The Problems of Peer Praise in Photography

“You rock!” “Your image is awesome!” “This shot is fantastic!”

All well and good but when those accolades come from people who are friends, relations or acquaintances, do they have any real value? Are they indeed truths or simple back slapping gratuitous behaviour to enhance possibly the worst possible barrier to real progress in becoming a better photographer? I mean EGO!

It is beyond doubt that those who have an incapacity to divorce their ego’s from their images, that often negative emotional attachment that makes appropriate constructive critique a serious issue, simply feel they cannot learn anything at all from their peers or those who have proved their mettle, achieved the highest ‘measured’ standards and now dedicate a part of their lives to the education and inspiration of others.

To those in the ‘Professional’ sector it is the singular cause of angst against what they dub as ‘Wannabe’s’, ‘Weekend Warriors’ or worse.  People who one day pick up a camera, start snapping away with no experience or referring to ‘YouTube’ as their Photo Bible and call themselves ‘Pro’s’ because their families and mates tell them (in 95% of all cases) that their images are good, when in truth, the exact opposite applies!

It is an inescapable fact that all newcomers to the photographic profession must start somewhere. My firm belief is that everyone should invest in proper education. Learn the key skills that are essential to best practice. Cover all bases and master techniques. Get yourselves a real Mentor with a wide skills and knowledge base. And above all, take the well intentioned ‘peer praise’ of their friends and relations with a pinch of salt., smile, and learn the art, craft, ethics and profession you have chosen.



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