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Grants and Funding Part 2

Lesson 20 from: Create Powerful Photo Essays & Personal Projects

David H Wells

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Lesson Info

20. Grants and Funding Part 2

Lesson Info

Grants and Funding Part 2

So now I'm going to take you to another example of the grant process which is that photograph the deep sea fisherman threw up over the side of boats a lot for a week and finally gave up did that parent project with the r f p sparing the fisherman the farmworker pictures and then I got a job from yankee magazine photographing quahog er's or shell fisherman who dig up shellfish but within their against bay rather than out in the devotion and I photographed that for a while that turned into grant funded project and I'm gonna walk you through the grant aspect of that in a minute because it's informative in terms of our process but again first I want to show you some of the photographs this's the first all digital project I ever did um which for me was uh started in two thousand four when I will first went digital those were quahog in the foreground there large clams in the background is a rake these guys used this reagan's thirty feet long forty feet long and they turn him dig him up off t...

he bottom of their against obey the guy named david middleton and yes, I'm using a slow shutter speed on purpose and you're actually supposed to do that you really should be to the point that he's slow shutter speed he might have done the hiss smart enough to know that a purpose right framing a guy named bo christensen donna code most of these shell fishermen quasars are actually guys so this was a little bit unusual they all have dogs every last one of them I think it's a nice dog photo because it's a nice photo that happens in you really want to get in there having white angler telephoto dogger giraffe okay you really you should get in that habit you should look at every photo you should be able to break it down it's technically it's a wide angle I'm down low the big metal thing is the rake that they used to pick them up off the bottom narragansett bay here's another rake photo hard work money work and that said before many times one of things I love about photography she get to go out on narragansett bay on the morning in october when the sky is deep blue and everything is beautiful it's quiet there working hard but it's just that's what we love to do I love you another dog picture david middleton another one of the quarters I worked with in the story is basically about these are the last generation of kuala huggers in there against bay they're getting displaced by recreational boaters pollution of the bay and uh the growth of housing on the shore driving up the cost of living and working in what used to be one of the last big blue collar jobs in rhode island these are so these are the quad is being processed, and then this is the end of the food chain. This is a stuffy, uh, stuff quahog at a barbecue. And so that was the story that I started for the year club. And then I carried forward for a while is a project which I'm about to explain to the grant funding part about why they doing color? Nobody has any idea, julie, what did you say? Kisses. Like present time that to me with us, I did it because I wanted you to feel like it's here and now. That's. Correct. Okay. Does the car work for you? You like to say no, by the way? No, I'm up here, but you're actually okay. So I did that for a while. And so the next question about the amount of money that's how they remember, we said there was ten percent, roughly artistic, ten percent journalistic. An eighty percent of its topic driven off that eighty percent. How much of it goes to individuals which grants individuals which offered the funders few, if any, safeguards to insulate them for responsibility. If something does go wrong, which he can and, frankly often does, and how much of the money goes, toe organizations are non profits, which most of the time you know, a nonprofit is technically what's called a five oh one c three that's the category and the internal revenue service code and it simply means that they've qualified with the internal revenue service and they have a board of directors as well as other safeguards to insulate them from funders anti insulate funders from responsibilities something goes wrong which it often does again here's your percentage question anybody want to guess on this? Okay, did you do pretty well last time? Twelve out of eleven that would beg seventy five on the group seventy five on groups. I got seventy, five hundred going once going ninety five groups. Ninety five percent of your money is on groups and it's real simple. Okay, you understand already? Why? Because if you're a foundation if you give money to an individual like me and I go off and do something stupid, you have no protection. Your goal is to avoid ending up in newspaper article in the new york times about how foundation a squandered eight thousand dollars on photographer beat the irony is the mark macarthur foundation actually, how I got the grant from they actually are willing to take that chance and they have a system in place to make sure we don't do obviously stupid things but most foundations are not willing to do that, so that leads us to our next problem which is the idea of partnering with non profit organisations remember, we started with one hundred percent of the money, a present of it is topic specific, okay? And then ninety five percent of that is going to organizations, so I don't know what the exact math is, but you do the math like seventy something percent of the money out there is on ly two organizations and is on ly topic specific and the idea that we're walking away from that money when that's the easiest money to get when the expertise issue the expertise hurdle that you asked over is lower that's why I spend most of my time there because that's a better market for me, the other my wife, for example, does more stuff on the fine arts side because she has that credential because she's had ah lot of exhibitions in museums all over the world, literally victorian albert