Photography Mentor

Photography Mentor

Mentor /’mento:/ ~ an experienced and trusted adviser

I have been very lucky to have been mentored by Kevin Pengelly and Kevin Wilson in my photography journey. In all professions it is quite usual to have a mentor and most sing from the rooftops about how their mentor guided and shaped their career. Having a photography mentor used to be quite usual but today it seems that a lot of photographers either don’t have a mentor or they aren’t talking about their mentor.

My Mentors

When I started my photography journey, I gained my first qualification using the anonymous mentor me service provided by the SWPP. For me this was a great introduction to the benefits of a mentor and also getting used to being critiqued; being critiqued is really quite tough but strangely satisfying when you get used to it!

Kevin Pengelly

When I joined the MPA and started the journey to becoming a Master Photographer I was lucky enough to be introduced to Kevin Pengelly as my mentor. I cannot begin to tell you the leaps and bounds that I made during the course of gaining this qualification. Through his gentle guidance I began, for the first time, to see my photography style. This was the springboard that shaped me; I will never forget how exciting that was and to see my style start to evolve right in front of my eyes, it was magical. Thank you for being my mentor Kevin and I will never forget the part you played in my journey.

Kevin Wilson

Kevin’s mentor was Kevin Wilson and in 2016 he kindly agreed to be my mentor. It was a pretty low period for me photographically, so our first chats and sessions were more about my self esteem as a photographer in this ever changing industry. Again, through his gentle advice, guidance and observations of my work I felt a new and exciting generation of change and confidence and I have produced work that he gave me the confidence to explore.

The Role of a Mentor

People often get confused as to the role of a mentor; some think that they should be in charge of their progression and walk them through the whole process, others may think that they should be doing the work for them. For me a photography mentor is just as the definition describes, an experienced and trusted adviser. I was in charge of what I needed to learn and both ‘Kevins’ advised me on my choices. For instance, I wanted to refine my use of reflectors. There are many days one can attend with fabulous models and locations. I did not want to be swayed by these, I wanted to really ‘see the light’ and how gently reflectors could mould this light.

I spoke to Kevin Wilson and said I wanted a training day, nothing fancy, no models just reflectors, boring objects and to really learn this new expertise. Kevin was up for it and we had a fabulous day, wow did I learn a lot and reflectors are a major feature in my work now. The key is, it was me that led the way I wanted to learn and Kevin, as my experienced and trusted adviser, my photography mentor, allowed me to explore that with his guidance.

Why aren’t we Proud of our Mentors?

I do find it sad that a photography mentor is not often mentioned now by the photographers who are influencing the next generation. Years ago, a photographer was proud to talk about their photography mentor and the part they played in their journey. What has happened, why are photographers not proud of the part their photographer mentor played in their journey?

Why Now?

Why am I writing this piece today?  Yesterday I had a day where I wasn’t over the moon about my work. For me the industry of late has become very inconsistent and often I am left very confused where my work sits. I messaged Kevin Wilson and to be honest was quite down about it all. Now he didn’t need to do this; he telephoned me and we had a long chat about it all. I feel a lot more confident now but also I don’t feel alone; I am lucky I have a photography mentor my very own experienced and trusted adviser, who actually cares about me and my work. How lucky am I? Very lucky.  Thank you Kevin for being a wonderful mentor.

As they say no man is an island, so let’s give a shout out to our photography mentors and be proud of their part in our journeys.

Thank You

I am proud of Kevin Pengelly’s guidance in becoming the photographer that I am today and I am proud that Kevin Wilson is my photography mentor and is shaping the photographer I am and hopefully yet to be.

Who is your Mentor?

Who is your photography mentor? Write about them, be proud of them and be proud of their contribution to you as the photographer you are, don’t pretend they never existed; you wouldn’t be where you are without them.

Have a fab day folks,

Claire 😊

If you want to find out more about my mentors; here are the links to their websites:-

Kevin Wilson

Kevin Pengelly