So, you have made the decision to make your work be the very best it can be, creations that your clients will appreciate as being worth investing in, knowing you will produce something unique. How do you go about that? Consulting a mentor like myself, one with a record that has unrivalled success is a fine way to achieve your aspirations.
Kevin is one such photographer who has long commanded a premium for his work. His classical eye has been honed over 3 decades, gaining 7 Fellowships from the British Institute of Professional Photographers, 2 fellowships from the Master Photographers Association and 2 fellowships from the Royal Photographic Society. In addition to this, Kevin has attained his Masters degree in The Professional Photographers of America,
Kevin, with his knowledge and wealth of experience is ideally placed to mentor beginners and well-established professional photographers. Kevin has also served as Chairman of A & Q for MPA, BIPP, SWPP, RPS and Kodak.
Having achieved just about every accolade there is in this industry as a photographer, winning award after award, qualification after qualification, I have a fairly comprehensive view as to what makes a photograph work, what the failing of that same creation might be. Having said all of the above, the real attribute I possess is being able to see the good from the not so good, to identify strengths and weaknesses. In addition, I have run training courses for associations here in United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Germany, Cyprus, Denmark, and Ireland north and south.
I have mentored some of the finest photographers in the United Kingdom today, wedding, portrait and fine art. Licentiate, Associateship and the pinnacle Fellowship, all these levels have been achieved by my mentees, that could be you if you have the desire and commitment it will need.
Having also served both as a judge and chairman of qualifications in all associations, both here and throughout Europe. I therefore have excellent knowledge of standards and requirements from Licentiate, to Associateship and then Fellowship.
If the above is what you are aiming for, please call 01305 562345, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring, coaching, counselling, all different adjectives, yet all words that describe the same thing.
Photographers are different, yet all aspire to creating an image that is at the very least saleable, one that will please the client. For many, that is all that they want to achieve.
A photograph that is sharp, colourful and reasonably well illuminated, for those in this category, you need not read any further, for the simple reason that this is aimed at the photographer that wants to be the best, one that will achieve the highest accolades in the photographic business and be successful at both qualifications and winning awards.
I have changed many of the leading photographers careers and lives in this country, through a mentoring process that has been both rewarding for them and so encouraging to me as their mentor, seeing them go on to become admired throughout the photographic world, reaping the success of their efforts.
How the process works for you:
Some photographers approach me to fine tune their skills, i.e. lighting, composition and thought process; however, others have a desire to pursue awards and qualifications. Whatever your requirements, I can offer a bespoke module for you.
Catherine Beltramini ABIPP
In 2018, after 5 years of struggling to find my style I decided it was time to get a mentor. I searched very carefully for a good few months, finding someone whose work I admire. Kevin’s work stood out to me as timeless and elegant, and I decided to start my photography journey with him.
After my first one to one mentoring session with Kevin using natural light only, I was amazed by the freedom it gives to shoot pretty much anywhere at any time of day. From that day I was hooked and I have been enhancing my skills ever since.
Kevin’s knowledge of use of natural light, composition and posing is second to none and in one session I learned more from Kevin than I had in 5 years prior to that, doing one photography course after another.
Kevin has a very hands on approach to his sessions, is patient and explains everything in great detail. He also happens to be a lovely person who is easy to talk to.
He is also very honest which is something that is so important from a mentor. Having pointed out my strengths and weakness after assessing my work, I had a good idea on where I needed to improve which was a great help. I have been going from strength to strength since then.
Another great thing about Kevin is that he actually wants his mentees to succeed and he has been helping me every step of the way towards gaining my qualifications (and winning some awards along the way too).
My first was my Licentiate qualification in Portraiture which I gained in July 2018 (five moths after our first mentoring session), for which I was awarded the “Best Licentiate panel” in the National photography awards in March 2018.
My second was my Associate qualification, which I gained in November 2018, only four months after my Licentiate qualification! I also gained a “silver” merit for some of my veteran images from this panel, as well as “Runner up photographer of the year”.
