Everyone has their own perspective, needs, and goals. That's just a fact. The way I look and think about things won't be the same as my roommate or the guy who mows his lawn outside my window at 7 in the morning. This same idea goes for when people look at photography.
Think about when you show your subject the back of the camera so they see what you've shot. Do you think they were looking at the same things you were? Were they looking at the sharpness of the photo, the background distractions, or the lighting? Probably not. Chances are they were looking at themselves and how they looked in the photos.
To grow in your field, you can't just look at photos from your perspective. There's so much you might not be thinking of that to you isn't a big deal, but to a whole group of people might be a major flaw in your photos. I thought it would be beneficial to go over how different people look at photos. What's the first thing they see? What are they paying attention to, what details are they looking at, and what do they see that I don't? Because someone who is a good photographer isn't just knowledgeable in photography, they don't just think like a photographer. They also think like a makeup artist, a model, and anyone else who may be a part of a shoot or an audience for the end result.
How Photographers Look at Photos
Photographers are like the director on the set (unless you are in a more supplementary role and there actually is a director). They care about the photo in a macro perspective. The pose of the model, the hair, the makeup, everything has to be in focus, the lighting has to be good, and composition has to flow well. Photographers have to notice what makes a photo complete and that includes having to know a little of everything.
Models are more focused on themselves than they are on the rest of the images. They'll notice the little subtleties that they don't like about themselves in a photo. If their eyes are drooping, if their pose looks awkward, if their mouth is too open. They will analyze how they look to see what they need to fix. They are more focused on what they look like than if there's something that needs to be fixed in the background or if the lighting is too harsh. They care about how they are represented.
Hair & Makeup
Hair Stylists and Makeup Artists look at... Well... Hair and makeup.. Is there enough makeup, is it lacking anywhere, is the model's hair poofing out, is their eye liner getting messed up? They are usually looking at those fine details that they will see with their level of expertise. These are little details that photographers might not notice right away, but someone in the hair and makeup field might see and point out after looking at the photo.
Hair and Makeup usually won't notice anything like quality of light, exposure, or if the color temp is off. That isn't as important to them.
Stylists are paying attention to how the clothes are presented in the photo. Making sure sleeves aren't rolled up, if the clothes are too loose/tight, and they're making sure the clothes flatter the models.
Retouchers are looking at what needs to be fixed. Usually background elements, skin and hair issues and anything else that can help clean up the photo. They aren't looking at the pose of the model, but more how they can fix the model's tan line. They pay attention to the little details like hair and makeup, but also the body issues that a model may see.
If a photographer sees everything from a macro perspective, a retoucher is analyzing the photo from a more micro perspective.
Does this look cool? Yes or no. Basically, the regular population sees a photo more based on how pretty the model is, is the background cool, and is it interesting. The most liked photos on places like Instagram have more interest to them than anything else. It doesn't matter if it was a blurry photo or if it was over-exposed, but was the photo interesting to the viewer.
I'm not trying to say the regular population is stupid or anything. They just don't know the intricacies of what goes into taking a photo. You might see a sports photo that's poorly cropped and is overly saturated. Someone else might only see a photo of their friend playing their favorite sport and because of that they will like it more than you do. They haven't studied these subjects so they just don't know, they're not seeing what you see. They aren't usually interested in the technical specifications of a photo, just that if it is interesting to them or not.
You need to start looking at photos from all angles no matter who you are.
That's pretty much the takeaway. As a photographer, you may not grasp hair and makeup, but maybe you need to learn a bit to help make your photos just a little better. Being able to describe what you're looking for to the MUA is a lot better than just "oh I'll love whatever you do".
If you're a model, you should learn more about photography to see how you will be represented and to better judge who you're working with. It's good to learn about different fields than your own to gain a larger perspective on what you're doing. The added knowledge from different fields will help you understand and think about the little details you might not have noticed before.