Q: Do you give critiques?
Yes I do! I believe that critiques are very important to the growth of artists of all types. However, it is crucial that critiques are both given and received properly forthem to be helpful.If they aren’t, then it has the possibility to hurt more than help.
Always make sure that your critique is WANTED. First ask if the artist would like to hear your suggestions. Its works out even better if you do this privately than on the post directly on their page.
Next if they accept your offer to give your opinions, offer suggestions to help them improve buy giving examples. Saying “that’s wrong” isn’t helpful at all. However offering suggestions and explaining them is more informative, “The blues may look better if it were darker to enhance the somber mood of the scene and better match the model’s expression.”
Critiques that are uninvited or only point out what is “wrong”, have a lot of potential to offend and upset the artist its directed to. So if you are trying to help, make sure you think about what you are doing and saying before you go for it.
Similarly, critiques should be received well in order for them to be helpful. It may be hard, but try not to be on the defense. If someone says, “the exposure looks too bright. You can try shooting at higher aperture values to reduce the amount of light going into the sensor.” Try not to retort with the reasons why the photo is over exposed. “It was just a really bright and sunny day.” “I actually like the brightness of the photo.” etc If you do that, you are just telling the person critiquing you that you are not interested in what they have to say since you are on the defense and not taking in the suggestions in.
Instead, even if you do no agree with the suggestions made, thank them for their opinion and that’s it! All you need to do. “I didn’t think of it that way. Thank you for your suggestion!”
You don’t have to change your photos to cater to anyone else. You don’t have to follow every suggestion you get, what you do with your photos, your art, is up to you. If someone gives you a critique, take it or leave it. Try not to get upset. If you want to give your critique, be as respectful and as helpful as you possibly can.
I’d ask the cosplayer to give me some suggestions. I’d ask, “Can you describe the character’s personality?” And then use the adjectives they give to come up with something. If not then I can pick out certain elements to their costume to focus on. Like a prop, or their wig, etc.
There are poses that are pretty common place with portraiture that I can default to, but I try to make it all about the costume and not just making a picture.
If all ideas have been exhausted and my client has no further suggestions, I can either reshoot poses we already did to try to get a better shot, or ask them if they’d like to wrap up the shoot.