Kevin provided guidance and support every step of the way for both qualifications, pushing me to be my best and succeed in ways I never thought possible.
I can honestly say that all the success I have achieved so far has been down to Kevin’s mentoring. If only I had taken that step to find a worthy mentor right from the start
Fiona Ingvarsson FBIPP
I met Kevin on a few of occasions before I plucked up the courage to ask for his help to push my photography to a higher level.
The first time was in 2013 when I was awarded my Associate with BIPP, then again in the summer when he ran a training program at BIPP's head office. I found Kevin's work so beautiful and inspiring that I knew Kevin was the only photographer who could help me to improve and develop my style and wedding photography.
Without a doubt this was the best decision I made. Since Kevin began to mentor me in March 2016, I have won Gold and Sliver in The BIPP South East Awards and have been shortlisted in the non-commissioned category in the 2017 Professional Photography Awards.
Kevin's knowledge, patience and nurturing nature has led me to produce the most amazing work as I continue to work towards my Fellowship but also personally as I develop other areas of my photography.
His support and belief when I question myself and my ability is always there when needed. I am so pleased and honoured to have Kevin as my mentor. I am excited see how my photography will develop and how I will grow as my journey towards Fellowship continues.
Susan Renee ABIPP
Prior to working with Mr Kevin Wilson, I already had a pretty successful wedding business here in Aberdeen. My clients were happy and I had plenty of them. I got a lot of referrals and was able to make a decent living from my photography. However, I felt that my work had plateaued and that I was beginning to ‘go through the motions’ a little on wedding days. I saw friends and peers win competitions and produce stunning work and decided that it was time to invest a bit of time and money in my own photography skills. I started to look around the various societies for inspiration, and it was through a discussion with a friend who was working with another mentor at the time that Kevin’s name came up. I did a bit of research, and immediately fell in love with Kevin's work. Tentatively, I dropped him an email and feared he would take one look at MY work and think I was a lost cause. Luckily for me, that didn’t happen.
Now, my background is in education (head teacher and school inspector for 23 years) so I know that just because one is good at something, doesn’t mean one is a good teacher. I’ve attended workshops and events where I’ve been disappointed - the tutor has only talked about him/herself, and failed to remember that they were there to teach. However, I can testify that Kevin is both an excellent photographer and an excellent teacher. He was patient and kind, whilst still providing just the right amount of challenge to keep me on my toes.
After around a year working with Kevin, I was able to achieve my associateship with the BIPP. It wasn’t easy, and at times I thought I wouldn’t make it. Yes, there were tears. Each visit to Kevin took two flights and a train journey. I’m a single mother of two boys so there were other logistical challenges too, but Kevin was always very supportive. I maybe couldn’t just ‘pop in’ for advice but he was always there at the end of the phone when I needed help and guidance.
Each and every journey to the other end of the country was worth it. And do you know, in the end it wasn’t really about achieving my associateship. I haven’t even blogged about that (yet) and my clients don’t really care. What it IS about is the growth in my skill set, my confidence and quite basically getting my ‘mojo’ back - and the real beneficiaries are my beautiful couples and their families who put their trust in me to capture one of the most special days in their lives. They might thank ME, but I thank Kevin for helping me to do my best for them.
If you’re considering a mentor, then please get in touch with Kevin. You most certainly won’t regret it.
Andrew Ward ABIPP
Right from seeing Kevin give a talk on lighting and composition I knew he was the man to help take me to a more professional level. I went from thinking I knew so much already to realising just how much I still needed to learn. Kevin could see my potential and used his calm direct, yet polite approach to help nurture my weakness to become my strengths over time. Kevin kept me motivated constantly; I was always being pushed to achieve more each time we met. The whole package was being delivered to me with Kevin from lighting, composition, editing, calibration, colour balance, posing, the list is endless including being a friend.
