To start off – THANK YOU to Scott and Brad for letting me write a guest post! As they say in radio I’m a, “long time listener, first time caller.” I’ve been fortunate to attend a handful of KelbyOne Live events and virtual conferences and have been a big fan for a long time. To share even a tiny bit of space with the likes of Scott, Rick Sammon, Joe McNally and the dozens of photographers who have been a part of this space is really cool!
My photography journey began almost 40 years ago when I inherited my grandmother’s Minolta HiMatic7. My dad had been an avid amateur and he encouraged me to explore photography but I had never had my own camera before. The next year I spent an entire summer buying my first used camera five dollars at a time. I edited my high school yearbook and shot frat parties in college for extra cash.
I got into the photo retail world when a Photo 101 class was killing me financially and I needed the employee discount to go through 5-8 rolls of film a week. I still work in a brick and mortar camera store, as well as teach and shoot a good bit in my adopted hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
In short – in some form or another, photography is just about everything in my world. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked with a number great mentors over the years and that’s what I’m writing about today – the value of teaching, mentoring and helping out the next generation of photographers.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORING
I find a lot of photographers who share their time, talent, insight, and technique and appreciate all that they do. Over time I’ve given a hand up to aspiring professionals and watched them grow (some have become far more successful than me). As I’ve gotten older and more secure in my space, I find more and more that I enjoy the teaching part of what I do far more than the shooting. Mentoring and coaching rookies is so fun and rewarding, and its not unusual for me to learn something from them, too. It’s true: old dogs CAN learn new tricks! <using the whisper voice> Most days I actually prefer teaching and coaching over shooting and editing.(more…)