Presented by VII Photo:
Finding Your Visual Voice

Partner Programs, Workshop in New York — October 12, 2019 until October 16, 2019

This is a work­shop about the emo­tion­al and sub-conscious con­tent of photos–about how to make pho­tos that come from that place, and that help tru­ly define your own voice as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er.


Sara Terry


5 Days

Class size


Skill level

All levels


None; open world­wide

Apply until

August 13, 2019


Participation via the VII Academy through 2 schol­ar­ships or through a paid place­ment via VII Photo web­site.


New York

This is a work­shop about the emo­tion­al and sub-conscious con­tent of photos–about how to make pho­tos that come from that place, and that help tru­ly define your own voice as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er. It is NOT a work­shop about mak­ing “good” pho­tos. It’s about set­ting aside tech­ni­cal know-how–and the obsta­cles that often come with that–to access intu­itive, reflec­tive ways of work­ing that will lead you to make pho­tos that only you can make. Rather than focus­ing on the “how” of mak­ing and com­pos­ing pho­tographs, this work­shop focus­es on problem-solving assign­ments that are designed to engage stu­dents with the emo­tions and per­son­al con­nec­tions involved in cre­at­ing pho­tographs that tru­ly reveal a per­son­al visu­al voice.

Photo by Jon Kidder

“Part of this work­shop is inspired by those I learned from, but most of it is informed by the fact that I became a pho­tog­ra­ph­er at a time in my life when I lost my faith in words. As some­one who had grown up believ­ing in the pow­er of words to con­vey truth and inspire action, as some­one who had been a reporter for near­ly twen­ty years, I was shocked to encounter a sit­u­a­tion in my life where words utter­ly failed me. Almost by acci­dent, I picked up a camera–first as a way to try to com­mu­ni­cate with the per­son who could not be reached through words, but ulti­mate­ly as a way to com­mu­ni­cate with myself, with my own thoughts and feel­ings dur­ing what was a painful, yet ulti­mate­ly trans­for­ma­tive time. Although my work as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er has tak­en me back into jour­nal­ism, and long-term doc­u­men­tary projects, I have nev­er lost my con­nec­tion to this per­son­al approach to shoot­ing, and to under­stand that every tru­ly rev­e­la­to­ry image is as much about the per­son tak­ing the pic­ture as it is about the sub­ject.”

— Sara Terry


Day 1:

Morning: Prior to the class, stu­dents will be giv­en one assign­ment to be com­plet­ed and brought the first day for review and visu­al “intro­duc­tions.”
Afternoon: Assignment 1, shoot any­where in NYC.

Day 2:

Morning: Review/discuss work from Assignment 1, shoot Assignment 2, any­where in NYC.
Afternoon: Review/discuss work from Assignment 2, shoot Assignment 3, any­where in NYC.

Day 3:

Morning: Review work from Assignment 3, shoot Assignment 4, any­where in NYC.
Evening: Group din­ner!

Day 4:

Afternoon: Review work from Assignment 4, begin Assignment 5, a 24-hour assign­ment

Day 5:

Afternoon: Review work from Assignment 5, review fin­ished “sen­tences.” Overview dis­cus­sion and ques­tions about cre­ative process.


“Sara’s work­shop was among the most pow­er­ful and nur­tur­ing edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ences of my life. She’s teach­ing a dimen­sion of pho­tog­ra­phy which is dif­fi­cult to put into words, but is nev­er­the­less essen­tial to cre­at­ing sat­is­fy­ing, impact­ful work. Highly rec­om­mend this work­shop.”

— Connor Huff, Photographer 

For the first time, I actu­al­ly feel that I have a unique voice (even though it still needs a lot of work).  I’ve always thought my process for pic­ture tak­ing as very cere­bral, but the work­shop opened my eyes to the sub­con­scious part of pic­ture tak­ing, and not to fight it, but embrace it.

— Jon Kidder 

“Working with Sara is unique. As a photographer/storyteller try­ing to find my way, I thought it was obvi­ous black and white answers I was seek­ing. During and after Sara’s work­shop I found that an obvi­ous answer isn’t the objec­tive, but reach­ing for and express­ing feel­ing is what I need­ed to see and feel as an artist, both in my work and in myself. Somehow Sara is able to get you to look inward, often more than out­ward, and help find these feel­ings. Through that inward search I am able to find myself in my best work, and ask myself ques­tions in order to find answers I didn’t know exist­ed.”

— Jordan Sirek, Photographer 

“Taking the Visual Voice class with Sara Terry unlocked me on sev­er­al lev­els. I had been stuck in cre­at­ing work from a very lit­er­al place which frus­trat­ed me to no end. In this class, Sara assigns ques­tions that, ini­tial­ly, seem too sim­ple, yet when faced with mak­ing images in response to the ques­tions assigned, I was first stumped, then chal­lenged and final­ly, pushed in the best direc­tions.  With her feed­back each week, I was able to access a more emo­tion­al place from which to shoot. And a more accept­ing, non­judg­men­tal space opened inside me which allows for all cre­ativ­i­ty to flow. I’ve nev­er had a teacher like Sara before. She push­es me so that I’m account­able for my work and growth. I’m incred­i­bly grate­ful for her guid­ance and encour­age­ment. I think of her like an ora­cle who sees so much before we do in our own work, and she has a beau­ti­ful, bril­liant way of shep­herd­ing us into see­ing what’s under­neath the sur­face in our work, our lives, and our­selves.” 

— Joan Lederer 

“Sara Terry’s work­shop is like no oth­er I have ever tak­en.  The goal is to under­stand who you are as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er and how that impacts your pho­tos.  It is very much about look­ing inward.”

— Saman Assefi, Photographer 

Apply now


Eligible appli­cants who wish to be con­sid­ered for a VII Academy schol­ar­ship should com­plete the appli­ca­tion form linked below.

Requirements: None; open world­wide.
Scholarship appli­ca­tion dead­line: August 13, 2019.

Enroll now

Participation through a paid place­ment via VII Photo web­site.

You might like

Sorry, no related events found