Mentorship Student Portfolios
Workshops: Mentorship 2014-2015, Advanced Mentorship 2015-2016
Through the Looking Glass
My camera lens is my looking glass into evanescent wonderlands. I often shoot in overlooked places – Paris puddles, swamps, forgotten corners of the garden – where I find surprising juxtapositions and ambiguous, layered stories. I’m particularly drawn to water reflections, where the boundaries between real and reflected are fluid and changing. Many of my images capture a magical, upside-down, inside-out world: leaves adorn monuments, sky and clouds have palpable texture, paving stones part to reveal a secret world. Other images focus on layers and complexity in the natural world, and evoke the awe I experience as I observe in stillness with the flow of time.
My images are as I saw them through the lens, with minimal post-processing.
My experience with the Mentorship:
The Mentorship was a fabulous experience! It was scary at first, making such a big commitment. But from the first questionnaire and call, I knew it was going to be better than I ever could have imagined. I remember being surprised in that first call with Alison, when she already seemed to know more about my work than I did – just from reading what I’d written, and reviewing the images I’d uploaded. She could see what I couldn’t. There I was, feeling insecure and scattered, and she was already focusing in on the essence of my work, and getting me excited about it!
In addition to their technical knowledge about photography and writing and the art world, Alison and Sue are warm, generous, fun people. They listen and look deeply – with their hearts, their eyes and their many years of experience. And they are deeply committed to the process of helping each of us find our voices and vision as photographers. Their focus is on us – what we want, what we’re trying to say.
Their fresh perspectives and experienced curatorial eyes helped me learn to identify what was uniquely my style. Sifting through masses of images together, Alison helped me weed out the so-so snapshots and failed attempts, and better appreciate my successes. It was thrilling to work with her and see potential portfolios emerge. As I grew and took fledgling steps in new directions, Sue provided much needed encouragement as well, helping me hone the skills needed to describe and market my work.
The group retreats were an incredibly rich aspect of the Mentorship. The opportunity to deeply share ones work (and anything about one’s process) – and get constructive feedback – was amazing. It was inspiring, and created lasting bonds with Alison, Sue, and the other students. These are the people I go to when I want constructive critiques, when I’m at a creative crossroads or dead end, and when I’m excited about new directions.
The Mentorship got me to try new things, share my work, and understand myself as an artist in ways I never would have been able to do on my own, or with less talented coaches.