U have a point.... Thought process...
Thanks... will have that in my list.
I have opinions about that. Firstly to mentor someone means to impart a sense of yourself into him/her, your moral & ethics as a person, a photographer, a business man, even to the way you live your life. Not sit that person down and ask, "so what do you want to learn today?". Frankly, that person is going learn whatever the H*LL you teach them, whether they're interested in it or not. Mentoring is personalised teaching, not teach when you have something to say and google for everything else. To mentor is a huge responsibility, there is no simplifying it to lessen the burden.
As a working professional I can attest that I am always interested/curious to see a fellow photographer at work. Given a choice to see a photoshoot in action versus sitting in front of my pc youtubing, you bet I'll rather sweat it out. It doesn't matter if I already know 101 ways to light someone/something, I may learn 102 or pick up a good practise/tip even a minor one. Youtube can only show (not teach) the ideal situation; life is not ideal, shoots are not always done in comfort nor in days you don't have the flu, there are always hiccups and equipment limitations. I want to see how it's handled, how stress is handled, how techniques are shortcut and modified. Youtube is only good for looking at gear especially those I can't afford, nothing beats a hands on with verbal commentary.
I find it almost offensive really, to hear "there is nothing special" about a professional photographer's techniques. If you meant "mundane" then I can accept that, but to dismiss it so offhandedly means you have no clue what you're talking about. It'll be just as bad if that person Hart is mentoring feels the same way, "nothing special" here.
Ps. just to add on, it's bad attitude and lacking of respect. Not things you want in a pupil.
Last edited by foxtwo; 21st June 2011 at 01:07 PM.
the ultimate goal is complete fulfillment on both parties. Success comes from having the right candidate and I can prove it after having done
such mentoring programme for the past two decades. Cheers to all who are giving off their time and may they be blessed for their decision.
techniques are stuff like:
light painting. exposure. panning. how to use a tilt shift lens. how to press a button. how to use a wireless release. those are technical know how. how to on a light. how to adjust a flash. how to use strobist methods.
what u want to learn:
why u light the subject in a certain way. why u light paint in a certain angle. why do u do something in a certain way.
its the rationale behind the usage of the technique that matters. the method which it was done is not exactly important. same results could had been done, with different methods. and most can be found through google.
understanding how the photographer processes his thoughts, and his reasons, are the ones that let the photographer stand out.
just because a photographer knows how to operate a studio, doesnt make him a good photographer.
its his thinking process, and how he views things, that makes him stand out from the rest.
tbh. if it was simply method, the technique applied, anyone can master them.
its the logic behind why he shoots that way. that is the one that is harder to understand, and hence the style of the photographer.
mentorship isnt spoonfeeding btw. it shld give the person being mentored his own personal space.
hope this clears things up. i take the idea of mentorship very seriously and this isnt a joking matter. i dun belittle anyone's expertise. but i am sure its not the method/technique that makes the photographer. its the thought processes of the photographer that makes him unique.
mentorship is abt guidance. sharing of experience. the mentor has to at least acknowledge that his student has his own way of looking at things and help him develop as a photographer.Frankly, that person is going learn whatever the H*LL you teach them, whether they're interested in it or not.
Last edited by allenleonhart; 21st June 2011 at 02:50 PM.
Yes the student has his own way of thinking, but he/she still has to learn what I deem to be vitally important as a photographer/person. Essentially, it's what makes me who I am and also is what's shaping me as a photographer, my style, my "thinking". Mentorship is moulding a mini-me. Even if he/she isn't interested in learning (A), I will still drill (A) into him/her because it's what I find to be important. So again, what ever I teach them, they have to learn. If they don't use (A) in their own profession, ok lor. At least I tried to impart them my values and I acknowledge what ever makes them who they are also makes them unique.
Maybe this is the old school method, may not work so well with the modern age now. lol.
i think its a balance hmm. kinda like... odd quirks like "i only shoot with a 35mm". its a good to let the student know perhaps, but certainly not forcing them
yep i reckon it was the techniques part that wasnt explained clearly hahahah thanks for the input though!
Being a full-time assistant to a professional photographer will also give the chance to learn all that "techniques" and "style" of photography. Stuff that is not taught is observed with all senses.
