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LIFE Through the Lens... the G+ Mentorship Program Show is ready when you are! This was a wonderful show...


+Ron Clifford and +Robin Griggs Wood shared their experiences... and that of their mentorees (like +Brian Grzelewski and +Gizella Nyquist who joined us on the show) in this most recent Mentorship Program. The before & after photos... the stories of personal change and growth... the smiles none of us could wipe off our faces... all testimonials to the power of how helping others helps elevate everyone - including ourselves!
+Tamara Pruessner +Kelli Seeger Kim +Kerry Murphy +Tana Teel +Keith Barrett and I loved this one... and I hope you do too!

+Tamara Pruessner shared her two newest inspiring G+ finds on our LIFE +1 segment: +Lucie Debelkova and +Joni Niemelä. Great finds... go circle 'em!

And listen to the show for the OnOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 6.1 giveaway! (Hint: you just have to answer a question... right here in this stream!)

So here's how:
1. Listen to the show for the question to answer for the chance to win.
2. Write your answer right here in this post. Deadline: 7pm PT/ 10pm ET, Wednesday, May 9).
3. +Brian Matiash of OnOne Software will help us choose a winner... which will be announced in my stream! (I'll make a new post just for the announcement.)

That's it! We're looking forward to seeing everyone's responses... Mentorship RULES!!!
jai singh's profile photogee mail's profile photoRichard Thompson's profile photoAna Scandon's profile photo
If I could choose a mentor, I'd still choose Sean Kernan (as I did Years ago at the Maine Media Workshops).

Why: Because Sean is a model for championing creativity as both a mindset and a process. His commitment to exploring how to get into "the zone" where fresh seeing and fresh execution exceeds our usual parameters and abilities. With that as his focus, he "teaches how to fish", and that's inspiring to me in my own mentoring.
Aside from that, he's also a great natural appreciator of other people's work when it shows both personal growth and images that have "Life" in them.

In the original workshop I took with him, he also gave a model for feedback which I use, to this day, when asked for input/critique; the basic idea is to give feedback about what I see in a mentoree's work, not advice about how it "should" be. The technicals might then be useful in tweaking the vision, instead of being more important than vision. See what I mean about his focus? At least that's what rocks about Sean as a mentor, for me... and I'm not alone, based on many Many students of his workshops.Sean's Journal:

**I have been wanting to add a key mentor to this post: Me. Rather, my intuitive "knowing" self, which usually is only present when I connect with a subject in some unusual way or depth. Maybe a better way to put that is that my other best mentor is a connection --a "we", as opposed to separate "I" and "subject".
In that Zone that I refer to, above, such a connection comes more easily and has a more organic evolution. When I am willing to be open and to engage in the "dance" or "dialogue" with what's in front of me, using my camera as a lover uses a caress, both giving and receiving creative energy, then something is revealed in the resulting image(s) that neither I, nor my subject, could make alone. I get to trust myself, and trust my subject, and trust our connection to guide me into a fresh adventure.

Then, a Third mentor becomes the viewer; feedback helps keep me honest, free from being victim to my wishes, beliefs, opinions, and blind spots, by letting me know what has been transmitted to the viewer. An added bonus is that feedback shows me what might be in my own work that I wasn't yet capable of seeing.
+Kevin Parker... I'm not sure what rates as the BEST webcam... but I use a Logitech HD unit. Works really well for me.

AWESOME +Wayne Upchurch... we're off to a fine start!
Aside from Robin (I just finished her mentorship program and would do it again if I could!) I would choose to be mentored by Gary Randall. Gary shoots landscapes in Oregon and his work inspires me. I am an Oregon girl, born and raised, never left. Most of Gary's work is around Mt. Hood, an icon that says "Oregon" when you see it. I grew up at the base of the mountain and would love to learn how to shoot it and capture the beauty that I see reflected in Gary's work.
I can't choose just one... Trey Ratcliff for helping to 'see' the possibilities in a scene and mastering Photomatix, Scott Kelby to infuse me with Photoshopness, Annette Biggers for learning to mix natural/artificial light for portraits, Brian Matiash to help unlock the coolness of onOne, Karen Hutton for creative inspiration, laughter... and some VO mentoring! The list could go on...
Great show, I loved seeing the progress of the mentees (Is that a word?)

I've been a semi-advanced amateur photographer for around 45 years now, and I've already had a few great mentors, whose names in some cases have slipped behind the fog of my aging memory. I remember one guy who was a professional architectural interior photographer back when you used to balance indoor and outdoor lighting with flash rather than HDR, and a retired portraitist who showed me how to use a view camera and studio lighting.

