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This Week In Photography Books: Roger Eberhard

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 04/10/2015 - 9:29am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I met Bruce Springsteen a long time ago. When I still lived in New Jersey. Back when he was a GOD.

It must have been 1992, or thereabouts. I was working in a restaurant in Sea Bright. Down the Shore. The joint was built right upon a brackish inlet, across the street from the Atlantic Ocean.

I’d heard that Bruce liked to show up in an open-topped red Jeep, with Patti in the passenger seat, and the kids in the back. So I HAD been warned. But still, I was not prepared for what it felt like, being in his presence.

My tenure there was rather short, as I ran my mouth a lot, and made the mistake of allowing someone to buy me a drink in the bar, after my shift. I was patently underage, and they got rid of me as quickly as they could. Not the last time I would be fired, but it stung.

So I was doubly-lucky to be working the night Bruce showed up. I stood in the front, near the parking lot, next to two cute hostesses. Bruce pulled up in that Jeep, and bow-leg-strutted straight up to me. There’s no solid explanation as to why he came my way, instead of talking to the pretty girls whose job it was to greet him.

But approach me he did. My palms were sweaty, like a large man in a steam room, and I did my best not to stammer.

“Of course, Bruce. We have a table for you. Of course. We’d be happy to help you and your family. We’re so glad you’re here.”

“Thanks, kid, thanks.”

“Oh, and Bruce? I’m going to your concert next week. I hate to ask, and hope you don’t mind, but is there any way you’d play ‘Blinded by the Light?'”

“Maybe, kid, maybe.”

He didn’t.

But I couldn’t hold it against him. In fact, that night in the restaurant, I put sugar packets under his table to stabilize it, and filled his children’s ice tea cups when they were two sips below the top of the glass. I was attentive in the extreme.

He didn’t seem to mind. Bruce must have been used to the pure adulation of native Jersey boys. Especially Down the Shore. (That’s the local expression for at the beach, for those of you reading this around the world.)

Sometimes, certain people find themselves sitting on top of a pedestal carved from Carrara Marble. They peer down at the rest of us, uncomfortable at such heights, but seem willing to adjust their balance to keep the seat. (With others, like Michael Jordan, you’ll have to cut out their hearts and chop off their heads before they’ll give up their rightful place atop the perch.)

In the Photobook world, one I’ve managed to cover for you, here, for more than 3.5 years, one name reigns supreme: Martin Parr. I’ve got two interviews that we’ll publish in the coming months, with two genuinely excellent photobook publishers, each of whom agreed that the planet is currently inundated with photobooks. (The streets are flowing with four-color pages, all with photographs embedded in ink.)

That’s the way it is these days. So if you’re Martin Parr, it’s a rather good time to be the King of Photobooks. At least, if you like having lots of subjects. (Long live the King.)

That being said, there are probably more people in Albuquerque who’ve heard of Michael Jordan than there are humans alive who’ve heard of Martin Parr. Our culture still needs a sub- in front of it, if we’re being honest.

So “Martin Parr Looking at Books” is definitely a niche product, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a new photobook by Roger Eberhard, published by B. Frank Books, that shows us exactly what the title claims: Martin Parr looking at (photo) books.

Clearly, this is not for everybody. Especially as the pictures are not-particularly-compelling. Mr. Eberhard gets around that fact by giving us a colorful front-cover, a mirror-metallic inside cover, and a few big-font pages with quotes establishing Mr. Parr’s preeminence.

Then, it’s photo after photo of nothing but what you’d expect, given what I’ve already told you. But it is funny. Not LOL funny, but chuckle and smile funny. Ridiculous. It’s a goof on all of us, yet a good-enough-goof that I’m writing about it.

Some of you have taken to the comment section recently to ask why I’d review a given book, when there are far-more-worthy offerings to discuss. I’m guessing some of you will share that sentiment this week. Here’s the only rule: if it inspires me to write, I write.

Before the close, we’re provided with some blank-lined-white pages, ostensibly to write up our own “Best Photobook of the Year List,” because Lord knows there aren’t enough of those already. Hilarious!

But then again, the pictures are not even special. Party Foul! The end notes tell us they were submitted, or provided, to the artist. It’s a collaborative effort, apparently, stalking Martin Parr, and taking his picture while he looks at books.

