APA | DC Presents The Winning Bid

Tue 02nd Jan, 2024 – Tue 06th Feb, 2024

By APA Admin in Washington, DC

Tue 02nd Jan, 2024
Tue 06th Feb, 2024

Virtual event





This multi-day workshop is intended for mid-career professional commercial photographers who want to learn how to approach –and win– higher value photography and video projects from nationally recognized companies. Participants will select and bid on a fictional commercial photography assignment. Their estimates and treatments will be reviewed by a team of professional industry creatives who will offer feedback and insights and determine who has earned the winning bid.

This workshop has two main phases:

In Phase One, selected photographers will choose from one of three projects to bid on, all of which are based on real assignments awarded by clients from across the country. Once they have selected an assignment, photographers will receive a project brief via email. After reviewing the brief they are allowed to ask one round of questions, via email, to the “art buyer”. They must then prepare an estimate, and a treatment for consideration. Each bid will be reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of working producers, art buyers and creative industry professionals.

Phase Two consists of a Zoom meeting with all participating photographers and group of panelists led by executive producer Carleen Martin. The panel will share the feedback from the reviewers, as well as their own impressions and observations. The participants will see how the bids stack up against each other, and also learn the details of the actual winning bid. We’ll gain an insight as to how clients parse and perceive our treatments – what worked and what didn’t, beyond the final price tag. We’ll look at the questions that were submitted and perhaps find a few that went unasked. The panel will select a winning bid for each assignment based on the reviewers’ feedback, and we’ll learn what put those bids over the top in the panel’s eyes. We will conclude the event with some Q&A.

Following the workshop, each photographer will receive a document combining all of the feedback from the panel and the review team on their individual treatment.


This premium workshop is open to PROFESSIONAL and LEADER level APA members and is designed for those mid-career and established commercial/advertising photographers already shooting, or aiming to shoot, projects in the low to mid-five figure price range. Assignments will be people oriented lifestyle shoots, so all applicants should already have appropriate images in their portfolios. All attendees are required to produce a treatment & bid by January 30th. APA memberships and level will be confirmed.

*Previous participants of this workshop are ineligible to apply*

All participants must apply and be accepted before enrolling in the workshop. Applicants will be notified within 48 hours after submission, if they have been accepted into the workshop.

Limited to 20 participants.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

Upgrading your membership/joining APA does not guarantee acceptance into this workshop.


01/02 Applications open for APA|DC chapter members at 9 am ET

*Professional & Leader levels only*

01/05 Applications open for APA members from other chapters at 9 am ET

*Professional & Leader levels only*

01/20 Applications close

*Final applications notified by January 22nd*

01/23 Phase One - Attendees receive info on one of three assignments available for bidding via email. After selecting one assignment, project briefs will be emailed to attendees.

01/30 All finished, polished treatments/bids must be emailed to “art buyer” by close of business.

02/06 Phase Two - Workshop begins promptly at 9:30 am EST ~ 2 hours long


$80 for APA DC members (Professional & Leader levels only)

$100 for APA members of other chapters (Professional & Leader levels only)

Carleen Mitchell is an award winning executive producer. She orchestrates every phase of still and motion production from initial concept through final delivery. Clients like PBS, TED, and Under Armour have benefited from her creative solutions and meticulous attention to detail.

While based in DC, Carleen has produced shoots across the country and around the globe including concurrent shoots in Kenya, the U.S. and Japan. Prior to launching her production company, Carleen spearheaded marketing and promotions for the Washington Nationals. Earlier roles include marketing and production at Discovery, PBS, and the NFL Players Association.

When she's not on set, she enjoys losing to her daughters at UNO and escaping to the beach.

Jen Schmitz is a Senior Agent at Redeye, an artist agency based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to joining the agency, Jen supported artists via creative production and photo editing at organizations like Airbnb, VSCO, and others.

Redeye represents photographers, directors, set designers, and stylists to ad agencies, corporations, design firms, and production companies of all sizes. The agency specializes in working with artists who are also pursuing their art, supporting all aspects of their vision.

Jess Oldham

Executive Producer / Art Director / Consultant

Jess has amassed over 20 years of experience in the creative industry, having served in a variety of production and leadership roles for some of the world’s leading lifestyle brands. She currently leads her own production company, assisting clients in all facets of their creative, photo, and visual storytelling campaigns–from casting to production.

Prior to launching her own practice, Jess served as the Director of Creative Services, and later Design Director, for Converse where she oversaw and executed brand and creative direction globally. She served in similar roles for Athleta and Reebok, focused on elevating and re-defining their photographic points of view through a series of brand, motion and digital design projects spanning the performance fitness and lifestyle categories. She is dedicated to infusing diversity and inclusion into every aspect of her work, and to helping create authentic and narrative-driven stories that capture the essence of the brands she represents. Over the course of her career, her photo and creative services agency has been instrumental in launching the careers of a number of successful artists.

Jess studied Photojournalism at Boston University and held multiple positions in publishing in both Boston and New York. She currently resides with her family in Boston, Massachusetts.


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