Mentor program: Art & Storytelling spring 2020 with Cheryl Newman & guests
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Bilder Nordic School of Photography is proud to present the sixth version of the mentor program ART & STORYTELLING with the renown photo editor Cheryl Newman and a team of inspiring guests. The workshop is aimed to you who need guidance in forming a professional portfolio with a distinct photographic identity or are working on a long-term project that needs a final presentation. In addition, the workshop will prepare you to get in touch with photo editors to secure your assignments. 

For norwegian version – click here

This workshop is meant for photographers with work experience, people with an education within photography or very experienced enthusiasts. You should have a solid amount of work and a desire to advance to an international professional level. The workshop is not genre-defined and can also suit you who are in the process of a long-term project where you need guidance in further development and presentation forms.

The mentor program covers two different angles; the photographer and the photo editor. From the perspective of the photographer you’ll go through themes ranging from selection of portfolios and platforms to how to plan and prepare for your first meeting with a photo editor and how to handle possible rejections. From the perspective of the photo editor, you’re focusing on finding a niche, developing a distinctive style and getting your work published, as well as a realistic approach to marketing strategies, estimating projects, and working with customers.

This is a unique opportunity to reshape your portfolio in a manner that qualifies for viewing in international portfolio reviews and professional venues as well as preparation before referring to important industry contacts.


I came to the Mentor programme with a huge portfolio – perhaps 5 years of unedited work. The help, advise and input I received from Cheryl Newman and Marcus Bleasdale both conceptually and practically was invaluable and a revelation to my artistic practice. They are both in touch with the photography industry internationally and together we edited a new portfolio.

Following the programme I continued to work with Cheryl. We first made a trip to Copenhagen to meet with galleries where she introduced me to interesting people within the art and photography business. Then in 2016 she contacted me to say that she had found a gallery that was very interested in my work (what a nice mail to get!).

In May 2016 I was invited to submit work to FIXphoto via LA Noble Gallery in London. This was a high profile exhibition during Photo London at The Barge House Gallery on London’s South Bank. From this exhibition I am now delighted to be represented by Laura Noble in the UK.

The group of dedicated photographers I met in the mentor program was also a very positive experience. I made many new friends whom I keep in contact with both in Oslo and London. – Einar Sira, participant of the mentor program spring 2015


The workshop runs over four weeks in spring 2020, with four mentoring  weekends from March 7th to May 24th. We start off with an intense kick-off weekend where you present your current portfolio and analyze strengths and weaknesses as well as set a goal for the workshop. During the workshop you will be encouraged to shoot new material to strengthen parts of your portfolio and get feedback on this. Along the way you will meet several exciting guests; both Norwegian and international photographers and industry actors (more info coming soon!). You will work to further develop a distinctive personal style, as well as present your work both digitally, online and on print. The closing weekend is used to complete a professional portfolio in book form that meets the requirements for meeting professional image actors in the international market.


Mentorprogram med Cheryl Newman V19 - Bilder Nordic


What kind of portfolio do you need? How should you build the right style and image range for your portfolio? How do you get assignments based on your photographic identity? What kind of platform should you present your work on? What images are photo editors expecting to see? How do you get a meeting with the photo editor? How to choose a marketing strategy? If these are questions you want answers to, this is the workshop for you!


About Cheryl Newman
Cheryl Newman is an independent photographer, curator and consultant living in London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and Chairman of the prestigious RPS Photographic Awards. For more than fifteen years she was the photography director of the Telegraph magazine where she raised the profile of the magazine commissioning intelligent and inventive photography worldwide. She is a contributing editor and writer with PYLOT magazine showcasing art, fashion and documentary analogue imagery. She has served as a jury member for numerous photographic awards globally and a regular speaker on the photo circuit in the UK, US and Europe. Currently she is commissioning and curating, ‘We Feed the World’, a photographic project documenting agroecology globally. The exhibition will premier in London in April 2018. Cheryl is a nominator for the Deutsche Borse Photography prize and consultant and judge for the Moran Photography Awards, Sydney, Australia. Cheryl is the 2019 Curatorial Director of PondyPHOTO, an international public art, photography festival in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India.


The mentor program I run in conjunction with Bilder Nordic is unique within Norway. As an editor, writer and educator of photographer my experience within the industry is exceptional. The 15 years I spent as photography director of the award-winning Telegraph magazine has given me access to many of the worlds most renowned photographers, publishers and gallerists and my work as both a curator and artist has enriched my experience within the photographic community. The program we have developed is rich, rewarding and most of all flexible in its approach to allow the artists to develop their practice in a challenging and supportive atmosphere. The photographers can expect honesty, enthusiasm and commitment from me and I would expect them to be able to take gentle criticism when necessary, be open-minded and to take suggestions on board.

Through the weekend workshops we will look at many aspects of photographic practice including; photographic genres and where I fit, how to edit and sequence your work, the complexities of the photographic print, working towards a photo books, how to reach an audience, creating a great website, how to survive in the marketplace, ethics and why you need them, new funding models and grant applications, commercial collaboration, and the editorial market.

