November 17, 2012 10:43 am

Tomorrow is the final day to experience all ten photography exhibits at FotoWeekCentral – I know, we’re sad, too! Even though the festival is coming to a close, photography will continue to be celebrated throughout the year thanks to the efforts of FotoDC, it’s FotoPartners, and all of the FotoFans in the area, including you!

There is still a lot to see and do, so check out the calendar to plan a photography-filled weekend.  Tonight’s closing party is sure to be a blast and there are still 26 hours to Shoot the Festival for a chance to win some big prizes.

See you there!

Street Photography in Washington, D.C.

November 15, 2012 9:50 am

Life is funny and people do interesting things just going about their daily business.  Mix in a few photographers who watch and snap, and the genre of street photography was born. 

This isn’t a new concept -  a small handful of photographers, including Eugène Atget and Henri Cartier-Bresson, captured moments on the streets of Paris over a hundred years ago, pioneering the style.  This type of “life reportage” involved individualized techniques, personal preference, and an eye for the decisive moment to hit the shutter.  Viewed out of context, images like these can invoke a lot of questions, be confusing, uncomfortable, or hilarious, or simply offer an unfiltered look at humanity.  An example is Cartier-Bresson’s iconic Rue Mouffetard, Paris of a small boy carrying two giant bottles of wine on a Paris street, one of my personal favs.

Locally, street photography has been categorized by a group of photographers, each with an individualized monthly installment approach and style.  Recently, a few banded together to create STRATA Collective with the aim to strengthen their work and increase exposure to the artform.  This collective includes Aziz Yazdani, whose split-view look at two generations was a winner in the 2010 FotoWeekDC festival, so I asked him about STRATA Collective and their exhibit up now.

H St, DC, 2012, Photograph by AzizYazdani

>>  How did STRATA Collective get its start?

Aziz:  The idea of creating a street photography collective has actually been floating around in our minds for a couple of years. Over this past summer I finally decided to make something happen and shot an email out to a group of DC based street photographers whose work I deeply admired: Bill Bramble, Matt Dunn, Steve Goldenberg, Mike Hicks, and Chris Suspect. The creation of the group was essentially two fold: 1) to strengthen our photographic skill set by offering valuable and intellectual critique and 2) to expose the community to Street Photography, a genre of photography that is not represented or respected enough in my opinion.

>>  Where can we see STRATA Collective’s work?

Aziz:  Since our creation just a few months ago we’ve made quite a bit of progress. We have been fortunate enough to be part of two exhibitions. We are currently exhibiting 22 prints at Submerge, located at 7 th and H St. NE. through November 18, 2012. We will also be having a one night exhibition/party in collaboration with another DC-based photography collective, FotoPartner InstantDC [whose involvement with FotoWeek spans several years] on November 15th. We also just found out that three of our members were chosen to be exhibited at the Miami Street Photography Festival during the second week in December. Out of 78 prints that will be exhibited, 11 are from STRATA. Not too shabby.

Ocean City, MD, 2012, Photograph by Mike Hicks
Ocean City, MD, 2012, Photograph by Mike Hicks

>>  What can we expect from STRATA in the future?

Aziz:  Things are looking pretty good for us so far. I can’t express how exited I am for the future of our group and how lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing photographers. We constantly strive to improve our images and push (>cough< encourage) each other to step up our game. For the time being we are going to stick to the six of us and work out all of the kinks of what it takes to run a successful Collective.  Hopefully by next summer we will be looking to expand as a group.

San Francisco, CA, 2012, Photograph by Chris Suspect

The work of STRATA Collective photographers may be seen at Instant DC’s 3rd Annual 2012 Soul of the City Photography Exhibition exhibit at the Josephine Butler Parks Center tonight, Thursday, November 14, from 6 to 10 p.m.  Tickets are $10.

Photographers’ Rights

November 14, 2012 6:21 pm

On Sunday, I attended the lecture about photographers’ rights presented by Mickey Osterreicher, General Counsel for the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and Richard Kelly, former Association of Media Photographers (ASMP) President.

For those of you who also attended the lecture or are interested in the official U.S. Department of Homeland Security position on photography of federal buildings, please download the bulletin released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on August 2, 2010.  The NPAA has done extensive work to define, defend, and preserve the rights of photographers of all levels.  To learn more about the NPPA and its advocacy work, please visit their blog.

Photographers may also wish to download The Photographers Right, a flyer explaining the rights of a photographer when stopped or confronted for photography, and keep a copy in their camera bag.