in london, stuff like that so she fits into that market. I don't I go to this market simply because that's where the money is. So one of the thing for all of you to be thinking about is this idea actually, of partnering with a non profit organization, and I'm gonna walk you through the way that this is typically done this is just a rough structure and don't hold me to this exactly, but it's the idea that you the photographer who has an expertise or an interest in a given subject in my case it was the quahog um which at this point I'm I was portraying it as an important part of the culture and history word island as I said it was a disappearing part of the culture in history were allowed I approach a nonprofit organisation which has expertise and interest in the same or similar subject or topic matter. In my case, the organization was the word island historical society, which had a strong interest in preserving important parts of culture and history would out you're shaking your head I hope you're shaking because you're actually saying yeah, well that's the second part the first part is this is logical the second part is me that's exactly what you should all be doing this this is where the money is ok, how many know who donna farrah jo is? You might look about work it's actually a great project on domestic violence called living with the enemy and the way that donna got around this problem was she actually when she was doing that work she's now moved on to other projects, but she actually started her own non profit simply because of this exact issue there's a lot more money out there based on topic excuse me and grants organizations than there are two individuals okay, and then the last player in our little drama is the foundation with which has an expertise on interest still the same or similar subject matter in my case they were these were foundations that I had found that were interested in new england regional history, agricultural, historic preservation, etcetera ni access into the foundation center, which is a resource I'll show you hearing about maybe ten minutes or something. And so these are the three players in our drama and I'm hoping you're saying you're so yeah number one I see who I am obviously photographer, the next question you want to find out is there some kind of organization you might partner with? And then the last equation would become the foundation center? I mean, the foundations, which we'll talk about how you get to them in a minute. All right? So this is the structure of how a lot of people who do these kinds of projects and I'm not the only one I'm by no means the genius who invented this I'm just somebody who's learned this from other people and applied to my own work photographer researches on their own and with no support unfortunately all the potential players we described above you already got the photographer you need a nonprofit organization, probably multiple ones because they may not work out and then you also need potential funders the photographer then approaches the nonprofit organization see he meeting to propose the collaboration where the foundation funds of project that promotes that foundation that funders interest and is managed by the nonprofit organization that's. The goal, you say, the nonprofit organization, why don't we work together on this? These were potential funders, this's what I'm doing, this is how it fits in with your mission remember I said before that the job of a professional is to come to a to a client who has a problem and have their problem three quarters solved, and then they just have to execute that's a lot of what this is, you go to somebody and say, look, I've got potential funders, I've got the projects, I've got the contacts I've met, the community's I started developing a real style, so their problems half half solved, and then you say them, I got outlets and all the other stuff they're most likely to say let's, at least meet let's have that dialogue. Hey, the photographer poet proposes, unfortunately, typically in writing, going to keep you writing a lot, keep your writing a lot through a short pitch letter to the nonprofit organization. Once the photographer has met with the organization, the photographer typically then has to write the whole proposal, which organization will submit as if it's their own initiative to the foundation. So you're basically doing a lot of work for nothing, so you want to be really ruthless in terms of finding the right organization approaching them, laying out in writing this is a contract, this is a job assuming you get to this point in time, you're actually gonna say the foundation, okay, we get the money, I'm expecting this much and this much and this much in writing, everything is in writing, and so I spent a lot of time preventing those things by getting stuff in writing. And so this is one of those areas where you really want to get everything in writing because you've got three players there's, you there's, the organization, there's the foundation and if you have a multiple three three level misunderstanding, not good um, the photographer the project has executed, ideally partly or completely by the photographer is you and nine times out of ten, you're technically nothing more than a subcontractor or a consultant under the managing nonprofits direction that's how it works in most cases, and that group manages and dispenses the foundation's funds. And last time I checked, they were taking ten to twenty percent of the money to do that that's just sort of the going rate it may have, I've heard people telling me that twenty percent is low lately, what a horrifying thought because I brought in the money, right, right? But I did all the hard work, but I'm not going to get it without having that, so be aware that that has to be built in your thinking. Um, neither the nonprofit organization or the foundation wants to own the work. I've never met a single foundation that wants toe on my work, ok? They want to use it for promotion for their larger mission. Those same nonprofits and foundations usually have a promotional network, expertise, staff, all those things to promote the project and, by extension, promoting