Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blogspot @ http://beyondthephotographybydonnakay.blogspot.com ... a little better way to get to know more about me personally...
Doesn't everyone hate to be critiqued? It just doesn't seem to make a difference whether it is constructive for their work or their personal life in some way. Being critiqued makes almost everyone a little uncomfortable, and many people can't handle it no matter how it is delivered. Yet the truth of the matter is that through constructive critiquing we can actually improve, grow and become stronger. It is an opportunity to move up to the next level. But to effectively be critiqued we must put on our big-girl (or big-boy) hats and learn to accept what is pointed out by the person doing the critiquing. And it is best to trust someone who actually knows what they are talking about if they are giving you any kind of constructive criticism. Now obviously I'm blogging on my Photography by DonnaKay blog - so somehow this must relate to photography somehow.
Yesterday I went to an all-day photography seminar in Huntersville, NC. It was a small group, and I can't begin to tell you how honored I was to have been asked to be part of this group. Truth is, when I was first asked if I was interested, I jumped at the opportunity. Then as I learned it was a very small group, chosen selectively, and the other photographers had been part of the professional photography world for a very long time, I began to panic just a little (well, okay - maybe a lot!). After all, I'm a bit more of a newbie to the world of "professional photography." The last thing anyone wants to do is walk into any room and look stupid! And anyone who knows me knows that I'm more of an introvert than anything - definitely not someone wanting to be in any center of attention. But as I would feel the impending panic attack coming on, I would remind myself "this is my dream - I'm going after it, and this is part of it!" So, I buckled myself in tight for the ride, and ventured into this new opportunity (albeit, a little bit nervous!)
Meeting everyone else at the seminar was the easy part... I can get along with anyone, and I am a pretty pleasant person to be around most of the time. And the Photographer doing the seminar was incredible. I have no doubt I learned more than if I had taken a 6-week class, and I took in every word spoken and every point of advice offered. But I would be lying if I didn't say that all morning I was quietly dreading the afternoon critique that was coming. I was battling with the voices in my head (the same one the giver of the seminar was talking about - only with different reference) telling me that I was not meant to be in that room! I kept forgetting that I was there to learn - I was there to grow and become stronger in my skills as a photographer. And mostly, I kept forgetting that everyone else who was in that room had also sat in my chair at some point in their journey to become who they were as a photographer.
Obviously I lived until the day after the seminar. It didn't kill me, by far! And I am excited about how much I feel I have grown, how much I know I learned, and how validated I felt in my skill and talent levels when I left at the end of the day. As for the actual words said through the critiquing - they are actually not the important thing in this blog. But I can say that I came out smiling, with more confidence, and ready to face the title of Professional Photographer with a new level of excitement, drive and passion. My vision is clearer, my strengths stronger, and my weaknesses hopefully a little less weak. And I embrace the experience as something that will be looked back upon as a stepping stone in my photographer's journey. It was certainly a day that I felt I grew up a little bit more in who I am as a photographer.