We’ve all been there right?
That one little negative comment on your picture, out of a hundred, that tries to illicit a reaction and get a rise from you. My wife will tell you that I’ve addressed a few of these recently. In fact the more of my work I post in say Facebook groups for example, the more I’ve noticed the odd snarky little comments crop up. Now you can get glowing feedback on your picture, tons of great comments and a general consensus that it is a nice picture, and then that one guy (or gal) comes in with some nitpicking comment that makes me want to put my knee through the screen! It can really ruin your day if you let it. We’re not gonna let it ruin our day though right?
Now I’m not looking for everyone to champion my work. Before anyone says ‘are you just looking for people to blow smoke up your arse?’ No. Please know that if do I post an image, then I post it for me. I post it because I’m happy with it. I’m happy with the lighting and the post production and of course I’m happy if it does well. I still want to get better with every time I shoot though, but that’s another conversation.
When someone turns up on your image and says ‘I would have done this differently’ or ‘I would have posed that hand another way’ I just want to SCREAM and say ‘well get out there and make some goddamn work of your own.’ I don’t scream however……….well maybe inside my head, and maybe just a little.
So what happens next? Well, I guarantee that I’m going to go have a look at their contributions to the group and their profile/body of work. Guess what I find? I think you know the answer……….yep……..little or nothing.
So the person that is ruining your day with their unsolicited critique is anything but an expert on photography or retouching. They’re just a troll. Go figure.
Now I’m not averse to critique. Far from it, but if you are critiquing my work then a) first of all I had better have asked for it because b) I believe you to have greater ability than myself and I value your input and would love to learn something from you. It’s an easy formula to follow. I was always taught never to offer a critique unless specifically requested. I think that’s a pretty good rule of thumb.
Here’s a lovely quote which I think is extremely relevant here…………
“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?”
Try applying this mantra to everyday life as well. It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity.
I’m feeling more relaxed already!
Time to calm down now and work out how to deal with these online gremlins.
So what can we do?
1) JUST BLOCK THEIR ASS AND MOVE ON.
Simple and effective. Most platforms offer the facility to do just this. Don’t rise to them, block them and they will not see your posts and vice versa. This is a nice happy place and I’m taking this option for the most part.
2) IGNORE THEIR ASS AND MOVE ON
Yep, be the bigger person. Just ignore them and move on, happy in the knowledge they are probably raging at you for doing so. Victory is sweet!
3) KILL THEIR ASS WITH KINDNESS
Be polite, respectful, and professional whenever possible because your response will be a reflection of you, your business, and your brand. They will run out of steam very quickly with this approach.
4) WARN THEIR ASS
A simple ‘No CC required’ in the image description should suffice. If not, refer to points1,2,3 and 5.
5) CRUSH THE LIFE OUT OF THEIR ASS WITH HUMOUR
A well placed and intelligent witty comment may be the single most effective way to squash a troll’s verbal rampage, but beware as this approach can always backfire on you. Use this method cautiously and resist the urge to get drawn into a slanging match. You won’t come out of it looking good.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful.
Please feel free to refer to it when next confronted by an online troll.
I’m a fine art portrait photographer based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Specialising in creative and styled portraiture, fitness photography, headshots, family portraits and personal branding for you, for actors, for athletes and for business professionals alike.
Buy me a coffee at my ko-fi page.