Ray Pfortner: The Business of Photography

Saturday, June 22 10 AM to 3:30 PM 
$20 ($25 with lunch)
OneLife Community Church
3524 NE 95th Seattle
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Photography has been transformed in the last two decades thanks to the digital and the internet revolutions. A common lament is that no one can do real business as a photographer any more with the glut of both photographers and photographs, especially in stock photography. The truth is that the current transformation of the industry is only the latest of many transformations, only the latest challenge of many over more than the last two decades. And we must as always be ready to adapt to continue doing business.

Join Ray Pfortner for a very full day exploring the business opportunities today and how to make the very most of them. Ray will present some historical perspective on how photographers have managed to survive earlier challenges. We will discuss the keys to doing a photography business, including knowing what you really like to photograph, identifying the consumers for that photography, and strategizing just how to get your work in front of them. We will also discuss the importance of thorough research and wisely established multiple income streams.

Specific topics for the workshop will include:

  • 20 practical tips for doing more business with your photography, part-time or full-time.
  • merchandising, including fine art photography through showing and selling partners, brick and morter and online.
  • licensing, including stock photography.
  • working with non-profits.
  • the art of pricing and negotiating.

Go home with a very complete handout with resources ready to take the real steps towards making a return on your investment of time and money in your photography.

Bring three of your photographs that show what you like to photograph on a flash drive to share along with your questions. Ray will rely on your introductions and questions to help shape the discussion, tailoring the workshop specifically to those who join him.


Ray Pfortner has worked in photography – as an educator, stock photography agent, photo editor, book editor, consultant and photographer – for over 30 years, in New York City, California, and Washington State.

In New York, he was a partner in the stock photo agency, Peter Arnold, Inc, representing the work of 125 photographers specializing in natural history, science and medicine. In California, he was an account representative for Minden Pictures, a stock photography agency handling the work of 5 National Geographic photographers specializing in natural history.

In Washington he worked for nature and wildlife photographer Art Wolfe, marketing his magazine stories worldwide and completing 16 books. He went on to be the Director of Education for the Photographic Center Northwest.

He has been a Fellow of the North American Nature Photography Association since 2003. In 2006 he received its Recognition Award and its Kinne Grant.

He teaches throughout the Pacific Northwest, from colleges including the University of Washington and Bellevue College, both in their Photography Certificate and Youth Programs, to art supply stores, artist leagues and the Seattle Public Library. His teaching focuses on how to design compelling photographs and on the business of art for all mediums, 2D and 3D.

He leads artist cultural exchanges to China, Cuba, Canada and Europe.

Ray’s own photography focuses on nature and environmental issues and is often used to support conservation. He is represented by Getty Images.

Ray, a native of New York City, has lived on Vashon Island since 1994. He has concentrated on photographing his new home since the day he arrived, favoring the hours before sunrise and increasingly the hours after sunset. In 2003 he received the Emma Award from the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust for a decade of using his photography for Island conservation.

To see his photography, visit RayPfortner.com and Flickr.com/photos/raypfortner/