Behind the Scenes: Meet Margaux

3:00 pm

Margaux Faris, FotoDC Operations and Development Manager

At FotoDC, my job is to keep the office running smoothly and to engage with our sponsors, same day funders online, donors and strategic partners. I write and edit grants, sponsorship proposals, agreements, and more. I also do a lot of our communications through Mailchimp, including email blasts and FotoNews. It’s a fast-paced but very rewarding position that I love because of the relationship-building involved. One of the most gratifying elements of my job is working with a group of exceptionally talented and committed interns. When I first moved to DC, I spent a year as a Development Fellow with a nonprofit and both the position and my mentors there completely changed my life. Now, I get to be on the other end of the relationship, which is a wonderful feeling – not to mention that each of the FotoDC interns are 100% integral to the success of our FotoWeekDC Festival, and the office as a whole.

- Margaux Faris, FotoDC Operations and Development Manager

Behind the Scenes: Meet Erin

November 13, 2012 3:00 pm

My internship at FotoDC has exposed me to the world of photography in more ways than one. As I review photos of the many competitions, I am learning about the techniques needed to make a high-quality photo. I can easily recognize how one edit or tilt of a camera can set one picture’s quality above another. As well, these photos help me revisit the techniques I have already learned, as I see the methods throughout many of the photos. The other side of the “photography world” is all about business. Knowing the contributions needed to produce a wonderful FotoweekDC festival every year completes my experience in the photography world.

I really enjoy being a part of this team. Every staff member is encouraging and holds me with a level of responsibility. By presenting me with projects, such as researching legal matters, event planning, or even trusting me to deliver important messages or invites to FotoDC’s partners, they are presenting me with the opportunity to take initiative and offer input. I’m excited to see what is to come and dive head first deeper into this different kind of universe.

- Erin Cox, FotoDC Intern

Experience Fall in Dupont Circle with Nancy Libson

10:00 am

Dupont Circle 3, 2012, Photograph by Nancy Libson

FotoPartner Documentary Photography Workshops with Nancy Libson offers a unique 8-hour immersion workshop opportunity to explore Dupont Circle with your camera this Sunday, November 18.

We asked Nancy Libson about her workshops, how she got started, what she’s learned along the way about photographers and photography.

“The first stop is the wonderful and long-familiar tradition – Sunday farmer’s market – filled with seasonal fresh vegetables, Thanksgiving pies, colors of autumn, and crowds to fill lots of photos.  We’ll explore the main streets and side streets of the neighborhood looking to capture “your” essence of the place!  Before and after our photo shoot we’ll be indoors – learning tips and looking at slides before we head out – and, after we explore Dupont Circle, we’ll head back indoors to critique your work!

I am a documentary photographer and I’ve been teaching documentary photography workshops for about fifteen years. I love to teach others how to capture the essence of a place.  My first workshop as teacher was on Tilghman Island when I was a newcomer to D.C.. I originally went out to do a photo story on the Tilghman Island Bridge that was being replaced and found the area to be quite special. After that initial visit I decided to hold classes on the island and over time I introduced well over 100 photographers to the area.  Eventually, many Tilghman Islanders became my friends – the Island almost a second home. And the story repeats with other areas throughout the US, where I hold classes.  The idea of exploration with my camera, the artistry involved, reaching out to others in a variety of meaningful ways, making a difference, and making connections is what moves me about photographing and teaching about a “place.”  I also think that many others could feel this way.

In my opinion, although documentary photography has changed over time, this approach to photography is still around because there always will be a curiosity about other people and perhaps a desire to help be a part of change through images, whether you’re behind the camera or trying to understand the world a bit better by viewing the images of others.

Most of my classes are documentary in nature and they vary from daylong to a week. The location varies from DC to other unique and interesting places throughout the U.S.” – Nancy Libson

Dupont Circle 1, 2012, Photograph by Nancy Libson

Documenting Dupont Circle with a Camera
Sunday, November 18
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$105 per person

The class meets at 2737 Devonshire Place, NW, in the party room at Woodley Park Towers, located at the corner of Devonshire Place and Connecticut Avenue, NW.

To register, visit or email Nancy directly at  .
You may also register at the time of class with check or cash, although please RSVP to make sure there’s still room in the class.

Behind the Scenes: Meet Likando

November 12, 2012 3:00 pm

I have loved my experience so far working as an intern at FotoDC. Along with Erin, a fellow high school intern, I come in every Wednesday ready for a day full of projects and fun. The office environment is friendly and there is always something new for us to work on or help with. We are given tasks that range from event planning to research to working with social media. With the FotoWeekDC festival approaching, the office has been in full swing preparing for the various events that will take place. The festival is a great representation of what FotoDC hopes to achieve and I have particularly enjoyed getting to work on the upcoming events. The FotoDC staff and interns have all been very welcoming and I’ve learned quite a lot about photography and what it takes to run a non-profit organization from them. I look forward to working with them more as I continue my internship this year.

- Likando Kumoyo, FotoDC Intern