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Mary Virginia Swanson, Elisabeth Biondi & Special Guests  


May 5 - May 11, 2019


15 photographers


1,800 USD tuition only


Tuesday August 14th


Friday November 9


Monday November 12


As artists, we derive great joy from bringing a personal project to completion.  Sharing that work with others completes the creative cycle.  

In this workshop participants will gain insights from a diverse range of industry experts on sustaining their current project, working to edit and speak to its strengths, research target audiences, and present the work in a professional manner.

Author, educator and advisor, Mary Virginia Swanson will be leading the workshop and present a series of lectures that will broaden industry awareness on a range of key issues including challenges to the traditional gallery market, identifying new buyers for fine prints and licensing rights, understanding venues to maximize exhibition opportunities, and the role publications can play in promoting your work to targeted audiences.  Additionally, she will meet privately with each participant to help identify appropriate audiences for their work.  

She will be joined by award-winning photo editor Elisabeth Biondi for a 2 day editing session working with each participant to help them build a cohesive body of work and write a corresponding statement to share with potential audiences.

Throughout the week, Special Guests will join us to share their insights on investing in competitions and portfolio reviews, fine print sales, securing commissions to make new work, publishing your projects, and more. 


Photographers, who are serious about their work, whether they are working professionals or aspire to do so one day, who wish to gain more understanding on how to reach their target audiences, and increase their awareness about today’s diverse markets for imagery.


This schedule is subject to change at any time. If for some reason a guest presenter cancels unexpectedly,  we will be sure to find another with a similar level of knowledge and expertise to join us.

Sunday May 5th: 

Optional happy hour gathering. 

Monday May 6th: 

Session with Elisabeth Biondi 

On our first day, we will explore the necessary tools each photographer needs to acquire for the successful presentation of their projects. We will begin with a discussion of a few successful photographic projects by well known photographers. Then we will analyze each participant’s project to shape it for maximum benefit. From there, we will move to editing and sequencing each participant’s project. 

Tuesday May 7th:

Session with Elisabeth Biondi 

During the second day of the workshop, we will focus on drafting a statement that describes each project clearly and succinctly, and discuss its verbal presentation.

Wednesday, May 8th:

Session Mary Virginia Swanson and Special Guest Esa Epstein, Executive Director at SepiaEYE Gallery.

We will learn about the diverse markets for fine photographs today: who buys prints, and why. Later we will discuss how to sustain your long-term personal projects through strategic partnerships and collaborations as you work towards presentation, exhibition and publication.  We will also begin our one-on-one sessions with Mary Virginia Swanson.

Thursday, May 9th:

Session Mary Virginia Swanson and Special Guest Jane Yeomans, Photo Editor at Bloomberg Businessweek.

Today we will learn about presenting your work to the editorial market, from targeting appropriate publications to contracts for commissions and delivering on expectations. We will then gain an understanding of self-publishing your work vs. being published and the role of a publication in your career. At the end of the day, we continue with our one-on-one sessions with Mary Virginia Swanson.

Friday, May 10th:

Session with Mary Virginia Swanson and Special Guest

Friday’s classroom discussions will focus on making the most of your exhibition opportunities including research techniques towards identifying likely sponsors, developing educational components based on the venue and its community, and fostering long-term professional relationships from every opportunity. We will discuss pricing your work within multiple markets, how to research appropriate venues for your work, submitting proposals to those venues and collaborating to maximizing the benefits of exhibitions for you and your audience.

We will continue with the last round of one-on-one sessions with Mary Virginia at the end of the day.

Saturday, May 11:

Mary Virginia Swanson and Special Guest Elizabeth Cheng Krist, Former Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine.

In our closing session we will discuss making a strong first impression when given the opportunity to present your work to industry professionals and how to continue consistent and effective communication going forward.  Strategies for your investment in getting your work in front of those who can make a difference in your career will be discussed, such as making decisions about which photography competition(s) based on studying potential return.  Similarly, we will talk about assessing the value of investing in attending portfolio review events by studying the participating reviewers, whether you have a voice in who you will be able to meet with, and more.  We will close with a conversation about the value of mentors in your creative practice, keeping informed and staying inspired, and the important role an ongoing dialogue with your peers will play in your creative practice.

Workshop concludes at 1pm.




Participants should bring images from a recent project, accompanied by a brief explanation/statement, which should not exceed half a page, and ideally have a title.

The project should consist of a selection of minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 of ‘A’ edit images plus a selection of a maximum of 30 ‘B’ images. Images (of the A selection) should be sequenced in the photographer’s desired order.

Please bring prints (4x6 mini lab print are fine) of all your images from the A & B edits, as it facilitates the sequencing process. If you would like to bring digital files of these edits and more, feel free to do so.

Furthermore, bring 5 small-scale prints that you would consider exhibition-quality (not matted or framed, please).  

In addition, if there are any promotional materials you circulate, i.e. promo cards, business cards or print-on-demand booklets you have produced, please bring samples of these also.

Ms. Swanson will issue a questionnaire to each accepted participant about 3 weeks in advance for her preparation.


Please email 10 jpgs (72dpi; 1080 pixels longest side) of the project that you are considering working with during the workshop, as well as its statement. 

Also, please include a short bio and a brief description of why you’d like to take this workshop (as a Word document, no longer than one page).

Be sure to include the following information:

Date of birth
Country of origin / country of residence
Previous photography studies
How did you hear about the workshop

Please email your application to

Applications Open: Tuesday August 14
Applications Close: Friday November 9
Acceptance Notification: Monday November 12

Upon acceptance, participants are required to make a 500 USD deposit within two weeks. The balance is due 120 days before the workshop begins.

To see our terms and conditions and cancellations policies please click here