But primarily we will dig deep into who you are as an artist and fundamentally improve and enrich your practice. With support from international guests, including photographers, publishers and gallerists this is a motivational, exciting and fun experience for the practicing photographer and a life changing experience for the enthusiastic amateur. I am very excited to work with photographers developing on long-term projects in an environment of mutual respect. – Cheryl Newman

The mentor program involves several formal international guests, as well as several informal local guests. More information about the formal guests is published on a continuous basis.


Alys Tomlinson
Alys is an award-winning editorial and fine art photographer based in London. Having grown up in Brighton, Alys went on to study English Literature and Communications at the University of Leeds. After graduating, she moved to New York for a year and was given her first commission for Time Out, before coming back to London to study photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She has recently completed a part-time MA in Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage (Distinction) at SOAS, University of London, which ties in with her long-term, personal project about pilgrimage. Alys combines commissioned work for editorial, design and advertising clients with personal work, which she publishes and exhibits.

Alys Tomlinson - mentorprogram V20

Fiona Rogers

Fiona Rogers is the Chief Operating Officer of Magnum Photos, responsible for managing the operations of the agency and designing and implementing strategies with the CEO. She is also the founder of Firecracker, a platform supporting female photographers, and recently authored a book published by Thames & Hudson; Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now, celebrating contemporary women practitioners. She has participated as a judge for several notable competitions, including, the Mack First Book Award and the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography. She is on the Board of the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol and an advisor to the Royal Photographic Society.

Fiona Rogers - guest mentorprogram V20

Jonny Briggs
Jonny studied at Chelsea College of Art and Royal College of Art in London. Awards include Saatchi Gallery UK/raine Finalist, 2014, 2017 and 2018 Paul Huf nominations, Foam Talent 2014, the 2011 Conran Award for Fine Art, a Lumi Honorary Art Award (2011), Saatchi New Sensations 2011 Winner, The Catlin Prize finalist 2012, and a NESTA Creative Sparks Award.

Solo exhibitions include The Benaki Museum in Greece 2018, Photoforum Pasquart Photography Museum in Switzerland 2017, N Contemporary, hosted at MC2 Gallery in Milan 2015, Marie-Laure Fleisch in Rome 2015, Julie Meneret in New York City 2014, Simon Oldfield Gallery in London 2013, FaMa Gallery in Verona 2012, and White Project in Paris 2012.

Group shows include The Benaki Museum in Greece, The Mark Rothko Centre in Latvia, 5 exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery, Shanghai Ziang Cheng Centre of Photography in China, open Eye gallery in Liverpool, 176 Zabludowicz Collection, Jerwood Space and Photographers’ Gallery in London, L’Atelier Néerlandais in Paris, Centre Photographique in Normandy, The Marta Herford Museum in Germany, Fondazione Fotografia Modena, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Stilll Gallery and Galerie d’YS in Belgium and East Wing Gallery in Dubai.

Work has been published in the British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, Arte, Aesthetica Magazine, Elephant Magazine, The Financial Times, La Stampa and national newspapers of France, South Korea and The Netherlands, and documentaries of the work have been shown on Channel 4, Sky TV and French and German cable TV. Jonny undertook a Fellowship at Birmingham City University, and is a Lecturer at London College of Communication (Head of 3rdyear Photography BA degree).

Natural Inside, photography by Jonny Briggs - guest mentorprogram V20

Bruno Ceschel
Bruno Ceschel is the founder and director of Self Publish, Be Happy and a visiting lecturer at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London, and École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL). His latest book Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto was published by Aperture in 2015. He founded Self Publish, Be Happy in 2010, and has since organised events at leading arts institutions including Tate Modern (Britain), Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Denmark), MoMA PS1 (United States) and the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia), and published books by Lucas Blalock, Carmen Winant, Lorenzo Vitturi and many more. Ceschel gives lectures and workshops internationally, and also consults for leading companies interested in contemporary photography.

Ceschel writes regularly for a number of publications such as FOAM, The British Journal of Photography and Aperture Magazine and has guest-edited issues of Photography and Culture, Ojo de Pez and The PhotoBook Review.



  • March 7-8 / Kick-off weekend with Cheryl Newman / Guest: Alys Tomlinson – working with a long term project
    10:00 – 18:00 saturday & sunday


  • April 4-5 / Mentoring weekend with Cheryl Newman / Guest: Fiona Rogers Magnum / Firecracker  – How to get your project into the public arena
    10:00 – 18:00 saturday & sunday


  • April 25-26 / Mentoring weekend with Cheryl Newman / Guest: Jonny Briggs – Working with family
    10:00 – 18:00 saturday & sunday


  • May 23-24 / Final weekend with Cheryl Newman / Guest: Bruno Ceschel, Self Publish, Be Happy – photo book publishing and zine workshop – editing and sequencing.
    10:00 – 18:00 saturday & sunday


Mentorprogram H19 - bilder nordic

Practical information

Kick-off weekend March 7th-8th
Mentoring weekend April 4th-5th
Mentoring weekend April 25th-26th
Final weekend May 23rd-24th

Detailed program in the end of the page.

Bilder Nordic School of Photography, Nedre Vollgate 8, 0158 Oslo

NOK 15 000,-

Maximum participants 

To secure your seat on the mentor program you’re required to upload your portfolio. When you’ve signed up through the button in the header you’ll receive an automated email with instructions to finalise your registration.