by Sue Dawson
TODAY IS THE FIRST chilly day on the island, and it really feels like fall. Funny, yesterday it was 77 degrees out there, and folks were still posting photos of their bare feet in the sand on social media. But today, it’s time for down vests and cozy warm drinks.
It’s also the time of year when we’re gearing up to begin our 6-month Mentorship program. Since 2013, 50 photographers have done the Mentorship, and some have gone on to do one or more years of the Advanced Mentorship as well. I’ve written blog posts about some of the awesome work that’s being done by our alumni, such as Jean Schnell, Steve Koppel, and many more.
Alison and I make a conscious decision each year to teach this program. It’s a huge commitment for us, and we don’t take it lightly.
We understand that it’s a huge commitment for you too.
I read a lot about inspiration and creativity, and just love this quote by Dr Brene Brown, who writes and speaks about the importance of creative expression in our lives. It’s always a risk to put yourself out there. Honestly, I think the hardest part is making the decision to sign up. I picked this new image of Alison’s to show what I mean. You can’t even see the end of the pier.
But trust me. That’s where the good stuff is… the fog (for you photographers out there) … and the insights.
Here’s some of what you’ll receive in the Mentorship…
- FOCAL POINT TOOLKIT – Set goals, and track your progress through the Mentorship. This sets your intention for the six months, and creates the velocity for your experience.
- SEVEN CALL HOURS with ALISON – These calls will be all about you and your work – developing your own unique creative style, staying consistent and keeping focused. You’ll send Alison jpegs of your latest work before each call. During the call, you’ll see her screen live on your computer, as you both discuss your photos, and she makes suggestions shown in Adobe Lightroom. Learn how to be your best editor, get custom training, feedback, motivation, and brainstorm ideas. Alison will give you customized assignments that will keep you inspired, and define your next steps toward your goals.
- FOUR CALL HOURS with SUE – Get an Art Director/Gallery Owner’s eye on your body of work, and advice on your portfolio, graphic identity, website, book ideas, writing, and marketing. Sue’s signature Intuitive Interview will help you identify what makes your photography distinctly your own. Discovering what drives your creative work helps you write and talk about your unique motivation, and gives you a framework for your creative process as you pursue your work.
- SEVEN TRAININGS – Our in-depth trainings cover a number of topics,which have included: getting in touch with your deepest creative self; writing an artist statement and bio; marketing your work; communicating with galleries, and having a show of your work; Alison’s digital workflow; what you need to know about creating a website or publishing a book of your photography; and a fine art printing Q&A with a master printer.
- TWO 2-DAY RETREATS on MARTHA’S VINEYARD – Experience the island off-season, when all the locals can relax and truly enjoy this unique place. Starting with a Friday-evening drinks and hors d’oeuvres get-together, and culminating in student Masterminds on Saturday and Sunday, you’ll meet other students, learn a lot, and have the unique opportunity to get feedback from the group. Develop your artist statement, body of work, and project ideas with the support of other artists. Alison often talks in-depth about her work, sometimes showing edits, images that didn’t make the cut (and why), and her creative process. Sue leads a meditation at the start of each day together, brings her designer’s eye to the Masterminds, and opens the book on marketing your images.
- YOUR OWN PASSWORD-PROTECTED PAGE – You’ll have your own page accessible via our website, where you can find all program info, upcoming appointments you’ve scheduled, your list of goals, downloadable notes from your calls with us, and a personalized to-do list for your reference.
- PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP – This is a great opportunity for feedback and technical support, from all past and present Mentorship students. Post your photos and questions, and get feedback, answers, and encouragement on your progress. Sue and Alison monitor the group page regularly.
- 20% OFF IN THE GALLERY – For the duration of the Mentorship, you’ll get our best discount on all fine art prints, books, posters, and cards.
- YOUR WORK ON OUR WEBSITE – Take advantage of our international audience. After the Mentorship ends, we’ll post a photo of you, your artist statement, and a slideshow of your best work during our six months together, with a link to your website if you have one.
We start on October 21st, at around 5pm, with your first email from me, with all you need to know. Let’s do this!