My venture into formal photography instructing has begun… For many of us, “instructing” is just a natural thing we do each day when conversing with people. We tell them something we know, they do the same with us, and when questions arise, they are matched with explanations…learning occurs. In our photo club, there is a certain amount of “instructing” that comes across through this somewhat organic process, whether that’s listening to a critique, watching another photographer during an outing, or simply getting answers to questions from fellow members during social time. This is all good stuff, informal, unstructured, sometimes applicable to our interests, sometimes not.
I’d been approach a couple weeks ago by a friend whose wife was getting more interested in photography, and in some ways getting more frustrated that results weren’t matching expectations. Joining a photography club at some point may help, as would reading countless books or watching endless videos, but this friend has specific questions, and specific desires and interests. For her, the most efficient and effective way to boost her knowledge and skills is through one-on-on instruction. I’m made many instructional presentations, written articles, etc…but where all of those exchanges conveyed a body of information to a varied audience, this new instructing role will be specific, targeted, custom tailored, and most importantly, paced to match the rate of absorption.
Much as the old adage “Luck is where Preparation meets Opportunity”, this luck of mine to become a one-on-one instructor/mentor was a result of much preparation. Like many of you, hours spent reading, watching videos, practicing and experimenting have now begun to bear fruit. This preparation was not purposeful with this instructing result in mind, but rather was a labor of love, based on following my own interests and passions in photography. Now I have the opportunity to share with some else on their own journey and path—and hopefully accelerate them in the direction they are charting for themselves.
Another of my favorite saying helps articulate the exploration and mystery for many of our journeys, and in this case our photographic journey... "if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there...". The road is less important than the act of simply being on a journey...