After visiting some galleries recently, I got to thinking about audience and who looks at art. For photography, in particular, because we are inundated with images that on some level we are exposed to more photograph than any other form of art, and to get meaningful feedback, it is important to understand who actually is looking at our work.
To try and figure out how to break down the types of feedback, I created three buckets: self, others and social. Within each of those buckets are two sub-classes–Informed and causal. The informed user is someone who as an understanding of the art and technical aspects of the work and the casual viewer doesn’t come with that background. Regardless of the bucket and sub-class, all the feedback can be valuable. Just because someone knows more or less about photography doesn’t discredit the other feedback, but we can process and apply the feedback differently. A master photographer providing feedback on lighting techniques might have more meaning than someone’s comment from social media because they understand lighting.
However, by breaking down the audience into these groups, it allows us to focus our energy and understanding of the feedback in meaningful ways. Even in our self-bucket, we are often not informed enough about the work we are creating to provide significant feedback to our self-conversations. We need someone else’s point of view.
Ultimately our goal is to find significant and meaningful feedback from whoever can provide it. This classification can help us target where to focus our work for improvement, identify where and how to show our work, and finally how to accept the types of feedback we get from the various ways and places we show work.
In May, I am teaching two sessions for CreativeLive’s Photoshop Week. You can tune in and see those sessions live. A wonder week of fantastic training.
Don’t forget to check out my 2017 Workshops including the Perceptive Photographer Workshop focused on the intersection side of photography.