Mary Virginia Swanson


Mary Virginia Swanson has spent her career helping artists find the strengths in their work, identify appreciative audiences, and present their work in an informed, professional manner.  


Unique among authorities in our field, Swanson’s in-depth knowledge, professional reputation and relationships throughout our industry offer a broad range of perspectives on both the making and marketing of photo-based work. 

Her private mentoring, online group learning lectures, in-depth workshops, and Master Class Retreats have proven to aid photographers in moving their careers to the next level. 

Portrait © Alanna Airitam

Private Mentoring

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Group Learning

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Purchase Publish Your Photography Book


MVS lectures, workshops, and industry events


I recently faced a career opportunity new to me. Mary Virginia was my first phone call. With laser-like precision, a passion for the possible and a warm heart, she gave me an action plan to follow. Prior to every consultation with me, she had researched my situation, and prepared key information, guidance and insight. Leading up to an important meeting, she coached me on what I might be asked, what I need to know, and the right questions I need to ask. Thanks to her mentoring, I walked in fully prepared and confident. I left with the commitment of a major institution to create an archive for my life’s work. I have immense gratitude for Mary Virginia Swanson and her unique role in supporting me in this process.

Upcoming Events

  • 2021 - ASMP New Mexico: Finding Your Vision and Your Audience with Aline Smithson & Mary Virginia Swanson
    Online Event
    Apr 06, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM MST
    Online Event
    In this informal, hour long program, they will share share their knowledge and passion on the topics of personal vision, image presentation and promotion. A 30-minute question and answer session with both speakers will follow their presentations.
  • 2021 - The Long Term Personal Project: From Concept to Audience
    Wild Rice Retreat
    Aug 08, 4:00 PM CDT – Aug 12, 1:00 PM CDT
    Wild Rice Retreat, 84860 Old San Rd, Bayfield, WI 54814, USA
    This retreat will lead participants through the essential steps of thorough research and wise decision-making to create photographic work that is authentic in both its creation and presentation with the strongest possibility of sponsorship, exhibition and publication.
  • 2021 NEW YORK CITY - Your Work and Its Audience, Making the Match
    La Luz Workshops
    Nov 01, 10:00 AM – Nov 06, 6:00 PM
    La Luz Workshops, New York, NY, USA
    As artists, we derive great joy from bringing a personal project to completion. Sharing the work completes the creative cycle. Participants will gain insights from MVS + industry experts on advancing their project. Nov. 1-6, 2021. (Image © Daniela G. Maldonado)
  • 2022 - ARIZONA WORKSHOPS BY MVS - The MVS Master Class
    Location is TBD
    May 06, 2022, 10:00 AM – May 11, 2022, 5:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    Retreat-style destination workshop at Aravaipa Farms Orchard and Inn. Open to my private consulting clients and alumni only. Complete details TBA. #aravaipafarmsinn

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For upcoming deadlines and other industry announcements follow @maryvirginiaswanson.

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