Episode 2.5 “Everything makes you better: The Importance of living life outside of the Frame”
Lately I’ve been in conversation with a few artists and photogs concerning mentorship and photography. Most of them are of the opinion that you should never tell people how you do what you do because they’ll become your competition and take your place in the market. For all intents and purposes I can see where they are coming from: why shoot yourself in the foot and train your replacement?
But can anyone really replace you if you are an artist at your craft?
I think a little differently when it comes to this. I honestly think that you make and interpret the world around you based on the collection of all the experiences in your life. Your opinions, memories and intent all creep into all the decisions you make and the quality of your work. In the case of photography who you are pushes you toward certain types of photography and you end up attracting certain clients and projects as well. The person you were 2 years ago can be completely different to who you are now and your preferences and style can change dramatically.
I really like Instagram, not for the selfie videos, but for the fact that I can find photographers and artists that appeal to my style and motivate me to explore new forms and levels of expressions. If you wanna be a better photographer look at the work of better photographers. Teaching someone the tools and techniques that you learnt is not gonna magically make them your clone. Tools and techniques are really good to have and learn but experience and lots of practice will make someone a professional. The music you listen to, the movies you watch, the places you go, the people you meet and how you relate to them; and the things you learn all make you a unique individual. That’s a great thing too, no two people in the world have the same exact life and that means we are all different. If two photographers saw the same model in the same location they would never be able to take the same picture in the same place in the same moment, and that means new art from everyone. So go out and experience life and maximise on your observations of anything in the universe. Fall in love, watch a movie, learn a new skill and find yourself in places to be inspired, it’ll make you a better and more unique artist.