To be creative you must take risks. Many people are risk averse and have a fear of being judged. Once you learn to ignore the risk of being judged, the consequences are small and the possible returns are huge.
Its natural to fear breaking away from the herd. Doing your own thing can make you feel vulnerable. But following the crowd runs a bigger risk, that of habitual output.
Not everyone appreciates what I produce. Not only am I content with judgement, I think it is splendid. One of the most important things about any creative work is the discussion that surrounds it. Art should not be something that is produced just to please as many people as possible.
The allure of mass recognition is seductive, but it is also a creatively hazardous. It would be easy enough to simply distill a menu of classic poses, competent photographic practices, and then apply Photoshop effects that are commonly admired. Such images would be consumed, applauded without criticism, and then quickly forgotten. For me, success is drawing the viewer in and engaging them emotionally or intellectually, whether that response be positive, negative, or inquisitive.
Overcome your fear of being judged and embrace the opinions of others. One way to do this is to find a peer group that can offer educated, constructive criticism. You can’t benefit creatively from criticism unless the criticism has merit based in knowledge of aesthetics. Groups meet online and in person (they don’t need to be photographic artists) as artists guilds, student associations, and informal discussion groups.
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