I recently invited photographers to attend an actual professional shoot in progress, to workshop fashion style outdoors, with myself, a very experienced, knowledgeable and generous model, and a professional, well trained Make Up Artist: all available to instruct, help, and answer any questions. The overall reaction was probably to be expected when you take into account the prevailing type of photography and photographers in my region: a few half hearted expressions of interest but for the most part: stony silence. When pressed the slightly interested ones all provided similar attitudes: "I am a photographer, I do model shoots all the time...I wouldn't learn anything that I don't already know" And at the mention of assisting on a professional shoot, the answers weren't unexpected either: "I am a photographer, I have never assisted anyone, and I am not going to start now...it's quite frankly beneath me" Well now came the wracking of the brain cells: who would put their egos aside and not only benefit but actually appreciate such a learning experience? Student photographers perhaps!
Next, after sifitng through the seemingly endless array of Mickey Mouse courses, which, strongly based on youtube tutorials and internet forum style knowledge, provided absolutely nil to their grossly overcharged students, I narrowed the selection down to the one school in the entire region which actually teaches a useful curriculum catering for raw beginners right through to those hoping to become professionals.
With a little trepidation I offerred up my workshop idea, fully expecting little to no reaction from the students themselves, and a possible "who do you think you are"reaction from the staff. What came next was a complete and utter surprise to say the least: the chief instructor of the school was pleased to offer the workshop to his students, but even before he had the opportunity to even inform any of students there was an even bigger surprise. Within an hour, the instructor himself and his number two instructor, both with as much experience and knowedge as myself, volunteered themselves as the first two workshop participants. Thier reasoning: You never stop learning... In the words of the first eager participant himself: ... "my hope is I can learn something new every day until my last, I like you are drawn to people with little to no ego".