Celebrating over 28 years of

Empowering youth
through photography



Join First Exposures for Envision: Community Portrait Day on Saturday, Dec 3rd. FX youth photographers will be making free holiday portraits for families of the Women's Building and de Young visitors.


First Exposures leverages the power of mentoring relationships and photography to empower young people to thrive, express themselves creatively, and become leaders in their communities.


Right now, our mentees’ lives are changing at an alarming rate, and it’s so important that we prepare our young people for the world ahead of them. With compassion, attention, and support, we can help the next generation reach their potential. 




We are living in a time in which solidarity can no longer be a noun, living only in our words and on our social media, but it must be a verb of action, protest, and unlearning. Read how First Exposures is committed to dismantling systemic inequality.

"First Exposures is the safe place where I can be myself. My mentor is the one I can confide in when I need any support."

Ella Dean, age 18, fifth-year mentee


Become a mentor or mentee and join our First Exposures family! 

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First Exposures +

Youth Speaks

Youth Speaks and First Exposures have come together in an innovative partnership to create a safe space for youth, storytelling, and community building in San Francisco’s Mission District. Collectively, for over 50 years, First Exposures and Youth Speaks have provided young people with free access to arts programming through direct mentorship, arts education, and opportunities to amplify their stories for positive change.


Photographers for Our Future

First Exposures teamed up with some extraordinary photographers to launch Photographers For Our Future, a campaign to support the creativity and wellbeing of the youth of First Exposures during this trying time. Each week, we will highlight new artists who has generously donated their work for you to purchase and support the programming at First Exposures. Your purchase will help keep FX free for the young photographers we mentor.

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make an impact

Since 2004, over 95 percent of our students have gone on to pursue a college education.