Putting together your corporate team

Now don’t let the term “corporate” scare you. I understand that most of us don’t want to live in the corporate world, myself included. I have no desire to work in a cubicle, make decisions by committee or wear a suit every day. But a big part of our business is reminding our clients and customers that we are expert at what we do. (more…)

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Stand and Deliver

or... Do What You Say. I continue to be amazed at how many businesses are out there with really crappy customer service. Don't be one of them. This industry is…

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Copyright part 3, Protect thyself

Anyone who’s been in this business long enough has a story about being ripped off. Whether it’s about unpaid invoices, clients who make unreasonable demands, or outright fraud, my experience has been there are two types of professional photographers. Those who have been cheated, and those who will. We’ll talk about invoicing, unreasonable clients and fraud later. Right now – stolen images. (more…)

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My favorite piece of gear

black_rapid_strap2If you ask a photographer to name the one piece of equipment that he loves the most, the answer might surprise you. Although I love my camera, my flashes, my lens… they could all be replaced by other brands if necessary. However, there is one thing that I use all the time that I just love. (more…)

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Copyright, part two

Part Two – Licensing usage

Now that we’ve determined that artists are entitled to profit from their creations, we’ve got to answer the question of who actually holds the copyright, ie who owns the work. US copyright law was originally codified in 1790 but for practical purposes, the Copyright act of 1976 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) are the laws that currently affect us. (more…)

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Get the shot

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Last Saturday I was working a Bar Mitzvah when something happened that is pretty common lately: The lights came down and the glow sticks came out.

Bar Mitzvah photographers know what I’m talking about here. The DJ at a Bar Mitzvah has one of the toughest jobs in that industry because they have to entertain a room full of 13-year-old kids and their parents at the same time. (In fact, a friend of mine who used to hire DJ’s for a national chain of nightclubs told me that he would seek out Bar Mitzvah Jocks because they knew how to play to the whole room.) One of the ways that they make the kids happy is with glowsticks.

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Copyright, Part One

This is the first of several in a series on copyright, as it stands in the US, and how it affects photographers.

Part One – The basics.

Photography is copyrighted intellectual property, just like books, music and software. Like musicians, authors and filmmakers, photographers are paid a fee for creating the work and then residuals or royalties for the subsequent use of those works. An artist’s ability to profit from their creations is a Constitutional right, Article 1, Section 8:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Not to get too political here, but… The framers realized that a stable and prosperous society is aided by the ability of the innovative and inventive to profit from their innovations and inventions. This may all seem like political mumbo jumbo, but in the face of those who think copyright is a hindrance to free expression (if you liked Napster, this means you) it’s an important rebuttal. Without the profit motive to, well, motivate us, why create.

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Let’s make a deal…

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Copyright Booray Perry Photography All Rights Reserved

Last week I was talking to a potential client who was wanting a portrait session for her baby. She wanted my full session and she planned to buy three 16×20 prints. When I told her the price she said, “Oh, that’s way too much money… especially in today’s economy.” (more…)

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Ten Travel Photography Commandments

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Photo ┬ęTewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

I’m soon to travel on a photo-expedition to the south of India with the intention of documenting the unusual ritualistic dances called Theyyam. The dances take place in remote villages principally in the state of Kerala, in a region known for its several thousand-year-old traditions, rituals and customs.

I thought I’d start my inaugural post by sharing my ten travel photography commandments, distilling what I’ve learned over the course of the past years as to what helps make better travel and environmental (on-location) portraits…or at least, what works for me. (more…)

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