Training under a master has been the standard course of education for centuries, if not millennia.
With the advent of the Internet, that long-trusted paradigm of education faded into the woodwork. With the burgeoning availability of information one did not seem to need a master to direct one's artistic work...or even for that matter the progress of one's profession in many fields.
For the technical and scientific fields, the conveyance of knowledge is possible because of the factual nature of those professions. Yet the wisdom gleaned from years of practicing those professions as a living cannot be conveyed.
In the artistic professions, the material is too personal and too subjective to be placed into a codified body of knowledge. For that is the purpose of art. It is and always will be personal to the artist. It seems hard to teach personal. One has to discover it within oneself after being lead along the path.
One has to learn the rules and basics of one's artistic discipline. Then one gradually emerges to create what is unique to that person.
I decided early on in this journey that I needed personal direction. I had tried the generic internet approach and even the approach conveyed by the local photography clubs. There turned out to be nothing personal for me in those endeavors of education.
I needed personal input into the progress of my work. I needed one person to give me feedback about my work and its progress toward a personal expression. I needed help being personal with a unique expression. Even the one I chose to follow could only take me so far. I had to eventually learn personal myself.
Yet it did not come easily or early or even in a predictable time. But it did come eventually in ways unexpected but happily.