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Author Topic: Mentorship  (Read 5750 times)
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« on: July 09, 2012, 03:23:00 PM »
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Hi! First post. After lurking for a while I decided this would be a good spot to join and ask this question. I'm looking for a mentor. I feel I'm at the point in my photography where my technical understanding is good and I have many of the fundamentals down...ish, though I'm not beyond making silly mistakes. The problem is I feel I've plateaued a bit. I'm aware of several things I need to change and work on, but of course there may be things I'm not aware of that could aid my growth. I'm hoping that a mentor can help me grow.

I have a few caveats with who I'm looking for of course. Most importantly I want to find someone whose work I admire and appears to be someone that can help me develop the things I'm looking for. Although I do think there can be tremendous value in posting to critique threads I have trouble filtering out the feedback from those that shouldn't really be participating in such activities so I tend to stay away. Feedback from someone who is familiar with me and what I'm trying to do overall is more valuable and what I'm looking for. Those of you that have had mentors how did you find them and what was the process like?

I'm not looking for a mentor here per se, but if one comes of this then great, really just trying to get started on the process of finding one.
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RobbieV
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 09:57:54 PM »
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I've thought about this before as well. However, the photographers I'd like to follow all offer classes and I'm sure they'd much rather you help fund their profession through paid instruction that free one on one consultation.

My humble two cents.
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NancyP
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 08:43:53 PM »
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The other option is to identify a few other amateurs whose work you admire, and ask them if they would be interested in a critiquing circle (and pub-crawling group). If writers have writing groups for critique, support, and mutual learning, why not photographers? A photography club would be an obvious place to start.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 12:54:01 AM »
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In the I Ching it says, "I do not seek the young and uninitiated, he comes and seeks me."  A mentor can be very handy, but as the student I wouldn't be too picky...  What do you have to offer the teacher?  My first photography mentor was, at times, INCREDIBLY harsh on me, but I appreciated all that he had to say (eventually...  Wink )  You might try meetup.com and see if there are any photography meetup groups where you live.  Our group gets together every two weeks for informal photo sharing and discussion of recent work.

Mike.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 03:01:49 PM »
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One way is to join a group like the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers (if outdoor, landscape, etc. are your focus).  These groups will have annual conferences that include constructive critiques.  Some also sponsor photography workshops.  Another way is to get a job as an assistant.  I know several commercial photographers who got their start by working as assistants first.  Some of these guys had first rate photography educations and still worked into the business as assistants.
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luxborealis
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 08:06:25 AM »
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You are correct in recognizing that there is a lot of free advice out there, some of it is excellent, but much of it is as good as what you paid for it!

With the entirety of the internet at your fingertips, you should be able to find someone whose work speaks to the kind of photography you are interested in. Then visit their site to see if mentorship is something they offer. Many of us here offer workshops or portfolio reviews or one-on-one sessions.

I can recommend the services of Brooks Jensen - the person behind the LensWork site and publications. He offers a 40 minute and 60 minute portfolio reviews.

Otherwise, search for someone in your local area you can work with or go shooting with. Take a workshop with a photographer you respect (start local and small rather than the $1000+ workshops) or take a Continuing Education course at a local college or university. Students who take those courses know right away who the good instructors/photographers are. Or search out a commercial photographer in the area whose work you respect and see if they offer either workshops or tutorials.
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kmeyers
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 12:31:52 AM »
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First figure out If you have a particular type of photography or photographers work that you admire. Second buy a print from that photographer or genre that turns you on and hang it where you will look at it everyday and really look at it and absorb it. Pick up all the books that can and study what those photographers were trying to say with their images.  It will also take a while to figure out who you are photographically. Read Weston's daybooks etc.  If you have the mechanical fundamentals down that's great. Now develop your vision and what your are trying to convey with your photography.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 05:33:59 AM »
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Depending on the club, a camera club may be a great help.
Some may be a bit stuffy and myopic but if you are in a large centre it is possible you will find one where one or many of its members may give you the guidance required.

Regards

Tony Jay
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