Photograph above taken at a Leonard Nimoy exhibit with a Leica M6 and Ilford XP-2 film
Why Your Feelings Don't Matter
I recently heard a story about a photographer who was upset after they received a portfolio review. Apparently, the photographer was angry that the person doing the critique didn't take into consideration what the photographer "felt" while they were taking the photographs. In other words, they expected the reviewer to judge their portfolio based on their "feelings" instead of critiquing the actual content of the photograph. Regrettably, far too many artists and photographers approach their art in the same manner as this photographer - solely focusing on the emotional aspects of the creative process instead of learning and applying the much needed artistic skills to their work.
The truth is, it's not the reviewer's job to analyze a portfolio based on what the artist feels or felt. It's irrelevant, and it's impossible. What is important is whether or not the artist or photographer adequately communicated the intended message to their audience through the use of design and related compositional techniques that make a work of art successful. Obviously, this person failed to do just that.
If you're an artist or photographer interested in getting a portfolio review you have to ask yourself one crucial question. Are you doing it to seek approval and praise from others or are you looking for an honest evaluation that will help you progress with your art? If you're only interested in approval, save yourself the time and money and just show your portfolio to family and friends. After all, they will tell you what you want to hear. However, if you're an artist or photographer that wants valuable feedback that will help improve your overall body of work save your feelings for the analyst's couch and approach your portfolio review with an open and rational mind.
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