One of my goals as a photographer is to learn to shoot like I am shooting film, but in a digital world. I was so proud of these photos because it was the first time I had mastered ISO, fstop, shutter speed, and white balance on my own. This photo has no editing whatsoever. The thing I love about photography is that you learn something new every time you shoot. No two sessions are the same. There are always complications with lighting and you have to be able to navigate these challenges. My wise friend Bernard Gilette always tells me that I need to learn to master light so that I can become a "photographer instead of a picture taker." This is some of my favorite advice I have ever received.
I think it is important to be able to take constructive criticism. It is what helps us grow. However, that is not to say that you should always do what others tell you to do. As a creative, it is up to us to listen to the opinions of those around us, contemplate those opinions, and then decide for ourselves whether we want to take that advice or not. Art is subjective. What speaks volumes to one may speak nothing to another.
Criticism is what has fueled my fire. I want to do better and be better than all of those before me. I understand how it can hurt to have someone rip apart something you have worked so hard on. However, you must keep in mind that everyone will have an opinion. It is virtually impossible to please everyone. The most important person to please is yourself. The rest is just background noise.