Mentorship program 2019



class of 2019




Nothing can beat a long term mentorship program when you are looking for real results. In my in-person workshops, I can get people started. With three months I can actually get you to finish something significant—something of value”.

I wasn’t sure how online mentoring would go when I did my first class in 2018 as I’m so used to in-person critique. So I was skeptical at the start. Yet I found it exceptionally rewarding and productive. 

The reality is that many are not in a position to travel to one of my in-person workshops for any number of reasons. Scheduling, jobs, school, family, and travel expense. 

The online mentoring not only solves a lot of those problems but also has students all over the world shooting a wide variety of stories. I tell everyone anyway, if you can’t shoot in your own backyard then you can’t shoot in someone else’s.

Go check out my last mentoring group and you will see exactly what I mean. Read the bios, see the work. Join me if this seems like the right fit for you.


“David has a unique talent for teaching. I have found myself inspired and encouraged by his brilliance, generosity, and courageous sincerity. He will challenge you to further build on your genuine and authentic strengths, which will help you tackle the complexities of life within your artistic and professional goals. He has been my mentor for several years and I have taken huge strides under his guidance, which is why I am grateful for David’s vital role in what will soon be my first photography book.”
— Maria Daniel Balcazar

Intended for intermediate to advanced students, this new mentorship program is a long-term version of David's popular in-person workshops...a mix of virtual group meetings and individual guidance over the course of 3-months will enable you to dive deep into your own personal project with an eye toward developing your work into a powerful photo essay, book project, gallery exhibit and/or for preparing you for entry into an agency.

The group will meet online twice monthly via Zoom (a streaming webinar service) to review/discuss your ongoing project(s). It will consist of group and personal one-on-one mentoring, group review and critique of work and project, as well as serve as an accountability resource and group support network. Guest speakers will round out the group experience.

Anyone who knows David can assure you that you won't work harder for anything in your life - but it will also be time filled with personal and professional growth. You’ll come out the other side with a stronger connection to your voice and your style.


This 3-month ONLINE MENTORSHIP program includes

Approximately Twice Monthly Group Zoom/Video Meetings (total of 6) for ongoing review/critique and accountability with your personal project. We expect this will last about 4 hours. All meeting will be recorded for you to keep.

1-hour Private One-on-One Zoom/Video sessions with David each month to discuss your project, ambitions and how to achieve them. You will receive all the personal mentoring you need. That is the whole point.

Guest Speakers - photographers, photo editors or book designers

A final presentation of student work.

Student Limit: 10

Start date: estimated early March 2019 (we will refine as students gather).

Tuition: $4400

  • Portfolio Review & Interview Required

  • Rolling Admission - Registration will close when the class is filled

  • $100 non-refundable application fee credited toward deposit

  • Deposit* of $1000 required to hold your spot ($900 after application fee).

  • Balance* due prior to first meeting.

    *These are refundable if you choose not to participate prior to the start of class and we are able to fill your spot with another student. They are non-refundable once class begins.






More comments from previous students:

The workshop can be challenging. Most of us had a crisis and took some hits in between, but we surely all left as better photographers, with a bunch of new friends and smiles on our faces.

David helped me personally to see and trust my kind of beauty and subject matter – I’ll be forever thankful for this. That is a big step up for any photographer!

— Lars Borges @larsborges

Within what felt like an instant, David homed in on the areas where I needed the most guidance. He helped me address and push through issues I was not even aware I had. His mentorship has changed not only my photography but how I view my work in the context of my life. I am forever grateful to him for all that I have learned, his time, energy, and the continued interest and support he shows in my work & my progress as a photographer. An opportunity to learn from him is priceless. — Lauren Koplowitz

David creates an environment that is incredibly engaging, knowledgeable, inclusive and inspiring!  I entered his workshop with hopes to broaden my knowledge of photography.  What I got was so much more!  Not only do I feel my photography improved tremendously under David’s guidance, but also my understanding of how to use photography to live a better life.  David’s ability to quickly recognize my strengths and weaknesses and identify next steps kept me moving forward throughout the entire workshop. I appreciated his honest and sincere feedback, he does “tell it like it is”...  Forever grateful for his guidance, generosity and wonderful spirit!  Thank you for everything. 

My experience at David's online class of 2018 is unforgettable. I never expected to be so constantly encouraged to push my own limits in producing better and better work, till one day, I found myself astonished at what great photographs I was producing. David, besides being a critically acclaimed Magnum photographer, deserves as many accolades for being a great, great teacher. It is rare to see such a combination of skills. He was extremely patient, a very good listener, and in his own way nudged each of us to continuously improve our photography. He embraced whatever individual style each student had, never imposing his own manner of taking photographs on any one. 

