Mentoring Opportunities


I believe that everyone has a story and it’s the sharing of those stories that connects us and keeps us sane.

The humor, the fear, the near insanity or impossibility of this life journey —
I just don’t think any of us survive it without sharing stories. 

Without them, we can’t show empathy, we can’t feel grace, we don’t understand that we are all going through it unless
we tell each other we are all going through it. 

Your art is your way of sharing your story.

Our mentorship will revolve around discovering your voice, your vision, your unique perspective of this world.

The paths are all different, but the goal is consistent –
I want you to love what you create.

How it works.

I will combine your story with my curriculum development background
to create your individualized plan of action.
Through analyzing your unique situation, studying your work and the work you love,
we will work together to uncover your passion and style.

You are a born maker and we need what you can bring to us because you are the only one that can bring it.  -Brené Brown

Mentoring Options
One-on-one mentoring
(plan of action based on pre-mentoring questionnaire)

Portfolio Review

One hour video conference to review and discuss your  50-75 image portfolio

The Reflective Artist self-paced mentoring workshop

includes the 4-part The Reflective Artist workshop
and mentor feedback on all assignments
Workshop must be completed within a 6-month time frame
a look inside the workshop


What people are saying about Mel Karlberg Photography Workshops and Mentoring

I simply can’t express my gratefulness for the amazing mentoring session! Mel Karlberg Photography Workshops and Mentoring is an exceptional teacher who honestly shares her expertise and insight in an encouraging and inspiring manner. She asks discerning questions in order to add depth and meaning to your art. In addition, she provides practical advice on methods by which to enhance your photos through cropping, color, angles, and beyond. Mel provides a clear over-arching philosophy that will take your images, and your joy in creating them, to a new level. You will certainly be thankful you chose Mel as your mentor!
– Elizabeth Willson, It’s Still Life Photography

I chose Mel as my mentor after taking her terrific online class, The Reflective Artist.  Her approach to any teaching, whether individual or group-based, is dynamic, dedicated, and wholly engaged, and her writing and communication skills are superior, a talent that manifests in both her teaching materials and her written and video critiques. She has made it her job to know absolutely everything there is to know about photography, both technically and creatively, and is able to address questions from and offer honest, encouraging advice to students at any level. While she is an accomplished photographer herself, she doesn’t rely on examining her own work in order to educate students (unlike other, far less successful teachers I’ve encountered). For her mentorships, she provides monthly video critiques as well as general availability via email to answer queries, assign creative exercises, recommend supplemental materials, and review images. One of my favorite aspects of Mel’s teaching is her belief that all artistic disciplines are interrelated; so, to facilitate a greater understanding of photography, she might bring in a podcast with Sting or an interview with Yo-Yo Ma, or assign a journaling exercise to explore the emotions that add depth and dimension to our work. It is a gift to us all that Mel makes herself available as a resource.
-Beth Thomas, EBeth Photography

Mel is incredibly passionate about telling stories, but more importantly, telling your personal story through photographs. Mel allowed me to see why I photograph things the way I do. She looks beyond the photograph and the apparent story in it and helps you pinpoint the choices you made in creating the photograph and why you made those. I’ve come away from the class more confident in my voice; I don’t feel the need to apologize for my voice.
– Kate Luber, Kate Luber Photography

I’ll be honest and say the journalling aspect of the class was challenging for me, but the prompts and guidance provided were so helpful and really gave me a place to start.  I found it interesting to see how Mel tied aspects of writing to our photographic work. While some of the concepts discussed in the materials were not 100% new to me, the way we approached them in Mel’s class was different from any other class I’ve taken. I was forced to learn new things, and to approach things I thought I knew from a different direction, and I think that is incredibly valuable.  I hold instructors to a high standard, and while I know everyone has lives, when you commit to teaching a class I feel you really need to be present.   Not everyone is a good photographer AND a good teacher.  I found the information well organized, and easy to follow. I really appreciated the visual examples of different concepts. I can honestly say that Mel was one of the most helpful, responsive instructors I’ve worked with – she is excellent at explaining and expanding upon ideas introduced in the pdf’s and I found her assessments of the work we submitted to be so insightful. I have found myself revisiting the materials and I know that I will continue to do so. There is a ton of good stuff in there!  I would encourage anyone who has a good grasp on their technical skills to consider this class, even if you are (like me) someone who would typically shy away from a creative class.
– Jana O’Flaherty, 2204 Photography 

