Photographers on an adult tricycle

I conduct workshops running from 2 hours to 2 days on business practices for creative entrepreneurs, particularly photographers, based on a 16-week class I originated and taught at Pasadena City College in Southern California, Professional Practices for Photographers, and at City College of San Francisco during the Spring 2022 semester.

Other workshops cover basic digital workflow and architectural photography.

I spent many years in leadership in ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers), including on the national board.  One of the benefits of giving back are the many conversations I had with photographers – students to pros. I’m also a member of SPE (Society of Photographic Educators), the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association), the AIAP (Association of Independent Architectural Photographers), and PEN America.

This year, because of the pandemic, I switched to online events, producing and moderating a panel with two photographers and a producer on how to work with teams, and conducted webinars on contracts and negotiating.

In-person workshops include the Palm Springs Photo Festival, all-day workshops in Los Angeles, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. Producers and sponsors include ASMP, MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles), and LACP (The Los Angeles Center of Photography).

Other appearances include a panel on contracts at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena as part of the Bold Workshops, as a guest lecturer for MFA students at the New York Film Academy, as a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University, and as a mentor for the Young Photographers Alliance.  I presented at the Society of Photographic Educators Western Conference: Teaching Business and Understanding Professional Cultures.

The Workshop:

WHAT IT TAKES: Building And Maintaining A Creative Career

The workshop lays out the steps to become a creative entrepreneur, from starting out to working professional.

We cover pricing and negotiating, contracts and invoices, copyright, insurance, and releases.  Then there’s marketing: social media, blogs, websites, and how to find and reach clients. We’ll talk about technical issues like color management and digital workflow, all designed to speed your work, keep it safe, and keep you sane.

Soft skills, business knowledge, and technical skills are what creative entrepreneurs need to be successful. Every specialty has its own requirements, and we’ll break them down to four main types: commercial, editorial, retail, and fine art.

One of the important things we talk about is figuring how clients think: if you don’t know what they need, you can’t give them what they want.

Everyone who attends gets eighteen pages of resources, including links to free and paid software, useful blogs and websites, continuing learning, and business books and publications.  You also get sample contracts, releases, and spreadsheets for taxes.

A few specifics:

Promotional materials such as portfolios, email newsletters, postcards, booklets, and leave-behinds. Letterheads, business cards, and logos. Cover letters. Developing a resume or CV. What goes into a marketing plan.

Design, production, hosting, best-practices, SEO, and registering domain names. Easier now than ever.

Blogging and social media marketing. How to use social media to get noticed by potential clients, as a learning tool, and why it’s useful to be part of a community.

Estimates and proposals, contracts, and invoicing; negotiating and pricing; model and property releases; copyright and the value of registering your work; taxes, accounting, and spreadsheets; insurance; intellectual property law; why to register as a DBA (Doing Business As), and business plans.

Finding clients and employers, assisting, why continuing to learn is critical to success, industry cultures, and gallery and commercial representation.

Your files: easy, inexpensive ways to insure their quality and safety, including backups for your data and computers. Metadata and how it protects you legally and speeds your work. Color management – not that bad! Basic computer and hard drive health. Even if you hire people to do these things, it’s important to know them yourself.

Curators, stylists, producers, digital techs, assistants, photo editors, art buyers, reps and consultants, graphic design, illustration, and video.

Academic culture and training, how undergraduate and graduate degrees can support and affect a career.

Every aspect of being a creative entrepreneur is linked to every other aspect, from marketing to contracts. My job is to help people sustain a successful career, whatever kind of career they want.

Contact me if you would like to schedule a workshop or class.