One can imagine a sister-publication where Robert Parker is photographed while sipping Cabernet Sauvignon? Seth Rogen smoking blunts? Or Bruce Springsteen, papparazzoed, while chowing down on greasy burgers Down the Shore?

Then end notes also claim that Mr. Parr appreciated the joke. I hope you do too. There are so, so many weeks when the books I write about explore tragedy, destruction, and sorrow. So today, “Lighten Up Francis,” and have a laugh at our collective-photo-geek selves.

Bottom Line: Zany, odd, niche photo book that skews itself, and us

Go here to purchase “Martin Parr Looking at Books”

















Categories: Business

Time and Diversification

ASMP's Strictly Business - Fri, 04/10/2015 - 12:01am

[by Thomas Werner]

There has been a growing trend toward the diversification in terms of the demands on our time and our businesses. This change has been central to the success of many image makers in both still and motion. We have added new commercial revenue streams, are developing audience in social media, moving into fine art, implementing marketing plans, and so on. At times it feels like all we are doing is running from one responsibility to another and wondering where the larger result is.

While it is important to engage fully in these changes it is essential to do so with a unified visual style focused on a specific mission. To the first point, diversification of a visual business without a cohesive message and visual style will only confuse your potential clients, and bring results opposite of what you intend.  Your mission is the purpose or greater goal of your business; this may be your business plan, the overarching vision for your business, or your growth creatively in service to your career. Making money may be a goal, but it is really an outcome of a focused effort to achieve your mission while staying loyal to your creative vision.

Consider this as you add layers and complexity to your business. Take a moment to step back and ensure that everything is working in together in a coordinated manner toward a single vision. This will not only reduce the work being done, but increase your possibilities for success.

Thomas Werner; Educator, Curator, Consultant
Twitter | Linkedin | Facebook

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Art of the Personal Project: Michael Rubenstein

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 04/09/2015 - 9:59am

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: Michael Rubenstein















Carrie Ashley White 5/6/2011





How long have you been shooting?
Ten years give or take.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Photography is a second career for me. My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Policy from Prescott College in Arizona. When I first started learning photography I was self taught with a lot of help from other photographers and hours pouring over photo books at Powells in Portland, Oregon. 

At some point I decided that I wanted some formal training and I attended the graduate program of the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. It is a two year program. I completed one year and then took a contract position at the Oregonian in Portland, Oregon. I learned an immense  amount at the Oregonian from the many incredible photographers and from Mike Davis and Patty Reksten, my editors. I wouldn’t be able to see things the way I do if it wasn’t for them.  I stayed there for about 8 months and then freelanced in Portland. Until I moved to Mumbai in 2007.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve always been interested in craftspeople. People who make very high end goods by hand in small workshops.  Its always been amazing to me that one person an make something that most often is produced by robots in a giant mass production facility, and make it better.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I shot the project for a few months before I started to show it, but its ongoing. I think I’ll always be shooting this project.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I’ll give it a few days of shooting before I look at it and say, “Do I continue to dedicate time and resources to you, or is this it?”

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Variety is the spice of life right? To me, the challenge is making something that speaks to me. Whether its on assignment or personal really doesn’t factor into it. Once I have the project, self assigned or not, I need to make the best of it.
Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes, everywhere but Reddit.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
No not really.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes. I definitely have and they have responded very well to it. This project has helped me to get at least 2 or 3 commercial jobs and more than a handful of meetings.

Artist Statement:
While manufacturing continues its march towards automation the art of hand making beautiful and useful products is making a comeback. These people are at the pinnacle of design and craft. They produce the best of what they make in small workshops, the way things have been made for hundreds of years. As a documentarian it was my honor to photograph these men and women as they worked. 


Michael Rubenstein is an editorial and commercial photographer and director based in New York City. He enjoys documenting interesting people and situations the world over. Before moving to New York he covered South Asia from his home in Mumai, India. His clients have included Merge Records, MasterCard, Budweiser, Saatchi and Saatchi, Nike, Yahoo!, The University of Massachusetts, Fordham University, AARP, NPR, The WSJ, The NYT, Mother Jones, Monocle and NBC News. 

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.

