"I couldn’t be happier or more thankful to Redeye and my mentor. This mentorship programme, in all honesty, has truly helped me to achieve much of what I have in the past year and I couldn’t recommend this scheme enough."
Holly Houlton, 2020 graduate
Following the success of our 2020 Graduate Mentoring Scheme we are very pleased to announce that the scheme is now available to anyone graduating from a Photography BA or similar course in 2021.
Mentoring - regular advice sessions with an experienced specialist - is a valuable way to support photographers entering the industry at a difficult time and without the traditional opportunities for networking and exhibiting work. 2021 graduates have now seen their final two years of study disrupted, so it's important to keep the scheme going.
There's a simple application process; details below. We will be offering four one hour mentoring sessions to successful applicants, free of charge and delivered remotely over Zoom from summer 2021 to summer 2022. Redeye covers the cost of this scheme as part of our remit to support new and diverse talent.
We welcome applications from anyone graduating from a Photography BA or similar course in 2021. We will share your applications with the mentors who will all choose the photographer that they think they will be able to offer the most support to.
We want to thank all of our partners for their generosity in sharing their time and expertise. Our mentors for 2021/22 are:
Geoff Belknap, Head Curator, National Science and Media Museum
Graeme Rigby, writer and documentary photography specialist
Impressions Gallery, Bradford
Katy Barron, gallery director, photography curator and Chair of Photofusion
Laura Noble, gallery director, artist, author and mentor
Layla Sailor, photographer, filmmaker, educator (China/UK)
Madeline Yale Preston, photography specialist and arts advisor; trustee Hundred Heroines
Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool
Sebah Chaudhry, Creative Producer, co-founder Reframed Network
Stills: Centre for Photography, Edinburgh
Yan Wang Preston, Photographer
Zelda Cheatle, curator, editor, lecturer specialising in photography
Zoe Whishaw, commercial photography consultant and mentor
How to apply
Please send us a PDF including the following:
- Your name, date of graduation, name of course and university
- Up to 5 images of your work
- One or more links to your website and/ or social media account
- No more than 200 words on your work, how you would benefit from the mentoring, and your career aspirations for the next year
Your PDF should be no larger than 10MB. Please make sure that it is web resolution.
Please send your PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59pm on Monday 26th July 2021. Please include 'Graduate Mentoring Application' in the subject line of your email.
We will be scoring the applications based on your professionalism, the quality of the work and how much you would benefit from the mentoring, so please take that into consideration when preparing your application.
If you have any questions at all you are very welcome to email Rachael, Redeye's events coordinator.
We would like to use this mentoring opportunity to support those who are currently underrepresented in the industry. We therefore welcome applications from anyone facing additional barriers, espeically photographers who are Black, Asian, or from minoritised ethinic groups, LGBTQIA+, from lower socio-economic backgrounds, or who self-identify as disabled or neurodivergent.
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.
Q Do I need to know my availability for the next year?
No you don't, you would be matched with your selected mentor at the end of August 2021 and you will then arrange the four mentoring sessions at times convenient for you both. We have a suggested schedule of one-hour mentoring sessions in September, November, February and May.
Q I've sent in my application, 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 email email@example.com.
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 August 2021. We would like to offer mentoring to as many graduates as we can. Last year we were able to support nearly half of those who applied so there is a reasonable chance of success.
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 programme of events providing support to photographers, including our regular Critique Surgeries which provide similar specialist support. Redeye members get four free Critique Surgeries a year and you can continue as a student member for £2.50 a month up to two years after graduating.
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 2021 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.
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 26th July 2021. Mentors need to have a current track record of work in photography, and have mentoring or support experience.
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 26th July 2021.