Out of Synch: Photographers vs The Music Industry

Dove Wedding Photography

The Music Biz vs Photographers: Part I.

In keeping with our commitment to serve up timely topics, we’re launching a series of posts focusing on music licensing for professional photographers. Share your experience and voice your opinion by commenting below!

Over the last few months there has been buzz about photographers and filmmakers getting fined or sued for using unlicensed music on  their websites, slideshows and videos.

There are plenty of forum posts and magazine articles where photographers share their opinions on the matter, but I thought it would be interesting to hear directly from someone inside the music industry. Living in Nashville, it is fairly easy to connect with music business leaders and artists. So, let me introduce you to my friend John Thompson, Director of one of EMI’s publishing departments.

John has been an influential figure in the music industry for over 20 years. He has worked in both the business and …

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A Photographic Love Affair

I’ve fallen in love with many women, a dozen or so cities, and innumerable moments in time. But I’ve only ever fallen in love with one camera – the Leica S2.

By love I mean that irrational exuberance that can overcome any obstacle. That encounter with such beauty, intelligence, or elegance that compels me to rethink, even abandon, the way I do everything. That compulsion that allows me to gladly sacrifice almost anything to feel it once more, or prolong it just a little. Of course, love is also many other things, like the ability to overlook glaring faults. Some might say I’m actually describing infatuation, but they would be wrong – it’s love!

I’ve claimed to be in love with this camera since I saw the press-release images of it, admittedly that might be more like infatuation, or like saying I love Keira Knightley because I saw her in a beautiful film. Spending …

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Show & Tell: How to Sell Boudoir Books

In-house sales work best with boudoir clients. But what does this mean? It means you have to find a way to show your client an album before they see their final prints.

Here are my tips and tricks for boosting book and album sales specifically for boudoir photographers!

1. Show and sell

Have particular products in mind for your boudoir clients? Great! Then, you must show them to sell them! When I shoot boudoir sessions, I have hair and make-up artists come to my studio, so clients see my books in front of them while they’re getting styled. They naturally want to look through the books. Initially, the client may be looking to see how other women have posed or what they’ve worn (or not worn!) in their sessions. But they always end up admiring the book! I have several sample books at my studio for my clients to experience. I only display books …

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Lifestyle Baby Photography Part Four: The Session Overview

In my last three articles, I expressed my beliefs regarding the beauty of real life and I detailed ways to overcome client insecurity. With this philosophical platform under our feet, let’s discuss the session itself!

The only way these types of sessions can be effective is if the photographer believes the ‘Real Life is Beautiful’ mantra. Each session must be approached as an opportunity to capture something special, regardless of how mundane the subject matter may seem. If the photographer doesn’t truly believe that reality can be beautiful, he will be focused on all of the things that do not matter, rather than on capturing the things that do. To effectively orchestrate a true lifestyle session, a photographer must give up his desire to control and create, and allow himself to enjoy the opportunity to observe and document. With that in mind, I’ll share my approach to lifestyle sessions.

Prior to my …

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Five Steps to Powerful Portraits

©2011 Justine Ungaro

Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. – Yousuf Karsh

It can be as simple as a photographer, a subject and a window. Or it can be as complex as a photographer, an art director, an entourage of assistants, a gaggle of stylists and multiple strobes.

Portraiture, in its varied forms, is one of the most powerful genres of photography. Perhaps it’s because humans love staring at each other? Perhaps it’s because creativity and curiosity go hand-in-hand? Regardless, humans seem hard-wired to engage with compelling portraits.

Since Spring’s seasonal shoots are often fueled by portraits, lifestyle shoots and engagement sessions, we wanted to share some words and images that will inspire and illuminate your work. Over the past year, a few seasoned pros from the Pictage community have shared their secrets …

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What Every Photographer Should Know about Pinterest


Here at The Photo Life, we don’t believe in secret formulas or overnight success stories. We believe the only right way of doing business is the one that serves your unique clients and grows your business the old-fashioned way. Hard work and happy clients are your foundation for success. Different systems work for different studios, so the key is finding one that suits your clients and your business! That’s why we’re eager to bring you timely topics that spark debate. Voice your opinion by commenting below!

It’s the best thing since whiteboards in college dorms! It’s a breeding ground for copyright infringers!

Those strong statements sum up the debate currently raging like a wildfire among creative professionals. Two things are certain: neither Pinterest nor the debate about its value are going away. Just the opposite is true.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Pinterest’s seemingly stratospheric social power. Nearly 1.5 million unique …

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Power to the People – Put Your Clients First

We’re sold the dream. Being our own person. Owning our own lives. Maybe it’s the idea if you work hard, you’ll get there. Maybe it’s the idea that it’s a birthright for being who we are. Maybe it’s just a burning desire to get somewhere. But slice it how you like, one way or another, we’re always beholden to someone. If it’s not ‘the man,’ then it’s the planner who passes you the business, the client who posts the reviews, or the blog that features your images.

Forget independence. Forget freedom. Forget the notion that going for the gold means we’re a hop, skip, and a step away from strutting down easy street, owing nothing to no one. Because the question isn’t whether you own your life. The question is who you want to be beholden to.

My bet? Go with the client. I’m not saying to forget the partnerships, skip the …

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Learn How to “Read” Light

Since there is so much to discuss, join me at Office Hours on March 5, 2012 (10:00 AM PT) for my FREE Webinar Series. The topic of discussion will be exposure, both in the camera and in post-production. You all know that I’m a Lightroom advocate, so we’ll be talking about Lightroom 4 and all the new exposure controls in this new release of the software. As always, this is a first-come, first-serve webinar, so sign up and show up early!

Jared Platt’s ‘Office Hours’ are Sponsored by The Photo Life and Pictage. For more information about Jared Platt go to http://www.jaredplattworkshops.com. For more information about Office Hours and The Photo Life, go to http://www.thephotolife.org/authors/jared-platt-authors-2.

Let me take you back a few years. Just ten years ago, we were transitioning from film to digital and twenty years ago, digital was still very Buck Rodgers and while it was a cool idea, everyone said that …

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Getting Goals – Divide and Conquer for Results

“Most have lists for their groceries.  Few have lists for their lives” – Robin Sharma

Something that often gets overlooked in our hectic world are our goals; the things we want and work hard for every day of our lives.  We all have them in some way shape or form, but are we really utilizing the power of ones goals?

Having done this myself at the time I transitioned into photography fulltime, I am a firm believer that successful goal setting can move your life forward in ways you might find hard to believe.

So what’s the secret to successful goal setting?

First, you have to divide your goals into all the categories of your life, not just one broad “life” category.  Next you have to actually write them down!!!  Putting them in writing does the trick!

Here’s how I break mine down:

Personal goals – What are my fitness goals this year?  How about the …

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Lessons Learned from a Photographer Planning his own Wedding

New Orleans by Paul Morse

Planning our wedding has been intense, fun, and quite a learning lesson. The experience gave me a much different perspective on what new clients see while searching for photographers and other professionals who make their wedding day special.

The First Impression

At the beginning of our planning process we met with the general manager of the venue where we wanted to host our wedding. We looked through their display albums out of curiosity and for decor ideas. There was strong work by local photographers, but surprisingly none of the albums had contact information for the photographers printed inside! The albums had the photographer’s name, but no phone number, email address or website.

The ‘A List’ and the ‘Black List’

After settling on the venue, we asked the general manager for recommendations for bands and florists. She presented us with an extensive list of people she had a positive experience working with. It was golden! …

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