I can't stress enough on the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are better than you.
No matter how good you are, you can be sure that not only is there someone out there a world of a lot better than you - but you might be surprised how ready and willing that person might be to share their knowledge, experience and time with those willing to lend an ear and learn.
Take a look at the following short video as different individuals from various fields share their personal story:
In your dedicated step towards improving your photographic skill and creativity - consider the benefit and worth of relying on the guidance of someone who
a) is still shooting
b) has earned your respect
c) has an opinion you consider and value
d) has the technical know-how and objective detachment to allow his/her critical observation of your work
e) has the unfiltered yet considerate ability to let you know where you excel ...and where you fall short Example - see image below: "...that's not Black & White...that's Grayscale..." my mentor told me when I presented this image to for a critique.
True story I still carry with me to this day because, in hindsight, when I look back it ... he had a point.
A mentor is not someone you can pick out of a phonebook. But they're all over the place, as coincidences and fortunate circumstances abound - I met my personal mentor while conducting an online transaction via Kijiji
, of all places.
I needed a Flash, he had a unit to sell. We've been good friends and I've never stopped learning from him over the years.
My best advice to you is to seek out and get in touch with a local seasoned photographer whose work you admire. Call/Email, tell the truth...that you admire their work, that you want to get bet better and that you'd love to get to know their technique.
Offer to assist on one of their projects, invite them for coffee, be a weekend apprentice on a wedding shoot they've got planned, sign up for one of their workshops. Build a relationship - Earn trust. Because yes - for someone to become your mentor, you've got to put in the TIME.
Push comes to shove, it all boils down to your people skills - essential tool in any photographer's belt.
Have an image-worthy day
* To Roy, Mario
- thank you for the guidance and ongoing inspiration.