Long Term Mentoring - Ian Martindale

It's approaching the middle of one of my long term mentoring programmes and a great stage to get some feedback. The course is going really well and I have witnessed incredible development and growth in Ian's approach and delivery. Here are a few words from the man himself..

"I've been working as a professional wedding photographer for a few years now; growing & developing my business as time has gone on. I take on a wide variety of commissions and enjoy a varied work diary. That said, I didn't feel that I had one "bread and butter" staple job, but more of a selection of canapés; varied and filling if you have enough of them, but not enough of any one thing.

I decided that I'd like to grow the wedding side of my business from the 15 or so commissions I currently take a year, to something that would more realistically sustain me.

I contacted Allister after reading his series of articles on reportage wedding photography. We had a one-to-one meeting focussed on developing my style and approach in early 2011. That day helped immeasurably in improving the consistency and quality of the work I produced that year.

Feeling the benefit of that session, along with that of a few other spots of tuition I had taken, I was seeking a method of professional development that had room for continued, consistent follow up and review; something a handful of one day workshops with different tutors wouldn't have given me.

Because I continue to work for myself as a busy documentary wedding photographer, PR photographer and corporate video producer, I need to spread my time with Allister over a twelve month period. On average, we have been working together once a month, but we bring sessions closer together where we can; allowing the advantage of giving time between shoots to gain some feedback and review my progress, whilst enabling me to put those lessons into practice in my own work while it's still been fresh in my mind.

Allister has a holistic view of the course - looking at the bigger picture and how all aspects of the business (shooting style, portfolio, brand, marketing and ethos) are interdependent. Initially, we have been looking at developing my shooting style & technique; concentrating on refining the in-camera capture as much as possible so that when it comes to post production, we're subtly enhancing a body of already strong images and not looking to cover up mistakes with a set of pre-set actions.

We continue to review my portfolio as it matures and identify areas for improvement. It is those areas that I pay particular attention to on my shoots with Allister, as well as continuing to produce a consistent body of story-telling images. It's valuable to get consistent feedback from someone who is aware of my progress.

As well as honing my approach during commissions with specific targets and challenges, there is also a degree of absorbed learning through inference, by 'osmosis' if you will, as I witness demonstrations in context. Because I'm working so closely with Allister on his own commissions, it's important that I am able to gel with his approach.

At the half-way point, I'm already feeling the value of my investment. I am able to make my own commissions more worthwhile (in time, money and enjoyment) and have noticed a clear difference in the way I present myself and my work. I'm really looking forward to the latter stages of this course; we're about to step up a gear or two, creating some very specific targets for me and looking ahead to how I want to progress my career further."

We have a couple of spaces left for 2013, to discuss pricing and suitability just get in touch.