Being a Mentor
Being a mentor certainly made me stop and think as now someone had looked at my work and had a thought of “I want this person to teach me and show me how it’s done”. This was a very different feeling for me, as this person wants my input and my opinion on how to build the foundation of their photography. Now sure they are a college student and are attending classes but they’d asked me for some extra input and guidance.
Sure I’ve taught classes I even have a basic intro class on Groupon as we type/speak. Although it’s a one time class and covers the basics of getting away from the auto functions of your camera it’s nothing like meeting someone every week and being on point and ready to answer questions that over time become more in depth. This was completely different and so far I love it. I’ve learned there is that fine balance of being asked a question and instead of just giving the answer rather making them earn the answer. On one occasion the student’s assignment was to show the difference between “form” in an image and “narrative”. Sure I can spit the answer out but instead I reversed the question. What if you just take a picture of that building today then return tomorrow to take a picture of it on fire or falling down, which image would be form and which would be narrative?
Another thing I’ve learned is that I’m growing to. No one can possibly know everything you are always going to learn something new. It reminds me of something my Dad told me about his job. That the young feel they know everything because they learned it at school/college so there can’t possibly be more to learn and that the more senior staff had an attitude of; well, we’ve done everything so there can’t possibly be anything new to learn either. So what am I learning new? Lightroom and histograms! Before I only used Photoshop and my light meter, both hand held and the one in the camera, but now I’m combining them all.
So, being a mentor is not only growing my students knowledge but mine to. Like I tell my students that take my class on Groupon when they ask what to bring to class. I always respond, bring your camera and an open mind.