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Monday, March 3, 2008

Your Studio And The New Economy

Pursuing a solid licensing strategy for now and the future will enable you to weather the storms of today's photo business reality

To help photographers keep track of their usage license, usagelicense.org will launch in the first quarter of 2008. This site is dedicated to the registering of usage licenses for photographers. You'll have the ability to name the agency, name the client, name yourself as the photographer, then copy and paste the agreed upon usage license. Usagelicense.org will keep a permanent record of your license. It also will generate a badge and a unique serial number for you to include with your invoice indicating the license has been registered.

The approach behind usagelicense.org is that it gives you the opportunity to register whatever type of usage license suits your needs. You may use software to generate your usage license and customize it with some of your own language or you might have a custom license that you use based on advisement from your legal council. The database will have a locked record of the license that will be easily accessible by you or your client. When the license expires, an e-mail will automatically be sent to all the parties associated with the job. The site also will have information and resources concerning usage licenses and how to manage them. Best of all, the site will be a free service to all photographers who register.

You're A Businessperson

No matter how creative you are, you're also a businessperson. There's nothing to be ashamed about that. Being successful in photography means being successful in business and keeping your eye on the rapidly changing marketplace. Adopting a habit of always considering the way your photography will be licensed only will benefit you. As a matter of fact, there's no downside except for the extra management work you'll have to do.

There are many opportunities afforded us by the technology that currently pervades our lives. Take a little part of your right brain and make it have a meeting with the left. You'll find that even though you're an artist, your inherent ability to be creative will provide you with a powerful tool to figure out how to make savvy business decisions as well. And, if you feel like picking up a copy of The Wall Street Journal to keep on top of the current business climate, I don't think anyone will taunt you for not being a real photographer. Because success is something that everyone respects.The landscape of the photography industry is changing rapidly. With fees for our services and other business issues, our work is becoming more akin to a commodities market. Effectively making money in a world that's offering more and more different venues for photography requires a new way to look at our business. The effective management of usage rights is paramount to making a great living as technology growth and innovation spur radical changes in the uses of our images.


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