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The Art of the Personal Project: Tim Tadder

A Photo Editor's Blog - 9 hours 18 min ago

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects. A personal project is the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director/photo editor or graphic designer. This column features the personal projects of photographers who were nominated in LeBook’s Connections. http://www.lebook.com/timtadder

Today’s featured photographer is: Tim Tadder

Las Muertas








How long have you been shooting?
I spent 4 years as a photojournalist before entering the advertising world in 2005

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Both. And, it’s complicated. My father was a professional photographer in Baltimore so I grew up around the craft. During my 5-year stint as a high school teacher I picked up a camera as a hobby during my vacations. In 1999 I left teaching and started freelancing at the local newspaper. After two years grinding doing community news I went to graduate school for photojournalism at Ohio University. That lead me to California and eventually to the advertising industry.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
The Las Muertas projects was inspired by the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos.

Two things came into play that inspired this project. First and foremost a wild fire burned homes and land very close (across the street) from our studio. It turned the landscape into this apocalyptic wasteland that I would pass daily. There was incredible beauty in the destruction, I knew I wanted to feature it, I was not sure how.

Then Halloween happened, and I saw people in costume walking the sidewalks past this barren landscape and a light bulb turned on. Being in Southern California, the Dia De Los Muertos holiday is very much an influence and the landscape was the perfect setting for featuring the subject matter.

Dia De Los Muertos is on November 2nd each year and its is a day in Mexican culture where the dead are remembered and celebrated. It is said that on that day the dead are able to walk through purgatory and visit their earthly haunts. The wildfire destruction to me, represented this purgatory. So that stage was set, and the rest of the project seemed to come together from there.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This was just a one day shoot followed up with a couple of days of postproduction. This is concept based not documentary so the time invested is more in the conceptualizing and pre/post production. Less time shooting more time planning and refining.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
That varies, there are things I spend a lot of time on that never work and something’s I spend a few days on that work really well. Time for me never determines the success of the project, because my projects don’t require months and months. I don’t have that kind of personal time to invest in my work. Between being a husband, father, and running a business I feel that my days of long-term projects are on hold. I find that the projects I can do are shorter an well thought out, which affords me the ability to keep my priorities central and my life balanced.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I don’t agree with this point of view. I feel that my personal work should be my portfolio. That’s who I am as a visual communicator. My work is personal, and I pour my soul into every job I do, so if there is a disconnect between my personal work and my portfolio, I feel that my voice will be inauthentic. I want to inspire creative’s with my vision and my personal work is the vehicle.

I get more projects based off my personal work than any other images. Literally we get assignments that the creative is my personal work with the logo. Clients and agencies sometimes fall in love with the visuals and they want to contract it for their own messaging. That’s what drives my revenue, the more personal projects I do the more commercial projects I get. It’s a simple recipe that works.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I have never posted them on Reddit or Tumblr, but others have. Its crazy but the moment I release a new project it gets picked up and spread around the web quite quickly. If it hits Reddit, then game on, and the viral thing happens. We have enjoyed the success of some really powerful viral exposure, which always leads to magazine articles, TV interviews, and a zillion blog posts. Ultimately this leads to commercial exposure and success. The Las Muertas series has been featured around the world on tons of blogs and media outlets. Its been extremely well received in Mexico, and we are currently bidding a project based on this creative for a beer company. I am most proud that the Mexican audience likes the work.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Yes see above. Las Muertas, when googled turns up tons and tons of results from news outlets and blogs around the world.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes we use them for mailers and source book ads, as well as post on creative sites like Behance.net We share them with our audience every chance we get.

Las Muertas is a celebration of the Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos or “Day of the Dead.” Inspired by the beautiful designs and colors of the November 2nd festival, I set out to pay homage to the beauty of the tradition but to also put an environmental connection to the dead and their journey. This project was a collaboration between talented artists that believed in the concept and lent their time and passion to make it a success. The beautiful head dresses were made by the celebrated Dia De Los Muertos sculpture artist Krisztianna and the incredible wardrobe provided by stylist Julia Reeser.


Tim Tadder is a Southern California based creative photographer and director with a strong sport and conceptual portfolio. Since 2012 Tim Tadder has published multiple personal projects that have enjoyed viral success. The most wildly acclaimed “Water Wigs” received over 1 million unique views within the first 24 hours of publication.

Tadder is often hired to produce images and motion projects with either a sport thematic or a conceptual visual challenge. Recent clients include, Mercedes Benz, Reebok, NFL, New Era, McDonalds, Merck, Capri Sun, Modelo, Tecate, Bud Light, Avia, WD-40, Kia, Proctor and Gamble, Walmart

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.  She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty.  Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.


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Categories: Business

Wired or Wireless Tethering?

ASMP's Strictly Business - 19 hours 32 min ago

[The Ultimate Tethering Guide]

While wired technology currently offers more robust tethering support, wireless tethering has one huge advantage – no wires to trip over, get tangled up in or constrain the photographer’s movement.

The following chart provides a detailed comparison of the other capabilities of wireless tethering as compared to wired tethering:

Wired Tethering Benefits Achievable via Wireless
View images on a large monitor as you shoot Yes
Instantly see images at full resolution Yes*
*If JPEG files are transmitted, they will be full resolution but some data will be lost due to compression
Check critical focus, composition, styling, etc. Yes
Adjust camera settings more quickly and easily Yes
Control camera settings and remote trigger from connected device Yes
Share images with art director/client on site or remotely Yes
Collaborate more effectively with assistants, stylists and subjects Yes
Tag, rate, and compare images in your native catalogue software NO
Share images on multiple devices Yes
Back Up Raw Files to hard-drive while shooting Yes
Port Images to editing computer via hard drive NO
Implement Raid System during shoot NO
Capture directly into a RAW processor NO
Capture and save images (RAW) into a folder Depends*
*Depends whether images are sent to a personal device or computer and the App or software to which the wireless transmitter transfers images.

Download The Ultimate Tethering Guide for in-depth instructions on setting up both wired and wireless tethering workflows using dSLRs and medium format cameras including:

  • Tethering cable compatiblity
  • Securing and protecting your cables and camera during tethered shoots
  • Setting up a wired or wireless tethered workstation
  • Wireless transmitter options
  • Shooting wirelessly into your catalog using watched folders
  • Setting up an automated back up system for your tethered captures


Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Dewi Lewis Interview Part 2

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 9:58am

Jonathan Blaustein: How do you define great? What motivates you? What do you think is interesting?

Dewi Lewis: It’s almost indefinable, isn’t it? For me, great work is work that excites me. If I see something that I feel is fresh, and has something to say, I think that’s quite important to me, rather than photographers just producing aesthetically pleasing images.

What encourages me to publish something is when I’m surprised and exhilarated by it. It’s as simple as that, really.

JB: When I think about your program, the words “Social Documentary” come into my mind. Do you think that’s a fair description?

DL: There are a number of the books that certainly come under that category. But there are also some that really defy it, I suppose. Some are firmly placed within a “Photography as Art” environment.

But I would say I’m more likely to respond to documentary work than conceptual or abstract work.

Taking it forward a bit, I’ve done many landscape books over the years, but usually those landscapes are saying something about the social or human condition. For me, they need to have that level, otherwise they’re not very interesting.

JB: We might call it cultural criticism?

DL: Yeah. Essentially. I’m looking for projects that say something about our culture as it’s lived today.

There are books we’ve done that have a more historical perspective to them. But essentially I’m really looking at what’s happening in a period that you could bracket by two or three years, at any time.

I’m really interested in the human aspect. Why do people do the things they do? And it’s probably no more complicated than that, actually.

JB: That was the impression that I got. And you find projects by word of mouth, I’m sure. You work with some artists multiple times, like Phil Toledano.

And you look at work at portfolio reviews. But I also noticed on your website that you do accept unsolicited submissions, if people follow a certain set of rules.

DL: Yeah, we get recommendations from other photographers. We work with people we’ve worked with before. But we also have 2 open submissions each year. Generally, one in May, and one in November. Anyone can send in work.

What I don’t like, and what is a real problem, is people sending through Dropbox. Links, and all the rest, throughout the year.

I really do like to focus it down to these two periods. It’s surprising. Most of the work that comes in from open submissions is not that interesting, I have to admit. But you do find things you’ve never come across before. Photographers who are totally unknown. And that’s kind of interesting.

We do about 20 books a year, and I would say it’s pretty rare to get more than 1, maximum 2 from open submissions in a year.

JB: Your website was almost shockingly honest. I’ve never done this before, but I want to read back to you some text from the site. If you’ll allow.

You said, “We’re increasingly finding that we can only publish established, international names, projects with major exhibitions, or those that come with sufficient funding to underwrite the risk. There are now only very few first books that we’re able to do with emerging photographers.”

DL: Yeah.

JB: That’s naked honesty right there. And that has to be a function of all of the increased competition that we were talking about 15 minutes ago, no?