I've had many photographic heros over the continuing course of my photographic education. Let's see: Ansel Adams, the Westons, Yousuf Karsh, Cartier-Bresson, Georgia O'Keefe, Dorothea Lange, Man Ray, Pete Turner, Ralph Morse, and Margaret Bourke-White come to mind. They all mentored me by providing photographs to study, enjoy and try to take inspiration from. Ansel Adams in particular also wrote extensively about his technique. He was a pioneer in applying science to understanding the photographic process and control it to achieve his pre-visualized goals.

These days there are so many 'teachers' in or associated with the G+ community, who 'mentor' many of us less directly. I've learned so much from +Trey Ratcliff, +Brian Matiash +RC Concepcion, +Alan Shapiro and others. I find I learn things like photoshop best by watching the experts at work.

In my fantasies, I'd probably pick Ansel Adams as a mentor, but that's not possible in this life. Maybe Jerry Uelsmann, although he's a non-digital photographer, he's been doing incredible composites using film for decades. These days +Tanya Rochat's work reminds me of his work.

Although I've had many mentors, I hope I never stop finding more.
If I could choose a photography mentor.... (now that I have already been fortunate to have +Ron Clifford) I would love to work in the field with +Thomas Hawk The quality and quantity of outstanding photos blows me me away. Thomas has such a eye for interesting photos of all kinds of subjects. I especially like his eye for patterns, and people.
If I could choose a mentor, I would choose +Mike Shaw . Recently I have added +Mike Shaw to my G+ and have appreciated his photo contributions. I believe he has a grand talent in composition, lighting, and depth of field, and I can learn a lot.

I am a newbie to nature photography, and I would like to work under the same camp as +Mike Shaw . Additionally, photographer John Shaw (no relation) is a nature photographer, which I have read all his nature photography books.

If I had the privileged to have both John and +Mike Shaw as mentors, I believe my photographic techniques would exponentially advance. #mikefshawphotography #mikeshaw
My photography mentor of choice would be +John Paul Caponigro . I like that he takes his photos to a fine art level. I've heard him talk at PSW and he is a wealth of information and ideas. He is concerned with the environment and the natural world as am I. His Zen like qualities would be inspirational.
#nature is the best mentor. Always changing, always charming, strict, unique and insightful.
These are great! Keep 'em coming!
After reflection, I was moved to "add" a mentor to my post, above. It is now edited to reflect that.
This thread is a great way to open up new possibilities for each and all of us. Congratulations to whoever suggested this method of awarding the software.
I really enjoyed last night's show and I hope I can get involved in the next round. As for my ideal mentor, that's a really tough question. I've been thinking about it since last night and there are just so many photographers that I admire. It's so hard to pick just one. I finally narrowed it down to either +Joe McNally or +Trey Ratcliff. If I really had to decide on just one of them, I'd probably pick Trey. I've been following Joe for a long time, have several of his books, and have watched all his Kelby Training videos. Plus, I saw him last year during the Flash Bus tour. Trey is newer to me and as much as I love HDR, I'm very hit and miss with it, mostly miss.
Excellent +Wayne Upchurch! You can add, change, whatever - all you want! I think this is a cool idea too (thanks +Brian Matiash!)... and hope many more folks join in the fun! I'm loving what we've got going so far...
I would like to nominate the following 2 people. Trey Ratcliff. He showed me what can be done in HDR. My other choice would be Scott Kelby. His instructional methods are very easy to follow and his personality is perfect for pushing you to achieve that special shot.
My ideal mentor would be +Thomas Hawk. Thomas is the reason I got into photography a few years ago. It started by watching his photo walks with +Robert Scoble. They always looked like they were having so much fun when they would go out together. I also liked Thomas's approach to things. He always had such a care free and experimental attitude to his pictures. He never would say "set your camera to this" or "rule of thirds that" it was more like "I am going to take a bunch of pictures of something that I find interesting and then see what I like the best." This style made photography very personal and much more approachable as a beginner.

I really appreciate all that I have learned and continue to learn from Thomas. I was watching a live hangout the other day of Thomas editing in FX Photo Studio Pro from the mac app store and it was reassuring to still watch him just messing around with different filters and settings and at the end saving one because "it looks kinda cool".

