2018 Mentoring Program Mentors

We are pleased to announce the photographers and educators who will be mentoring young photographers this summer in YPA’s tuition-free program.

See the 2018 Essays & Images.

Special thanks goes to the American Society of Media Professionals, our major founding sponsor, who makes this valuable program possible.

This summer, talented young photographers in collaboration with professional photographers will explore one powerful subject–this year’s theme is Silence–to create portfolio quality images, develop business and marketing skills, and experience the power of photography to explore and communicate their personal perspective on important issues.

Featured in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, San Diego, and Portland, Oregon!

Frank Meo and Claudia Paul will Mentor New York Team 1

Frank is the founder of thephotocloser.com and consulates with photographers from around the globe. For 25 years, has represented commercial photographers as well as Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalists in securing highly valued commercial assignments. He has worked on hundreds of company photo libraries and campaigns for clients such as American Express, Acura Motor Sports, US Coast Guard Xerox, ESPN, Citi, Nike and others. He was a judge for the Foto Week DC Awards, the PDN Photo Contest, Lucie Awards as well as many contests around the world.

Claudia, originally from a tiny town outside of Stuttgart, Germany, has been based in New York since 2003. Her work has always been about people–she loves connecting with human beings through photography and video, whether they are a CEO, an artist or an orphaned child in Africa. If she had to name a favorite, she would say her passion lies in working with non-profits. There is nothing better than being part of changing the world.

Rod Goodman and Barry Rosenthal will Mentor New York Team 2

Rod began his career in photojournalism with the Los Angeles Times, and consulted with the New York Times. At the age of 33, he shifted focuses to portraiture and opened his own studio–three years later he was one of the busiest headshot photographers in Los Angeles. By the end of 2004, after shooting over 20,000 clients, he felt the need to expand his photo studio to include the New York City Photography Market. His vast experience in L.A. allowed him to realize how to capture portraits in a relaxed and natural way–respect and teamwork are the keys to success.

Barry is a fine art photographer who studied photography at the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio and at the Apeiron Workshops in Millerton, New York with notable photographers Emmet Gowin and George Tice. Barry’s fine art images can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Springfield Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, Massachusetts. His project “Found in Nature” has a worldwide following and has created opportunities for Barry to talk about his work to a larger audience. His photographs have been published in arts and culture magazines as well as general interest news publications around the world. In the fall of 2010, Rosenthal became a resident artist at chashama in the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn, New York.

Frank Rogozienski and Gary Allard will Mentor San Diego

Frank is a photographer based in the San Diego area, with clients ranging from the New York Times and Parade to Netflix and Planned Parenthood. He also boasts to be a fun dad, smashing husband, brilliant soccer player, and an avid curiosity seeker–okay, the soccer player bit might be a stretch, but his photo skills are undoubtedly stellar.

Gary considers Visual Communications his “first language,” with English following a close second. At a very early age, images spoke to him far more clearly than the written word. Color, texture, layers, emotion, authenticity, and story: this is the vocabulary he recognizes. For more than 15 years, he has helped people, brands, and businesses polish their visual message. Through photography, he can walk those lovely lines between art and commerce, observation and intention, chance and necessity, and bring emotion to a moment without using words. He’s deeply inspired by the people and places that make him want to laugh, sing, eat, drink, travel, and explore.

David Binder and Liz Linder will Mentor Boston

David is an award-winning photojournalist and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. David’s photojournalism has been published extensively by magazines throughout the world. His editorial clients include; People magazine, US News and World Report, Life Magazine, The New York Times, Paris-Match, Forbes, Fortune and Business Week. He is affiliated with Contact Press Images. David has twice been recognized by the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism. David has also received two Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowships for his exceptional work in photography and film. He was awarded the National Press Photographers “Best of Photojournalism” as well as other national and regional awards. David’s intimate and involved story-telling approach has earned him a reputation for illuminating his subjects and their lives with perception and compassion.

Liz has a unique ability to engage and connect; her skills and instincts work in tandem to create portraits and moments that tell your story. It’s an approach Liz has developed over 10,000 hours behind the camera. She captures personalities including Lou Reed, Esperanza Spalding and Quincy Jones. Her images showcase corporate entities such as MTV, Louis Vuitton and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and convey visual stories around institutions like Harvard, MIT and Berklee College of Music. Liz’s work has appeared in dozens of leading publications, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Fast Company. She’s been heard on NPR’s On Point; and seen on ABC World News Tonight. Her photographs have appeared on sets in film and TV including the Emmy-winning series, House of Cards.

Sami Drasin and Shannon Soule will Mentor Los Angeles

Sami sees no point in leaving the golden state, its cinematic landscapes so often the location of choice for her own shoots. An hour in any direction will lead to the beach, mountains, or desert–southern California’s natural backdrops lend vitality to her work. At 14, Drasin received her first camera, to which she took passionately, and later pursued photography with a degree from Art Center College of Design. There she honed her artistic sensibilities and refocused her eye on lifestyle, fashion and beauty. Drasin’s work focuses on capturing unexpected, candid scenes–the in-between moments allowing for a more relatable and honest portrayal of her subjects, the honesty fostered by Drasin’s friendly, relaxed demeanor. By connecting quickly and easily with her subjects, she’s able to effortlessly capture the truth of them. Some of her clients include Bath & Body Works, Billboard, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Google, The Hollywood Reporter, Honda, Ipsy, MeUndies, Netflix, Nylon, Refinery 29, Sony Music, Sports Authority, & W Magazine.

Shannon Soule is a freelance fashion and editorial photographer based between NYC and LA. Her portraiture work focuses on the natural beauty that comes from within her subjects. Having graduated from Ringling College of Art + Design and worked under photographer Mark Seliger, she has worked with many of the top models in the industry, and focuses on creative collaboration with other editorial based artists.

Justin Myers will Mentor Portland, OR


After spending the late 90s as an animator for the critically acclaimed Will Vinton Studios (Now Laika), the early 2000’s chasing storms and swells in-between his studies at Brooks Institute of Photography; Justin Myers has spent more than two decades solving visual problems and telling stories with a camera.

Today, Justin resides in Portland, OR with his wife and son, focusing on assignment work ranging from the outdoors to technology and the people that make the world a better place. He works with a large variety of brands from NIKE to INTEL and Columbia Sportswear to Merrill Lynch. Justin is known to relish the challenges each shoot brings and thrives on the creativity of making each project shine despite obstacles.

Clients Include: NIKE, Converse, Danner, DeMarini, adidas, Columbia Sportswear, SOREL, R/West, NEMO, FLIR, INTEL, Oregon Lottery, US Bank, Bridgeport Brewing, Tonkin, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Merrill Lynch, Conde Nast, Saga City, Portland Monthly, Portland Bride and Groom.