DL: Not really. When I started in publishing, one of the reasons there were very few photography publishers was that photography books simply didn’t make money. Or were very marginal.

There were people such as Aperture, but they were doing it by raising funds as a charity. Many of the other photo books were either mega-names, like Ansel Adams or Cartier-Bresson, or you would find that a mainstream publisher would publish one or two photo books, and then they would drop them.

They were trying them, finding they weren’t financially successful, and then moving on to something else.

It’s never been easy, financially. When I started in the Cornerhouse days, the arts center was a registered charity, so it was much easier to access public funding for books. A number were funded from public sources.

When I went independent, most of those sources dried up. It was a matter of how do we finance books? For the first 10 years, I had to finance them myself. The only way to do that was to do other work, so I did consultancy, and put that money into the books.

We developed it slowly like that. Then, about 10 years ago, there was a switch when it became apparent that increasingly, other publishers were expecting photographers to at least partially fund books.

That switch has just developed exponentially, really.

When we started, 100% was funded by us. Now, it’s generally no more than 50 to 60 %. Some books we totally fund, others we fund partially, and then others, we have to have totally funded. It’s that balance that helps to keep us going.

JB: In your opinion, why has there never been a significant demand in the marketplace? Why don’t they make money?

DL: It’s misleading, in a way, because you have to look at all forms of book publishing. And indeed music publishing. If you look at new fiction, for example, it’s not unusual for novels by unknown writers just to sell in the few hundreds.

JB: Sure.

DL: They don’t make any money. It’s always that balance where a mainstream publisher will decide on taking a risk on certain titles, to see whether they can make them work. We did publish fiction for a while, because my degree with in English, not photography.

We were very successful in getting various awards, but we weren’t very successful in terms of sales. When I started doing fiction, you could get about 1000 copies of advanced orders into the shops. We stopped when those advanced orders had dropped to about 200.

We were no different than any other publisher. The book shops just stopped taking a risk on new fiction.

Back to photo books, there are big sellers. The last Salgado, I know that well over 100,000 copies have been sold. Helmut Newton’s last book was also probably well over 100,000. However, most photo books, these days, are produced in runs of between 500-2000 copies.

It’s partly that the book shops don’t really support visual books very much. If you take that forward, if you’ve got a limited amount of space in a book shop, and you’re trying to generate revenue from it, you put onto those book shelves the things that you know will sell.

You don’t put on photo books when you can put on best-selling novels, or how-to manuals and guidebooks. It’s very difficult to get the level of distribution that’s necessary to pump up those physical numbers.

JB: If you’re working with established artists with a collector base and a standing in the marketplace, like Martin Parr, with whom you’ve worked before, and you know the books will sell you can go ahead and lay out those funds for publication and distribution.

If you have no way of knowing if the books will sell, you’ll shift that risk onto the photographer. And for that, they get the benefit of your expertise, design team, and distribution network.

Is that the way it works?

DL: It’s more or less the way it works. Obviously, we don’t fear too much when we’re doing a Martin Parr book. It doesn’t mean they’ll sell in enormous numbers, but we’re pretty confident that we’ll at least break even, or make a small profit, and generally do a lot better than that.

But if you look at work by an emerging photographer, you’ve got to realize it’s not only the production cost of the book. We also have other direct costs, for example, my attendance on press to supervise the printing.

Then we have the issue of getting out press copies, which we generally do on a worldwide basis. On a dollars basis, that’s between $1500-2000. Attendance on press will be another $1500. This is just covering expenses, not getting any payment for the time involved.

Even if you have a book which is funded in terms of production costs, we would generally expect it to cost us anything from $4000-5000 to launch it.

JB: And books are heavy objects, and you need to ship them to stores around the world.

DL: Yeah, that’s the next factor.

JB: Of course.

DL: It’s not usually understood that for most bookshops, books are sold on a “sale or return” basis. For Barnes and Noble, for example, you’re not actually selling the book to them. You’re lending it to them.

If they sell it, you get paid, if they don’t, it gets sent back to you.

Essentially, you’re covering the cost of sending the books out, they can be sent back to you, and your distributor will then charge you a cost for actually handling it.

JB: Oh my goodness.

DL: You can actually lose money on certain books. Even above the cost of production.

JB: Let me read you the next quote from your website, as we set it up perfectly: “Please also remember that we must be able to sell the books that we publish. Please be realistic, when assessing your project, and don’t waste your or our time by sending proposals which have only a limited commercial appeal. Just because all your friends say it would make a great book doesn’t mean that anyone would buy it.”

DL: Yup.

JB: Yowzers. It’s like a kidney punch. You’re taking the air out of people’s false expectations.

DL: It doesn’t work though, Jonathan.

JB: It doesn’t work?

DL: They still send them in.

JB: You’re asking people to be honest with themselves about their dreams, which is very difficult to do.

But what do people buy? That’s where I wanted to head. You’re telling people that you have a sense of what commercial appeal is. Within the market that does exist, of people that do buy photo books, outside of a big name, how do you know what people will buy? When do you feel comfortable?

DL: Essentially, you never know, so you have to go on your own judgement. You go on the basis of belief in a project. Sometimes, I ignore the commercial reality.

One of our big successes last year was Laia Abril’s book “The Epilogue.” Now, that’s the story of a girl dying from bulimia, and the impact on her family. If you just put that in a sentence, and emailed me saying you had this great book project, my instant reaction would be, “How on Earth can I sell it?”

But I was so convinced by the photographer, by the way I knew she would approach the subject, that I thought it was an important book that needed doing. It was one where we had no funding towards it, a big financial risk. But we still felt it was important to do.

It’s one of the great things about being a small publisher, where I’m not working for a large company, nor responsible to a committee, or anyone else. Caroline and I can make decisions where we say, “We really want to do this, and if we lose badly on it, then we’ll have to balance it out with other things.”

We can work that way. There can be projects that come along where I do think, “Well, this is so interesting that I don’t even really think about what the audience is out there.”

I can give you an example of projects that I don’t think work.

JB: Great. Let’s hear it.

DL: Something that happened in the UK a few years ago was that students at the colleges seemed to be told to do a very personal project. They must have been told by tutors to go off to houses that had some meaning to them. It wasn’t unusual to have people who were going to their grandmother’s house, or something like that, photographing the things that had memories for them as a child.

JB: Of course. Dead grandparents?

DL: Dead grandparents.

JB: Yeah, that was big.

DL: Yup. You have to be realistic. Unless there’s something REALLY stunning about the photography, it’s not a subject that’s going to appeal to a wide audience. That seems obvious to me.

And if friends, relatives, etc may get a feel from it, most people won’t. I always say, when I’m giving a talk, that I can’t explain what photographers should send in to me. I don’t really know what I’m looking for until I see it.

This is the great difficulty. But there are guidelines you can give people, and one of the things I always say is that we’re publishing on an International basis. Therefore, the work has to carry across International boundaries. It has to resonate at the human level, so that it touches something within a human being.

There’s a book we did called “Mother and Father,” by Paddy Summerfield. He photographed almost exclusively in the back garden of his parent’s house in Oxford, as they were getting older.. His Mother had Alzheimer’s. She died. His father was left alone. Then, his father died.

He photographs, more or less, the last 10 years of their lives. But almost every photograph is taken in the back garden.

How small scale can you get, in one sense? But the story that it tells is such a human story, that it leaps all International boundaries. It’s understood by everyone, without reading any text.

It’s a very moving book, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from. That is a very difficult subject too, but it’s done reasonably well in the shops, and had a good response from the critics and the audience.

JB: You’re looking for Universality?

DL: Yeah.

JB: This is a big reason why I wanted to interview you. I write about books each week, and we’ve already agreed everyone wants one. But it’s rare that people out there get to hear such specific advice from someone with your expertise.

Let’s carry it forward, a bit. Where do you see it all going? If we’re talking about an industry that’s already had this much disruption, do you ever ask yourself what the climate will look like in 5 or 10 years?

DL: I try to look ahead, but I try not to respond to it.

JB: What are you suspecting?

DL: Let me tell you the problems, as I see them. Perhaps the biggest is that so many photographers now have books. Every photographer wants a book, as we said before. And every photographer now wants to do a more impressive book than other photographers have done.

By that, I mean in terms of the object. Not necessarily the content.

JB: That’s the competitiveness that we discussed earlier.

DL: Yeah, so there’s a sense in which they want a more complicated design, or more complex means of production. They’re driving up the expectations, which is good, in some ways, but it is making it increasingly impossible for many of them to ever get any of their money back.

You have some designers doing the same thing. Some of them don’t understand the technicalities, and are adding cost unnecessarily. Essentially, I think you have designers trying to leapfrog each other. On and on it goes.

The same thing is happening with photographers. I think it’s starting to go too far. I see that as a problem.

JB: Understood.