The guy is a great photography mentor, but also has an approach to life that is interesting and inspiring.
If I could pick any mentor, I believe it would be Colby Brown. I admire Colby not only for making beautiful art through his lens, but also for making a difference with his photos. He seems to always be emotionally attached to his work, while using his talents to help others, and I think that makes the best kind of photographer/artist. So yeah, I want to be more like Colby, when I grow up. :)
Tough question, +Karen Hutton...I'm pretty new to photography so I don't know as many photographers as everyone else does. I did watch a live 5 day workshop recently by John Greengo that was incredibly informative. He really simplified things in a way I could understand, and made some dificult concepts make more sense to me. My other choice would be Scott Kelby. I loved his Digital Photography book series (I have 3 of the 4), and I love how he makes it simple, which is what I really need. You get too complicated and you've lost me.

I will say that there are many photographers that I admire, but these two would be my choice as the ideal mentor for myself. :0)
+Jaime Ibarra is my choice. The guy is very artistic and is an excellent example of creativity and liveliness. He captures his subjects at their very best and did i mention he is very humble. He also shows that is not about the equipment but ones style and attitude.
+Jyri Nyberg lol!!! I'd be happy to teach it :D

I can't narrow it down to one person, so I'm cheating and naming three. :)

1. I too would love to have Robin around forever, I love the artistic approach.

2. Michael Frye. Pre-Google, I never really followed other photographers, but his work always stayed with me, I love his skill as well as love for the Sierra's.

3. I know you said we couldn't mention you Karen, but I am anyway. I think you and Robin have similar souls. And you have such a beautiful way of approaching your art and life.
+Karen Hutton

The person I'd most want as a Photography Mentor is RC Concepcion. For a couple of reasons.

I really really like his photography and know I'd grow tremendously from any instruction from him. I've caught several of his videos and always come away with new things to do (or NOT do). And I'm currently reading his "The HDR Book".

But the other reason would be that I just got into post processing with programs like Elements and Lightroom, etc I know RC is a wiz with that part of the equation as well. So that would be a huge win-win if I managed to wrangle that kind of a deal.

Thanks for considering me for the give-away. And feel free to mention this plea to RC while you're at it. 8^)
If I had to choose one mentor from anyone it would probably be Edward Weston. So much of his work speaks so strongly to me that I find myself being influenced by photos of his that I haven't seen for decades.

But, if I were to choose someone to mentor me for what I need right now to improve my photography, from those on Google Plus, I might pick someone like +Colby Brown. He has ended up in so many of my circles because he is not only incredible technically but he's always interesting. There's more going on in his photos than stunning scenery. (Not that I wouldn't love to learn how to shoot incredible landscapes!) He shoots a variety of subjects, teaches, writes intelligently and engagingly in his posts, and seems like he'd be really interesting to listen to and learn from.
I'd have to go with +Joe McNally. Photography is, first and foremost, all about capturing light and obtaining a properly exposed image. Joe is an absolute lighting genius. I've read two of his books (The Moment It Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaries) and it's just amazing how he can analyze a scene, visualize what he wants, and make it happen...many times under crazy time constraints.

To learn to use available light and shape artificial light the way he does would be amazing.
Now that I have had +Robin Griggs Wood as a next choice as a mentor would be +Alan Shapiro...he has such a unique view and he is such a wizard at post-processing and I would love to pick his brain for all the knowledge I could.
A mentor for me?! Let's see, they'd have to be witty, intelligent, brilliant with lighting of course, have tons of multifaceted experiences they draw from..
and finally, be crazy and patient enough to put up with yours truly!!
So if I could only pick one to drive up a wall be my charmed mentor, I guess it would be Joe McNally. My loving National Geographic photography and especially his work from the time I was a child does not put me at prejudiced opinion at all big Innocent blinky eyes
Thank you all for taking the time to make extra excitement to our days and enlightenment to both our minds and hearts with what you do.
Just finished finally watching it all and it was great. My mentor would have to be myself. I don't think photography is about someone showing what is looks good but rather exploring yourself and finding out more about yourself from your photos. I think everyone could use to take a step back and look more at the final product instead of worrying how to make it something everyone else will love.
There are so many wonderful photographers I admire for different reasons, there is no way I can pick just one.
Mentorship is such an amazing way to learn things - it's strange how fancy 'new media' brings something that old school back into the foray, isn't it? I'd love to learn how to make the most of the skills I have as well as adding to the proverbial tools in the box with +Alan Shapiro. The things he sees in the world are often those I like to seek out; plus you have to assume a guy who can make you just love a picture of something you'd ordinarily run a mile to avoid has plenty to teach you... (yes, I really hate birds that much).
Even though I love taking pictures, I'm not very familiar with the photography field...but my instinct would pick +Kelli Seeger Kim as my mentor. The reason is simple. I like her personality a lot. It may sound awkward not mentioning technical point, but I believe that you can learn anything from anyone if you desire. I think she will be able to encourage me not only in photography but also in personality. It would be so fun to learn from her!
I followed Wayne's lead and expanded my original post.
If I could choose a mentor it would be +Moose Peterson With a great name like you can't go wrong ..... He also dose some stunning photographs of aircraft in flight and on the ground.
So thats a tough one, there are so many people inspiring me, starting with my brother down to (or up to I suppose) people like Mike Shaw, Trey Ratcliff or Patrick Di Fruscia. Then there is the whole post-production posse at KelbyTraining with their great tutorials and web shows really helping things from the technical side.
But when I think really hard about it there are really 2 people I'd have to pick. (Sorry, can't do just one):
1) +Elia Locardi - I just love, love, love his pictures, especially of Italy. Looking at Cinque Terre through his lens is an instant happy moment for me
2) +Colby Brown - I just admire his entire attitude towards photography, specifically through +The Giving Lens. I think he would be great at mentoring philosophy behind photography and what else you can do besides just producing beautiful artwork

