Archive for May, 2014

I Fail a Lot

Posted: May 30th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] This isn’t a confession. There isn’t enough time in the day to address all of my issues. Despite all of my failings, I’m proud to say that I put myself in situations where I expect to fail. Yes, in a way, I try to fail. You might say that I’m very successful [...]

Fail Better

Posted: May 29th, 2014

[by Richard Kelly] I’ve read a lot about how today’s younger generation has been given too many “participation” trophies and that we aren’t preparing our children for the “real” competitive world. Our society does not accept failure. We don’t want to accept responsibility for things going wrong. Partly, I suspect, it’s because we fear litigation. [...]

Take Off the Training Wheels

Posted: May 28th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] If you love every single photo you take you are either the world’s best photographer or the world’s most boring one. Without error there is no impetus to improve, and if you can’t improve or find a flaw in your own work it may be time to move onto other challenges in [...]

Taking a Risk and Failing

Posted: May 27th, 2014

[By Michael Clark] Any creative person has to accept risk and the risk of failure. Not accepting risk will mean that your work will remain mediocre. Failure is part of the process of expanding your skill set and becoming better at whatever it is you do. It isn’t always pleasant, nor is it easy to [...]

Failure Isn’t Fatal

Posted: May 26th, 2014

[by Gail Mooney] Failure is something we fear but is inevitable for growth. I know in my own life, whenever I’m not “failing” it usually means I’m not challenging myself.  In the short term things may seem to stay the same but that is rarely true in a creative business. You either grow or you [...]


Posted: May 26th, 2014

There’s a lot of talk in the media about the importance of failure and how it makes people (and products) stronger or better.  While you’re in it, though, failure can be absolutely devastating.  This week, our contributors share their thoughts and experiences on the role of failure in a creative life.

Lessons Learned

Posted: May 23rd, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] I’ve been stiffed once. I have an email folder set aside with all the correspondence from the client who stiffed me and it’s labeled “Lessons Learned.” If you get burned, it may not be avoidable, but there are things that you should be doing to prevent it or to allow a cleaner [...]

The Best Things in Life Are Free – Professional Photography Just Ain’t One of Them.

Posted: May 22nd, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] “Our normal payment terms are 45 days.” the producer of a large national brand tells me. (This is an actual conversation that took place not long ago.) I’m thinking, that’s nice, but I work with a deposit of 50% upfront and balance due on delivery. “If you’re really lucky it’s 30 days.” [...]

Why Your Payment Terms Aren’t Helping Your Business (and what to do about it)

Posted: May 21st, 2014

[by Angela Pointon] Payment terms are not a customer service differentiator and they never will be. Why? Because service differentiators are meant to attract and appease the kinds of clients you deeply desire for your business. And I have yet to meet a photographer actively seeking out customers that take a long to time to [...]

Bill Collecting

Posted: May 20th, 2014

[by Bruce Katz] In the 30+ years that I’ve been in business I’ve encountered a myriad of problems getting my invoices paid – corporate bureaucracy, cash flow problems, bankruptcy, and just plain miscommunications. Here are a few thoughts and examples about getting those invoices paid before you have to resort to lawyers, small claims court, [...]

Getting Paid

Posted: May 20th, 2014

There are few things worse than money conflicts with clients.  This week, our contributors focus on how to handle getting paid in a professional manner that will let you avoid the tough conversations after the fact or, if they’re unavoidable, handle them with aplomb. For more insights on this important topic, register for our free [...]

Knowledge is Power

Posted: May 19th, 2014

ASMP has lined up a collection of great opportunities for you to build your business acumen and gain important new skills.  Don’t miss these great free (or discounted for members) programs:   We’re wrapping up our Business as unUsual webinar season with two industry veterans who are as honest, open and straightforward about sharing knowledge [...]

To Be Published or Self-Publish? Questions to Ask Yourself

Posted: May 16th, 2014

Nearly every photographer I know who has pursued publishing cites Publish Your Photography Book, as a critical resource.  Today, we present a guest post from it’s coauthor Mary Virginia Swanson. Enjoy! ~ Judy Herrmann, editor. [by Mary Virginia Swanson] Photographers often tell me they want a book of their photographs as part of their career [...]

