Photography Programs & Workshops

“A camera is nothing more than a tool. My aim is to help people become comfortable with the tech so it’s second nature to them. Then we can focus on what’s important – the pleasure of truly seeing, then capturing and sharing the world around them.”
~ Sally Wiener Grotta 

In her lectures, workshops, master classes and mentoring, Sally goes beyond the technology of photography to focus on the process of creating meaningful pictures. To that end, she helps her students understand and use photographic equipment and processes effectively and efficiently, then she guides them in discovering and following their personal creative visions.

Sally also does slideshow presentations, gives gallery talks and leads discussions related to her American Hands, her narrative portrait project for which she is capturing the stories of traditional tradespeople, such as rug weavers, glassblowers, book binders, stone masons and such.


Workshops, Master Classes & Lectures Offered

Sally designs every photography or imaging workshop, lecture or program specifically for the interests, needs and skill level of the audience, from novice to expert photographers. Ranging from one hour to one day to several days, many are presented as lectures and slideshow discussions. Others include a photo walk following the classroom program. Below are a few examples. (Please click on the titles of the programs to view the descriptions.)

Seeing Like a Photographer

Sally will help you take your photography to the next level in this fun program for all ages (5 year olds to 95 year olds). She will help train your eye to see the world around us the way photographers do, in terms of light and shadow, color and textures, composition and perspective. Generally given as a slideshow presentation, it can also be an introduction to a participatory "photo walk" or a workshop.

Narrative Portraiture

Creating a meaningful portrait involves a combination of good visual storytelling and making a human connection with another. It also requires maintaining control over your photography, such as having the patience to compose well, defining or finding the right light, being aware of foreground and background elements. With with Sally to find your personal portrait style and capture the stories you see in others.

Understanding & Using Light

The word photography means "writing with light." Explore with Sally the nature of light and shadow, and how they define the art and story of your photographs. In this program (which may be presented as a slideshow lecture and/or participatory workshop), you will learn to see and use light effectively, and your pictures will become far more impactful and interesting.

American Hands Presentations

In addition to the gallery talks, workshops and other programs that Sally gives in conjunction with specific American Hands exhibits, Sally's very popular American Hands slideshow discussion may be booked separately from any exhibit. It is particularly appropriate for schools, conferences, meetings, fund-raisers and other similar venues.

At the slideshow's core are her portraits and narrative images that capture the personalities and working processes of traditional tradespeople. Beyond explanations of the photographs, Sally shares the stories of her experiences meeting and photographing these fascinating individuals, what she learned about and from her subjects, the histories of their crafts, and so forth. As part of the program, she also facilitates animated discussions with the audience about  the role of such individual industry and creativity within our history and its implications for our future. 

Follow Your Passion: A Practical Blueprint

You want a focus for your creativity, a project that will allow you to stretch creatively and show the world what you can achieve. In this lecture or workshop, Sally helps participants understand what it takes to design and manage a project that will be viable and artistically satisfying.

Creating a Photo Book

In this computer-based workshop, Sally guides individuals through the step-by-step process of designing and laying out a photo story book of their pictures. (Computer lab/classroom required.)


Sally Wiener Grotta occasionally accepts invitations to be an artist-in-residence, which can include a combination of lectures, slideshow presentations, workshops, photo walks, exhibits (of student or community works curated by Sally or of her work), mentoring, etc.


Please use the Contact page to start the discussion with Sally about customizing a photography or imaging program to fit the particular purposes of your school, company, organization, conference, or fund-raising event.