Wanted: One Mentor
The practice of analyzing, classifying, interpreting, or evaluating artistic works;
a serious examination and judgment of something
As an individual with strong perfectionistic tendencies, I struggle with receiving criticism. Even when offered in the most loving way, even when I recognize its validity, internally I bristle. I draw in, protecting the smooth, delicate core of myself.
I’m not talking about criticism that is hurtful or harmful, words that come from a place of spite or meanness or pettiness. That we should ignore; let fall off our backs, like so much water over the proverbial dam.
Yet even as a struggle with my own internal reaction, I am hungry for true critique. I recognize that what I actually need now is constructive criticism.
Something that will help me grow; get better; improve my craft. What works in this image? Is it the composition? The crop? The subject matter? What can I do to make this a better image? Is it too sharp? Too saturated? What about the post-processing? Too much; too little?
Don’t get me wrong. There is certainly a part of me which is thrilled to receive 10 “Beautiful shot!” comments on Flickr. Or to gain enough awards to “move up” in rank to the “super-duper” group.
After all, I share my photographs in the hope that my images will move you or inspire you or show you something beautiful. Therefore, the fact that you take the time to recognize my work is greatly appreciated. Your positive comments feed my soul; encourage my efforts. I understand the affirmative benefits of supporting one another in a loving way.
I am probably asking too much from the photography community as a whole. What I am really searching for is a mentor, a teacher, a guide. I want to sit at their feet and absorb. I want real input. I want to be questioned and challenged, even when I don’t want to hear it. Perhaps especially then.
So here’s my job posting:
Wanted: One Photography Mentor. Tough, but fair. Willing to provide unvarnished, yet loving, critique. Pay: nada. Benefits: the personal satisfaction that derives from guiding a not-so-young photographer on her creative journey.