In just 18 months with Kevin's mentoring I achieved an Award with BIPP and my Associate. Kevin has the ability to coach your brain and make you think through the processes needed to get the desired results, this I found kept my mind alive and wanting to learn more and more. Having gone through the complete process now I feel honoured to have had the chance to be mentored by one of the highest regarded wedding and portrait photographers in the UK and a beyond.
David Wheeler ABIPP
Fate and fortune often happen by chance; luckily for me it happened whilst I was on a wedding in 2012. I was approached by a close friend of Kevin's, an empty Guinness in hand, the character asked if I knew of "Lord Kevin Wilson of Wimborne". We soon got chatting and the gentleman later left a jumbled message on Kevin's work telephone advising of my lovely haircut, long legs and website details. A couple of days later, to my amazement, I had a phone call from Kevin saying that his long serving assistant had recently put his camera up for retirement and asking whether I would be able to offer some help at a wedding with him the following weekend. I of course jumped at the opportunity! From the moment I met Kevin, it was clear that things would be about to change for me! Kevin's knowledge, enthusiasm and artistic flair shone on the day and I instantly decided to enroll on a mentoring programme.
At this stage I was debating the transition from an amateur to a full-time professional. I had previously met with other professionals who had warned me of the move, putting caution to fierce competition and an over-saturated market. Kevin had nothing but confidence in my work, his wealth of experience in the industry was invaluable and he gave me the self-assurance to take the plunge. I have not looked back once!!
The mentoring process started from the beginning by carefully critiquing all previous work, we then studied the fundamentals in depth and the ways in which I could move forward were soon defined. Kevin was very keen for me to look into joining the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) to progress my skill set and to begin building my career.
Over the coming months we worked together on my panel for Licentiateship with the BIPP. Throughout this process I learnt more about my photography than I can put into words. Each wedding I was attending I was approaching with newfound confidence and a vision of what I wanted to achieve.
On Tuesday 7th May, 2013, just six months after meeting Kevin, I submitted my panel to the assessors at the BIPP. My work was not only granted Licentiateship but was upgraded to Associateship. In December I attended the Annual Awards ceremony and was awarded the prestigious Peter Grugeon Trophy for the best Associate panel of the year.
The next 12 months saw me continually learning and pushing forward with the close guidance of Kevin. I became his official assistant and was lucky enough to assist him on his recent documentary Fellowship panel in Bridport. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Throughout this time Kevin's direction not only helped me to polish my understanding of the fundamentals but also pushed me to continually strive for better imagery, each and every time I press the button. This was the road to Fellowship.
On the 5th August, 2014 I became the youngest Wedding Fellow within the BIPP, and one of only 19 worldwide. Something I could only have dreamt of!
It is without hesitation that in my eyes Kevin is not only the best wedding photographer in the UK, his profound ability to develop and nurture others is second to none. I believe that the best thing about Kevin’s approach to mentoring is that it is solely based on the individual. He takes the time to assist in refining your style then guides the person to defining it.
Thank you Kevin for giving me every opportunity to becoming the best photographer I can possibly be.
Lisa Visser FMPA
I have been working as a portrait photographer for over 25 years, during that time the most significant change to my work came through being mentored by Kevin Wilson. I can't recommend him enough. Kevin's ability to see my strengths and help steer my photography in the right direction has transformed my work. His capacity to see light, composition, expression and the smallest of detail in an image, is second to none. Kevin's help and advice has been invaluable. I can’t thank him enough, he has been a brilliant mentor. I would not have the success I have today if it wasn’t for him.
Rebecca Northway ABIPP
Applying for my Licienciate with the BIPP, I was struggling to bring together the correct set of images for my portfolio, so signed up for one of Kevin's one to one days. By the end of the day, I was elated as finally someone had helped establish the direction I should take, pointing out my stronger work and why it was so.
Finally I had direction, and was incredibly focussed. Kevin's advice and guidance were second to none, as were his support, friendship, always there every step of the way. I booked myself on a few more one off mentoring days, without a doubt the best investment of my career.
