Mentorship Program 2019 - Jessica Suarez - Sean Gallagher - Photographer & Filmmaker | Beijing, China

Mentorship Program 2019 – Jessica Suarez

Posted by on Oct 17, 2019 in Education, News | No Comments

Jessica Suarez is the recipient of my 2019 Mentorship, a free tutorship which aims to give early career photographers and multimedia journalists an opportunity for feedback, critiques and advice on their work.

Jessica is a documentary photographer and filmmaker who specializes in non-profit, environmental and editorial storytelling in Latin America and the United States. I’m looking forward to helping her develop her work over the next year.

Thank you to everyone that applied for the Mentorship Program this year.



For those new to the industry, the myriad of possibilities can seem quite daunting. As a self-taught photographer, I remember starting out in the industry and not being entirely sure what path was right for me. I was lucky enough to find a mentor in the late Philip Jones Griffiths, chronicler of the Vietnam War, during a 1-year internship at Magnum Photos. This experience was one of the most important in my early career and helped shape my direction in photojournalism.

In 2015, I began this mentorship program with the aim of giving back and helping one photographer in the early stages of their career. The mentorship program is now entering it’s 5th year and is an opportunity for one photographer/documentary video-maker to receive my guidance over the course of a year. During that time, I meet (virtually, via Skype) each month with the mentee and offer thoughts, critiques and guidance on the projects that they are working on, in an effort to help give them assistance through their early work.

This mentorship program is available to photographers/videographers/multimedia journalists who are either studying at University level already, or are just starting out at the beginning of their careers independently (you must be 18 years or older).

Please sign up to Sean’s newsletter to hear when the 2020 mentorship is open, or follow Sean on Facebook and/or Instagram.



2019Jessica Suarez is a documentary photographer and filmmaker who specializes in non-profit, environmental and editorial storytelling in Latin America and the United States.

2018Bethany Augliere – A biologist, photographer and writer with her work focusing on the marine ecosystems of south-eastern USA, documenting the work of scientists researching animals such as dolphins, tortoises and manta rays.

2017Luc Forsyth – Luc’s work focuses on social issues in both Asia and Latin America. He is a contributor to EverydayClimateChange and is currently working on water issues in Mexico. – “Sean helped me to see my path forwards as a filmmaker and photographer during a very difficult stage in my career, and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities and support he gave me. He is a thoughtful and involved teacher and does all of this extra work just to help out the next generation of documentarians. No matter what stage of your career you’re at, this is an extremely valuable chance to learn and grow. Highly recommended!”

2016Nathan Siegel -Photographer and Writer whose work focuses on geopolitics and business, with a focus on issues in Africa. — “He is thoughtful, thorough and truly cares about making you a better visual journalist. Cheers for paying it forward, Sean!”

2015Coleen Jose – Early career multimedia journalist and documentary photographer, focusing on environmental issues in Asia. — “Thanks for the many conversations, edits and brainstorming sessions around photojournalism and the business. Your honest critique of my work and thoughtful questions continue to encourage.”

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