Mary Virginia Swanson: Beyond Print

Saturday, May 19 - Sunday, May 20, 2018
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. both days

Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York


Join mentor and educator Mary Virginia Swanson  for a two-day workshop that will teach photographers how to conduct targeted research, build their audience, and extend the life of their photobook beyond publication.

Whether your book is self-published, published by a trade publisher, or published by a small press, the publication date is just the beginning of the journey. In this workshop, Swanson will explore ways in which newly published photographers can conduct targeted research to find methods of facilitating awareness and attention about their projects. From examining existing and desired audiences to discussing the possibility of exhibitions, this workshop will broaden photographers’ perspectives and educate them about methods that will aid in securing exposure for their book and work.

On the first day, Swanson will introduce the photobook market and how to research and build an audience. Participants will introduce their work and marketing concept to the group, and begin strategizing methods of targeted research. On the second day, participants will work to redefine their project statement and audience in order to create a precise marketing plan. The workshop will conclude with a discussion about exhibitions, social media tools, and educational programming that could be tied to a book project.


Mary Virginia Swanson is an author and educator who helps artists find the strengths in their work, identify appreciative audiences, and present their photographs in an informed, professional manner. She draws from her thirty-year career spanning the fine-art, documentary, photojournalism, publishing, and licensing arenas to lend sage advice to artists at all professional levels. Swanson coauthored with Darius Himes the acclaimed Publish Your Photography Book, which was revised and updated in 2014 (Princeton Architectual Press). Visit or @maryvirginiaswanson.



  • participants will generate a target audience
  • Create a “pitch” for your book that can be used when marketing
  • Consider and set plans for implementing targeted social media content to reach your target audience
  • Research and assess potential venues for exhibitions of book content
  • Research and assess potential bulk-sale buyers for books

Materials to bring:

  • Participants will receive a questionnaire to complete prior to the workshop.
  • Additionally, they should bring a selection of images from the project in PDF form to share with the Instructor and course participants.


Tuition for this two-day workshop is $500 and includes lunch and light refreshments for both days.

Currently enrolled students and Aperture Members at the $250 level and above receive a 10% discount on workshop tuition. Please contact [email protected] for a discount code. Students will need to provide proper documentation of enrollment.



Registration ends on Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Contact [email protected] with any questions.



Please refer to all information provided regarding individual workshop details and requirements. Registration in any workshop will constitute your agreement to the terms and conditions outlined.

Aperture workshops are intended for adults 18 years or older.

If the workshop includes lunch, attendees are asked to notify Aperture at the time of registration regarding any special dietary requirements. Please contact us at [email protected].

If participants choose to purchase Aperture publications during the workshop they will receive a 20% discount. Aperture Members of all levels will receive a 30% discount.



Aperture reserves the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any educational course or part thereof, and to use the resulting photographs and videos for promotional purposes.
        By booking a workshop with Aperture Foundation, participants agree to allow their likenesses to be used for promotional purposes and in media; participants who prefer that their likenesses not be used are asked to identify themselves to Aperture staff.



Aperture workshops must be paid for in advance by credit card, cash, or debit card. All fees are non-refundable if you should choose to withdraw from a workshop less than one month prior to its start date, unless we are able to fill your seat. In the event of a medical emergency, please provide a physician’s note stating the nature of the emergency, and Aperture will issue you a credit that can be applied to future workshops. Aperture reserves the right to cancel any workshop up to one week prior to the start date, in which case a full refund will be issued. A minimum of eight students is required to run a workshop.



Please act responsibly when using any equipment provided by Aperture or when in the presence of books, prints etc. belonging to other participants or the instructor(s). We recommend that refreshments be kept at a safe distance from all such objects.

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