Start the music, Miss Jane! Now everyone pass your portfolio to the person next to you. Stop the music, Miss Jane!
And now we get to work. We all have a portfolio of work - amateur images, professional pictures, incomplete files, psd's that have caused us to lose the will to live after the 56th layer...Some of us shed images like a malamute sheds hair.
Now is the time to have someone else comb through them and discard the duds. We cannot do it - else it would have been done already. And a brief glance at the numbers on the hard drive show that it's time to flush the system once again. After the 4th chain drive RAID box is connected and plugged in the power bill starts to look dangerous.
As I say, we cannot edit ourselves - any more than a mother could discard disappointing children was the house fills up. We promise ourselves that one-star files and Little Johnny will all be culled by the end of the month but it never happens. Sentiment is a powerful ruler. We need someone to cut through those cords and clean up the place.
Who better than a trusted photographic mate - someone who has our interests at heart. Someone who can clearly see that to which we are blind. Who better?
I'll tell you who. Someone who hates us. But who knows what they are doing. Someone with no mercy but a fair attitude to actual talent and accomplishment. For this purpose we need someone who is not in the same camera club as us. Someone whose professional business is far away from our own field. Someone whom we cannot injure in return. We must pass the parcel of criticism to an impartial and, if possible, an unknown critic.
And we must give them the positive power to trash our bad stuff and empty that trash securely. They'll need to do the same - submit their portfolio to another neutral judge and accept the results as they come. Of course there'll be anger, grief and bad language. That's what these hare-brained ideas are for.
But we'll get back a heck of a lot of storage space on our hard drives, eh?