Mary Virginia Swanson generously shares her wealth of knowledge, insights and enthusiastic optimism with all she meets. Grab on to ten percent of her ideas and you will be amazed how far you can go with your photography and career. A trusted friend, MVS, is candid, honest and always supportive of your progress and success.
—Jamey Stillings (website)
Laura Alice Watt
I am still in awe of the ENORMOUS and invaluable guidance I was given by Mary Virginia Swanson in preparing for my first portfolio review — which I wouldn’t have even known about except for her good advice! Our early phone conversations helped me to identify and refine my strongest bodies of work. From our first chat, Mary Virginia has been incredibly encouraging; her enthusiasm gave me the confidence to sign up for the event. Her editorial eye is sharp and clear, her suggestions always strong without altering my own vision, and her insight into the professional realm of fine-art photography was essential to navigating my way. By phone and email, we worked together on a new business card design, selected the highest priority reviewers for my work, and prepared promotional materials, all of which added up to a focused and successful review. No matter where my photography career goes from here, Mary Virginia can claim the lion’s share of credit for helping to get my feet under me at the start, and I will always be grateful.
—Laura Alice Watt (website)
Mary Virginia Swanson is a coach. You can hire her to coach you for one inning, the whole game, the entire season or throughout your career. I initially came to Mary Virginia to help me package my work for a portfolio review competition. That single event planted the seed that matured into an entire forest of multiple projects, exhibitions and books. She taught me how to set and achieve goals, how to brand myself and how to market my work. When you invest in Mary Virginia Swanson, you invest in yourself.
—Nell Dickerson (website)
Susan A. Barnett
A meeting with Mary Virginia Swanson is your moment to learn what it is to be a successful photographer today and the chance to ask all those questions brewing in your psyche. It is a compassionate talk, rare in this business. It is not only that she knows everyone but she understands their hopes and dreams and helps them fulfill them. To my surprise Mary Virginia counseled that she wanted to streamline my promotion so I will have time to shoot. That demonstrated to me how much she respects photographers and her unique understanding of our natures.She sets you at ease and allows you to experience the true joy and privilege of being able to take pictures that speak to our audiences. Unique in her overview, she is an ambassador for the photographer, comprehending our needs as well as those who curate. Her grace, civility and enthusiasm light up any room and she represents the best of who we are or can be.
—Susan A. Barnett (website)
After hearing great things about Mary Virginia Swanson for years, I finally decided to contact her for a consultation. It was the best thing I ever did. Her advice changed my life and for this, I am forever grateful. On my own, I would never have known what steps to take to set my career into motion. I am amazed by the range and depth of her knowledge and skills concerning all aspects of the business of photography. She is THE world’s expert and I give her my highest recommendation!
—Jessica Hines (website)
S. Gayle Stevens
Mary Virginia Swanson is the wisest investment I made in my career. Under Mary Virginia’s guidance, the recognition of my work and the success of my art career has grown greatly and exceeded what I could have accomplished on my own. Mary Virginia has helped me with the creation of my website, preparing for portfolio reviews, marketing my work and she always has a smile on her face.
—S. Gayle Stevens (website)
Mary Virginia Swanson’s informed guidance has been an essential part of the completion and placement of my project “In the Studio of Roy Lichtenstein”. After this work laying dormant for 15 years, with her direction, a book is due to be published late in 2011. Additionally, it has been exhibited in 5 venues in the past year. Without hesitation I would encourage others to work with Mary Virginia to have their creative goals brought to fruition.
—Laurie Lambrecht (website)
MVS: Thanks again for your help. With the perspective of the two weeks since our meeting, I can say that our time really re-focused things not only with the tactical changes you suggested, but in a strategic sense as well. I see some possibilities I hadn’t considered before and a tangible sense of how to push myself in a new direction, or return to the path I’ve wanted to be on all along.
—Carl Bower (website)
Mary Beth Meehan
The most amazing thing about working with Mary Virginia Swanson is that she takes the time to understand who you are, as an individual and as a photographer, as well as what you are trying to achieve with your work. Then, she quickly gets down to business, whittling her vast knowledge of the field into a personal plan for you. She has helped me stay focused on an authentic path, even nudging me back to myself when I have gotten distracted and overwhelmed. She is optimistic, constructive, and – reassuringly – there when you need her. She is an amazing resource to all of us.
—Mary Beth Meehan (website)
There is no one like Mary Virginia Swanson. Period.
I’ve had decades of experience as a photographer, author and business owner and I know—and have worked with—talented people around the world. Mary Virginia Swanson ranks with the best of them, but she’s my go-to person when it comes to questions relating to world of photography. She knows how to ask the right questions and focuses—quickly, efficiently and brilliantly—on whatever I put before her. One of the many things I love about working with her is that she can help me with a photography issue I’m struggling with, but she also helps me with problems I didn’t know I had. I once brought Mary Virginia an early-stage project to look at, and she encouraged me to rethink the title of the project; she was right—and the new title made a big difference in how I, and others, saw the work. Mary Virginia Swanson has also helped me with questions about licensing photographs and dealing with publishers and contracts—if it relates to photography, she can deal with it. Working with Mary Virginia Swanson has made me a better photographer, and a more successful one. She’s also a truly lovely human being.
—Judith Fox (website)