Upcoming Workshops

Securing Support for your Long-Term Personal Project

Hosted by APERTURE FOUNDATION

Saturday, September 12, and Saturday, September 19, 2015
11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., both days
Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, N.Y.

From the event website:

“Join Mary Virginia Swanson for a two-part workshop designed for photographers who would like to learn how to secure funding for a long-term personal project through drafting a successful proposal and budget, as well as learn how to build awareness for that project. The workshop will also explore various types of funding, as well as different approaches to expanding your audience.
On the first day, Swanson will present an extensive illustrated lecture, which provides an overview of public, private, and corporate support; the role of a fiscal agent; and how to navigate funding data. In addition, participants will learn about the importance of broadening awareness for their projects via public presentations, websites, and print and social-media marketing. At the end of the first session, participants will be assigned the task of producing a statement about their project, a budget, and a short list of potential funding sources.
During the second session, the group will discuss each participant’s project documents. The websites of each participant will be projected for discussion on enhancing project presence. Lunch will be served both days.”

Marketing Your Photographs

Hosted by Santa Fe Photographic Workshops
July 12 – 17, 2015   SOLD OUT

This workshop is designed to provide serious photographers with insights and practical knowledge to navigate and access today’s diverse marketplace. Learn more »


Finding Your Audience: Marketing Master Class

Dates for January 2016 are coming soon.

Offered in Tucson, Arizona, 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.

Participants benefit a great deal from the experience of others. Artists accepted to this workshop will be expected to share their professional experiences with the class.  A portfolio of images and overview of professional experience will be reviewed for consideration of participation.


Participant Testimonials

The following remarks are from participants in MVS’ recent workshops:

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.

About the Presenter

Mary Virginia Swanson is widely respected as an author, educator and creative consultant.   Her advice on marketing and publishing opportunities has proven to aid photographers in moving their careers to the next level.  She is a trusted advisor to countless photographers. Swanson is a frequent presenter and portfolio reviewer at such events as PhotoPlus Expo, FotoFest, FotoWeek DC and the Palm Springs Photography Festival, among many additional industry gatherings. Photograph Magazine’s In Profile column highlighted Swanson’s diverse career in the July/August 2011 issue. Swanson maintains a popular blog about opportunities for photographers called Marketing Photos and coauthored Publish Your Photography Book with Darius Himes (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011).  Her forthcoming title Finding Your Audience: An Introduction to Marketing Your Photographs will be released in 2014. Based in Tucson and New York City , Swanson, a gifted teacher, has organized countless workshops (including the Ansel Adams Workshops) as well as led workshop seminars at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Maine Photo Workshop and many other established short-term educational venues.  Each year Ms. Swanson offers her own private workshop in her adopted home town of Tucson, Arizona, utilizing her personal files and library as teaching tools.    Participants benefit from the knowledge of guest speakers and will go behind the scene in this vibrant arts community. Note: Beginning with the 2014 edition, acceptance into the Tucson workshop will be by application and portfolio review only.

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