DL: I don’t see digital as a problem, as a competitive element, and I don’t see it happening over the next 5 years or so. Certainly, if you talk to publishers who are doing digital books, they’re pretty disappointed with the results they’re getting.

Not necessarily in terms of the production of them, but in terms of the response from audiences. People aren’t really buying them.

JB: Right, because is a digital book any different than a website? Or an app? The things people want out of a book are the tactile qualities.

DL: Right. Is it any different to a .pdf? It depends, though. If you have a book like “Mother and Father,” it’s very poetic and quiet. What you want is simply the images in the sequence that they are.

If you had a book that had something to do with the Yangtze River, say, then you might want to have lots of external links to images within the pages. You might want things about population, history, particular towns, cultural elements within the River area.

You can imagine video, audio, all sorts of extra things being brought into the digital book. That makes it interesting and exciting, something that can’t be done on paper. There are some books that would work digitally, and there are some that would be a disaster. It would add nothing, and simply take away from them.

So the digital question is almost a side issue.

JB: That’s not surprising. It’s one thing to read a thriller on a Kindle, but with photo books, people want to hold a set of photos in their hands.

DL: For me, what’s much more of a concern is that already the large book shops have partially removed themselves from visual books. Waterstones and Barnes and Noble carry very few photo books now, and very obvious titles. I think the days of those large book shops are severely numbered.

I wouldn’t be surprised, speaking of Waterstones in the UK, I can imagine that within 5 or 6 years, they might be down to less than a dozen stores. Key stores in major cities. At the moment, I think they still have over 300.

And while speciality stores are building, I don’t think they can take up the slack across towns and cities in various countries. I think that’s a problem.

JB: Well, the big chains have been shutting down here for years.

DL: But the area I worry about most is the printers themselves. Printing presses are hungry beasts. They need a lot of material coming through. Commercial work will dry up. Things like hotels and other business will no longer produce sales brochures. They’ll put content online, and digitally in some form.

The commercial side of printing is really going to reduce. I’m not convinced that there’s enough printing demand from other areas.

JB: So the prices will go up for those that stay in business.

DL: It’s a matter of, can they stay in business? It’s a whole chain. If printers close, what happens to the printing machine manufacturers. People like Heidelberg, and KBA. Will there be enough printers for them to continue doing this heavy engineering?

Very serious stuff. I do worry a bit about that chain. That’s probably 7-10 years out, but I do think that’s a problem.

If there is an end to the printed book in the numbers that we know now, then it’s going to come from that side, not just from people switching to digital.

JB: So now, we’re dealing with proliferation. Think about Kickstarter. When people are raising money, it’s not their money. There’s not a lot of risk involved when it’s not your money. You’re just accessing the funds from others, $10 at a time.

If what you’re speculating comes true, the people who are left in business are going be able to charge a lot more for their services. If all of a sudden, it costs $150,000 to make a book, instead of $50,000, then it won’t be nearly as easy to raise other people’s money on Kickstarter, and you end up with fewer and fewer books, the way it was before.

You’re saying this is potentially a bubble?

DL: I think it’s still got a few years to live…

JB: Sure.

DL: I’m really talking about offset printing. It’s pretty complex, isn’t it. I’m thinking longer term. It’s not round the corner.

A big question is what happens on the digital printing side. It’s been around a long time now, with Indigo and others. The printing sheet is still pretty small, though it’s starting to get larger.

It’s not cost effective to do large numbers of copies digitally. Can that take up what might be lost from offset printing? It’s a very complex arena, really.

JB: I want to take you off the prognosticator seat. Predicting the future is impossible, but I was just curious to see how you imagined the future of your industry.

You’ve been a great sport, and we really appreciate your time. You’re planning on being in business for a while, and you’re still excited about what you do?

DL: 50% of the time I’m excited. And that’s enough.

JB: (Laughing.)

DL: It’s like this. Say you’re at FotoFest, for example, looking at portfolios, and you might have had a really awful day. Then the last session is something really stunning. That’s what publishing is.

You just go through a lot of shit to get to the crock at the end of the rainbow. You do find these extraordinary things, and that’s what keeps you going all the time.

Dewi Lewis on press with John Blakemore

Dewi Lewis on press with John Blakemore

Dewi Lewis Receiving World Press Photo Krazna-Krausz Award

Dewi Lewis Receiving World Press Photo Krazna-Krausz Award

 A Typology of T-Shirts

Susan Barnett – T: A Typology of T-Shirts

Stags, Hens & Bunnies - Dougie Wallace

Stags, Hens & Bunnies – Dougie Wallace

Maybe - Phillip Toledano

Maybe – Phillip Toledano

Bitter Honeydew - Kirill Golovchenko

Bitter Honeydew – Kirill Golovchenko

Martin Parr - Autoportrait (new edition being published early 2016)

Martin Parr – Autoportrait (new edition being published early 2016)

Black Country Stories - Martin Parr

Black Country Stories – Martin Parr

Working with photographer Paul Hill

Working with photographer Paul Hill


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Categories: Business

Tethering Software

ASMP's Strictly Business - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 12:01am

[The Ultimate Tethering Guide]

There are quite a few tethering software options out there and it’s important to pick the right one for your needs. Your choices include:

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
  • Manufacturer Software
  • 3rd party Tethering Software

Of these, the most popular are Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Capture One Pro, Canon EOS Utility, and Nikon Camera Control Pro.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a comprehensive RAW processing and photo management application that includes tethering functionality for select Canon, Nikon and Leica digital cameras. Lightroom offers only limited access to camera settings directly from a computer but fully supports instant viewing, zooming, rating and tagging of shots.You can even set it up to import photos into a specific Lightroom catalog as they are taken.

Like all other tethering software, Lightroom displays your high resolution files on the tethered screen as you capture them, so you can easily check focus, lighting and composition in great detail. Lightroom is available for both Windows and Mac.

Capture One Pro
Phase One’s Capture One Pro is a professional RAW converter and image editing software that also includes extensive tethering features. It enables you to capture, organize, edit, share and print images in a flexible and efficient cabled tethering workflow. Phase One also offers Capture Pilot, a tool/app that connects Capture One Pro to an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone so users can present, rate, zoom and even trigger the camera wirelessly using compatible mobile devices.

Manufacturer Software
Many of the camera manufacturers have their own tethering software. The list of software includes:

  • Nikon Camera Control
  • Sony Camera Remote Control
  • Hasselblad Phocus

3rd Party Software Options
The software listed above represent the most popular options but not all cameras are supported by them. Plus, some other applications offer additional features such as multiple camera control, advanced time lapse, HDR features and more, which you may find valuable. Tether Tools keeps an up-to-date resource list of currently available tethering software that includes a brief description of each product. The following applications, in particular, may be worth exploring.

  • Backyard EOS
  • Backyard NikonBreeze Systems
  • CameraRC
  • ControlMyNikon
  • DarkRoom
  • darktable
  • digiCamControl
  • DNA Software
  • Entangle
  • Fuji Hyper-Utility Software
  • Fuji-Flim Tethered Capture Plug-in for Lightroom
  • Kuuvik Capture
  • Olympus Capture
  • PK_Tether
  • Promote Systems USB Tether for Lumix
  • Smart Shooter
  • SofortBild
  • TetherPro

For step-by-step instructions with screen grabs showing how to tether using Lightroom and Capture One as well as additional details on manufacturer and third party tethering software, download The Ultimate Tethering Guide, free from dpBestflow.org/tetherguide.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Dewi Lewis Interview Part 1

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:46am

Jonathan Blaustein: Will you admit on the record that Arsenal Football Club is superior to Manchester United?

Dewi Lewis: Never. Never.

JB: Never?

DL: Never. Why would I admit to something that isn’t true?

JB: (laughing.) Of course. But what if I secretly deposited £200 in your Paypal account? Would that entice you?

DL: I think you’d need to add several noughts. (zeroes.)

JB: OK. That’s fair. I’m sure most of our readers don’t care about English football, so we can move on. But you do live in the Manchester area, and you’re from Wales.

You were originally a musician back in the day, yes?

DL: It’s a bit strong to say that. I played in bands in my younger years, through to my early to mid 20s, and then decided that I just wasn’t good enough.

JB: Is that typical Welsh humility, that you played in bands for close to15 years, but won’t call yourself a musician?

DL: When you play with real musicians, then you know where you are. I’m not of that standard. Nowhere near.

JB: At what point did you segue into visual art?

DL: It was a long process. I started playing in bands from about 13, in different venues. Then I became involved in performance and theater. My first job was much more related to music and theater than anything else.

JB: Makes sense.

DL: I had a general interest in the visual arts. But I met my wife, Caroline, when I was 20, and her father was a photojournalist working on The Times newspaper in London. That started to give me a stronger relationship to photography.

I got more and more fascinated by it. But then I also became involved professionally, because we had an exhibition space in the first art center that I set up.

