One Year and Self-Critique

DSC_5445I’ve made it a year!

Seriously, I’m excited. I’ve done blog projects in the past and they usually go the same way: I start out fast and furious. I have a ton of ideas, I write a bunch of posts, post them all in about a month, and then I run out of content.

But this time is different. Back when I was thinking about writing a blog like this, I reflected back on my failed blog experiments. This time I wanted it to be different. I didn’t want to run out of steam, or worse, run out of ideas. I knew that by choosing such a large group of people to photograph, I’d be okay. Jazz musicians in DC—there’s not that many, you might think—but you’d be surprised. If this were a photo-a-day project it would be a different story. But it’s not. It takes a lot of time to set up shoots, schedule interviews, and get in touch with people, because we’re all busy.

I completed five artist profile pages last year. It’s not as many as I would have liked to get to but I’m still pretty happy with it, especially considering I was a brand new father. Of twins.


I think my goal was one per month. Ambitious, to be sure. Not that I won’t aim for that again this year. The summer was hard because of my work schedule, but I’m going to try to squeeze in at least two artist profiles during that time this year.

So here’s the point of this post, and where the real fun begins. In celebration of one year of DC Jazz Photog, I’m going to critique my own work. In writing. Shared with you.


Great photographers critique their own work all of the time. That’s how they get better. That’s how we all get better at anything in life. You critique yourself and then, ideally, fix the problems. Rework, polish, aim to perfect. It’s just that it’s rare to see photographers critique themselves out loud, for other folks to see and learn from. So that’s my hope for this: that you will learn from my mistakes and from my thought process. I’m not saying my shots are horrible; I’m not saying they’re great. I’m just going to be completely honest about my work and see where it takes us.


As an aside, I’m extremely hard on myself as a musician. You have to be critical and be willing to take a step back and evaluate your work. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about self-deprecation or beating yourself up. There’s a difference. This is about learning and progress.

I’m thinking about making this a regular series on the blog, so keep an eye out. The first self-critique episode will be coming soon.

Oh, and Happy New Year!


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