explore. experience. expand.
Archive | Photography RSS feed for this section

The Business of Photography

Instructor Todd Bigelow

Instructor Todd Bigelow

This photo workshop was named by Photoshelter as one of fifty awesome photo workshops worldwide in 2014 and is highly rated by students who have attended. The two-day course is currently scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, January 24-25, 2015 from 9:30am-5pm (break for lunch).  For a full course description or to register, click here.

Los Angeles based award winning freelance photographer Todd Bigelow designed the course for those interested in pursuing careers working with editorial publications, non-profits, foundations and corporations. It provides practical advice and information on the business of photography derived from photographer Todd Bigelow’s two decades of shooting assignments for TIME, Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, Newsweek, National Geographic Traveler, People, James Irvine Foundation, Costco, Target and many others. Todd presents real experiences and scenarios as the basis for discussions regarding copyright, licensing for revenue, contracts, rate and term negotiations, client development techniques, social media integration, portfolio considerations, legal & tax issues, agency representation, digital asset management and more. Basically, the topics that freelancers face on a daily basis are addressed from a practical, modern standpoint. It’s his goal to have students leave the workshop with a sound understanding to successfully handle the significant business matters they will face on a daily basis as a professional freelance photographer.

Student testimonials, course topics, locations and registration links at http://thebigphotoblog.com/the-business-of-photography-workshop/

 

Upcoming Lecture: Practical Legal Knowledge for Photographers and Artists

As you enter the professional world as an artist, legal questions and concerns begin to present themselves. You’ve mainly been photographing friends – will you begin to present them with model releases? How will you protect your work as you try to market it on the web? It can be overwhelming, and difficult to get good information as you build your business.

To address these issues, we are pleased to present a lecture by John Baldrica, MFA, JD, and assistant General Counsel for SAG-AFTRA. Tailored to the concerns of photographers and artists both starting out in the business or deep in their career, this three-hour talk will present a streamlined overview of the laws most relevant to their calling, from contract basics to intellectual property. Participants will discover common misconceptions about the law and glean powerful, practical lessons from other creators’ hard-fought legal battles.

The talk will be held on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 6-9pm. To learn more and enroll, click here.

We spoke to John about his background, and the world of arts and the law. Please note: John Baldrica is Assistant General Counsel for SAG-AFTRA;  the opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.

John Baldrica

John Baldrica

What are some of the unique legal challenges faced by artists that others might not be aware of?

There are certainly legal issues that artists face more frequently. For example, a lot of the basic rights and obligations related to creative works–things like the ability to use or sell a particular image–turn on who is the legally recognized owner.  This may be addressed by a contract, but might also be affected by the circumstances surrounding a particular work’s creation.  Does an existing contract make it a work for hire, owned by an employer?  Could someone else’s involvement mean they might be considered a co-creator?  Did the people in the photograph give consent?  Consider all of the academic questions that surrounded the Ellen-Oscar-Selfie, and imagine what a mess it would be if a creative business relied on using images like that but didn’t think through those issues ahead of time.

Another challenge–and this is not unique to artists–is that legal disputes can often follow financial success.  One of the intentional features of our court system is that it is designed, in part, to be burdensome and expensive, with the hope that people will try to resolve their disputes and only fight it out when the underlying issues are really worth it.  You can argue whether the system has the intended effect, but as a practical matter it means that if you’ve just made a million dollars selling the Oscar-Selfie, those questions are no longer just academic.

Is there a common mistake or oversight you see artists make that can have serious consequences?

Again, it’s not unique to artists, but one of the most serious risks anyone can take is signing a contract that they don’t fully understand.  This is not to say that artists should avoid formal contracts.  They exist because they are very useful for handling anticipated problems that might not be addressed by the “default” laws in effect.  And artists, by the nature of their work, are often pushing boundaries of technology or expression where the law is not entirely settled.

But the flip side is that, in most cases, the law will treat a contract that two parties have willingly entered as the starting and ending point of the inquiry, even if it gives a clear advantage to one side.  That could mean anything from being obligated to pay the other party’s legal bills in a lawsuit, to giving up all of your rights in your work.  And, because individual artists are often dealing with large companies, there is already an imbalance of negotiating power, so it’s even more important that artists understand all the obligations they are agreeing to.

Its Your Show 2013 Reception image for slider

Pondering the legal ramifications of displaying work at our student show.

What in your background led you to this area of the law, or why did you chose to focus on issues of law in media?

