Who can join?
New members who sign up as an associate or above OR existing members who want to increase their membership level. Our mentorship program offers you the unique opportunity to expand your photographic knowledge and skills. The topics you will cover will arise from your individual needs and questions. All questions should be directed to email@example.com.
Meet your Mentors
Cameron Davidson is a co-founder of the APA DC chapter. Known for his aerial and location imagery, Cameron has photographed around the world for a healthy mix of corporate, editorial and advertising clients. He has published six books and his images were recently selected, for the forth time, to appear in the Lurzer’s 200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide. His work has also been published in Photo, Communications Arts and American Photo annuals. In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service published his aerial of Blackwater Refuge in the Earthscapes series of forever stamps. He has shot on assignment for Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Nature Conservancy, Wired, Audubon among others.
Matthew Rakola is a commercial and editorial photographer with 16 years of professional experience in both Boston, MA and the Washington, DC regions. He specializes in “real people” photography and has worked for clients such as the Ad Club, Google, National Geographic Kids (four books), Price Waterhouse Cooper, and Thomson Reuters, as well as many trade publishers and Universities around the country. He’s a past chair of the D.C. chapter of American Photographic Artists. His work can be found at www.rakola.com.
Robb Scharetg is a commercial and editorial photographer and is currently on the board of APA|DC. His work and complete bio can be found at https://www.scharetgpictures.com/Me/1.
Renée Comet is a noted advertising photographer specializing in food photography. Whatever the subject, her visual treatment can best be described as uncomplicated, fluid, and elegant. Her distinctive work has appeared in advertising, packaging, cookbooks and digital content. Some of her clients include: PopCorners, FoodNetwork, Glutino, Australian Lamb, Marriott International, USDA, Ritz-Carlton, US Postal Service and American Diabetes.
Mentees should fill out the accompanying questionnaire and send it, along with a link to images (website, Dropbox, or similar) no less than 4 days before the first in person mentor/mentee (hereafter “team”) meeting.
The team will have a lot of freedom to coordinate schedules and meetings/check-ins and after this initial meeting. They will occur no less than once a month on a regular basis for possibly up to 6 months, and mentor should attempt to make time to offer advice and insights on an as-needed basis.
This agreement constitutes a voluntary agreement between both parties. Mentees may be invited to shadow on jobs without pay, but any invitations to actively assist on an assignment should be accompanied by standard compensation.
American Photographic Artists and APA|DC assume no responsibility for quality of mentorship or for any disagreements that result from the pairings. However, we understand that some matches may not be a good fit and will, in good faith, seek to remedy any fundamental issues. Please address any questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When will the sessions begin?
You will receive an email outlining instructions with how to get started and with an introduction to your mentor.
Where will the sessions be hosted?
All of our APA|DC mentors are full time professional photographers, and will work with you to schedule an agreeable date and time to meet. The sessions will vary on each persons individual needs.
Questions to consider before your meeting
In one sentence, why do you want to be a professional photographer? (I.e. why do you want to do this for a living, as opposed to a hobby?)
Are you interested in photographing people, places or things? (Portrait or event photography, architectural/travel photography, or product/food photography?) All of the above?
Name some photographers whose photography you admire.
Name some photographers who you admire career-wise.
Name a few ideal clients you’d love to have. It could include brands like Nike, Under Armor, companies/organizations like the UN or the World Wildlife Fund, or editorial clients like Vanity Fair, The Washington Post or Mens Health.
What skills, aside from photography do you bring to the job that sets you apart from others? (i.e. video, graphic design, people skills, marketing skills, not requiring sleep skills, etc.)
What challenges do you think you’ll have in this career? (bookkeeping, editing, marketing, etc.)
Imagine your life in 10 years. What does it look like? Do you run a physical photo studio? Are you living in D.C.? Do you have people working for you?
Have you written a business plan?