Room Up Front: A New BIPOC Photojournalism Mentorship!

  By Ryley Smith

 

Room Up Front is a new pilot program, founded by Canadian photojournalists from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities which offers mentorship opportunities for BIPOC, who are passionate about photojournalism and visual storytelling! With allies including the Canadian Journalists of Colour, The Globe and Mail and the Magenta Foundation, BIPOC industry professionals will help guide those interested in pursuing their own goals and becoming established visual storytellers for their community and the Canadian media industry. 

Room Up Front understands that working as a freelance photojournalist can be an isolating, challenging road to follow, especially for marginalized communities. That is why the program was created, to help break down barriers and build connections, in a creative and supportive environment.

 

About the program:

Room Up Front is a no-cost mentorship that takes place over the course of a year. Teams will be made up of three experienced photographers and five to seven mentees, who will meet online, bi-weekly, creating the opportunity for real relationship and growth. The mentors will share their experiences and knowledge along with constructive critiques. Mentees will also be active participants, identifying learning goals, and contributing to group discussions. Guest speakers will be invited to lead targeted programming focused on key skills required for photojournalists. These may include topics such as ethics in photojournalism, business skills, copy-right, pitching stories or long-form stories. Mentees should be prepared to work on photography projects or stories important to them. Then, at the end of the year, there will be a year-end portfolio review with photo editors from multiple publications!

 

Qualifications:

  • This mentorship is best suited for those photographers who are already at the beginning of their practice. Early career photojournalists and documentary photographers.
  • Must have a good working knowledge of photography and camera techniques.
  • Participants must identify as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour.
  • Participants must reside in Canada.
  • Desire to learn visual storytelling, documentary photography and/or photojournalism.

 

The goal of this new program is to help advance BIPOC photojournalists in their careers! Whether the goal is to get on the call lists of Canadian news outlets and magazines or to develop the skills, experience and confidence to pitch and sell their own stories covering their local communities, to be a dependable contributor to NGO’s, start-up newsgroups, social justice groups, and other agencies needing trusted photojournalists. Mentees will also have new professional networks after completion of the program.

 

For more information on Room Up Front, along with details on how to apply, click here!

Ryley Smith

Ryley Smith

Ryley graduated in 2018 from the U of C, with a bachelor in Sociology. With a strong love for writing, and having dabbled in photography, she wanted to take her curious mind and put it towards a more fun and creative future. In her spare time, Ryley finds herself camping, skiing, and fishing. She also loves craft beer and interesting food, ideally together.