This year we have brought some alumni back to the fold of the workshops to assist the faculty and staff throughout the week as a chance to come back and increase their education and networking through the Summit Series.

Mark Mahan, Sports ’12 & Lighting ’14, had some great insight into his mentor experience: 

I had a great time coming back to Summit Sports Workshop as a mentor.  I attended in 2012 as a student learning skills and concepts that gave me the confidence to call the photo editor at the local paper when I returned home.

Attending the workshop helped open that door, through which I was able to go on and become a regular free lancer for the newspaper.  I wanted to come back to the Sports workshop because it felt like a safe place, a place where people love photography and want to improve their craft.  It also gave me a chance to measure my growth, reconnect with faculty, get out of my comfort zone and renew my vision.

The best part of returning to the workshop were listening to faculty give critiques of the student images and seeing what the faculty presentations in the evenings.  I love to see other photographers look at images and talk about what works or what doesn’t.


I think anyone that has attended a Summit workshop could benefit from being a mentor.  The best way to perfect a craft, in my opinion,  is two fold, one is practice, and the other is giving back.  Being in a place where having more experience than attendees but not to the level of faculty refreshed ideas I had heard before as well as spawn new ones.The first time I attended the amount of information and the schedule were almost overwhelming, and to be able to go back and hear with a fresh set of ears was incredibly helpful.  And besides, it it the best week with nearly no sleep of the year!  A special thanks to Rich, and all the faculty for creating such a unique place to learn photography that is not only theory, but that applies in the real world.


Jen Edney, Sports ’04 , Adventure ’08 ’11 & Nature ’06 ’13, also had some great things to say about her time with the mentorship:

Every time I have come to a workshop as a student or, in this case, as a mentor, it has only RedigD_2pushed me forward in the right direction. Whether it’s learning to use a DSLR for the first time (I had never touched or seen one before my first workshop!) learning a new lighting technique, pitching a story or how to best utilize social media in marketing my business, i’ve always come away re-inspired and charged up. For me, it’s a chance to check in with myself to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of my business.


The people & relationships built are what I enjoyed most. The camaraderie, passion, inspiration and stimulation is what I love about this workshop. Everyone is there for a reason and it shows throughout the week amongst the faculty, staff and students. The unique thing about the Summit Series of Workshops is the emphasis not only on soaking up all you can throughout the day with photo shoots, critiques and class time, but also on social time, interaction with the faculty, staff and students.
To me, that time is priceless and one of the most important aspects of the workshop.This community has helped so much in my growth both as an individual and professional. I believe in paying it forward and giving back to the community, in this case, with my time and what I’ve learned over the years. Being a Summit Mentor is a great way to stay involved, to continue to inspire and be inspired by this amazing community.



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