photographers helping other photographers improve their skills.
Asking other PhotographyTalk members to review your photos and offer a critique and feedback is an excellent method to learn what you need to know to advance as a photographer. The PhotographyTalk Forum is very interactive and those that participate welcome the help and the opportunity to help their fellow photographers.
To receive the full benefit of asking for feedback on your photos in the Forum, it’s important to know the right questions to ask and the best online protocol when asking. The next time you upload a photo on the Forum, go beyond the typically simple request for criticism and comment, and follow these 5 tips to learn more and grow more as a photographer.
If you expect another photographer to spend some quality time to view and examine your image, and then write a comment, then show some respect for their feedback by starting a dialogue. Too many requests are simply “Give me your C&C please.” Tell Forum participants a bit about yourself. Put some personality behind your feedback request. You’re more likely to receive more responses and more that are truly helpful.
Use the opportunity to receive feedback about your photos to solicit help with specific challenges or issues you faced when shooting the images. Help focus the reviewer’s response on those techniques with which you struggle and that you think are evident in your photos. This is also a much better dialogue starter and it gives responders a direct question or challenge to which to concentrate their answers. You are also more likely to receive very helpful criticism from photographers who have considerable experience with the technique that is giving you a problem. They are more likely to respond because they know they can help with your specific question.
It’s difficult for even the most experienced and professional of photographers to provide you with meaningful feedback if you don’t explain your original vision for the photo you’d like critiqued. It might be as simple as testing new equipment and determining the value of your purchase by a close examination of the quality of the image. You may be trying to convey a particular emotion or telling a story. Describe what you saw in your head, and then ask them if they think you were able to duplicate your vision in the image.
When other photographers are kind enough to take the time to provide feedback, and especially if their feedback helped, you should respond to continue the dialogue. Not only is it good manners to follow up with people who have helped you (or tried), but also you can start to establish relationships with other photographers that are willing to help you again, even in an emergency. It’s this talking-over-the-backyard fence atmosphere that we want to create at PhotographyTalk. Just as in a physical neighborhood, you’ll find that being neighborly in the PhotographyTalk community leads to many unexpected benefits and opportunities.
Didn’t Mom teach you the two magic phrases, “please” and “thank you”? Well, they also work in the digital age. Your immediate follow-up with anyone that offers you feedback on your photos is a “thank you…” underline immediate. It’s a simple, but human response that gives the person receiving it a true feeling of satisfaction…and for many photographers that is worth much more than whatever you might pay for their advice.
Image credit: goodluz / 123RF Stock Photo
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