The Apostrophe Mentorship Program came to be in the wake of George Floyd’s death, but it was more than his death. It was the murder of Breonna Taylor, of Ahmaud Arbery, of Elijah McClain and of too many other Black individuals that came before them, leaving us feeling angry, frustrated and deeply saddened. The Coronavirus pandemic further illuminated the existing social injustices in our society, as individuals and as a company, we were tired of feeling helpless. We were tired of screaming into the void of social media. We were tired of waiting for change. We needed to act. So, the Apostrophe team came together. We brainstormed ways to take meaningful action, and felt that a mentorship program that shared knowledge and exposure with underrepresented BIPOC artists would make a difference towards diversity and inclusion within our industry.
We leaned in on what Apostrophe does best and developed a structured program that taught the business of photography. The Apostrophe Mentorship Program (A.M.P.) started as a 12-week program that would focus on the building blocks that we use to successfully grow our artist’s careers. We shared our promotional strategies and best business practices and provided an open door for the mentees to ask us questions.The Apostrophe Artists got involved and acted as mentors to these emerging photographers, helping to guide their work and be a sounding board for creative challenges. Each one of the mentees was asked to develop a personal photo project. From here, Amplify Magazine was born and the following pages are a result of that challenge. What was a program about how to grow a business organically grew into something different -- a way to showcase the beautiful work of these talented individuals from the past three months.
Creating this program showed us that through mentorship we can all work towards a more inclusive industry. What could have felt like virtual school with mentees on Zoom, instead became a community of friends. When the program ended, it didn’t feel like an ending. It felt like the first chapter of something bigger. We are excited to announce the Amplified roster to further amplify their talent and vision. We will continue to work together and help them apply the fundamentals that they learned in the first 12 weeks of the program.
This is just round one. In January, we will open the door for another set of mentees to learn, collaborate and create with us. In the meantime, I'm proud to share with you the phenomenal work of these twelve exceptional photographers that are
A.M.P.’s graduating class of 2020.
All that is left to say is hire them.
- Kelly Montez, Owner, Apostrophe
We want to acknowledge our industry friends who helped to make this program a reality.
Thank you to Andrea Bakacs, Juanita Gonzalez Valencia and Sarah Manna for generously giving your time and hosting a virtual roundtable to share an art producer’s perspective with our mentees.
Additional thanks to the following clients who joined us for portfolio reviews and gave your critique and perspective on the mentees work:
Heather Smith Harvey
Juanita Gonzalez Valencia
Much gratitude to Kristine Arth of Lobster Phone for helping us bring the visual design of the
Amplify Magazine to life.
But the most thanks and a special shout out to Apostrophe’s own Darnell Scott for his inspired creative direction, and countless hours developing and programming the Amplify Magazine site. Your commitment to this mentorship program is in large part what made it such a success.
217 Centre Street, Floor 7
New York, NY 10013
East Coast: 212.279.2252
West Coast: 310.341.3132
ALL VISUAL MATERIALS PRESENTED ON THIS WEBSITE ARE ORIGINAL WORKS BY THE AMP MENTEES ©2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THESE MATERIALS MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED, STORED IN A RETRIEVAL SYSTEM, OR TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE COPYRIGHT OWNER.