contact, bio and press information
Ted Forbes is a photographer and filmmaker. He produces a successful YouTube channel called the Art of Photography which has over 200,000 subscribers to date. He is an alumni of the Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and has a bachelors degree in music from the University of North Texas. His award-winning work centers around photography education and he has worked with many of the great living photographers of our generation as part of his Artist Series project. The Artist Series is an ongoing project of short documentaries on photographers including Keith Carter, Harold Feinstein, Laura Wilson, Alexey Titarenko, Graciela Iturbide, Lourdes Grobet, William Wegman, David Brookover and Pedro Meyer.
Before producing the Art of Photography, he worked as a developer and graphic designer for the Dallas Opera, The Illustrators Partnership of America, Microsoft, Best Buy and many other clients as a freelancer. He spent 9 years as a professor at Brookhaven Community College, served for 5 years as an executive board member with the Dallas Society of Visual Communications and spent 7 years as the Head of Digital Media at the Dallas Museum of Art.
My name is Ted Forbes - my passion is making things. I work across three mediums - photography, music and film. I'm probably best known these days for my YouTube channel, The Art of Photography which I've been producing since 2008.
As a photographer, I started taking pictures when I was about 10 years old. My parents gave me a Kodak pocket camera that used 110 cartridges of film. I would take pictures of my friends or the cats and then save my money for prints and new film. I remember my mother would take me over to the Fotohut which was a stand-alone building in the parking lot of a strip mall. They'd send all their film out and it would take a week to get your prints turned around. You could pay for "rush" service, but that was beyond my budget.
I continued to make photographs, just as a hobby but my "serious interests" turned to music by the time I was in high school. I was lucky enough to study jazz guitar at the Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. I later continued to study music in college studying music theory, classical guitar and composition. I graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Music degree and was ready to set the world on fire.
I landed in a guitar store teaching private lessons with dreams of scoring film. The only way to do this was for me to move to Los Angeles and starve for another 10 years and I wasn't really interested in that price tag.
But this was the mid-1990's and the new tech boom was in full swing. I ended up taking a job with a startup company that was making music software called Red Ant. Red Ant later changed its name to iSong and was an incredible experience. It was the right mix of time and place and the staff was probably the greatest group of people I've ever worked with.
My first responsibilities were transcribing Jimi Hendrix solos - learning how to play them and then having my hands filmed for a video. This was all loaded in to software that allowed people to slow down the recording and see what my hands were doing. It was a lot of work and I got really good at it.
Unfortunately, 2001 was the year the economy crashed. I saved my money knowing "something was up" and left a few months before iSong had to close the doors. I miss that group of people to this day.
Needing to pay my rent, I started designing websites for people. Flash was the craze of the internet at this time. I dove in head first and started doing code-based animation projects. I really wanted to do video work, but cameras were way too expensive and computers weren't fast enough to edit really without more expensive equipment to go with them. Flash was a way of making motion projects that I could do.
Flash is long-gone now but I did a lot of work for the Dallas Opera. I made Flash-based projects for each of their operas for 3 season. There were 15 or so total. This lead to other clients and I became known for working with arts-based organizations.
Eventually I needed a change and was fortunate to get a full-time job working at the Dallas Museum of Art. Soon after I was hired the Museum wanted to move towards doing podcasts about the works in the collection. iTunes was really hot at that point and one day they asked if I could do video. This was around the time that computers were fast enough to edit video with. Camcorders capable of HD video were actually affordable and even DSLR's were starting to have HD video capabilities on them.
But I needed to practice. I needed a project I could screw up on and make all my mistakes so at work I would be prepared. So I started my own podcast. Photography was my passion and there weren't any really good podcasts on photography so I made the show I wanted to see. The original plan was to make about 10 shows and that would be it. But it started a conversation. I attracted an audience. I did more than 10. In 2011 or so I started uploading my videos to YouTube and expanded my audience there.
In 2014 I was at a crossroads. I could no longer continue to do both a full-time job and make videos. I had to choose one over the other. I had been at the Museum 7 years and politics at a non-profit were starting to wear on me. I decided to take the risk and do the show full-time.
So that brings us to today. A few months ago I hit 200,000 subscribers. This last year I crowdfunded the Artist Series and I've spent most of 2016 traveling the world to interview some of the most amazing photographers in their studios.
Today I am able to combine my 3 passions of photography, film and music. My films mostly deal with subjects of photography and I'm able to do my own soundtrack work. I guess its all come full circle in a way.
And if you've read this whole thing - bless you. Its been a strange and winding road, but its provided me with a lot of diversity. I'm proud to be doing what I'm doing today - making videos for YOU!