MVS On the Road

To learn from MVS, attend one of her public appearances listed below, or attend one of her upcoming workshops. If you are considering meeting privately with MVS, know that she frequently adds a day or two to the agenda of her personal appearances around the country to work with photographers (priority given to existing clients).

April 20-25, Boston: MVS at the Griffin Museum

April 20, 2018toApril 25, 2018

This April, MVS will once again be returning to the Griffin Museum for her annual NESOP event (FRIDAY, APRIL 20th, open to NESOP Students, Alumni and Griffin Museum Members) as well as other weekend presentations and special portfolio reviews for current Griffin Museum Members.  Planning is underway and details will be announced here and on the Programming section of the Griffin website.  If you are not already member of the Griffin, consider joining here.

June 11-15, Ephraim, UT: SummerSnow Visual Arts Workshops

June 11, 2018toJune 15, 2018


Finding Your Audience: An Introduction to Marketing your Photographs

Held at Ephraim College

Registration opens December 18th, here.

This new workshop with Mary Virginia Swanson will provide a broad overview of today’s markets for photography, including the fine print collecting arena, and placement of work in the editorial and commercial licensing markets.

Through comprehensive lectures and visual examples, Swanson will discuss the path to finding your audience from concept to execution, presentation and marketing decisions, and sharing your work in exhibition or publication formats. Sponsorship and funding will be addressed, as well as the realities of being published and self-publishing photography books today.

Each student will also have a private meeting with Swanson focusing on their specific projects.

Students should bring their work in print form and a broader selection of work in smaller proof prints or edited digital files.

Level: Intermediate and Advanced; applicants should be committed to success with their photographs and be working towards fine craftsmanship.

May 19-20, NYC: Aperture Workshop – BEYOND PRINT

May 19, 2018toMay 20, 2018



As personal photographic projects come to completion, producing a publication can be an invaluable means to share the work with a broader audience.

Whether your book is published by a trade publisher, a small press, or you elect to publish your work yourself your publication date is just the beginning of the journey for your book and much of the market efforts will likely will fall to you. There are avenues for exposure within national press read by the photobook community and the broader public, based on the subject of your project. If you wish for your book to function as an path to new audiences via additional platforms, targeted research and presentation formats must be championed such as exhibitions with related educational programing can extend awareness and attention to the book throughout the tour of the show. From examining existing and desired audiences to the possibility of exhibitions this workshop will broaden perspectives and methods that aid in securing exposure for your book and your work.

During this weekend workshop participants will:

  • Confirm or reconsider their targeted audience for their project.
  • Determine “pitch” content to push out content on the book to the media.
  • Consider and set plans for implementing targeted social media content to reach this audience.
  • Research and assess potential venues for exhibitions of book content.
  • Research and assess potential bulk-sale buyers of their books.

Further details and registration will be posted on Aperture’s website here.  Email Emily Stewart ( to reserve a space.

Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York

February 10, Phoenix: INFOCUS Portfolio Workshop 2018

February 10, 2018
9:00 amto4:45 pm

INFOCUS Portfolio Workshop 2018

With Mary Virginia Swanson and photography experts
Saturday, February 10, 2018

A signature annual INFOCUS event, the one-day Portfolio Workshop includes a morning presentation and discussion for the general public, followed by an afternoon session for registered photographers. During the morning session, Mary Virginia Swanson will provide an insight into who buys prints, past to present. Following will be a panel discussion on “The Changing Market for Acquiring Fine Art Prints” from the perspective of experts in the field. The morning session is open to the public with registration.

Following a break for lunch, the afternoon session will provide the opportunity for registered participants to have their portfolio of work reviewed and critiqued by experts in the photography field. This session is open only to INFOCUS members and is limited to 15 participants.

Further details and registration through INFOCUS‘s website here.

Half Day: 9:00 – 11:45 AM
Tickets $5, Free for members

Full Day: 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM
$115 INFOCUS Members
$190 Non-Members

Phoenix Art Museum, Singer Hall
1625 N. Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85004

December 6, New Orleans: PhotoNOLA Education Day “The Path to a Photobook Today: Why, What When”

December 6, 2017
9:00 amto1:00 pm

PhotoNOLA 2017 Education Day Seminar

Thursday, December 6, 2017, 9:00 AM. – 1:00 PM
Workshop Fee: $40 in advance / $50 at door
Open to the public. Register Here.

About the Seminar: The form a publishing project can take today runs the gamut from self-published, short-run artist’s books to print-on-demand titles produced on digital presses to the diverse production values of contemporary monographs. Self-publishing is easier than ever, and we are seeing a sharp increase in photobook publishing ventures. Should you be tempted to bring your work to publication? And if so, what are realistic expectations for a book to make a significant impact on your career?

The seminar will consist of multiple components:

To Be Published or Self-Publish?

A lecture by Mary Virginia Swanson.

