Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
Why? I think this is a bit backwards. If it's a good photograph, the proper audience will come.
Nope, not the way the world works, won't come unless you put it in front of somebody. Good example of this concept is Vivian Maier, a huge body of work with lots of good stuff in it, nothing happened with it until somebody put it in front of the right audience.

So, specifically, how will your "proper audience" find your good photos? Who exactly are those people? What do they want to see?

Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
I think the only time you should be "shooting for audiences other than" yourself is when doing commercial work. When you're being paid, you have an obligation to the client. In creating "art", your only obligation is to yourself. I'm also not sure how you'd gauge outside "judging". How are you quantifying the feedback? If 6 out of 10 like it, does it prove you have the chops? If 4 out of 10, you don't?
If the audience is just you, you are the judge and jury, do what you darn well please, like Vivian Maier.

If you are going to try and sell your work, you will sell more if you understand what your market wants.

As to how I judge my feedback is more artistic than numeric. If 4 in 10 people liked a photo I did, that would indicate a truly huge market; for example 4 of 10 American's liking my work would mean a market/following of over 100 million people. Truly unrealistic to think I could get there.

I do listen carefully to both positive and negative, I listen for clues as to the sincerity too. If its BS being thrown my way I want to know.