Today is the day I announce the mentees of my 2024 Photography Mentorship Program! Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply – I am honoured that so many people would consider being mentored by me. I read through every application and checked out everyone’s work, and selecting only two was a challenge – there is a lot of talent and drive out there!

I am incredibly excited to work with Carmen Therriault and Jonathan Gillingham this year and see where we can take their photography and businesses!

Carmen Therriault

Carmen Therriault is a photographer based in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, with a diverse portfolio. She photographs grand and intimate landscapes, portraits, puppies, and the night sky. Carmen is an active and adventurous person, which matches well with me. Locally, she enjoys kayaking, paddleboarding, and wild ice skating, and she also heads out to the mountains for skiing, hiking, and camping. I, of course, googled Carmen and found out she was involved in her community, has used her photography to help local charities such as the Humane Society, and has interest in helping others (perhaps one day she’ll have the tough task of trying to pick a photography mentee!).

Seeing that Carmen was already getting her name out with articles, entering photo contests, and having hosted a few photography workshops, I thought she would have a great foundation to build off of. Helping advocate for more women in astrophotography is something I am continuously striving for – though I must admit sometimes it’s hard to know what to do and how to make an impact. In her application, Carmen mentioned wanting to stay true to her style, voice, and creative expression, and keeping the joy in photography as she dives further into photography as a business. I am a promoter of authenticity and being yourself, so I felt I could work well with someone who also held that value. I think we’ll make some big leaps this year, and have some fun working together.

Follow along with Carmen on her social media accounts:

Jonathan Gillingham

Jonathan Gillingham is originally from Newfoundland and Labrador and now lives in Yellowknife – a fantastic location for a nature photographer who loves wildlife and aurora. Jon wants to share how he sees his part of the world, and wants to do it honestly and realistically. I’ve seen his passion for nature and wildlife in the field, and his openness and inquisitiveness for the environment around him. His need and curiosity to explore is influenced by his mixed heritage; Indigenous (NunatuKavut), English, Irish, French, German, and Scandinavian, with traces of other roots in Southern Europe.

When I called Jon to tell him that I wanted to choose him as one of my mentees, I was a bit sneaky about it. He thought I was calling about answering some WordPress questions. It took him a moment to process what I said and how I segued from a website to, “would you like to be my mentee?”. Jon told me he almost didn’t apply – he brought up that I had talked about wanting to help more women in nature photography in a workshop, and he thought I was going to pick a woman. I was hoping to be able to choose one woman, but I was thinking about picking a second person if there was enough interest. So, both of us are very glad Jon did not talk himself out of applying!

Even though I did know Jon, I didn’t know for certain that I was reading his answers when I went through the applications. I exported a spreadsheet with no names, links, or other identifiers to give myself the best opportunity to remove bias when looking at the answers. When I matched names and portfolios to answers, I thought Jon would crush his goals. Where he wants to take his photography is well thought out, and he is motivated. I know he’ll work hard…and he’ll understand all my Letterkenny references. Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er!

Follow along with Jon through his website and social media accounts:

The mentorship program will be back for 2025! Every year I look for something different. This year, I was hoping to find people who had a bit of a foundation laid out that we could build upon. In a previous year, I had two people who were essentially just starting. If you’re interested in the program make sure you sign up for my newsletter below to get notified when applications are open. I also offer virtual mentorships that can be used for anything from editing, to portfolio review, to business development. These are fully tailored to what you want and need to work on.

    I have to shout out two friends who know me quite well and helped me (listened to my frustrations about how hard it was to make a decision) in my process. Thank you Shane Turgeon and Mitch Popilchak!