I attended the Mary Virginia Swanson Master Class in Marketing in Tucson, AZ, last month. It was amazing- jam-packed with more information than I could begin to describe here. It covered the role of the photobook in an artist's career, how to work with galleries, the role of portfolio reviews, the importance of editing one's work, how curators and gallerists find artists, correct archiving of photographic prints, and far more. We were honored to have people like photographer and editor Joan Liftin, photobook artist Philip Zimmermann, gallery owner Terry Etherton, independent curator Trudy Wilner Stack, and photographer Susan Burnstine contribute to the experience, along with many others. In addition, the class was able to take early-morning hikes into the mountains surrounding Tucson to contemplate the sunrise before the day's work began. Most of all, it was wonderful to share work and thoughts with the other participants and get to know each other.
What were my biggest takeaways?
• The success of your portfolio is dependent primarily on your clarity of vision as expressed in the work, and the quality of its technical execution.
• The many options for keeping your work in the public eye.
• The importance of consistency in how you market your work.
The following images provide a small glimpse into the experience. Besides the sunrise shot, the center image shows Janet Huston discussing her work with Mary Virginia Swanson, Tillman Crane, and Lee Welke Bass. The image on the right shows Lisa Nebenzahl, Anna LaBenz, Sonja Rieger, Sirous Partovi.