When you have the right mentor, you can fast track your photography at a rate of knots. But how you do know what kind of mentor is actually going to help your photography shine – and what kind of mentor you should avoid? Mentors don’t grow on trees. So Gina and Valerie discuss the best way to find a mentor – whether that’s in your own town, one that you admire from afar, or one that can mentor you virtually. But it’s not just about finding a mentor. Once you have one, what’s the best way to get the most out of your mentoring relationship? Remember that it needs to be a two-way street if you want your mentoring relationship to go beyond one cup of coffee. So what do YOU need to do to be a good mentoree and really improve your shooting style?
This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is #grasshopper
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Photographer Colorized Old Photos While Adding Beautifully Surreal Narratives
Thanks to @zakdan_44 on Instagram and Brissie Steve for your great reviews.
Hi Gina, Here is one of my recent photos that I have attached for review! Thank you 🙂 Sincerely, Rene’ Brigman
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What is a mentor?
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” Bob Proctor.
Why should you have a mentor?
- Knowledge and contacts
- You become a better artist
Famous mentor/mentoree relationships
- Micky and Rocky
- Luke Skywalker: Mentored by Obi-Wan Ben Kenobi (Star Wars)
- Mr Myagi in Karate Kid
- Paul Gauguin encouraged Vincent Van Gogh to paint from memory and imagination
What qualities should you look for in a mentor:
- Leads by example.
- Has the right personality and is easy for you to get along with.
- Gives advice based on personal experience.
- Is a good listener.
- Is positive and gives you hope and confidence.
- Has time and energy work with you.
- Does not want to control you.
- Continually learning and developing their own skills.
- Provides guidance and constructive feedback.
- Is respected by peers.
Where do you find mentors?
The best mentors happen organically with people you connect with over a period of time.
Know what area you need to improve and make a list of people you want to connect with.
If I wanted to improve my portrait photography, my list would be:
- Best portrait photographer in the world like Annie Leibovitz
- Martin Schoeller
- Joel Grimes
- A living legend like Flo Fox
- Best in Australia
- Best in Victoria
- Best in Melbourne
- Best in local area
If I wanted to improve my social media, I would have a different list.
If I wanted to improve my business, I would seek out successful business people but not necessarily artists.
Try the unpaid internship – even the most famous photographers use interns. Someone has to have those positions. Why not you?
- Be honest with the people you approach. Start by telling them how much you love their work.
- Rather than asking if there is anything you can do for them try and be proactive.
- Use social media as a way to reach out. Retweet, comment like offer information. Value add.
- Offer to be a volunteer at their workshops or attend their workshops.
- If it’s a local photographer, ask to buy them a coffee.
- Join online groups LinkedIn, Facebook etc. and be active in discussions
- Join other photography clubs and networking events and make a point of getting to know people.
How to be a good mentoree
- Don’t be an “ASKHOLE”
- Be prepared do the homework
- Be coachable
- Be passionate about what you are doing
- Be respectful of your mentor’s time
- Show gratitude
- Give back to the relationship