Contact me for information about workshops, classes, portfolio reviews, fieldtrips, individual and group instruction, critiques and mentoring at firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not train photographers to make pictures like I do. Rather, I assist them in discovering their specific interests in photography and guide their work toward excellence.
I enjoy advancing the work of photographers through individualized assignments and unique strategies I have developed during more than thirty-years as a teacher. Having studied with Minor White in graduate school at MIT and worked as an assistant to Imogen Cunningham in San Francisco, I am able to discuss a wide array of issues regarding photography and its history and to help students achieve a higher degree of formal, technical and conceptual qualities in their work. My approach is extremely useful for photographers of all skill levels, interests and approaches and whose work involves any subject matter.
I have taught photography at The Ohio State University, Antioch College, Ohio Wesleyan University, conducted workshops for The Portland Photographers’ Forum and was Lead Instructor in Photography at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico. I was honored for the excellence of my teaching at Ohio State and Santa Fe Community College. In 2008 and 2012, as an independent educator, I was nominated for the prestigious Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award that recognizes outstanding international teachers of photography.
Selected Comments About My Teaching
“I often talk to my students about that one person you meet in life who changes you, that one person who opens your eyes, that one person who demands you be more than you thought you ever could be or had the capacity to be. For me, that person was Jim Friedman.” — JS, San Jose, CA
"James Friedman's dedication to photography is unique. He puts all his experience, love and passion into his work. The day I started discussing my work with him changed everything. He brought my photography to a much higher level and taught me to see things much clearer. Even though I live in Germany and Jim in America, the distance is not an issue. We work on our computers and use the phone for our discussions. Jim is the best teacher, coach, adviser and mentor I've ever had." — MW, Frankfurt, Germany
"There are not many true masters in our society — people who dedicate their lives to a discipline that leads to a profound understanding, expertise and transcendence in their field. Jim Friedman has attained such mastery through his commitment and passion for photography. He is also extraordinarily creative in his approach to teaching photography. I am grateful and fortunate for his willingness to share his enthusiasm and inspiration for more than 30 years." — JM, Columbus, OH
"I studied with Jim at the very beginning of my life in photography and then again toward the middle of a career as a professional and fine art photographer. In the first case, I won a first prize in an all media art contest, which nailed down my commitment to a career in photo. The second time it moved me out of a creative rut and led to projects that won a Greater Columbus Arts Council Fellowship and two Ohio Arts Council Fellowships. Additionally, my commercial work improved and led to great new editorial clients (New York Times Mag, Fast Company, et al.) and financial success. If you are a student of photography, willing to work at your craft and art, Jim Friedman is among the best, if not the best on the planet.” — TR, Mount Vernon, OH
“…Friedman is also the best sort of art teacher…I witnessed his total commitment to the mission of teaching; it was a life-changing experience for many young artists, and an inspiration for his colleagues. His teaching has challenged photographers to find what is original and genuine within their own makeup and in their interactions with the world; his students have excelled in their photographic work, but not by reproducing Friedman’s style and subject matter…” — RG, Columbus, OH
“Jim provided the best critique of my photographs I have ever had and I have attended many photography workshops around the country.” — JL, Portland, OR
“Jim Friedman’s class changed my life. His class not only opened my eyes to the world of light, form and tone but also inspired me to begin a career in fine arts.” — MB, Santa Fe, NM
“James Friedman is an amazing educator and peer. He has the ability to bring out the best in the people around him and challenge them to do better as students and human beings.” — JS, Charlottesville, VA
"Jim Friedman is one of those rare individuals who is both a gifted photographer and a brilliant photography instructor. He is able to breakdown his students' images and articulate strengths and weaknesses so that they may grow and develop a more specific, individual vision. My vision and growth skyrocketed after one session, and I am now on my way to developing a solid portfolio. I have made it a priority to include Jim in my artistic development. Any serious photographer, amateur or professional, would benefit greatly from sessions with Jim. I highly recommend him unquestionably and wholeheartedly." — LG, Dublin, OH
“Every time I’ve opened myself to Jim’s mentoring, my photographic work has taken an exciting quantum leap forward. As a result of Jim’s insights, observations and commitment, I have received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, been admitted to one of the best M.F.A. programs in the country and have begun exhibiting my work nationally.” — LL, Portland, OR
