Young Photographers’ Alliance: Skilling Up In 2012

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Young Photographers Alliance: London Reportage Team

The YPA is a highly successful Foundation helping young photographers. Erin Moroney who helps run the UK section tells us what’s involved

Erin Moroney, graduated from University in the US in 1995 and came to the UK. She was the Creative and Managing Director of Axiom Photgraphic Agency for 16 years, and for the last several years, Erin has been on the judging panel of Travel Photographer of the Year. Now a creative consultant, providing branding, marketing, and strategy services she also sits on the Advisory Board of the American chapter of the Young Photographers Alliance

When did you get involved in the YPA Erin?

In 2009 when YPA was first founded in New York by Jerry Tavin and Deborah Free, I was asked to sit on the Advisory Board for the US foundation.  In 2010 I decided to set up the charity here in the UK.

How long has the YPA been going and was there anything in particular which inspired it?

The charity was founded in 2009.  Jerry had been very successful in the stock photo industry and he wanted to give something back.  Also, with all of the challenges facing the photographic industry, we were all quite conscious of the fact that is more difficult than ever to get into the industry.  So YPA was founded to help support the next generation of photographers by providing them with the practical experience, industry knowledge, resources, and contacts in order to help them to build successful and sustainable careers.

"Hungry As the Sea", Norfolk, England © Aditya Swami: London Reportage / Other Team. YPA Energy Project

How do you select the mentees, what qualities are you looking for?

Applicants for the mentoring programme are asked to upload a sample of their work (maximum 8 images). They also must include a short description on how they would approach the brief photographically (last year the theme was “Energy” and this year it will be “Home).  We are looking for mentees with the most natural talent as well as unique and creative ideas for how they would treat the brief.

"Dancer Leah Reah", London, England © Suzi Ovens: London, Fashion/Portrait Team. Energy Project

What do they learn on the Mentoring program and how has the program evolved?

Working with both a picture editor and a photographer, the mentees learn how to work to a brief while honing their technical skills and their creative approach (here’s more info on the mentoring programme).  The first year we ran the programme in the UK, we had two photographer mentees and only one team in London.  We felt that having someone client-side as a co-mentor helped to provide a balanced view, so in 2011 we included picture editors as mentors.  We also branched out including another team in London (Fashion /Portrait) and a team in Glasgow.  We hope to include more cities for the 2012 programme.

How have mentees fared over the years, any “High-Flyers” emerged?

One of our mentees Sarah Howe has had her first ever solo show

For more info on the program at the Young Photographers Alliance

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