Our industry is engaged in a meaningful conversation about representation. We all know that competing in the photography space is hard, and luck favors the privileged. The fact is, no matter how much talent you may have, if you don’t have the right resources or connections, getting a chance to play in the game is difficult.
This magazine is dedicated to the brilliant BIPOC artists that participated in the Apostrophe Mentorship Program. We are proud of their work, and believe it speaks for itself. But the A.M.P. program isn’t just about a platform to showcase these artists' work. Participating in this program offers so much more. Let me tell you why we are so passionate about the work we are doing.
We believe that getting the opportunity to create work and getting that work seen requires resources, access, and experience. We created A.M.P. to provide knowledge and increase exposure to underrepresented BIPOC artists, with the goal of increasing access to the industry so that everyone can compete on a level playing field. We’re not interested in handouts or tokenism. All we want is to open the door so our mentees can walk through and show people what they can do. We know they can compete toe to toe with anyone. We are working hard to give them the tools they need to do so.
The Apostrophe Mentorship Program works hard to try and address issues of systemic inequality by providing our mentees guidance into all aspects of the photography business, including: building estimates, prepping for creative calls, crafting treatments, creating promotional calendars, and understanding the terms and conditions of contracts. By the time our mentees complete the course, our goal is that they feel confident in their ability to navigate the business side of the industry, which isn’t easy for anyone.
But our engagement doesn’t stop there. We continue to be a resource for our graduates throughout their careers. Most recently, at the end of 2021, we launched a shadowing program for our mentees which offers paid, on set opportunities for them to learn from our roster of artists. This allows them to take advantage of our photographers’ vast knowledge and experience to learn firsthand how to manage client feedback, direct crews and talent on set, and most importantly, be present in the room when decisions are made. Engaging meaningfully in the production process builds confidence so our mentees can manage their own sets and productions when they win the opportunity to do so.
We believe we all have a responsibility to engage in this work. But we also believe that it makes business sense. Amplifying unique voices creates a better connection to the diverse society in which we all live.
Here at Apostrophe, we are all excited about expanding our mentorship program into 2022 and beyond. We want to continue asking ourselves what more we can do. To challenge ourselves and our community to do better.
What can you do? Spread the word in your communities. Send us feedback. Tell us what you’d like to see.
And most importantly, hire these artists. Their work is exceptional.
- Kelly Montez, Owner, Apostrophe
We want to acknowledge our industry friends who helped to make this program a reality:
Special thanks to Dana Scruggs for sharing with us her journey as a photographer and her insight about working within this industry.
To our photographer and director, Jeff Vallee, who shared his wisdom and secrets to success as a creative in an always shifting industry, you've enlightened and inspired the mentees in every way imaginable.
Thank you to Maggy Lynch-Hartley, Helen O'Neill, & Caitlin Ravin for generously giving your time and hosting a virtual roundtable to share an art producer’s perspective with our mentees.
Special thanks to BlinkBid for generously giving our mentees a 2-year subscription to their bidding software to help them master the art of estimating and invoicing clients.
Last but certainly not least, many thanks to Bruno Tatsumi and Mariana Torres, the brilliant minds behind the design studio, U.I.W.D. You have helped our vision come to life in ways we couldn't imagine and we thank you for adding an extra bit of flavor to Amplify Magazine Volume 2021.
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