Young Photographers Alliance Announces its Second International Mentoring Program

The Young Photograper’s Alliance has announced it’s launching its second mentoring program for students and recent graduates.


Young Photographer’s Alliance (YPA), a 501(c)3 educational foundation dedicated to developing the talent of young photographers, has announced its second international mentoring opportunity for students and recent graduates of college-level photography programs. This year’s theme, “Everything is Energy,” focuses on the powerful forces that shape our world, our politics, our environment, our lives and ourselves.

“YPA’s inaugural mentoring program in 2010 was a resounding success and we’re thrilled to offer this tremendous opportunity to a new group of aspiring image makers,” commented Jerry Tavin, YPA Co-founder and president. “Energy is anything and everything,” he continued. “It can be human, physical, mental, spiritual, a force of nature, mechanical, technical, invented or created. The goal of this project is for young photographers to look beyond the obvious and explore the theme metaphorically in a way that sheds new light on the human condition.”

Developed with the support of a grant from the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)—the leading trade association for commercial photographers—the YPA mentor program pairs emerging photographers with a leading photographer. Each student is encouraged to push boundaries and shed light on the subject in new and innovative ways within the context of their photographic specialty, including portraiture, photojournalism, landscape, architectural photography and more. The deliverables will be not only a collection of thought-provoking images, but also a written essay from each mentee that offers insight and inspiration to viewers. In addition to helping these protégées fine-tune their artistic talent and build their portfolios, the program offers them an unparalleled opportunity to develop business skills and explore markets for their work.

More than 50 students will be participating this year. The North American teams include students from colleges across the country mentored by 17 renowned photographers, including Barbara Bordnick, Lynne Damianos, Dirk Fletcher, Rafael Soldi and others. In addition, students in China, Thailand and the UK will partner with celebrated artists such as Sophie Batterbury, Dennie Cody, Shannon Fagan, Duangkamon Khattiya, Justin Sutcliffe and John Wright (full lists below).

“We are so pleased to be the first team to bring the YPA Mentoring Program to Thailand,” commented DK Khattiya. Fellow Bangkok-based mentor, Dennie Cody, added, “We see this as a great opportunity to open doors to different cultures and bring unique new perspectives from the other side of the world to the YPA mission.”

“The mentoring program in China will be just as much about teaching confidence in photography as it will be about teaching excellence in photography,” said mentor Shannon Fagan. “Mentoring allows us to tackle many of the issues surrounding photography as a career and localize it for Chinese students hoping to work in this part of the world.”

“We are really excited about expanding the Mentoring Programme in the UK. We have some amazing photographers and picture editors as mentors so we hope to attract some strong applicants. This year we are also awarding prizes for the best overall projects so it makes for a great offering, “ states Erin Moroney, UK Advisory Board Chair.

In the weeks ahead, YPA will be seeking volunteers to assist with the 2011 YPA Awards Ceremony and Benefit, which will take place on Wednesday October 19. To volunteer or for more information, please contact Deborah Free at 585-768-7880 or

2011 Mentors

  • Stan Kaady (Atlanta)
  • Margot Cheel (Boston)
  • Lynne Damianos (Boston)
  • Dirk Fletcher (Chicago)
  • EJ Carr (Denver)
  • Christopher Davies (Denver)
  • Dan Shrock (Denver)
  • Rocky Kneten (Houston)
  • Sofia van der Dys (Houston)
  • Cat Jimenez (Los Angeles)
  • Barbara Bordnick (NYC)
  • Stella Kramer (NYC)
  • Jill Waterman (NYC)
  • Jenna Close (San Diego)
  • Jon Held (San Diego)
  • Rafael Soldi (Seattle)
  • Ozant Kamaci (Toronto)
  • Dennie Cody (Bangkok)
  • DK Khattiya (Bangkok)
  • Shannon Fagan (Beijing)
  • Elaine Livingstone (Glasgow)
  • Claire Stuart (Glasgow)
  • Sophie Batterbury (United Kingdom)
  • Justin Sutcliffe (United Kingdom)
  • John Wright (United Kingdom)

2011 Participating Colleges

  • Arapahoe Community College
  • Art Institute of Atlanta
  • Art Institute of Philadelphia
  • Art Institute of Portland
  • Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts
  • Brooks Institute
  • Cal State Fullerton
  • College of Staten Island
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Houston Community College
  • New England School of Photography
  • Ontario College of Art and Design
  • Orange Coast College
  • Parsons The New School for Design
  • Rice University
  • Santa Monica College
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Seattle University
  • School of Visual Arts
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of the Arts
  • University of Washington

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