What you learn from teaching is often more valuable than the factual information you’re sharing, and what your students can learn from you are vital lessons in how to overcome challenges through creative problem solving and ingenuity while maintaining enthusiasm.
Teaching photography is the perfect example because often times I'm confronted with changing conditions and equipment challenges. This happened today while conducting a class on portrait lighting using strobe lights and techniques for posing in a non-studio location.
My demonstration did not go off as planned due to a faulty reflection umbrella and some odd coloration from the carpet and wall color in the gallery where I teach. I had the setting and results all planned-out but things did not go as planned!
Instead of becoming frustrated with the initial results I did what any seasoned and experienced pro would do - I adjusted and improvised by changing the setting and the lighting source. The entire time I explain to my students why I'm doing the changes I'm doing.
You don't allow initial disappointment to stop your productivity toward optimal results. You keep moving forward by adapting your approach and making the best use of the tools at your disposal.
I relocated my subject, switched-up the lighting, had a few laughs and moved on to achieving some great results with some excellent portrait samples to use in next week's session on post-shoot editing and digital workflow.
The lesson today proved to be more important than just how to professionally balance natural and provided lighting for beautiful portraits. I demonstrated how to work through a problem without becoming impatient, embarrassed and frustrated.
That’s where true confidence is built within your chosen profession.
Effective teaching is education for both instructor and student. The know-it-alls often know very little when it comes humility, adaption and most importantly, inspiration.