Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mentoring Thoughts.

As many of you  may be aware, a certain amount of my time is dedicated to passing on skills and  helping others achieve much higher standards within their work. 

This follows on from my experience within the qualification structures in each of the following, The British Institute of Professional Photographers, The Master Photographers Association, The Royal Photographic Society, The Societies and of course Kodak, sadly no longer with us .

 In each of these associations I hold fellowships in different disciplines, I have also been a judge for each and acted in the role of Chairman for all listed above.

I have mentored many, many photographers over the years, many of them have gone on to become household names within the creative field of wedding, portraiture and fine art photography . Indeed, many of these are producing amazing quality within their genre.

I felt it was time to chart the progress of one of my current Mentees, starting with her photography prior to commencing my mentoring process, then to see the growth in her work,  how it is progressing and her achievements to date.

It was February 2016 when I was initially approached . Fiona had recently achieved her Associateship of the BIPP, although that is a great level to attain, she was encouraged to continue with her work and see how it might progress.

Not content to settle for that level, she reached the decision that  it was time for her to create something more artistic with a timeless content, however, that is not quite as simple as one might think .

It takes considerable energy time and money to pursue excellence, after all her clients were satisfied with what she was producing on a daily basis, she felt there was room to give them more.  

Having been told about the various courses Fiona had invested in it was apparent that although she had gained knowledge on different aspects of photography, she was struggling to define herself as a photographer.  With this in mind Fiona knew that for her to move forward and reach her aspirations to create beautiful and elegant work it was essential to find a mentor.  

Having achieved such a high accolade, I couldn’t see how to refine my work.  Looking at Kevin’s work and other photographers that Kevin had mentored , David Wheeler FBIPP and Scott Johnson FBIPP, to name just two ".  One thing I was sure of, I needed my own identifiable style, something Kevin was keen for me to establish.

From discussing in detail, Fiona was looking for someone she could rely on in terms of feedback, who could provide a positive critique, offering guidance and help as when needed. 

From discussing in detail, Fiona was looking for someone she could rely on in terms of feedback, who could provide a positive critique, offering guidance and help as when needed. 

On her first visit we discussed what makes a fellowship panel, analysed her own work against other Fellows pitching her against the best, assessing her skills and knowledge, before going back to the basics discussing posing and lighting, both of which Fiona was aware of but did not know how to use successfully to create something thoughtful and structured.

Then & Now


2016 /2017


2016 / 2017


                                                            2016 / 2017

Achievements To Date

Now today, twelve months into Kevin's program the change in my work is phenomenal!  I am yet to meet my end game, which of course is my fellowship but I can see a massive improvement in my work.  It is becoming a lot more sophisticated now that I understand more about light, posing and composition.

To add to this, my confidence has grown exponentially, helped by finding challenging projects like “London Calling’ where I spent three days photographing in Jungle camp at Calais, which saw me achieve another associate, this time in Documentary Photography.  Prior to this I won Gold and Silver for my work in the South East Regional Awards in 2016,  just months after starting Kevin’s programme.  To add to these new accolades I have also won Bronze, the only award given in the non-commissioned category in this year 2017 Professional Photographer of the Year - I can’t thank Kevin enough.

For any photographer who is reading this and looking to gain professional qualifications, I can not stress how important or how rewarding it is to have one to one mentoring.  With all the courses I have done over the years, investing in Kevin has exceeded all my expectations.  Mentoring is not about personal achievements, it has a huge impact on business.  I can see that I now forming an identifiable style and producing quality work for my clients, which is gold in itself. 

It has been one hell of year, full of change and achievement.  I am most grateful for the opportunities given to me and wish all who are going for qualifications the best of luck.