Critiquing and Listening / by Bianca Alexis

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Lately it's been a whirlwind.  Between photo shoots, working full time, and taking classes, my mind has been elsewhere!  It slightly reminds me of my times at Pratt Institute, which I graduated 8 years ago!  During my time there, I sometimes didn't listen to my peers. I was going to art school, and I was photographing beauty and fashion photography.  So when I went into critiques, I received a lot of bias opinions.  They didn't understand why my photography was so mainstream.  I was looking very GOTH.  So living in a subculture and going to art school, people didn't really grasp the fact that my art was so different.  I wish I had the voice and self esteem, I would have told them being goth and dressing this way is very easy to me. Making people look beautiful and getting the lighting right is hard for me. I wanted a challenge.  My real passion in photography is lighting. That's what really drives me to get a great photo.

I received an e-mail from Noble Desktop to ask if I wanted my website to be critiqued. I said to myself "Fancy that, I've had my portfolio reviewed but not my website."  I got confirmation that I was 1/15 people selected and to come at 6 sharp.  I arrived and was shocked. I thought it was going to be a mingle and meet, with some tables that had people in the industry to go through your site.  Nope!  It was a group of 50 or so people with Dan Rodney, Scott Carson, and Karl Heine that gave each website a 5 minute critique. 

Commence internal screaming.

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They reviewed my site after the break. There was my site on the big screen for everyone to see. I won't go into detail of what corrections needed to be made, but it was an awesome way to get great feedback from people in the field and a normal consumer. Let's say I've already changed a couple of things on the site, and I already love the results.  I completely advocate getting out of your comfort zone and asking for advice.