Monday, June 16, 2008

Yeah I'm talking to you anonymous commenter

I got this email yesterday from the contact page of my website. I'm sharing it with all of you because it's part of my journey into becoming a Real Live Photographer. :)

dateSun, Jun 15, 2008 at 7:51 PM
subjectYour pictures

hide details 7:51 PM (19 hours ago) Reply

Contact Phone Number:
Mail Content: Your post production stinks! I can\'t beleive you actually think these are good enough to charge people for! Your white backgrounds are blue, the one of the girl with the green background is terrible. It looks like you went crazy with the eraser in Photoshop. You should NOT be in business and should take some more time, a lot of time to practice more. Your pictures are horrendously out of focus and dark.

OMG I am appalled.

And that's it folks. No other contact information (googling the email address provided, if it is his/hers real address, links to a Umi-yama on Deviant Art), no links to his/her website, no constructive criticism about where to learn more post production techniques, no follow up on what I should do to better my art. Interesting, just a lot of snarkiness, unhelpful criticism and lastly, an OMG (which makes me think this is a woman but I'll be open that it could be a guy as well).

From my google analytics page, someone from Prairieville, LA spent considerable time on my site yesterday (almost 19 minutes), much more than the average Washington person (who spends about 3 minutes). They found my site through the Livejournal meet_other_moms community. Now, I don't know if this is the person who wrote the email, but considering they had to take time to peruse the pictures and then write the email, I'm thinking that it could be a matchup.

I know I need work on my post production skills, esp. when it comes to the white background. Heck, I just got Adobe CS3 about a month ago, and while it's crazy fun and can do lots of things, I have a lot to learn. I'm still in what they call the "portfolio building" part of my photography, and most of my shoots are for fun, for friends, and to learn more about my camera, photography in general, and what works and what doesn't work. I set up my website because I was doing a lot of photoshoots and darn it, I needed some compensation for my time. :) Double heck, I just learned the other day that my camera was set to underexpose by 1.3 stops (once I figured out what buttons to push I fixed that right away)! no wonder a lot of my pics were coming out dark!

I'm learning about how to take my camera to its utmost abilities, how to better myself as a photograher, and I'm very upfront that I still consider myself a newbie that is just starting out. And I take all constructive criticism, helps, hints and information that comes my way gratefully and with a grain of salt because everyone has a different idea of what is "good" and what isn't good. Oddly enough, the most comments I get from my photos is that my pictures are very clear and in focus. I know that during my upload some of my pictures are grainy due to resolution issues which I've been trying to correct. I'm actually proud of my ability to shoot a clear, focused shot.

I bring this back around to you, Anonymous, and state that your email and comments were not that enlightening to me. How about showing me examples of your work, and your website? Or steering me to areas where I can get constructive criticism? I already belong to several photography forums, including I Love photography and theLivejournal Photographer community. If you (or the general "you" populace) have other places to recommend, I'd love to hear about it.



Betseeee said...

I wonder why some people feel the need to spew such venom. Constructive criticism may or may not be welcome, but a diatribe like that never is.

east end jenn said...

I can't imagine what inspires some people to such maliciousness. You've been very up front about the fact that you're learning, and clearly open to input on your work. A comment like that one isn't necessary, nor is it helpful.