I have to pack my bags tonight. Heading for a 10-day trip to Dubai, speaking at the region’s largest photography conference, the Gulf Photo Plus. It’s a huge honor considering the big guns in the speaking lineup: Joe McNally, David Hobby, Zack Arias, Gregory Heisler, Martin Prihoda…the list goes on. Gosh, I don’t want to speak there, want to attend and learn from these masters. Well, too late for regrets. Ticket bought. Bags packed, almost. People had already signed up for my classes.
I am teaching two 3-day intensive workshops on wedding photography. We’ll work on location, talk about light management on location, how to direct, pose, how to market ourselves, lotsa hands-on shooting time. Will share how we solve problems and shoot weddings in Malaysia. Then on Friday, GPP holds Photo Friday where over 1200 people will come and pick any of the 16 seminars on offer. Folks at GPP, Mohamed Somji and Hala Salhi, came up with the title “Strike that Pose” and the marketing brillance to sell out my class. Mohamed & Hala, you sure you’re not packing the auditorium with mannequins? Did I tell you they are SUPER EFFICIENT, on the ball? Thanks guys for the invitation.
As I packed, it just dawn on me that not too long ago, I was operating my business out of a spare bedroom at home, going door to door to introduce myself to everyone in the wedding photography industry in Sabah. What qualifies me to teach? Mistakes I made and lessons I learned, I guess. Some see teaching as a status. I see it as a service, to serve and help others as my teachers have done the same for me.
I love teaching. Fortunate enough to have learned from some GREAT teachers. Bustaman, taught Form 3 history and had all of us in stitches. He used humor and jokes to help us understand & learn history. Dr. Guy Allen who ran the Professional Writing program at University of Toronto…he was better than Professor Keating in Dead Poets Society. In photography, I was inspired by the skills, tenacity, humility and love for the craft of Joe McNally & David Williams. These teachers excite and motivate me to go further, to love it more, to press on even when you feel like giving up. That’s what great teachers do. They think not of themselves, but only for the betterment of their students.
Oh how I wish I could be as good as these teachers one day. It’ll be my first trip to the Middle East. I’m excited. Eleven-hour journey from Malaysia to Dubai starts now.