2010 Mentoring Program

Theme: Answering Adversity

The world is facing economic hardship not seen since the Great Depression. Unemployment, home foreclosures, loss of savings and retirement are leaving communities, businesses, families and individuals faced with tough choices. What are these choices and how will they reshape the future?

2010 Mentoring Program Teams

The Challenge to the Students

Reminiscent of the WPA and FSA photographs commissioned by the US government during the Great Depression to record the lives of everyday Americans, Answering Adversity sent teams of college level student photographers and their mentors into the field to photograph stories of innovation, determination and courage during hard times. The goal of this project was to shed light on the positive–to capture stories of strength and endurance. Much has been reported on the difficulties people face; but how are they answering the adversity of this economic crisis to emerge even stronger?

Each student was asked to identify and photograph a subject based on the theme to produce a series of images including three powerful selects, and a short essay. The theme was explored from a variety of vantage points; portraiture, photojournalism, landscape and architectural photography. Each student was encouraged to find his or her own unique perspective and interpretation. The students learned to push the boundaries of how photography can shed light on a subject in new and innovative ways.

About the Program

Answering Adversity is the inaugural mentoring program of the Young Photographers Alliance. The program 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.


38 college photography students
12 professional photographer mentors



United Kingdom

United States
Columbus, OH
Dallas, TX
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Pittsburgh, PA
Rochester, NY
San Francisco, CA
Santa Fe, NM
Seattle, WA

See Results from the 2010 Mentoring Program

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