So what's the difference between assisting and mentorship? I have experienced assisting, so mentorship has to be something a lot more isn't it? Assisting does not usually cover business survival, that is 1 aspect that Hart's mentorship program will address. But what else? What else will Hart give me that I can't learn from assisting? And how much can Hart mentor me on?
If someone already knows more than the fundamentals of photography and is already fairly competent in the craft then that person is better off learning from assisting various photographers to learn a lot more stuff from multiple sources. That way will allow for a faster learning & absorption curve than solely relying on 1 teacher's mentorship. (My opinion) Anyone who is already idealistic and has already formed strong opinions are better off there, which is why it's important to address who and how Hart judges his pupil(s).
Like forward put it, both parties should feel a sense of fulfillment. I would hate it if Hart spent all that effort and all he got out of it was a "yeah it was ok" or "I feel it could have been better" feeling.
I wanna express my keen interest in this haha! I think within this 2 pages lies alot of use pointers and tips Hart can take note of, personally I also feel that mentorship should be something intimate and personal where besides the the technical skills are being explained and taught, its the soft/ethical/moral/vision that also play an integral role in a loosely interpreted 'mentor-disciple spirit'. Hart, I really applaud you for planning to start this, commendable in giving back to our community.
With regards on the video issue, I'm sure some of our videographers will be able to share some pointers. Perhaps a key issue now will be the selection criteria, competition? Portfolio? Interviews? Goals/Vision alignment?
Thank you all for your valuable inputs.
I am jotting down information provided to me and will digest them whenever I have time.
It's not going to happen overnight as I need to set a focus on what I aim to achieve. The selection process is going to be interesting when it happen.
So far, my thought goes to helping someone to grow the way they want, nurturing their inner vision and intro to the life of managing a business.
Quite a few helpful senior has given me some thought via PM and emails, and one thing notable is there is no free meals in this world and it has to still benefit the mentor. I will give this a thought as the benefit for me at this stage is satisfaction on helping one that deserve to be successful.
I will inevitable meet with lots of pot holes and hoops that I need to address when I start this but i shall take this as another learning curves.
I have been helped by others and to follow my heart would be to help others back.
So let's see how things will pan out but please continue to contribute your views so I can put it on my list.
Thanks in advance.
oh yea. most imptly... ur mentee must like/enjoy/respect ur style of photography.
the last thing u wanna be is tat because its free, some ppl just jump on the wagon, without realising what is going on.
and then end up complaining that they didnt enjoy the process.
i've seen a few ppl being mentored, and the mentor put in a lot of effort. but behind their backs, mentee badmouths them. not a very nice thing to do, personally i dun like that kind of ungrateful ppl either. so must be careful
Money is the thing that give you some assurance or security, when the mentee has to fork out their hard-earned money for your mentorship. Personally I think it does work sometimes but it doesn't 100% guarantee you get a real good mentee.
i think TS having such a noble thought would be commendable. however there are certain teething problems... there are bound to be many people that will want to be your apprentice. however how many can really fit into the role of an apprentice? and how can you ensure that you putting in the time and effort to groom this person, and this person will not turn against you? i am just recalling a scene from ROCKY V if you watched that movie...
I'm interested to learn. Can I apply too?
Kudos to people who are willing to sacrifice their time and share their experiences Am most interested to participate when Hart decides on how he wants to do his selection.
I think people need to stop fixating on what they can potentially earn from Hart, and also consider how willing they are to let a stranger into their lives, and how much they are willing to be involved with another person's life. I tend to associate mentorship with a father-son or younger-older relationship, while I wouldn't expected it but confiding inner-most fears and trepidation or hope towards life etc would be commonplace amongst the two. It's not just Hart and the pupil needing to gel, but their respective families should also be on board with the arrangement. I don't think a casual relationship between families suffice, it should eventually become an extended family-like status. So it's not just about you, your loved ones have a say in this too.
This is how I treat mentoring anyway, may be purely influenced from watching american TV.
Those applying, consider realistically what you want to do with your career. You taking the place golly well means someone else could not. Having a mentor improves your survival chances but is not a deciding factor on whether to turn pro. If you're serious, nothing can/should stop you. If you're not already earning from photography or don't have the 101% certainty of being a professional in the future, please don't waste everyone's time. Let Hart have an easier time selecting and let someone more deserving have his/her chance.