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feature images: Mary Ellen Mark & Dorothea Lange from Aperture:Photographs

Good morning all!

As you maybe know it’s time again for FotoWeekDC, District’s biggest photography event of the year!

Here is our can’t miss guide to the photos, openings, nighttime projections, film and more going on the week of November 7-15 (+ sweet, sweet opening part on November 6th, presented by BYT).

Now, with 120+ events happening, we know it can be a little overwhelming, but that is the beauty of it all.

Some basics you need to know to make it through it all (mostly) alive:

  • The only website that truly matters and is updated 24/7 with new events etc is FotoDC.org
  • Fotoweek happens ALL OVER TOWN (for partners and locations which range from Holocaust Museum to National Gallery of Art to independent galleries, hotels and The Smithsonian itself, click here) BUT FotoDC curates one central location (Fotoweek Central) and this year it is at 2801 16th Street NW (the Former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence). Entry is a $6 donation to FotoDC, includes both exhibitions and all the FotoTalks and trust us, well worth it.
  • All the events are separated into the following categories:


and then disperses into categories within

First Things First:

  • Opening night party is on November 6th. This is the one fundraiser the Festival does every year so come out and support. Open bars, first look at some great exhibitions, JD Samson DJing, beautiful people and all that in the enchanting setting of the Former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence. Get your tickets here.


Must See Exhibitions:

Full list of festival exhibitions (AND EXHIBITION OPENINGS) can be found here (there is a total of 30 at last count) but if you were to make it a point to see half a dozen or so (that seems realistic, here’s what we’d do):

image: Hank Willis Thomas / Black Power

image: Hank Willis Thomas / Black Power

  • Recent Gifts + Photobooks Exhibitions @ National Gallery of Art – a great one stop destination to view some of the greatest photography works (and books) on display
  • Bearing Witness: Nighttime Projections @ Holocaust Museum – In a special nighttime display from November 9-12, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will project images onto its exterior walls that feature religious and ethnic minorities persecuted in Iraq. These stunning photos were taken as part of a bearing witness trip to raise awareness about attacks on civilians in the region.


  • Joel Sartore Photo Ark @ National Geographic Museum – With ingenuity and wit, National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has captured portraits of more than 5,000 creatures to date, with more to come. Many of the animals live in the world’s zoos and aquariums, institutions dedicated to preserving and caring for species of all kinds.  BONUS FotoWeek Warm-Up event: meet the photographer on November 5th
photo: Joel Sartore

photo: Joel Sartore

  • Irving Penn Beyond Beauty @ Smithsonian American Art Museumfor all of these reasons
  • Nature’s Best: 20th Anniversary Show @ Natural History Museum – some of the most stunning nature and conservancy photos collected over the course of two decades of Nature’s best work.
  • My Kingdom For A Stage @ Hillyer Art Place – Hillyer is participating in this year’s festival with THREE exhibitions, all with a strong female focus. My Kingdom for A Stage, curated by Susana Raab, illuminate this spectrum of staged photographic practice: from documentary to the purely conceptual, the performance is in the work. All are united in an Ibero-American identity, whether through the use of symbols, magical realism and whimsy, or the cultural forces that inform the Ibero-American diaspora. Also, it just looks gorgeous
©Adriana Duque

©Adriana Duque

Photo © Alan Chin

Photo © Alan Chin

  • LOMO Wall – More than 2,000 people from 32 countries submitted analogue pictures for the new Lomography LomoWall in the W DC Hotel. Almost 5,000 photographs make up a 6 feet long LomoWall, which spans the W DC Hotel entrance hall. This LomoWall is the culmination of a series of analogue photographs from amateur and professional analogue photographers around the world. A selection of photographs from their submissions, form this huge mosaic installation which also includes images from all around Washington D.C


Great Places To See Local Photographers Work:

(just some of the reasons why DC is an amazing place to host a Photography festival at)

  • FotoWeekCentral hosts the exhibition winners of our 2015 competitions (Faces&Places and FotoWeekDC)
  • Absence / Presence @ GWU Luther W. Brady Art Gallery  – The exhibition includes photography from Nancy Breslin, William Christenberry, Cynthia Connolly, Lisa Tyson Ennis, Frank Gohlke, Dean Kessmann, Bridget Sue Lambert, Dan Lobdell, Pablo Maurer, Andrew Moore, E. Brady Robinson, Lee Saloutos, Katherine Sifers, and Trine Søndergaard
  • WPOW Annual Juried Competition @ FotoWeekCentral – features the work of Women Photojournalists of Washington(WPOW) members, on women’s issues. The show makes its debut at FotoWeekDC and continues on a tour of universities across the nation.
©Susanna Raab

©Susanna Raab

©Marisa S White

©Marisa S White

  • Photographers at Work @ Studio Gallery – how a group of distinguished photographers designs, conceptualizes, and executes a photographic project. Using large-scale photographs, contact sheets and the written word, the artists will explore the creative process from the initial idea to the matted and framed picture.
  • WHNPA – 2015 Eyes of History Exhibition @ Embassy Row Hotel – The White House News Photographers Association 2015 ‘Eyes of History®’ traveling exhibit features the winning images from the 2015 Annual ‘Eyes of History®’ competition and includes still, video, multimedia and student winners.

