Barry Schwartz (http://barryschwartzphoto.com) is a documentary, portrait, and architectural photographer. The business workshop is a distillation of the 15-week class he originated at Pasadena City College, and he has taught at the Palm Springs Photo Festival, and in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City. He is also a professional writer, and has been published in Photo Media Magazine (feature profile of Melvin Sokolsky) and produced thirty-interviews (21,000 words) in the ASMP Guide To New Markets In Photography. As a member of the national board of ASMP, and one of the editors of the Strictly Business blog, he has spoken with innumerable photographers at every level, from student to pro, which has been particularly helpful in understanding what it takes to survive as a creative entrepreneur.
LACP Interviews Barry Schwartz
LACP asks Barry Schwartz ten questions about his background, career in and beliefs about photography
Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?
Barry Schwartz: Architecture, portraits, documentary.
LACP: How long have you been shooting?
BS: 16 years.
LACP: Where did you get your training?
LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
BS: Once I had the chance to do the work professionally, I realized that was how I wanted to spend all my time.
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
BS: You bet. But the feeling passed.
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
BS: Sunday’s off.
LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?
BS: A great community, the satisfaction of producing work that helps my clients, and being thankful I can work as an artist.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
BS: Professional Practices
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
BS: It’s a give-back, and, to my surprise the old cliche about learning more than you teach turned out to be absolutely true, and in fact teaching business practices made me a better business-person.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
BS: Be prepared to work your ass off and be sure to have fun – if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing your work will suffer, and, thereby, inevitably, your career.