About Todd

Todd Bigelow on assignment for Sports Illustrated.

Hello. Thanks for taking a moment to view my work and background.

I am a Los Angeles, California based editorial, non profit and corporate photographer who has handled assignment work for some of the world’s leading publications.


I’ve been hired to shoot assignments for TIME, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Public Radio International, Newsweek, Der Spiegel (Europe’s leading news weekly), People, AARP and the Chronicle of Higher Education to name a few. I contributed to two Breaking News Pulitzer Prizes awarded to staff of the Los Angeles Times for coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. I also work with some of the nation’s leading non-profits including the Southern Poverty Law Center, The James Irvine Foundation, Teaching Tolerance and the Food & Environment Reporting Network among others. I’ve fulfilled advertising and corporate work for Costco Wholesale, Target Corporation, General Motors and SVI Holdings, Inc as well as a host of small businesses throughout Los Angeles. My work incorporates portraits, documentary subjects, sports, lifestyle and news in both stills and video. To see examples of my published work, please click here.


I’ve been blessed by outstanding representation from my early foray into freelance world in the 1990s through the present. After several years with the highly respected Black Star Photo Agency, I joined Aurora Photos in 1998 where I was one of only a dozen photographers in the US. I’m currently contributing my project work, including New Americans, a look at immigrants seeking citizenship out of fear of a Trump presidency, and Asylum Seekers in Tijuana, to the legendary Contact Press Images. 


I’m fortunate to have had my work exhibited multiple times in the U.S., France and Spain. Fourteen of my images from a long term essay on immigration reside in the permanent collection at the California Museum of Photography. Images are also on permanent display at the Oakland Museum of California. Additional work is on display at Washington DC’s Newseum. Images from the Occupy movement were included in a group show at the NoHo Gallery in Los Angeles. 


A early Eddie Adams Workshop alumnus (EAW III) with multiple additional years as a volunteer staff member, I’ve worked since 1998 as a part-time, adjunct professor teaching Beginning and Advanced Photojournalism, Documentary Photojournalism, Advanced Studio Lighting/Business Practices and Visual Communications at California State University, Northridge. I was awarded in 2017 a “Exceptional Levels of Service to Students” award for my work at CSU Northridge. I also teach a variety of courses, including Street Photography and Portrait Photography at various times through UCLA Extension.


Todd Bigelow talks about copyright issues to photographers during the UnderExposed event at the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Photo ©2017, George H. Long

My two decades of experience in the freelance world has taught me plenty through trials and tribulations. The combination of my experience and research has resulted in my opinions being sought by universities and by professional photographers in regards to freelance business practices. I’ve also been hired as a expert witness to provide information pertaining to copyright and licensing standards in the photo industry. I’m a staunch believer in a photographer’s right to maintain control of his work while protecting it against unauthorized use.

I have compiled my professional experiences navigating the freelance world for over twenty-five years into a workshop and Consultation Service that focuses on the Business of Photography. The workshop addresses many issues freelancers face on a daily basis including portfolio assessment and development, freelance market analysis, image licensing for revenue, copyright issues and case studies, how to effectively combat infringement, recovering lost licensing revenue, rate/term negotiations, client development tactics, digital asset management workflow, understanding agency representation, business models (LLC, Sole Proprietor, S Corp) and social media integration and workflow, to name a few.

My work educating other photographers on freelance business practices earned me the 2019 Clifton Edom Award from the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA).

I’m pleased to present this workshop as a means to help educate the next generation of photographers in a rapidly evolving market. The course has been offered by the following:

UCLA Extension (14 times)
ASMP Oregon
ASMP Atlanta
ASMP San Diego
ASMP New Orleans
National Press Photographers Association, Northern Short Course (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar
FotoFusion (2017 & 2018)
San Diego State University
University of Arizona
Brooks Institute of Photography (two times)
California Center for Digital Arts
Pierce College
Otis College of Art & Design
The Sports Shooter Academy annual conference.
The course was named three times by Photoshelter as one of the top “inspiring” and “fantastic” workshops worldwide. Please visit the Business of Photography Workshop page for more information, student testimonials and to register for upcoming workshops.

As noted above, I have also provided expert witness research and testimony for copyright infringement cases. Please let me know if I can be of service.

Feel free to contact me at todd [at] toddbigelowphotography [dot] com, or click on the Contact tab above.

(Top Right Photo: On assignment for Sports Illustrated. © Gerard Burkhart)


“The most important element in a relationship between a photo editor and photographer is trust. When a photo editor picks up the phone and assigns a photographer, they have already placed their faith in the photographer’s ability to come home with the goods. There has yet to be an assignment in the close to twenty years of my relationship with Todd Bigelow where he didn’t come home with the goods. He is fully aware of what his client needs. Not only does he deliver but he will give the client something extra. There have been many photographs that Todd has taken on his own during an assignment that were far superior to those he was instructed to shoot.”—James K. Colton, Former Picture Editor at Sports Illustrated, former Director of Photography, Newsweek and currently Director a Zuma Press Images.

“Thoroughly professional in his dealings with both our staff and his workshop participants. Todd has clearly mastered both the art and the business of photography, as his portfolio demonstrates, and the reviews from his class were excellent. One participant ranked Todd as ‘outstanding’ in every metric and commented that what made the workshop particularly special was the attention that was paid to each and every student.”—Carol Stewart, Assistant Director of Continuing & Professional Education at the University of Arizona.

“As someone who has completed undergraduate, Masters, and PhD programs, in addition to numerous certification and continuing education courses throughout the years, [The Business of Photography] is by far one of the best courses I have ever participated in. Both the content and the organization of the course were superb. I’m walking away from this experience with a tremendous amount of content and insights that will be directly applicable starting tomorrow!”–John Bosma, Professional Photographer (http://www.john-bosma-photo.com/)