On Teaching Photography

“You don’t become a great teacher but you become great at what you do by teaching it”

I can’t remember where I heard or read this quote but it came to me about the same time when I started teaching and stuck with me ever since. But, what does it mean?

Let’s looking back at my school years, I can’t remember many of my school teachers but those few that I remember were the ones that went off the script, challenged my thought process, and helped me defined my personality by giving me what I call “small pearls of knowledge” every now and then. These few were also the happiest, most creative and most inspiring figures in the building. Now that I’m facing the challenge of teaching, I understand how they did it.

Let me explain: there’s a big difference in the way knowledge is passed down:

  • You can pass on information as it is written in a textbook in a monkey see monkey do approach so your student memorizes the instruction which sounds like most primary and high school “teachers”.
  • You can pass it on as a set of instructions to reach a single goal which sounds like a gym coach or driving instructor.
  • And then. you can focus not only on how and what to do to reach a goal but focus on the WHY of your knowledge and turn it into wisdom.

So how do you become great at what you do or great at teaching? In my opinion, it’s a cycle: When you start teaching what you’re good at, you focus on teaching your skill’s wisdom. Then, while teaching, you suddenly figure out more wisdom on your skill and put your findings into practice; then you master that newfound wisdom and add it to your skill and then you teach that wisdom and on a sudden, you start connecting the dots.

But remember, teaching it’s not about you, it’s about becoming the teacher your students need you to be. So break free from your ego, take yourself less seriously and enjoy the journey.

I’m constantly learning from everything and everywhere, my brain is like a sponge. Most recently, with my very first intern that spent a month with me, I learned so much from her skill and her knowledge. Every time I teach a class or a workshop I learn something new and that’s the beauty of this journey.

So what do I teach? Well, I run one to one food photography workshops in Brighton where I teach specific techniques used for food photography. I also teach one to one basics of photography in London and Brighton. I run a full day food photography workshop at the CNM in King’s Cross as well as teaching food styling, plating and photography to students doing the Natural Chef course at the same college.

If you have an interest in any of these courses, please drop me a line.

Like what you read? then let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this with someone you think might enjoy it!

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