What & Why
So I have been thinking for some time now about offering a couple of slots each year of free creative / photography mentoring as a means to share my passion and experience either with those less experienced or at an earlier stage in their creative journey or maybe if someone is just plain stuck in a rut and wants a sounding board and some coaching to help them along.
Why I hear you ask? well quite some time back I remember a post on Twitter and an ensuing conversation around the fact that there were not many mentors out there and many (not all I stress to add) often sit on knowledge as if sharing it with others would in some way compromise their perceived position in the world of photography.
This started me thinking about the journey or path we all follow as creatives, we have all come along the same path at different stages, all had the same fears and anxieties, the same doubts and we've all certainly been in the creative troughs and still are once in a while. So I asked myself the question about what I could do to make my little bit of difference to someone that would of meant the world to me all those years ago?
A mentor was the outcome of this thought process............. someone with whom I could of worked with for a prolonged period to help me sound out ideas, offer advice and experiences, give me alternative mindsets and thought process and push me out of my comfort zone...... someone to maybe instill in me some much needed confidence and potentially help guide me along my own path with a little scaffolding when it was most valuable.
As an educator as well as a photographer the sharing of knowledge or experience and helping people understand a little more about their own journey and motivations is something that is massively important to me, I personally get as much if not more satisfaction from helping others and seeing others flourish and develop as I do from producing my own work. That's certainly one of the reasons why Karen and I are so passionate about the work we do in bringing together the #Connected Exhibition each year in Nottingham. I also find it hugely beneficial to work with others as it helps me reflect on my own path and I always learn something from everyone I work with........ after all learning is lifelong and if we think we are the finished article we should give up now as there's always room to develop and nurture our own passions and skills.
As yesterday was #GivingTuesday, which to my mind is a much needed antidote to the hyper commercial and somewhat vulgar consumerism of #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday, I decided that actually now was the time to bring me thoughts and ideas of offering a mentoring opportunity for an individual to fruition........ hence the twitter posts to that effect.
Now I had hoped to launch this last night, but again as I had tweeted we were getting some much needed creative entertainment and inspiration thanks to the musical abilities of Ricky Ross, former front man of Deacon Blue........ oh don't kid me you don't know the tunes even if you were a rocker back in the day like me ;-), and his superb support act Anthony D'Amato.
So I'm sat writing this blog post, much as promised in my earlier tweets, at twenty past midnight so I can get this out there before I get embroiled in setting up a raft of DropBoxes and paper profiles for next years #Connected exhibition....... and most importantly before I procrastinate some more and let it slip for another few months ;-)
So what I am offering, for FREE, is a single space for an individual to take up my offer of mentoring them with their photography for a period of six months. We will kick off the formal mentoring in January 2018 and it is open to anyone to apply / register their interest for the space.
The mentoring will be in the form of online / Skype catchups each week, where we will first understand where you are photographically and then define jointly how we will take you on the journey to get to either where you want to be or at least on the road (if you know where this is) or we'll explore how you can become much more focused on producing work that speaks of who you are as a photographer by drawing on your experiential past, your other skills and looking / thinking outside of the box at different view points.
I shall work with you and some of the things we will do along the way are:
As much of the mentoring can be done either via Skype or telephone you don't need to be in the UK or close to us in Sheffield, I'll happily mentor anyone across the world if they feel it would be of help to them and we'll design the experience around you with some clear learning goals / outcomes in mind. That said if you are in the UK we can even arrange some actual face to face sessions where we can head out practically with the cameras to help embed the learning experience as not everyone learns as well via online alone and would benefit from a blended learning approach.
What to do next / how to register your interest
If you would like to be considered for this mentoring opportunity then drop me an e-mail with the following:
We'll leave the registration of interest open until the 12th December and will then draw at random one person from all the expressions of interest and announce the successful applicant via our Twitter feed, give us a follow for regular updates along the way. Any questions drop us a line also.
All the best,