Looking for structure and guidance to produce a successful long-term photo project?

ONWARD Global Mentorship: a unique opportunity to develop a body of work

Global Mentorship Program 2016 will start accepting applications in spring

The Story Goes Like This…

You have fundamental knowledge of the photographic medium, solid technical skills, and a portfolio of strong single images. You’re hoping to mature as a photographer and build a successful career by developing a meaningful body of work—but haven’t found a program that meets your needs. Sound familiar?

What It Takes

Developing a meaningful body of work is the product of many different factors coming together. To start, you need to:

  • Clarify the ideas behind your practice
  • Ensure that the ideas come across in your images
  • Plan and execute long-term projects
  • Edit and sequence photos
  • Maintain motivation and stay out of a rut

No Man Is an Island

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to overcome these challenges on your own. Constructive feedback is essential at many stages. That’s why many photographers take workshops, participate in portfolio reviews, and attend MFA graduate programs. Each of these has its pros and cons, and they go like these:

  • Workshops can be stimulating, but they don’t last long. The flow of creative energy often subsides soon after the workshop ends.
  • Portfolio reviews offer feedback from well-connected industry professionals, but meaningful personal contact is limited. With so little time to understand your work, various reviewers are likely to offer contradictory advice which may actually hinder your progress.
  • MFA programs connect students with a wide network of peers and mentors and the structure necessary to develop long-term projects. But attending a full-time program for two years is an unfeasible life disruption for many of us, and tuition is often prohibitively expensive.

“The most common pitfall I see is that photographers try to put out their projects before they are fully ripe. The work often needs more time to develop. … They may benefit from better timing.”

The Goldilocks Principle

What would it look like if we take all the good components from current options and put a program together, we thought to ourselves? That is where we conceived the idea of ONWARD Global Mentorship.

ONWARD Global Mentorship is a new year-long online mentorship program that aims to provide a sensible alternative to the existing photo education options. ONWARD Global Mentorship students will work closely with mentors and peers to produce a long-term personal project. Along the way, they will cultivate a functional practice of shooting, editing and presenting work, and refine their ability to give and receive constructive criticism. It is an unique learning experience that is designed by photographers for photographers.

How Do We Do It?

In theory, all of these big ideas sound great. But how will ONWARD Global Mentorship put them into practice? We’ve come up with a comprehensive program to kickstart your project and maintain your momentum.

  • Shooting & Sharing: Low-stress assignments to keep you active (weekly)
  • Online Discussion: Forum for students to engage with one another (ongoing)
  • Progress Updates: One-on-one project check-ins with your lead instructor (monthly)
  • Webinars: Web-based video presentations and q+a sessions with guest photographers (monthly)
  • Critiques: Web-based instructor-moderated peer critiques in small group (6 per year)
  • Reviews: Direct feedback from two reviewers on long-term project (3 per year)
  • Retreat: On-site week-long workshop at an artist retreat in Ireland (optional — 1 per year)

“Maybe you need another year of shooting before you start showing your book (or portfolio) to art buyers, art directors and photo editors. You only get one chance at a first impression, don’t rush it if it’s not the right time.”

How Global Mentorship Benefits You

What truly sets this program apart from the alternatives? Let’s zoom out from the structure of the course and look at the big picture. We offer you:

  • Online distance learning convenient for students in any location
  • Structure to develop a long-term project
  • Consistent personalized mentorship from established professional photographers
  • Mediated interaction with photographers from around the world
  • A program that is a fraction of the cost of graduate school tuition

Who’s it for?

If any of the following sound like you, you’ll definitely want to learn more about this program:

  • You’re thinking about an MFA, but don’t feel ready to take the big step yet.
  • You’re self-taught and want to dive into the solid photography education.
  • You have many great single images, but want to developing a solid body of work.
  • You’ve earned a degree or two, but are still missing the kind of structured learning you need to continue being successful.

Interested in the program details?

If you are interested in learning more about the Global Mentorship Program, start filling out the form to tell us bit about yourself!

Fill out my online form.


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