5 Things To Look For When Hiring a Mentor | Photography Education


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So, you’ve chosen to make the investment and hire a mentor! Good for you! Give yourself a pat on the back because that is a big decision. Luckily the hard part is over. I know that just getting to that point was really tough.

Now you need to choose who you want to work with. This might seem a bit overwhelming but it is actually pretty easy. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your photography mentor.

  1. Choose someone who is where you want to be in 2 years. Think about what your goals are and where you want to go and find someone who is already there. Do you want to get into lifestyle photography? Then look for someone who is excelling in it already. Do you want to start shooting family films? Then look for someone who successfully offers that currently. What about having a successful stock photography business? Look for someone who is already doing that.

  2. Choose someone outside of your local area. Most photography mentors don’t want to teach all their “secrets” to the locals who will become their direct competition. It is fairly common for mentors to have a certain radius that they will not allow photographers to live in. Do the research to find someone outside of your area.

  3. Choose someone that you like. And I don’t mean you like their work. I mean, you like them as a person. If you already follow them on social media and feel like you would be BFFs right off the bat then great! However, if you follow them because you admire their work but every-time you read a post or see a video of them speaking, you aren’t in love? Skip them and move down the list. Mentoring is a deeply personal experience and you really need to like the person you are learning from to get the most out of it.

  4. Choose someone that is accepting students. For starters, not all photographers have a desire to teach and love mentoring. A lot don’t offer it at all. On the flip side, some photographers have a very limited schedule for mentors, and they book up a year or more in advance. So make sure the person you are interested in is actually accepting new students.

  5. Choose someone who you can shoot with. Not all mentorships offer an in-person option. And not all in-person options offer to shoot a session together. However, when it is available I highly recommend adding this on. Yes, it will be more expensive. BUT the experience is invaluable. I can tell you first hand that shooting alongside a mentor is MY favorite part AND all of my own students have said the same thing. That shooting with me was a huge game changer for them.

Well, that is the end of my list. Remember that choosing a mentor should be fun. Look at it as a kind of dating game. Not everyone will offer the same things but in the end personality really does matter.

If you are interested in chatting with me about what my mentoring sessions are like, I would love to start that discussion. You can review mentoring details here or contact me here.

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