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The Exploration of Photography

Highlighting the mentorship journey of six Explorer’s of Light and their talented mentee’s

The Mentors

The Explorers share their photographic passions and technical expertise with eager photographers looking to put their skills to the test!

BRUCE DORN

Landscapes & Concepts

VANESSA JOY

Weddings + Business

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ROBERTO VALENZUELA

Developing and Refining Creative Ideas in Fashion Photography

JENNIFER WU

Reflections in Nature

BRUCE DORN

Landscapes & Concepts

VANESSA JOY

Weddings + Business

ROBERTO VALENZUELA

Developing and Refining Creative Ideas in Fashion Photography

JENNIFER WU

Reflections in Nature

MEET THE MENTEES

Discover the work of these talented and aspiring photographers. For the mentorship, each photographer conducted research and selected a respective mentee(s) based on their specific set of criteria.

Sara Honanie

Growing up in Northern Arizona, Sara was surrounded by the perfect backdrop for any photographic image.

Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, the Vermillion Cliffs, and Arizona’s spectacular “Chocolate Falls” are practically an extension of her own back yard. Sara absolutely loves landscape photography but is starting to develop an interest in environmental portraiture and concept-driven photography. Her fascination with photography started at an early age and it was her determination — plus her creative eye — which helped her get noticed by Explorer of Light Bruce Dorn. While working under Bruce’s mentorship, Sara has transformed her intuitive image capture into stunning compositions.

Sara loves and cherishes nature and hopes that her heartfelt imagery will inspire others to do the same. Sara and her dad are currently exploring the idea of starting their own photography and image printing business.

Follow her on Instagram for more @sarahonieimages!

Bhuvana Dhinesh

BBhuvana dhinesh is a multicultural wedding photographer from Austin. Born and raised in India, moved to the USA in 2011. Started as a landscape photographer in 2012, since then Bhuvana have evolved as a wedding and portrait photographer. She is passionate about baking sourdough bread, playing tennis and reading books.

Lana Polić

Hello, my name is Lana Polić, and I am Croatian. I was born in Rijeka and grew up in the small port city Novi Vinodolski. As of the last two years, I have returned to living in beautiful Rijeka, where I have been happily pursuing a career in photography. I studied and graduated from the University of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Opatija, Croatia. I worked in the hospitality industry until discovering the passion for photography. There have never been photographers in my family, nor have I known many of them, so everything learned at this moment about the camera, lighting, compositions, posing, etc., comes from self-study and hard work. For me, the personal challenge was stepping into a completely foreign world of photography, despite my degree and profession. I followed my feelings believing that I can do more and better in my creative pursuit. The love for photography came spontaneously. As a child, I spent most of my time drawing female portraits. Sometimes I would look for photographs of great artists in my father’s encyclopedias and then tried to transfer them to paper. Ultimately, this need for creativity found its way into my later age and manifested into the current passion for photography. The opportunity to make something creative through a new form was both exciting and motivational. I strive to be more than just a good photographer, and I want to be a great one. My biggest wish is to perfect my skills and lead workshops to share my knowledge with others. Photography takes up most of my time, and I rejoice at the very thought of doing what I genuinely love, and I call this a real blessing in life.

Sofiya Glaysh

Hello! My name is Sofiya Gladysh. I came here as an immigrant from Ukraine when I was five, and as I grew up, I became a lover of everything that has to do with art, and a lover of making connections with people. I discovered my passion for photography in high school, I still remember borrowing a camera for the first time, going into my mom’s garden, and taking a photo of a sunflower that was illuminated by sunlight. The reason why photography struck a chord with me is because of how incredibly unique it is. As a kid I always tried being a full-blown artist, but I could never seem to come up with what I wanted to draw, so I relied on mimicking other drawings. With photography it was different, I already had everything I needed to create something artistic, everything was already in front of me. I just had to move, reframe, or change the camera setting to make it what I pictured. Photography also engraved a habit of seeking out anything that will make me say “that would be a wonderful photograph”. Now as I go about my day, I enjoy those moments of awe. My first subject became nature, because it never fails to have something incredible to find and capture. Even though I’m still exploring, and don’t fully know whether I want to photograph wildlife, landscapes, or even teach photography, I know that I want to see the full potential of this art, and I wholeheartedly want to know where photography will take me. I still have so much to learn, but I am so ready for it. I want to photograph it all, the glamorous starry night skies, the rushing bodies of water, and the hidden gems within each country. Thank you for this opportunity!