Business of Photography Workshop



(Scroll down for registration info & for special discounts from supporters)

“I wouldn’t know where to begin or how to place value on my work without this workshop.”

Those words appeared in my inbox two days after teaching my workshop and, simple as they are, represent the entire reason for this course.

There is no disputing that the evolution of photography, and especially photojournalism, has resulted in a fundamental shift in employment standards in this country. In years past, photographers emerging with newly minted degrees, or veteran photographers merely wishing to change locations, could readily find staff positions at any number of newspapers, wire services or non-profits and concentrate almost entirely on creating strong images. However, times have changed to the point that the vast majority of photographers, according to the 2010 Census, will forge their way as freelancers. As a result, these photographers will require a strong foundation in skills that go far beyond just creating striking photographs if they wish to financially sustain themselves.


This business minded photography workshop is geared toward photographers with an interest in a career producing images for various media outlets, nonprofits, foundations and corporations. Open to the public, it provides practical advice and information addressing the many business issues that freelancers must contend with on a daily basis and provides you with knowledge to help you manage your career. I have a strong desire to maintain small classes to maximize discussion time over lecture time. From my experiences in the classroom (and as a parent), a smaller learning environment facilitates better teacher/student interaction. From the many evaluation reports I’ve received over the years, the ones listed here are what I aim for every time.

“Todd has clearly mastered both the art and the business of photography, as his portfolio demonstrates, and the reviews from his class were excellent.” 

-Carol Stewart, Assistant Director of Continuing and Professional Education at University of Arizona


With over two decades of freelance work for international publications, corporations, non profits and foundations, I created this seminar to share my experiences and advice on how to go beyond creating excellent images for clients to actually making a living as a freelance photographer or photojournalist. This workshop has benefited many young and mid-career photographers who have either entered the profession as a recent graduate, transitioned from a staff photography position or have simply wished to learn the business basics for freelancing.

The following universities, colleges, schools and conferences have offered the workshop:

  • UCLA
  • Otis College of Art & Design
  • San Diego State University
  • The University of Arizona
  • The California Center for Digital Arts
  • Brooks Institute of Photography
  • American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP Portland)
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • The Sports Shooter Academy

Registration for Upcoming Workshops

January 24 & 25, 2015 at UCLA! 

  • THANK YOU UCLA students! What a great weekend. I appreciate your energy and interest!

February 21 & 22, 2015 at ASMP Oregon in partnership with Pro Photo Supply! Portland, Oregon

  • This is filling rapidly. Over 20 already enrolled, so jump in if interested. There’s a cap on enrollment.
  • ASMP and Pro Photo Supply are offering the weekend at a fantastic price in a fantastic facility in a fantastic city.
    • ASMP Member: $100
    • Non-Member: $200
    • Student: $125
  • 9-6pm with one hour for lunch.
  • Wonderful facility at Portland’s best photo retailer and education center, Pro Photo Supply.

February 28 & March 1, 2015 at Brooks Institute So Cal’s premier photography school! Santa Barbara 

  • Honored to work with the wonderful Brooks Workshops where great photography and great location collide in Santa Barbara!
  • Lunch included with your registration.
  • Early discount provided through January 23rd. Use Promo Code BROOKS2015

March 14 & 15, 2015 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas! Las Vegas 

  • Vegas is a great place to shoot and talk photography!
  • 9:00am-5:00pm with a break for lunch each day (we usually head to a local place together).
  • Surprise your spouse or friend. You can register for someone else!


March 21, 2015 Part 1 at California Center for Digital Arts! Orange County, CA 


April 18, 2015    Part 2 at California Center for Digital Arts! Orange County, CA



(Testimonials are from real students & administrators involved in the workshop. They are not paid reviews. Feel free to visit their sites and ask their opinions of the seminar)

COURSE TOPICS: The continually evolving photography and photojournalism professions have clearly shifted the employment standard from employee based to freelance based. As a result, it is now more imperative than ever that independent photographers possess a solid understanding of running their own business if they expect to support themselves and/or their family. The workshop addresses issues such as:

  • Client Development
  • Leveraging Your Portfolio for Work
  • Assignment Contracts & Negotiations
  • Agency or Personal Representation
  • Website & Platform Options
  • Copyright Basics
  • Equipment Considerations & Recommendations
  • Tax Issues and Choices Facing Freelancers
  • Digital Asset Management via Image Workflow
  • Creating Revenue from Licensing
  • Image Licensing Standards and Rates
  • General Business Practices (home offices, assistants & insurance)
  • Understanding Cost of Doing Business
  • Social Media Integration and Workflow
  • Rate and Term Standards & Negotiations

STUDENTS: The information is presented as a classroom discussion using real life experience and scenarios and you are highly encouraged to engage by asking questions and participating in the conversation. I continue to shoot for a variety of clients, so I’m bringing current and relevant personal experience to the classroom. You will leave the workshop with a sound understanding of the significant business matters you will face on a daily basis as a professional photographer. The workshop was listed as one of the 50 Awesome Photo Workshops Around The World by Photoshelter.

UNIVERSITIES & ORGANIZATIONS: If you are interested in booking this workshop for your students or conference attendees, please email Todd [at] ToddBigelowPhotography [dot] com for more information. Below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions, but feel free to email me if you have further questions.