I would definitely recommend that any photographer, whether advanced or intermediate, join David's classes. The take away is phenomenal and will stay embedded in one's photography for a lifetime. — SHOBA JOLLY

After so many changes, I ended up closing a series that was waiting to be finished for the past 5 years and a new one that I shoot in just 2 months. Amazing experience, partner and mentor.  Also, huge thanks to Michelle Madden Smith who was always there with a strong feedback and everything in order to keep us connected from NY, NC, Denver or Rio de Janeiro!

I was not really sure what I signed up for and being very critical and somewhat tired of recent in-person workshops I did, I thought I'd give this online mentorship program a chance. Little did I know that the impact of this mentorship program was going to be so huge. David pushed me out of my comfortable street photography bubble into an area of self portraiture that I never thought to explore before joining this program. I always believed D workshops were there to improve your photography skills - but these months taught me so much more, I became interested in reading more about Photography, buying many new books, following more Instagram profiles, being open minded about work I never understood before and listening to what it actually means to be a Photographer. David is very knowledgeable and very direct, he does not put up with people who don't make an effort or don't work hard so you will be pushed but in a positive lasting way. You learn a lot from your fellow students and the diversity and International aspect of the group is wonderful. If you are interested, give it a go, you will get so much more out of it than you would ever imagine and you can count on it that your project is going to be entirely different from what you thought it would be at the start. — TANJA HOUWERZIJL

I spent 8-9 months in David’s inner circle mentorship. Without really knowing what to expect I entered the mentorship program the day before it started, it was one of those "Spur of the moment" decisions. It was a tough journey, with all from shooing hundreds of images on a day, to being frustrated and having a complete "writers block" the next month, and at one time, I almost decided "enough is enough, it's not worth it.", but with tough love David keept pushing me i the right direction. Before the Mentorship I had boxed photography in to a technical box, and even though that I thought that I was telling stories and shooting feelings, I am not quite sure that I was, but today I am definitely on the right track. Today I have learned to remove the "filter" between my brain and the camera, which makes it way easier to shoot what I feel, and experience the photograph. Last but not leas, Davids "Air traffic controller" Michelle, was the glue that held it all together, and made sure we where all "alright" after the long and at timeS tough online meetings. It's was a unique opportunity for me, living in Denmark, to be able pick a the brain of a photographer like David, for a longer period of time. I would never have had the same "return", from a one week workshop. If I had to do it all over again, knowing how hard it would be, then I would do it ;)JAKOB KJOELLER

The workshop overall was so helpful to me and I am so grateful to David (and Michelle) for all of the support and guidance I received. I never would have been able to move forward with this project and have results I am proud of had I not had access to his advice, immediate feedback and encouragement. He was always accessible anytime I needed him, and I really learned so much, from him and the other students.

It was supposed to be a professional investment. I wanted my work to improve. I wanted to become an artist. I wanted to see things differently... With a deeper perspective. I followed him for a very long time. I was inspired by his work and his way of working. I trusted his words every time he said he works from his heart. I tried for a while to hide, though. As always. However he was very determined on his believe that if I wanted to improve my work I should look into the mirror. I had no clue how to do it. I knew it made sense. But how on earth should I do it? His determination (not to say stubbornness) payed off. In a very impactful manner.

I didn't only look into the mirror. I was able to look into my soul, my fears, my darkest side. I was able to make sense of my pain through my work. I was able to pay respect to who I am, what I have faced and how much I have grown. For this I had to turn the camera to myself.

I have no words to show my appreciation for David’s deep commitment, careful eye and  heartfelt feedback. You, Michelle and all the generous participants, made it possible to turn this photography journey into a healing and beautiful process as well. My deepest gratitude to you all.FERNANDA COTELESSA

Six months. And a bunch of photos. That's what it was supposed to be, at least in my mind. Six months, during which I'd work on a photo project with a group of other students online, from around the world, under the guidance of the one and only David Alan Harvey.

I wanted to photograph the idea of grace, from a Christian perspective. How hard could that be? We sing songs about it, we talk about it. Our world's been changed by it. But there hadn't been too many photos of it, from what I could tell, much less photo essays on it. So off I went.

Well, with David's generosity, six months became more like eight (or nine!) months. Months of ups and downs, of frustration and joy. Of learning so many things, and of absorbing the wisdom and experiences of David, and all the other students. All made possible by the incomparable Michelle Madden Smith— awesome organizer, sage counsellor, and perhaps the only one able to keep David in line.

Now I should say that even with the extra time, and all the help I've gotten, this is not really a complete project. It's changed from being about what grace might look like into the story of grace. And that's a long, rich, wondrous story, far bigger than what I've been able to capture these past months.JOEY KOH