Mentor Program

Focusing on photojournalists who have already launched a career, the VII Mentor Program complements VII Academy’s program of study for those beginning their visual education.

The VII Mentor Program was launched by VII Agency in 2008, and is now managed by VII Academy. The Mentor Program provides a structured professional environment for emerging new talents in the industry, including Hostile Environment Awareness Training, focusing on those from the majority world and under-represented communities. Many of the program’s mentees have gone on to build successful careers in the media. Some of them are now members of VII, Noor, and Magnum photo agencies, and are working on assignments for publications like The New York Times, TIME, and National Geographic.

The Mentor Program lasts two years with assessments every six months. During this time, mentees will have weekly scheduled contact with the program leader (VII photographer Ziyah Gafic) and will be integrated into a structured professional learning environment with monthly expert sessions exploring critical topics as ethics, business practice, grant writing, branding, design fundamentals, story pitching, entrepreneurship, legalities, and more. Mentees will work with editors, curators, and other media professionals and be assigned to a practicing member of VII Agency who will provide professional guidance and mentoring. VII Agency distributes the photographer’s work for the duration of the program.

The 2021-2023 cohort of mentees was announced in November 2021. These ten gifted young photographers with diverse experiences were chosen from nearly 300 applicants from 65 countries.

In addition to this intake of mentees, we will soon announce more mentoring initiatives, including the Leica Women Foto Project x VII Mentor Program winners.

The next edition of the program will open for applications in fall 2023.