Critique and Influences


How do I get an honest critique of my work, and how influenced should I be by it?

Answer by: Arko Datta Photographer and Educator

I am not much for one-time critique. If there needs to be a critical appreciation of the work by budding photographers, then it should be sustained and systematic. For a young mind, mindful critique of their work could enhance their perspective. However, in the process, it’s important that they retain their own perspectives.

Holding on to one’s individuality is vital. Getting overtly influenced by critiques can end up making impressionable youngsters just clones and mimics of the critic. I’d rather have a raw, original mind, than someone under the influence of the style of well-known photographers. To make things worse, I have noticed that there is a herd mentality. Most youngsters lack self-belief and fear their own original work will not be accepted in the higher echelons of photography. So they end up playing it safe by replicating styles of famous photographers.

So my advice to young photographers is this… While critique sessions add to your perspective, learn to not ignore your instincts. Listen to your heart. That is the only thing that will make you different from the rest.