The importance of mentoring and personal work

photo student photographing model

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of mentoring, which has forced me to examine and step outside of my process. If you think you know something, try explaining it to someone else. They will question it or take it and do something completely unexpected. It’s good to have answers but not necessarily all of them because everyone’s style and process is personal. It’s a journey of discovery.

Which brings me to the importance of personal work – the opportunity to experiment and learn shouldn’t vanish after leaving a formal learning environment. Schools really only teach you how to learn and hold you accountable. The information is out there and everything you do beyond school depends entirely on you. Try something new like a piece of gear or software, a different space or genre entirely.

While working on an interview with¬†Treanna Peake of the Obakki Foundation, she shared an amazing story with me. Recently she was contacted by a young wedding videographer who wanted to try shooting a fashion show. So she figured, “Why not?”, put him in a corner chair and told him to keep out of the way. After the show he followed up to show what he produced and they were very impressed with his footage and the way he had edited it together. They were so impressed that they ditched the footage by the camera crew they had hired and used his. Then Treanna invited him to document her next needs assessment trip in South Sudan for the Obakki Foundation.

By changing one thing and a bit of strategic follow up, this videographer found an opportunity in a new direction. Admittedly, he hit the jackpot but much of success is based on persistence and timing.

Leave a Reply