Mentorship

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by pocketshaver, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    What I would like to know is, how do you actually work that out? On a social website I am part of, they have photo related groups. There are those who have the following view point:

    If you truly want to work alongside somebody with experience and absorb their way of working you bring something to the table of your own, whether it be models, money, equipment, studio space, a toilet scrubber, or something else of value that gets you into close contact with them. Otherwise, you're just wasting their time. It's not like they can't already get all of what they need on their own; they need you far less than you need them; - in fact, they don't need you at all.

    Im trying to actually figure HOW that actually constitutes traditional mentoring, or mentoring attitude. All I have ever seen is that a mentor isn't teaching people to get monetary benefit out of it. Ive never EVER seen it that the person being mentored is supposed to do those things.

    Example, the stereotypical tale of young guy getting a clunker car and asking a professional mechanic friend or relative to help him restore it. Never was a "yeah ill teach you how to take the manifold apart IF you buy me 2,000$ in tools".
    It was always "yeah I can show you how on the weekend or after school if you want. Since im like a professional mechanic paying customers come first and you buy any needed parts"


     
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  2. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    That's an odd viewpoint to me.

    I don't have experience of mentoring in the photohraphy sphere, but I did serve an apprenticeship in a machine shop for work. My jorneyman, who was an old socialist considered it part of his duty to pass on what he knew as someone had passed taken him on and taught him the trade. Kind of a pay it forward thing which he had a very strong sense of responsibility.

    Mentoring, in my mind is similar. It's not something you get a direct benefit out of, in fact it's more likely to cost you in terms of time and effort.
     
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  3. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    That's the assumption I always had. Its just that A large portion of that social group actually think that guys idea is the right way.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm not clear on your concern. Are you saying that mentors shouldn't be paid, or ???
     
  5. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Agree with post 2.
    In the past I have been able to pass on some of my skills, in a number of fields.
    And like members here I am more than happy to pass on ideas,advice,suggestions to those that ask for help.
    Whilst at the moment I have way too many family comments and problem to do so , at a later stage I would be happy to help someone learn via this site, even if it’s just the basics.
    Post 2 said about paying forward. I do believe what goes around comes around.
    Payment for teaching...... that’s up to each person to decide. As long as it’s up front at the start, people then can decide if it’s worth it.
    There is currently an OU Open University course for photography, here in the uk. I looked at it but knowing the commitment needed, I have decided not to do it because of family problems.
    As for bringing something to the table as in post 1
    Again that’s really something that needs to be sorted at the start.
    I help my sister, teaching and gen help with her photography. I don’t charge here of course, sometimes when she wants to do something big, I get her to help with the cost of material, which I can get cheaper than she can.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's how I cut my teeth, but that was decades ago. The industry has changed quite a lot.

    BUT... If you can fine someone like me, you can still find a good situation. Someone like me is tired of carrying gear and often times needs another pair of hands on a project to help set up. Possibly more important is someone who has done it SO long he or she knows nobody will be taking work away from him or her. In fact, I pay folks like you to give me hand.

    I enjoy talking about our craft and am always willing to share what I know. Like I said... it's how I got started. I was still in my teens and spent much of my spare time hanging around local studios, asking questions and pitching in wherever I could.

    I was just 16 and about to shoot my first wedding. One fellow, Jim Marek, invited me to his home. We sat at his kitchen table drinking coffee as he walked me through every aspect of wedding photography. Jim was about 60 at the time. I learned SO much that morning. I can still remember him telling me, "You need a bigger camera." I was still shooting 35mm. I did buy a camera and applied all the wisdom he shared that day. It would be a couple of others that took me further with portrait and product work. I'm still forever grateful.

    Good luck to you!
    -Pete
     
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  7. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Really nice story, not many credit those that helped them.
    I am helping my sister along, there are of course things I know nothing about, portraits being one topic. But as said if I can help anybody with basics I will. I could not do what you do, I do my photography just as a hobby, no time table no time pressure. It’s done for fun or it’s not done. So not a good way to take someone out with me.
    Here however, I can help in a limited way, and to honest am pleased to do.
    The person who taught you sounds like an old boy on the building site who decided that as I was sitting out the rain and did not want to waste my time playing cards he would teach me some aspects of maintaining carpenters tools.
    Yep real old school stuff, but I still use the same methods
     
  8. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    The reason I am trying to get actual input from actual photographers is that I don't see why a so called mentorship CAN be called that if the person doing the mentoring is doing it SOLELY for the basis of taking advantage of the person being mentored.

    The instigation for this is a person, and those who feel the same way that the person who wants to be mentored should provide EVERYTHING the mentor wants.

    Example, little timmy finds his grampas Kodak pocket camera, goes to this guy to learn how to use the camera. And suddenly in order to learn how to use the camera and minor things like aperture and depth of field, little timmy has to provide studio rentals, models, and studio lighting equipment just to learn how to put film in it.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I suppose it depends on how what Little Timmy wants aligns with what I am willing to offer. If you want to be mentored on a job that I am going to, then about all I expect you to do is turn up on time, properly attired, and ready to do what you're told. If on the other hand, you want to use my studio (which I rent on an as-required basis now) when I don't plan to, then yes, I'll expect you to stump up $25.00/hour + tax. The use of my gear is complimentary (unless you break something), and while it's not required, if we're going to sit downstairs and discuss a project, yes, it would be good form to pay for my coffee.
     
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  10. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    This is more of a "tirediron" feels he can mentor little timmy in his quest on how to use his vintage camera. Tirediron wants to photograph a particular model at the beach that weekend, so he has little timmy cough up the cost of the model, the cost of lunch for him, timmy, and the model, cost of gas, rental fees for a
    AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR
    $12,399.95 ,

    And for 35 minutes in a 6 hour trip to the beach, tirediron will show timmy how to load film into his Agfa isolette, and how to move the shutter speed selector between shutter speeds and the same with aperture selector.
     
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ummm... that's not mentorship. That's just plain being a Richard and if someone goes along with that, they need their head examining!
     
  12. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    According to him, hes done it for so many years no one ever complains. I guess im not as stupid as he says.
     

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