However, if I were to go back, and add up all the phone conversations, emails, golden nuggets of advice, all the free time Kevin gave me, I think I am forever in debt ;)
Without Kevin's support and mentoring, I probably would have got my licenciate, and been happy and bumbling along the way I had been for years. Instead, I hold the qualification of Associate, received numerous awards and am even South West Region Photographer of the Year 2015!!!
James Musselwhite FMPA FSWPP
Kevin Wilson brings two main assets to the table when it comes to mentoring; honesty and success. For straight talking, no nonsense, direct appraisals and critiques of photographic work, Kevin isn’t the main only person to seek out, he’s the only person. He has a skill for selection that allows you as a photographer to focus on what is important in achieving your goals as an artist and business person. His track record speaks for itself, and the list of photographers he has mentored over the years reads as a who’s who of the very best in UK and international social photographers. But most importantly of all, having gone through the entire process of qualifications with Kevin, I’m very proud to call him my friend which something worth far more than all of the certificates, trophies and accolades combined.
Jo Scott FBIPP
Having Kevin as a mentor was, for me, an enriching experience. I was astonished after my first meeting with Kevin - I went in as an ABIPP portrait photographer and came out pursuing a fine art photographic project! Kevin had listened to me and asked me questions that brought this to light, and something 'clicked'. He encouraged me to use my creative writing in visualising my images as I began to challenge myself photographically and also develop my technical ability. Through Kevin's lightly guiding hand I produced a panel of images that gained me a Fellowship in Fine Art Photography - I couldn't have (and wouldn't have) done it without Kevin's support and encouragement.
Katharine Davies ABIPP
Kevin's mentoring has been of so much value to me, definitely game-changing! So much more valuable than any of the shorter courses and workshops that I have taken part in in the past; this was bespoke tutoring from the start and so well focused there was never a wasted moment. Immediately he grasped what it was I was trying to achieve, and equally 'got me'. The one-to-one sessions were packed with good tutoring, conversation, debate and technical detail. I always came away from our sessions buzzing and ready to take what I'd learnt to my next assignment. Incredibly generous with his knowledge and experience Kevin's mentoring went far beyond my expectations. I so appreciate his guidance, enthusiasm and support.
I have definitely seen the quality of my work improve, gaining my ABIPP qualification and the Peter Grugeon award being a highlight! But I have also seen a difference in my own confidence and have a much better understanding of my own style and inspiration, and this in turn shows returns in my business.
I cannot recommend the mentoring process highly enough. Thank you Kevin.
Emily Hancock FBIPP
Kevin mentored me through the entire process, not having been for a qualification before I wasn't really sure what to expect. He guided and directed me, and has become a great friend. His ability to inspire, and lead together with his infinite wisdom has given me the courage and self belief to enter my work for this prestigious award, and helped me to believe I have the talent to become a successful Fine Art Photographer. His time and effort he has given selflessly. So thank you Kevin I could not have done it without you.
Kirsty Nugent LBIPP
I always struggled to find a style and see the value in my photography. Fresh from college with no real sense of what to do next I enrolled in a number of workshops to try and develop and find my comfort zone. I had pleasure of attending a number of group training days with Kevin and immediately felt a connection not only to his work but in the way he taught and supported the people he was working with. I had been looking for a mentor to help me develop and focus and to my surprise and delight Kevin agreed to take me under his wing. The mentoring days with Kevin, the support, pushing and encouraging he does and his honesty has helped me develop and shape my photography in ways I do not believe anyone else could have. He has taught me to be stay true to myself and not compromise and devalue what I do. This has given me the confidence to take on projects and work I would never have dared to do previously. Nothing is ever too much trouble and having now been mentored by Kevin for a couple of years I have achieved my LBIPP (Narrowly missing out on my ABIPP) and won an award at the national BIPP Competition. I am currently preparing a panel for my Associateship. Knowing Kevin is there to guide and advise is invaluable. I cannot thank him enough for the support over the past couple of years.
