Apart from regular mentorship programs conducted by some of the faculty members of the photography department, a very special mentorship program known as International Mentorship Program has been incorporated in the curriculum, which is the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
The program aims to create a space where young photographers of Bangladesh and other countries engage themselves. It’s a space where the young photographers can expand their boundaries and potential. It’s intended to broaden their visual perspective and push the boundaries of their personal development. The International Mentorship elevates the professional skills and knowledge. The Program provides an opportunity for photographers to shoot, refine and publish their work, with an emphasis on nurturing of visual narratives.

Teaching format:

The program runs for 6 months. In the beginning the mentor conducts a 3-day workshop on documentary photography. Then every student is asked to pitch their idea for their personal project of six months. Once discussed and decided on the topic, students are assigned to work on their project for six months.

Every 10 days, the mentor has a one to one session with every student, giving them feedback on their work and sharing mentor’s thoughts and experiences about how to tell and develop a photo story. Duration of each session is between 1hr. to 2 hrs. The workshops are conducted in a variety of formats, as directed by the program tutor:
• Self-directed shooting
• Group reviews
• One to one critique
• Editing & sequencing sessions
• Tutor lectures
• Mini assignments


By the end of the program, participants should
• Have a thoroughly planned and critically informed self-directed body of photographic work
• Be able to demonstrate creative, visual, intellectual and technical abilities
• Have deeper understanding of the history of documentary photography and critically analyze photography within both historical and theoretical frameworks
• Engage in informed, critical self-reflection and the ability to critique peers
• Demonstrate an understanding of editing photographs for different outputs (‘versioning’)
• Develop an understanding of the variety of ways in which photography can function as a means of personal expression and as a documentary record.

Basic Information:
Duration: Six months. (Online) Classes start from September 24, 2020
Last date of Portfolio Submission: September 15, 2020
The Portfolio should have a story of 15 photographs.


BDT 40, 000
SAARC countries: 500 USD
Other Asian countries: 1000 USD
Countries from other continents: 1500 USD

Other facilities:
Workshop on photographic proposal writing for long term project
Workshop on multimedia story telling
Workshop on sound recording for multimedia
Workshop on DSLR camera filming for multimedia
Access to fully equipped professional photography studio
Access to darkroom

How to Apply:
The 1st International Mentor program of Saiful Huq Omi is open to international photographers with a good level of photographic aptitude. Photographers who wish to participate in International Mentor program will need to submit at least one portfolio of 15 works (with artist statement), bio, CV, as well as a short paragraph on what is hoped to be achieved in this program (through email addressing [email protected]). The mentor will select participants based on their portfolio submission.

About Mentor:

Saiful Huq Omi is a photographer and human rights activist. He is the founder of the international photography school named Counter Foto in Bangladesh, which was established on 23rd November 2013.

He is globally known for his long term projects. Omi has won many major international photography awards and grants and been published in many major publications across the world. He has been exhibited in 23 different countries since he took photography as his carrier in 2006. He has been photographing the Rohingyas since 2009 in Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Malaysia, in the United Kingdom.

He has won the All Roads National Geographic Award for his works on political violence in Bangladesh in 2006. He has won award of excellence in 2008 and Silver Medal in 2009 from the China International Press Photography Contest. He is one of the finalists for the Aftermath Project Grant-2009 and Alexia Grant for two consecutive years 2009 and 2010 for his project on the Rohingya refuges of Myanmar. He is selected for ‘Europe And Asia’ exhibition in Russia and LOOK3 in USA in 2009. His on going work on the Rohingya refugees of Myanmar has been selected for the Moving Walls 17 Exhibition. He has won the emerging photographers grant from Open Society Institute (OSI) in 2010. He has been selected for the special jury prize of DAYS JAPAN International Photojournalism Awards in 2010 for his work on the Rohingya refugees. He has won the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund for his Rohingya project. His on going work on the ship breaking industry is selected in Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism. And he has been selected in the 17th Joop Swart Masterclass in 2010.

He has published his first book named –“Heroes Never Die- Tales of Political Violence in Bangladesh, 1989-2005”.