Accepting Critical Reviews with Grace

In my years at RTV I have seen a lot of photos. I mean, A LOT of photos. Some are wonderful and amazing, some are ok, and occasionally there will be some that leave me feeling like I need to wash my eyes out with hot water.

For a long time I would take note of who the good photographers were and avoid the ones that submitted less than stellar images, and I left it at that. But then I heard Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture and changed the way I did things. It made me realize that the message I had been sending you when I didn’t give feedback was “I give up on you. I don’t think you can do it.” And that wasn’t true.

I was just afraid someone would get angry with me. I like to be liked. I like to be nice. But I also believe in you and think you can do better and want you to do better, so now I try to tell you when things don’t come out exactly how they should. Or I make Melissa tell you, lol. My hope is that I am doing you a favor and helping you grow, and I think for the most part people take it that way. But sometimes they don’t and there are angry emails and phone calls to me and about me and I have to deal with the ramifications. And that’s ok, I’m a big girl, I can deal with it.

But a month or so ago I gave some feedback to a photographer hoping that he could look into what was going wrong with his shoots and figure out how to fix it. His response was so appreciated that I asked if I could share it with you.


I wanted to Thank You for this feedback. I have been wanting this since the beginning. I have no idea what I could be doing to provide a better product without the opinion of someone else.

I had a feeling that we were going to have a problem with these last pictures. I noticed that I was having some problems with my lens about 4 months ago. My shots started having those halos and streaks through them. I have been trying to edit them out and it is just not working.

FYI, I have purchased an “L” series lens for my Canon 50d, as well as a portable, softbox, flash kit to help with the lighting in the darker areas of the hotels.

I also enrolled in a short photography class to help with these issues, if in fact, it is me and not just the lens that is doing this.

As for this last shoot, I will be happy to re-shoot this location when he calls me back out this Spring, as I do not like not providing what is expected from me.

Thanks for the information and please let me know when more information comes about the conference. I will need to know ASAP so I can schedule accordingly here with my work.


His gracious response shows that he truly understood that my feedback was meant to help him grow. He also went one step further and offered to fix any issues that we had with his initial shoot. And that speaks volumes to me. His desire to learn and grow and also to provide the best product possible will keep him working with RTV for a long time.

Jacqueline Burke
Director of National Accounts
Toll Free 866-947-8687 Option 6
Direct 231-932-1605