The New Mayhem: No critiques allowed in critique forum

The Retarded New Order Of Model Mayhem

My dear friend Elle did a recent shoot with TH Taylor. She was curious to get some feedback so she posted the pictures in the critique forum for some opinions. Now this has been done tens of thousands of times without incident. Both photographers and models place images they collaborate on to seek feedback. Sometimes the critiques are positive, sometimes they are negative. But in the majority of thoughtful critiques, the entire photograph is open to critique. When I give critiques, I comment on every aspect of the photo where pertinent. My comments may encompass the pose, the look of the model, the wardrobe, the location, the lighting, and the technical aspects of photography. This is the only way to give valuable feedback.

Well it appears the new order of Model Mayhem has slipped farther into Bizarro world. The thread was locked because a model posted the picture for critique but people started making comments about the photography. Whoa! Stop the presses and call in the moderators! Someone asked for feedback and people gave feedback. What a shock!

The reason given by the moderator, who coincidently happens to be none other than TH Taylor himself, was that it was an unsolicited critique of the photographer. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? You would think the right thing to do is to get another moderator to lock it if it is indeed against the rules. At least he’ll get the appearance of neutrality. The notion that a critique of a photograph cannot be allowed unless all parties who collaborated on it give permission is so utterly ridiculous it borders on the bizarre. Is this the future of Model Mayhem? A future where every member is coddled and pampered for fear of offending someone’s sensitivities? How is anyone suppose to grow as an artist if their collaborative efforts cannot be open to critique unless everyone involved agrees? I contend that the very act of collaboration for portfolio use implies that the images are open to critique and comment. If an artist do not want their work criticized, perhaps they should consider never collaborating and hiding all their creative works in their attic.

TH Taylor, who is new to his job as moderator, is no stranger to controversy. Just a week ago, he was the topic of this heated discussion because he allowed an unqualified member to proclaim she was a former agent and give absolutely horrible misinformation to the uninformed. When this member was taken to task by other members for giving bad advice, she was protected and those asking for her credentials were threatened with probations for disrupting this very bad critique thread.

It’s obvious to me that the leadership of Model Mayhem has lost its bearings and no longer in touch with the pulse of the membership. The recent changes and the uproar that followed is a testament to how far off they are in their attempts to improve the community. At this rate, they would have been better off leaving things alone.

The discussion of the matter can be found here.

Addendum: Well I thought I was done with the post but I just took a look at Elle’s profile and see that TH Taylor has left her this tag:

T H Taylor
02/06/08 1:10pm

Just FYI: I locked that thread. I was getting tired of having my work critiqued without asking for it.. I started to feel like an art student! It got very annoying when folks that I would consider mediocre started chiming in!

Well isn’t that just the epitome of hypocrisy. Here we have a moderator who locks a critique thread because he was receiving unsolicited critiques tagging a model’s public profile making unsolicited negative critiques of those who critiqued his work. Moderator abuse has hit a new low.

The New Order: List Of Recent Changes

  • No posting of pictures in the industry forum unless it is specific to the topic. So that means pictures like LOL cat, spam pics, etc cannot be used to emphasis a point.
  • No critique of any components of a photo that is not specifically related to the person asking for the critique.
  • No challenging the credentials or information of those offering critique regardless of how awful the information may be.
  • No linking to any outside sources like ebay for items being offered for sale on market forum.
  • No off topic discussion of any kind in the industry forum.
  • The first reply to a thread is sometimes a forum moderator warning people to behave. This is done before anyone has even replied.