i'm sitting in a coffee shop, biting my nails (figuratively), plotting for a family shoot i've been looking forward to for over a month. my focus is more flittery than a fly, so i'll get right to the point.
i like to mentor. i like to try to show other photographers what's great about them. i like putting them in touch with what kind of photography makes them happy--or giving them the courage to embrace what they already know deep down inside makes them happy. and that's just the beginning.
here are some reviews from some wonderful photographers i have had the absolute honor to work with. the first all except for the last reveiw took place online via skype. the last review is in reference to an all day session we spend together in. the. flesh, where we captured these.
be sure to click on the pdf to download the pricing and content info. and if you want to talk to me about setting something up (please, lets!), email me firstname.lastname@example.org
"What can I tell you about my experience mentoring with Yan?
It has been life changing.
I know that is a big call to make but it is true.
My photography journey began three years ago and I currently shoot for myself, family and friends. Six months ago I fell head over heels in love with shooting film. So there I was with a raging passion for film burning in my belly and a desire to want to know more.
To be more.
To become a better artist.
For the first time I realised I wanted to have clients.
But I didn’t know how.
I felt like I had been sitting on a fence with my photography for so long I was unable to jump off and cross to the other side.
I was paralysed by my fears and what if’s. I was stagnant, unable to move foward and I was blocked to seeing my full potential.
After mentoring with Yan I feel like a light has been turned on in a very dark room.
My mind has become clearer, now I know the changes I have to undergo and how to do it.
She has guided me in finding my essence.
I have no doubt that everything I have learnt from Yan will be the foundations of which I will build my future photography upon.
Yan is a true artist and will give you every bit of her amazing being."
-Toni Raper of Maeve Photography
"my mentoring session with Yan was one of the best decisions I've made in the two years I've been in business. The suggestions and tips she shared with me have already made a huge impact in helping me define my style and the direction I want my business to go. Her honest critique and openness about how she creates the magic that she does made the session so worthwhile AND so fun. Yan is a woman who knows her stuff and is willing and able to share her knowledge in a way that makes complete sense. I thought I was the one making the investment when I signed up for the mentoring session, but I ended the session feeling like Yan was the one who invested in me and for that I will be forever grateful."
-megan hartley photography
"My mentoring session with Yan took me from frustrated and overwhelmed to energized and excited about my photography business. I've been a long-time photography hobbyist, but getting an honest-to-goodness profitable business off the ground has been a daunting task. But after meeting with Yan, I have a renewed hope that I can do it! Yan was encouraging and so honest. She helped me see things about my work that I hadn't noticed before and suggested practical changes that have made ALL the difference in my photos. This is hands-done THE BEST investment I've made for my business. "
-B. Kyle photography
"I had my mentoring session with Yan just a few hours after she published her "Sick of It" post. I'll admit, I was a little nervous that my mentoring session was taking place just after this was published, but all my worries were completely forgotten the moment that I saw Yan's smiling face. Four hours completely flew by. My mentoring session with Yan was one of the best investments I've made for my photography. Not only did I learn so much, but I had so much fun! Though we've only met on Skype, I could still feel her warmth and kindness. I really can't say enough about my mentoring session with Yan. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to be mentored by Yan. She is such a wealth of information and is one of the kindest, most genuine people I've had the pleasure of "meeting." '
-stephanie mballo photography
now are you ready for the long one? =)
"I wanted to share recent one-on-one all day mentoring experience that I had with Yan Photography a few weeks ago. I needed some time to process our day together and think about how I wanted this to impact my journey before I shared it with you all. Because in many ways, I believe it will have profound ramifications on where I go from here (although not all, or perhaps even most, entirely photography related).
So here is my story.
I contacted Yan over a year ago to see if she and Becky Earl would be doing any more of their Heartshop Workshops. Sadly, it wasn’t looking too good so I inquired about one-on-one mentoring. But given the health of my parents, traveling for me is complicated so I moved on. I could not believe my luck when I read in November that Yan had moved to my own city - Denver, Colorado! We set up a date to work together in February and I patiently waited for our day.
