Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Everyone's Poop Stinks...

...even mine! I learnt a few different things in school; primary amongst them were:

1) How to tie a real bow tie - yep, I actually learnt this during a math lesson - the teacher brought in a whole bunch of bow ties and taught us how to tie them. You may be wondering how this could ever be useful - well...if you're a little tipsy at a black-tie event there's no better chat-up line than actually knowing how to tie up a bow tie.

2) The other lesson I learnt was that only your friends would tell you when you "stank"; your real friends, the useful ones. And this was a really useful life lesson.

I've long been told and believe very strongly that the best way to find success and to accomplish great things very quickly is to find mentors...ones that will tell you that your poop stinks AND how to freshen it up a little, or even make fresh, better poop, that isn't poop at all. This proved invaluable as I made the shift from architectural designer to photographer, a career move that has been unbelievably enriching and challenging.

In architecture the first mentors I found were those seasoned industry veterans who could tell me the pitfalls and the trampolines and most importantly how to think completely differently - learning how to think is very useful. As I moved into photography I found many mentors in the ranks of local and national photographers who were willing to give me incredible advice on how to look. Learning how to look is pretty much essential in this line of work. They also told me how the industry worked and taught me how even though I was a small part of the industry it was essential that I protect that industry and play a roll in improving it. So who are my latest mentors? Luckily my mentors now include the people that work with me at the studio. Last week I had a really challenging conversation with my studio manager, Kate, who's kinda awesome. We made an overview of all the work I've done and then chatted about the industry, clients and both the strengths and weaknesses of my work in it. It was one of those tricky conversations where it's really important to be objective and have an opinion and it was a lot of fun and really bloody productive. You will definitely be seeing the product of this conversation very soon.

So, I would definitely recommend finding yourself a mentor and making sure you keep them very handy as you make decisions and develop your portfolio, your business, your brand and you.

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