Mary Virginia Swanson’s personal workshops and public lectures are her educational focus. Artists interested in benefiting from her expertise are encouraged to apply for one of her workshops. Below you will find a listing of her upcoming workshops; portfolio required for acceptance to all 5-day courses.
April 8 & 9, 2017
Hosted by the Aperture Foundation in New York, NY
In this two-day workshop, Swanson will explore a wide range of venues for photography in public, institutional, and private sectors while focusing strongly on learning to “read” their websites for clues to the demographics they reach. She will also discuss the importance of building, rather than buying, a mailing list with well-researched individuals, frequency of contact, and best practices for communication, whether via direct contact or utilizing social media platforms. Learn more »
June 10 & 11, 2017
Hosted by CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, New York, NY
This will be my first time teaching with the great JAMES ESTRIN, NYT photographer and co-editor of the Lens Blog at his weekend-long crash course covering the basics on polishing and presenting a body of work. This course typically has two guests and the fact that SARAH LEEN, Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic Magazine is also a guest will be memorable. I will be participating all weekend, and responsible for the “Present and Promote” component. Join us! We meet each day at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in midtown Manhattan. Learn more »
July 23–29, 2017
Hosted by Santa Fe Photographic Workshops
This workshop is designed to provide serious photographers with insights and practical knowledge to navigate and access today’s diverse marketplace. A portfolio of images and overview of professional experience will be reviewed for consideration of participation. Learn more »
January 17–22, 2017
Held in Tucson, Arizona
NOTE: 2017 was a great success! Watch for 2018 dates to be announced.
This workshop is designed for photographers who have begun to present their work to targeted audiences, with career strategy at the core of our discussions. Photographers will gain a deeper and broader understanding of today’s print collecting, licensing and publication markets and more in this advanced workshop.
Priority will be given to applications who have attended the MVS Master Class in the past.
Participants benefit a great deal from the experience of others. Artists accepted to this workshop will be encouraged to share their professional experiences with the class. Learn more »
The following remarks are from participants in MVS’ recent workshops:
I wanted to personally thank you for a most energizing workshop in Tucson (January 2016). I learned so much on that very intensive week. I felt like you had created the workshop just for me. Everything fit so perfectly to my needs, it was as if I had special ordered the itinerary. I delivered my portfolio to the CA+E at the Nevada Museum of Art and I am thankful I waited until after your workshop, as I was able to make some small changes that made for a much improved portfolio. They were impressed with every detail of the portfolio and I have you to thank! After delivery I spent time in the museum taking in David Taylor’s show! An amazing opportunity to experience David’s studio and thoughts then take in the show! Now that educational and what fun! Now, I’m going to pursue a book from my wind energy body of work, I’ll be back, to glean from your vast knowledge of photography, as well as much needed re-energizing. -Deon R.
The workshop was such an amazing experience, I can’t begin to tell you. It was intense in a good way. I felt it was an immersion in the world of photography and photographers, much like one learns a new language. Living, eating, breathing it for those 4-5 days has meant it is staying with me. I can’t stop thinking about it and am so excited to implement as much as I can from what I have learned from you and the other speakers. Inspiring. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. You are a treasure, such a resource and such a good teacher. -Linda K.
This workshop can be summarized in one word — transformative! Learning from MVS, the wonderful team of invited experts, and my talented co-attendees let me see my work and myself in a new, empowered light. Thank you. – Julie A.
The Advanced Marketing Workshop was very useful and focused. I can’t imagine how many years it would take to acquire the knowledge and insight that were made available to us here! The workshop was a marvel! – Charlotte T.
Attending Mary Virginia Swanson’s Advanced Marketing Workshop was invaluable for me. Her deep knowledge of the fine art photography market is exceptional with few peers. Every element and topic is a wealth of knowledge providing a detailed road map of what and how to advance one’s artistic career. Mary’s insight is focused, clear and results oriented. Attending the workshop was an eye-opener for me on the practicalities of marketing my own artwork. Mary’s workshop is a must-have for anyone serious about advancing their career. – Ken H.
I became much more aware of marketing opportunities beyond the traditional gallery routine. That was probably the most valuable aspect of the workshop to me. I already new my website was terrible, but I came away with a greater sense of urgency to rebuild it–and with some valuable concrete ideas on how to improve it. Overall it was an inspiring and thought provoking week. And the chance to meet a roomful of such amazingly talented people was a genuine joy. – Evan P.
While attending a workshop this fall, I watched MVS ceaselessly find ways to inform and encourage all of us–as individuals and as members of a community. Now that I see things anew since her course, the learning continues for me in the process of following up on her suggestions. I feel that is such a strong, positive indicator of the breadth of preparation and presentation she provides. – Harriet B.
I am continually amazed by the breadth, depth, and currency of MVS’s knowledge and the generosity with which she shares her rich insights into the multifaceted world of photography. This is a “don’t miss” opportunity to learn and be inspired by the best! – Vicky S.
Anyone who is truly interested in taking their work to the next level and has experienced beginning interest in the magazine, gallery, and/or curator world should then attend an MV Swanson workshop, nothing else will prepare you for the information you need to advance out of the Minor Leagues per se. – Alex E.
Thank you for the wonderful workshop. I can’t tell you how helpful and inspiring it was. I’ve got a long list of things to do as soon as I get home. Thanks so much for all of your knowledge, energy, support, and encouragement! – Jim B.
As always I come away with so many new ideas every time I meet with MVS. I wish I had half her energy! It is exhilarating! The workshop was incredible and I connected with so many new people. I would not be as successful as I am without her! Thank you MVS!! – Gayle S.
For years, whenever I’ve wanted to know what was happening in the photographic world I’ve called MVS to find out. Photographic markets are constantly changing and MVS keeps up with those changes better than anyone that I know. Her workshop was a full semester course in marketing photography condensed down to a week. – Cradoc B.
MVS has done it again. This was an amazingly informative workshop on marketing ones photo images, and various routes one might explore in the marketing process. A variety of photo shoots were made available for us to be able to explore the area around Tucson, which was great fun. I also enjoyed seeing the other participants photo works. – Nicki G.
So chalk full of information and inspiration that you will need the next month to process it and put it into action! MVS brings it and empowers you to take your next step. – Jeff S.
I came away from the workshop with not only a head full of ideas and some enduring contacts but also a jolt of confidence. I can’t wait for the next one! – Neal S.
The workshop and field trips were educational in a supportive environment. I was inspired by the work being created by other talented individuals in the class. The time went by too quickly. – Bill J.