TODD BIGELOW Profile Photo


Photographer / Educator / Author

I am a Los Angeles, California based photographer working primarily with editorial publications, non profits, foundations and corporations. I'm an adjunct professor of photography & photojournalism, founder of The Business of Photography Workshop, and author of "The Freelance Photographer's Guide To Success: Business Essentials" (Focal Press, 2021). I've traveled the world on assignment for a long list of clients (see below) and am fortunate to work with incredible editors, publications and agencies along the way. My images are available for use and I welcome your inquiries. There is no charge for researching and delivering a quote for use, so please feel free to contact me with your request.

I'm proud to advocate for freelancers' rights to retain control of their photography so they might manage their archive in a manner consistent with their vision.


As a contract photographer at the Los Angeles Times I contributed to two team Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of the LA Riots and the Northridge Earthquake before launching full-time into magazine work. Below is a partial list of editorial, non-profit and corporate clients who have commissioned my work.

Sports Illustrated (19 years as a regular contributor)
NY Times Magazine
NBC News
US News & World Report
National Geographic Traveler
National Geographic Adventure
Chronicle of Higher Education
Public Radio International
Washington Post
USA Today
Der Spiegel (Europe's leading news weekly)
Southern Poverty Law Center
The James Irvine Foundation
Teaching Tolerance
Food & Environment Reporting Network
Target Corporation
General Motors
SVI Holdings, Inc

I’ve been fortunate to align with outstanding photo agencies. After several years in the early 1990s with the Black Star Photo Agency, I joined Aurora Photos in 1998 where I was one of only a dozen photographers in the US. Today, I am a contributing photographer to Contact Press Images.


I’m blessed to have had my work exhibited multiple times in the U.S., France and Spain. Fourteen images from my long term essay on immigration reside in the permanent collection at the California Museum of Photography. Images were also on display for many years in the California History gallery at the Oakland Museum of California. Additional work was on display at Washington DC’s Newseum for years prior to the journalism museum’s closing. I’ve also participated in group exhibitions about the turn of the millennium, 9/11 and Occupy Wall Street.


I’ve worked since 1998 as a part-time, adjunct professor at California State University, Northridge. Courses include the following:

Beginning Photojournalism
Advanced Photojournalism
Documentary Photojournalism
Advanced Studio Lighting/Freelance Business Practices
Visual Communications

Recognized in 2017 with an Exceptional Levels of Service to Students award at CSUN for efforts in and outside of class to help my students gain the necessary technical and business skills to launch their careers.
The 2019 Clifton Edom Award from the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) that recognizes an individual who “motivates members of the photojournalism community to reach new heights.”

My thirty years of experience in the freelance world has taught me plenty through trials and tribulations. The combination of my experience and research has resulted in my opinions being sought by universities and by professional photographers in regards to freelance business practices. I've also been hired as an expert witness to provide information pertaining to copyright and licensing standards in the photo industry. I'm a staunch believer in a photographer's right to maintain control of their work while protecting it against unauthorized use.

I have compiled my professional experiences navigating the freelance world into a workshop and consultation service that focuses on the Business of Photography. The workshop addresses many issues freelancers face on a daily basis including portfolio assessment and development, freelance market analysis, image licensing for revenue, copyright issues and case studies, how to effectively combat infringement, recovering lost licensing revenue, rate/term negotiations, client development tactics, digital asset management workflow, understanding agency representation, business models (LLC, Sole Proprietor, S Corp) and social media integration and workflow, to name a few.

I'm pleased to present this two-day, fifteen hour workshop as a means to help educate the next generation of photographers in a rapidly evolving market. In addition to being deeply integrated into my regular studio lighting course at CSU Northridge, the workshop (or portions of) has been hosted by the following:

UCLA Extension (17 times)
ASMP Oregon
ASMP Atlanta
ASMP San Diego
ASMP New Orleans
National Press Photographers Association, Northern Short Course (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar
FotoFusion (2017 & 2018)
San Diego State University
University of Arizona
Brooks Institute of Photography (two times)
California Center for Digital Arts
Pierce College
Otis College of Art & Design
The Sports Shooter Academy annual conference.
Please visit the Business of Photography Workshop page for more information, student testimonials, links to talks I've given and to register for upcoming workshops.

Sept. 10, 2021

Todd Bigelow: Licensing for Life

💯 💯 💯 ""As a freelancer, I don't get the guarantee of work. I don't get company gear, I don't get a 401k, I don't get health bene…

Episode page