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A photography mentor can genuinely help you make advancements in your journey as a wedding photographer. They can help you hone your photography skills or learn photography techniques and even teach you things from the experiences they’ve had in their career. As a business owner who already has plenty of tasks lined up on a daily basis, finding a mentor might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. If you follow the steps we have listed below, finding yourself the perfect mentor might not be as time-consuming or difficult as you might think. Before you even start your search, make the whole process easier for yourself by thinking about why you want to be in a mentorship program. Once you understand your goals better, finding a mentor program will become easier. 

Your Guide To Finding Your Photography Mentor

1. Start With Yourself

Infographic stating before searching for a photography mentor, figure out what you want from them

It’s extremely important that before starting your search for the perfect wedding photography mentor for yourself, answer some questions yourself. What are you looking for in your mentor? What’s your primary reason for searching for a mentor? Do you want to learn more about lighting or posing or do you want to learn more about their photography style? Once you know exactly how your mentor is going to make a difference in your professional journey, you might be able to narrow down your search and even lower the time you’d spend on finding the perfect fit. 

Suggested Read: Posing Your Couples: A Guide For Wedding Photographers

2. Make A List 

Infographic stating make a list of at least three or five mentors that fit your requirements

Once you’ve figured out what you want from your photography mentor and a few other professional and personal traits that you’d like for them to have, start making a list of names that check every box. If you can’t think of any names off the top of your head, then consider doing some research. You could read articles about wedding photographers who are acing the game, visit wedding photographers’ personal websites, check out their portfolios, look at their clientele, etc. Also, if it’s possible, try to find out if your selected photographer offers mentorship programs or if they would be willing to become your mentor. 

3. Reach Out

Once you have zeroed in on one person or your top three or five choices, we’d recommend that you start the conversation by sending them an email. In your email, state who you are and what you are interested in and then ask them whether they’d be interested to be your photography mentor. If you already have a portfolio, attach that with the email or send along a few samples of your work to let them know about your style. This will also help them evaluate whether they’d be a good fit for you. Once they respond to you, then try setting up a time to get on a call where you can tell them in-depth about your plan and requirements from them. Also, don’t get disheartened if your first choice doesn’t reply back. They might be busy or simply not offer any mentorship programs. Start again and reach out to the rest of your top choices.

Suggested Read: 5 Effective Communication Tips For Wedding Photographers

4. Finalize The Elements Of Your Program

Infographic stating make a plan of action and discuss it with your photography mentor

Once you’ve gotten in touch with the person you’ve chosen as your photography mentor, it’s time to sit down together and come up with a plan of action. If your mentor isn’t in the same city or country as you, you can use emails, Skype, Zoom, etc., too. But before using their time, we’d recommend that based on the conversations you’ve had so far, you design a plan yourself first. Once you’ve listed down all the things you want to learn or need their support with, reach out to your mentor and find a good time to discuss the details of your plan. This way, you will already have a clear idea of what you want and they will also be able to tell you what is feasible for them and what’s not.

5. Keep An Open Mind

Now that both you and your photography mentor have a clear idea of what your relationship will be like, get ready to build and nurture your relationship. Remember, a mentor is someone who will help you learn things – be it the ins and outs of the business of wedding photography or their style of photography – so don’t assume that they are simply going to help you curate your portfolio. Everyone has their own style of imparting knowledge, which might differ from your style of learning, but don’t let this be the factor that discourages you from sticking with your mentor. There’s a reason you chose them, so try to go with the flow. If there’s something that hinders you from learning, then convey the same to your mentor and see if you can find a middle ground. 

Trust The Process

Infographic stating even if it takes you a long time to find the perfect fit, it’s all worth it in the end

Finding a photography mentor for your wedding photography business can be extremely beneficial for you, but the process of finding the right fit could also prove to be challenging. But the key is to not give up in the middle. Once you have already narrowed down your needs, all you have to do is look for names and go through their portfolios. Okay, this might be easier said than done and it might just take up a lot of your time, but once you find that perfect mentor, it’s all worth it. A mentorship program can help you learn so much about the one skill that you are lacking or that one skill that will take you to the next level and make you a better wedding photographer. Your brand exists to give people the best customer experience, and honing your skills is a part of that. So be a little patient and kind to yourself and never stop learning.

Further Read: Professional Photo Editing: Why Outsource As A Beginner

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow as a wedding photographer. We also know how important time is for you and we help lessen your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help, check out our pricing plans.

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