That got me thinking more about what shows we should put on, in photography and contemporary arts. I just got increasingly involved in photography.

JB: You set up an arts facility from the ground up?

DL: Two. After University, I worked in the arts first with the local council in Cambridge. Then I ran the Fringe Festival club up in Edinburgh, for one festival.

From that, I moved to a place in North Manchester called Bury, to set up an arts association. It seemed to me we needed a building, so I found one, and we converted an early 1800’s building into a performance space with exhibition facilities, and a bar area as well.

JB: This is with public financing?

DL: Yeah. It was a registered charity, and we raised money primarily from public funding, but also the private sector.

JB: Right.

DL: That was the first one, and I ran that for six years. I then set up an arts center in Manchester called Cornerhouse. I was brought in to do a feasibility study on that, and it’s where the shift in my career really took place, I suppose.

Initially, there was interest to establish Cornerhouse for theater and visual arts. But I wanted to set up a film space in Manchester as well, because there was no good, independent cinema there. So rather than going for performance, we ended up focussing on visual arts and film.

At Cornerhouse , I got more and more involved with visual arts, that’s when the publishing started.

JB: Was the facility, in fact, in a corner house? Is that how you name such a place?

DL: It was a building quite close to a railway station, on the corner of two roads. We couldn’t come up with a name. That was the reality of it.

JB: If I told you that I was drinking tea right now, would that impress you?

DL: Not really. I almost never drink tea.

JB: So you’re typical in that you like Manchester United, atypical in that you don’t drink tea, and since you started playing in bands at 13, we probably all have visions of a little 13 year old Welsh punk smoking cigarettes, and acting tough.

Does that about sum it up?

DL: Close to that.

JB: (laughing) OK.

DL: Plus the pints of beer.

JB: (laughing) Plus the pints of beer. Now we’ve got the visual. That’s the best thing I can do, is evoke strong mental images for the readers.

Now they know that I’m drinking tea, and you’re unimpressed, and you used to be a party guy as a 13 year old punk. Now we’re getting somewhere.

DL: It was before the time of Punk, though. I’m that old.

JB: You’re being literal. In America, the term “punk” can have a broader meaning, rather than simply relating to the musical period. But my father was a lawyer when I was young…

DL: Yes?

JB: …so I appreciate your specificity with language.

DL: Understood.

JB: Moving through your career trajectory, in 1994, you founded your own publishing house with your wife as your partner? Is that correct?

DL: More or less. I started publishing at Cornerhouse Because we were primarily doing exhibitions, I came across photographers, and in discussions with them, it became clear that what they really wanted were books. And there was almost no one publishing at that time.

So in ’87, we launched the first book, and I carried on publishing there until ’94. But my job was as Director of the place, and it was quite a large organization. We had three cinemas and three floors of galleries. Bar, catering, book shop, education facilities.

So my time was pretty heavily occupied with all that.

JB: Is it still there?

DL: It’s still there, and just about to move to a new home in a couple of months time. It’s still pretty successful. (ed. note, this interview transpired in March 2015.)

But for me, the publishing side became something I became obsessed with. I ended up doing it almost all in my spare time. Although it was for Cornerhouse , I’d be spending weekends and days off developing the publishing side. As I got more involved in it, it became increasingly something I wanted to spend all my time on.

So at the end of ’93, I decided to leave Cornerhouse and set up my own company. Initially, it was just me – Caroline joined me 18 months to 2 years later. We’ve been working on it ever since.

JB: You started in 1994, in a pre-Internet world, where there were not a lot of people doing what you were doing. Everything would have been based on your catalogues, and sending them out in the mail to people, so they could see what you were going to publish.

We’re doing this interview in 2015. Photobooks are everywhere. The world you’ve been working in probably could not have changed much more. It’s almost perfectly different, I’d say. Would you agree with that assessment?

DL: Yeah, I think that’s totally true. I remember in ’95, very few people had email access. I was talking to an American photographer who told me about this new thing, the email, but when I explored it a little further, I couldn’t find anyone else who was on email. There was no point in using it until about ’96.

JB: (laughing) Unless you wanted to email yourself as a digital diary. “Good Morning, Dewi. How are you today? I’m quite well, thanks, but I still don’t like tea.”

DL: Exactly. It’s hard to remember how slow things were, in terms of early Internet access. But although it was a very different world before, I’m not sure it was problematic. You used the phone a lot more, and it was still at the point, really, where if you phoned someone, they answered.

JB: Right.

DL: These days, most people will just have answer-phone-messages. You can waste so much time trying to phone people, so you end up just emailing them instead.

JB: It’s remarkable, isn’t it? I was discussing that with a friend the other day, how if you talk to someone on the phone these days, you’ve got to schedule it in advance.

I thought we could talk about the world today, and the landscape, and what you’ve observed. How long ago was it that a book was a rare, coveted object that was a career-defining moment, and now we’re living in a world in which almost everyone has a book? Or if they want one, they can get one, one way or another.

It’s gone from scarcity to ubiquity. How do you feel about that?

DL: First of all, I totally agree with you. It was incredibly difficult for photographers to get a book in the late 80s, early 90s. I’d say, really, through to 2005-6.

JB: Still fairly recently.

DL: There were many well-known photographers who, if they got one book during their lifetime, felt that they’d really achieved something. It is such a massive change.

JB: So how do you feel about it?

DL: Negative and positive. There are too many books being produced. There’s no doubt about that. Too many photographers are producing books without really having developed the work enough.

To explain why I think that, in talks I’ve given over the years, one of the things I’ve always said to photographers, certainly in the UK, is that every book has to be deposited with the British Library. And some of the other copyright libraries in the UK.

In theory, that means that if you’re a photographer, and you publish a book, it will be deposited in that library, and then, in 200 or 300 years time, your great, great, great grandchildren can go along and ask to see a copy of that book. If you think of that longevity of the book, surely it’s worth photographers spending time getting it right.

I think sometimes things are raced through much too quickly. And very young photographers expect a book within a year or two of graduating.

JB: For things to have changed that dramatically, and that quickly, should we not parallel that to the rise of our instant gratification culture through the Internet and Social Media?

These two things go hand in hand. People’s expectations that they ought to have a book, and their ability to produce one via self-publishing, or Kickstarter funding.

It’s a very contemporary situation that we’re dealing with.

DL: Yes, there are a number of factors. One is cultural change generally. The last 15 years, certainly up to the financial crash, everyone kind of believed that they could have whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. So there’s that element.

But there’s also the element that you have to think about affluence. Western societies have become increasingly affluent, over the last 15-20 years. So people have that money to spend on things that they never did before.

I mean, a young photographer in the early 90s could never have put together enough money to publish a book. Most, today, find it possible. So there are changes in terms of the cultural environment, the access to funding that people have, and I suppose also the sense of competition.

There are far more photographers around than there ever used to be.

JB: Of course.

DL: Or at least, a lot more people around who call themselves photographers.

JB: Absolutely.

DL: They all want to compete. They all want to be seen as getting to a certain level. And the book seems to help them on that.

JB: How has the change in the landscape changed how you approach your job?

DL: It hasn’t changed that much. That’s the strange thing. There are some things that have definitely changed. I’ll talk about funding in a minute. But essentially, I don’t really see any more great projects than I used to 20 years ago.

There are more good photographers around, but there aren’t more very good photographers. It’s still hard to see great work.

[Part 2 Tomorrow]

Dewi Lewis at a Portfolio Review

Dewi Lewis at a Portfolio Review


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Categories: Business

An Introduction to Tethering

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:02am

[The Ultimate Tethering Guide]

Tethering is the connecting of a single device to another device. The term tethering encompasses the actual connectivity of digital devices as well as the integration and mounting of these devices. In the context of photo and video, both wired and wireless solutions may be used to transfer information (images, video) from your camera to another device.

Images captured using a tethered photography workflow get saved directly onto your computer’s hard drive in the folder of your choice. Tethering software then displays the images on the larger computer or tablet screen as they are captured so you can see them clearly. In some instances, what we call tethering is sometimes referred to as Direct or Instant Image Transfer – this is how you will often find it listed in camera and software manuals.

Archival tethering adds an archival backup system for your images into your tethering workflow. Tethered photography allows you to send copies to your computer, an external hard drive, or even your tablet or smartphone. When you set up an archival tethering system, every capture from every tethered shoot is automatically saved, secured, named and backed-up. Managing and organizing your photos as they’re captured, lets you spend more time shooting and less time filing. Plus you’ll be able to find specific photos you’ve already taken quickly and easily.