Obviously what it really boils down to is finding your own path, picking up neat little tricks and tidbits here and there and then going out and shooting great pictures that you are satisfied with. The Google+ photography community is great for that and I recommend it to everyone I meet interested in photography
My dream mentor would probably be +Jaime Ibarra. The strength of his work, particularly his use of color and natural light just mesmerize me. I'm a huge fan of his. It was one of my new years resolutions this year to learn to shoot with a model - but I am finding this to be the hugest hurdle to get over. I can't even bring myself to get around to asking. I am more painfully shy than people who've met me might give me credit for and I am so much lacking in confidence in my own work that I am terrified of messing up a whole shoot, plus I am also currently overcome by the technicalities of using a speed light alongside a new full format camera that I want to learn inside out. I have been on the verge of finding someone to be my model guinea pig so many times, but I just can't seem to follow through. I've written emails to friends that have never been sent, scoured model mayhem, terrified to do anything other than lurk there, composed request posts for subjects on social network sites, only to hit cancel at the last minute. So, although Jaime produces work I really aspire to, really anyone who could help me build confidence, teach me how to be braver and give me advice on how to make my work better and guide me on how to curate my work, would amount to a truly treasured experience. I have grand ideas. I just don't know if they are any good, or how to make them a reality.
If I have to pick only one I'm going with +Scott Kelby. I need A LOT of help: photography, business, photoshop... He's one stop shopping and we could talk about guitars!
** It goes without saying that being mentored by any of the phenomenal G+ photographers, +Robin Griggs Wood, +Alan Shapiro, +Annette Biggers, +Colby Brown, +Thomas Hawk , +Varina Patel or 100 other names I could list would leave me jaw to the ground excited, enthused and dedicated.

So, This question required some thought in paring down my selection of an "ideal" mentor. I opened my thoughts to the "Who would you invite to dinner" type question where people often include "Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, and various other unreachable individuals (due to death or Secret Service protection).

I remember reading the story of how Steve McCurry tracked down the Afghan "girl in the cover photo" and took a follow up image. I've long wanted to explore the world of National Geographic Photography as the photographers provide such a vast array of shooting situations, compositions, lighting, level of threat, weather conditions, traveling conditions, all of which affect the finished product of a publication ready photograph. Steve McCurry appears to be part gypsy, sherpa, tank, energizer bunny, visionary, and chameleon.

To learn from Steve McCurry remotely or in person by following him around the globe with a camera pack, it would be well worth the 5,000 immunizations I would likely need! To learn, in vivo or otherwise, from someone so adaptable who produced phenomenal photographs prior to the post-processing era via computer, would be a surreal dream. There is even an album on his webpage titled, "Last Roll of Kodachrome" amidst the albums from Kashmir to Children of War to Los Angeles and New York.

