The bustle of the first week of In-depth has passed, and now we’re into the slightly less-busy third week. I’d like to think my In-Depth is coming along quite nicely. I had my first mentorship on Sunday, where I went to Rocky Point with my mentor Neil and had a short, but informative hour-long photo walk of sorts. He gave me some useful tips, talked to me about composition, and he explained his process of taking a macro photo. The photo below is one I got during the mentorship. I hope I can look back at the end of this mentorship and see my improvement.
During the Mentorship, I spoke to Neil about a potential opportunity to photograph animals at the Vancouver Aquarium next Sunday. He has a contract with the Aquarium to photograph wildlife there, so it is looking increasingly likely it’ll work out, and I will be able to tag along with him. One small problem is that the Aquarium is somewhat worried about liability, but it will most likely work out.
Questions and Answers:
- How did your mentor gain their experience/ expertise?
Neil gained his photographic expertise through years of practice and learning. He has travelled all over Canada taking wildlife photographs, and he has worked professionally as a photographer as well as a cinematographer for various companies such as Global News. Neil started photography as a kid when his dad got him a digital camera, and he has been taking photographs ever since.
- What were those experiences like for your mentor?
From what I heard from Neil, he seemed to enjoy his experiences as he learned quite a bit from them. One example of this was when Neil worked for Global News, as he had to become very proficient in getting photos and videos to Global on time. Though Neil enjoyed all his experiences, Neil also said he wants to work a bit less as a part-time cinematographer and a photographer as he is busy enough with his normal 9-5 job.
- What wisdom have you gained from your mentor so far?
So far, I have gained a small, but useful amount of wisdom from Neil. He has taught me about his compositional techniques on a cloudy day, and process for shooting macro, but most importantly he has taught me to shoot whatever catches my eye. This means being observant and looking for potential compositions while not forcing or rushing anything and taking snapshots. I am super excited about the learning that is to come, as Neil is a very knowledgeable photographer.
- What have you learned so far, in terms of facilitation strategies, that might contribute to your own development as a mentor?
So far, in terms of facilitation strategies as a mentor, I have learned to provide interesting and challenging opportunities to the mentee. This is something my mentor has done for me, and it has been super cool, so I will definitely work to provide awesome opportunities along the line if I am ever a mentor. Additionally, I have learned to help the mentee problem solve. When I was doing some macro photography with my mentor, the flash was providing light that was too harsh, so he used some DIY techniques to soften the light. In him helping me problem solve, I learned new skills that I can use moving forward, so I will try to do the same as a mentor.