09th Sep2015

Mentoring with Kelly – Session #1

by Christine
A selfie while prepping to meet with Kelly. I love that I can schedule mentoring sessions at convenient times for each individual student.

A selfie while prepping to meet with Kelly. I love that I can schedule mentoring sessions at convenient times for each individual student. Plus, holding a session on my deck while the birds are singing… you can’t beat that with a stick! 🙂

A behind-the-scenes look at my online private mentoring…

Today I had an appointment with a new mentee, Kelly, from Ohio and she was gracious enough to agree to let me blog about her mentoring progress. I thought it would be nice to use a real-life example of a student’s mentoring session – so mucho big thanks to Kelly for allowing me to chat about it. (hopefully she’ll agree to a wrap-up interview when we’re all done).

My mentoring program, for the time being, is a 6-meeting arrangement between one student and myself. The reason is this – that is the kind of education *I* like. It’s the kind of education *I* learn the most from, and I pretty much wanted to work with other students that desired the same kind of personal attention that I like.

Kelly and I set up our first appointment for today at 10 AM. I had given her a number of pre-session homework assignments, and she came through with flying colors, sending me 17 images to review before our first meeting. I also reviewed her website, her blog and her business Facebook page and sent her several survey forms with pertinent questions about her education, technical skill level and information about previous competition participation.

Yes, I want to know a lot of stuff.

Here’s why – my students are going to fork over a chunk of change and I want to make sure that they get every penny’s worth out of it. I want to know what equipment they have access to and what types of clients they photograph for money. Then I want to know what they photograph for the love of it. I want to know what makes them tick and I want to know what gives them “juice.”

For the next 6 weeks, my mentees trust me to guide them towards their goals – I’m going to make sure we do this with a level of great success. So yes, I’m going to spend some extra time getting to know them as individuals as well as photographers.

Kelly and I spent a little over an hour reviewing her images and talking about her goals. I used an online meeting company that gives me the capability to record our sessions, and a copy of that recording was sent to Kelly at the conclusion of our session.

We reviewed 14 of the 17 images she sent for homework and will be reviewing the remaining 3 in session 2.

At the end of our session, we scheduled the next 5 session dates and times and I assigned Kelly some homework for session #2.

Now, this all may sound a little bit vague, but I just don’t do the same thing with each student, so I don’t have a plan that is replicated across the board. Besides, it’s called private mentoring for a reason.

Anyway – Kelly got some homework that was pertinent to her work and her goals. She was given some pointers on how to change up the way she shoots in a few technical areas the next time she encounters certain situations. I became acquainted with Kelly’s level of software competence and reviewed her current methods of retouching and enhancement before assigning her the rest of her homework.

I believe in stretching the existing skill set – not necessarily changing everything over to what *I* do, you know?

So, there you have it – a couple of hours of review work for me – mentoring session #1 – followed up by a recording of session #1 – a 4 part homework assignment and some additional help with a CPP certification renewal (because I’m kind of handy helping with CPP stuff, too).

The additional bonus for the day was discovering that Kelly had attended Ohio Institute of Photography and had Rich Newell as her instructor. What a small world! Rich was my sponsor when I received my Master’s Degree from PPA in 2013 and he currently serves as PPA’s IPC Manager.

Whoda thunk?


 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

If you think you’d like to set up a private mentoring program for yourself, send me a note at cwalshnewton@gmail.com or call 330.407.6677. I have just a couple of more slots left for the fall session, which ends October 31. The last day to join this session is September 18, the tuition is $299.

Leave a Reply