Developing a Concept and Finding Your Voice

with Kristina Varaksina

Online registration for this program has closed. To check availability, find about about future dates, or if you would like further information, please call 505-983-1400 ext. 111. Also, get the SFW E-Newsletter for updates!

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Course Description

In this four-hour workshop, Kristina invites photographers to delve into their own personally meaningful projects, drawing on everything from identity to family history to community connections.

Participants are led step by step through the process of identifying an idea and following it to completion. Together we experiment with a variety of brainstorming and pre-visualization techniques: keyword associations, concept-mapping, linking emotions with visuals, and creating mood and reference boards. These tools allow us to craft visual metaphors grounded in feeling, thematic authenticity, and personal meaning.

Using examples from her own portfolio, Kristina helps you recognize visual metaphors and implement them through intentional art direction. Lighting, environment, color palette, subject direction, and other creative choices all contribute to a message’s strength, clarity, and impact.

Developing a photographic style that authentically mirrors the unique content of your work can be a challenge. Whether you’re a fine-art photographer embarking on a new journey, an artist seeking a different direction, or simply someone who wants to take a visual project to the next level, this creative reboot offers inspiration, fresh ideas, and the techniques that bring them to life.

Join our SFW community on a Saturday in February for this engaging, thought-provoking, an illuminating program with Kristina. Even if you can’t make the live program, a recording of it will be available for two weeks for all those registered.

Additional Information


Open to anyone interested in this special program.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.

Creative Vision, One-of-a-Kind, Portraiture, Storytelling
© Kristina Varaksina
Kristina Varaksina

Kristina Varaksina is a photography artist who lives and works in London. Her work is a creative response to what’s going on in the world and in her immediate environment. Through visual symbolism, carefully curated colour palettes and painterly lighting she reflects the strongest emotions she and her subjects experience.

Kristina gives voice to people from different ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. She sees her job as a photographer to make “ordinary” people more visible and therefore, more valuable.

Awards and recognitions include BJP Female in Focus 2022, BBA Berlin 2021 3rd place Winner, Lens Culture Portrait 2021 Winner, Winner in Portrait of Britain 2020, Lens Culture Critics Choice 2020 Winner, and BJP Portrait of Humanity 2020 Shortlist. Commissions include TIME, The BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harper’s Bazaar, and L’Officiel.

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