I approach my long term mentoring in a very similar fashion to my associate programmes in that I completely take people onboard. This way I can see just how efficiently my guidance is being implemented, adjust the programme accordingly and ultimately develop a more confident, successful photographer and business person.
We're now looking to accept applications for our next long term student, courses run for between 6 and 12 months.
Candidates will need to fit certain criteria so if you'd like to put yourself forward, please send an email with your CV and portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org
A few words from Alexis, who I've got to know very well over the last six months...
"Around this time last year I came across Allister's website through an article discussing documentary wedding photography. At the time I'd been looking into the most appropriate training for my needs as I really wanted to push myself to the next level. As a professional wedding photographer I want to stay fresh, current and inspired. I'd attended other workshops and training but really wanted to work alongside a professional who I could connect with. After a few conversations Allister and I designed and agreed on a bespoke mentoring programme over a six month period.
My specialist programme not only included one to one sessions covering very specific topics such as processing and marketing but at its core, had ongoing, practical sessions working with real customers. This allowed Allister to continually review and improve my mentoring process, everything remained flexible yet absolutely direct with no lag in progression. The point of these mentoring programmes is that they are not training in the most obvious sense, they are about finding your own way with Allister's support and guidance. In essence they're the same as a work placement, only Allister is with you every step of the way to mould the experience; shooting through to marketing.
- These programmes are designed for photographers comfortable with their abilities but willing to improve or move in a different direction; they are not for wedding photographers looking to be told how to use their camera but people looking to fine tune their approach and overall business ethos.
- Working on real commissions allows you to capture your own view of the day and then analyse with Allister areas needing improvement. I remember so many moments working alongside Allister thinking "how did he get that, I was there and I never saw that shot!". Thankfully, overtime this scenario became less frequent until my process became second nature.
- The end result comes from hard graft through continuous assessment and improvement. To an extent, you get out as much as you put in from these programmes, there is no magic solution or unique camera setup to bypass the lengthy road to success. Instead, a no-nonsense committed approach to implementing Allister's advice and infrastructure has allowed me to reach my goals and I'm now pushing the business further forward with a keen sense of direction.
Towards the end of my course I worked as a paid contract wedding photographer, shooting assignments alongside Allister and others as a second photographer. The experience has been invaluable and I feel I've evolved most in these last few months putting the earlier, often theoretical advice into practice.
I remember when I first came to Allister, I always struggled to make sense of particular environments and rarely achieved images with a strong sense of narrative in addition to good composition. However, my work is now totally unrecognisable, I have a completely fresh way of seeing moments and creating photographs, my storytelling abilities are strong and I approach commissions from a different perspective. My isolated portraits are a thing of the past and a vast majority of my wedding photography is now created on a 35mm lens - a far cry from my 70-200mm days!
I've developed my approach to an extent where my photography is more 'me'. I interpret moments in a certain way whereas before I just just snapped away. This in itself is attracting a particular, more niche customer. My own bookings have subsequently increased considerably and my investment in Allister's mentoring has been recovered very quickly.
Low light work, which once intimidated me, is now a considerable part of my product, only using flash where absolutely necessary. All of his advice has had a positive impact on other areas of my business too such as my portraitraiture, there is now an overall consistency in my product that I'd always hoped for but wasn't quite sure of how to implement across the board.
Working with Allister is the best training a professional photographer can receive, in my opinion. He is open, realistic and honest with candid, ongoing feedback. I believe that thanks to Allister not only have I improved dramatically as a photographer but I have also found a friend that I am continuing to work alongside."