me and I love working with those people because they're trying to do that, but I've never actually met anybody who wants to own the work. And so the macarthur foundation, the four right, all these people, they want to promote, the giving away the money, they want to show what you're doing so there expertise in these areas is what I then utilise. All right, you with me so far. Okay, so there's three players, we already know who you are, you're next to next mission is to find potential funders and potential nonprofit organizations, so I'm going to switch over to the computer here and show you just a couple to get you kind of going. In terms of what to be thinking about when I mentioned something up here sir absolutely all right, so this is really want to thank rebecca for all her great comments, she says note on art council sometimes they will offer a service basically known as a passed through funding artist go through some sort of rigor of providing their ability to see their projects through with the arts council arts council slicks responsible artists and gives them the opportunity to receive funding through not in partnership with the arts council they take about five percent it's pretty cool yes, I mean that's a variation on this they're serving as the nonprofit who manages the funds some state arts council she is correct are actually going out of their way to saito artists come to us, we'll manage this will help you through the process that's not anything that's really cool awesome state it is state specific is the downside I live in a state where they don't do that rhode island for example gotcha. So that's the only sort of caveat there cool thank you. Great. All right, so I'm going to go over here and I'm going to show you too websites which just popped up in that cool there this is the foundation center dot or ge not not calm by the way, what foundation center dot or ge I usually give this class in new york city and so I tell all the people in new york you just go down to seventeen thousand year to see your disadvantage because you're not in new york but what this is for and if you look right here it tells you all this incredible information some of which is free some of which is not but this is a way to understand and even find who gives out grants different kinds of specialty topics. Julie do you see that people disabilities um topical resource lists this is a great starting point and about half of this information is free. Half of this information you would have to subscribe to the foundation center but this is your starting point try to understand the grant world again very specifically around topic there's some stuff here on artistic journalistic but is more fundamental about this idea of topics and you can in the best of all worlds find two different components here. You confined the foundations here and you may also find organizations that might be your potential partner as well. So if you go appeared says, find funders this is identifying funders and then this site here would be some of the different kinds of groups you might end up partnering with and it's just one of those one of those places where you want to spend a certain amount of time a couple things about it at some point time you're gonna hit the pain wall and he had two choices there one is three choices. One is to calculate how much does it cost me to fly to new york and go there for two hours a day free cause you get two hours a day free than the kick you off the machines. It may be worth it, by the way. Um, you can pay, of course, for a monthly subscription or every state capitol library cause this is a non profit part of their charter is every state capitol library has tohave a foundation center library. I'm pretty sure that big libraries in most like I would be stunned if the seattle public library doesn't have this somewhere in their network, he doesn't have to know where to go. I know the state capital, which is olympia, they have to have one because that's part of their charter I live in the state capital, providence, so I'm actually very fortune, the statehouse and all the public libraries twenty minutes walk, but that's plan b and plan c, of course, is to pay for it. If by chance you decided to pay for my one suggestion would be to do all this research as much as you can subscribe for maybe a month or two do all this research boras far as you can down there, pay ninety five for one month and if you cancel a month or two later you're down thirty bucks and if you cut and paste all the stuff into a document, you'll have fifty foundation's twenty partner organizations you'll see people who have done projects that are similar projects that are different you really start to understand all of that overlap the other one that I directed two and this is one that is free and I strongly encourage you to get to is you just want to google literally um p e n d e r f p bulletin this is the foundation center, the same organization and once a week they send you an e mail to your email box with the weekly r f p bulletin and this is really, really important you need to learn the language that thes people use okay don't know what capacity building is I can go somewhere else I could go to bangladesh and take pictures or I can go to bangladesh and do it's called capacity building to give people their the capacity to do it themselves foundations are really, really begun capacity building because there's no reason to have old white guys do it when there are people all over the world who are just as good and they just need a little capacity building so that's unexamined of the the language is that foundation shoes capacity building I'm not sure directly relates to what you're all trying to do but you want to subscribe to the the art of peoples in every week and you just want to go through it and you say well I can't think anything for the uh chesapeake bay but you might want to pass it on if you know anybody who's doing a project like that you want to you want to make friends and influence people send one of these to some friend of yours they apply they get it you've made a friend for life somebody who edit your work no none of these are