Intro: I’m an introverted extrovert, so putting myself in a possible position of doing mentor sessions is so so out of my comfort zone. I’ve debated doing this for several months at this point, I wrote this beginning of May, and have had this blog drafted for a few weeks without being posted. I feel less than qualified and a little phony. But this whole post is me coming from a place of humility and gratefulness. Humbled that some see me as a resource of sorts, and grateful that I have the ability to help others. So, if I come off as conceited or arrogant, that’s not my intention. So here goes.
Back then I don’t think there were many photography mentor sessions and/or many people sharing their “secrets” (or maybe I just didn’t know of them). Heck, I tried to be mentored by a very well known Montana photographer and he flat out told me to not pursue it, it would be too hard, I’m getting in the game too late, and he wouldn’t help as I would be his competition. I was taken aback by his scarcity mentality. I didn’t think twice about ignoring what he said. Screw that. I love photography and I’m going to do it, and I am.
I’ve spent thousands of dollars and taken dozens of online classes on both photography and business, as well as a few hands on workshops. I’ve learned from doing it on my own, learning lighting on my own, learning posing on my own, managing clients on my own. Just me, my computer, and full notebooks. So obviously I encourage anyone pursuing anything to spend tons of time learning. Blogs, Pinterest, YouTube, there’s so much information out there, find it! But I sincerely believe that I would be further ahead in my business today if I had the chance to sit down and ask 1,274 questions and get off my computer to actually shoot alongside someone who can show me new things, like a jumpstart. There’s a lot to think about while shooting, and hands on learning can be incredibly helpful.
I’ve been tossing around the idea of mentor sessions for several months now, but thanks to my friend Doubt, I procrastinated. I don’t have 10k followers, I don’t shoot 60 weddings a year, there’s already people offering mentorships, and I’m not the worlds best photographer. I’m not the type of person to go out of my comfort zone if its not necessary (I’m working on it, hence this post!). But I’ve been doing photography for a several years now and I’ve been consistently and purposely learning and applying. I’ve been asked so often by many people for advice on lenses, gear, lighting, editing, posing, and running a business. Quite a few people have asked to come to shoots or second shoot a wedding with me. It humbles me that people value my opinion. It’s hard work and it’s a lot to learn, I know this. So I sat down to brainstorm on what I would do if I did mentor sessions to see if I could come up with something worthwhile, and everything in this post just poured out. I guess I’m passionate about helping others where I can. There’s a ton of photographers out there, but there’s more than enough clients too. there’s a lot of mentors out there, but there’s plenty of people trying to get into this hard and amazing industry. There’s the saying of “community over competition”, and heck yes to that. I want to be a photographer who builds others up, not tears them down. Because the better each one of us photographers are, the better the industry is as a whole.
So ya, all that to say I’m offering mentor sessions now. Yay and goodness it scares the heck out of me! And if no one takes me up on a mentor session, it’s fine. I’m not wanting nor expecting this to become a huge thing. I’m putting this out there and offering this to those who want a little help with their photography, I was you once, and having the opportunity to be mentored, even just for a day would have been freaking awesome. Invest in yourself and get a head start by talking and learning with someone who has already done it!
ahhhh there I said it. 😅
So, what my mentor sessions would be like?
Well I’m sure there would be plenty of coffee, duh. We’d start out just talking, you’d come with any questions and I’d tell you how I do things and what has worked for me. Business, getting in the wedding industry, social media, preparing clients for shoots, client managing, products, pricing, anything like that. We would look through your Instagram and website and talk through what you might be able to improve on.
Then we’d have a shoot! We’d find models that want free photos and who are patient. I’m there to help guide, answer shooting questions, show you how to work with the light, lens choice, settings, all that fun stuff! We’d go over posing too! Everyone who books with me nowadays says it’s because they like the natural, fun, non-posey poses they see in my work. It’s a skill best learned from watching, in my opinion. How I ease them into the shoot and document their true selves. Plus, I’d love to take some beautiful photos of you for yourself and your business!
Finally, and probably over tacos or food, we’d do some editing. I love editing, always have, but it can be a beast if you’re not familiar with Photoshop or Lightroom. So I’d show you my workflow from import to export. Any tools you are curious about and how I use them. I shoot and edit on the darker moodier side, but the tools are the same whether you like it bright or dark. Then go over how I finish the client process and we can finish the day going over anything and everything.
It would pretty much be a full day guys. Like a jam packed, your paced, specifically tailored to you one-on-one mentor session. Again, here’s just a few of the things I plan to go over and elaborate on! Social media, Shooting, Gear, Lighting, Posing, Retouching basics, Business, Value, Prices, Workflow, Client Guides, Products, and so much more.
Want to spend a day with me doing photography? I’m an open book and pretty laid back + fun, I promise! (See me in action here) 😜Shoot me an email and let’s talk and see if this would be beneficial to your photography business! I’d love to share what I’ve learned throughout the years. Right now I’m offering ONE of these mentor sessions for free to someone who I feel would benefit greatly. Then from there I’ll be figuring out pricing and process for down the road.
If you’d like the chance for that one free mentor session, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you!
Let’s freaking do this.