I was still a little hesitant because I had done another one-on-one mentoring day with another local photog and she completely took advantage of me. Had I spent more time doing my research, I would have come across the negatives warnings about her but I didn’t. Lesson learned - do your homework and know that there are lots of people in the industry right now looking to take advantage of the state of the industry. As the day neared, I was also a little concerned because Yan had just done a viral blog post called Sick of It. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
We decided to spend the morning in a coffee shop that was located halfway between our homes. We spent the morning discussing my journey, my work, my weaknesses, my goals, what I wanted to accomplish for the day, and looked at lot of her work and discussed what was happening as she clicked the shutter. First I will say that Yan did a lot of homework to prepare herself for my day. She was familiar with my facebook page, my website (even a website that isn’t completed yet), my work, and my work with my business partner.
Then we started to dive into some deeper topics. And some weren’t even photography related. I’m a pretty open book but I do keep several things close to my heart. However, it almost felt like there was no hiding here’s with Yan. I’m not entirely sure how she does it but I found myself discussing lots of things that are very important to me but that I don’t readily share. It might be that she mesmerizingly beautiful. Or that she is just very in tune with people and very honest herself.
Around noon we met up with my business partner, Joe, for lunch. I wanted to include him because I end up spending a lot of time with him and we are growing our joint business quickly. It was so fun to just talk shop for an hour. After Joe left, Yan spent some time showing me how she edits her photos on her computer. She does such a nice job of keeping it simple. I need to focus on this and organize an action intervention for myself.
Finally, it was time to head over to the home of the family we were going to photograph for the afternoon. Yan could not have chosen a better family to work with. As you will see in the images, they were beautiful, stylish, relaxed - just like their home. We started off exploring the house by ourselves while Yan explained to me what she was looking for, why some things would work and others would not, what her plan of attack was for a shoot like this. And then it was time to start with the family.
Watching Yan photograph this family was amazing. Yan really went into her zone when the cameras came out and she managed to keep a very busy 2 year old engaged and smiling the entire time. I sort of kept quiet and just let her work her magic. What was most valuable to me was that it almost appeared that she became someone else. She put her game face on and took control of the shoot in a manner that I am not yet comfortable doing (all while juggling between film and digital and telling me exactly what she was doing and exactly why she was doing it). This is what makes her so definitively good. And this is what I lack.
She made every location in that house just WORK. And there were some challenges that she quickly abandoned given the limitations of shooting with film (ISO and fast-moving kids). I have a tendency to beat a dead horse and waste precious time even when I KNOW the images will not yield what I’m after. But Yan moves quickly and either changes what she’s going for or looks for another shot. I desperately need to work on this skill too.
After the shoot, we returned to coffee shop to wrap up our day. We discussed the shoot and talked about the aspects that we couldn’t discuss in front of the family. And then we slowly migrated back to deeper topics that I won’t disclose here.
What I left the day with was a stronger sense of confidence that I am unique. I knnnooowww that’s such a cliche. We are all unique. But in a sea of photographers, it is easy to lose that sense of yourself. But I also gained confidence that are some other areas I want to explore. And what Yan drilled into me is WHY NOT? What on earth do you have to lose?? I keep coming back to that quote that is making the rounds on facebook right now: The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it. This is so me and there is no excuse, for so many reasons.
And, finally, I also feel like a gained a friend in Yan. I know we are rooting for each in whatever paths we take. She’s a brave woman and I admire the courage and honestly she has shown this year. And she’s smart and I know she’ll capitalize on the opportunities that will be presented to her.
I won’t lie to you and tell you that a day of personal mentoring isn’t rather indulgent. But I’m a firm believer in investing in yourself - wisely. I know how fortunate I was to be able to do this and I intend to make the most of what I learned."
-Yvonne Min Photography
i hope to meet some of you soon!