Student - Norberto Tongoy
How long were you into photography before starting the course?
I discovered photography at an early stage of my life. What I always love to do is make sketches of everything that interests me. Whether it’s a landscape or a portrait. I usually have a small drawing notebook with me everywhere I go. After I discovered photography, I almost immediately gave up sketching and painting. Here is a tool that can give me instant results and I don’t have to spend weeks to create a single image.
What is the main piece of advice you would tell someone interested in photography?
Believe in what you do and be honest with yourself. Do what interests you and listen to your heart. There will be doubts and questions along the way about your creative process and the purpose of what you do. It could be an external or internal challenge but if you are really serious, then you can push past obstacles.
What advice would you give someone starting this course?
Learn as much as you can from your mentors and from your colleagues. Learn to collaborate and listen to their advice. Be ready for the challenge :)
How did you find learning with others of a similar ilk?
It was a great experience. As someone who was not an established photographer in the industry, being part of my mentorship group, who had different levels of experience, gave me tremendous exposure that I would not have experienced otherwise.
What goal did you have for yourself starting this course?
When I first started with the mentorship, my only goal was to find a group of established photographers who can critique my work and guide me as a photographer. After I completed the course, I realised that I got more that what I’ve signed up for - a group that continues to collaborate and support each other.
How has your work progressed since the mentorship?
Yes. My understanding and knowledge in both the business and technical side and how to approach and work on my personal or commissioned projects have taken a huge step forward. It’s not just how you work on a project but how you make the project work.
How did you find the workload?
Most of the time challenging but I expected no less. It forced me out of my comfort zone, mentally and physically.
What did you NOT expect to gain from the mentorship program?
Life-long friendships (maybe not that relevant - but this is the most important for me 😊 ).
Interview by Caitlyn Hurley and Nate Warburton