Beginner Looking for a Mentor

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Hi all,

I'm not certain this is the best place to post this so if it needs moving my apologies admin. I realise this is going to be a stretch but here goes.

I'm 36yrs old and have a background in media and graphic design but I've always loved photography. I studied it at college years ago and started off with an old Centon K100 and an Canon EOS 300.

Over the years I've dabbled but not got far due to many things but I keep coming back to it. I cant get an apprenticeship at my age and I cant afford to go back to university so I'm hoping to find someone who is either looking to mentor someone or who has retired from photography as a profession but still wants to pass on their skills to another person.

I have my own camera (Panasonic Lumix G80) and a few lenses as well as a tripod and camera backpack. I drive and have a car so can travel within reason and I live in Derby, East Midlands.

I'd love to hear from anyone that can help or point me in the right direction...theres only so much youtube and reading I can do. I'm much more of a hands on learner.

Many thanks for your time.
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Probably depends what areas you want to look at too. Someone who does portraits probably won’t be able to help as much with landscapes.
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There must be a number of retired photographers on here that could help in some way.
But it is difficult to pass on knowledge in a general way. As how do you pass on a life time of experience?
It would take another lifetime.
Also it will very much depend on what you want to use any newly acquired skills on.
Do you intend to specialise in some field of Photography?
Is it business skills you need?
Are you interested in a branch where people skills are all important?

To be quite brutal, the Technical bit is the easy bit.
However experienced we are, we are always learning how to take advantage of new things, From new software developments, to new camera features and applications.
to new marketing strategies. It is all part of the photographic world.
Mostly we do not know in advance, how important past knowledge will turn out to be. But almost everything proves to be interrelated in some way.
Nothing beats a broad base of knowledge, to shorten a learning curve.
I love new things... however, most of them, prove to simply unblock things we have wanted to do for years. or make what was a difficult skill into a button press.
It is often more about knowing what you want to achieve. There is almost always a way to accomplish it.
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Let's say that there are three areas to consider - there's the technique of imaging (operation of equipment and media) , the culture of imaging (look and meaning of the image), and (possibly) the business of imaging.

You won't necessarily find mentoring in all three from the same resource.