obviously jumping out at me but I can't tell you I read this every week like clockwork and I would say once a month I will find something here and I will send it off to a friend of mine to my wife's isn't I shouldn't say that I just something to put in my wife last week and she actually brought me back to a boy that's great where'd you find that and I told her I found it on the r f p thing um so you want to be reading this every week sharing it with friends also learning the language reading in there as I said before some of them are things like this is journalist specific so that would probably not work ah lot of its medical specific but you can skip through these really quickly, but you want to read this thing every week like clockwork. This is just going to become part of your job going forward, and one day you're going to see one that's got your name written all over it, and you're going to be so excited. So that's, what the other sort of resource I would encourage you to look at is the foundation center here, foundation center, dot a warg and then the uh r f people in front of foundation center. One of the things to be careful about in terms of grants, you'll see a lot of people who offer workshops on grant writing and stuff like that ninety five percent of that is organization specific, not individual, not project specific. So you kind of need be a little careful about that ninety five percent of what I think you need to learn. You can learn by going to those two places reading the newsletter, writing and proposal, sharing them with other people, looking at other successful proposal's enormously important. So those are the kind of things that you want to be doing going for it. So I'm going to shut this, and if I understand correctly, I moved back to my screen here, see how we did that asian center the r f p bulletin, alright another component of the research you want to be thinking about doing look at all the work on your topic whatever that may be in all media not just in photography not just in film people been writing about virtually every one of your issues you know community mental health the art of dance people in writing back making films all sorts of other stuff for as long as those media have existed and when you were starting to reference that in your project proposal but you have to want to carry that further and my one thought about what you were referencing is I might try to find something that's more dance specific in general but the idea is you look a tte how this is done in other auditory and visual media to borrow from that work or riff on it or bounce off in your own final project you're not stealing it but you're using is kind of the framework because other people looking your work are going to be using is a framework as well um many of the most successful visible projects are often tied to subject matter not to photography I know I said that before but I think you saw with the last part on where the money is it's really about the topic more often than not um text based projects on the same topic are useful for facts historical quote dates etcetera in others if you come across a book that was written on how bridges divide committee member the other thing I was thinking about now that we've gone this far the building of the interstate system in this country for better or for worse you know what's weird bisected, divided communities a city in photo in pennsylvania called chester p where they ran ninety five right through it and there's been a couple books down and how it destroyed community in your reading you might actually want to find some of those because we're still talking about how infrastructure bills and decimates communities and you might find some great quotes or some statistics that moves your project from there's something I want to do to something that really matters um look at other people's resumes at the residence of other photographers that exhibitions book launches presentations artist residencies when I go to a gallery show or book launch or some kind of event I've got my half one handy because of course I want to look at what they've done but I want to say who funded this thing how did they get here from there to here um I do what I call resume trolling I'll pick up somebody's resume at an exhibition I'll go down and say there's a new foundation I didn't know about they fund this they found that that's the reality of the world and if you're at an exhibition a book launch or something somebody's already gone past that hurdle so you want to look at that and by the way you shouldn't necessarily limited to what your own project is anybody who's succeeded in any of this environment has gotten past eighty percent of the hurdles though you have your own subject specific hurdles um you want to see what they said what grants fellowships, exhibitions they've earned and then you want to look goes up and consider applying for them and actually this thing I said to my wife with something that took my attention and I realize I wasn't eligible but she might be so I sent it on to her um your homework and research are given to doing homework and research were given to make your project proposal and you're storing your projects wrong. I know you know this and I know I'm repeating myself but I think you're understanding it somebody and I'll talk about this in couples tomorrow actually how much time I spent photographing at which time I spent doing this this is it if you do this correctly the time in the field is very efficiently used but this is how you get eighty percent results um look at the visual language others have used with their projects and how they told the stories this is the thing that looking at other people's work but again try ideally in all media not just in photography because increasingly everything is blurring together as it is anyway all right, so now I'm going to show you some of my project proposals and talk a little bit more about them they are part of the stuff that you get for taking the class and so this is, um it's the eight page version of the macarthur foundation project where I convinced the macarthur foundation toe let me photograph the israeli