Connect, Collaborate, Create.

Transcending the Technical: Making the Creative Practice Personal

  • 09/10/2016
  • 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Concordia Community Room at McMenamins Kennedy School - 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211
  • 13


  • If you are a member of OPPA, PPA or one of our Affiliate organizations.

Registration is closed


In this workshop, photographer, curator, and educator Laura Valenti will discuss what happens when photographers move beyond a technical approach to the medium and begin to consider what it really means to be an artist. After years of directing curriculum at a Newspace Center for Photography, Laura grew increasingly aware of the fact that the way photography is taught is not the way it is practiced by artists. 95% of photography education focuses on the technical, but technical concerns are just a small part of most successful artists' creative practice. When artists turn their focus to the personal, emotional, and intuitive parts of the craft, it opens up a rich line of inquiry. This is the place artists must explore in order to make images that are truly unique and meaning-filled, work they can feel passionate about in the long term, and work that makes more of an impact with viewers. Participants should bring 5-10 prints that feel personally meaningful, no matter the quality. Work prints and prints that express in-process ideas are just fine. Participants should also bring cameras – whatever gear they feel most comfortable and confidant using. 

photo credit: Fritz Liedtke


Laura Valenti is a photographer, curator, educator, and arts director based in Portland, Oregon. She works as Outreach Director at Photolucida, a nonprofit that works to build connections between photographers and the gallery and publishing worlds. Previously, she worked as Program Director and co-Curator at Newspace Center for Photography. Laura curates photography exhibitions around the country and internationally. She recently curated "Place: Framing the Oregon Landscape," a major northwest landscape photography exhibition, for the Oregon Historical Society. A documentary portraiture exhibition Laura curated was shown at the last Lishui International Photography Festival (China). Laura frequently serves as a juror for photography competitions and has also served as a reviewer at various portfolio review events, such as Houston FotoFest, Review Santa Fe, and Photolucida.

Laura loves to work with photographers to clarify their vision and produce stronger images. She teaches online courses that focus on helping photographers identify sources of inspiration and reach photographic goals. She also lectures about photography and the creative practice and teaches immersive weekend photography retreats. As a long-time photographer, she has an intimate perspective on the creative process and can work with emerging photographers to develop their skills as well as their creative voice. www.valentiphotography.com

This workshop is PPA-accredited; PPA attendees who attend the entire session will receive one PPA merit.

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