Improve Your Photography by Getting the Right Feedback on Your Images


Have you ever felt that your photography isn’t improving as much as it once was? Do you feel that the level of your work is stagnating and not progressing much more?

Improve Your Photography

Yet you keep reading article after article, either on the web or in magazines. You hope that one of them will provide the next breakthrough for your work and help you rip through the barrier that will bring your photography to the next level. You show off your work to friends and family, and you hear the resounding praises of, “That’s a beautiful photograph” or, “You nailed it”, or any other form of overly positive, loving feedback. The people that you show your work to love it, but you feel that it’s just becoming a little boring, and the next image isn’t really any different from the last.


By Justin

Do this one thing to improve your photography

If this sounds like you, don’t panic; you’re very likely not alone! Even better, there is a very simple remedy for this. This remedy will not only help you now, but also continue to help you well into the future, and at all stages of your photographic journey. You won’t need to read anything extra for it, nor will you have to buy any equipment. To break through this barrier you need to do one thing: be more selective with the feedback you listen to.

The trouble with feedback from people like friends and family is that, unless they are photographers themselves, they won’t tell you want you need to hear. Rather, they will tell you what you want to hear – which is generally positive reinforcements – however, when you come to think of it, no one really wants to hear that their latest photo is rubbish!

But it’s this honest, yet brutal truth, that will ultimately help you take better photos. Sure, I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t the best feeling in the world when I was once told a collection of my photos weren’t that great. To make things worse, this came from a photographer whom I greatly admired and respected. It shook me up a little. It made me feel a little inadequate. It made me question if this was indeed the career for me, and if I actually had what it took to succeed.


By arileu

But I needed to hear it. I needed to know what my work was actually like. Being continually told that my work was great and amazing wasn’t really helping with anything other than inflating my ego. I needed to hear exactly how a seasoned photographer viewed my work, and I needed to hear it honestly and clearly. This feedback set me on the direction that I needed to take to improve my game, and because it wasn’t sugar coated, I had no ambiguity about any of the feedback I had received.

Finding good feedback

This kind of feedback is not something that you will get from friends and family. You have to go out there and find a third party. A person that not only has no emotional connection with you, but also who knows one or two things about photography. By removing the emotional connection, you open the door for truth and honesty.

Quinn Dombrowski

By Quinn Dombrowski

How it’s delivered, however, is a variable you cannot control. This means you also need to bring something to the table; a thick skin. Some photographers, just like doctors, are fantastic at delivering bad news in a nice subtle, even positive, way. Others will tell you how it is, warts and all, without the sugar coatings. But where do you find this third party?

There are many avenues you can take to find the right third party for getting feedback on your work. Social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, can be great. Facebook in particular has many useful groups where you can seek feedback and critique on your work. But if keeping it in person and face-to-face is more your thing, looking around at camera clubs is another option. The feedback you get at camera clubs may not always be accurate, but it is a useful tool to network with other photographers.


By s3aphotography

Just keep in mind exactly who your third party will be. You ideally would like your mentor to be involved in the genres you’re most interested in – there’s no point showing a wedding photographer, for example, a body of sport or landscape images. Also keep an open mind to having multiple people. This will help you smooth out any personal preferences each photographer may have, and find a more common denominator to look out for.

Being more selective with who you seek for feedback will help improve your photography immeasurably. It won’t always be easy to hear your work being torn apart, but if you keep at it and keep your chin up, you will come out the other side a stronger photographer and perhaps even a stronger person.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Daniel is originally from Melbourne, Australia, but now resides in the UK. He specializes in sport and editorial photography and is a photographer with the worlds leading digital content suppliers. You can see more of his work by following him on Instagram.

  • Dave Hallberg

    Another place I have found to be useful in getting good feedback on my photos is flickr. Yes, you do get the “fluffy” comments but there are groups that will give you honest feedback. It takes hunting to find these groups and/or people, but in the end it is worth the work to locate them. How to find them is to go to specific subject groups and join them, look at the photos in the group and read comments about those photos find people who give honest and educational comments. I found that when you do the work, you can learn a great deal from some really good photographers.

  • Thanks for the comment, Dave! I’ve not used Flickr for years…but it sounds like an interesting place and a great suggestion!

  • When it comes to working with images, think of pixels as the material they have to work. Pixels are like tubes of paint to a painter or rolls of cloth to a tailor. Any craftsman will tell you that it is a mistake to skimp on raw materials. In the photo manipulation it is the same. Pixels tend to be stretched, shrunken, twisted and transformed in many ways, so the more pixels you have, the easier it is to work and provide better results.

    How many are needed? A good rule of thumb is to work to 150-200% of the final size of the piece and then re sampling the image to its final size. Knowing the environment for which it is designed is crucial. Print media require a higher resolution than digital media. Most forms require a resolution of 300 dpi, while digital work well with 72 dpi. This is the big difference.

    The risk of not using high resolution images is that the final design may be distorted, pixelated or blurred. This problem is common when images from different sources are used. Always try to make sure that all the images you choose to make a photo manipulation with a similar resolution. If not, start by using the lower resolution image and adjust the other to that resolution.

  • Thanks for the comment! Are you sure you’ve commented on the correct article though?!

  • PDL

    Hopefully you will find a person who knows the difference between “Critique” and “Criticize”. Anyone can tell you how bad you are and that you “should not give up your day job”. Critiquing a persons work is not an easy task and it should not be just a flippant off the cuff set of catch phrases.
    Seek out people you respect who will be honest. Some times it pays to hear blunt talk but for the most part it pays to listen and set your ego aside.

  • ignore is spam trying to link to their info

  • Isabel

    1x has a very good critique section, with critique guidelines that one has to follow. Also is a give to receive concept, in order to upload a photo to critique you have to give feedback to a number of photos first. It teaches you to look at a photo criticaly (why do I like/dislike, what do I like/disliket, what would I change to make it better/strong and so on). It does get a bit to technical for my taste (I don’t really like photos that are “perfect”) but it’s a great resource and the moderators are very helpfull. Of course the said thick skin is unvoidable, but if one wants a depassionate, truthfull critique it’s the place to go.

  • Marie365989847

    I basically make around $6k-$8k every month working online. Everyone looking to do basic online jobs for several h /day from your home and make valuable paycheck in the same time… Then this job opportunity is for you…

  • Polarican

    Great article but what are the recommended spaces to get constructive feedback on your work? I thought that was the purpose of the article no?!

  • Hi Polarican!

    The article isn’t about giving a list of places to get good feedback as this will alter greatly depending on your style of photography, where you live, what level you’re at etc. It would be far too long to list every possible source and not every source is the internet!
    The article is about encouraging readers to be careful about where they get their critique.

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