palestinian conflict and if you'll notice the project name changed you saw it and actually I haven't labeled here is distant relations the first name actually was between brothers somebody's head boy that's really sexist so I changed the name to distant relations they gave me the money anyway um and so that's what is in there and this one in the eight pages have to go through a whole series of problems what I'm what I'm trying to show what is it that I've already done? What is that I'm going to do going forward? What what do I have his expertise all the stuff we basically gone through and in the case of the israeli palestinian conflict I have to throw in a whole bunch of stuff about the history my experience? What am I gonna tell different etcetera? Um I think we talked about this before you have a one page version and especially if you end up partnering with the nonprofit organization, you're going to end up with a one page version and the six eight, ten page version and that's six eight. Ten. Page version has more detail. Who were the staff? One of the different things that are gonna be done. How all the outlets and stuff. But your start nine times out of ten is a one page version. And so this is in the stuff you get in the point behind this. I hope you read it. If you think it's smart it's, not it's. Not about that. It's. How did I get past that hurdle? How did I push those buttons? The quote that I used the at the end, the title, all that stuff is this idea of driving the person is reading it to say, yes, this person goes indian pile or no, they're out. Um, this was my first fulbright fellowship, and I wrote my first. Well, this was my set by first application was actually rejected. Ironically, back in nineteen ninety, when I was going to use where the palestinian thing this is the second application I did for four four by was the first one I got. And what I was smiling about was like, I'll tell you, a story that I do think is really informative was I wrote my first version of this and send it around to some friends and stuff like that and a woman named martha north carolina wrote me back insisted you know it basically sounds like old white guys going to come to india and tell them what they need to know and she was really nice and she was really smart and she did this feedback thing without making it too painful and where point was knowing to do that I'm actually going because because india huge democracy, large media it's it really is what am I going to learn from the process and so it's not like I changed that much but it was clearly had my phrasing long um and so this is the corrected versions he don't have to read the bad version, but I offer that to you because especially in the case of a full write what's their fundamental mission is creating dialogue or connections between people that's your starting point if you can't say that correctly, none of the rest of manners um this is the another grant that I got from the alicia patterson foundation this is um lisa patterson foundation is a journalistic foundations, so unless you're the journalistic credentials it doesn't apply but it's probably worth looking at because it goes into detail they have a very specific mission you have to write articles for their publications and you have to create a budget and so that's that was page one. This is page two. These are the different articles that I aspired to write and it's a little hard for you to see that they asked for four different articles and four different topics, and I did three of them, and everything was going on great, and the last one wasn't working out, and I remember writing margaret angle and saying good news is I'm three quarters the way through, everything is going fine every time you turn an article, they gave you what money they have all system last one isn't going to be the way I expected. And she said to me, of course, that's not it never works out that way. What do you do instead? And I told her, and she said, have a good time. So remember, I said, your project changes your funders air usually open to that as well, as long as they realise they're not running off to mexico and drinking away their money. Um, this is page three of that same project and then here's a budget, and I want to talk for just a little bit about budgeting in terms of when you're applying for any kind of grants. I talked about this before, but this was something I learned from the macarthur foundation grant, which is you wanted try to put your budget into kind of units because a lot of your funders will come back to you ninety nine percent of the funders have a pool of this much money this year we can give away I don't know what one hundred thousand dollars they have to divide it among a certain amount of people and they say, wow, we have ten projects that are all viable we've got a hundred thousand give we could only give ten a person there and everybody's applied for twenty so how do we cut it down if you say to them I want to do five trips to each five trips of four thousand needs that's twenty thousand dollars they gotta have it makes it easy for them, it gives them a definition of what it is you're going to do, they can make it smaller. So you want to think not just some big opening the budget but make it small segments again typically in my case, because there's travel involved, I usually do it by trips. Another thing you actually should pay yourself people kind of think what what's all the money for? Well, one of the things that's for I've got to make a living um almost all of my projects the stipend is essentially part time because I am typically doing something else I'm also not wherever I'm going to be shooting in this case india I'm not there full time I commuted back and forth between um nineteen ninety eight was ford island to india back and forth party because of my daughter and my wife and the importance of that relationship but also I found that if I went back and forth I could still get my work done and to keep my other business going so it's that about paying yourself you also want to show what it called in kind donations which is just a fancy way of saying you get things from other people that are not