Joe Edelman, in particular, has a straight forward, no nonsense approach to teaching where he has no patience for "lazy photographers". He has brought his brand from the typical how-to channel to a true teaching channel where takes a hands on approach to teaching on a more personal level, integrating Facebook with his YouTube channel.
While he is known as a fashion and model photographer (of which I am not) I find his philosophy and approach to photography inspiring and refreshing. I also like how he has approached online teaching by setting and adhering to very specific and strict rules on how his members submit work to be critiqued. Rules I think are important enough to look at and implement in our own community. Here is a paraphrased breakdown;
- A critique is for the betterment of the photographer, not the ego of the photographer (or the critic). No 'attaboys', no 'opinions', no "what do you think"
- The burden of learning should be on the person submitting for critique, not to the person giving the critique. This is a tough one to grasp but it makes sense in a non standard teaching environment where there are so many voices chiming in on any given image.
- Submitting an image for critique should be accompanied by a problem that needs solving. In other words, what issue did the photographer experience that needs addressing. This is the one I feel strongly about and would like to see implemented here on photoMENTORIS.
- Critiques should help address the problem and move the photographer's knowledge forward.
My proposal, then, is to implement some 'rules' for when a member submits an image for critique. In that way the photographer can receive an answer to their problem and people chiming in can focus on offering a specific solution to the problem. Of course this does not stop people from offering alternate critiques, specially if someone of greater experience sees another issue that may not have been addressed by the original poster.
To see how all this works practically just visit Joe Edelman' TOG CHAT group on Facebook. His system really works well and is a model we should seriously look at implementing here.
What are your thoughts?