Out of Synch: Photographers vs the Music Industry – Part 4

During the last few posts, we’ve been discussing music licensing within photographic and video work.

Part 1 covered the value of music within photographic and video work.

Part 2 talked about the growing accessibility of legal, low cost music licenses.

Part 3 explained how licensing works and what approach you should take to fit your brand.

Now that you have the tools, I’d like to conclude by explaining what can happen if you choose to ignore the information that’s been shared in this series.

As photographers and videographers, most of us are aware of copyright law and what infringement means. Still, the question that circles in our professional community is, “if I use unlicensed music, will I really get caught?”

Over the years, the RIAA has pursued people who have large amounts of illegal downloads on hard drives. Many of these people lost in court and then went bankrupt. Was it worth it?

Record labels, publishers, and …

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To Sell More, Think More Like Your Customer

Q. How do you educate your clients about Pictage and the process for ordering after their event?

After our initial meeting with potential wedding clients, we send them a link to a recently released wedding.  Ideally, the wedding will have some commonality with the wedding they are planning whether it be venue, color scheme, or the couple’s personality. This gives our potential clients an idea of our process and specifically shows the detailed categories we employ for each event. It also clearly shows our pricing structure for reprints, enlargements, specialty products, etc.

Q. Do you release the Pictage event directly to clients or to both clients and guests?

We release to both clients and guests unless the client specifically requested it to remain private. While we realize this goes against the optimization guidelines from Pictage, we had too many confused clients when we released only to them. We would find out weeks later that …

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The Power of Personal Projects – Part II

Are you balancing work that fills your bank account with work that fills your soul?

We’ve all made excuses. 

“I’m too busy trying to finish projects for my clients.”

“I’m too exhausted to wake up a the crack of dawn to chase perfect light.”

“I’ve got to focus on work that pays the bills!”

Sure, there are plenty of good excuses. But the truth is: you can’t afford to avoid personal projects. Consider the risks. Without work that fuels your creativity and feeds your spirit, you’re sprinting down a path to boredom and burnout.

To explore the power of personal projects, The Photo Life is publishing a series of posts from photographers who have embraced risk and pursued long-term personal projects. The second post in the series is an enlightening Q & A with photographer Dave Wittig.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE A SLIDESHOW of Dave’s ongoing personal project, The Naked Portraits.

Why do you make time for personal projects?

Because …

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When Fear is a Good Thing

No one told me about ‘The Fear’ when one is the primary photographer.

The Fear that an essential piece of gear will be forgotten or break during the shoot. The Fear that you’ll be late.

The Fear that you’ll miss The Kiss. The Fear of managing all the group photos in too little time.

These fears that give you nightmares, because you only have one chance to get it right.

Some fears can be lessened through systems and planning. You know the drill: charge your batteries, clear your cards, pack your bags, figure out directions, arrive early, scope the scene. Other fears can be relieved by pre-visualizing the day. Read the schedule, close your eyes, and mentally walk through every part of the day.

My greatest fear, though, is the one closest to my purpose. How can I capture the depth of experience of a bride and groom without distracting from that experience?

A wedding can feel …

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Best Business Practices – Part 4

Spring is here, so we’re sharing a series of Best Business Practice posts featuring the team of ACEs. Get to know them and learn tips and tricks that will streamline your studio this season! As any ACE will tell you, you can’t do it all. Successful photographers understand this, which is why they are masters of time management.

When building your business systems, use these time management tips:

1) Automate: Don’t waste time on monotonous tasks! Automation is as simple as creating template email responses to FAQs, automating invoice reminders, or setting up a standard workflow that you follow for each shoot. If you’re wondering how to start automating your studio, ShootQ is a great tool to help! It automates client correspondence, aspects of your workflow, and your other administrative processes.

2) Create a Set Schedule: Rather than reactively doing tasks as they pop up during your day, set certain times for different types of tasks. Not only does this establish accountability so …

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The Power of Personal Projects – Part I

When did photography become just a job?

Have you ever asked yourself this question during the dark hours of morning when you’re lingering in a drowsy dream state? You’re not alone. Many creative people who turn their passion into a profession have asked themselves this same soul-searching question. 

Ji Lee, former creative director at Google Creative Lab, summed up this frustration: “I really wanted to not only think about ideas but also make something happen!”

Instead of staying stuck in the politics of commissioned work, Ji Lee harnessed the power of personal projects to fuel his professional development. He quickly changed his career trajectory with 30,000 stickers and a guerrilla art approach.

To explore the power of personal projects, The Photo Life is publishing a series of posts from photographers who have embraced risk and pursued long-term personal projects. The first post is by Dan Milnor, a roving documentary photographer and Blurb’s “Photographer at Large,” who splits his …

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How to Balance Professional Growth and Personal Development

In 2010, I began documenting the most inspiring in women my life. Many of these women are mothers and teachers. The first photographs I created were of my own mother, aunt and grandmother – all teachers and mothers. This image was made in Brooklyn on Mother’s Day.

“The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence. Talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent with those characteristics grows.” – Milton Glaser

I believe creating a balance of professional growth and personal development is the key to success. Few creative professionals embody these values like Milton Glaser. Watch this to find out why:

As I described in my last article, art is work and there are very few shortcuts to excellence. Milton Glaser spent decades fine-tuning his craft socially (for friends in his neighborhood), through formal education (High School for the Arts, Cooper …

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Unsatisfied with Your Size? Your Business Size, that is!

**Great news! We’re hard at work updating this guide and will be re-releasing it shortly. In the meantime, check out The Photo Life Social Media Guide!**

Today thousands of smart photographers got the latest Dispatch from The Photo Life. Inside is a guide for expanding your photography business. In addition, the Dispatch is sporting a sleek new design. What you’ll get: 

1) Strategies for Expansion

2) Case Studies from Two Top Photographers who Successfully Added Associates to their Businesses

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Best Business Practices – Part 3

Since Spring is here, we’re sharing a series of Best Business Practice posts featuring the team of ACEs. Get to know them and learn tips and tricks that will streamline your studio this season! As any ACE will tell you, you can’t do it all. Successful photographers understand this, which is why they write a roadmap for their business!

Write your roadmap…

Developing business systems is like writing a roadmap to reach your goals. Once you identify the destination (your purpose and goals!), you need to decide which business systems you’re going to use to get there!

You can’t do it all. And more important, you don’t need to do it all to run a successful business! When you have a roadmap for reaching your goals, you’ll be able to decide which areas of your business deserve the most attention. If something doesn’t help you reach your goals, and doesn’t fit within your business’ purpose, then don’t waste …

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What Every Professional Photographer Should Know about Business

A few weeks ago, I was in a strategy meeting for a project I’m working on, and the question was asked, “which of these two buildings are we building?”

The difference is pretty clear. On the left – the leaning tower of Pisa. It’s famous for one reason: it’s falling over! Sure, structural engineers are slowing down the inevitable, but because of its poor foundation, the tower is falling after just a few hundred years.

On the right – the Pyramid of Giza. For most of modern history, this was the tallest man-made structure on earth. It has lasted thousands of years and has withstood earthquakes. We don’t know know exactly who built it but it stands firm. Its foundation is solid, even as it rests in desert sand.

The Pyramid of Giza isn’t as sexy as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Italian architecture is more appealing, and “artistic” than the pyramids, which …

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