This class was a huge awakening of introspection for me. And not just as a photographer, but as an artist in general. This workshop was really the beginning of the next phase of my artist’s journey. Pondering the daily writing prompts and spending time along, me the paper and my pencil was so rejuvenating. My soul needed it. I have always been afraid of writing, probably the result of a high school teacher’s scathing remarks on an essay or two. I was pretty apprehensive to begin writing every day. What if my sentences didn’t make sense or I sounded like an idiot. But after a few days of practice I found the words flowing out, and looking forward to the daily prompts. After I started listening with an open mind to my words, I discovered myself experimenting more in my photography as well with the literary elements that Mel discussed. Taking chances, trying something new. When I become more introspective, my soul opened itself. My style and what I want to say finally all become clear.
– Sherri Davis, Sherri Davis Photography

There are times during my photography journey when lessons appear at the very time that I need them the most. I was feeling this need to slow down, to return to the core of my photography, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Through the gentle guidance of Mel Karlberg in her workshop “The Reflective Artist,” I feel I have slowed down the ever churning wheels in my mind. The practice of daily writing and being grateful for the beauty in my world was exactly what I needed. I have returned to not only what inspires me in my photography but also in my life in general. It was a thought provoking workshop, one that stretched me at times. I have grown from the experience and truly admire the knowledge and care shown by Mel during the workshop.
Cindy Cavanagh, Photographer

A few elements are clear: Mel’s talent, her lifetime passion for photography, and mission in developing us as artists of our stories through images. She is a teacher, at heart. This is a more intensive workshop given the potentially deeper analysis, and Mel healthily challenged us through questions and observation to further guide our understanding. As a result, we had the opportunity to learn new material, and also start to examine un-learning old perceptions and constructs that have impeded our growth. I see this workshop, for me, as part of a longstanding plan to thoughtfully continue to appreciate and support where I’m at, and most importantly, who I am as a photographer and an artist.
– Lori Timmis

When I signed up for The Reflective Artist, I had hoped to gain some insight on how to look deep into myself and then show that vulnerability in the images that I create. Through Mel’s beautifully prepared materials, I was able to feel comfortable reflecting on my work in a way that I hadn’t previously considered. While I expected this workshop to be more about introspection than process, I found that the techniques offered created an opportunity for me to add depth to my work using tools I hadn’t previously considered. The literary elements and techniques discussed during week two and three offer a fantastic foundation for me to build future images.
– Jennifer Carr, Jennifer Carr Photography 

Mel’s workshop was unlike any I had ever taken. Her class materials were so well thought out and the lessons had so much depth. I never would have thought how writing could help you focus your mind and creativity but while reading her pdfs, I could see how. After the first week of practicing the daily assignments, I got it. It was amazing how much clearer I could think throughout the day and that translated to less noise in my head while I was photographing. I know I will continue to use the techniques she taught and I’m so happy to have them at my disposable now!
– Cynthia Dawson, Cynthia Dawson Photography 

The Reflective Artist encouraged me to push further in my art and to explore and understand more of what I was already doing. I’ve never understood myself or my photography better. I feel like I’m now shooting with more purpose and more intention and I’ve no doubt I’m creating my best art now thanks largely to the thoughtful encouragement of Mel and The Reflective Artist. I really do believe that exploring your thoughts through writing leads to a deeper level of creativity. I cannot recommend this class enough. There is nothing else like it out there.
– Lynzi Berg, Lynzi Berg Photography

It was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and expertise. Your guidance is exactly want I needed! I am thrilled with the goals we established, and cannot wait to work with you more!Mel is the whole package! From Making It Click to The Reflective Artist to Individual Mentor Sessions, I seriously could not have picked a better path or a better teacher. I simply can’t express my gratefulness for the amazing mentoring session! Mel is an exceptional teacher who honestly shares her expertise and insight in an encouraging and inspiring manner. You will certainly be thankful you chose her to mentor you!
– Jen Holliday, Photographer

Education and photography background

B.A. in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations
Master’s in Education (Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment)
I have been studying photography and editing for over 20 years (way back in the darkroom and original Photoshop days 😉 ), and made photography education my sole career about 3 years ago.

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