Mary Virginia Swanson has been indispensable as I have navigated my career. With her help I have clarified my goals and vision. This has enabled me to get to the heart of my creative practice. She has helped me along the road with prep for portfolio reviews, negotiating license agreements and exhibitions, fundraising, etc. and has contributed greatly to my project’s success. She is an invaluable asset to the photo community and her generous spirit is much appreciated. I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with her.
—Alejandro Durán (website)
I have enjoyed many years of consulting and working with Mary Virginia Swanson. I was engaged in a long term project of which many phases of the project took place. Building a strong portfolio, exhibiting and publishing books. Mary Virginia consulted me on the processes which helped in accomplishing my goals of having the work seen internationally, recognized and included in major collections and having a book published by a major publisher such as the University of Texas Press. She has a strong impact on my future career decisions and the steps I take to accomplish those decisions.
—Loli Kantor (website)
My work with Mary Virginia Swanson has spanned many years. She has helped me clarify and identify my path as an artist. Her knowledge, insight and dedication to the photographic arts is astounding. I have secured exhibit ions, had images published,refined my website, created a catalog of recent projects and enlarged my community of fellow photographers, all under her guidance and unwavering enthusiasm, patience and kindness.
In summary, Mar Virginia’s assistance has been: HUGE – GINORMOUS – MONUMENTAL – WHOPPING – HUMONGOUS.
I thank the stars that my path has crossed with Mary Virginia.
—Elizabeth Stone (website)
When I left my legal career to make visual work, the art world was a mystery.
Mary Virginia has been my Sherpa, helping me to better understand my work, my audience, and how to connect the two. At each step of the way, her input has been invaluable, from teaching me how to refine my artist’s statement– the key to multiple successful grant proposals–to navigating a first book contract. I couldn’t ask for a better guide.
—Debi Cornwall (website)
David Paul Bayles
A few months ago I faced a career opportunity that was new to me. Mary Virginia was my first phone call.
As always, with laser-like precision, a passion for the possible and a warm heart, she suggested an action plan for me to follow. Prior to each of our consultations she did her homework on my situation, bringing insight and key information. Her guidance on where and what I needed to research was spot on. Leading up to a key meeting, she coached me on the right questions to ask, and what questions I might be asked.
Thanks to Mary Virginia’s guidance and mentoring, I walked into the meeting fully prepared. I walked out with more than I hoped for.
I have immense gratitude for Swanee and her unique role in supporting me in this process. Mary Virginia Swanson should always be your first call.
—David Paul Bayles (website)
She asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years”. What a great opening question.
What to do first? Settle on what you want the world to see. Give the project a name that has action. Present it to the world through reviews. My second review was at Photolucida in Portland Oregon. Mary Virginia helped me clarify who to see and how to chose my words to describe my work and how to take into account the person you were seeing. I saw Ms. Krist from National Geographic. My work was then seen on Proof:National Geographic followed by great comments, other articles written, prints sold and more.
Her enthusiasm is infectious. She has so much to offer, so many insights into the weaving of the business world and the artist; so many ways of moving a career forward. She is the genuine teacher. Helping to focus on who you are, what you want to say and how to say it is just the beginning.
—Cheryl Medow (website)
Working with Mary Virginia Swanson has been a pleasure and an inspiration. I was able to make subtle yet major changes to the organization of my website with her collaboration. Her knowledge and experience is surpassed by no one else in the field. She has been a visionary force in the field and is articulate, intelligent, and generous. I look forward to future projects with MVS.
—Anne Turyn (website)
Linda Foard Roberts
I am deeply grateful to Mary Virginia Swanson for her invaluable support and astute navigation. She was instrumental in helping me steer the complex publishing world. Her guidance ultimately resulted in Radius Books publishing my new monograph, Passage, which recently launched at Paris Photo. I will always be grateful to Swan for her belief in me, her guidance and generous support. She is selfless, caring, honest and her stealth like navigation is invaluable in the world of photography today. She is an incredible listener. With her support, it was like going on stage at school to sing a solo with your mom standing in the wings quietly cheering you on. You know she is there and that gives you courage. Thanks Swan!
Additionally, Mary Virginia’s guidance and support are immeasurable during an artists career building years. Her vast experience with photographic galleries, publishers, artists, curators, critical thinkers from all over the world is invaluable. She connects and assesses each artist individually and choreographs a supportive plan of action, taking into account the artist’s other life’s commitments and challenges.
—Linda Foard Roberts (website)
Mary Virginia Swanson “gets” photography, and just as importantly, she “gets” photographers. I first met with her in 2010. Within the first few minutes of talking and looking at my prints, she understood my motivations and my work, and helped clarify some things in my own mind as well.
I have been working with her ever since. Her support has been unwavering, and her advice has been spot on. She has helped me define and place my photography within the marketplace, helped guide me through a web site redesign, and advised me on portfolio reviews and other opportunities to show my work. The most tangible result of this process has been obtaining gallery representation—one of my major goals. I plan to continue following her advice and look forward to where it leads next.
—Jim Banks (website)
If it wasn’t for Mary Virginia’s strong urging in entering several important photography competitions, my project wouldn’t be where it is today. Her insight and understanding of how this whole crazy world of photography works is invaluable. It takes all kinds and she helps you find your place in it.
It continues to be a honor to work with Mary Virginia, over ten years now. I have the upmost respect in her judgement and recommendations. She pushes and challenges as far as you are willing or want to go.
—Tom Kiefer (website)