Mentorship

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

  1. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    if you don’t like their mentor program requirements, don’t do it. Find another group that is more in line with your philosophy.


     
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  2. DanOstergren

    DanOstergren Move, I'm Gay. Praise Satan. Supporting Member

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    It bears repeating...
     
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  3. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Reprocity is fine, but be upfront about it. If you're willing to teach someone but want financially compensated that's fine, that's what photography workshops are based on. But I wouldn't call someone that's only in that relationship a mentor, certainly in my neck of the woods that would be more commonly known as a tutor.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Agree 100% Dan, however my response was based on the interpretation of the OP's post which I took to mean that the mentor was simply using the student as a way to fund his own work, and throwing very little back in return. To me, that's definitely Richard-ish!
     
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  5. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    That's exactly what the situation is and was on that other spot on the internet. Something that ALOT of people who tossed their two peso's worth in refused to understand.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    To go back to the first post:

    A few thoughts:
    1) There is no right nor wrong way to mentor someone, the key is that both parties come to the table and agree to an agreement which benefits each party.

    2) There is thus nothing wrong with a student paying a mentor/teacher (the terms often get used fairly interchangeably and you tend to see "mentor" used more so outside of formal school systems).

    3) Your example of £2K worth of tools is somewhat extreme and likely beyond what many would consider normal; however at the same time a formal school class could easily cost you way more than that. So if that mentor were teaching you 2 or 3 days a week for months that value doesn't actually turn out too big when broken down into days/hours of tuition given.

    Sometimes people teach for free, that's great. Other times they want an exchange of services or money or other forms of exchange. Basically saying that a student is not there to get their mentoring for nothing. This is perfectly normal, whilst many people are happy to teach for free, some often prefer students to put a commitment into things. Sometimes that's money; or labour; or skills etc... There's nothing wrong with that and heck if the mentor is already a professional working day to day then taking their own time to mentor/teach a student then the student doing work makes full sense. Many a person has learned under a mentor whilst also carrying the lights and bags; setting up gear; taking gear down etc...

    There is no right not wrong approach, only a balance that is not abusive and which student and mentor agree to.
     
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  7. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    Yet MOST people seem to overlook the abusive tendencies as being "expected to have to pay SOME renumeration for learning didn't you?"

    I just don't get the reasoning some have that its ok to take advantage of someone who you allow to TAG ALONG on a previously scheduled event by making them reimburse you for the studio , model, prop, equipment rentals.
     
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  8. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    While essentially I agree I do think there's a few small diffeerences in our opinion that I'd like to put forward for considereation.

    I don't think that if advice is conditional on payment then I wouldn't class that as mentorship. Admitedy, there is a debate about altruism but to me a mentor is someone that freely gives advice.

    I know that even after I left my apprenticeship, my Journeyman Jim, and our workshop supervisor Kaz (who where both mentors to me), would give their time and advice freely. I could show up at the workshop, give them a phone or whatever and they would be there with much needed guidance. Even after I left their employer they still had my back. That to me, is mentorship. Yes, when I was an apprentice I did the heavy carrying, I did the simpler jobs, I held the piece while the master did the work. We all cleaned up, oiled the machines, swept the floor and you were expected to tidy up after yourself.

    But there was a point where that changed. Jim would give me the more complex jobs, even if it meant taking the worse ones himself. One of my big memories is Kaz handing me a part fresh from the US and saying "Take 2 thou off it and don't F it up Pete as it's 15 grand for a new one". Sweating bricks on that one but was done to tolerence.

    Anyway, there is nothing wrong with expecting renumeration, but if your advice is conditional on that then that's not the same IMO




     
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  9. DanOstergren

    DanOstergren Move, I'm Gay. Praise Satan. Supporting Member

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    Ok, but are we discussing mentoring or abuse? Abuse is a really extreme example and in my experience an uncommon occurrence in a student/mentor situation.
     
  10. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    You've actually read the entire discussion. The problem is that the minute people here "mentoring" or "mentorship" they instantly go into a fatalistic mindset that allows just about anything to happen in it.

    But yes, I could have probably titled this thread as "abuse posing as mentorship". But when a group feels that making someone bite the pillow in order to learn the most simplistic things is honest mentorship...
     
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  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Groupthink can be dangerous.
     
  12. DanOstergren

    DanOstergren Move, I'm Gay. Praise Satan. Supporting Member

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    You're making sweeping generalizations, still. Allow me to make the proper corrections: "The problem is that the minute people hear "mentoring" or "mentorship", I believe they instantly go into a fatalistic mindset that allows just about anything to happen in it. "

    Your list of seemingly abusive requirements contradict that statement however:
    Literally none of this could be considered "biting the pillow", "fatalistic", or abuse.

    You also seem to be confused about what an "honest mentorship" is. A mentorship happens because the mentor decides that they want to take on the responsibility of being someone's mentor, perhaps because they are close to the person they are teaching, or perhaps because they see potential in someone who is gifted but has an untrained eye for photography. Mentorships don't just happen because you want someone to mentor you, and if nobody seems to be inspired by your poor attitude and entitlement, your only option is to refer to the list that you started this topic with and decide what you might be willing to do from it in exchange for what you are seeking.

    However, if you truly believe that the knowledge you are seeking out only consists of "simplistic things", then you shouldn't need a mentor in order to acquire that knowledge. Beliefs aren't facts though, and the fact of the matter is that any expert worth learning from knows that it isn't simple at all, and that their knowledge and vision are valuable and took hard work to acquire. It's up to you if you want to keep believing that some sucker worth their salt in photography will look past your entitled attitude and take you under their wing for absolutely nothing though, simply because you feel as if they owe it to you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019

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