Headline Image: Morning Reflections by Phil Burrows
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring usually involves two people: one with more advanced knowledge and experience than the other. The mentor assists the mentee to develop confidence and capabilities by identifying strengths and weaknesses, and by providing encouragement, constructive criticism and guidance.
Mentoring is a two-way process
It is not common for mentors to learn from their mentee. Everyone has something to offer: a skill, a fresh outlook, a question that provokes an interesting exploration. Mentors can be pleasantly surprised to realise just how proficient they are and how rewarding it can be to see their mentee develop.
Who can be involved?
Depending on your experience you can be a mentor, a mentee, or both. While the mentor needs to be more advanced than the mentee, mentors don't have to be professionals or experts. Club members have a wide range of experience and expertise to share and explore. Intermediate level mentors who are closer in experience to beginners may understand a beginner's difficulties more readily than the expert. Matching is important.
Mentoring can occur at a range of levels and in a range of areas of interest. Consider your level of experience and expertise, equipment, areas of interest and goals. Your available time and where you live are also relevant. Negotiate your match or the coordinator may suggest one.
As a mentor you might assist by: identifying strengths, encouraging reflection and analysis, listening to ideas and concerns, providing feedback, making suggestions to enhance skills and break boundaries, demonstrating techniques, and suggesting resources.
As a mentee, you will benefit according to your desire and ability to; take an active role in the focus of your learning, actively learn and practice, receive constructive criticism, and ask questions.
You may be entirely comfortable with a very informal arrangement, or you may appreciate a more formal structure. Here are some general guidelines that might be helpful.
- Participation is voluntary
- The arrangement can be terminated at any time by either party
- Mutual respect and ethics are imperative: artistically, professionally and commercially
- Neither party is legally responsible for the actions of the other
- Time spent and time-frames for activities must be reasonable for each party
- Specific times for mentoring to be mutually agreed
- Location to be mutually agreed (initial meeting/s on neutral ground is suggested)
- Goals can be negotiated initially and reviewed as appropriate
- Exchanged photographs may not be share with others without consent
- Each party retains copyright to their own work
If you wish to participate in the Fremantle Camera Club mentoring program, please register your interest by completing the Mentoring Form.
Mentor and Mentee List (updated 13 May 2015)