Leigh Webber Photography
Charleston, South Carolina

For Jean-Michel

I started writing a blog post this morning about my mentoring session yesterday for a nine-year old aspiring photographer. It was a “job shadow”, where she came to learn about photogrpahing flowers for a couple of hours. I took it very seriously, though we of course ended with a cupcake.

I’ve been asked to do this sort of thing in the past, but I’ve always shied away or thought I was “too busy”. But I’ve reached a point in my life where it’s time to start paying back all the time and energy that others have put into me over the years. Plus, I have a little boy now and I sure hope someone will take the time to do the same for him one day.

As I began this post to talk about yesterday’s protege, I did a quick Google search for one of my tried and true fans named Jean-Michel Addor who was relentless in wanting to teach me everything he knew about photography. He was, what we’d refer to now as, an “old school” photographer with a scientist’s mind and incredible technical proficiency. At the time, I was right out of college and working in a digital photography studio in the same building as his studio. He would come over to watch me use Photoshop and we’d talk about digital cameras. In turn, he’d have me over to look through his 4×5 camera and ask for my opinion on his lighting and composition, both which I was fairly clueless about at the time. So, he would teach me.

We’ve kept in touch over the years and it had been a long time since we’d spoken. I was heartbroken to learn this morning, as I searched for his website to link to this post, that he had passed away without my knowing. I feel as if a little bit of my past died with him. I hope he knew how much his believing in me ¬†helped me to believe in myself.

Here’s to you Jean-Michel.You will be missed.


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