FotoWeek DC will return to the District this week for a series of exhibits celebrating the art of photography. The festival features over 150 photography-related workshops, lectures and exhibitions, as well as portfolio reviews by a specialized panel at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. It all starts with a launch party scheduled for this Friday, and a schedule of events can be found below. The festivities run from November 5th – 12th.
The festival kicks off this evening with a launch party. The double party begins at 5pm at at the project headquarters, FotoWeek Central, located at 1800 L Street NW. At 8:30pm the party moves to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, located at 500 17th St NW, for a party featuring DJs, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are still available.
FotoWeek DC founder Theo Adamstein started the festival in 2008. Originally a regional project for locals to get noticed and share their work, it quickly evolved to international prestige. This year’s exhibits features artists from 44 countries.
While some locals have expressed concern with the festival moving way from its roots as a project focused on local artists, Adamstein thinks it’s the natural evolution of the project.
“It doesn’t make sense for a festival like this to remain as a local festival,” Adamstein said. “We’re an international city. Thousands of photographers from around the world are passing through here capturing the city and sharing their work.”
Local photographers will have their own exhibit section at the project headquarters at 1800 L Street NW, in the old Borders bookstore. Adamstein has dubbed the location “Fotoweek Central,” and it is the center of events.
A myriad of other exhibits around the city feature genres such as photojournalism, portraiture, commercial photography, fine art photography, travel, the natural world, and cell phone photography. Each year awards are given for the best contributions in each genre. See the 2011 winners.
Many of the events in the festival are free, including the series of lectures taking place at FotoWeek Central on November 5th and 6th. Topics include: ‘Copyright: Know It or Blow It!’, ‘An Introduction to Branding and Marketing for Commercial Photographers’, ‘Innovation: The Myth of Thinking Outside the Box’, and ‘Using Photography to Change the World’. Participants can learn from experts the essential skills to make it in the business and manage their own work.
The festival also provides a unique opportunity for exposure and critical review for local photographers, both amateur and professional. A portfolio review at the Corcoran Gallery of Art will feature a group of acclaimed photographers, photo editors, curators, and other experts to offer critical suggestions ranging from creative review to marketing assistance. Participants will even have the opportunity to propose photo essays, book and exhibit ideas, or illustrated articles. The expert panel features professionals from the Washington Post, The Library of Congress, National Geographic, Syracuse University, and The Corcoran Gallery of Art, among others.
Adamstein says portfolio review participants can expect to receive honest advice on how to improve their work, whatever their skill level. “With emerging photographers, it helps to have a professional or someone well renowned to get an honest opinion and to get advice,” he said. The reviews take place November 12th from 10am-5pm, and tickets are still available, though the event is almost certain to sell out.
This year also features the launch of a new project called FotoPage, allowing photographers to create an online portfolio through the FotoWeek DC website, creating an opportunity to be discovered. Users can curate 5 portfolios of up to 24 images each. The site will launch during the festival, according to Adamstein.
Click to see the full schedule of events