Technology and availability of “good enough” images has seriously cut into the income potential of professional travel photographers. Even though the lure of travel photography is still ever present in the minds of many photographers, the question needs to be asked—can you still make money shooting travel in today’s marketplace? The answer is “yes…and” due to the qualifiers today’s market has placed on this field of photography. Yes…and you may need to seriously look at stock sales. Yes…and you may want to add value and sales by becoming a writer as well as a photographer. Yes…and you may need to consider adding professional services like video capture to your business plan.
Nick Vedros (www.vedros.com) graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Photojournalism in 1976 and then quickly found his true passion in the world of commercial photography. From his Kansas City-based photo studio, Vedros has won top honors from the ADDY Awards, Effie Awards, Archive International, Communication Arts, the Top...
“I actually think that, as a society, we have a relatively clear understanding of copyright basics.”
Over the course of writing this column, I have received many questions on rights—copyrights, licensing rights, privacy rights, and model releases. When you contract with a client for photographic services, knowledge of these issues is critical to your business success and...
At every workshop and class I teach the subject and question of copyright comes up. I deal with copyright as a photo rep on every photo shoot I negotiate. Some photo clients know what type of usage they need to purchase and some do not. Some photographers can negotiate copyright usage without hesitation, but many photographers still have questions about the basics of copyright law.
Among legal issues critical to photographers, copyright and privacy rights are worthy of your attention as they affect both what you can shoot and how you can protect your images. In this month’s column, we talk with three attorneys to develop a better understanding of these complex issues: David MacTavish, Law Office of David MacTavish (www.mactavish-law.com); Mickey H. Osterreicher, General Counsel, National Press Photographers Association or NPPA (www.nppa.org); and Carolyn E. Wright, Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC (www.photoattorney.com).
“Imagine that you shoot something ‘fine art’ or ‘personal’ that you yourself think no one will ever want to use commercially.
You don’t bother to get a release…”
There are legal issues that concern all photographers—copyrights, contracts, and the law concerning privacy rights (model releases). In this article we’ll go over these matters with a panel of experts in the field, but of course not every issue can be covered completely, so I’ve included a host of web resources for further exploration and education.
Specialty Imaging International (www.specialty-imaging.com) was founded by Ben Crosby in 1999 after selling Sports Imaging, a photo business specializing in amateur sports youth league team and individual photos. Crosby started Specialty Imaging International in Salt Lake City with a focus on the corporate event...
Promo pieces for selling your photography should be specifically planned for personal correspondence directed at your targeted audience. In-house printed promotional materials have become increasing popular as the technology for the design and printing has increased and the cost of production decreased. This type of promo piece is not for direct (mass or bulk) mailing. The in-house promo is used...
“The availability of professional-quality digital still cameras tempts many photographers to consider adding video to increase clients and business income.”
More consumer and commercial clients today want to add video to their still photographers’ assignments to get “one-stop shopping” service. The availability of professional-quality digital still cameras...
The book publishing business is experiencing huge upheavals and transformations of late. “Physical” bookstores are closing, and for many photographers eBooks are an exciting option. While eBooks may become a preferred delivery system for creative content, with them come questions about creation, preferred content, and, perhaps most importantly, how to market your work. In this article we’ll look at how three photographers are working through this change and how it has altered the way they show their work to the world. Thanks go to Jeff Colburn, Bret Edge, and Guy Tal for their expertise and wisdom in this regard. Please check our links and contact information at the end of this article to see their work, and more.
Sula of sulaimagery.com began her career in photography in her 20s shooting parties, events, and portraits. At the time, it was not her full-time career because her true artistic passion was shooting macros and landscapes. Sula quips, "Unfortunately, I never got a flower to pay me, so I kept a day job to help pay for my photography and travel habit."
How do you define photographic success—by making money or by creating works of art? If both appeal to you then there is a way to reconcile what might seem by some as polar opposites: doing both by selling your work as fine art images.
Everywhere you turn—from assignments, self-assignments and from personal work—you can create opportunities for fine art images. Creating fine art photography can add a revenue stream to your commercial photography business. While the goal of selling images as fine art might be seen as unreachable, in fact the marketing and self-promotion methods and techniques for commercial work and fine art are very similar.
Your "marketing mix" is your plan for the variety of ways to keep your name and your work in front of prospective clients, and to help grow your business. Most photographers will do an ad, promo piece, or mailing now and then. These contacts are good but you need all these marketing tools in a "mix" that will tie them together to get the best results.
When you fly commercial airlines these days, they always seem to make a point to say, "We know you have a choice in airlines, thank you for choosing us!" There are a lot of wedding photographers for prospective clients to choose from, but then again there is lots of business to go around. With the low-end wedding market taken over by "Cousin Jerry" with his...
We have been concentrating on copyright issues in this column of late because of its importance to photographers. (See July, 2011, available at www.shutterbug.com, search Business Trends.) One topic we felt needed coverage was access to and use of images available on the Internet, including some background on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and some updated Internet educational resources that you might want to explore. We also wanted to touch on issues of public domain and image theft, and protection. Though many copyright infringements are non-malicious or unintentional, it remains an issue to be studied in order to defend and protect your images on the web.