From Workshops to Private Mentoring

If you had told me when I first embarked on this crazy journey of fashion photography that I would be teaching it one day, I would have laughed. I’ve never seen myself as much of a teacher, even though my past students would tend to argue with that self-opinion. I held my first workshop in the summer of 2009. We had 26 students show up to it and it was a cluster fuck. Learning from my mistakes, I narrowed the capacity to 15 students so they could have a more “hands-on” experience with me.



Melissa Rodwell now offers private mentoring.

Melissa Rodwell now offers private mentoring.


But to be honest, I’ve never felt totally comfortable teaching on a group level. Every student that attends a workshop is at a different place in their career: some need a lot of work on their lighting, some are already working and testing with top agencies and need help marketing their work, others have all the tools but don’t have the insight to put it all together, some need to go back to basic photography training and gain some solid knowledge in what an F Stop is or what a shutter speed controls. So I have always felt conflicted and have come to recognize that this is the common error in most workshops. It’s impossible to give anyone undivided attention and every one comes with a different skill set and specific needs. While it’s been fantastic to watch my student’s work really improve after taking one of my workshops, I don’t feel comfortable holding them on a group level anymore. And let’s face another brutal fact: everyone in the world is hanging out that “Workshop Shingle”. I’m not sure how they sleep at night, some of them only having a few years of shooting under the belt, hell, some of them haven’t even been published, but yeah, they’re going to go ahead and start teaching fashion photography. I mean, the whole workshop craze has become a cluster-fuck in and of itself.

So I made a big decision to retire from teaching workshops on a group level and hone this concept down to offering a mentorship program. Instead of you having to fly to me, pay for an expensive air flight, hotel room and then the costs of my workshops, I will now come to you. Look, I don’t want to just educate; I want to liberate. Through encouragement, organization and sometimes some tough advice, I want to help in a way that will really give you a boost to take this dream and turn it into a reality. The one thing I am known for is my honesty and I plan to keep that integrity through-out my mentorship program. Sometimes saying the hardest thing, though, is the best mentorship one can give because otherwise you will just stay in a rut. And this program will be for those who want to take this head on and take it seriously.

Private mentorships will give me the chance to help each student, one on one. The curriculum will be based on what your specific needs are and not on a pre-determined schedule. You’ll get one on one attention from me, with sound advice and guidance from a fashion photographer that has been shooting professionally for over 27 years and has been published in magazines from Playboy to Harper’s Bazaar. Initially I will go through your portfolio and assess where you’re at in your career and then we’ll discuss what you want to learn from me and what your ultimate goal is with fashion photography.

I’m limiting the mentorships to a small number of students so if you don’t get on the first one then we’ll put you on a waiting list. I want to work with students who are willing to devote the entire month to this program. You must be available to keep our Skype appointments and to be able to execute any homework I give you for that week. I mean, hey, it’s your career, not mine. Don’t waste your money signing up for something you can’t be devoted to.

I’m very much looking forward to meeting some of you and working with you. I have made some very good friends from previous workshops and some students from my past workshops are now assisting me on shoots. It’s a wonderful experience and I’m here to help you any way I can. But the rest is up to you. Next step is to click here to find out more about it and sign up. See you soon. xoxo