As we began reviewing the submissions for Sony Alpha Female, one thing became clear: this would be a difficult task. The women creators who threw their hats in the ring were all deserving in their own way, all had big dreams worthy of support, and all made a passionate case for themselves. We went through almost six thousand submissions, judging them based on how well they addressed the program goals, and landed on our top twenty or so finalists. Then, after further in-depth review, we selected our five winners.
The Creators In Residence Meet The Mentors
Our five Creators-in-Residence started their virtual residency on December 1st, 2018 and our first order of business was putting them and their mentors in touch. Of course, in this day of no degrees of separation, most of them had already connected and started talking soon after the winners were announced—it was clear the drive we were seeking in our Creators-in-Residence was there, as expected.
The next order of business was setting everyone up with gear. We provided kits of cameras, lenses, and accessories, so that our Creators could do their work without worrying about the tools of creation. You’ll likely see stories, as we go along, about some of their transitions to brand new state-of-the-art Sony gear, and how that is impacting their workflow and creativity. And if you happen to follow them on social media, you may have already seen some of their stories when they received their gear—we were in pass-the-popcorn mode ourselves, just wildly excited to see them get their hands on all that gear magic.
We also had our first team calls for each individual Creator-in-Residence, to have an initial conversation about goals and residency plans. In a program like this, where the goal is career growth, in whichever shape that comes, flexibility is key. As new ideas and possibilities came into view after the Creators talked with the mentors, everyone made adjustments to their original plans.
So we’re headed into month two of the program with solid goals, brand new gear, and as luck would have it, the unparalleled energy that comes with entering a new year.
But our Creators in Residence weren’t the only ones we wanted to see move forward with their plans. We have a growing Alpha Female Community who is just as important to us and whom we want to help grow their careers just as much. We want to help our almost six thousand applicants, and the other tens of thousands of creators who didn’t apply, but considered it, or who didn’t know about the program, but also need the support, just as much as we help our five winners. So while our Creators were taking their first steps in the program, we began working on a plan to help our Community rise at the same time, and take advantage of some of the same resources that our Creators-in-Residence have access to.
And as we hinted in our Alpha Female Facebook group—if you haven’t joined yet, you should do it right now—we’re preparing to launch Alpha Female Special Projects, in which we offer support to members of our Community who caught our eye with their plans and ideas, to get one step closer to reaching their goals. If you’re wondering who these creators are, well, it could be you, reading this right now. We haven’t yet reached out to anyone, but we do have a handful of people already in mind. We’ll start reaching out to our Special Project winners next week, and as soon as we shake on it, we’ll let everyone know so they can start following their story along.
Next, everyone will have a chance to learn from our network of extraordinary creators. Starting on January 16, 2019 we’ll begin our series of Alpha Creator Sessions. Each week, our Community will tackle a new topic in webinar format, which will include a lecture for the first half, and a live Q&A session for the second half. Our first lecturers will be none others than our Alpha Female Mentors: Brooke Shaden will share her wisdom on living passionately, Cristina Mittermeier will teach us about living purposefully, Caroline Jensen will share the rules of living authentically, Me Ra Koh will teach us how to build confidence as professional creators, and Sara France will walk us through what it takes to build a strong business as a creator. And that’s just the beginning. The webinars will continue all through June, 2019 and we’ll have more extraordinary creators join us to share their wisdom, and one of our very own tech experts will join us once a month to offer gear tutorials that will help you get the most out of your cameras. Stay tuned to AlphaUniverse.com and the Alpha Female Facebook group for sign-up details.
Lastly, our first Creator-in-Residence group get-together will take place toward the end of January, and we’ll open up our first networking event to some lucky creators from the New York area to come mingle with our Creators-in-Residence, Mentors, and industry figures. Stay tuned for more details in mid-January, 2019.
We’re moving into the future bright-eyed and warm-hearted, and we hope you’ll come along for the ride. Whether you’re an Alpha Female yourself, or a supporter of Alpha Females, we welcome you into our Family with open arms. Because that’s what Alphas do.