2020 Photography Graduate Mentoring
Graduating from a photography BA or similar course, with the aim of starting a career, is going to be a particular challenge in 2020. We think mentoring - regular advice sessions with experienced specialists in photography - is one of the best ways we can support graduates going forward.
So we have significantly expanded the mentoring Redeye normally offers, and are very pleased that so many other organisations and mentors have also agreed to take part. We will be offering online mentoring to as many graduates as we can this year, with up to four sessions per graduate provided free of charge, to take place between summer 2020 to summer 2021.
You can apply for mentoring by filling in a short form; see the link below. If you hate forms, there are other ways to apply instead (see below).
This mentoring scheme is intended for those students graduating in 2020. If you graduated in a previous year then you will be eligible for other aspects of the Graduate Support Scheme, for example Fourth Year.
The selected graduates will be matched with mentors from one of the partner organisations who can best advise on their practice, skills and career aspirations. Over the next year they will meet online for up to four mentoring sessions with their mentor.
We want to thank our partners for their support in offering mentoring. It won’t be possible for applicants to select a specific mentor but if you have any strong preferences, please mention it in your application. Partners are listed below.
- Belfast Exposed
- Belfast Photo Festival
- Christiane Monarchi, editor, Photomonitor and Hapax Magazine
- FORM Collective
- Geoff Belknap, Head Curator, National Science and Media Museum
- Graeme Rigby, writer and chair, AmberSide Trust
- Impressions Gallery, Bradford
- Laura Noble, gallery director, artist, author and mentor
- Layla Sailor, photographer, filmmaker, educator (China/UK)
- Lens Think, Yorkshire
- Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool
- The Photographers' Gallery, London
- SixBySix, Merseyside
- Stills: Centre for Photography, Edinburgh
- Waterside, Sale, Greater Manchester
- Zelda Cheatle, curator, editor, lecturer specialising in photography
- Zoe Whishaw, commercial photography consultant and mentor
How to apply
The deadline to apply is noon on Monday July 6th.
We strongly recommend that you keep a note of the text and links on your form - you should receive an acknowledgement and a copy of what you submitted but things do occasionally go missing.
Because we understand that you were unable to finish your graduate work as planned we won’t be making a selection solely on the degree show as we have in previous years. In addition, we are asking for two short written statements about your career aspirations and how this mentoring would benefit you. We want to work with emerging photographers and artists who will embrace this opportunity and can commit to attending the mentoring sessions for the whole year.
If you have any questions about the scheme or the application process please contact us.
We want to encourage applications from graduates who consider themselves to be neurodivergent, or who have particular access needs. If you need the form in an easy-read version or if you would prefer to submit your application in another format (such as an audio recording, or by phone) please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all queries, please email us at email@example.com with the word Mentoring in the email subject.
Q Which links should I specify on my application form?
We ask for two links; the first is a link to your graduate work - the work that would have been seen at your degree show.
The second is a general link to your work - typically this would be your website or perhaps an Instagram account.
Q What to do if I haven’t had a confirmation email?
You should receive an automatic confirmation within an hour or less. Please check your junk or spam folders. If you can’t see it please [add contact details]
Q How will you match me to a mentor?
We will present each mentor with a shortlist of who we think they will best be able to support. This will be based on their specialisms in photography and your career aspirations. They will then make a choice based on your application and other factors.
Q When will I find out if I've been selected and how many people will you choose?
We aim to tell everyone by the end of July 2020 but it could be sooner. We would like to offer mentoring to as many graduates as we can this year; it depends on how many apply and how much capacity we and other mentors have.
Q I'm an MA student, can I apply?
Yes, you can apply as an MA student. However, please be aware that we are prioritising BA or equivalent students who are starting out on their careers and may be in need of more support.
Q What if I am not successful?
We will continue with our Fourth Year events - but delivered online via Zoom. All are welcome to attend those and they offer a different format for getting support and feedback. If you would definitely like to try mentoring, please contact us for other suggestions.
Q How are you making this free? Are there any other costs?
The four mentoring sessions will be offered free of charge to the selected 2020 graduates. The cost of this will be covered by Redeye, with funding from Arts Council England, and by the partnering mentors, some of whom have agreed to give up their time voluntarily. There are no other costs for this particular scheme. If you benefit from the scheme, please consider joining Redeye as a member; you can continue as a student member up to two years after graduating.
Q What should I expect from a mentoring session?
If you are successful we will send you further details about what happens next. In a typical session a mentor should be able to give you a wide range of advice and suggestions on improving your work and building your career. We expect these to be conducted by video link such as Skype or Zoom. Typically they might take between 40 minutes to an hour.
Q How should I prepare for a mentoring session?
Make sure your work is up to date and send any links to new work, or supporting material such as documents, PDFs or media files, in advance. It is very helpful to mentors if you present them with questions, or any particular topics you would like to discuss. Do prepare any specific questions you have in advance. Also have a notebook to hand.
Q I am a mentor not on the list; can I be involved?
Yes, please contact us before 6th July 2020. Mentors need to have a current track record of work in photography, and have mentoring or support experience. It is possible to be a mentor while also teaching part-time; however to avoid any possible conflict of interest, mentors who also teach at a university or college won't be able to select any of their own students.
Q I run a university photography course; how can we be more involved?
We have a growing list of supporting universities and colleges, who are helping us promote the scheme, and in return we guarantee that at least one student from that course will receive mentoring. If you would like to be one of those universities, please contact us before 6th July 2020.
We would also be very pleased if university staff can be involved in our Fourth Year programme - that would involve attending 1 or 2 group sessions on Zoom, in Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021.