Why do you want to mentor others?
We decided to become teachers all those years ago because helping others makes us happy, and we wanted to make a difference. As young teachers, we had a “we can change the world” mentality. It was one of the biggest common denominators we shared. We feel the same way today about mentoring other photographers. We want to help, to share our hearts, to use our years of experience as a tool to encourage personal and professional growth among our fellow photographers. It’s an awesome feeling to watch others succeed at what they love to do!
Do I have to be a professional photographer to mentor with you?
No, definitely not. Anyone of any skill level can benefit. All you need is the desire to learn and grow!
Do I have to live in Buffalo to mentor with you?
Nope. Some of our favorite mentoring/coaching sessions were done via Skype or over the phone with photographers who live all over the country. Isn’t technology amazing?!
Where do the sessions take place?
Mentoring sessions will take place at our home/studio in Hamburg, NY, or via Skype.
I just want to learn to take better photos of my kids. Can you help me with that?
Absolutely! We can customize a session to work on anything that you’d like to improve about your photography.
Do you take my photo during our mentoring session?
We plan a lifestyle headshot session into all of our in-person mentoring sessions. Being on the other side of the camera is a very important part of becoming a better photographer. We have learned so much from doing this ourselves!
What will we discuss during my session?
Every session is customized to your specific needs. You decide what areas you want to focus on, and that’s what we’ll discuss during your session. We’re open to questions about photography, business, and life in general – no topics are off limits! These are a few examples of topics we’ve discussed in past mentoring sessions:
How to grow your business
How to find your focus as a photographer
How to use flash and/or general off camera lighting skills
How to bust through a creative block
How to thrive in an oversaturated market
How to develop a brand
Finding your voice
The best lenses/equipment to use for wedding photography
How to create an engaging “about” page
How to know when it’s time to go full time with your photography
Pricing/Charging what you’re worth
How to get your work published
Below are a few of our mentoring testimonials!
“Having worked with Jenn + Ben countless times in the field over the years, meeting with them as mentors was a unique opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. My goal with the mentoring session was to A. become a better photographer and B. learn how I could further and grow my business. We discussed my goals and they provided me with tips and techniques for my
photography as well as suggestions on how I can take my business to the next level. The thing I got the most out of during the session was the live shoot. I’m a hands-on learner and for me, watching and observing an actual shoot and being able to shoot along side and ask questions during it was a great learning experience for me. My mentoring session with Jenn + Ben has made an immediate improvement in my shooting. I’ve been able to use the techniques they shared with me in the field with tremendous results.”
Shannon Glurich and Nicole WurlNext
Shannon: “Jenn was a true pleasure to work with. She was so kind and with her many years of experience she gave me a lot of helpful tricks to improve my techniques. Jenn answered all of my questions and if she was unsure of the answer she took the time to help me find it. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone who is looking to improve their photography skills. I cannot wait to put my new skills to the test and continue to learn and grow my in photography business.”
Nicole: “I have had a chance to mentor with Jenn twice now. She is an open book and loves to help other people learn instead of turning people away. She wants to build a community of good honest people and I appreciate that more then she will ever know. The experience of meeting with Jenn is easy and comfortable; she really gives great advice. I loved working with her and I hope to take more mentoring sessions from Jenn throughout my photography journey. She really is a wonderful person and if you are on the fence of whether or not to do a mentoring session with her, then its time to JUMP! It’s worth every second. Thank you, Jenn, so much for such a wonderful experience! I cant wait until we set up another session!”
“Jenn Ayres is an incredible mentor, totally committed to teaching and developing photographers. By keeping me focused, yet providing an unbiased point of view, she helped provide me with a clear vision of where I want to be and the steps I need to take to get there. She devoted her time to understanding my dreams, goals, and aspirations, and provided untold amounts of support, advice, and encouragement. She is a dynamic woman who by coming from her heart, has a unique insight and tremendous ability to connect with people where they really are at, inspiring and nurturing them to move in a positive direction. In spending time with her and her family, I have grown to consider her a wonderful teacher, mentor and friend. My business is continually growing in all areas by leaps and bounds thanks to my mentoring experience with Ayres Photography.”
“When I was a new photographer, Jenn took me under her wing and really helped me to develop my business and my photographic style. She took so much time out to answer any questions I had and became such a good friend. As a team, Jenn and Ben are great teachers and if you need to know anything about off camera flash, they are the people to go to! They know exactly what to say so that it really sticks! In addition, they are just really encouraging and good people with big hearts.”
