The typical practice of a portfolio critique begins with you providing another photographer, ideally one with deep experience, with a collection of 10 to 15 images that represent who you are as a photographer. Then, after spending some time seriously reviewing them, the photographer provides you with unbiased and unfiltered feedback.
This kind of raw feedback can often lead to serious growth that no lens, no camera and no trip can ever come close to. While some of the feedback that you get from a critique can be hard to hear, it can also serve to reinforce the areas of strength that you might not have considered. When you have a skilled person actively review your photos, they may be able to pick up on strengths and themes that may have always eluded you.
However, the greatest benefit of investing in a professional portfolio critique is that it will force you to have a thicker skin. And that, in turn, will give you greater confidence. There’s nothing more humbling than getting brutally honest feedback that exposes all of the areas where you are weak or need to improve.
If you take that feedback to heart and don’t get offended or cower away from it, it can serve as a powerful tool to help you become a better, stronger and more confident photographer. I’ll never forget a particular photography critique session where the feedback was so acute and really hit home. At first, I was reeling from it. But, as I digested and embraced it, it directly helped me become a stronger photographer. So, the next time you’re weighing whether you should invest in that new lens, perhaps consider investing in yourself instead.