Mentorship Student Portfolios

scroll left
scroll right
Karla Bernstein
Newtown, CT
Workshops: MV Workshop 2011, 2012; Mentorship 2013-2014; Advanced Mentorship 2014-2015

BOTANICALS: Enduring Beauty
At work in my garden, I thrill to the loveliness of each species’ blooms. Colors, textures, and shapes combine and create a feast for the eyes. At the same time, I am ever aware that this traditional beauty is fleeting. As I photograph my garden, I've become increasingly intrigued with photographing the blossoms and foliage as they age―the shapes, lines, muted colors, and textures that appear with nature's involution. While I work to capture the lines and creases that emerge, I'm drawn to the beauty of the aging process itself. Flowers, foliage, and seeds, as they fade, parallel our own human aging process – the way our skin’s texture transforms over time, the way our faces change, becoming ever more interesting and captivating. If we are patient and aware enough to notice, this alternative view of both botanical and human beauty culminates in an appreciation for the lovely compositions within nature’s unfolding.

My experience with the Mentorship:
My overriding goal for the Mentorship was to learn how to get my work 'out there.' During the Mentorship I learned how to create and present a portfolio, and how to take a photographic project and present it as an exhibit in a gallery, a printed book, and a website project. I completely revamped my website, choosing and sequencing my photos with artistic purpose, and creating visual simplicity in the formatting of the site. I learned how to write an artist statement for each project, and how to write an artist biography. I learned that I had established a photographic "style," and to trust it. All of this in 6 months! With the guidance, knowledge and great generosity of spirit contributed by Alison and Sue I have felt myself move to self-recognition as an artist. I can't say enough about their extra efforts in teaching, guiding, and supporting me all along the way. They wholly invested themselves in my goals and efforts, and didn't hesitate to give of their time and focused insights.

What would you say to people considering taking the Mentorship?
For those who are fearful of “not being good enough” to participate in the Mentorship, I would say that if you desire to ’stretch’ yourself photographically, no matter your perceived skill set, you will benefit from being involved. The benefits extend beyond the actual photography skills, to seeing and becoming inspired from what others are doing with images, projects, and goals. The Mentorship allows establishing YOUR OWN GOALS with Alison and Sue’s great input and support – even if your goals seem basic to you, they are important and worthwhile.

Workshops at a Glance

Focus on You

Alison Shaw, Sue Dawson
Booking now
View Details

Sharpen your Focus:
Taking your work to the next level

Alison Shaw, Sue Dawson
2021-2022 cancelled
hoping for 2022-2023!
View Details

Staying in Focus

Alison & Sue
July 27, 2020 -
June 11, 2021
View Details

Cape Cod 3-day Weekend

Alison Shaw
September 9-11, 2022
4 spaces available
View Details

Martha's Vineyard 3-day Weekend

Alison Shaw
Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2022
1 space available
View Details

Colors of Maine

Alison Shaw
August 22 - 26, 2022
View Details

Join Alison Shaw Workshops Group on Facebook!