Tethering also helps you get the perfect photo in fewer shots. Viewing images on a larger screen is a great way for you and your clients to spot issues with focus, lighting, posing or composition. You’ll spend less time editing and your clients can let you know the moment you’ve captured the shot they are looking for. From shoot to publishing, archival tethering speeds up the process in a major way.  Tethering offers these additional benefits as well:

  • View images on a large monitor as you shoot
  • Instantly see images at full resolution
  • Check critical focus, composition, styling, etc.
  • Adjust lighting and camera settings more quickly and easily
  • Control camera settings and remote trigger from connected device
  • Share images with art director/client on site or remotely
  • Collaborate more effectively with assistants, stylists and subjects
  • Tag, rate, compare and share images while you shoot
  • Share images on multiple devices
  • Back up files to hard-drive while shooting
  • Move images from laptop to desktop in an instant
  • Reduce the chance of image loss

For more on how to set up an archival tethering system, download The Ultimate Tethering Guide.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Mastering Tethered Photography

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:01am

Cover_Art-150pxFor the past several months, ASMP and Tether Tools have been hard at work creating The Ultimate Tethering Guide, a FREE 8 chapter PDF covering everything you need to know to master wired and wireless tethering with dSLRs and medium format cameras.  Having your images pop up on a big screen or tablet as they’re captured helps you and your assistants, stylists, clients and subjects see what you’ve got, what should be adjusted and when it’s time to move on ’cause you nailed the shot!  This week, we’re featuring excerpts from the Guide. Download your copy today from www.dpBestflow.org/tetherguide. ~Judy Herrmann, Editor

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Daily Promo: Isamu Sawa

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 9:57am

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.51.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.51.39 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.51.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.52.00 PM


Isamu Sawa Photography

Who printed it?
It was printed by Bambra Press one of many generous sponsors for my recent solo exhibition “Without Water” and printed on paper supplied by K.W. Doggett both situated in Melbourne Australia.

Who designed it?
It was designed by Creative Director Derek Samuel who created all the collateral for the project including invites, exhibition banners and website (www.withoutwater.com.au)

Who edited the images?
I personally selected the images and subsequent layouts were created by Derek Samuel

How many did you make?
200. To coincide with a vast digital email marketing campaign to promote the exhibition, around 25 were sent out as special promotional invites with a bespoke ‘invite wrap’ to certain influential people such as bloggers, traditional and digital media outlets, editors of interior/lifestyle magazines and certain Instagrammers with particularly large following to generate publicity regarding the project/exhibtion. I wanted to send out something tangible and eye-catching with longevity that people could keep, pass around and leave on their coffee tables. The remaining copies were sold at the exhibition. The exhibition was a resounding success with tremendous media coverage, over 200 people on opening night and many Limited Edition prints sold.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
My agent Hart & Co (www.hartandco.com.au) and I send out digital mail-outs several times a year but this is the first time in many years that I decided to do a printed piece. Based on the amazing feedback I’ve received I will certainly be doing more in the near future.

If there is some sort of interesting backstory please feel free to share, I can craft a question around your answer. Yes definitely…some articles attached below that you could draw from…the show was held at my commercial photography studio which we turned into a ‘pop up’ gallery space and the show curated by myself. I personally project managed the entire event including marketing and acquiring sponsors (14 in total). Publicity generated was vast especially with the help of Phase One who sent out a newsletter to over 200,000 people around the world to promote the project and my alliance with the brand. Subsequently they invited me to take over their Instagram feed for a week.


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Categories: Business

Join ASMP at PPE!

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:01am

Oct. 21 – 24, 2015 at the Javits Center, NYC

Join us at Photo Plus Expo in New York City, October 21 – 24 where you can learn from industry experts, test drive the latest gear, catch up with old friends, network with fellow ASMP members and more!

Don’t miss these great opportunities to connect with ASMP:

ASMP Booth & Networking
FREE Portfolio Consultations at the ASMP booth (Members Only)
ASMP Member Meet Up
ASMP Sponsored Seminars
ASMP Member Discounts:
•   Save $150 on a Full Conference Pass
•   Take 20% off Day Passes and a la carte seminars
•   Save 7.5% on the Official Portfolio Reviews at PPE.

ASMP Booth & Networking
Visit ASMP in Booth #980 (see map) to meet members of the ASMP New York and New Jersey chapters, catch up on the latest about ASMP’s activities, learn more about all ASMP has to offer and grab your ASMP ID sticker so you can spot and network with fellow members throughout the show.

Right next door in Booth #978, you can meet with representatives from PLUS (the Picture Licensing Universal System) and learn more about their image and license registries, which help people who want to use your images find you.

FREE Portfolio Consultations at the ASMP booth
(Limit one per member.)  Once again at PhotoPlus Expo, ASMP is offering members a free consultation/portfolio review with a leading business and creative consultant. This year’s featured consultants are:

  • Elaine Totten Davis – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • Katherine Hennessy – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • JP Perlmutter* – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • Kristy Hopper* – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • Andrea Maurio* – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • Thomas Werner – Fine Art Portfolio Review
  • Louisa Curtis – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy

* Courtesy of Agency Access

These spots fill early so sign up now!  Be sure to read the consultant bios so you can pick the person with the best background for the feedback you’re looking for.

ASMP Member Meet Up
Get to know fellow ASMP members at our Member Meet-Up on Friday, October 23rd from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Rocky’s Pizza Bar and Restaurant, 460 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001. ASMP Director Frank Rocco, Executive Director Tom Kennedy and Director of Content Strategy Judy Herrmann will be on hand to answer your questions and get your feedback. [map it]

ASMP Sponsored Seminars
This year, ASMP is offering two great programs:

This informative seminar is included in Full Conference and Day Passes or it can be purchased a la carte:

Judy Herrmann
© Herrmann+Starke

Thursday, October 22 from 10:15 — 12:15 pm
Your Roadmap to Success
with Judy Herrmann

Most of us become professional photographers because we want to earn a living doing work we love. Achieving that dream, though, takes more than basic business skills. In this energizing and informative seminar, Judy Herrmann, provides real world strategies for building a working business plan that will help you build the business of your dreams. Unlike formal business plans that are designed to satisfy lenders, your working plan will help you set and achieve your creative and financial goals, identify and assess business opportunities, compete more successfully and attract the right clients for your business. Whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience, the tools and techniques shared in this program will help you earn more money doing work you love.

Get critically important insights on copyright reform FREE in the show floor theater:

Tom Kennedy
© CJ Walker

Thursday, October 22 from 2:45 — 3:15 pm
21st Century Copyright and You
with Tom Kennedy

There is no legislative act that has a greater impact on your ability to earn a living as a creator than copyright. For the first time since 1976, Congress and the Copyright Office have made a public commitment to significantly modernize the Copyright Act. Global corporations with deep pockets have already aligned against the interests of independent creators. Only our numbers and a strong unified voice can counter their lobbyists and their messaging. In this critically important seminar, ASMP Executive Director Tom Kennedy will give you a solid understanding of what’s at play and how you can contribute to the process to ensure that you’ll be able to earn a living in this new era of copyright.

ASMP Members Save $150 on a Full Conference Pass, which includes:

  • Access to over 60 seminars of your choosing between 10/21 and 10/24
  • Admission to the #trending panel discussion at Test Drive – an event dedicated to letting photographers and media get exclusive first-looks at new products
  • PPE keynotes delivered by Lauren Greenfield, who will introduce her latest work, WEALTH: The Influence of Affluence, a 25-year examination of how the ideas of wealth and the American Dream have been productized, exported, and manifested around the globe, and Dennis Keeley, current co-founder/publisher of Acuity Press, who will moderate a panel of remarkable talent to explore one of the more fascinating and enduring documents in photography — the “Street Photograph.”

Can’t stay for all 3 days?
ASMP still has you covered with a 20% discount on all single day passes and a la carte seminars.

ASMP Members Save 7.5% on the Official Portfolio Reviews at PPE

The Official Portfolio Review at PhotoPlus Expo is America’s premier review event for emerging and professional photographers. You choose the influencers you want to see. They do the rest.

Organized by the Palm Springs Photo Festival in conjunction with Photo District News and The Photo Group, this event offers a fabulous opportunity to meet and present your work for critique, feedback and advice. At no other time can a photographer see such a cross-section of potential clients/representatives from both the commercial and fine art arenas in a four-day period.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

This Week in New Media

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 8:57am

by Jonathan Blaustein

It’s the beginning of October. The leaves on our Aspen trees are about to turn gold. My son, aligned with their calendar, will turn 8 the same week.

Things change, but cycles are forever.

As such, I’m happy to report that I’ve been writing for you, our faceless global audience, every Friday for 4 years. (Yes, we’re having our Anniversary.) In the beginning, I wrote short blurbs about several books each week.

It wasn’t until Thanksgiving of 2011 that I hit upon my regular style, one book each week, rambling narrative to introduce it. Then, we slowly added in the occasional field report from portfolio reviews. Along with the deep-dive interviews, that’s what we’ve done, every week for the last 4 years.

Until today.

Rob and I were recently discussing ways in which we could add in another column type. Something different. Something new.

