Mentee Alumni

We like to keep in touch with the participants of our programmes so we can follow their progress. Here’s some feedback about our the Mentoring Programme and an update on what some of our past mentees are up to now. . .

Mentoring Programme 2011

Mike Byrne ("Best Fashion and Portrait" Winner. Glasgow Team)

“ The YPA program was my chance to push my limits. . . Businesswise I came to realize how important a good creative team is. I spent years building a network of talented people, and for the YPA shoot I needed them all to make it a success. . .

The YPA exhibited the images in London and New York. In the last few months they have also been included in two shows in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. I have also been awarded a substantial cash award from ‘Artists Wanted 2011’, and to top it all off they’ll be published in two books later this year. It has been an interesting and exciting time to say the least and the YPA deserve credit for providing those opportunities.”

Mike Byrne is currently living in California and busy with a range of commercial projects.



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From left: "Butcher from 'I Chop You'";" "Madrone Studios, San Francisco";"Madrone Studios, San Francisco", "DJ Alex, Doodlebug" © Michael Byrne

Libby Livermore (London Reportage Team)

“I feel that the YPA programme has really helped me to grow as a photographer: I've gained a lot of confidence from doing things out of my 'comfort zone' and it has helped me to work towards specific concepts and deadlines. Overall, I feel that I'm a more accomplished photographer due to the experiences I've taken away from being a mentee with YPA, as it has helped me to create an identity as a photographer, and encouraged me to develop a style without being repetitive. It has also inspired me to start creating my own website!

I'd strongly encourage any young photographer to participate in the YPA programme: it's a fantastic experience and all of the YPA team are really supportive and help you to stretch and enhance your ideas and skills.”

Since taking part in the YPA programme, Libby Livermore has done photo-editing work for the Natural History Museum, London, and had her conceptual photography featured in both publications and galleries. She has also recently done some commercial work for a landscaping company and worked on some personal projects (including a conceptual-based project on face-art).


Suzi Ovens (London Fashion & Portrait Team)

"The mentoring program helped me in numerous, immeasurable ways. Not having any formal training in photography, being mentored by Sharon O'Neil and John Wright allowed me to gain the industry knowledge that is priceless to me. It also gave me the chance to meet fellow young photographers and learn from them. Through the mentorship, I've exhibited in New York and twice in London, at the Hoxton Gallery and Truman Brewery. The program gave me the confidence and knowledge to develop my work, and push my abilities to new levels. The images I created for the mentor program are now licensed with Getty Images, and has allowed me to become a regular Getty Contributor."

Suzi Ovens is now developing her fashion and fine art portfolios and she has a studio in North London.



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From left: "Sparkle Poi"; "Agata & Eleanor"; "Eleanor" © Suzi Ovens


Tina Remiz ("Best in Show" winner, London Reportage Team)

Tina received one-on-one mentoring with Metro Imaging and a £500 voucher as part of her prize.

“I would say that my experience of the YPA Mentoring Programme is ongoing, since it went far beyond the initial four weeks, helping me to establish valuable connections, find new friends and colleagues and opened a lot of new and exciting opportunities--international exposure, collaborations and ongoing mentoring.

Metro was incredibly supportive on every stage of working on my new project. From the first steps of buying film, I used their help to scan and edit negatives later and am about to order prints for my Degree Show. Moreover, Steve McLeod and his team gave me valuable feedback, helped during both research and editing stages, gave written feedback for my university course evaluation and introduced me to people who might be interested to see my work. Metro mentoring was really flexible, allowing me to ask for support when needed and really helped to develop my new project and learn a lot about photographic craft on the way.”

Tina Remiz is is now working on a documentary project, Krievi (the Latvian name for Russians), about the Russian community in Latvia.



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From left: "The Nativity of Christ Cathedral in Riga"; "Natalija Koshevaja, singer from the Russian folk choir Dushechka."; " Vadim Grossman, an actor from the Riga Russian Drama Theatre".© Tina Remiz


Rob Stothard (London Reportage Team)

"The YPA's mentoring programme gave me the ideal platform to research and produce a documentary project that I am proud of. I gained a huge amount from the opportunity to have my work critiqued at various stages the project's progress by the professional mentors.

The programme instilled some confidence in my own way of working which was invaluable when I was able to show the YPA final project at interview for a place on the prestigious MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication.

Also thanks to the YPA programme I made some good friends that I continue to keep in touch with, share work with and seek advice from. I believe that this kind of peer network is invaluable when trying to enter the competitive world of photojournalism.”

Rob Stothard is currently based in London working for the Times.



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From left: "An elderly women votes at a polling station in Cairo's affluent Missaha Square."; "A young revolutionary leads chants against Egyptian Presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in Tahrir Square, Cairo." © Rob Stothard


Allie Suwanrumpha (London Reportage Team)

“The YPA programme made me think about photography more from both a photographer’s and picture editor’s point of view – what may work for a photographer might not necessarily work for a picture editor, so in this respect it was highly useful to have these kind of people as mentors at the same time.”

Allie Sumanrumpha is currently working for a sports events photography company, covering tournaments across the UK mainly specialising in football and rugby.


Kat Waters ("TPOTY/ YPA Emerging Talent" winner, London Reportage Team)

Kat won a place on the YPA Mentoring Programme as one of the winners of the "TPOTY/YPA Emerging Talent" award in Travel Photographer of the Year competition.

"The YPA was a great introduction to the 'real world' of photojournalism, through the process of dealing with a difficult brief and developing initial ideas into a strong portfolio. I had great support from my mentors, who continue to offer support and advice when I have questions or doubts of any kind. Justin Sutcliffe was an amazing influence when I suffered a crisis of confidence in my own work earlier this year and nearly packed it in for good- now I'm currently undertaking a project on small community cinemas in Cornwall, where the rural population are unable to reach mainstream cinemas.”

Kat Waters just finished her first year studying Press and Editorial Photogaphy at University College Falmouth.



Mentoring Programme 2010

Sarah Howe (London Team)

"My experience with the YPA was a great stimulus to create new work straight out of my BA at the University of Westminster. Ultimately it inspired me to travel to New York to create a documentary project which resulted in my first solo show in London at the start of this year. I have gone on to exhibit at London's Other Art Fair and have been given the opportunity to work on a commission with Russian Artist Aida Emeliyanova. The lasting connections made through the YPA scheme with the other students and mentors have been greatly rewarding on a professional and personal level." 

Sarah Howe exhibited her New York work in her first solo show, "Private Lives", at the Foundry Gallery in London from 26th March 2012 to 11th May 2012. "Private Lives" was selected as one of The London Evening Standard’s Five Best Small Photographic Exhibitions.



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From left: "Jenny C'est Quoi."; "Martina Markota." © Sarah Howe