Kiki is a ten-year-old budding photographer. Having bought her first DSLR from her step mum Cat, her dream is to become a professional fashion and lifestyle photographer and she is taking every opportunity to get herself there. She shoots and edits all her own images and has learnt how to use and adjust the settings on her camera simply by trial and error. When I heard of Kiki’s creative passion I immediately felt a connection to her and a sense of responsibility, to do what I could to help fuel and nurture her adolescent passion.
You can never be too old or too young to have or be a mentor. Yet I feel it is something that we shy away from. Either we feel a sense of pride to achieve our goals in isolation or feel a sense of failure by accepting guidance or potential criticism from others. Or, when there is an opportunity to be someone’s mentor, it is difficult to set aside time for someone else. However, I guarantee that the most successful people in any industry are those who have identified and partnered with a mentor and/or have been someone else’s.
I jumped at the opportunity to work with Kiki and we quickly set up our first shoot together. I selected some fun tees and bright colours from H&M and we met in Albert Park in the 26-degree heat and started shooting. I was intrigued by her soft nature and enjoyed watching her as she skipped between looking through the lens and adjusting her settings and focus. She was aware of her surroundings and space in which she had to work, moving around me to capture long, wide and close up shots. Jumping in and out of the flowers she had an eye for depth of field and captured the shot beautifully.
We are already planning our next session where I will take Kiki into some of the PR showrooms and introduce her to some of the industry professionals. It will be an opportunity for her to style the outfits herself, encouraging her to think about patterns, colour and features that all contribute to the art of photography.
As we strive to develop our various industries it is important to acknowledge the role our youth will play as they will pick up where we leave off, bringing with them a fresh perspective, new talent and lessons learned. So let’s continue to nurture their raw creativity, feed them with confidence to succeed and constantly challenge them to finesse their creative flare.
5 reasons why we need to mentor our youth:
Confidence: simply having someone behind them. Someone there to say “I believe in you” even when they fail, is sometimes all they need to pick themselves back up again. It’s a tough road on your own!
Accountability: As they set their own goals they need someone that will check in with them along the way. When things go slightly off track it’s easy to give up, but checking in with their mentor as they check off their goals will keep them accountable for their own success.
Share lessons: Not everything needs to be learnt the hard way so lets pass on what we have learned, helping them understand what challenges we faced and how we over came them.
Networking: The art of networking not only teaches them to connect and collaborate with others but also the importance of being kind, open and approachable. This will give them confidence to introduce themselves to others and build a strong network of people to support and motivate them.
Inspire: opening their eyes to the wider industry, showing them a glimpse into the field they could be playing in down the track keeps the dream evolving and alive.
These pieces are all new season H&M so keep an eye out in store!