2018 Mentoring Program

Theme: Silence

Applications for the 2018 Mentoring Program are now closed. Please meet the teams and see the essays and images submitted for this year’s project.

2018 Mentoring Program Teams

This summer, talented young photographers (open to those in age range 18-29) in collaboration with professional photographers will explore one powerful subject 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. For 2018, the theme selected is Silence.

Silence Theme, image © Stacy Swiderski
Photo © Stacy Swiderski, 2010 YPA Mentoring Program alumna.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ―Ansel Adams

“Silence is a source of great strength.” ―Lao Tzu

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” ―Leonardo da Vinci

Project Brief to Teams

Silence. Is it good? Golden? Sometimes silence can be the oppressor, or used to intimidate. Silence manifests in a range of emotions: satisfied, hurt, angry, embarrassed, awkward, uncomfortable, tranquil. Sometimes it conveys what words fail to, its power to communicate reflected in its absence.

There are times to break the silence and moments to pause and reflectively listen. It is the peaceful time between periods of activity while also the indicator of loneliness, isolation or repression. There is the profound majesty of silence, those magical moments found in the wisdom of quietness and the peace of stillness.

Silence is also welcome in our lives as our planet continues to become increasingly connected. Wide-open spaces beckon. Sanctuaries are born out of a desire to escape technological lifestyles. And yet for others, it can be frightening, representing detachment or the ultimate silence of death.

This year, YPA looks forward to mentoring our participants as they untangle the complex impressions and interpretation of this concept while contemplating―through words and imagery―the phenomenon that is silence.

Teams and Mentors

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

New York: Team 1
Frank Meo
Claudia Paul

New York: Team 2
Rod Goodman
Barry Rosenthal

Boston: Team 1
Liz Linder
David Binder

Los Angeles: Team 1
Shannon Soule
Sami Drasin

San Diego: Team 1
Gary Allard
Frank Rogozienski

Portland, OR: Team 1
Justin Myers


YPA’s Mentoring Program participants agree to:

  1. Not to violate any rules or laws.
  2. Foster a professional, respectful, harassment-free and collaborative environment.
  3. Create an open atmosphere within the team in which mentees feel comfortable to ask questions.
  4. Adhere to industry best practices including copyright, copying and appropriated images.
  5. Understand and agree to customary industry best practices such as the following:

If anyone has any questions, concerns, suggestions or complaints, please contact YPA Board Member .

About the Mentoring Program
YPA’s mentoring program is tuition-free and provides encouragement and assistance to young photographers entering the field, through a project that explores the power of photography to communicate, document and inspire. Talented college students and recent graduates are partnered with leading photographers who act as mentors to collaborate on a photo essay around a compelling social theme. The program gives emerging photographers the ability to work with successful professionals to fine tune their craft, create images for their portfolios, develop business and skills and explore markets for their work. At the same time they experience the power of photography to build community awareness and support around an important environmental or social issue.

YPA’s Mentoring Program is made possible through the support of , our Major Founding Sponsor.