Categories: Business

Learning to Pivot

ASMP's Strictly Business - Thu, 04/09/2015 - 12:01am

[by Judy Herrmann]

As professional visual story tellers, part of our job is to communicate, interpret and sometimes even define the culture we live in.  I’ve found in my own career that having a strong understanding of the political, economic, social and technological trends affecting the world around us, has helped me anticipate change and position myself and my business to respond more effectively.

One of the things that bothers me about the social graph where platforms feed us information based on what we and our friends like, is that it limits the amount of information you see that runs counter to your preferred world view.  I urge you seek resources that expose you to a broad range of ideas and insights.  The resources I rely on to keep me aware and ready to pivot include:

As the editor of this blog, part of the editorial staff for the ASMP Bulletin, and the producer for ASMP’s Business as unUsual and evolution/revolution webinar series, I’m more than a bit biased, but I do try to make sure those resources help photographers track trends as well.

I hope these resources will help you as they have helped me.

If there are resources you rely on that could help other photographers gain greater understanding and perspective, please add your thoughts in the comments.

Judy Herrmann



Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Pricing & Negotiating: Stock Contract For A Record Label

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 04/08/2015 - 9:40am

by Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

A photographer recently asked me to review a contract governing the license of his stock photographs to a record company. The record label (one of the largest in the country) was initially interested in using four of the photographer’s images of a musician performing live on the cover and interior of a vinyl record edition of the musician’s upcoming album. We were told that they planned to press and release 25,000 copies of the vinyl record, and that they had a firm budget of $2000.00. The fee didn’t seem to quite match the value of the images, but we asked if they could send over a contract to take a look at. That’s when things got interesting.

Here was the original contract:


Not surprisingly, the contract stated that the photographer would grant the copyright of his images to the record label. We quickly responded and pointed out that the contract didn’t match their requested use of the images, and they sent back another version of the contract removing the line about the copyright, while retaining the language about granting them “all rights.” It was clear that we weren’t on the same page, so it was time to bust out my red pen (aka Adobe Acrobat Pro PDF editing tools) and make some changes. Here is a revised version of the second contract they sent us:


I rewrote the entire first paragraph for a number of reasons. First, I didn’t like their language stating that the contract would “confirm” that they “purchased the rights” to the images. It was more appropriate to state that a specific licensing would be conveyed to them for a specific fee, and that was all dependent upon payment of that fee to the photographer in full. Second, none of the language regarding the “rights” to the images was accurate, so I drafted a new paragraph summarizing the fee and licensing that we had been discussing up until that point ($2,000 for four images on the cover and inside the vinyl record with a print run of up to 25,000 copies). I also stated that a credit in the name of the photographer would be required, which made the photographer more comfortable in justifying the less-than-favorable fee since he would be able to get some nice publicity out of the deal.

In addition to revising the first paragraph, I wanted to make it very clear that the record label would need to pay for any usage above and beyond what was described, so I clarified their language at the end of the second paragraph. Additionally, the label included an indemnification clause protecting them against any breach of the agreement by the photographer, and I added language stating that the label would similarly identify the photographer if they used the images in any way that got them into any legal trouble not at the fault of the photographer. Lastly, I struck out a portion of the third paragraph regarding amendments to the agreement because I felt it was a bit too vague. I wanted to make it clear that this document, once signed by both parties, would be the only document that solidified the agreement between both parties.

We sent the revised contract back and waited for a response. I should note that at this point, we were receiving pressure from the art administrator that we were working with as well as numerous other staff members at the record label who stated that we would need to sign the contract “by the end of the day” and that this negotiation was going to delay the release of the album while threatening to take the deal off the table if we weren’t willing to sign the contract as it was originally presented to us.

Wouldn’t you know, the next day they came back with some new information and wanted to negotiate a new price. I learned that they couldn’t limit the print run of the vinyl record to 25,000 copies, but they were however willing to pay more to lift any limitations on the quantity. They also insisted on being able to use the images to promote the album in various ways (although they didn’t want to define such use as advertising or collateral). We decided to ask for $4,000 (double their original budget) for use of the images on/in the first edition of the vinyl record (however many copies that may be), while also granting them the right to promote the record by using the images in their original context on/in the album. I didn’t feel that this fee was enough to include rights to use the images on merchandise such as t-shirts and posters, so we specifically excluded that from the contract. The record label verbally agreed to this on the phone, and then sent over a revised contract. Unfortunately (and again, not surprisingly) they failed to include many of the points we discussed in the new contract, and here is a revised version of what they sent us, which I returned to them:

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Again, we received more disgruntled feedback from the record label, and they once again threatened to pull the deal off the table if we wouldn’t sign their contract by the end of the day. Standing firm on our revisions, we let them sleep on it.