When I was thinking of turning my love of photography into a business, I quickly found out there was SO much more that I needed to learn. Having a “good eye” was far from the only thing you needed to be able to take a good picture. Jenn Ayres is a photographer whose work I greatly admire. I have been so very blessed to be able to contact her with my many questions. She has always been so generous with her time and her knowledge of photography. She made it possible for me to make an informed decision on what lenses would be best for me, as well as advice about working with clients. She has answered questions about using flash and even what to wear when shooting a wedding! Jenn is the one who inspired me to shoot manually and because of that, I was introduced to a whole new world of photography. I am so very grateful to Jenn for her beautiful gift and her passion to educate others to allow them as well as inspire them to improve their craft.”
“I met Jenn through a mutual photographer friend about 4 years ago. I was looking to purchase a used camera body and she had what I was looking for. I received my camera along with a message from Jenn to contact her if I had any questions. I was in love with my camera and everything it could do that my old one couldn’t, but I needed some guidance. Who better to get the guidance from than the previous owner? Jenn made me feel at ease asking questions about what lenses worked, what settings I should use and every question I could think of to ask her. She took the time to make sure I really understood her answer without making me feel stupid. A lot of people “in the industry” are snobs and think so highly of themselves that they cannot be bothered to help a new photographer. Jenn makes you feel comfortable, like a good friend would. To this day I know that if I have a question (more like a million) I can shoot her an email and she is so great at replying quickly. The industry needs more people like Jenn and Ben Ayres!”
Lindsey Robinson StaniszewskiNext
“Jenn and Ben Ayres have been amazing mentors to me. They capture the pure essence of a true teacher, with a vast knowledge of the technical schematics of photography and lighting, as well as a wonderful talent for capturing peoples interactions in a truly photojournalistic way. They don’t just tell you what to do, they really take the time to show you how to do it. I feel very fortunate to have received mentoring from such talented, educated, and genuine people.”
“As a photographer, who has a lot of passion, but even more to learn, I often felt “stuck” with not knowing how to take my work to the next level. Seeing that I have always loved her work, I approached Jenn to see if she had any suggestions. I was beyond thrilled when she offered me the opportunity to work one on one with her! Our mentoring session comprised of two parts. First, she looked through my portfolio for professional review and critique, and then secondly, we went on an actual photo shoot so that I could practice some of the tips and techniques we discussed. At the photo shoot, it was great being able to work with Jenn beside me so that when I had a question or needed to know how to make a camera adjustment, she was right there to assist me!
I do have to say that although I thoroughly enjoyed the “hands on” experience of the photo shoot, having Jenn look at my work and give feedback was so incredibly helpful, and was therefore my favorite part of the session. She was kind enough to point out the things I was doing right and what aspects of my work she really enjoyed. She was also able to give constructive feedback, which allowed me the chance to step back and realize how little details of an image can make a huge difference in the final outcome.
To this day, I still use the tips I learned at my mentoring session, as they have helped me to improve upon my work to create photos of which I am not only proud of, but also truly reflect what I value as an artist. Thanks to Jenn’s patience, knowledge and incredible talent, I feel inspired to achieve my goals and am more confident about my skills as a photographer.”
“Mentoring with Jenn has made such a difference for me professionally and personally. My mentoring session with her was more then I could have ever hoped for. Not only did Jenn answer every question I’ve had, but she also gave some incredible business advice and motivated me to take the leap to embrace the style I’m so passionate about. Her genuine interest and concern for my business, creativity and success makes Jenn not just a mentor but also a friend. I can’t wait to have another mentoring session with Jenn in the future! Thank you so much!!!”
“So a few months ago I had the privilege of taking a mentoring session with Jenn. The time spent with her was amazing. I have a whole new outlook on being a successful Photographer. She taught me how little things mean a lot to our clients. Little things that are so simple to implement into my business have helped me to go for what I want most, and that is my successful business. I would highly recommend sitting down with Jenn, asking her questions. She is opened and honest. Thank you so much Jenn.”
Elizabeth Licata CookeNext
“I have been doing photography for a really long time. I found my confidence with the technical aspects of the art to be faltering which was restricting my inspiration. I reached out to Jenn in hopes that she could shed some light, and she marched forward with a flood light. She is extremely genuine, and amazingly supportive. She helped me strengthen my confidence in a big way, made sure I believed in my abilities, and greatly strengthened my technical skill. She checked in periodically with supportive words and reminders, and made sure I knew she was right there for any questions that might rise up. Jenn is a unique talent. Her work speaks for itself. There is no doubt about the passion she has for photography when you look at her work. What may not be as obvious is her wide open heart, and the gift she has for teaching something complicated in very simple approachable ways. I feel really lucky to have been taught by her.”