The obvious answer popped up when I received an email from a regular reader, Brandon Tauszik, based in California. He wanted me to look at a photo project that he’d done, in the form of animated GIFs. African-American barbers shops in Oakland, to be specific.

How perfect is that? The clippers, sliding effortlessly, back and forth across a man’s head. Looping endlessly. Forever. (If you so choose.)

How 21st Century is that?

Therefore, this is the inaugural edition of our new column, “This Week in New Media,” which will appear from time to time. We’re shaking things up, because it’s fun, and it allows us to introduce you to people who are thinking seriously about new media.

Below, you’ll find a quick little Q&A with Brandon, as that’s also a new format for me. (Though my APE colleagues Heidi and Suzanne have presented Q&A style interviews for years.)

Hope you enjoy it, and don’t be afraid to let us know what you think.

1. How come you chose to focus on African-American barbers in Oakland? What led you there, as a subject matter?

I had initially observed a total lack of corporately-owned barbershops in Oakland. Having spent time living in suburban Florida, with Fantastic Sams and Supercuts galore, I was curious as to why their long reach hadn’t expanded anywhere in this particular city.

I began poking around at a few shops in my neighborhood; shooting and spending time interviewing the barbers there. These shops happened to be what you would define as black barbershops, with African American staff and clientele. I wanted to understand more about what made these socially exclusive places tick. That’s when I decided I would commit to making a portrait of Oakland’s black barbers and the various roles they assume.

2. As we all know, Marshall McLuhan is known for the phrase “The medium is the message.” Why are you choosing to express yourself in the form of animated GIFs? Is it about embedding the work in a 21st Century context?

Marshall McLuhan was the man! To me, the GIF is a relatively untapped hybrid between the mediums of film and photography. It contains the passing of time that exists in film but with the decisive moment aspect of a photograph. I suppose with “Tapered Throne” I’m testing the waters a bit to see if the medium can hold its weight.

Obviously, the GIF has gone through through a strong resurgence lately, mostly in the form of memes and frame-grab scenes from movies, TV shows, pop culture, etc. The outcome of this has seen the GIF quickly evolve into a contemporary medium of communication. Online news publications like Buzzfeed have had notable success in using GIFs in storytelling, but seemingly very few artists have grappled with using the medium in a live-action sense.

3. In the height of the Great Recession, I heard from several sources that things were really rough in Oakland. One of my wife’s friends said everyone in her neighborhood had bolted down their worldly possessions. Now, I’m hearing that the Silicon Valley-based gentrification of the Bay Area has reached Oakland, and it’s changing quickly. Do you feel like the places you’re documenting are in peril?

Oakland has seen high poverty mixed with high crime since the late ‘60s. The explosion of jobs in the Bay Area, from late ‘90s Dot-Com Boom to today’s climate has continued to provide very few opportunities for low income residents here. The city’s fabric has transformed before my eyes in these past years. Just a couple days ago Uber announced its purchase of a large historic building in downtown Oakland which will house 3000 new tech employees.

Combine the Bay Area’s explosive industry with a real shortage of market rate housing (add a heavy influx of white collar workers with cash to burn) and you end up with unprecedented displacement of long-time, lower income residents. Historically black neighborhoods are gentrifying and Oakland’s African American population is decreasing pretty fast. These spaces I’ve documented serve a particular demographic. If that demographic continues to weaken, these shops will have no choice but to close down or move elsewhere. I’ve tried to show the completed “Tapered Throne” project to all the barbers that participated; unfortunately I’ve already found shuttered storefronts where four of the shops were.





Click Through To See The Rest Of The GIF’s
















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Categories: Business

What the Market Will Bear

ASMP's Strictly Business - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 12:01am

[by Kat Dalager]

It’s essential to agree to all terms prior to clicking the shutter. There’s nothing worse than having to clear up misunderstandings during or after a shoot. Misunderstandings may not only taint an otherwise great shoot relationship-wise, they can also delay payment.

If the project specifications you receive do not clearly outline what you are responsible for or do not clearly outline the usage terms, then it’s up to you to outline those terms in your estimate and give the client something to respond to – sometimes to the point of forcing a response.

Just because a client asks for something doesn’t necessarily mean that those terms aren’t negotiable. Adjusting an approach or altering usage could save the client money and might be mutually beneficial for you.

For example, if a client is asking for a “buyout,” perhaps what they really need is “unlimited exclusive global use for an unlimited time of all images” but they’re not aware of the correct terminology. (“Buyout” implies purchase of the copyright, which is something you would specifically negotiate to transfer and tends to carry a higher price unless it’s Work For Hire – meaning you are acting as an agent for your client rather than as an independent artist.) Complicated!

Or maybe they want you to incur all expenses without giving you an advance payment so you would in essence bankroll your client. In your estimate, you could include terms for “50% of total estimate due prior to shoot production” or “100% of expenses due prior to shoot production.” There are ways of professionally stating what you need without seeming like you are militant.

Most importantly, you need to decide what your business and the market will bear. Are you independently wealthy? Then it won’t matter if you receive an advance or not. Is everyone in the world giving away unlimited use as standard and you want to charge an additional 200% of fee? You may have problems competing. Keeping current with trends in the marketplace is crucial to successful negotiating.

If you are not good at negotiating contracts or aren’t able to stay current with trends, I highly recommend hiring a producer to help you outline terms and create an estimate for you based on what the market will bear. When in doubt, ask your trusted resources what others are doing.

Kat Dalager knows when to hold ‘em and knows when to fold ‘em when it comes to negotiating contract terms.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Art of the Personal Project: Edgar Artiga

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 10:48am

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Edgar Artiga
















How long have you been shooting?
About 15 years. For the last 5 years, I have primarily been focusing on sports and fitness photography.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I have an AA degree in photography. I also worked for a large production studio as an assistant and studio manager for the early part of my career. I view every job or project as a new learning experience.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I love photographing athletes of all kinds and recently have been very drawn to the variety of different fighters who step into the ring. I love the level of intensity that is associated with fighting. For this project, I wanted to get a glimpse into the personalities of these fighters and the training and preparation they put in before stepping into the ring. I have shot recreational fighters in the past. However, I wanted to photograph professional competitive fighters, including those who already have their pro cards and some who are still fighting to get one. I came across a local DC area gym, Level Up Boxing and Fitness, which trains MMA, Muay Thai kickboxers, and boxers. Several fighters who train at this gym were a great fit for the project. I loved the personal story of one fighter in particular, Luther “Lights Out” Smith, who, at the age of 36, left his 9-5 job to teach boxing and follow his dream of becoming a champion fighter. I was intrigued by the kind of person that would put everything on the line for the love of a sport.

A lot of my sports imagery is produced and involves lots of lighting. For this project, I wanted to diversify my work by using a more natural documentary approach to capture the moments and feelings of these fighters putting in their work and training at the gym. I included some lit portraits, but shot most of the images using natural light.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I started this project just this past spring. Some of the images are up on my website and some are in my printed sports book. I definitely plan to continue to follow these fighters and continue shooting local fighters for this project.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I usually know after the first shoot. Even if it is not working, I usually get something out of it even if it is just a learning experience. This particular project not only produced some great results in terms of imagery, but I also really enjoyed spending time with these fighters and photographing them as well as having the freedom to explore new approaches with my sports photography.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
For me, portfolio and personal work are one and the same. For both, I am always striving to produce the best work possible and to explore new things, whether that is new subject matter or different photographic approaches. My personal shoots don’t always make it into my portfolio, but I always shoot with my portfolio in mind. The great advantage of personal work is that it gives me the freedom to try to push things in new directions and experiment with something new. In the end, this is the kind of work for which I would like to get commissions.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes. It’s a great way to show new work and get feedback.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet, but that would be a great opportunity.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Some of the images from this project are in my printed sports book and on my website. I am planning on using some of the images from this project for an upcoming e-promo and also in the process of putting together a printed promo piece from the project.

Artist’s statement:
I love the intensity of fighters, and for this “In the Ring” project, I wanted to capture professional competitive fighters in their training environment. I was particularly drawn to the story of one fighter included in this project, Luther “Lights Out” Smith,” who, at age 36, left his 9-5 job to teach boxing and follow his dream of becoming a champion fighter. I was intrigued by the kind of person that would put everything on the line for the love of a sport.


Edgar Artiga is a commercial and editorial photographer based in the DC area who loves connecting with and capturing people. His signature clean and simple style carries through the wide range of his work.

Edgar lives in the DC area with his wife, two sons, and trouble-maker chocolate lab Coco. He can be found here: www.artigaphoto.com

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.


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Categories: Business

Contracts — Five Tips For What To Do When The Fine Print Doesn’t Look So Fine

ASMP's Strictly Business - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:01am

[by Francis Zera]

Contract law is powerful — you ‘re able to sign away legal rights that you otherwise automatically have (along with the opposite situation, depending on which side of the contract you’re on), so it’s no wonder that contract negotiations often feel precarious and sometimes downright frightening.

