Some of you may have noticed that I get a certain amount of criticism. Some of it is sincere, but most of it is boring and lazy; and to be honest I don’t respond to the vast majority of the boring and lazy.
After responding, I am then asked why I bother to respond, and why I don’t just ignore ‘the trolls’. I guess it comes down to the fact that the person talking negatively about my photography isn’t someone I give a shit about.
When my wife gives me a negative comment about my photography it sticks with me and bothers me because I respect and love her. If I send Morgan Tepsic, my bff, an idea in an email and he comes back to me with a response I wasn’t expecting, his response may stay with me for some time and bother me. But when someone I don’t know (or anonymously) says something negative about my work it just doesn’t have much of an impact.
AND, the more it happens the more that impact is diminished.
To a certain extent, I find it easier to respond to negative comments than I do positive ones. Maybe some of you can relate to that? I just don’t know what to say after receiving a positive comment other than “thanks”. There IS nothing else to say, right?
However, after receiving a negative comment, I have a lot to say because of course I don’t agree with what was said and while I don’t expect to change the opinion of the commenter, I may, through my response, provide someone who likes my photography something interesting to read? Maybe that’s a tad presumptuous. Yes, it is. Anyway, if you are getting negative comments, I am of the school of thought that encourages you to respond to the comments and practice non-avoidance. With that said, it is also worth mentioning that you should remain composed, calm, and think about what you are going to respond with. There have been times I’ve been too quick to respond and my response has been just as rude and pithy as the negative comment. When I re-read my response later, I feel bad, and at that moment I know the bastard won. Don’t let the bastards win, but don’t act like there are no bastards in your neck of the woods either.
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