Mentoring: yet another ‘baldrick cunning plan’.

Sometimes; on our camera club days out (and as a natural extension of our ‘Wednesday Club’) we have informally assigned ‘mentors’ to help out the beginners. This seems to have worked well, from the feedback we have received, but what if we were to take a similar approach all year round?

The idea is really simple. A willing ‘advanced’ member takes a ‘beginner’ under their wing and shares their knowledge, skills and experience.

When I joined the camera club an advanced member approached me and simply said, “I like your work and your attitude, would you like to learn more?” I agreed and did learn more, a lot more than I would have done without such help. While there was no mention of ‘mentoring’, ‘teacher/student’ or anything like that, just two folk interested in photography out for a walk – clearly I was being ‘mentored!’. The interaction of questions and answers; “Why do you do this?”, “Why not that?”, “What do you see here?”, was something I simply could not learn from a book (and at that time I was reading everything I could find).

I fully understand that some ‘advanced members’ will not have the time or, perhaps, the interest in such an approach. But I do believe that there are many that would. Our Wednesday Club has proved, time after time, that many ‘advanced’ members go out of their way to help others. So why not take this a step further? Nothing official or formal, just two club members willing to meet up and go for a walk. I am sure that most beginners would welcome the help.

I have some ideas and suggestions on how this could work, informally, but before I post them, I welcome your feedback.

(I have reposted this from facebook, as I know many members have not, for whatever reason, joined our group.)


7 thoughts on “Mentors

  1. Mentoring Update:
    I have deleted previous (facebook) posts about mentoring as they were confusing. (My fault, and I must thank Christine for pointing this out!) At our last Wednesday Club I was able to get a number of new members together with a mentor. I will not list ‘who is with who’, but simply thank the following members for volunteering to mentor:

    Mark Allen (3), David Roberts (3), David Best (3), Noel Maitland (2), Henry Doggart (2), Alan McMorris (1), Jack Thompson (1).

    So; to date we have offered 15 beginners, the opportunity to have a club mentor to help them with their photography.

    I am aware that Gerry Coe and Nigel Snell have both expressed an interest in helping out. Both offer a wealth of experience but in very in different fields – Gerry in Portraiture and innovative/creative iPhone photography – and Nigel in wildlife and bird photography. So, if this is your bag, please let them know. (Or let me know and I will help facilitate, or as someone on Wednesday evening suggested – ‘pimp’ to get you together!)

    If you want to have a mentor, please let me know and I will do what I can to get you one.

  2. As you may know, David Roberts and I maintain this blog – which is open to everyone. Because it is open to the world, we have to moderate each post to make sure it is appropriate. This can sometimes cause a delay.

    We also have a facebook group that is only to club members and invited guests.

    This subject – Mentoring – has attracted considerable interest, especially on facebook. But I want to make a few things clear. David and I have already been approached by ‘beginners’ and we have both taken on three camera club members. My original post, top of this thread, encouraged members to get in quick and clearly many have done this.

    This a very informal arrangement, it is really up to you to! There is no list of beginners that would like to have a mentor. Nor is there a list of advanced members wanting to take on a beginner. Simply saying you are keen to have a mentor will not mean that you will automatically get one!

    However; we do fully understand that new members may feel uncomfortable about asking, so if we can, we will try to facilitate linking people up. Talk to either David or me at the club and we will see what we can do to help. May I also encourage our ‘advanced members’ whom are willing to help to let us know, so that we can ‘facilitate’ the arrangements.

  3. Michael, I can Mentor you if you wish. I already have had one previous request, so I think there might only be room for one more so that I can give adequate time to each.

  4. Great Idea Mark and David. Please include me to have a “Mentor”
    I go to the hospital on Wednesday morning to have my break inspected, Hopefully they will put on a smaller brace of some kind!
    Will try and make it on Wednesday 14th.

  5. Some ideas about mentoring: Who picks who?

    Doesn’t matter, get in there first!

    * If you are an ‘advanced’ member and have spotted a ‘beginner’ whose work you like – then approach them and ask them if they would like you to be their mentor.

    * If you are a ‘beginner’ and like the work of an ‘advanced’ member, then the same applies. Just ask them if they would be prepared to take you on. Be aware that some ‘advanced’ members may have many requests…

    * While in a perfect world; the mentor and beginner would have cameras from the same stable, this should not be a barrier. The most important aspect is probably the kind of photography – wildlife, travel, landscapes, mono, macro, etc.

    * The software you use may also be a useful link: Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, even Capture NX!

    * Location: clearly if both parties live close, or far apart, this may be a concern.

    • Hi Mark
      Just read about mentors think it’s a great idea and I would like to take part if there is an advanced member available.

      Trevor Reid

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s