Win McNamee, Getty Images RETURN TO NORMANDY

Great FotoTalks:

Full list of all talks/workshops/panels and more can be found here

  • FotoWeekCentral (2801 16th Street NW) is hosting FotoTalks every hour on the hour over the course of the two weekends. Stop by for
  • Fine Art Day on November 7th feat. the likes of Philip Toledano, Muriel Hasbun, Bego Anton, Robin Schwartz and more
  • PhotoBooks Day on November 8th feat. Jesse Burke, Philip Brookman, Vincent Cianni and more
  • Wildlife & Conservation Day on November 14th with Jaime Rojo, Krista Schuyler, Acacia Johnson and more
  • Fresh Perspectives Day on November 15th with Andy Fernandez, Nakeya Brown, and more
photo by Jesse Burke

photo by Jesse Burke

On top of that, save the dates for:

  • Ralph Gibson @ Leica Store on November 7th – a unique opportunity to be in the same room with a true photography legend.
  • Jeff Jacobson @ Glen Echo Photoworks on November 7th – Join Jeff Jacobson, internationally recognized, award-winning photographer as he delivers a lecture on the art of photography at the Spanish Ballroom Annex at Glen Echo Park. Book signing to follow. Jacobson appears courtesy of the Elsie Hull Memorial Lecture Series.
  • Dan Winters @ Smithsonian American Art Museum on November 10th – Award-winning portrait photographer Dan Winters is known for his use of light, color and depth to create evocative images. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Rolling Stone as well as multiple gallery exhibitions. Winters discusses street photography, creating a visual language, and shares the journey he took to become a photographer.
  • Lynsey Addario @ National Geographic on November 11th – one of the most compelling women photojournalists out there on what it’s like to work in hot spots such as Afghanistan Libya, and other conflict zones.
image by Lynsey Addario

image by Lynsey Addario

  • Carrie Mae Weems @ National Museum of Women in the Arts on November 15th – Over the past 25 years, artist Carrie Mae Weems has developed a complex body of art that has employed photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and, most recently, video to investigate family relationships, gender roles, and the histories of racism, sexism, class and political systems. Weems discusses her belief that the responsibility of an artist is to “to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the roof-tops and storm barricaded doors and voice the specifics of our historic moment.” Program attendees are invited to stay for Sunday Supper, a communal dinner that continues the conversation over food, drink and diversions.
image: Carrie Mae Weems

image: Carrie Mae Weems

Panels For Everyone:

Full list of all talks/workshops/panels and more can be found here

The festival is anchored by two “State of Photography” panels that are a can’t miss:

  • Closing Panel: Finding Your Vision – Getting and Staying Inspired –  November 15th, 4:30pm, FotoWeekCentral – Moderated by Lucian Perkins, with Frank Hallam Day, Marvin Joseph, Bill Crandall, Susana Raab and Astrid Riecken. For the closing conversation of this year’s FotoWeekDC festival, we wanted to dedicate some time to a reminder of why most of us fell (and stayed) in love with photography, both as a profession and a passion. A photographer’s career is a journey that requires constant adaptability to circumstances and unexpected turns surrounding the work they do. So, how do photographers get and stay inspired, year after year, project after project? Obviously there are no easy formulas, but we gathered a group whose work is as varied as their inspirations to engage in a frank discussion about what keeps them going and thriving in this increasingly challenging landscape.

ATM Gives You $1 and Up, Martin Luther King, Jr Ave SE, Washington, DC 2010 An ATM dispenses cash in increments as low as $1.00 at a gas station in Anacostia, Washington, DC on Martin Luther King Ave SE, the poorest area of Washington, DC. Photo © Susana Raab 2010

ATM Gives You $1 and Up, Martin Luther King, Jr Ave SE, Washington, DC 2010 Photo © Susana Raab 2010

BUT ALSO save the dates for some very beautiful and VERY POWERFUL conversations this week:

  • PANEL: Our Walls Bear Witness: Iraqi Minorities in Peril @ Holocaust Museum, November 9th – a discussion with experts on the plight of ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq who have been targeted by the self-proclaimed Islamic State and are now living in camps for internally displaced persons not knowing when—or if—they will be able to return home. The discussion will take place on the opening night of the projections on the exterior walls of the Museum of photographs from a recent trip to Iraq.
  • PANEL: Picturing Diversity: Expanding the View w/ Zun Lee Endia Beal, and MaryAnne Golon @ FotoWeekCentral, November 10th – a panel discussion on coverage of minorities and culture in photojournalism, hosted by Women PhotoJournalists of Washington DC.
  • PANEL: LGBT Rights in Russia w/ Nora FitzGerald, Misha Friedman and Dmitry Chizhevsky @ FotoWeekCentral, November 12th – The Pulitzer Center presents LGBT Rights in Russia with grantees Nora FitzGerald and Misha Friedman, and special guest Dmitry Chizhevsky, a Russian who was a victim of anti-LGBT violence in St. Petersburg.
photo by Misha Friedman

photo by Misha Friedman

All About The Instagram:

Full list of all talks/workshops/panels and more can be found here

You a mobile photography enthusiast (that was a trick question, because everyone is)? Well, here are some cool ways to get involved:

  • Follow @FotoWeekDC on Instagram. Use #FotoDC and #FotoWeek2015 hashtags everywhere and you can also print your photos at FotoWeek Central (2801 16th street NW) courtesy of our wonderful partners at OM Digital
  • Feeling a little more competitive about your hashtagging? We have partnered with AIA DC to do a very special I SEE DC instagram contest. Use #iseeDC2015 #FotoDC and tag @districtarchcenter and @fotoweekdc. Contest is open through November 15, 2015. Walk by the District Architecture Center to view photos with #iseeDC2015 on a monitor display November 1 – December 7.
PC: Canal Park Pavilions, Washington, DC, Architect: STUDIOS architecture, Photographer: Bruce Damonte

Canal Park Pavilions, Washington, DC, Architect: STUDIOS architecture, Photo: Bruce Damonte

Want to get crazy popular on instagram? May we recommend:

  • Instagram Strategy for EVERYONE with Morgan H. West of A Creative DC– Monday, November 9th, 5pm at FotoWeekCentral – Join us for an overview and q+a on all things INSTAGRAM: whether you’re an artist or photographer, a small business owner or a blogger, or anything in between, the event will cover best practices, ways to strengthen your visuals, and strategies for building audience and marketing yourself, your project, or your business.


More into hanging out with super cool instagram folks? Well we teamed up @IGDC the official DC instagram group) to host these two great panels/workshops:

  • Panel Discussion: Mobile Photography with IGDC – Saturday, November 14th at FotoWeekCentral – What is photography and how can we include mobile photography without devaluing it?  We will explore this, as well as, the advances of smart phone cameras, DSLR and traditional cameras, editing techniques and apps for mobile photographers. On the panel: @jennburnett, @beingdave, @the_last_wright_brother, @sriarpita, @queenqween and moderated by @golightly, founder and curator of @IGDC
  • Panel Discussion: DC Landscape Photography with IGDC – Sunday, November 15th at FotoWeekCentral – a thoughtful discussion on the DMV landscape and how our community captures the diversity and beauty through their photography.  What does DC look like and how do we present it to a global audience?  We will explore this, as well as, street photography and portraiture of the citizens that make the DMV truly unique. On the panel: @dccitygirl, @pflint_photo, @nanagyesie, @pootie_ting, @vpickering, @phil.martin and moderated by @golightly

Photo © Top Left: @someguy, Top Right: @someguy, Bottom Right: @jennrightmeow, Bottom Left: @csmarcum


Full List of FotoFilm Programming can be found here but be sure not to miss:

  • Kandahar Journals @ National Gallery of Art, November 7th – with directors Louie Palu and Devin Gallagher in person – A photojournalist’s first-hand reflections while covering war, Kandahar Journals follows Louie Palu’s experiences with several Canadian and American regiments for five years. The film’s extraordinary visual narrative weaves back and forth from the chaotic and experiential side of the war (via intense close-up footage) to the monotony of everyday life back at home in North America.


  • Frame By Frame @ Freer Sackler Galleries, November 12th – a powerful, award-winning documentary about photojournalism in Afghanistan. Under Taliban rule, taking a photo was a crime. After the regime fell from power in 2001, a fledgling free press emerged and a photography revolution was born. Now, as foreign troops and media withdraw, Afghanistan is left to stand on its own, and so are its journalists.

  • Grab a Hunk of Lightning @ National Gallery of Art, November 14th with Diyanna Taylor in person – narrated and directed by Dorothea Lange’s granddaughter, award-winning filmmaker Dyanna Taylor, tells the compelling story of the passion, vision, and drive that made Lange one of the most important documentary photographers of the 20th century. Grab A Hunk of Lightning brings the wide scope of Lange’s work and sensibility to the screen.

  • ELLIS @ FotoWeekCentral, November 14th – The short film stars Academy Award Winner Robert De Niro, was written by Academy Award winner Eric Roth and directed by the artist JR whose Unframed art installations in the abandoned Hospital complex serve as the set for this timely film. For more information, please visit the film’s website: http://www.ellis-themovie.com/.


Full list of all talks/workshops/panels and more can be found here


Got It All?

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Support the festival:

Get Opening Night Tickets Here /

 / Visit us at FotoDC.org and FotoWeekCentral (2801 16th street NW)