"Jim Friedman was willing to accept me as a pre-novice student in his workshop and changed my life. Though not as simple as it may sound, he taught me how to see. He taught an openness to possibilities and experimentation yet with critical awareness. He taught photography strategies that influence me to this day. He demonstrated how to speak intelligently and coherently about my own work as well as others’. He remains better than Google for references on photographers and their specific practices and interests. I’ve seen him customize this information and apply it specifically to every person in the workshop, offering personal goals and assignments designed to move work beyond the next level. Jim teaches toward the ultimate, fine art photography--photography with a life." — SS, Sunbury, OH
“I first met Jim Friedman when I enrolled in one of his workshops early in my photography studies in the 1990s. He unquestionably played a major role in shaping my creative thinking process and I feel fortunate to have been the beneficiary of his extensive knowledge and skillful teaching. He is insightful and has the uncanny ability to recognize how to individually inspire and motivate students to their fullest potential. His willingness to share his knowledge is priceless. Jim's accomplishments are by no means limited to the classroom. His photographs and writings are stunningly beautiful, thoughtful and intelligent. I would encourage you to take a few minutes to see for yourself as his artwork will speak for itself and certainly does not need my commentary, although I am more than willing to discuss its attributes and brilliance. I not only hold Jim in the highest regard as a former teacher, current mentor and artist but also as a friend. To simply say I highly recommend Jim Friedman as an instructor and artist does not nearly convey what an amazing experience/opportunity awaits you in your interactions with him.” — MCDM, San Diego, CA
“Jim Friedman has been my photographic catechist since the early 80’s. I first had the honor of taking classes directly from Jim while an undergrad at The Ohio State University. From the start, Jim provided important, detailed technical information about my work and how to improve. More importantly, Jim has inspired me to reach for greater heights in my photography and in my own personal life. Jim is certainly a photographic guru in that he motivates his students to search within themselves for truths, about life, and the world, and then for ways to express these truths through their art. Jim has the gift of being able to inspire people to search for their boundaries, learn their boundaries, and then move beyond those boundaries as an ever-changing cyclic part of their lives. Jim Friedman has proved to be a masterful and appreciated motivator in my life.” — RR, Dearborn, MI
“My first workshop with Jim taught me how to develop photographic projects. He teaches you how to see the world in very different ways. I have never experienced another workshop as challenging, or as fulfilling, as Jim's.” — JK, West Linn, OR
“Jim Friedman’s ability to talk about photography in a lucid and accessible manner is unique (and his assignments are mind-boggling — in a good way).” — SD, Woodland, CA
“Hello Jim, I took your classes years ago in Columbus. You were, and still are, the biggest artistic influence in my life. My photography is flourishing…” — SG, Ojai, CA
“It is a pleasure to offer my experience with Jim Friedman as a teacher. I have said on several occasions that Jim is one of the very best teachers I have ever encountered, including high school, college and graduate education. He has a breadth and depth of photographic knowledge that is amazing. No matter what the topic, Jim has information that is helpful to the student to understand the issues at hand. He challenges the student to excel and assists by giving information, criticism and encouragement to that end. He is very interested in the work done by his students and involves himself in their progress. I have no reservations whatsoever about recommending Jim Friedman as a superb teacher for any student in photography.” — BB, Powell, OH
“Through his expert teaching, Jim Friedman changed how I saw the world but, more importantly, how I saw myself. I am sure if you ask any of his students they will confirm that he is truly a unique individual who one would be lucky in life to meet.” — JS, San Jose, CA
What I Offer in My Teaching
- Proven ability to motivate and inspire students to produce work far beyond what they believe possible.
- Proven expertise in creative coaching.
- Ability to grasp the specific needs of individual students and help guide them to excel in the kind of work that interests them.
- Radical teaching methods designed to challenge students and shake up their ideas about photography in a nurturing manner.
- Ability to lead students interested in non-digital photography through my expertise in chemical-based practice, film work and making stunning prints through analogue methods.
- Skills to address with lucidity the work of both analogue and digital photographers with specific and useful feedback.
- Substantive knowledge of historical and contemporary movements and photographers, providing an invaluable resource for students. This synoptic historical insight offers students the unique opportunity to contextualize their own work within the whole of the medium.
- A keen aptitude for communicating in an approachable, insightful and accessible fashion, making it comfortable for students to not only seek my feedback but, more importantly, to trust my counsel.