Scott Johnson FBIPP
When I first met Kevin at SWPP in 2014, I knew he was the perfect mentor for me as I worked towards my Fellowship. His passion for the art is contagious, and his dedication to his mentees goes far beyond any other mentor I know. The ability to refine photographic ability and see potential in images across all styles is testament to years helping photographers across all skill sets and backgrounds achieve their goals, no matter if it's awards or qualification they are working towards. No matter what time of day, he was always available to answer questions and help me towards achieving my Wedding Fellowship, and still to this day, a friendly voice on the phone if I need advice on a competition image. A superb photographer, amazing mentor, but overall, a great friend.
Sam McDermott ABIPP LSWPP
Every photographer strives to be the best, but along that journey sometimes things happen that you don’t expect. 18 months ago my first Licentiate submission for the BIPP was turned down, to say I was confused and discouraged was an under statement because I and others believed that at that stage my work was good enough. In the midst of failure I knew I couldn’t give up and I simply took it as a small bump in the road. It was at this time that I kept hearing the name Kevin Wilson and I discovered he was one of the judges who failed my first panel.
My attitude was simply this “If Kevin Wilson is the guy who can say my work is not good enough then he is the man I need to train with”. What I didn’t realise was that this would prove to be the best and most valuable decision I have made concerning my photography and my business. I called Kevin and he kindly talked me through were I was going wrong, two weeks later I was on a plane to meet him for one of his Incredible workshops at Milton Abbey which completely opened my eyes and from then the rest is history as they say.
Kevin mentored me in preparation for submitting my LBIPP panel on the 10th March 2015 and I am so incredibly thrilled that my new panel under Kevin’s mentoring was judged and not only was it good enough for LBIPP but I was awarded my ABIPP also.
You will read many comments and hear many great reports about Kevin, regarding the countless people he has successfully mentored to Qualifications to which I am now one. Kevin Wilson is an incredible mentor and inspiration, he is leading our industry and I am confident he will be leading the pack for many years to come, well provided he can keep up with us young guns.
Thank you Kevin for everything you have done for me, for always giving, always encouraging and always inspiring.
Amy Lacey ABIPP
Joining Kevin’s mentoring programme has undoubtedly been the best decision of my photographic career and I cannot thank him enough for all he has helped me to achieve in such a short period of time.
I first met Kevin in March 2014 when I attended my first portfolio review at the BIPP stand during the National Photography Show. He spent time reviewing my body of work and encouraged me to become a member of BIPP that day after some really positive feedback. I immediately jumped at the chance to enrol on Kevin’s mentoring programme as I find his photography so inspiring and his talent and experience is second to none. I had no idea at this stage what a turning point this would be for my photography.
For the next three months, Kevin and I worked together on my panel for Licentiateship with BIPP. During this time, he critiqued all of my work an provided invaluable and honest advice and direction that helped me grow in confidence and enabled me to more clearly define my individual style.
On the 10th July 2014, I submitted my wildlife panel to the assessors at BIPP. To my sheer delight, I was not only awarded Licentiate, but also upgraded to Associate.
In November 2014 I received recognition at the BIPP South East Regional Awards by receiving two awards in the ‘Science and Nature’ category, and two in the ‘Fine Art’ category.
In February 2015 I was honoured to receive highly commended for the prestigious Peter Grugeon Award for Best Associate.
Kevin takes a great deal of time and effort to get to know you as a photographer; your style, vision, inspiration and goals, and provides bespoke and personal training that is tailored to every individual. His relaxed and positive attitude is contagious and he has inspired me to continually strive to improve my skills. I am eternally grateful for his unwavering support and encouragement, especially during those inevitably moments of self-doubt and I can’t wait to continue my journey with him on to Fellowship and beyond.
