Sharing what I know and teaching my profession is something I have always been passionate about. It has been 25 years now since I first started out in photography, I remember well how difficult it was at the start, I was insecure and without a clue but I knew that I couldn’t spend one more day working in bars and restaurants so I persisted with simply trying whatever I could to get a break into the career that I so badly wanted.
I think I became a photographer when I packed 2 camera bodies, 3 lenses and 100 rolls of colour and black and white film into my backpack to do an overland trip through Asia, ‘acting as if’ I was a foreign photojournalist on assignment covering important travel stories. I came back with some ‘good’ photos but they were not ‘good enough’ to get work. So I had to take a bite of reality and then did a course at The Photography Studies College in Melbourne and then various courses at The Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney, I then worked for nearly 3 years as an assistant to various commercial photographers.
Since then my work has taken me around the world to shoot all sorts of work, from national and global campaigns to travel stories, celebrity portraits, annual reports, fine art landscape photography and most recently high end architecture and interiors. I’ve published books, have had numerous exhibitions and won many accolades. I’ve worked in Europe, the US, Asia and Australia, had agents, producers, supporting crews as well as simply worked for myself. I also taught for over 10 years at The Australian Centre for Photography but sadly after they closed their doors I felt that I would like to share my knowledge and give back in another format which is why I have now started this mentoring program.
I would now like to be able to offer private mentoring sessions via Zoom or in person depending on your situation or time zone. I am based in Sydney’s North Shore. (AEST-GMT + 10)
Who do I mentor?
I believe that anybody with passion and perseverance can succeed well beyond what they believe they can.
Sessions are available to people of all ages and backgrounds -
- Students from high school, TAFE college or University, looking to understand the industry
- Assistants looking to make the transition to shooting for themselves.
- Business owners who want to create their own marketing materials
- Photography enthusiasts wanting to transition from amateur to professional
- Practicing photographers looking to enter new markets or focus on a niche.
- Employees who need to understand basic photography for their companies benefit.
- Anyone who has an idea they believe needs developing and furthering into something to be proud of, be it an exhibition, book or online portfolio.
I will personalise the information and teaching to suit your needs.
So what will you learn?
I will mentor you in any area you want to focus on, everybody has their own voice which, even in a world saturated with images, your talent can be nurtured and polished.
My teachings are practical but also insightful, my passion is to find your voice and focus it to find your success whatever that means to you. I really enjoy digging to find the core of why you are doing what you are, to introduce critical thought as well as nurture your own passions.
My advice can span these topics but can also encompass your own thoughts and ideas
- Basic Camera functionality, lighting with flash and balancing flash to daylight
- Using digital and analogue cameras from 35mm, medium format and large format up to 10” x 8” field cameras
- Advice of how to step into the industry by first becoming an assistant
- Developing a ‘business machine’ to be your core focus of your income in photography
- Starting or refining your portfolio to target your particular photography niche
- Creating an online presence through instagram
- Advice for businesses wishing to create their own marketing content
- Advice on having an agent vs self representation
- The psychology of getting good portraits and finding suitable backgrounds.
- Starting a serious body of work involving short or long term storytelling
- How to edit your work, the importance what to leave out
- How to direct people
- How to publish a book and entice an author to collaborate
- Starting an exhibition and searching for suitable grants
- Understanding the ebbs and flows of freelancing and using them to your advantage.
What will your session look like?
After our initial introductory call I will email you a questionnaire which will help us to refine our focus so we can hit the ground running, the questionnaire will also help me prepare for your needs. The more I know about you the better I can get to see the blocks which are in the way of you getting to where you want. Anything is achievable if you can see a clear path forward.
Being a freelance photographer can mean that one week I have little time and another week more time, I also sometimes work on weekends. Saying that I am always able to find time for my mentoring, it’s best that we work out our schedules together to find the best timing that suits.
Our first 10 minute no obligation introductory call is free, please email me appointment opportunities and I will get back to you within 24-48 hrs to co-ordinate a mutual time (email@example.com). In this call we will get to know each other a bit, discuss your goals and where you need the most help.
1 hour session - $250
after our initial call we can start on the topics we have defined, at the end you will receive a summary of what we have discussed and follow up links, this will be delivered within 2-3 days after our session.
3 x 1 hour sessions - $700
After our introductory call and you filling out your questionnaire, we will have a plan for the 3 sessions to focus on, we can always be flexible if new ideas come up in one of the sessions, at the end you will receive a summary of what we have discussed and follow up links, this will be delivered within 2-3 days after our sessions.
5 x 1 hour sessions - $1150
After our introductory call and you filling out your questionnaire, we will have a plan for the 5 sessions to focus on, we can always be flexible if new ideas come up in one of the sessions, By having more sessions there can be accountability built up to ensure that goals are set and completed. At the end you will receive a summary of what we have discussed and follow up links, this will be delivered within 2-3 days after our sessions.
*Payment to be made prior to the start of Mentoring- Paypal, Direct Debit, or Payment in Person
“I found Martin’s class on ‘Projects and Stories’ to be exactly what I needed to further my book project. The class was very informative and instructional in how to create, fund, print and publish a personal book or gallery project. If you appreciate a straightforward approach to learning then I can highly recommend Martins’ mentoring and classes.”
“During lockdown I decided to embark on a big project, namely to write/photograph a book about designers in Lutruwita /Tasmania. This required me to dust off my photography skills in technical terms and also to settle on an aesthetically consistent framework that I can refer to as a guideline. My mentorship with Martin gave me a lot of confidence because his feedback was honest and constructive. We worked on areas I needed to improve and our regular meetings kept the momentum. Martin shared with me his professional knowledge in editing, camera settings and also in dealing with the human element. This was very valuable because all his advice was completely tailored to me and what I was working on. What I liked the most is that he was able to help with the conceptual aspect of the book and also helped me create a pathway to eventually publish. I got so much out of those meetings and they created the foundation I am still working from. He was absolutely amazing and I very highly recommend him.”
“I met Martin through The Australian Centre for Photography and have stayed in touch wth him since. I highly recommend Martin as someone to work with over a long-term project. As a commercial photographer, as well as someone with a successful track record for realising long-term personal projects, Martin’s guidance is based on significant practical experience, a passion for story telling, and a keen understanding of the importance of visual impact.”
“Martin is so giving with his advice as a mentor. He shared his experience with me openly to help me move further along in my photography practice than I ever would have on my own. His mentoring has since guided me in how I approach any photography project.”
Kwok Aun Tan