Mentorship Student Portfolios

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Max Skjöldebrand
West Tisbury, MA
Workshops: MV Workshop 2011, 2013; Mentorship 2014-2015; Advanced Mentorship 2015-2016

Distant Voices
“I like ruins because what remains is not the total design, but the clarity of thought, the naked structure, the spirit of the thing.”
– Tadao Ando, renowned Japanese architect

I am an architect by profession, so it should be no surprise that I am deeply interested in buildings. For me, abandoned buildings have a fascinating, appealing austerity and desolation, resulting from the ravages of time. Most of the buildings I have photographed recently are not strictly “ruins,” but they were all neglected for a variety of reasons. Many of the structures were at a similar stage in terms of the “life cycle” of each building. Happily, several have been subject to renovation, including two historic cinemas on Martha’s Vineyard that were built in the early era of films. Even though these structures are inanimate, I see a parallel with the cycle of life and death in all living things. In this sense, these structures “spoke” to me. The photographs, which showcase the details of both the exteriors and the interiors, have been selected for their imagery, rather than as a comprehensive, historical architectural record.

My experience with the Mentorship:
As a direct result of the Mentorship, I have achieved the three objectives I established at the outset of this endeavor: to define a photography project, to exhibit my work to the public, and to set up a website. Whilst I benefitted greatly from (and enjoyed) the two workshops I had taken previously with Alison, the Mentorship enabled me to take my work to a new level. This was due, in large part, to the high quality of the one-to-one sessions with both Alison and Sue, who so articulately shared their valuable insights and provided helpful guidance in each session.

The Mentorship program provided a structure and encouragement which has inspired me to focus again on my photography, resulting in a renewed productivity and intensity which had lapsed somewhat (crowded out by other things) after the workshops! The creativity and support from fellow mentees was also an important source of inspiration for me, and a huge benefit of the Mentorship.

I highly recommend this Mentorship program with Alison and Sue.

What would you say to people considering taking the Mentorship?
If you're uncertain as to whether your work is up to standard for the Mentorship, share your best photos with friends and/or family on social media (or even by e-mail) and allow the comments to encourage you to do the course. It worked for me. 

Workshops at a Glance

Focus on You

Alison Shaw, Sue Dawson
Booking now
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Sharpen your Focus:
Taking your work to the next level

Alison Shaw, Sue Dawson
October 5, 2020 –
April 30, 2021
* cancelled *
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Staying in Focus

Alison & Sue
July 27, 2020 -
June 11, 2021
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Cape Cod 3-day Weekend

Alison Shaw
September 18-20, 2020
* cancelled *
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Martha's Vineyard 3-day Weekend

Alison Shaw
September 25-27, 2020
* cancelled *
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