Years ago now, I once approached Ian Parnell to sit down for a lunch with me. Ian was one of the editors of the well respected Climb Magazine at the time, he was also somewhat a personal hero of mine - an alpinist and photographer, humble and soft spoken. I kept Ian in high regard for his bold life in the mountains and his long list of achievements.
I wasn't looking for shortcuts or a magic success formula - from where I come from there's no substitute for hard work. Sometimes though, it's possible to be so close to something that you cannot see the wood for the trees, especially with photography being so personal. I knew I had talent, I was prepared to work harder than anyone but I also knew that only by being focused would I be able to fulfill my potential. I was hoping talking regularly to Ian would help me gain perspective on things. Ian wasn't that keen to begin with though, mentorship is a two way process. The fact alone that I wasn't sure what kind of help I was looking for obviously wasn't at all helpful.