denominated in dollars but they show that other people are going to help you do this project okay and that's a big part of the foundation world is what it called in kind donations and it's another signal to them that you've gone out into the community you found the people who were going to help you do this thing you've got commitments from these people to give you x y and z it may or may not be money but then you're putting together a budget that pays you can be broken down into smaller pieces if they need to do that prove that you've got other people interested in it and they is the fund or not the only one taking a chance and those air the rough outlines of budgeting the other thing about the budgeting is that most of your foundations and funders and the partner thinking that I was describing before budging is relatively straightforward. If you have a partner organization, they're used to doing it a certain away about how health and they pay you, how they spread it out that ten to twenty percent that they're going to take all of that stuff is relatively well lit well, well laid out the biggest thing, as I said pieces so they could break into smaller pieces. You shook your head there, which I appreciate don't be afraid to pay yourself people somehow think I'm going to starve while I'm doing this and the idea of in kind donations and also the last one, which is not in the budget but is in all of my proposals is starting to talk about the outlets who the organizations were going disseminate this work, so I'm going to share this work too, because you go to a foundation you say I got this project, I've got a non profit organization who is my partner, I have this expertise in which you all do, even if you don't have the credentials yet, I may be done one or two smaller things before I've broken it down into small, tangible units I'm taking a little money for myself, but not too much I've got donations from other people to help me do this, and I have potential outlets they're going to say them so well let's talk about it, you solve most of our problems because people, those air failure points for people, they think that project's great, the budget's good, but they have no interest in the outlet to be or they can't bring in the expertise. So if you solve all those are more likely to put you in the yes pile. Jim, was that a please just questions if you're up for it? Yeah, great, so vagabond would like to know is it common tow split the project grant into two years so that the foundations budget next year can cover a section of the original? The short answer is that all completely depends on what you negotiate, okay? And the other thing it depends on is a lot of times foundations will put a little money into a project, and if you succeed, you don't do anything stupid, you don't get put in jail, they're going to come back to you offended if you do the work like the macarthur work was good example at the end of the project, they actually seen that I had in fact successfully executed they're much more likely to come back to you and go forward encouragingly, because it's all about this trial that nobody likes to say but they want to see can you actually do it? Doubly so in the case of your two projects because you're going into an area that people will care about but I'm not sure they can visualize how they're going to see it how's it actually gonna be executed? So a small thing like an r f p shows them that you can do it and you go from there okay um this is interesting so uh, from future photos how do you figure out how to pay yourself? Are there are there restrictions? Well, again, there is a two part answer that one one is at ninety five percent of the people who you will be applying to when you get to the budget category will actually have criteria okay, the biggest other one which I will throw in there because it makes a lot of sense ninety five percent of the foundation will not buy equipment, they do not pay what it called capital costs. Okay, I've heard everything from you rented to yourself I've heard people who buy and then rented to themselves to do that. Some people just build that into their salary, but the real answer on salary is most of the time they have when you get to that final stage because budgets are not using the first round when you get the final stage, they're going to say this is how we do it the second thing is how realistic is it you're probably gonna end up on the sort of poorer side, you know, I could be making a lot of money and then the other thing on all my budgets, I always say that I'm working part time because I'm perfectly comfortable admitting I had this other job I'm commuting back and forth in this particular project if you look, I actually mentioned the stock photography income that I'm getting from the stock that I'm going to make, so I'm saying to them, my total project actually costs at the time fifty four thousand dollars, I'm getting seventeen thousand dollars outside income, so they only in theory only thirty seven they gave me thirty for rule number four on grants and I'm guilty of this is possible always ask for more than they will give you the budget max on the macarthur foundation was fifty thousand dollars in nineteen, ninety three dollars a lot of money I asked for twenty four thousand eight hundred they gave me twenty four thousand eight hundred so what did they do wrong? I left twenty five two on the table or they might have split the difference, but so you always always go to the top and you'll notice you go a little bit higher and if you break this down it's worth looking at, they could go, they could cut me down if they needed to um a few more pages here and they want to finish up this section. This is the short version of the globalization impact on india really it's like a page and a half this is a second fulbright fellowship and this goes back to the one year, two year funding project I got to the first fulbright I didn't do anything stupid apparently, you know, the format has like a couple thousand people around the world, apparently every other year of full later dies just in one location health not that anything's wrong with the program, but people die up