Business of Photography Workshop


_______________________WORKSHOP TESTIMONIALS_________________


(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)

(Scroll down for Registration, Topics & Student 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 

A huge thank you to the great people at ASMP Oregon and Pro Photo Supply for a fantastic workshop!

  • THANK YOU ASMP & PRO PHOTO SUPPLY! Filled the room and spilled over onto a waiting list. Let’s do it again!
  • ASMP and Pro Photo Supply were incredible hosts. Lots of discussions, laughs and social time each day.

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

From Mexico City to Sacramento and beyond, the Brooks Institute students were outstanding!

  • Honored to work with the wonderful Brooks Workshops where great photography and great location collide in Santa Barbara!
  • Looking forward to returning this Fall.

July 11th and July 18th at Pierce College 

  • Pierce is a great college located in Woodland Hills with a history of excellent photography instruction.
  • This course is held on two consecutive Saturdays.
  • A direct link to the registration will be posted when registration opens in late soon.

August 29-30, 2015 at UCLA 

Mariachis in East Los Angeles.

  • Join the conversation at the original home to the workshop!
  • Great location in Westwood with easy walk to a variety of restaurants for lunch.
  • Stay tuned for Early Registration Discount.
  • A direct link to the registration will be posted when registration opens in late Spring.

STAY TUNED FOR ASMP ATLANTA! Tentatively looking at early Fall! 

STAY TUNED FOR UA IN TUCSON! Returning to the home of the Wildcats this Fall. Join us at Univ of Arizona! 

STAY TUNED FOR BROOKS INSTITUTE IN SANTA BARBARA! A likely return to the wonderful Brooks Institute tentatively set for this Fall!

Workshop Topics

Photoshelter Fantastic Workshop

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 that freelancers consistently face on a daily basis, including:

  • Understanding the Freelance Market
  • Building and Leveraging Your Portfolio for Work
  • Learning to Value Your Work
  • Client Development
  • Analyzing & Negotiating Assignment & Licensing Contracts
  • 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

One-on-one consultation either in person or via Skype are available. Please see the Consultation Page for details.

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. 


Logo_ToddBigelow_2 copyBusiness of Photography Consulting Services:  After several years of inquiries, the Business of Photography now offers photography consultation via Skype or in person. Services are offered to everyone regardless of workshop attendance, but the Business of Photography Workshop students can engage in the services at a 50% discount in the year following the seminar and at a 25% discount in the second year following your attendance in the workshop. Please retain the date and place you attended the workshop. Visit the Business of Photography Consultation page.

Photoshelter LogoPhotoshelter 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)


Cradoc Promo

Cradoc Software I’m not sure there is single piece of software that I use more than FotoQuote and FotoBiz. I’ve been using it since it became available and it continues as the industry standard business software for licensing and management. Don’t believe me? Just do some research (the fact that Photoshelter has it built into their platform says it all!). It’s the best photo business management tools in the business. I’m not only a proud consumer of their product, I’m a proud recipient of their support. Please click on the photo and use the promotional code BPB0714 when requested to receive a 10% discount! Thank you, Cradoc! 

thinktank-550x90ThinkTank 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.

PMCleanCover-178x177Camera 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 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.)



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    • 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.

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  5. Hey Todd, my background includes several years in television production and 10 years shooting architecture and interiors. Your workshop sounds like it covers a good deal of the things I need to learn to garner advertising clients, perhaps representation, and start to expand my reach in general. How can I attend the workshop at UCLA on August 29-30th?

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the inquiry. The UCLA workshop registration will likely not open for another month or two. At that point, you will have a direct link from this workshop page to the registration page. So, please check back regularly. It will fill up, but not usually in the first few weeks. You’ll be good if you register by May or June. Hope to see you there.

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