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Save the date: The Prism Photo Workshop will return to Columbia College Chicago on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Mark your calendar and plan to join us at the Conaway Center at 1104 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago. The Workshop featured a full day of dynamic speakers who inspired, educated and encouraged.

We are grateful to our past sponsors, Sony Corporation and the Chris Hondros Fund, and to you, the people who have attended and supported Prism.
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2023 speakers 

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David Johnson

Internationally published photographer

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Tonika Johnson

Artist, photographer, creator of the

Folded Map Project

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Mariah Karson

Visual artist and photographer

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Danielle Scruggs

Photo editor at The Wall Street Journal and independent photographer

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Diana Solís

Photographer, multidisciplinary artist and educator

10:00 –  Start

10:10 –  Applying for Grants - Tonika Johnson 

10:40 –  Editorial Workflow - Mariah Karson

11:10 –  Break

11:20 –  Business Practices - David Johnson

12:00 – Lunch

1:00 –  Start

1:10 –  Working with editors - Danielle Scruggs

1:40 –  Long-term Projects - Diana Solís

2:10 –  Break

2:20 –  Ask Me Anything Panel - Mariah Karson, Danielle Scruggs and Diana Solís


3:00 –  Break

3:30-4:45 – Portfolio Reviews

Reserve your spot today to meet and present your work to talented and experienced photographers and photo editors, including…

  • Brian Cassella, Staff photographer, Chicago Tribune

  • Danielle Scruggs, Independent photographer and Wall Street Journal photo editor

  • Erin Hooley, Staff photojournalist, Associated Press

  • Diana Solís, Photographer, multidisciplinary artist and educator

  • Ashlee Rezin, Visual journalist, Chicago Sun-Times

  • Jen Mosbrucker, Photo editor, New York Times

  • Mark Hume, Photo assignment editor, Chicago Tribune

  • Rich Hein, Photo desk editor, Chicago Sun-Times

  • Mariah Karson, Visual artist and photographer

  • Michael Zajakowski, Director of Photography, CHICAGO Magazine and

  • Michelle Kanaar, Cofounder & Associate Director, Visual Storytelling, Borderless Magazine

David Johnson is an internationally published photographer. His work focuses on the people and processes that define a company's mission and vision and captures the life and growth in a way that communicates its personality and authenticity. He has traveled to East Africa, Central America, Asia, India, and Eastern Europe for a variety of clients, and worked on campaigns for Motorola Solutions, Microsoft, Google, and other national and international forums.

David does extensive work with several non-profit and international aid organizations, helping to raise funds for under-resourced communities in the developing world, and founded his own non-profit, True Chicago, to educate, energize, and expand the arts for black and brown youth, sprinting towards new goals.

Tonika Johnson is a photographer, social justice artist and lifelong resident of Chicago’s south side Englewood neighborhood.  


Tonika’s art explores urban segregation and celebrates the nuanced richness of the Black community. Her work reveals injustices and inequities, past and present, evidenced in the built environment and enshrined in real estate and land use practices.


Her Folded Map Project™ brings residents who live at similar addresses but miles apart on Chicago’s racially segregated South and North sides together in conversation about the city’s racial and economic divides.

Tonika is a co-founder of the Englewood Arts Collective and the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, and she now serves as the Creative Executive Officer of the Folded Map Project™ nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit

Mariah Karson is a Chicago-based artist and freelance photographer. She studied photography and printmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her work has been exhibited and published internationally. Specializing in editorial and studio portraiture, Mariah strives to capture real people with honesty and clarity and creates memorable images that tell compelling stories.

Danielle A. Scruggs (she/her) is a photo editor at The Wall Street Journal and a freelance photographer. She graduated from Howard University with a degree in journalism and from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a master’s degree in digital art. She also attended the Kalish Workshop for Visual Editing and the New York Times Portfolio Review in 2018.


Danielle is also the founder and editor of Black Women Directors, a digital library highlighting the work of Black women and non-binary filmmakers.


Most recently, she was a staff photo editor on the global picture desk at Getty Images, where she edited breaking news and sports images and produced stories for @gettyimages's Instagram account. Previously, she was a news photo editor at Vox Media, a Senior Photo Editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated, and the Director of Photography at the award-winning Chicago Reader, the oldest alternative newsweekly in the United States.


Danielle is a general member of Diversify.Photo and Women Photograph and served as a board member of Authority Collective for two years, all groups committed to creating equity and parity within the visual storytelling and photojournalism fields.

Diana Solís is a Mexican-born photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and educator who has lived and worked in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood for over four decades. Her visual practice includes painting, illustration, printmaking and public installation. As a documentary photographer, Solís has created a vast and ongoing visual archive of LGBTQ, Latinx and feminist communities and movements from Chicago to Mexico City. In 2022 parts of this work where shown at the at the Triennial of Photography Hamburg (DE), FotoFocus Biennial (Cincinnati) and the Poetry Foundation (Chicago). In 2023 her work will show at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art (NYC).


Central to Solis’ practice is a commitment to teaching artistry and her desire to share and collaborate with the people around her. Solis’ social practice of education began in the 1970’s when working with Pilsen’s Iconic Casa Aztlan and Mujeres Latinas en Acción. In the years since, she has taught students of diverse backgrounds and ages in community organizations, public schools, museums, and special residency programs. During the COVID pandemic Solis’ photography practice found new life in the empty streets of Pilsen. Leading photography workshops for local youth and walking alone in the early mornings, Solís developed her newest photo essay, Luz: Seeing the Space Between Us. It was published as a limited edition artist book by Flatlands Press in November, 2022.

Your tax-deductible donation will help the Workshop offer resources to visual journalists from traditionally underrepresented communities through grants, scholarships, mentoring and our annual live workshop. Contributions at any level are welcome.


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To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch at or join our mailing list below. 

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