Presented by VII Interactive
No Man’s Land: Finding Your Authentic Voice with Nichole Sobecki and Anush Babajanyan (a women-only work­shop)

Partner Programs, Workshop in Online — July 20, 2020 until September 25, 2020

The VII Academy is pleased to sup­port four stu­dents with schol­ar­ships to attend this women-only work­shop, which focus­es on cul­ti­vat­ing your own authen­tic voice through nar­ra­tive and doc­u­men­tary prac­tice. From idea to pub­li­ca­tion, par­tic­i­pants will work on per­son­al pho­to­graph­ic projects that will be reviewed and cri­tiqued in an inter­ac­tive online envi­ron­ment by Nichole and Anush over a 10-week peri­od.


Anush Babajanyan and Nichole Sobecki


10 weeks

Class size


Skill level

All levels


Only women and non-binary pho­tog­ra­phers may apply for a schol­ar­ship attend this work­shop. Please make sure you read our FAQ and under­stand that our mis­sion is to pro­vide visu­al jour­nal­ism edu­ca­tion to pho­tog­ra­phers from the major­i­ty world and under­rep­re­sent­ed com­mu­ni­ties in G20 coun­tries.

Apply until

July 7, 2020

Left: Bishop Manyange Chenjerai sings his prayers to the Domboshawa mountains outside Harare, Zimbabwe. © Nichole Sobecki / VII. Right: House of Culture in Arshaluys village, Armenia. © Anush Babajanyan / VII.
Left: Bishop Manyange Chenjerai sings his prayers to the Domboshawa moun­tains out­side Harare, Zimbabwe. © Nichole Sobecki / VII. Right: House of Culture in Arshaluys vil­lage, Armenia. © Anush Babajanyan / VII.


Anush Babajanyan and Nichole Sobecki work in dif­fer­ent loca­tions and styles, but are unit­ed by a search for the per­son­al and essen­tial with­in the sto­ries that they fol­low. Covering strate­gies to deep­en your own vision, to suc­cess­ful­ly pitch and exe­cute sto­ries, to sus­tain your pas­sion through prac­ti­cal busi­ness strate­gies, to edit and pub­lish, this work­shop is a holis­tic guide to mak­ing images that refine and reveal who you are as a sto­ry­teller. Recognizing the vary­ing dynam­ics of this moment, Nichole and Anush will work with you to explore the nar­ra­tives that exist with­in your own home, com­mu­ni­ty, or city. The bi-weekly lec­tures will also fea­ture inter­na­tion­al pho­tog­ra­phy pro­fes­sion­als and edi­tors who will share their exper­tise.


Group pre­sen­ta­tion lan­guage: English
One on one lan­guages: English (Nichole and Anush), Armenian and Russian (Anush only)

The full sched­ule can be found on the VII Interactive page.



Nichole Sobecki






“Nichole is a pas­sion­ate and ded­i­cat­ed edu­ca­tor and a great teacher. She has a tal­ent for break­ing down the com­plex­i­ties of pho­to­jour­nal­ism for stu­dents of all lev­els, and she draws on her exten­sive expe­ri­ence as a pho­to­jour­nal­ist, video­g­ra­ph­er, and edi­tor to help stu­dents under­stand the basics while also reach­ing for their own per­son­al vision. A class with her will no doubt help pre­pare stu­dents for the work­ing world of pho­tog­ra­phy, and to help them tack­le longterm projects as well.”
– Peter DiCampo, pho­tog­ra­ph­er and Co-founder of Everyday Africa

“Anush is an incred­i­bly warm per­son, that made me feel so wel­come and com­fort­able dur­ing the work­shop with her in Sri Lanka. She is able to push you, and real­ly inspire, in an envi­ron­ment where a lot of learn­ing hap­pens. In the 10 days work­ing with her, Anush was able to trans­form me, as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er and sto­ry­teller. I dis­cov­ered how I see the world, with her guid­ance, and am now able to present that through pho­tog­ra­phy.” – Jordan Sirek

“Anush, you offered an ide­al blend of encour­age­ment, hon­esty, sup­port and most impor­tant­ly, pro­fes­sion­al crit­i­cism in our Sri Lanka work­shop. You have a gen­tle way about you that allowed me to come into my own growth as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er and as a human. You are patient beyond words, and you jug­gled everybody’s ques­tions with equal­i­ty and respect, while nev­er let­ting on if you were tired or pos­si­bly frus­trat­ed with hear­ing a ques­tion over and over. I sin­cere­ly hope I’ll be able to join you for anoth­er work­shop, as I’m sure we’ll pick up where we left off and you’ll push, bend, stretch me even fur­ther.” – Tracy Barbutes

“In February 2018, I had the plea­sure of attend­ing the John Stanmeyer Storytelling Workshop in Sri Lanka facil­i­tat­ed by John Stanmeyer and Anush Babajanyan. It was my first time attend­ing such an inten­sive work­shop, and I was extreme­ly anx­ious. Anush not only alle­vi­at­ed my anx­i­ety but ele­vat­ed my expe­ri­ence from day one with her con­sid­er­ate and imme­di­ate respons­es to my ques­tions. Her thought­ful insights on my project ideas helped guide me on my jour­ney before even arriv­ing. From the begin­ning plan­ning stages to day-to-day trou­bleshoot­ing to the late-night edit­ing ses­sions, Anush was an out­stand­ing mentor—thoughtful in her crit­i­cism, giv­ing of all her time and ener­gy to ensure the suc­cess of the stu­dents, and ded­i­cat­ed to ele­vat­ing the work­shop expe­ri­ence by being present and avail­able. There is no match for her pro­fes­sion­al­ism, tal­ent, and warm, sin­cere nature. I look for­ward to work­ing with Anush again one day.” – Ghadah Alrawi


Apply Now


Eligible appli­cants who wish to be con­sid­ered for a VII Academy schol­ar­ship to attend this pro­gram should click on the but­ton below. You must first reg­is­ter on Awardforce, then cre­ate an entry for this work­shop by choos­ing “VII Interactive” and then the name of this work­shop.

Enroll now

For those who wish to guar­an­tee them­selves a spot, you can par­tic­i­pate through a paid place­ment via the VII Interactive web­site.

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