Photo Commissioning Practices

In a series of online courses, we offer practical advice on how to navigate working on assignments in the photo-media industry. The series offers an insight into best practices, tips and tricks. With guest speakers Tara Pixley and Rozette Rago.

This online course dives deeper into the topics discussed in Navigating the Media Industry - Media Perspective on 22 June. Click here to watch back.

About the online course

Accepting commercial work is one way to make your practice more financially sustainable. There are many questions that arise in the process of transitioning from creating personal work to being booked to do an assignment. Tara Pixley and Rozette Rago will give an insight into their personal practice and share their learnings around questions like:  

Where do I start making photography a profession?
How do I find my audience and how do I communicate with them?  
How much money do photographers make with commissions?
Should I work for free? What is my work worth? How do I negotiate a fee?

People on the balcony of a house in Ahrweiler. On the first day after the flood, the extent of the destruction was difficult to assess, so there was a disastrous shortage of equipment and emergency personnel in the flooded area. Ahrweiler, July 15, 2021 © © DOCKS Collective.

About Tara Pixley

Tara is a queer, first-generation Jamaican-American photographer, curator, and educator based in Los Angeles, where she is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at Loyola Marymount University. She was a 2021 IWMF NextGen Fellow, a 2020 awardee of the inaugural World Press Photo Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative and 2016 Visiting Knight Fellow at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism.

About Rozetta Rago

Rozette is an award-winning Filipino-American photographer based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Vanity Fair, VICE, Bloomberg Businessweek, The FADER, Smithsonian Books, and Rolling Stone. She’s photographed Natalie Portman, Steven Spielberg, Issa Rae, Annie Leibovitz, U2, Kanye West, Foo Fighters, Metallica, The Roots and many more.

Open for Business - Magnum Photographers on Commission has been developed in collaboration with Magnum Photos Paris and the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation. It is curated by Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, and Mirjam Kooiman, curator of Foam.

Foam is supported by de VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the City of Amsterdam.

In 2022 Foam receives additional support from the Mondriaan Fund and receives a contribution through the Mondriaan Fund from the Ministerie van OCW.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed photographed at a rally marking the first anniversary of Vicha Ratanapakdee's killing, photographed for Stand With Asian Americans, a non profit organization. © Rozette Roga.The mounted lifeUntitledOn Earth tour - Hinde HaestStill from the On Earth Tour: Mishka Henner

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Photo Commissioning Practices