Mentoring : Paying it Forward - Lea

Maryanne and I talk about Lea all the time.  She's been gone a couple of months now and we miss her.  First she went to the Barbados to celebrate the end of the school year and now she's visiting family in Germany.   In a couple of weeks though she will be back In Sydney preparing for her final semester.  

Lea was our spring intern at Shewanders and since I often share work space with Maryanne they really had a chance to become fast friends and even shoot together.

I'm so invested in Lea's success.  I want the world for her.  She's talented, quick and kind.  Even though she's barely in her 20's she is one of the most grounded people I know.  I miss giving her advice and catching up on our days together.  I miss growing her up. So I'm going to share one of our mentoring sessions.  She set up a shoot with Ricky her roommate and we headed to Balboa Park.  I inundated Lea with questions before hand.  

In an ideal world would you photograph -1 person, 2 people, large groups?  What feeling do you want the background to have - industrial, architectural, natural, floral, water, desert?  What do you need tips on - how to move a person comfortably through a session, how to draw out a specific emotion from someone, your settings, experimenting with movement-exposure-gesture, how to pose? For a couple of weeks she would journal in the morning a list of dream shoots and then text it to me.  Over the weeks they were bolder and more specific.  

It feels so empowering me to be able to draw out someone's artistic ability.  To give them permission, to practice and grow.  I want to tell all budding photographers to put themselves out there and experiment.  To set themselves up for success and care about their fragile egos.  To make room for messes and understand why when something is successful.  

This shoot was pure magic.  Ricky has an energy that any photographer would love and Lea has a light and kindness to her that makes me miss her so much.  Lea learned to move around a lot and respond to Ricky's light hearted mood.  She also learned to just keep talking so that Ricky wouldn't feel alone when Lea covered her face with a camera.  There's so much that goes into every shoot and nothing that can replace real life experience.  Hopefully i'll be adding a video to this soon as well. =)