  • Who Pays for The Workshop?
    • The course is offered as a self-sustaining workshop funded by the student’s course registration fee.
    • A minimum number of students is determined to assure financial feasibility for instructor and host.
  • What is the Cost of the Workshop?
    • The registration fee is dependent on the host’s analysis of similar courses offered on site or at other institutions or conferences.
    • Early registration discounts are encouraged, as is “walk-in” registration.
  • What is Your Fee for Teaching the Workshop?
    • There are several options for calculating the fee including a straight hourly wage, a pre-determined percentage of the overall registration, or a combination of both.
  • How Long is the Workshop?
    • The course can be presented to fit any time constraint, particularly as it pertains to conferences.
    • To provide a thorough workshop that covers the essentials listed above, the workshop typically runs fifteen hours.
    • The fifteen-hour course is scheduled over multiple days. This allows students time to digest and examine the material before returning with additional questions.
  • Do You Require a Classroom or Special Equipment?
    • The only requirements are for a classroom and an internet connection. It is preferable for the host to provide a multimedia projector (most classrooms are equipped with such), but not mandatory. A projector will be provided if one is not available.
  • How Do You Market or Promote the Workshop?
    • The workshop should be aggressively marketed to assure that students are aware of the course. This is particularly relevant if the course is being presented as a new offering.
    • Marketing is performed by the workshop host and the instructor and should be coordinated for maximum efficiency and impact.
    • Course catalog (if available) printing, blog posts, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media outlets are utilized.
    • Workshop flyers with university or conference branding should be circulated to local photography organizations, clubs and retail outlets.

Click on the link to download a flyer: The Business of Photography Workshop Flyer

I receive inquiries regarding one-on-one sessions and consulting and am available for both, either in person or via Skype. Please email me at Todd [at] ToddBigelowPhotography [dot] com and place “consulting inquiry” in the subject field.

If you have questions about scheduled workshops, please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help.

Thank you!

Workshop Support and Student Discounts:

Below are several of the outstanding products, retailers and companies who are kind enough to offer financial support and discounts to this workshop. I do not seek affiliation with any one or any company unless I have personally done business with them and feel very strongly about their products and services. Simply put, those listed below are those who I have come to count on regularly in my freelance business. Check back as there are more on the way! And make sure to click on the links to access your discounts. 


Photoshelter What can I say about Photoshelter? They have revolutionized the way freelancers display, distribute, market, license and connect with clients. They provide the infrastructure that governs not only my website, but nearly 100,000 other photographers worldwide. Built-in e-commerce, beautiful screen responsive websites that are easily customizable without having to code, secure cloud storage, client only access and too many other features to mention. Simply put, they are a company built for freelance photographers to grow their business. Their level of support includes an offer for one FREE YEAR on a Standard Account and then an additional 50% off for the second year. Click on the link and sign-up using the code EDU2015 (good through 12/31/14)

Photoshelter Logo





ThinkTank Photo Help support Think Tank Photo who supports this workshop. You will receive a free gift on $50 or more purchase from the leader in pro photo bags! I’ve pulled, worn and carried these bags since their inception and they are the best, most durable and modern bags on the market. Just click and you’ll go to my welcome page at Think Tank Photo.



Cradoc Software I’m proud to be affiliated with Cradoc Software, the maker of the industry leading Fotobiz, Fotoquote and Keyword, and a supporter of this workshop. From tracking licenses to providing job or license quotes to billing and contact references, this software is an absolute essential part of my workflow. Please click on the photo below and use the promotional code BPB0714 when requested to receive a 20% discount through the end of the year!

Camera Bits I’ve used Photo Mechanic, created by Camera Bits, since the dawn of the digital age. It’s another staple in the freelance world and in newsrooms nationwide. It continues to evolve into much more than a great editing tool by providing efficient ways to also apply metadata, rename, move, copy and transmit straight to your clients and website. Use the following promotional code for a 10% discount: PM10TODD







Roberts Camera  We all know there are many choices when purchasing gear on the internet. But we also know the importance of developing a trusting relationship with professional retailers in order to obtain the best pricing AND the best customer service. That’s what I’ve experienced with Roberts Camera based in Indianapolis and especially when dealing with Jonathan “Jody” Grober. Jody will quote you a fair price and often has the latest gear in stock when others are sold out. Check-in with him by clicking on the logo below and tell him you were a student of the workshop (the link will take you to the professional and educational staff team at Roberts with appropriate contact information.)



  1. Pingback: Have Camera, Will Travel: Fifty Awesome Photo Workshops Around the World

  2. Pingback: Fifty Awesome photo Workshops around the world | Up Close & Click

    • Hi Nicolas,

      Each university, college or school essentially determines (after discussion, of course) what is the best schedule to offer their students. The majority prefer to schedule it over one weekend (Sat/Sun), while others prefer consecutive Saturdays. A few, like SMC, prefer to spread it out over a few Saturdays simply to break the workshop into smaller sessions. Where there is a chance for attendees from out of town (like Univ of Arizona, UCLA etc), the workshop is usually held over one weekend to accommodate them.

      Hope that helps.


    • Richard,
      Thanks for suggestion. If I can put something together, I’ll let you know. I’d love to take this wherever photographers are interested.

  3. Pingback: The Business of Photography | Visual Arts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × nine =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>