Business of Photography Workshop

Proudly Presented by The Following Universities, Colleges and Professional Photographer Organizations

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


“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. ASMP Student TweetHowever, 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. And that goes for everyone from veteran photographers to newly minted grads.


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, Assist. Director of Continuing and Professional Education at Univ. of ArizonaScreen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.17.48 PM


Want to read a veteran photographer’s perspective on taking the workshop and his Never Stop Learning approach? Read Michael Schwarz’s post detailing his September of learning

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.

Intestested In Hosting The Workshop? Contact The Business of Photography


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
  • Contracts: View and Analyze Real Contracts from Clients
  • Contracts: Creating and Analyzing Licensing and Invoice Contracts
  • Contracts: Understanding Work For Hire 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
  • Combating Infringement and Methods to Recover Lost Licensing Fees
  • Image Licensing Standards and Rates
  • General Business Practices (home offices, assistants & insurance)
  • Understanding Cost of Doing Business
  • Social Media: Integration and Workflow
  • Social Media: User Generated Content & Contract Analysis
  • Social Media: Infringement Case Studies
  • Rate and Term Standards & Negotiations

STUDENTS: The information is seminar style 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 the workshop is continually evolving. Consequently, I’m bringing current and relevant personal experience to the classroom. You will leave the workshop with a sound understanding of the significant and specific 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 Worldwide in 2014 and 2015 by Photoshelter.

Licensing Tweet

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

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

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

Thank you!


Registration for 2016 Workshops

UCLAReturning to UCLA on January 23-24, 2016: Register Now!


  • Registration is now open and EARLY DISCOUNT through Dec 23, 2015
  • Back by popular demand (literally), UCLA is presenting the workshop for the sixth time in three years!
  • This workshop almost always sells out, so take advantage of the early registration offer.

Brooks Institute of Photography Returning to Brooks Institute on March 19-20, 2016!


  • Returning for the third time to Southern California’s premier private photography college.
  • Join us for a intimate gathering where questions and student discussions are an integral part of the weekend.
  • Coffee, pastries in the morning as well as lunch will be provided.
  • The campus is only minutes from beautiful beaches and a great downtown Ventura.
  • A link to the registration page at Brooks will be posted once it is made available!

Looking Back at The 2015 Workshops


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

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.

Brooks Institute of Photography 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.

Pierce College

Another GREAT workshop with outstanding, engaging students. Look for additional dates at Pierce College in the Fall! 

Thunderstorm in the Eastern Sierras.

  • Pierce is a great college located in Woodland Hills with a history of excellent photography instruction.
  • This course was held on two consecutive Saturdays and the group was engaging and determined to succeed.



The great students at UCLA!

  • Once again, UCLA students showed up en masse and with spirit (though some had to duck-out a few minutes before the photo). Truth is, we ran a little bit into overtime 😉
  • A group of 28, including a Intellectual Property lawyer and a staff photographer from one of the country’s largest daily newspapers, kept the intensive discussions moving with intelligent questions and input!
  • Scroll down for info on the return to UCLA on January 23-24, 2016 (Don’t worry, that’s NOT Super Bowl weekend. :) )

ASMP Atlanta/Southeast 

A great group was assembled by the wonderful board at ASMP Atlanta! (Photo © Kevin Ames)

  • This was an AMAZING workshop deserving of a HUGE thanks to ASMP Atlanta and Creative Circus.
  • Over twenty photographers spent a glorious weekend indoors discussing the many topics we face as a profession.

University of Arizona


Man on street in Tombstone, Arizona

Brooks Institute


“Todd’s energy sharing what he’s learned over his career, is inspiring. There is so much information, that the workshop could easily be spread over a semester.”

Paul Frocchi, Brooks Workshop Student, February, 2015

  • Thank you Brooks for another fantastic gathering with students coming from Denver and Nebraska to attend!


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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