Here are a some tips to help smooth the process:

  1. Include either the agreed-upon usage terms (or your default terms) in your initial bid. Also include the finalized terms on your invoice as well as in your delivery memo/license document. This practice provides opportunities for other people in the client’s company to see and understand the license terms. In my experience, lack of internal communications regarding photo licensing is the most common reason behind inadvertent rights violations.
  2. If you discover a discrepancy between the licensing terms as you understand them and what the client presents to you on paper, raise your questions immediately. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of a client’s paperwork containing boilerplate language that someone “forgot” to change. We’re the professionals, and professionals sometimes need to explain the intricacies of our business practices, particularly licensing. Be an educator, not a dictator, and everyone will more likely be happy and get what they want.
  3. Be careful not to assume that your client will be as well versed in intellectual property laws as you are, especially when doing client-direct work. Be diplomatic and explain the consequences of the troublesome clause, rather than immediately going on the defensive. You’ll be surprised how well this approach works.
  4. If a contract looks particularly problematic or has so much legalese as to be unreadable, it may be worthwhile to pay an attorney to review it. Be sure to let the attorney know what sorts of issues you’re concerned about. I’ve only done that a couple of times, but it was definitely money well spent as the attorney also provided alternate language for a couple of problematic clauses that the clients ultimately agreed to.
  5. Contract discussions are not a good place to let emotions color your decisions. I’m not suggesting you should ignore the emotions that can come into play when it comes to licensing and the perceived value of your work — pay attention to when you’re starting to feel slighted or taken advantage of and try not to let those feelings affect your approach to the conversation. If you’re feeling particularly distressed, try looking for a way to delay the negotiations, even for a few minutes — “There’s a UPS driver at the door waving a signature pad at me; may I call you back in 10 minutes?” — then use the time to regain your composure before jumping back in.

Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural and commercial photographer. He currently serves as education chair at ASMP Seattle/NW, teaches architectural photography and business at the Art Institute of Seattle, and holds an M.A. Ed. in adult education and training. You can check out his work at zeraphoto.com and follow him on twitter and on instagram.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Portfolio Review: iPad, Blurb Book or Printed Portfolio?

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 10:05am

I received the following question from a reader:

I’m going to my first portfolio review at the PhotoPlus Expo next month in New York. I didn’t think I’d be able to make it, so the trip is coming together kind of last minute. I currently don’t have a printed portfolio and I don’t have the money to print up a proper one. I thought about having a book printed up though a company like Blurb or Artisan State, as that would be a lot cheaper. Or I could use my iPad that has a nice looking portfolio app.

Does showing up with just an iPad look bad? Does showing the cheaper photo books make me look cheap? Is it worth it to find a way to try and get a proper printed portfolio? Any advice you can share is greatly appreciated!

I asked Heidi and Suzanne for their thoughts and I’d love to hear any advice readers have on the subject in the comments.

Personally, I’m inclined to wonder why you will spend all that money on a portfolio review if you’re not going to maximize the value. If you don’t have a printed book and polished pitch you’re not ready to meet with Photo Editors and Art Buyers in New York City. Sure, you can go in and get some advice on which images are strong and where you might improve, but this is the first impression you will make with many of these people. The gold standard for portfolio reviews is a book with finely crafted prints, a well rehearsed pitch, promo card leave behinds and some personal project options in a separate book, ipad or Blurb type book. You can be sure when you sit down in that chair the photographers before and after you are doing this.

Suzanne Sease:

It is completely fine to show your portfolio on an iPad. I recommend http://ipadportfolioapp.com as many of my clients use it and it has been received well by the viewer. I personally feel that many of the pre-printed bound books just look as nice as a hand printed ink-jet book. Since the purpose of a review is for the viewers to make suggestions and possible changes, why invest in a costly portfolio? If you are going to get out and get face to face meetings, then invest in an ink jet printed double sided portfolio and a nice portfolio shell.

Heidi Volpe:

I think it’s perfectly fine to show your portfolio on an ipad especially if you have motion to show.

Some of the less expensive book services you mentioned are perfectly fine as well. I will say if you choose to use these printed services, you’d need to have a good design sense and understanding the printing process, how images behave across the gutters in these books, accurately follow the template and be sure to build in time for revises and proofs. Whatever you choose, make it tight.


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Categories: Business

Use Your Words

ASMP's Strictly Business - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 12:01am

[by Barry Schwartz]

In every class and workshop I’ve taught on business practices, contracts are the source of more anxiety than any other topic, except perhaps SEO. And SEO doesn’t count because everyone already understands instinctively that SEO is a mystical, ever-morphing process whose secrets are hidden in a vault in an undisclosed location in a bunker in the basement of a Google building guarded by Sauron’s younger brother. Or someone like him. Fortunately, contracts can be decoded and practiced with skill by any acolyte who can read without worrying about Sauron’s relatives; no magical skills required.

People who are not self-employed assume the scariest thing about contracts is the legal language. Not so. The scariest part is about the money. Does the document demand too much money and scare the client? Or does the document ask for too little money and scare the entrepreneur? And does the entrepreneur really deserve any money at all? (This is a question better worked out in therapy.)

Next on the anxiety scale is, in fact, the legal language, which does not deserve the stress it creates. In most of the contracts I’ve seen there actually isn’t much technical writing, at least the sort that requires an attorney to decode. Most contracts are written in ordinary language. There might be a few clauses referencing copyright law or arbitration, but those can easily be understood by a little studying-up, including what’s contained in the small print, the Terms & Conditions.

The general worry about contracts is that there are words and phrases in the document that will cause something bad to happen, something unforeseen, that the creator will get shafted in some way, or worse, will cause their own downfall. As a longtime neurotic, I can attest this feeling is possible to overcome. The cure is to understand what those words and phrases mean.

A contract is a late-in-the-process expression of negotiating, and anyone who does not understand the language in their own contracts is putting themselves at a disadvantage. In other words, if an entrepreneur is not able to explain or defend what is written in their own contract, that entrepreneur is in danger of transforming themselves into an employee in the near future. (No magical skills required for this transformation.) The professional requirement to have a solid grasp of contractual language is true even when signing other people’s contracts, such as Work For Hire or editorial documents. Thankfully, it’s not that hard.

Here’s what I tell my students: contracts are a list. I take a basic, two-page contract and walk them through it line-by-line.

On the front page, starting at the top:

Your name
The date
The kind of document it is (estimate, contract, invoice)
The client’s name
The assignment
The deliverables
Description of usage
The charges for service and product (money)
The terms of payment (money)
Signature lines

On the back side are the Terms & Conditions (the small print):

Agreement (saying this is the only agreement)
Definitions (what various terms – including usage terms – mean)
Payment (money)
Cancellations / Postponements (what happens in the event of)
Indemnification (responsibility for each other’s actions)
Client Representation (client or representative is/is not present during shoot)
Retouching (money)
Copyright (who owns, and how the product is used)
Extra work and usage (extra money!)
Warrants and Liability (we are who we say we are, we take responsibility for our actions, the facts in the agreement are true, and if we disagree about anything at all we’ll work it out)

That’s the short version, but the essence of a basic contract is all there.

In the popular imagination creative-types are not supposed to be any good at the fine points of business; but look at all those creative folks who are successful despite someone else’s idea about who they are. That perception says more about the failure of the popular imagination than the abilities of creative entrepreneurs to grasp what’s in their own contracts – which is one of the things that makes them successful.

Use your words; they are *your* words, after all.

Barry Schwartz is a photographer, writer, and educator in Los Angeles who believes, as Hunter S. Thompson wrote: “Call on God, but row away from the rocks.”

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Daily Edit – The New York Times Magazine: Christopher Griffith

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 10:16am

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The New York Times Magazine

Editor-in-Chief:  Jake Silverstein
Design Director: Gail Bichler
Art Director:  Matt Willey (designed the feature)
Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan
Audio interviews: Catrin Einhorn and Kristen Clark.
Produced by: Stacey Baker, Jon Huang, and Riely Clough.
Photographer: Christopher Griffith

see the online slide show here

Heidi: Did you travel to the shoe shiners or did they come to you?
Christopher: We developed a very small transportable studio that we brought with us to shoot in arguably the most cramped environment ever. Some of these places are quite small, so finding enough space proved challenging.

Who wrapped the cloth around their fingers? and do they have signature style of hand gestures/wrapping?
They all wrap their own hands and no two are really the same. They all have slightly differing techniques, differing types of rags and different approaches to giving the customer ‘the best shine in town.’

What a great moment to celebrate the craft.  How did the subjects react?
Some were very skeptical, frankly many thought we were insane but all agreed to be photographed…eventually.

The colors and the knots are so beautiful. Were those designed or came from their kits?
They are all from their personal kits. Nothing is designed but they all have different preferences for the type of cloth for the type of shine.
Spit Shine: very smooth, thin cotton sheet. Dull Shine: thick towel fabric. Who knew?

