Sometimes it seems like a lot of work to run PMS, drive thousands of miles, try to find subjects to photograph in the rain and cold, and figure out ancient low-spec cameras.
And then you get an email like this, and it’s all worthwhile:
Dear Rachel and Phil
I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for all of your creative inspiration and technical tips that you have given me over the last couple of years since I first met you in the Summer of 2011. I can well imagine that you must sometimes despair of me when you see my mentoring images, but I promise you something is working!
Without your inspiration, enthusiasm, great techniques & tips and insight into how to appreciate or create a great image, my photography just wouldn’t be so creative, such a challenge and ultimately (when it actually works!) so so much fun and so so satisfying! Unfortunately I have been out of work for the past year. I do not know how my sanity would have survived without the enjoyment and challenge that my competition photography has brought me during that time. And my photography would be just very ordinary and nothing at all without your initial and continued teaching and inspiration. I could not end this wonderful year without giving credit where it is due! Thank you!
Without you both, I would not have had the fabulous experience I have had, in my first year as a competing member of Selsdon Camera Club, which has just finished. Our club has two ability levels; being my first year I’m in Group B. I competed in the Colour Print and Digitally Projected Image classes (5 Rounds/two images per round) within Group B. I won both of them – I couldn’t believe it! Last night my 8 certificated images from those rounds competed in the club’s Final’s Night. I was awarded Colour Print of the Year (Group B) and three Highly Commendeds! I came home in a state of awe and shock!
You can see my competition images (hopefully!) in this Facebook album which I hope that you both enjoy. You may well recognise a few! Please let me know if you can’t have trouble seeing it – we all know how Facebook can be sometimes. It is also in my FB account named ‘First Full Season at my Camera Club’. As you can see there is a decent amount of Photoshopping going on in some of them. But without the initial strong images you both taught me to take, these final images would not have been possible. This also goes for the Red Hot Pokers and clarinettist. You inspired these images particularly; you showed me through the abstract spinning the lens photography we did on the Creative course, that good images aren’t always in focus and conventional!
Do you recognise the dandelion Rachel? OK it has had a little lighting effect added and now has the fanciful title ‘Luminescence’ but it is very much the same image I created with you during that great Sheffield Park Creative course in August 2012. Many many people have wondered what the background is in that image; we both know that it is your beautiful sparkly brown scarf from your props box – I still remember it very well!
I will now move into Group A next season. I hear that some of the Group are watching me closely because of the success I have enjoyed this year. I’m up for the challenge of next year, and also up for the challenges you will set via your mentoring! Who knows how I might fare but it will be great fun (and no doubt a fine challenge) as I find out!
On with the mentoring and the image making!
Bless you Lynda, really lifted our spirits!