Val Patterson fell in love with Photography, by accident, while she was in college studying to be an Architect. After reluctantly taking a required introductory photo class at Santa Monica College, she put away her drafting table and found her true artistic calling behind the lens of a 1977 Nikon FM camera. Now almost two decades later, Val has produced and published three conceptual photography books that showcase her work. The Mona Lisa Project, a series of costumed portraits featuring contemporary artists and celebrities including Sarah Silverman as Snow White and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Wonder Woman. The Pink Project, a charity photo book of pink-themed snapshots raising awareness for breast cancer and women’s causes. And most recently, The Red Herring, a series of cinematic landscapes, portraits and still lives inspired by female heroines from classic fairy tales, fiction, religion and mythology. Val is currently working on her forthcoming book, Siren, which she plans to release in the Fall of 2020.

During her charity work and involvement with RAINN, Val collaborated with some of her favorite artists such as Tori Amos, Daryl Hannah, Dita Von Teese, Ingrid Michaelson, Mariska Hargitay, Tina Majorino, Erika Alexander, Chris Pine, Milo Ventimiglia and Stan Lee. Her advocacy for women’s causes gave her the opportunity to photograph former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her Presidential Bid in 2008. Val’s conceptual fine art images have been published and featured in PHOTO+ Magazine in South Korea, F-Stop Magazine, Lenscratch, Tonelit Magazine, Fotofilmic, Redbird Editions, 591 Photography Blog and Forth Magazine. She has participated in group exhibitions at the Robert Berman Gallery, Smashbox Studios, PhotoPlace Gallery, The Perfect Exposure Gallery and Los Angeles Center of Photography.


Growing up in Los Angeles, I have always been naturally drawn to and influenced by the iconic female figures of Hollywood. I love the dreamy, soft focused aesthetic of vintage, cinematic portraits of actresses from the 1940's and 1950's. The elegance and simplicity of those timeless portraits are a major influence to my work. Though I am deeply inspired by classic black and white photography, in particular Film Noir, I am personally committed to the tactile, vibrant medium of Color Film. Much of my work is puzzle-pieced into a photographic narrative that tells a story of a female archetype while exploring the depths of color, contrast, light and shadow. My vignette-style landscapes, atmospheric portraits and fractured still lives are conceptually drawn from Historical and Contemporary Women in Art, Film, Music, Politics and Pop Culture.



2012 – 2015  Los Angeles Center of Photography, Los Angeles, CA

1999 – 2000  Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, CA

1997 – 1999  Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA



2017  How to Flatten a Mountain, Photo Ireland, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, Ireland

2014  MOPLA Analogue Portrait Project, Aesthesia Studios, Los Angeles, CA

2014  Alternate Realities, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica Art Studios, Santa Monica, CA

2013  Redbird Editions, Online Gallery & Pop-Up Exhibition, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2013  Alternate Realities: 11 Photographic Visions, LA Center of Photography, Los Angeles, CA

2013  MOPLA Desire Pin-Up Show, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2012  Emerging L.A. Artists, The Perfect Exposure Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2012  MOPLA + SMASHBOX Group Show, Smashbox Studios, Los Angeles, CA

2012  PERCEPTIONS: New Work From 10 Southern California Photographers, LACP , Los Angeles, CA



The Red Herring, 2013

The Mona Lisa Project, 2011

The Pink Project, 2007



Edge of Humanity Magazine, The Mona Lisa Project Feature, November 2017

Landscape Stories Magazine, LS 26 Habitare Issue, October 2017

Los Angeles Magazine, October Country, What to Eat & Do in LA, October 2017

F-Stop Magazine, New Beginnings Spring Issue, April 2015

PHOTO+ Magazine, The Red Herring Feature, Volume 44, December 2013

591 Photography Blog, International Women’s Day, March 2013

F-Stop Magazine, Landscape Issue, December 2012

F-Stop Magazine, Helping Issue, October 2012

591 Photography Blog, International Women’s Day, March 2012

F-Stop Magazine, Portrait Issue, February 2012

Forth Magazine, Contributing Photographer, October 2009


Honors + Recognition:

How to Flatten a Mountain Residency, Cow House Studios, County Wexford, Ireland, 2017

Fotofilmic ’13 Shortlist 3 Winner, 2013

Honorable Mention for The Mona Lisa Project, PWP 37th Anniversary International Women’s Exhibition, 2012

Honorable Mention for The Mona Lisa Project, International Photography Awards, 2012

Final Jury Round Selection for The Mona Lisa Project, International Fine Art Photography Competition, 2012

Letter of Recognition for The Pink Project from New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2008

Certificate of Recognition for The Pink Project from Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. March 2007

Award of Recognition for The Pink Project, 24th Annual Volunteer Day in the City of Hawthorne, April 2006