Angela Vincent ABIPP
I have always loved photography and I started my career in fine art. However, one day I was approached by a close friend to shoot a wedding, it was out of the blue but really appealed to me and I thought that I should give it a try. After that day, I was hooked. I searched around the web to find out how I could develop my skills, this is how I discovered Kevin. I attended Kevin’s first ever Milton Abbey training course and I must admit that this was the best course I ever attended; I not only learnt the whole wedding process, but more importantly; the thinking, something that you need to be is super fast at, whilst at the same time, staying creative and calm. Posing, lighting and humour from Kevin inspired me to go to the next level. He filled me with confidence and unlocked my potential. After the course I felt totally overwhelmed, so the next day I knocked on Kevin’s studio door and the rest is history.
Kevin was kind enough to sit me down, talk me through my thoughts and took me under his wing, he was even kind enough to let me attend one of his weddings where I shadowed him for the day, it was priceless, just watching him work will teach you so much. His natural talent and relaxed mentoring approach is the best anyone could ask for. He helped me to build my confidence and achieve my ABIPP in a short period of time, all of which would not have been possible without Lord Kevin Wilson (I bought him that title as a small thank you ;)
Thank you Kevin for everything you have done for me, for always giving, always encouraging and always inspiring.
Joanne Gower ABIPP
Working with Kevin has given me the confidence to be creative, the determination to work hard, the ability to be self-critical, the tenacity to keep trying and the inspiration to be different and avoid the commonplace. His guidance and belief in me, when I doubted my ability, kept me going and pushed me to find a way to achieve the results that I was seeking. He has a unique ability to deliver feedback on your work in a way that makes you think rather than shrink! He encourages you to examine your work and to identify the weaknesses as well as pointing out the strengths. Never once did I feel that I was being criticised and I always came away from our conversations feeling positive, inspired and excited about what I might achieve.
Kevin has mentored me now for 15 months and in that time, I have learned so much and I am continually surprised to see that each time I shoot, there is ongoing improvement. Under Kevin’s mentorship, I recently submitted a panel of work to the British Institute of Professional Photography with the hope of achieving my Licenciate qualification. To my utter astonishment, I was awarded the Associate. This is undoubtedly down to Kevin’s invaluable support.
If you are thinking about working with Kevin, stop thinking and sign up. You will be investing a very small amount in comparison to what you will get back! It isn’t easy. You will work hard and Kevin does not spoon-feed you; he challenges and encourages you to seek your own solutions, offering guidance and feedback along the way. For me, this makes him a truly exception teacher, because it means that not only are you improving your own photography skills but you are also developing the skills to continually reassess your own progress and keep your work moving forward. If you want to be the best photographer that you possibly can be and if you want to keep striving to be the absolute best that there is, Kevin’s mentorship will be the magic ingredient in your development! What are you waiting for? I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him. I almost wish I could start my journey all over again!
Paul Wilkinson FMPA FBIPP FSWPP and MPA Chair
When I first met Kevin in 2008 – the very year I first joined the Master Photographers Association (MPA) – I had no idea that he would go on to be both my mentor and a great friend. What I DID know is that no only did I love his photography but also the way in which he took the time to explain ways in which I could improve my imagery. That is not to say it’s always easy when he delivers those messages – sometimes, thankfully rarely, the message is blunt. Honest, constructive but still blunt. But that is the essence of a great mentor: encouragement, inspiration, guidance and the occasional hard messages. But all delivered with one, sole objective; the betterment of you as a creative.
And if evidence of this were needed, I have progressed from being a new member of the MPA in 2008, to being a Fellow of the MPA in 2011 and the BIPP in 2012. I have also won numerous awards including MPA UK Wedding Photographer of the Year and MPA UK Portrait Photographer of the Year. All of it under Kevin’s unerring guidance.
And that is Kevin Wilson. A photographer who it is impossible not to respect, a mentor who can unlock creativity you never even knew you had and, most importantly, a man who I consider it an utter privilege to know and now call a friend. May that long continue!