Without outside eyes I would have been stuck in a place of sad mediocrity in my image and video making my whole career.
We all need them.
Creatives especially need them.
However, for so many of us creatives its too painful to ask for the critique, because the truth is we don’t want to hear anything other than the positive. We get sucked into the culture of 1000 likes, thumbs up, emoji filled comments and regrams. We get so personally attached to our creative work that if anyone tells us why its not good, or just even why something could be slightly better we take offense.
I’m here to tell you that the truth is, if you don’t cringe at some of your work from 5 years ago, you’ve either been among some of the best in the world for at least that long, or you have just failed to grow at your craft.
You should be your own worst critic of your former work and your biggest fan of what you are producing now. But you also must give value to what others say about your work. You are too attached to your work to be unbiased.
Here’s an easy exercise I do that you may find helpful…
I have a friend who also makes great wedding films.
We have an agreement. From time to time we will send each other one of our films. Its the goal of the other to rip apart anything we see that needs improvement. We are brutally honest with each other.
Is the shot of the bride and the groom at the alter out of focus by 3 inches? If so, they are going to hear about it!
Is the white balance in the reception too warm? You’re going to hear about that too.
Is the shot of the wedding cake lit well? If not, we’ll tell the other what they should have done differently.
Does the composition of that romantic pose make the groom look awkward? Scolding will take place.
I can’t tell you how much each of us has improved from this simple exercise or being critical and brutally honest with each other, even when it hurts.
So find a friend who's work rivals yours and give it a shot. You’ll be better for it and I have a hunch you’ll grow your bond with your friend in a significant way as well.