Is the Open Lens Academy right for you?

Have you wanted to exhibit your photography but feel intimidated by art galleries? 

Does thinking about pricing, editions, and certificates of authenticity leave you overwhelmed and unsure where to even start?

Have you been rejected by galleries and feel stuck or unsure where you’re going wrong? 

Do you pay to enter competitions and submit work to open calls, only to never receive any response or feedback to why your work wasn’t selected?

Are you participating in small group exhibitions and putting yourself out there, but can’t seem to get to the next level? 

Do you ever ask yourself “what am I doing wrong” when you see other photographers getting exhibitions of their work and gallery representation ahead of you?

If any of the above sounds familiar,
then the Open Lens Academy is for you

What past students have said

Edward Thompson

"A solid overview of the art photo world. I'd recommend the course to photography graduates and early/mid career photographers with aspirations of 'making it' in Photoland."

Stephanie O’Connor

"The course was very clear and useful for a variety of reasons - it went deep into the roots of the art market, whilst also exploring editioning/pricing and how to be present without being imposing. Approaches to making connections was very helpful for me and reinforced things I was already doing, which was a plus!"

Paola Ruvioli

"The course was very useful, it helped me focus on my critical points so I could present my work effectively, saving time. The topics covered are numerous but so interesting that the time flew by. The course gave me the incentive to carry out in-depth studies which could perhaps be useful in realizing my dream of publishing a book. I highly recommend it, an excellent course, thank you so much Michael, you did a great job!"

Anders Bigum

"The course gave a brilliant insight into the complex world of art photography. Lots of very useful and well structured information. Got some insecurities calmed and got in communication with galleries and have a solo show coming up in spring."

Elizabeth Orcutt

"Michael's expertise and delivery inspires huge confidence, and although I have years of industry experience, I learned a huge amount, particularly about myself and how I manage my time. I've always felt that my work was non-commercial but I think there is potential to sell. I feel confident I know what to do now! I highly recommend working with him and will do so again myself."

Acquire the knowledge required for you to succeed in showing your photography

There are 3 main problems photographers tell me they face::

How can I find a gallery?

How can I get exhibitions?

How can I grow my network?

If you’re reading this, chances are you have these questions too.

Perhaps you’ve entered online photography competitions, submitted your images for publication, and regularly post your work on Instagram. 

Maybe you’ve responded to open calls, walked into galleries with your portfolio, or even reached out to curators directly in the hopes they would look at your work.

But it seems no matter what you try, nothing has translated into having exhibitions, getting gallery representation, or gaining access to the decision makers in the field.

This isn’t your fault. 

No one has explained to you how the industry operates, how galleries find artists, or how to connect with the people interested in showing your work.

Gain clarity about the art world

The art world (most of life really) is like a game. Except no one explains the rules or teaches you how to play, that you have to work out for yourself.

Some people never work it out and are constantly frustrated when things don’t go as they had hoped. Others work it out eventually and wish someone had explained it to them sooner.

The wisdom you’ll gain from the Open Lens Academy will save you years of disappointment and the pain felt when your expectations about the art world, getting exhibitions, and finding a gallery, don’t meet the experienced reality.

Map out your art career

How much time and money have you spent in the last few years entering photography competitions with nothing to show for it?

There are other ways of getting your photography shown in galleries, and exhibiting your work, that don’t involve competing with thousands of other photographers in global open calls.

Once you know there is an alternative to developing your art career, you can stop trying all the ways you know deep down don’t work, and start concentrating on the ones that do.

Start building your network

There are many advantages of taking a live webinar. Attending an event in real time puts you in the moment in a way that watching a recording doesn’t.

The feeling is different. The same way that listening to a voice message is different from listening to another person speak to you personally.

Being in a space, even a virtual space, with other people on the same journey as you makes you part of a community. You can participate in discussions in real time with other artists and photographers participating in the webinar, make new connections and start building your network.

What should have been taught in art school

The Open Lens Academy is your guide to the art world.

The knowledge will enable you to start exhibiting your photography, connecting with galleries, and building your network.

You will unlock the following material by enrolling in the course:

  • Half day (4 hour) live session covering everything you need to know to start navigating the art world as a photographer.
  • A 2 hour pre-recorded webinar (with English subtitles) covering all the content which you can watch at your own pace.
  • List of resources including books, podcasts, and videos (if you want to dive deeper into the material)
  • Templates, examples and checklists for you to download (saving you hours better spent on your photography).

Benefits of the live webinar

  • Ask questions in real time and get direct feedback to your concerns.
  • Learn from the experiences of other course participants.
  • Start building your network with the photographers in your cohort.

What do we cover in the course?

The Art World, the Art Market, and Photography

Much like fashion, music, and cinema, art and photography are industries like every other creative pursuit.

Understanding how this world operates will save you a lot of frustration and disappointment, as well as putting you in a better position to get to where you want to be.
Image of Michael Dooney presenting the webinar of How to Promote Your Photography in the Art World

Prints and Books

Viewing the art world through the lens of commodification, photographic prints and photo books are your two main products when participating in the marketplace of art.

We talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each, how to decide for which medium is best for your project, and look at some artists who gained recognition through specific bodies of works
Image of Michael Dooney presenting the webinar of How to Promote Your Photography in the Art World

Editions and Pricing

As the title suggests, we talk about how to edition and price your work.

What the standard practices are for photographers, artists who have made their own rules, and how to decide what is best for you.
Image of Michael Dooney presenting the webinar of How to Promote Your Photography in the Art World

Artist's Statement and CV

If only your work could speak for itself.

When quality is subjective and time is a scarce resource, artist's statements and CV's play a crucial role in determining whether a curator will consider your work.

We'll look at some examples and how to put yours together.
Image of Michael Dooney presenting the webinar of How to Promote Your Photography in the Art World

Website and Online Presence

We live in a digital age. If you're not online you don't exist.

We talk about the importance of your website, building your online presence, what to do about social media, and where to focus your energy.
Image of Michael Dooney presenting the webinar of How to Promote Your Photography in the Art World

Competitions, Portfolio Reviews and Networking

Getting your work seen by decision makers is at the heart of the art world.

Don't spend your time and money entering all the wrong competitions.

Learn how to cut through the noise, select the right events and meet the people who you want to work with (and want to work with you).
Image of Michael Dooney presenting the webinar of How to Promote Your Photography in the Art World

Michael Dooney

Your guide on this journey

When I arrived in Berlin in 2010 I was an art world outsider.

I worked in an unrelated field, I didn’t know anyone, and had no idea about the system I would soon be a part of.

Five years later my gallery participated in the inaugural Photo London Fair.

This isn’t to say that it was easy, but I do know it’s possible to start from zero and make progress in the art world.

Since founding Jarvis Dooney gallery in 2013 I have presented the work of over 250 artists, participated in major art fairs (Photo London, LOOP Barcelona), and have enabled numerous international debut exhibitions in photography biennials (EMOP Berlin).

Every year since 2017 I have been reviewing portfolio’s at Les Rencontres d'Arles as part of the official programme.

The material in this webinar has been taught to over 100 photographers in person at the bbk Berlin and the Neue Schule für Fotografie.

I also host Subtext & Discourse | Art World Podcast where I interview other gallerists, art collectors, and curators, who share their insights and experiences of this unique industry.

The Open Lens Academy distils over 10 years of life lessons and experience in the art world into a half day webinar. Providing you the knowledge required to get more exhibitions, find a gallery to work with, and build your network within the art world.

What you'll unlock

By joining the Open Lens Academy you'll be professionalising your art career and taking control of your future.

  • Half day (4 hour) live webinar covering:

    - Your career goals and aspirations as a photographer
    - The art world and the art market for photographers
    - Photographic prints and photo books
    - Editioning and pricing your work
    - Your artist statement and CV
    - Your website and online presence
    - Competitions, portfolio reviews, and networking

  • 2 hour pre-recorded webinar (with English subtitles) which you can watch before the live session to familiarise yourself with the content.

  • Templates for writing your CV, artist statement, and certificate of authenticity to professionalise your practice.

Bonus material

Available for a limited time.

These bonuses are included with the live webinar to help you to reach your goals.

  • [BONUS] 25 minute 1:1 coaching session


    In this 1:1 coaching session we can discuss a project you're working on. Where you might be struggling to get exhibitions or gallery representation. The time is yours to ask any questions you might have.

  • [BONUS] Private Community

    60€ per year

    Online community of current and past course participants, with whom you can ask questions and build your network.

  • [BONUS] Lifetime access to the course.

    84€ per year

    With lifetime access to the recordings. As the course grows and improves, you’ll be able to benefit from the updated templates and material in the course.

Half day (4 hour) interactive webinar with detailed explanations, live Q&A and interaction with other photographers.

2 hour pre-recorded webinar (with English subtitles) which you can watch before the live session to familiarise yourself with the content.

Templates, examples and checklists for you to download.

List of resources including books, podcasts, and videos.

[BONUS] 25 minute 1:1 coaching session to discuss your work and answer any specific questions you have.

[BONUS] Private community where you can network with current and past students.

[BONUS] Lifetime access to the course material.

[GUARANTEE] 100%, no-questions-asked refund and rollover policy if you complete the course materials and find it isn’t for you within 14 days of purchase.


  • How much does this cost?

    Online courses teaching the ins and outs of the art world cost upwards of 1000€

    Those with a live component or coaching cost even more.

    Striking a balance between affordability and seriousness is the aim of the Open Lens Academy.

    The full price of the course is 249€

  • How long will the course take?

    The live webinar, depending on the number of participants, typically lasts around 4 hours.

    The additional materials within the course you can consume and revisit at your own pace.

  • What if I can’t attend the live session?

    If you know that you wont be able to make the live session, please let me know in advance and I can register you for a future webinar.

  • How long will I have access to the material?

    You will have access to the course materials forever!

  • Can I book additional 1:1 sessions with you?

    Yes, 1:1 coaching sessions will be available soon.

    If you are interested you can contact me on mail (at) michaeldooney (dot) net and I can add you to the mailing list for when this is announced.