there. I didn't died and nothing stupid, so a couple years after I had my first fulbright, I found out that they had created the category or for people to go to multiple countries in the region, and I was really, really interested in the idea that if you live in, I'm just doing the visually if you live in sri lanka, bangladesh or appall, the eight hundred pound gorilla of globalization is not america it's, india if you live in east asia, the eight hundred pound gorilla is china it's, not us and so basically that's what I proposed to do to go to these other countries I ended up goingto bangladesh on day three lanka to photograph the cultural impact of globalization from the eight hundred pound gorilla of india unless off from the u s and the connection being that this was the second time into the fullbright foundation, and I had done the first one successfully, I mean, I had a new and I fit their particular set of criteria. Um, and so this is five pages long, so the exercise and this is your homework going forward now, both for the on air audience and for the three of you, is to create a list of potential partner organization slash outlets who are interested in your topic, okay? And right now, you probably couldn't just sort of speculate, but if you really want to do this, well, you want to find one who's in your geographic area, who's interested in the issues there in theory, that has funded projects in the past, that's a big one, because just just because somebody is a nonprofit organization or an outlet, but they've never actually gotten a grant, so they're kind of not likely to be a partner, but the idea is to create a list of potential partner organizations who might be that middle man, because that's, the first thing you're going to need again to go back to our three players, that photographer, the organization, the funders, and you'll never get to the funders if you don't have the organization first, so your homework has it worked? Is to think of five potential and he picked think of a few maybe as many five potential partner organizations slash at let's who are interested in your topic any last questions before we end this segment or jim anybody out there wanna make more one when we're run at me let me take a quick peek there, okay? So, um a lot of people here's a question I thought was kind of interesting um an easy would like to know could you touch a little bit on when you have a plan and then go and shoot, you find other stories where is the fuck's ability turned into hard changes in concept, especially when you're working for a client on a particular subject matter that you've already like bought out they've bought off on well, I mean this this exactly kind of the problem is that if you go if you come back to them like I did with alicia patterson and the fulbright both actually because they both changed you come back to me and say, I want to move over to here that's fine if you want to move over to here, you've got a real problem and so is partly a function of having done the research preparation so you're not likely to go off here on dh this has happened to be a number of projects, especially the current work I'm doing in india because I was over there doing the tail end of this and I've just recently started a brand new project but it's so over here, but I haven't really gotten very far in this project yet, but the connection being no, it was impossible to say take this and have them reconfigured into that so sometimes it's just sort of like this is good research you can go forward use in the future, but it's not something you can use down and I'm actually in upcoming segment about cameron which one you going to show you this current work and walk you through that problem from here to there and then how I'm trying to get it out there? So aleem says, oh, wow, I didn't know david is from rhode island hello from providence, hello bax leviticus and then barbara wants to know our grants available if you're self taught if you're self taught taught again to circle back to this question of all the other buttons I'm trying to get you to push, self taught doesn't actually need anything if you have the expertise, the subject matter, the access ideally if you couldn't get through some exhibitions or samara of peace or some most low level simple things without doing anything dumb for lack of a better term it's one of the great things actually about photography today is it many of these opportunities because photography is so much more democratic in the web is so much more democratic in theory if you have the all the other components in there being self taught is almost completely irrelevant the medical ones for example they talked about that's a completely different thing but the department the realm that we're in which is photography subject matter based narrative storytelling it's largely white open great thank you one final question before we head off to our next segment future photos would like to know if I find a partner organization can you talk a little bit about them wanting toe own my work? How does that ownership? Well, there's a number of things that I said I personally have never encountered a problem partner organization wants to own the world I don't know many photographers who find partner organizations on wanna work having said that the next question of course is it simply a function of what you negotiate having said that also if in theory you're approaching a nonprofit organization like you all will be that you're coming in from position of strength in theory you have a project that interests them you you have done your homework so you know which potential funders you might go to so basically that's anything is based on what you negotiate but my point coming into all these things is why do you want to own it and it's better for all of us. If I own it, we're both going to promote it anyway on dh. The other questions you want to store it, archive it all that stuff. But it's, a party, functional white negotiate and coming in, sort of a position of strength and making it there in their interest to do the project, but not necessarily on it.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