Shark Tank: Photography Book Edition

A Presentation by Colleen Mullins
In this informative and comedic presentation, Photographers / Educators Colleen Mullins and Javier Carmona recreate an episode of the television program Shark Tank, examining the publication options for a photographer on the verge of this important career milestone. Enjoy the drama as the tables are turned, and the photographer becomes the “Shark”, with potential investment money in hand, and the competing “Entrepreneurs” represent different publishing industry models to consider.

Participants: JAVIER CARMONA, Artist, Professor of Photography and Head of Digital Cinema at Dominican University, and COLLEEN MULLINS, Artist, Independent Educator

Industry Professionals Presentations and Panel with Audience Q&A

The Industry presentations features sage publishing professionals who will provide insights on the path a project takes when moving from fine prints to the printed page and beyond in its role as a book in your career trajectory. Using recent titles as examples, each will impart expertise on the important steps of editing, design, production quality and marketing, their ideas on how to best present your projects as well as the strategic decisions a publisher makes when adding new titles to their overall list.


  • SOOANNE BERNER, Sales and Marketing Executive at MACK U.K.
  • JOAN BROOKBANK, Publishing Agent, Director, Joan Brookbank Projects NYC
  • DAVID CHICKEY, Publisher, Designer and Editorial Director, Radius Books Santa Fe, NM
  • AMELIA LANG, Executive Managing Editor of the book program, Aperture Foundation NYC

Moderator: Mary Virginia Swanson

(The Moderator and all four Panelists will be graciously serving as Portfolio Reviewers during PhotoNOLA; see that section of this website for expanded professional biographies.)

International House Hotel’s Conference Center at Entrepreneurs’ Row
220 Camp Street, 2nd Floor (directly across the street from the Hotel)
New Orleans, LA 70130

March 14 & 19, Houston: MVS Available for Consultations

March 14, 2018toMarch 19, 2018

MVS will be available for a limited number of in-person consultations in Houston, Texas before and after the second session of portfolio reviews at the FotoFest 2018 Biennial.  If you have worked with Ms. Swanson in the past, please feel free to contact her directly at to schedule a session.

If this would be your initial consultation, please visit “Mentoring with MVS” and follow the links to submit a client fact sheet; upon receipt she will be in touch with you to schedule your initial consultation.

Sessions are confirmed in the order requests are received.

March 15–18, 2018: MVS Participating in FotoFest, Session 2

March 15, 2018toMarch 18, 2018

MVS will be participating as a Portfolio Reviewer in the second session of the FotoFest 2018 Biennial in Houston, Texas.

Details about the portfolio reviews are here.

January 16–21, 2018, Tucson: The MVS Master Class

January 16, 2018toJanuary 21, 2018

Finding Your Audience: The MVS Master Class
Tucson, Arizona

I am pleased to announce that I will once again be hosting my Master Class in Tucson in January 2017.  As in the past, this year’s discussions and seminars will be at an ADVANCED level; acceptance is by application only.  Class size is limited – applications are now closed for the 2018 workshop.

Each January since 2014, Finding Your Audience: MVS Master Class, was deemed a great success by participants – read their testimonials on the lower portion of this page.

Join us in Tucson at the start of the new year to jump start your creativity and marketing awareness!

For further details and to apply go to

December 7–10, New Orleans: MVS Participating and Presenting at PhotoNOLA

December 7, 2017toDecember 10, 2017

PhotoNOLA is an annual festival of photography in New Orleans, coordinated by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in partnership with galleries, museums and photographers citywide.

The 12th annual PhotoNOLA festival will take place from December 7–10, 2017 with broad ranging photography exhibitions on display throughout the month. The lineup includes portfolio reviews, workshops, lectures, book signings and the PhotoGALA. Many events are free and open to the public.

Please join us to celebrate the art of photography, New Orleans style!”

December 7th: MVS will be presenting a morning education panel on Photobooks–panelists to be announced.

December 2–3, NYC: Participating in “Edit, Sequence, Present and Promote Your Photographs” Workshop with James Estrin

December 2, 2017toDecember 3, 2017

With James Estrin, the co-editor of the New York Times Lens blog; Mary Virginia Swanson; and Sarah Leen, photo editor for National Geographic magazine

Learn to select, sequence and publish visual stories.

MVS will be joining NYT Staff Photographer and Lens Blog co-editor James Estrin at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism to teach this workshop.  More details will be announced soon.

Many people can take decent photographs. Few photographers understand how to edit, sequence and present their work. These skills will enable you to be better visual storytellers and will help you distinguish yourself from other photographers.

In this intensive weekend workshop you will learn how to edit and sequence photo essays and long-term projects. We will cover story structure, photo editing for presentation in magazines, books, exhibitions or on the web. The workshop will also focus on how to market your stories and yourself.

Level: Intermediate to Advanced.

Class meets Saturday, December 2, 10 AM – 6 PM and Sunday, December 3, 11:30 AM – 6 PM
Tuition: $600

To register visit:


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