Mother always said, “If you can’t say something nice about someone…”

aurora borealis, aurora, northern lights, Alberta, night sky, astrophotography, Dan Jurak, landscape, Alberta, prairie, rural, green, crops,

I think that this old saying that I first heard fifty some years ago still applies today.

What does this have to do with photography? A lot.

When you are being creative that means actually CREATING.

From google when I define creative some of the synonyms are, “inventive, imaginative, innovative, experimental, original;”

I emphasize innovative, experimental and original.

We all crave attention and adoration. Few things make us feel better than positive reinforcement. To be told you are special or doing a great job not only feels great but gives us incentive to go out and do more of the same.

One of the great pleasures in my life is trying new things. To learn or see in a different way than I have been used to seeing is both rewarding and frightening. Frightening because if you are too different you don’t get the virtual pat on the back and rewarding because if seeing differently works, you have another bow in your quiver of creativity.

There is a trend on the internet to heap praise on everyone in your group regardless of what their work looks like and that is not a good thing.

Every once in a while I am asked to critique someones photos or asked what I think about a photo and I have learned that it is better to not say anything if I can’t honestly say that I like something. Why would I do that? I don’t want to be dishonest or mislead someone into thinking that I love something that they have created if I don’t.

My kids learned that while growing up. Every time they would get new clothes which being girls is a common occurrence, I would be asked what I thought of the new outfit.

If it was meh, I would say so. If I didn’t like it, I would make a neutral statement rather than lie and if I did love it my opinion really mattered to them because they knew that I was being honest and wasn’t just saying it to please them. It works the same way with photographs. Today I commented on someones photo that I thought was special and it was to me.

It’s not often that I can say to someone that I love what they have created but I think that if you say it sparingly and truthfully it goes a lot further than loving and liking everything that you see.

Honesty is the best policy. This doesn’t mean that you go out and purposely hurt someones feelings because you don’t have to. You can politely deflect without being overly critical.

Happy shooting,




~ by Dan Jurak on September 30, 2017.

2 Responses to “Mother always said, “If you can’t say something nice about someone…””

  1. Great article and amazing aurora!

  2. Thank you Jane. It was quite the spectacular light display.

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