We heard back from the label the next morning, and this time they let us know that they weren’t willing to limit the use of the images to just the vinyl record, as they were planning to release the album with the photographer’s images in CD and digital format as well. Additionally, they were concerned with our language regarding merchandising rights. As a negotiation point, the label asked for us to state that if their licensing was to exclude merchandising rights, then they also wanted to limit the photographer from using the images on merchandising in perpetuity as well. The photographer had no plan to create merchandise independently, however, we didn’t feel it was fare to limit the photographer’s ability to license his images for merchandising in the future, perhaps to another record label if the musician happened to jump ship. We decided to include language that limited the merchandising “embargo” to the length of the contractual relationship between the musician and the record label.

We also took these changes as another opportunity to renegotiate the fee. At this point, we had gone from $2,000 for use of the images on a limited number of vinyl albums, to $4,000 for use of the images on an unlimited number of vinyl record albums within the first edition plus promotional rights. Now we were jumping up to use of the images on all vinyl, cd and digital editions of the album plus promotional rights with the merchandising caveat I mentioned previously. Based on a few previous projects I’ve worked on (one of which you can read here), I knew the threshold for unlimited use for an album cover in many cases is around $6-10k plus expenses (sometimes) for a commissioned shoot, regardless of the number of images. Also those projects are frequently presented as a “take it or leave it” work made for hire. We decided to revise their contract once again with a fee of $6,000 (triple their original budget). Here is that version of the contract:


At this point, I was working directly with the Senior Vice President for Business and Legal Affairs at the record label. We actually had a very nice conversation (as opposed to the demanding correspondence from the other employees of the record label), and I think this was because at this point I was talking to the person governing the creation of the contract and development of the language included. Previously, I didn’t think our counterparts at the record label were doing a good job communicating the revisions we were requesting down the line, which is likely why they kept coming back to us with new contracts that didn’t correspond to our negotiations. Fortunately, after my conversation with this new contact, he provided a new, clean version integrating the changes, which was ultimately signed by both parties.

Here is the final version:

071614 WBR GCJ BRS 001.psd

Hindsight: It’s ok to push back and negotiate rates, as long as you do it in a professional and cordial manner. Many times projects are presented to photographers as works made for hire, or with a “take it or leave it” mentality (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the rate is appropriate), but while sometimes the clients are firm, there should always be a conversation about possible ways to negotiate better rates or terms. Record labels are perhaps the most notorious clients for less-than-favorable rates and contractual terms, but I’ve successfully amended and negotiated multiple contracts to make them more favorable to the photographer.

A few months later while walking back to my hotel after a shoot in New York City, I saw one of the images on a flyposting stuck on a wall near Times Square. The image was used in its original context on the cover of the album as agreed to in the contract (which I was happy to see compliance of), and while it’s hard to say whether these postings are advertising in its true meaning or not (paid placement), it made me wish the record label paid even more for the licensing given the exposure.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at (610) 260-0200. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

Categories: Business


ASMP's Strictly Business - Wed, 04/08/2015 - 12:01am

[by Kevin Lock]

Trendy had a negative connotation when I was in Junior High.  At that time my friends and I embraced the punk rock scene.  We wanted to be different from the majority of the students at my school.  We rebelled in the music we listened to, our manner of dress, style of hair  etc.  We wore torn, weathered jeans and we ripped our shirts emblazoned with local and English punk groups.  One day, I bought two pairs of Converse high tops.  One pink.  One Purple.

The first day I wore them, I wore one of each.  I got some attention.  Mostly negative from the older boys at my school.  Then something strange happened.  The same kids that were laughing and poking fun at my shoes, started wearing two different shoes themselves.  Nowhere as colorful but two different shoes just the same.   It was then that I realized that people want to fit in, they want to belong and they crave that social connection.  Those connections can be trends and I guess I started a trend at the local level.  At the time I didn’t like it.  Made me feel a bit “trendy.” Today it makes me laugh..pink and purple?  Really?

