Click On The Dotted Line

From model releases to job contracts, know how to use electronic signatures to get the most benefit for your work

Technological advancements are being made in photography at such a tremendous pace that it’s often difficult to keep up. Increasingly, letters and faxes seem downright antiquated, having given way to email and text messaging. Even the act of entering into a contract has changed. The days of the parties to a contract meeting for the purpose of... Read more

Case Study: Producing A Successful Estimate

Craig Oppenheimer of Wonderful Machine walks us through the details of a winning job bid for a restaurant’s photo shoot

As a producer at Wonderful Machine, I work with photographers around the world on a daily basis to help them connect with clients and estimate projects both big and small. One of our members recently asked me to help him compile an estimate for a shoot with an agency working for a steadily growing restaurant chain. The photographer was a food and lifestyle... Read more

Arbitration Friend or Foe?

As a professional photographer, should you beware of alternative dispute resolution

If there’s one aspect of contracts frequently misunderstood or rarely given due consideration, it’s provisions relating to dispute resolution, and specifically, the increasingly common use of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures of mediation and arbitration. Those who fail to fully appreciate the relative advantages and disadvantages... Read more
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Social Media & ­­­­­Copyright

Navigating the potential pitfalls of having your work circulating in social media

In the past several years, social-media websites and their everyday use have been rapidly evolving. Through it all, copyright protection has been a constant concern for creatives of all types, but particularly photographers. In my prior article "Social-Media Marketing Essentials," I covered a variety of topics surrounding social-media marketing,... Read more

The Pinterest Conundrum

Photographers struggle to determine whether Pinterest is a marketing savior or a copyright nightmare

Like so many commercial photographers, I’m always looking for new ways to market my work. We’re browbeaten constantly by the knowledge that we must use whatever technological advantages we can to reach out to new customers and engage with an audience that may be interested in paying for our work. New methods for marketing spring up like... Read more

Vision To Visuals: Wakhan Journeys

An ethereal version of Afghanistan

Shut your eyes for a moment and imagine Afghanistan. What do you see? There’s a high probability that you picture a rough mountain terrain, Taliban fighters with guns, military bases or explosions. Our brains form these subliminal visual associations through the onslaught of aggressive imagery that accompanies news headlines that have unfortunately... Read more

Social-Media Marketing Essentials

How you can balance the need to be on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media to build your business without letting them take over your life

Odds are, the last time you spoke with a fellow photographer, it came up. Not photography itself, business finances or gear, but marketing—social-media marketing, to be specific. Whether you call it by this term or not, it’s what you were discussing, and it more than likely centered around the topics of using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and/or... Read more

Stealing Inspiration

Where’s the line between inspiration, plagiarism and copyright infringement?

Every now and again, I find myself explaining photographic techniques to younger photographers. Recently, one of these conversations prompted me to recall a few of the photographers who helped me gain an understanding of those techniques and even the context in which I learned them. Often, those skills were learned as a result of seeing how other photographers... Read more

Vision To Visuals: Full Circle

Serendipity brought William John Kennedy’s 50-year-old images back to Duggal

In the 50 years since founding Duggal, there are very few business decisions I regret, save for one: As a young entrepreneur in the early ’60s, when my photo lab was just starting to become popular with artists, I provided photo capture and enlargement services to Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, among other artists. At one point, Andy Warhol’s... Read more

Laws In Collision

Artistic freedom versus licensing rights—the law is in need of a course correction before it runs afoul of itself and takes photographers into a black hole of uncertainty

What do an artist, the University of Alabama, a host of trademark law professors and members of the major collegiate athletic conferences have in common? As absurd as the question may seem, the answer is rather sobering: All are participants, to varying degrees, in a legal showdown that pits copyright law and constitutional considerations against trademark... Read more

Vision To Visuals: Keeping It Real

Rachel Hovnanian challenges perceptions of female beauty

Imagine experiencing a parallel reality of our world that serves as an antidote to our pervasive media culture, which undermines women’s sense of self-image and confidence through its artificial constructs of beauty. With social media becoming the de rigueur method of keeping connected with “friends,” women being marketed, constructed... Read more

Is Photo School Worth It?

Going into a photography program gives you the skills and knowledge to compete in an increasingly competitive environment

In recent years, the world of for-profit education has been criticized in the media for making promises of high-paying jobs upon graduation. At the forefront of these criticisms have been cooking schools, thanks in part to the proliferation of reality-based cooking shows on TV, which show young, hipster chefs spinning their magic and transforming disparate... Read more
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