Don’t Be Afraid Of Publishing

Posted: May 15th, 2014

[by Rosh Sillars] As photographers, we are familiar with the fact that most anyone can pick up a camera or phone to take a photograph with reasonable success. The reason is technology has made photography easier.  Technology has also made it easier to publish too.  Just like the amateur photographer who is selling their best [...]

My Publishing Stack

Posted: May 14th, 2014

[by Peter Krogh] Building on my last Strictly Business blog post, I’ll elaborate a bit about the different layers that make up my independent publishing stack. You can think of these as the building blocks that we use to create our new media publishing company. There are a lot of different tools and services you [...]

Self-Publishing Doesn’t Mean You Have To Do It Alone

Posted: May 13th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] In the last year I’ve self published two small projects. One: A magazine that served mainly as a promotional giveaway for clients that I ended up producing through MagCloud. The second was a 32 page newspaper that included both images as well as interviews and articles with artisans and entrepreneurs in the [...]

Diversifying your Income via E-Books

Posted: May 12th, 2014

[by Michael Clark] Early on in my career, I created a one page printed Newsletter that I mailed out to 200 clients four times a year. This Newsletter served as a reminder to the photo editors and art buyers I regularly worked with that I was still available for assignments and also showed them what [...]

Publishing Your Work

Posted: May 12th, 2014

When it comes to publishing your work, photographers today have more options then ever before.  This week, our contributors share their insights and experiences with getting their work our into the world.

Assistant Wish List? Just Two Items

Posted: May 9th, 2014

[by Blake Discher] I have two criteria for assistants: 1. Never let ‘em see ya’ sweat I was working in Monterrey, Mexico for an insurance company’s annual report in a closed conference room. Four lights, I’m in the center of an open-square table layout capturing candids during the annual board meeting. Both my assistant and [...]

All I Ever Needed to Know About Photography, I (didn’t) Learn in Photo School.

Posted: May 8th, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] Assisting is the best way to learn the business of photography. Period. It’ll teach you more about running a professional photography studio, than any photography degree. I should know, I don’t have one. I began my career as a photographer by assisting for 4 years in Chicago, Miami and New York. I [...]

The First Thing to Remember

Posted: May 7th, 2014

[by Luke Copping] I can show you how to set up lights. I can show you how to tether a camera. I can teach you a million things about working with a subject and managing a crew. What I can’t teach you however, is how to not have a shitty attitude when you come on [...]

What to Expect When You’re Assisting

Posted: May 6th, 2014

[by Bruce Katz] One of the key elements for a successful photography business is running a smooth, efficient production that can handle all of the twists and turns of demanding clients and the uncontrollable variables like weather and working on crazy city streets. At the core of that production is you–the assistant. The good ones [...]

How to Be the Best Assistant Ever

Posted: May 5th, 2014

[by Ed McDonald] I graduated from photo school quite awhile back, and while many things in this industry have changed quite dramatically, being a good assistant remains pretty much the same today. By and large it’s the attention to detail, a positive can do attitude, and the hustle that you bring to the assignment that [...]

What Every Assistant Should Know…

Posted: May 5th, 2014

Just as photographers need to have a clear understanding of their clients expectations and unmet needs, Photography Assistants – and those aspiring to assist – need a better understanding of their clients.  This week, our contributors shed some light on what matters most to photographers when hiring and working with assistants.

Want to Get Better at Something? Practice. Want to Get Better at Practicing? Implement a Process.

Posted: May 2nd, 2014

[by Luke Copping] Some people run from lighting, while others run headlong into learning it – trying a bit of everything and experimenting with this technique or that. They might find one approach that works for the majority of their work. Maybe it’s big beautiful soft lights up close, maybe they like the drama of [...]

Expanding the Toolbox: Artificial Lighting

Posted: May 1st, 2014

[by Michael Clark] Learning to use artificial lighting is always a huge challenge but it will certainly help take any photographer’s skills to the next level. As a young adventure sports photographer, I remember very clearly having lunch with a prominent photo editor who told me, “You adventure photographers couldn’t light your way out of [...]