This concept hit me a few weeks ago. I had taken a number of photos at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. As usual the subjects I pursued that evening veered away from the theme of the venue and event but I was nonetheless happy with the results. I was looking for one photo in particular to use in an upcoming post and had concluded on the best one. Just before hitting post with the photo attached I doubled back and asked Matthew Donald to look at the series on G+ and provide feedback. I was confident I had chosen the best image but felt compelled to involve another perspective given a recent experiment I have been undertaking. Lo and behold he chose another one. I was shocked. Initially I was sure he was mistaken but then I looked upon the matter further and he was right.
We live in a society which values the individual and does so rightly. But I find that this often breeds within myself an unwarranted reliance on my judgement and perspective. While this will shake some of you to the core, I have hard time admitting I am wrong. Asking for someone else to give an opinion, especially on things you create, can have one of two outcomes. They confirm what you already knew, that your work will shortly be heralded as a classic, the standard by which all others will be judged. Or they say it could be better.
Over the last few weeks I have experimented with this on my wife. I finish a blog entirely and ask her to read the preview. Then I watch her read it. I can tell instantly whether or not the post will provide value to those that read it. Sometimes she smiles or tears up. Sometimes she looks perplexed. I like the first and am not so thrilled with the latter because it means I need to work harder. But the outcome of borrowing her eyes or, dare I say it, Matthew’s eyes is a better product.