As a photographer, I want my work to stand out.  To stand alone.  I don’t follow trends and I am certainly not trying to start one.  We are individuals and, as a good friend of mine used to say, “you do what you do and I do what I do.”  I believe that each photographer has a unique style whether they realize it or not.  Sure, one can watch the trends as they come and go, but there is no need to fall into them.  I prefer to be around for the long haul and trendy just doesn’t fit what I do.  Now a trend that might begin with you…that doesn’t sound so bad.

Kevin Lock is currently a national director of the ASMP.   He no longer owns anything pink or purple and currently wears two matching flip flops.  For comfort, not for style.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Daily Edit – Mark Hanauer: We Transfer

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 9:57am

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We Transfer

Photographer: Mark Hanauer

We Transfer Facebook

We Transfer Twitter

Heidi: What sparked your interest in submitting to We Transfer?
Mark: I had been using We Transfer for some time. It’s a great service for sending large files to clients and colleagues over the web. I enjoyed a lot of the graphics that they used on their site and one day I decided to send them a series of images that I thought were appropriate for their format.

Which images did you send and how many where sent/accepted?
Basically the images are horizontal with a lot of free space. To my delight they have used a handful of them. All of the images that I sent to We Transfer have been personal images from my travels, three from India and one from Central California. I don’t recall how many images that I sent to them, but I am very happy with what they have used. And they are appreciative as well, nice credit on the page and they share the contribution on Twitter and Facebook.

You’ve been drawn to photographing artists, why is this?
My first job assisting a commercial photographer was for Malcolm Lubliner. He had a studio on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood that adjoined Gemini GEL. 95% of what Malcolm did was for Gemini. I recall my first day at work Malcolm giving me a tour of Gemini and I was mesmerized. The produce fine art lithography and silkscreen printing, very old-world style. Gemini would invite artists to print at their press, the likes of Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, the list is amazing and I was instantly drawn to the work that was created there. We photographed every print that Gemini produced. I learned more about photographic technique there than anywhere I have studied or worked. It was also a great intro for me into the fine art world, something that was very new to me.

I enjoy a vicarious thrill looking through my camera at people that do extraordinary visual work, painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, dance, sports. I love seeing what artists do and I marvel at the process. Working with Julie Mehretu at her studio in Berlin was a remarkable experience. I spent a week photographing Julie, her staff and the studio for a museum catalogue. To have that kind of  time to record her working was amazing. I love to do more in-depth projects like that. Whenever I have time, I try to get together with local artists whose work that I enjoy to create a portrait or something in the moment that gives me joy.

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Tell us about your personal project.
My personal project is currently titled, Negative Space. It’s an idea that has been floating in my head for the last two weeks. The idea is based on something that I remember from a painting teacher in elementary school about the parts of a canvas where the subject isn’t. What do yo do with that space where there is nothing? Generally I think of an idea and by the time I pick up the camera, the idea has transformed into something else. We will see what happens….

Categories: Business

Are You Ready for the Next in Social Media Trend?

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 12:01am

[by Rosh Sillars]

Social media is real-time communication and it just got real. Meerkat and Periscope are two hot new social media apps available for iOS devices. The growing trend of video and social sharing in our daily life just took the next step.

Both applications deliver streaming real-time video to your Meerkat or Periscope communities. It’s real-life as it happens. What is the difference between these new apps and other video streaming services? It’s much more casual, very easy to use, and it’s real social media. People watching your broadcast can communicate with you and each other in real-time. These apps offer live streaming content and it’s addictive.

One powerful use of social media is to develop yourself as an expert in your field. I’ve seen many social media platforms take off and wished I had established my position earlier or stayed with the platform. We are now in the early days of the wild west of a new social media opportunity. If you want to make your mark, this might be your chance.

You can video blog about photography concepts and ideas. Build relationships and trust with a peek behind the scenes. A few photographers like Jeremy Cowart and Brian Matiash shared their studios and workspace while answering questions on Periscope. Scott Kelby and Terry White have shared presentations and information through Periscope. Photographers can answer questions, share tips and display a little of their everyday life as a photographer.

I prefer using Periscope because it keeps your video online for twenty-four hours after you end your broadcast. Once a Meerkat stream is over, that’s it.  I also like to download my videos for future sharing. I’m very enthusiastic about these platforms and I see much potential.

