The internet can be a tough place to share your art. Some people love to judge. While it may make sense turn off your ears completely but in doing so you might miss opportunities to improve your photography.
Judging good photography is not always black and white. Since art is subjective, different people will see the same photograph in different ways. This goes a step further when you take into account that not everyone wants to make a beautiful photo.
Photos can be successful by conveying a certain feeling or emotion. An image may simply hinge on the timing of the capture, the colors, or even just the juxtaposition of the objects in the composition. In the end, good photos come in all shapes and sizes and often don't deserve some of the harsh comments sharing these shots on the web might bring.
Photography today is one of the most active and widely adopted forms of art the world has ever seen. People with all kind of different cameras and tools at their disposal are creating new and exciting art all the time. While photography certainly has its challenges, today's camera sensors and the ability of software to enhance photos makes it so almost anyone can start posting photos on social media and call themselves a photographer.
Other disciplines are easier to measure ability and quality. If you play guitar, there are a set of skills you must master before you can go out and start playing in front of people of sharing your music with others. It is a hard thing to do and requires courage and resilience. There are a lot of people out there making music because they love doing it and are not too concerned with being judged. While it may be easier to distinguish talent with musicians than photographers, the same rules exist for seeking feedback.
Haters are going to hate. This really isn't a cliche as much as it is a warning. Social media seems to be both the best and the worst when it comes to encouraging others. There is a huge difference between a typical internet comment and actual constructive feedback. You can usually tell by the amount of snarkiness or the tact used to deliver the suggestion. You might face those that think you have skipped some right of passage by never shooting film. There will be those that tell you your photos are too edited, only to have the next comment suggest more.
Takes your questionable comments with a grain of salt. Remember that just like a text message on a phone, you as the reader put the tone into whatever you read. This means that one sentence can be interpreted a number of different ways. Stay relaxed and grounded if a comment seems to take a shot at you. If someone takes the time to write a paragraph or two, read all of it and don't focus on only the negative if it exists. You may learn something or gain some insight that could have passed you by if you weren't willing to listen. By the same token, always be appreciative of praise. People that take the second to compliment you should not be taken for granted. If you are able to return the favor in a genuine way, do so.
It is good to be critical of your own work and never become a just a good enough photographer. This means constantly learning new techniques and trying to better your ability to use the tool you have chosen. Remember that pleasing the masses can be an impossible thing. You are better off challenging yourself and finding a reason to shoot more fulfilling than getting likes or comments on social media. Finding a local group of photographers to get out and shoot or join a critique with is an awesome way to boost your photography. And people tend to be much less judging and opinionated in person that they are on the internet.