Before law, one of the things I worked in (and taught) was web and Flash design.   At real risk of dating myself, this was in the Wild-West days of unique, subversive, creative work being done for the Internet, before even the advent of YouTube.  Think “email link to a GeoCities page.”   As a result, I was inevitably fielding questions about the legal ramifications of various projects, to which, at the time, I could basically say just “try not to get sued.”

Now, a decade or so later, I can give basically the same advice, but with lots of Latin words.  I’m (probably) joking, but the exciting and occasionally nerve-wracking thing about the edges of any developing medium is that the law takes time to catch up with the culture.  So often the best you can do is to try to anticipate what might be issues in the future.

What do you hope students will gain from the lecture?

There’s a natural tension between the arts and the law, because, in part, one is focused on taking risks and the other on avoiding them.  But, when they are working best, both the law and the arts are about solving problems and finding balance.  It’s certainly a matter of debate where that balance should be, particularly in terms of allowing creative expression.  But, ideally, we probably want a legal system that is flexible enough to encourage innovation and risk taking, but protective enough that creators can benefit from their innovations.  Through this lecture, I’d hope to chip away at least a little of the perceived complexity surrounding the law and give students concrete ideas of how they can use
it to help themselves.

Introducing Photo Instructor Parker Steele

Parker Steele bio imageThis upcoming spring quarter, we’re excited to welcome Parker Steele as our new instructor for Shoot & Critique.  From his work as a photojournalist and writer with the Ohio Army National Guard to his assignments for clients such as Bicycling Magazine, L’Officiel, Lucky Brand Clothing, Marie Claire, and Nordstrom’s HauteLook, Steele brings a diverse range of experience to the classroom.  We took a moment to ask him a few questions about his work, career, and what students can expect from his Spring course.

What drew you to photography and how did you get started?

I took a few photography classes in high school and was fortunate enough to have a teacher who was extremely supportive. At first, I was drawn by the technical aspects and how that could be translated into a meaningful image. My teacher encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design, to study commercial photography. Around the same time, I also decided to enlist in the National Guard as a photojournalist and writer. Luckily, both worked out and I was able to study and work as a photographer at the same time.

Bicycing in LA

Image courtesy of Parker Steele

Certain aspects of what I learned as a photojournalist have been translated into my commercial work. However, one of the best lessons I’ve learned is that as a photographer there is an innate feeling to project yourself into your work. It becomes more of an internalized projection than simply a documentation.  That’s why a photographer’s approach or process is considered somewhat sacred — it’s revealing and says a lot about what they value.

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.

portrait with old painting in dark room

Image courtesy of Parker Steele

It was October ’11, I was living in NYC at the time. A photographer friend of mine invited me to the Navajo Nation while he was working on a long-term project. I took some basic stuff, my camera equipment and an audio recorder.  There was no internet, so I ended up having to post flyers around town in order to find people to photograph.  The entire project was about documenting the people of Tuba City, AZ.  As an outsider, being dropped into a somewhat marginalized culture left me with some larger questions to explore. My subjects included a young high school couple, a boy who had dreams of becoming a male model, a single mother and her child, one of the last remaining Navajo Code talkers of WWII, a children’s Navajo rodeo, a Navajo language teacher who was out of a job because they’re not teaching the Navajo Language to students anymore, plus various landscapes. There’s actually a behind the scenes video, which gives you a sense of what went into the making of the project. It was by far, the most rewarding project I’ve worked on. It was a project that I was truly passionate about and it refueled my desire to create, explore and it reminded me why I fell in love with photography in the first place.

What can students expect from your approach to Shoot & Critique this spring?

My goal for the class is to improve students’ understanding of photography and to explore their own creative process. Through talks, practical exercises, planned shoots and critiques I ultimately want them to have the tools to become stronger photographers in whatever field they’re interested.

woman and daughter

Image courtesy of Parker Steele

Any advice for budding photographers just starting out?

Be persistent, build your visual language, perfect your craft, and learn from mistakes. In a handful of cases, careers have started over night, but most successful photographers have worked really hard for at least 10 years to get where the are now. Figure out a way to support your photography. The experiences you have outside of photography will influence your perspective and you’ll become a better photographer for it.

Visualizing the Urban Landscape

Francis Reilly_Untitled

‘Untitled’ by Francis Reilly, Los Angeles River Renovation Study

This spring course approaches photography as a disciplined way of seeing, investigating, and interpreting the urban landscape.  It is intended for those interested in photography, landscape, architecture, the built environment, and art history in the context of the city.

