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THE VISIONARY PORTFOLIO

Next Session: May 2nd - June 9th     


e-Course: $175     
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e-Course + Mentoring: $350  
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The Visionary Portfolio is an online course designed to help photographers boldly forge ahead, clear away stumbling blocks, and take significant new steps in building a personal portfolio. Portfolio creation can be a deeply enriching process, but it can also feel a bit daunting; it’s hard to know just where to start. The Visionary Portfolio is an opportunity to dive into the heart of the matter and bring more direction and focus to your work. The course includes a mix of creative and practical advice and a healthy dose of encouragement and personal guidance. You’ll learn to find a portfolio theme that reflects your passions and skills, to make images that feel more unified and less haphazard, and to make meaningful progress with your creative goals. The course also includes an honest look at the world of exhibitions and competitions. Building a portfolio doesn’t have to feel like charting deep water into unknown territory. It can be a rich opportunity for artistic discovery and growth. Join me on the journey!

- Laura Valenti

Laura has shown me how to focus on a photographic path. Through creative discussions, thought-provoking readings, and viewing great images, she has revitalized and wonderfully unleashed the energy and strength of the images I can produce. The course was so well crafted that every step was an adventure. My favorite part is that everywhere I now look I see opportunities to express my artistic vision.
— Alex Hernandez

WHAT DOES THE COURSE INCLUDE?

The Visionary Portfolio e-course includes inspirational readings, audio slideshows, lectures, and weekly photography projects designed to motivate and encourage your next creative steps. The course is highly interactive, and you'll be cheered on and supported every day by Laura and the lively community of fellow students. It's such a fun way to learn and grow as an artist. 
 

Mentoring

If you choose the mentoring option when you register, the course will also include a phone/Skype call with Laura and an in-depth review of your past photographic work, your website (if you happen to have one), or any portfolios or extra images you'd like to share. Mentoring is a nice opportunity to chat about personal goals and challenges and to map out next steps with more guidance and support. 
 

WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE?

The Visionary Portfolio is designed to fit easily into your busy schedule. Four days a week, you'll get a healthy dose of photo inspiration in your inbox, and you'll have one photography project to complete each week at your own pace. Unlike a traditional classroom experience, Visionary Portfolio lessons can be taken at any hour of the day or night, whenever it suits you best. You can take the course at 3am in your pajamas, if you like! You can always repeat a lesson if you need to, and there is no such thing as falling behind. You'll have access to all the lessons for at least a year after the course ends. You'll likely need about two hours each week to complete the material. The online classroom is also a great, safe space for posting comments and receiving feedback on images and ideas. Laura will be your guide throughout the course, supporting you with encouraging feedback and advice. 

 

WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO I NEED?

All cameras are welcome! You don’t need anything fancy to take this course. In fact, the simpler, the better! DSLRs, point-and-shoots, camera phones, pinhole cameras – I have a strict equipment nondiscrimination policy. Film shooters must be able to scan images to share in the online classroom.

 

HOW GOOD DO I NEED TO BE?

Since The Visionary Portfolio is a conceptual photography course (as opposed to a technical class), thoughtful photographers at any level may join. Students should be comfortable with basic camera operations, and must know how to upload images to their computers. We’re here to learn – if you are ready to take the next steps in your portfolio-building practice, you’re in the right spot.

 

Laura your guidance has been a big influence in helping me let go of finding the “right way” and finding “my way.” You are a gifted teacher. I have learned from both of your courses that art is a process that is very personal and at times spiritual and that also should include a good measure of fun. It means taking risks rather than taking the safe road. Thanks immensely for sharing your wisdom, encouragement, and tools to help us become artists. I was at a point in my photography of starting bodies of work, then getting stuck or frustrated, then starting something else, and than repeat. This course taught me to slow it down and then provided great exercises, examples, and discussions to start developing a more productive way to build portfolios. Your “insider knowledge” as a professional curator was really helpful in clearing up some of my misconceptions, and the depth and detail of the knowledge you shared was awesome! This course and Candela are probably the overall best courses I have ever taken because of the depth and quality of the content and the wonderful interactions. The online format has so many advantages. I really liked going over the lessons first thing in the morning or late in the evening when I had time to think and reflect rather than rushing to an evening class in rush hour traffic.
— Jim Kushman
When I started this class, I only had a vague idea of what a portfolio was and what went into a gallery submission. The class gave a great overview of what’s involved. I like the way we were given an opportunity to practice some of the skills involved - and get feedback from Laura. I feel like I was given a good foundation that I can now go back and build on as I continue to develop. I now feel much more confident about my photography, and I think it has improved. I’m enjoying photography more than ever. I’ve picked up so many interesting, new ideas in this class!
— Jill B.
I can’t thank you enough for your amazing photography e-courses. I have really enjoyed them, learned a lot, and been impressed with the caliber of students they attract. I also love how your classes inspire and motivate me. Life is so busy, but when I am enrolled in one of your classes I find myself logging in at 5:30am just to see what new thing has been posted, and throwing my camera in my backpack when I go for dog walks when I might otherwise have left it at home.
— Judith Bender
I want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed taking this class. I can see clearly a way forward. Your words are so inspiring Laura, and this sort of encouragement and advice is much needed in the photography world.
— DeAnna Foran
Laura has provided guidance and shared her knowledge and experience willingly, graciously, and so tenderly. I appreciated the individual attention and encouragement. I also loved hearing and seeing what the other participants contributed. I will miss this class every morning with my coffee.
— Penne Fossa
As both a curator and a photographer, Laura provides insights from both perspectives. Laura has this amazing ability to deconstruct the creative portfolio-building process into smaller, actionable, yet meaningful parts. This demystifies the creative process and allows the students to think about, practice and reflect on the smaller, manageable components. Laura also masterfully ties together all the parts with the ultimate goal of being an artist.
— Ning Fan
This was an incredible class. It demonstrated new ways of thinking that inspired me to view my photography in a different way. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of it.
— Mickey Anderson
I just completed this amazing six-week course. Laura has offered me inspiration to pursue avenues not yet taken, along with tons of information about how to put together a unified portfolio. Her lessons are always very thought-provoking with lectures, readings, and slideshows. Her style is fun and encouraging with a go get ‘em attitude. She gives great feedback to assignments completed, making this very personalized instruction. I’ve already signed up for another of her online courses.
— Nancy Petrie
I had taken Laura’s other online courses, but not this one because I thought I had no interest in creating a “portfolio.” To me the word meant preparing work for exhibition. And, how wrong I was! While this certainly can be a great goal, this course for me was much more about inner exploration, exploring personal themes and building a coherent body of work no matter the end goal. I now look at my existing work in a very different way and I have found a clear path for moving forward. A great gift, indeed.
— Patricia Hogan
Laura, you have truly been an inspiration. I was stymied about my future directions in photography and you have armed me with an entire arsenal of ideas and exciting new pathways.
— Christopher Drake