The professions of photojournalism, filmmaking and multimedia storytelling have changed a lot in the past decade. The seismic shifts from the film world to digital. The proliferation of cameras which are now accessible to all. The ever-present internet in our daily lives. The avenues for sharing stories are now are endless.
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 each year helping one photographer in the early stages of their career. The mentorship program is now entering it’s 6th year and is an opportunity for one photographer/documentary video-maker to receive my guidance over the course of a calendar year. During that time, I meet (virtually, via Skype or by email correspondence) 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 all 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).
To apply, simply send me an email to sean’at’gallagher-photo.com with ‘Mentorship 2021’ in the email subject. In your message, please include a brief explanation about the type work you do, issues you are interested in etc. and what you hope to gain from the mentorship. Also, please include a link to a concise gallery (15-20 images), and/or 1 video of your work. [Please don’t send emails with large attachments. Just links.]
The deadline for the this year’s mentorship has passed. Please subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to hear when applications are open for the 2022 mentorship.
2021 Light Oriye Tamunotonye – An Nigeria-based visual storyteller, photojournalist, director and conservationist committed to producing socially impacting stories.
2020 – Hiatus due to Covid Pandemic
2019 – Jessica Suarez is a documentary photographer and filmmaker who specializes in non-profit, environmental and editorial storytelling in Latin America and the United States. — “I’m really grateful for all your time and advice throughout your mentorship program. It was a really wonderful learning experience for me.”
2018 – Bethany 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.
2017 – Luc 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!”
2016 – Nathan 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!”
2015 – Coleen 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.”