Each student selects a site for the focus of his or her work in the course. The place may be anywhere in the Los Angeles region — urban, suburban, or rural. It may be a work of architecture, a garden, an urban space, a neighborhood, the urban edge, or the like. Work will be submitted in digital format. Images are projected for class discussion and posted in an online gallery. This work will proceed in stages, examining the site from varying perspectives, including light, detail, documentary, and poetic interpretation, and ending as a portfolio of photographs that express the qualities of a particular place, sequenced as a story or stories.

Georgia Sheridan_Sunday is my day with you

“Sunday is my day with you” by Georgia Sheridan, Linear Park, Santa Monica

Each class is divided between presentation and discussion of student work and a lecture providing context and critical understanding for this work The lectures provide an historical and critical understanding of the evolution of photography of the natural and built environments. The lectures provide an historical and critical framework for informing one’s photographic efforts and, through the many examples, educate the eye to the variety of ways of seeing and interpreting the urban landscape..  Thus students are expected to evolve  their abilities to see and interpret the urban environment by understanding how others throughout the history of photography have done so, by experimenting with their own photographic project, and by discussing how other students have approached their work..

Camille Fink_Untitled

‘Untitled’ by Camille Fink, Union Station

The course is led by Richard Langendorf.  He is uniquely prepared to teach this course as he has degrees in Architecture and Urban Planning from MIT, has experience in both fields abroad and in the United States, and has more than 50 years of experience photographing the urban landscape.  UCLA Extension recognized his teaching excellence by giving him the Distinguished Instructor Award in 2013.

Feb. 15th | Amanda Keller Konya @ West Gallery

02KellerKonyaHeist

Amanda Keller Konya, Federal Building, Downtown Los Angeles

Heist, an exhibition of new work by photographer and instructor Amanda Keller Konya opens Saturday, Feb. 15th at the West Gallery, Cal State Northridge.  Taking Millard Sheets’ commissioned mosaics for Southern California banks from 1954 to 1975 as her subject, Heist “offers viewers a selective and cropped view of the subject matter represented within these tiles, such as: depictions of power, labor, manifest destiny, the nuclear family, scientific and technological progress and the California Dream.”

The titles locate each work, positioning the exhibition within the Southern California landscape as well as pointing to the repurposed buildings “prettified by each mosaic.”   As writer Michelle Weiner explains, a viewer “considers the formal attributes, the location, the socio-economical history and significance of the subject matter.  However, it is within this subject matter, specifically its making a spectacle of the other, which leads the viewer to conclude Keller Konya is not only depicting but deconstructing the myth of the Southern California landscape through these various architectural, ornamental mosaics.”  Keller Konya has digitally captured the images, which are then printed at 7″ x 5″ size on fiber based silver gelatin paper.

Heist
February 15 – March 6
Opening Reception | Saturday, Feb. 15th 4 – 7pm

West Gallery
Cal State Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA, 91330-8299

03KellerKonyaHeist

Amanda Keller Konya, Police Department, Culver City, CA

 

For more information, please visit the Cal State Northridge Galleries website.

Business of Photography in Photoshelter’s Top 50

Bigelow_Business of Photography Top 50_Portrait of Basketball Player Shabazz Muhammad for Sports Illustrated

Todd Bigelow, Portrait of Shabazz Muhammad for Sports Illustrated

Photoshelter, a worldwide leader in photography portfolio websites, photo sales, marketing and archiving tools for photographers just listed our very own Todd Bigelow and his Business of Photography course as one of their 50 Awesome Photo Workshops from Around the World.  Judging from student feedback and our insight into Todd’s extensive knowledge and expertise, we couldn’t agree more.  Currently offering the workshop at Otis, it will return to UCLA Extension in our upcoming Summer quarter on July 12th & 13th.

Student Work by Jay Carlyle

Student Jay Carlyle recent shared a fascinating project he completed, incorporating photography as well as something that will be familiar to many students – the Braille wall in the entrance to the 1010 Westwood Center.

Check out Jay’s project below, as well as an explanation of his inspiration and process.

 

Jay Carlyle artwork

“A friend of mine (a real life individual, a CSUN student, who is in the composite, with permission), is deaf-blind, with low vision, and has had a Cochlear implant for most of his life.  I talked with him about my photography and the projects I was doing here at Extension.  The whole vision of it all sort of came to me spontaneously; I was taking a set of courses that quarter, including one with Michael Powers.  I think I mentioned in passing my concept and Powers had encouraged me as well.