There is not enough available brain capacity to absorb the rules he's learned, promptly broken, then inevitably remade to suit the circumstances. I would salivate like Pavlov's dog at the sound of the click of his shutter. I'm often "scolded" for dreaming too big and casting too wide a net. I'm sure mentoring from Steve McCurry would not soften these accusations. :)

The other option would be the photographer in Africa to whom Annette Biggers gave her 35 mm film camera. Annette, to whom the camera was out of date and next to useless in the digital age of photography, passed it along to a gentleman who not only accepted the gift, but learned the trade and even set up a business to provide himself with income. To see the world through this man's eyes and camera would be such a refreshing gift and truly a unique perspective on the world of photography.
Kab Yaj
My mentor would be my audience...those who appreciate my art (which inspires me to better myself) and those who don't (they still inspire me to improve myself). I draw creativity and inspiration from everyone and everything I see.
You had to make the question so difficult! I would have to say that I'd choose two and for different reasons. Drawing out the best in others is one of my talents (as recognized by peers and my employer - feels funny to say that about myself), I want to learn how to do portraits and would choose +Chris Orwig for that. For capturing the pure beauty of creation, I would choose +Ray Bilcliff because his images are proof there is a creator! :-)
I agree, the question is difficult. I have learned so much about the art of photography and about wonderful photographers from Google+. I am inspired to learn and create but I am not sure I am ready to commit to be mentored yet. I would lofe to tag a long with a group of mentee's however. Ron Clifford would be a great mentor. I do follow the Juan Pons and Rick Sammon.
I would love to work with +Ron Clifford .. I love his enthusiasm and I too am a people person and love sharing ideas. I had what I call a eureka moment last week; and I am hooked!! I want more!!
This is a tough question because I’m fairly new to the photography world and am not familiar with many photographers’ work.

One photographer that I am familiar with and love is Ansel Adams - he would be my number one choice. His photos are stunning! I love how his work draws me into the majestic beauty of each of them and it makes me realize the beauty in this life and enjoy that moment of tranquility. It would truly be amazing to watch him in action and learn from him. Unfortunately, this amazing photographer is no longer alive and little amateur me would have no hope in heck being mentored by this great, even if he was alive. So, I suppose picking another photographer that is more attainable would be preferred for this question :)

I would pick all of Alan Shapiro, Colby Brown, Ron Clifford, Scott Kelby, & Thomas Hawk. I know you said pick one but each of them have different styles, experiences, what they have done and do for the photography community and expertise. Knowing how I learn new and build upon existing skills, I would incorporate their advice/criticisms about my strengths and areas for improvement, and general photography and processing advice into my photography. Having one or all of these mentors would be awesome because I’m just not sure that reading Photography and Photoshop for Dummies will get me there :)

Thanks for the great question and the show was great last night…glad I was able to catch it.
Great line-up, +Renee Vilneff! Anyone of those people would be great mentors. I'm still waiting for Alan Shapiro to start his mentoring program. hint hint :-D
Okay, okay...and so you know, +Chrysta Rae and I have been talking about setting up a more formal mentoring program/school (of sorts) We're just working through the details. Its important to me and want to do everything I can for our community family.
Oh I know, +Alan Shapiro, and I can not wait. I'm on pins and needles here, but take your time dear. ;)
Thanks for the mention, +Sam Breach ...shoot me a message. I can definitely help you with the difficulties you are encountering...believe me, I went through the very same things you are going through :)

And remember one thing about - while there are many "exceptions-to-the-rule" non-agency-represented models (like +Jessa Peters, for example) that kick more arse than most of the agency people I've worked with, the vast majority of people on that site (models, photographers, stylists, etc.) are just starting out in their respective fields, and are there for the opportunity to work with others of the same comparative skill level.

The models on ModelMayhem you might be nervous about approaching (to work with) are often-times every bit as nervous about being photographed. There are a lot of pretty people, but simply being "pretty" (as a trait) does not necessarily equate to being "good in front of the camera"...not by a long-shot. But that is why most people on ModelMayhem are there to begin with: to learn. You are among your peers more than you may know.

I remember my first day as a freshman in school...(secretly) feeling intimidated by many of my classmates. One day (during that first week) my uncle asked me why I was feeling intimidated. "It is one thing to feel intimidated by the 12th-graders at your school, but remember that the other 8th-graders in your class are just as new to the 8th grade as you are. Well, except for Kenny McIntyre, who is doing his 3rd year in the 8th grade...but we all know about _him_"

And that is why we love you +Jaime Ibarra.
The very youness of you is so, so... you.
siiiiigh. xo
This gets better every minute. Not only do I get a wonderful prize, I also have +Jaime Ibarra treating me to his words of wisdom. Thank you Jaime, your advice is so helpful and encouraging and best of all hopeful. I will shoot you a message. Not least because I hope to sign up for one of your tuition sessions some day. Cheers!
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