What was your creative direction from Stacey Baker?
Make it iconic? Make it beautiful? I think we all knew that it was a pretty unique project. I was never convinced it would even get published because this kind of photo essay is rare these days. I just wanted to make sure that I did the idea justice. Our benchmark was the image of miles Davis’ hand shot by Irving Penn.

Heidi: I know this was your brainchild, how did this idea come about?
Stacey: Last summer during work one day, I ran across the street to the Port Authority to have my boots shined. I climbed up into one of the chairs and a man named Lenny shined my shoes. We started talking, and he said he’d been shining shoes for decades. His hands were beautiful–the way he wrapped the cloth around his long, lean wrinkled fingers. They looked like sculptures. I asked him if I could take a picture (see attached). He showed me the various the cloths he uses to shine shoes, and some of them looked like works of art. I wondered if there was a photo essay there.

photo 1

What was it about Christopher Griffith’s work that made you choose him? What did you already know about his work that would make your idea come to life?

Christopher immediately came to mind for the project. The work of Christopher’s that I was most familiar with are his large monumental still life’s. They look like sculptures. I thought he might be a good fit. He was an absolute dream to work with and his pictures are remarkable.

Photo essays are such luxuries in any magazine, was this a difficult sell to the staff?
It actually wasn’t. As soon as I returned to the office, I ran the idea by our photo director, Kathy Ryan, who loved it. We then pitched it to our editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein, who gave it the green light. Jake is a huge fan of photography and what we do in the photo department. We were all blown away by Christopher’s pictures.

Here’s a full gallery images

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Categories: Business

The Devil is in The Details

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 12:01am

[by Gail Mooney]

If you’re a professional photographer and aren’t business savvy or have a partner who is, you’ve most likely signed a bad contract. If you have, you are not alone. Even the greatest rock group of all, The Beatles, signed a few bad contracts in their day because they didn’t bother to read them. Instead, they put their trust in their business manager, Brian Epstein, until Brian’s untimely death in 1967. Who knows if Epstein had the Beatles best interests at heart? It depends on which version of history you read. The record industry is full of examples of musicians who signed bad deals. So is the photo industry.

I’ve been asked to sign many intimidating, lopsided contracts over the years, and almost every time, I was told the contract was not negotiable. That usually proved NOT to be true, but only when I was tenacious enough to question egregious clauses.

Never work without a written contract, not even for people you know well. When things are spelled out in a written agreement and all parties agree, you minimize problems and misunderstandings.


  • When presented a contract – READ IT– you’d be surprised how many photographers I know who don’t. If you don’t understand a clause, then seek guidance of someone who does.
  • When crafting your own contracts – be clear and specific. Who is responsible for doing what and when? Timeframe is another important point to stipulate but many forget to include it in their contracts.
  • Outline payment amount, terms of payment, deliverables and their deadlines. Who is responsible for what? Casting, locations, post-production, talent costs, kill fees, weather postponements, and ownership of the work and rights are all critical components.
  • Get any changes in writing. There are always changes – a shot is added or they need another day. Changes need to be acknowledged and signed off on.
  • Update your contracts. Our industry is rapidly changing. Take out what’s no longer relevant and update your contracts to reflect current needs and morés. For example, when frame grabs from video became good enough to use as still images, I added a clause in my video contracts that prohibits the usage of frame grabs as still images unless they’re licensed separately.


  • Don’t use boilerplate contracts you don’t understand.
  • Don’t over-complicate a contract. When I hire crew, I keep the contract simple and specific to the particular needs of the job.
  • Don’t do handshake deals with friends and family members (or anyone else for that matter). When my daughter and I worked on a film together, (She captured the audio and also shot some stills) I drew up a contract where she maintained ownership of her intellectual property, but granted rights to the film production company, in perpetuity for anything used in the film.
  • Contracts should be negotiated. Don’t think you need to agree to all the terms on someone’s contract, even if you are told; “all the photographers sign it.” If it’s not in your best interests – try to change it or walk away.

Gail Mooney is a photographer and filmmaker in the greater NYC area. She’s currently working on a project Like A Woman and is looking for women (subjects) who work in male dominated professions.



Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Daily Promo: Alexander Thompson

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 9:05am

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 Alex Thompson 

Who printed it?
I had the photos printed at Samy’s Camera, here in Los Angeles. All of the images are printed on Fujicolor Professional matte photo paper. I cut small slits into the pages of the book in order to fit the photos in.

Who designed it?
I did all of the editing and design for the promo. Although, I initially got the idea from photographer Jody Rogac. In a video, she pulled out a similar looking book of Polaroids with the corners taped down. There were quite a few other differences but the basic idea of a DIY book filled with actual prints, as opposed to images printed directly on the paper, was based on her own. I knew I had to make a book myself in order to keep the spirit of the project alive.

How many did you make?
For this run, I only made 20 books, including the books I promised to those involved. I wanted to keep the recipients to a minimum in order to create a more exclusive feel and also, to show that those who received it, are important to my development as a photographer or inspire me in some way. Basically, I wanted this promo to come across as more personal than, say, a postcard would.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Previously, I would send out a medium sized postcard every 3-4 months but I’m currently experimenting with monthly postcards and quarterly book promos, such as the Builders book. Possibly a Year-in-Review book too!

Tell us about how this project got started.
The project as a whole was inspired kind of out of nowhere. I was exploring many different possibilities for a personal project but nothing really stuck until I had the idea of shooting a model here in Los Angeles working on cars in his garage (he also rebuilds/sells classic BMWs). That never happened but it got the ball rolling and I started to reach out to any creators here in LA that I thought were interesting. One of the first to get back to me was Guy Okazaki who builds these really amazing surfboards in Venice. After working with him I reached out to my friends Andy and Kellen of Bicycle Coffee LA and got to shoot their roastmaster Mike making some of the best coffee here in LA. The third part of the series took quite some time to shoot because it was with probably one of the busiest bike shops in LA, Golden Saddle Cyclery. I worked with Woody, one of the owners of the shop, and photographed him building a touring bike from the ground up. Overall, it’s been a really fun experience and I’m excited to keep the project going. I have a lot of really cool ‘Builders’ lined up to work with and I can’t wait to learn about their processes.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.49.27 PM

Alexander Thompson


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Categories: Business

Contractual Thinking

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 12:02am

[by Charles Gupton]

Without exception, anytime I’ve had a difficult, unresolvable conflict or misunderstanding arise as part of a project, it was the result of not having a written contract.

That’s not to say that misunderstandings don’t arise at times even when I have a solid contract in hand. But, I’ve never had a disagreement that couldn’t be worked out as long as we had a contract clearly outlining the terms of the agreement in place before starting the job.

Over the course of my years in business, I’ve had an on again, off again, then on again relationship with my follow-through in getting contracts prepared prior to starting on the details of a project. I especially struggle when the call comes in for an assignment that needs to be done posthaste – or when I’m traveling and don’t have the files and paperwork at hand for getting a contract out ahead of time. Also at times, the scope of the assignment just seems too simple to warrant the work of getting a written agreement into the hands of the buyer.

I have two primary solutions that help me deal with my temptation to let the paperwork slide and risk another disagreement coming to the surface:

First, I have two proposal form templates, either of which can be used to create the final project contract once the details of the project are agreed upon.

One of the templates is a multiple-page document with sections for breaking down a more complex project into bite-sized chunks including a detailed overview, responsibilities of each party, deadlines for each phase of the project, overall costs, and payment schedule.

The other template, which I call “proposal light,” covers enough of the basics in a few sentences to get a simple project moving forward.

The second solution I’ve put into place to avoid the misunderstandings that can happen when no contract is in place really comes before the proposal process.

I’ve created a discovery cheat-sheet with a set of basic questions that I ask every time a project request comes in. It also includes prompts for additional questions that are unique to every assignment. The discovery process that I use started out as several questions on one sheet of paper many years ago — and has grown to become a small notebook with questions covering a broad range of areas as our experience (read missteps and screw-ups…) with various projects grew.

By having on hand a tested set of questions that don’t require a lot of additional thought at the moment when a project request comes in, I’m able to get a written proposal out to a potential client much faster and with far less angst – avoiding the pitfalls that inevitably come if project details, terms and payment agreements aren’t clearly communicated up front.

Charles Gupton is the host of The Creator’s Journey podcast where he has conversations with creative leaders about the processes they use to consistently deliver their work.

charles@charlesgupton.com | www.charlesgupton.com



Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Dealing with Contracts

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 12:01am

Whether presenting your own terms & conditions or interpreting those sent by a client, having a solid grasp on what agreements between photographers and clients should address is critical for success.  What language should you look out for?  What should your terms cover? What if you’re handed a bad contract or wind up with no contract at all?  This week, our contributors offer a wide range of insights into the ins and outs of contracts.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry