Cliched as it may sound, meeting, and having Tony as my mentor, literally changed my life. Through his skills and knowledge as a born teacher and trained educator, and his deep inner sense of the spiritual world, he has taught me to go beyond the superficial, to recognise the value of my uniqueness, to search and find my own truth and use that to express myself through my art. That truth is at the core of everything I do and am now and consciously drives me in trying to make a difference in the world. There has been a huge sense of peace in finally acknowledging the “me” that I am. I’ve come a long way since we’ve met.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey
A Mentored Experience
One way of thinking about photography is to look at it as a road we walk, from the beginning, when it grips us by the heart and offers us new and exciting ways of seeing the world and expressing ourselves and our journey along it. Along the way, as we progress, we will learn new and beautiful things and create images that speak to us.
There may come a time when we have learned all that we can absorb (or think we have). Deep down, the walk has slowed to a halt. Frustration may set in. Our picture-making is going nowhere. Perhaps we are not getting the positive feedback from our peers that we would like. Or we are struggling with an aspect of technical mastery. There is a myriad of reasons why that may happen.
Perhaps we need a friend to support us and help us on our journey., someone we trust to look over our journey and work and assist us in finding the way forward.
Well, while it might not feel like it, you have reached a wonderful place. Now you are ready to move out on your unique journey and make work unique and special to you.
And there is the secret.
Make work for yourself, not to please others.
If the idea of a mentor, someone who will walk with you, appeals to you, then please get in touch.
I know I can help. And I love helping.
Here is a possible format if you live in Aotearoa/ New Zealand.
This is a four-stage process, which can include face-to-face time together.
A review of your work to date. You send me 20-30 images. From that, I get a sense of where you are artistically and personally.
We hold a face-to-face meeting via Zoom, Skype, Signal etc. You tell me about yourself and your journey. I want to know who you are so I can help you.
We get together. You travel down to spend time here in Fiordland (hint: winter is Fiordland’s best season!). We spend time together, talking, eating, photographing.
This period gives me time to see how you work and offer advice about technique, approaches and new ways of seeing. Three days is optimum, two at a pinch. More if you need it. If your budget allows it, there is also the option to make a personalised helicopter odyssey deep into Fiordland, where we will visit places few people have ever seen.
A review of your visit. This evaluation can be on-site during your stay, or we can do it online at a later stage.
If the experience has been a valuable one for you, you may wish to make this an annual event in your calendar. A number of my mentorees come back for a repeat get-together every year or so.
Getting yourself here to Te Anau.
Your accommodation and any meals we have together, along with transport costs and any organized tours (e.g. Milford Sound/ Doubtful Sound). I will help you find comfortable, private and very reasonably-priced accommodation).
My mentoring fee. $NZ 950/day (a minimum of two days)