David H Wells - Business
David H Wells - Literary Journals List.pdf
David H Wells -
David H Wells -
David H Wells - Sample
David Wells - Keynote Day 1.pdf
David Wells - Keynote Day 2.pdf
David Wells - Keynote Day 3.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

David H Wells -

Ratings and Reviews


First off, I was a photo assistant for a few years to a photographer who did numerous multi-day workshops. This was my first time as a student sitting in on a webinar that actually kept me interested. Sometimes I'm turned off by the pace of the teacher, his or her voice, or the manner in which they disseminate the information. But this was truly fantastic. David showed lots of his work in a way that was NOT egotistical in any sense (something that does happen quite often). I was utterly impressed by the quality of his work, the wealth of knowledge he has on the world, culture and politics, and how he shoots "on the go". All of those qualities are essential parts to creating a great photo essay/story. I came into this seminar needing inspiration and in the end I have more ideas than I know what to do with. David's work is truly magnificent; his photo stories pertain to people and their struggles, which really could be something any one of us could go through at any point, but he shows it in a way that is beautiful - either beautifully desperate or beautifully destructive - instead of in an exploitative way. On a side note, he also offered up a lot of great information having to do with funding, exposure, workflow, time efficiency, income streams, releases... you won't find this a lot with other photographers. You will find the "go find the info yourself" attitude. This has been my problem as of late with photography - we don't work together as artists, we work against each other competing for what, I'm not sure. David's seminar seemed to embrace photography as the art form it is, and shared with us the tools that we as artists need to really understand and utilize in order to get our story out there. A story it seems he really wants to see/hear. Just an amazing "Thank You"!!!!

a Creativelive Student

I have purchased a number of classes on Creative Live. This class taught by David Wells is one of the best. David is a thorough teacher, personal and connects with his students. Along with his superb and inspiring imagery David talked about his experiences in getting funding, his workflow, developing his stories and distributing his work. David is talented, generous and an excellent teacher. Highly recommended class.

Anjani Millet

Just completed the course. Fantastic, practical information on everything from grant writing, finding foundations, proposal development, even how to shake hands overseas. I am not sure where else I would have found this information for photographers. So appreciate it. One friend asked if this would be worth watching for anyone outside the US and the answer is a definitive yes. Very happy I purchased, and already starting to implement.

Student Work