Thursday, November 15, 2012

Meeting a former Adphoto photographer

While Kathy, John G and I were walking towards Mother Care at the Fort, we chanced upon a former Adphoto employee whom I had not seen since he left, about five years ago. I could not believe how he reacted to seeing me. He hugged me for a long time, and if I had not wriggled my way out of his tight embrace, he would not have let go, and when he did, he was in tears. I was deeply touched. Then he showed me pictures on his iPhone of his four-month old son. All I could say was, "Imagine that - you're now a father! To think that you were a kid when we took you in!" He was a student at La Salle, taking up computer science when he came to do OJT, and after the program, he refused to go back to school, and pleaded with us to hire him as an assistant. We did. When he was with us, he devoured all that John shared about photography. John never withholds when he teaches an apprentice, so this young man learned a lot. But the lessons that I tried to impart - on the business side, on marketing, on developing presentation and negotiation skills were lost on him - like many photographers, he was not interested. He stayed with us a few years, maturing as a photographer. He is now on his own, and I can imagine that whenever he faced business challenges, he probably heard my voice in his head. I suppose those lessons remained dormant while he was with us, like data that is inputted into a computer but simply ignored, but now that he is not only a photographer but also a business person, he discovers that it was there -has always been there - for him to retrieve. No lesson is really ever lost - when the right time comes, it will be used - this is what I love about teaching, and that was the affirmation that I received last night. :)

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