For various years and times, having attended a variety of courses at 1010 Westwood, I passed by the plexiglass installation which to most just appears as an architectural part of the stairwell near the entrance of the building.  But, upon closer examination, it is in fact in Braille.

It is untitled, and a complete Google and otherwise mystery to me as to who created, authorized, the whole installation process for 1010 and for UCLA Extension.   My friend, though Braille is not his primary method of visual-like communication (a CCTV enlarger, Computer Assistive technology, and other magnifications are), can read some Braille.

The 10-15 ft fall installation there appears to be in both simple and complex Braille, and I had him read some of it, which appears to make some references possibly to the Greeks and such, and learning, and mathematics. The whole statement, I do not know.

I photographed him there, as well as shots of him signing and other photographic elements and blended it all into an idea of what was a fantasy composite for class, but as well, a cover jacket for an actual autobiography that I am aware of, he may finish writing at some point.

With the exception of the feather, the brain image scan, and some freely available braille and finger-sign fonts, the entire work used personally photographed elements and created artwork.

As Powers has noted of myself, I have a documentary style of photography, and that is perhaps the inspiration for the project, as well as just personal beliefs about helping, and depicting in a good light, those who are marginalized in society.   I have had some interaction with the deaf community before personally, but only more recently became aware of someone who was deaf-blind (as Helen Keller was and other noted individuals).”

 

 

Upcoming APA LA Events

 creative relationships APA LA event image

Two great events from APA Los Angeles are coming up this month.   A free panel discussion on October 22nd will host three pairs of photographers/clients who have collaborated over the years on various projects.  And on October 12th APA Members can register to have your work and website reviewed by top industry professionals: art buyers, photo editors, in-house creatives and entertainment companies.

For more information and to register, please visit APA LA’s website.

Visual Arts is on Instagram!

We’re happy to announce that the Visual Arts program now has an Instagram account, where our students can share their fabulous and inspiring photos.

Check it out and follow us at instagram.com/unexvisualarts. And tag us when posting class projects (or just shots of picturesque Westwood Village) using @unexvisualarts. We’re looking forward to building our online community of students and artists!

Here are a few photos from the feed, recently taken in iPhone Photography.

IG sample 3

IG sample 2

IG sample 1

Street Photography

The course is designed for photographers who have a solid foundation in photographic techniques and wish to expand their knowledge of capturing the beauty and complexities of everyday urban life in Los Angeles. The course is structured to enhance student’s creative abilities through classroom discussions, class based critiques and hands on shooting activities in various Los Angeles area neighborhoods.. The overall goal is to achieve quality photographs in a variety of cultural settings that reflect the urban environment in which we live while developing your “decisive moment” skills.. Study masters like Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier Bresson and Vivian Maier while developing your own ability to capture the beauty of everyday life.
Taught by Todd Bigelow, who explained his philosophy on the class this way:

To many, street photography is the truest form of documentation. The art of seeing and capturing the beautiful randomness of time and space is a challenging and, ultimately, richly rewarding experience for photographers. The defining moments in street photography are personal in nature and complex in their compositions and timing. My goal is for the students to come into the class with an open mind about this historical genre and leave with a new found appreciation of the everyday moments in life. The potential for unique street photography images occur everywhere that people congregate, but the moments are fleeting. I teach the students to see the potential prior to the existence and then capture the moment in a brief fraction of a second. 

View the course syllabus below:

Street Photo Class Syllabus Fall 21013

Todd also put together this great video showcasing the work and experience of the students in a recent section of the class.

And here are some beautiful images from former students, taken around Los Angeles.

Taken in Beverly Hills by Ted Covey.

Taken in Beverly Hills by Ted Covey.

Taken in Downtown LA by Ted Covey.

Taken in Downtown LA by Ted Covey.

Taken in Downtown LA by Huseyin Erturk.

Taken in Downtown LA by Huseyin Erturk.

Taken in Hollywood by instructor Todd Bigelow.

Taken in Hollywood by instructor Todd Bigelow.

windows-10-key windows-10-iso windows-10-product-key windows-10-activation-key windows-10-pro-key windows-10-education-key windows-10-enterprise-key windows-10-home-key windows-7-key-sale windows-10-key windows-7-key office-2016-key office-2013-key office-2010-key