Currently, these apps are only available on iOS, but they will soon launch on Android. What are you going to do with this new technology?

Rosh Sillars is the owner of the digital marketing and social media company Image 3 Marketing 


Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Daily Promo – John Hafner

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 11:03am

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John Hafner

Who printed it?
My promo book was printed by Blurb. It’s a Trade Book, 6X9.

Who designed it?
A graphic artist friend of mine, Paul Allen, in Missoula, Montana designed it.

Who edited the images?
Paul and I both edited the images. I did an initial edit, and then had him weigh in on which pics would make the strongest presentation. It’s really tough to edit objectively, and it’s important to
have a neutral set of eyes to narrow the selections. Just because a pic might be one of my favorites doesn’t mean it would add any value to my promo. The end result is, I think, a good mix of product/studio shots, people/portraits, wildlife and documentary that conveys the scope of what I shoot.

How many did you make?
This was actually my first hardcopy promo. My marketing and promo work has largely been digital. I’ve sent out several PDFs and e-books, which have been quick, cheap, simple and very effective. But this year, I wanted to have something more substantial; something that was portable yet impactful that my clients, and prospective clients  would hang onto and reference.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
The promo features some of my best work from 2014. I chose to include a pic of me in the field to give clients a sense of who I am and how/where I work. I primarily shoot for hunting and fishing markets, and my clients need to know that I, too, am an outdoorsman. This gives them the assurance that I know the industry, their brand and their customer. It’s vital that I can tell my clients’ stories not just creatively but also authentically.

What shoot is the opening spread from and whose paw is that?
The opening spread features some pics from a shoot I did last December with the guys from Duck Dynasty. Not only was it one of the more memorable and fun shoots from 2014, it’s great to have their super-famous facial hair in my portfolio. I also included a partial client list to give prospective clients a sense of my experience in the outdoor industry. And I included client and location info. for each pic in the book.

And yes, that’s my Golden Retriever/office manager/page turner/paw model, Shiley, in the promo pics.

Categories: Business

SXSW – The Future of Media on Display

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 12:02am

[by Peter Krogh]

Our industry is clearly in a state of upheaval, so trend watching is an important part of long-term strategic planing. As the media landscape changes, the business models for hiring photographers also change. New skills, new clients and new services are all part of the mix.  So how do we keep tabs on this?

I’ve just returned from my third trip to South by Southwest Interactive, the technology portion of the venerable music and film festival. As with the previous two visits, I’m energized and full of hope for the future of photography. While much about media and communication is changing, the importance of the photographic image remains.


© Peter Krogh. One of the many great thought-provoking sessions: Dominique le Roux’s narrative was a compelling call to action for the reinvention of your creative services business.

The importance and the future value of photography is linked to a concept that ran through many of the presentations – visual storytelling. Old and new media operations alike emphasized the opportunities that visual storytelling provides. Engagement and communication are increasingly being powered by images as new media forms are created for mobile communication platforms. And, photography is at the center of many of these platforms.

Of course, many of the components of visual storytelling are changing. The companies are new or newly remade. The language of photography is changing as it becomes a vernacular spoken by nearly everyone. To take advantage of this, we old-school photographers need to embrace the way people use photos. You must look at the explosion of photographic communication as an opportunity, not a threat.

I don’t mean to downplay the difficulties of running a photo business in such a volatile era. It’s hard and risky and nerve-wracking at times. But it’s also a new golden age of visual storytelling – one that some photographers are well-suited to take advantage of.

If some of this sounds like you – interested in blending photography, media, technology, along with an understanding of photography as a language and the ability to tell stories, then I suggest you head down to Austin next March and immerse yourself in SXSW. You’ll have fun, you’ll be overwhelmed, but most importantly you can see where the media is headed, and make plans for the new opportunities.

Peter Krogh is a photographer, writer and software services architect working at the intersection of photography, technology, media and culture. Read more about SXSW and the future of media at www.theDAMbook.com

Categories: Business, Photo Industry


ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 12:01am

Our week on Industry Trends last month proved so popular, I decided to dedicate another week  to helping photographers identify and understand some of the trends affecting our industry and our clients.  This week, our contributors share some of the trends they’re watching, how those trends are affecting the decisions they’re making and where they go to spot and gain greater insights into the trends that matter most.


Categories: Business, Photo Industry