Author Archive

Why the Middle Class Matters

Posted: July 6th, 2016

[by Jan Klier] Cross-posting from LinkedIn. These days there is a lot of talk about the state of the middle class in the world. As a matter of fact, the middle class does not only matter politically, but also within the economic bounds of a specific industry, such as the photography industry. Most photographers entering the [...]

Advertiser Pledge Sets Example of Accountability in the Fight Against Piracy

Posted: June 30th, 2016

With the recent establishment of our partnership with George Mason University’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP), ASMP will begin to include cross-postings in Strictly Business about  political, economic, and social trends related to a broad range of infringement issues being addressed by CPIP and its contributors. Cross-posted from the Mister Copyright blog. It should come as no [...]

What Photographers Can Learn From Brands

Posted: May 23rd, 2016

[by Jan Klier] Cross-post from LinkedIn. On the heels of my recent post on a different way of thinking of pricing, this email newsletter by Don Giannatti, and a conversation in my braintrust group last night, made me think of a pertinent analogy to the headwinds photographers are facing: The change in power between the [...]

Rethinking Pricing of Visual Assets

Posted: May 16th, 2016

[by Jan Klier] Cross-post from LinkedIn. Lots of change is afoot in the world of visual assets, which I consider the umbrella term for still photography and motion imagery. The still photographers are grappling with an apparent imbalance of supply and demand, competition from ‘everyone is a photographer’, a client base less versed in the business [...]

Hunting, Fishing, and Drilling

Posted: February 17th, 2016

These are three things a traveler expects to find in the northern parts of Pennsylvania these days. But I also relate them to the capture and editing of moving pictures. Most of my storytelling experience comes from photojournalism. Of course, I’ve worked with writers while photographing stories, but my best work is shot while alone. [...]

Everyone Needs to Edit

Posted: February 17th, 2016

[by Jenna Close] The first video I ever shot went pretty well, or so I thought, until I got into the editing room. Luckily for me it was a personal project. I had shot what felt like a huge amount of footage, including all the necessary wide, medium and close-up shots.  I had what I thought [...]

Prospecting Like a Pro

Posted: February 11th, 2016

[by Kat Dalager] Shotgun marketing has become less effective in a population that would prefer to opt in rather than opt out. That means up front research is more important than ever if you want to make the most of your time and money. Where to Begin You could always buy an email or mailing list [...]

Validating a Prospector’s Approach

Posted: February 10th, 2016

[by Barry Schwartz] In my twenties I wanted to be a field biologist. I loved the idea of being outside, engaging with the elements, and how naturalists develop broad conclusions based on specific behaviors and occurrences. I appreciated that research never ends; that there was always more to learn, deeper to look, farther to go. I [...]

The Many Faces of Client Research

Posted: February 9th, 2016

[by Jenna Close] Researching clients is a significant part of how I market my services. I’ve found that there isn’t really a one size fits all solution, so I use many different tactics, largely dependent on what type of prospect I am trying to reach. Agencies: Using a list service, like Yodelist or Agency Access, [...]

Making the Most Out of Your Attorney Search and Meetings

Posted: February 4th, 2016

[by Bruce Bellingham, Peter McCall & Scott Burroughs] Note: If you missed ASMP’s Business as unUsual webinar, You’ve Been Infringed, Now What? featuring Bruce Bellingham, Peter McCall & Scott Burroughs, you can watch the recording at:, Password: ASMPinfringed. Many people you know are eager to recommend a good lawyer, but forming an attorney-client relation [...]

ImageRights for Copyright Enforcement – the Better Alternative to DIY Infringement Management

Posted: February 3rd, 2016

[by Eric Bowers] After a job layoff in 2013, I found myself more dependent than ever on income from my photography. To build up my freelance business, I began researching search engine optimization (SEO). In that process, I discovered that my photography was already scattered about the web, but on business and commercial websites for [...]

Working with the Copyright Defense League

Posted: February 2nd, 2016

[by Tom Salyer] Back in 2013, the Copyright Defense League invited me to submit images as part of their testing and ramping up process. I don’t have a huge image library but I have some 2000 or so stock images out in the world so I thought “What the heck, why not?” I gave CDL [...]

An Interview with Pixsy Client Harold Davis

Posted: February 1st, 2016

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, and how you began working with Pixsy. I have been a professional photographer for many years, first in New York City, and now in Berkeley, California. My work is widely collected, licensed, and published. I am an Adobe Influencer, a Moab Master, and a Zeiss Ambassador. I am [...]

An Introduction to Copyright Reform

Posted: October 20th, 2015

The following on-demand recordings come from Separating Fact from Fiction: What Every Visual Artist Should Know About The Copyright Review Process,  a 6-part program featuring June Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School, intellectual property attorney Nancy Wolff of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP [...]

Copyright Reform

Posted: October 20th, 2015

This week, we are proud to feature a brand new 6-part series of short on-demand webinars providing information, insights and analysis of recent Congressional and Copyright Office activities related to copyright reform.  I urge you to take a few minutes out of your busy day to educate yourself on issues relating to one of the [...]

ASMP’s got you covered this week & next!

Posted: October 19th, 2015

This week, join us at Photo Plus Expo in New York – October 21 – 24: Network with fellow members at our Booth (and all around Expo) Sign up for a FREE portfolio review/consultation on us (Members Only!) Grab a beer and a slice at ourMember Meet Up Learn how to build a working business plan [...]

Storytelling in Motion

Posted: August 24th, 2015

One of the biggest differences between creating an effective still photo and producing a captivating motion piece is how you approach telling the story. This week, our contributors share their insights, advice and practices for tellling engaging stories in motion.

Getting the Most Out of Portfolio Reviews

Posted: August 10th, 2015

From structured review events to one-on-one appointments with clients, how you handle portfolio reviews can make or break your career.  What should you show? What should you say? What should you ask? What should your never show, or say, or ask, or do?  This week we continue to feature, a mix of experienced photographers and [...]

Save Now, Save Later

Posted: August 3rd, 2015

These last few weeks of summer are the perfect opportunity to save on some great learning opportunities available right now.  Save even more by registering early for Photo Plus Expo and the Palm Springs Portfolio Reviews coming up this fall! August 4: Portland | August 6: Sacramento | August 7: San Jose | August 9: [...]

When Losing is Actually Winning

Posted: July 28th, 2015

[by Francis Zera] The most important thing I keep in mind when bidding on projects, especially those gems that I really, really, want, is that this is business, and business can be rough, so stay confident but don’t get your hopes up. I’ve had plenty of bids simply disappear into the void, with the client [...]

The Nitty Gritty of Production

Posted: July 13th, 2015

When people think of how great photographs are made, they’ll usually focus on the visible elements – lighting, composition, posing, etc. but getting those stars to align on schedule, on budget and on demand usually involves a ton of logistics that must be perfectly organized, coordinated and managed.  This week, our contributors share their insights [...]

To Independence…

Posted: July 3rd, 2015

Dear Friends – On July 4, those of us in the United States celebrate Independence Day.  As the editor of a blog dedicated to independent creators, this time of year always has a certain resonance for me…well, that and I really love fireworks! In honor of this annual celebration, I’d like to take a moment [...]

A Musical Note

Posted: June 17th, 2015

[by Rich Beckman] Photographers experience many challenges when transitioning to video, but the most difficult is usually when we are faced with gathering great storytelling audio to accompany our stunning imagery. For many projects, audio consists of interviews and then everything else. Everything else can be a variety of things depending on the story, the [...]

I Feel Like a Fraud…and Why You Should Feel this Way, Too

Posted: May 29th, 2015

[by Jason Myers] The first time I walked into a portfolio review in New York City, I was terrified. I wandered past a dozen or more of my peers who had their amazing books beautifully displayed on tables for two with decision-makers on the other side of the table. They seemed prepared, confident and incredibly [...]

Magazine Industry Pros Dish on Marketing

Posted: May 28th, 2015

[by Andrea Maurio] Ever wonder how photo directors & photo editors are using social media these days to find talent? Do you want to hear about their preferences on receiving marketing materials? Curious if magazines have separate staff handling their social media? I was able to get the inside scoop from Playboy’s Photo Director & Multimedia [...]

The Journey of a Portfolio Build

Posted: May 27th, 2015

[by Angee Murray] I call it a journey because there’s a lot of transformation that can occur over a short period of time while working on a new portfolio build. And for many that journey will never end. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Farrell Scott. Don’t you just love her name? It [...]

Road to Success

Posted: May 26th, 2015

This week, our friends at Agency Access are rounding out Wednesday’s Business as unUsual webinar, Estimating with Confidence, featuring art buyer, producer & Agency Access consultant Lynn Kyle, by offering their insights on breaking into the biz, building your portfolio, marketing your work and facing your first big portfolio review.  Enjoy! ~Judy Herrmann, Editor

Words of Wisdom for the Class of 2015

Posted: May 18th, 2015

In the coming weeks, countless photography and digital imaging majors will embark on new careers.  This week our contributors offer a second week advice for those at the very beginning of this journey.  Not surprisingly, there’s plenty of wisdom for those of us who’ve been around the block a few times, too. ~Judy Herrmann, Editor

Words of Wisdom for the Class of 2015

Posted: May 11th, 2015

In the coming weeks, countless photography and digital imaging majors will embark on new careers.  This week and next, our contributors will share advice for those at the very beginning of this journey.  Not surprisingly, there’s plenty of wisdom for those of us who’ve been around the block a few times, too. ~Judy Herrmann, Editor

Pricing & Negotiations

Posted: March 31st, 2015

These days, even the most experienced photographers seem to struggle with pricing their work, sussing out client needs and negotiating favorable fees.  This week, our contributors share their insights on the all important art of pricing & negotiations.

A Photographers Vision is “selbstverständlich”

Posted: March 18th, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] Vision is one of those uniquely personal experiences. Your vision is just ‘selbstverständlich” as we say in German. (Sorry, but there’s no really good translation for this word. Literally translated it means “understandable on its own.”) Your vision just goes without saying (the official translation). You know your vision when you see [...]

Expand Your Horizons

Posted: March 16th, 2015

Almost 2 years ago, my partner, Mike Starke, and I made a commitment to start learning CGI (Computer Generated Imaging).  Much like our early adoption of digital photography back in 1994, CGI has opened creative avenues that we had never imagined possible.   Walt Jones, a photographer and CGI producer who has worked on the the [...]

Saying No

Posted: February 23rd, 2015

Sometimes what the client wants, what they’re willing to pay and what’s best for you and your business don’t line up.  At what point do you decide to walk away?  How do you say no to a bad fit and still leave the door open for future collaborations? This week, our contributors share their insights [...]

Personal Work

Posted: January 26th, 2015

Our posts on Personal Work this past November proved so popular and it’s such an important part of developing a successful career today, that we’ve decided to dedicate another week to it.  This week, our contributors share more insights into the value of personal projects and the role personal work has played in their own [...]

…And a Happy New Year!

Posted: December 24th, 2014

As the year draws to a close, we’d like thank our many regular and guest contributors who have given so generously of their time and knowledge to help us dish up a new post 5 days per week for nearly 6 years! To you, our readers, thank you for making this one of the most [...]

Looking Forward…Looking Back

Posted: December 22nd, 2014

As the year draws to a close, many of us take some time to assess how we got to where we are and how to get where we want to go.  This week, our contributors share their thoughts on this past year and the one to come. ~Judy Herrmann, Editor

Giving Thanks

Posted: November 26th, 2014

As our contributors have pointed out this week, there is much to be said for the simple act of gratitude.  Not just during Thanksgiving, but every day.  In that spirit, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of this blog, of ASMP and of this industry we all hold so dear. Our [...]

A Thank You Gift from Blinkbid

Posted: November 26th, 2014

Save over 30% when you purchase Blinkbid before 12:00 pm on Monday, December 1! Our friends at Blinkbid have are showing their thanks to all of our Strictly Business blog readers by offering a special discount on their excellent bidding software.  To take advantage of this special savings, download a copy of Blinkbid from, [...]

ASMP Hits the Big Apple!

Posted: October 27th, 2014

This week, ASMP will be joining thousands of photographers at Photo Plus Expo, the premier trade event for still and motion photographers.  We hope you’ll join us there and take advantage of these great opportunities to connect with ASMP. Not a member?  Click here to join and enjoy these great member only offers: ASMP’s Annual [...]

What’s New?

Posted: September 22nd, 2014

We all know that the same-old, same-old doesn’t work so well in these rapidly changing times.  We’ve all got to stretch ourselves – take some risks and try new things. This week, our contributors share some new things they’re trying in their businesses and how that’s working out for them.  I hope they’ll inspire you [...]

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks – or a New Dog Old Tricks

Posted: April 24th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] No one is ever too old to learn new tricks. Staying current with marketing trends is as important as staying current with technology trends. At the same time, understanding established marketing principles is a great base to build upon. Old Dogs know the importance of cross-channel promotion and the need to create [...]

Exploring CGI

Posted: December 2nd, 2013

Long the exclusive purview of Hollywood blockbusters, Computer Generated Imaging (CGI) has gained a growing foothold in a wide range of markets for still and motion imagery.  This week, we’ve asked a mix of guest and regular contributors to share their experiences working with CGI.

Thank You!

Posted: November 28th, 2013

Among the many traditions surrounding Thanksgiving, my favorite taking the time to focus on all the things we’re thankful for.  My heartfelt thanks go to you: Our readers, for making this work meaningful; Our contributors, for sharing your hard-won knowledge and experience; Our members, for recognizing the critical importance of being part of something larger than [...]


Posted: October 28th, 2013

This week, we’ve asked contributors who attended Photo Plus Expo to share something valuable -  an idea, an inspiration, an a-ha moment, a tool, a trend, a reminder – that they discovered there.   With over 12,000 photographers packed into the Javits Center, we’d love to share as much of the value as we can.  Join [...]

The Kayaker’s Guide to Photography

Posted: December 5th, 2012

[by Colleen Wainwright] My former acting teacher used to tell his students that if we wanted to learn about acting, we should read a book about kayaking. I didn’t get it at the time, neatly demonstrating in zen-like fashion the exact reason he shared this “secret”: I wanted to get it so desperately. And when [...]

Big Idea: Combination Marketing

Posted: November 9th, 2012

[by Rosh Sillars] My newest big idea is focusing on ways to employ combination marketing.  You may know of multi-channel marketing, which is using multiple platforms and media to reach your target market. Combination marketing is multi-channel marketing that focuses on making sure each of the channels is working to support the others.  For example, [...]

Do Your Purchase Biases Effect Your Pricing?

Posted: November 2nd, 2012

[by Blake Discher] I attended several of my fellow speakers’ presentations at PhotoPlus Expo this year and thought I’d share something that struck me as very important as we all sell either our services or our products. I listened to Tamara Lackey, a Durham, North Carolina based portrait photographer giving a presentation titled, “Portrait Sales: [...]

ASMP Webinar with Mary Virginia Swanson: Sign Up Today!

Posted: October 29th, 2012

Save the date! Join us for the inaugural webinar of ASMP’s new Business as unUsual series featuring renowned creative consultant, author and educator, Mary Virginia Swanson.  Our conversation will focus on: editing your work to show your unique vision presenting your work in print and electronic portfolios marketing your work to different audiences identifying new markets for [...]

ASMP: Celebrating the Spirit of Collaboration

Posted: October 5th, 2012

This weekend marks two important anniversaries.  The Eddie Adams Workshop holds its 25th annual barnstorm in Jeffersonville, New York and the Lucie Foundation hosts the 10th Lucie Awards Gala celebration in Beverly Hills.  Both of these events celebrate and promote the art of photography and the people who create it.  The ASMP is proud to [...]

Rescuing Your Receipts from the Black Hole

Posted: August 7th, 2012

[by Kimberly Blom-Roemer] Have you noticed your car is a black hole… for receipts? And, no receipt, no deduction on my taxes. What to do? Use that space between your seat and the center console to put a business sized envelope. Each time I acquire a receipt, instead of putting it in the shopping bag, [...]

My Top 10 Tips for Photography Career Planning

Posted: August 1st, 2012

[by Judy Herrmann] For the past 5 years, I’ve been giving seminars, consulting and writing about business planning and managing change. Based on years of study and practice, here are my top tips for building a successful career or business plan: Get really clear about what you want. The single biggest stumbling block to making [...]

Bloody T-Shirts = Cost Saving Marketing?

Posted: July 19th, 2012

[by Kimberly Blom-Roemer] Just like most of you, I have a bloody t-shirt from the hits I took with the economic slow down. Because of this, and knowing cutting back on my marketing would be the death knell for my business, I had to do some serious soul searching to find ways to maintain/increase my [...]

Negotiating is a Full-Time Job

Posted: June 14th, 2012

[by Barry Schwartz] If you’re in business for yourself, you’re negotiating even when you only appear to be pushing paper around. For instance: proposals and contracts.  You have a potential client with whom you have discussed – at length – all the particulars of a job. As you write the proposal, what you say, where [...]

I Want the Entire Budget

Posted: May 23rd, 2012

[by Rosh Sillars] Whatever my client’s budget is, I want it.  The worst feeling is when I leave money on the table. That is why I use per-image pricing. I’ve found that when clients have a set budget, they will use it if you give them the opportunity.  Day-rates don’t offer the opportunity to purchase [...]

Do You Use Word Pictures?

Posted: March 6th, 2012

[by Rosh Sillars] The next time you meet a potential client, don’t tell them what you do, explain in vivid detail how you can help them. Here’s an example: When I meet designers, I ask them if they’ve ever had a client send them a folder full of unusable photographs for an upcoming project, such [...]

Jump In and Let Someone Else Drive

Posted: February 23rd, 2012

[by Kevin Lock] My suggestion for the day… do not re-invent the wheel to get where you need to go.  Borrow a friends car.  Better yet, their personal limo. If you are looking to improve your lighting skills and explore some new techniques, check out Dave Black’s “workshop at the ranch.”  Dave has been publishing [...]

Safe Travels

Posted: November 17th, 2011

[by Kevin Lock] Make photo copies of your license, passport and credit cards and leave in each of your travel bags. You don’t want to end up stranded if your wallet goes missing. Kevin Lock is a current national director of ASMP. While Kevin does not get stranded he has been to change direction in [...]

ASMP Announces Plans for dpBestflow

Posted: September 15th, 2011

The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) has made a financial contribution to dpBestflow, and Peter Krogh has been named the new Project Director.

My Real Job…

Posted: August 3rd, 2011

[by John Slemp] Attending my friend, Judy Herrmann’s, Breaking into the Biz program at my ASMP chapter brought back many memories of my own career transition after a decade of military service.  Talking to her after the program, I mentioned an epiphany I’d had about my own business and she asked me to post about [...]

ASMP Elects New Officers

Posted: April 8th, 2011

The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) has announced that James Cavanaugh, a Buffalo-based architectural and aerial photographer and owner of James Cavanaugh Photography, has been elected as President for 2011-12. Serving as First Vice-President is Gail Mooney of Kelly/Mooney Productions in Brookside, NJ; as Second Vice-President, Shawn Henry of San Diego-based Shawn G. Henry [...]

SB3 Chicago – Roundtable Participants Selected

Posted: March 23rd, 2011

From a competitive field of applicants, four photographers have been selected to participate in the Chicago SB3 Roundtable Discussion on new business models. Jenna Close Clark Dever Jason Gardner David Spielman These photographers will openly share and receive feedback on their business models and future prospects.  Our thanks to all who applied. We hope you’ll [...]

Entering the Age of Collaboration

Posted: December 6th, 2010

[by Jorge Parra] As photographers have been working as One Man Shows since the very early beginnings of photography, “Team Work” is not a native concept to us, but it certainly has to be explored, in this time and age where all business models are crumbling, and new markets and new ways of making money [...]

Office Security

Posted: November 8th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] Our studios and home offices are very vulnerable to burglary. We have a lot of investment in our equipment and must protect it. Be sure you’re insured. Also, think of ways to protect your property such as a security system and locking everything up. If you have a home office you may [...]

Are People Really Still Making Calls?

Posted: November 5th, 2010

[by Suzanne Sease and Amanda Sosa-Stone] A mutual client of ours recently worked on her brand, portfolio and marketing strategy (with Suzanne).  Then she came to Agency Access to work on implementing her marketing through Campaign Manager (with Amanda – a year long plan to make sure marketing is being done).  After getting her beautiful [...]

Taking Care of Your Health

Posted: October 11th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] Lets face it, life can be hectic and it’s easy to cut corners with our health. Many of us are good at taking care of camera equipment, but what about ourselves? Are we eating healthy? Are we exercising? Be sure to go for a yearly wellness checkup and get on the right [...]

Thoughts on Editorial Photography

Posted: October 4th, 2010

[by Suzanne Sease and Amanda Sosa-Stone] The whole question is print dead?  We don’t think so – it may have slowed down, but it’s still alive and kicking (as far as we know).  With O Magazine, Parent Magazine, New York, Real Simple (Amanda’s desk), Esquire, New York, Vanity Fair, Bon Appetit, Time, National Geographic as [...]

Keeping up with Technology

Posted: September 16th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] When was the last time you attended a seminar or bought a new book? Are your programs such as Photoshop updated? With the fast pace of change we must try to keep up. Learning these new features as they come out will be much easier then waiting till later. Don’t stand still [...]

A New Path

Posted: August 25th, 2010

[by Suzanne Sease and Amanda Sosa-Stone] Starting out in any new business is filled with excitement and the unknown.  Here are some tips we recommend to finding your path. 1.    Know where you want to go in your business (consumer: portraits, weddings, commercial: still life, architecture, fashion, editorial: portraits, etc…) 2.    Make sure you have [...]

You Can’t Rush Experience

Posted: August 24th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] I often get emails and calls about my work from emerging photographers. I’m always open to sharing what I know and feel it helps educate those who may affect the future of our profession. Some of the most asked questions are about the camera or lens I use and if I use [...]

Exploring New Features

Posted: August 20th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] Have you ever worked in Photoshop and see a feature you’re unfamiliar with? Look it up and see what it’s about. It may become very important to your work. Don’t have time to look things up? Write it down for when you do. Paul S. Bartholomew is an architectural photographer based in [...]


Posted: August 18th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] Rediscover the joy in what you do. If you aren’t loving making images, just for the sake of making images, you may need at least a vacation or perhaps a change in career. Leslie Burns is a creative/marketing consultant and not a lawyer (yet). She is taking the summer off from law [...]

Quick Tip Week

Posted: August 16th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] Shooting for yourself is one of the best things you can do for your business. Schedule time each month to work on personal projects. Leslie Burns is a creative/marketing consultant and not a lawyer (yet). She is taking the summer off from law school to work on a 2nd ed. of her [...]

Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted: July 23rd, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] Shortcuts can add up and save a lot of time. Try memorizing keyboard shortcuts to your most used tasks or tools. Keep a list on your desk for reference and you will soon catch on. Once it becomes intuitive your work will move much more efficiently than clicking around. Paul S. Bartholomew [...]

Creating A Greater Divide

Posted: July 16th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] We live in a highly saturated world of images and as photographers our profession is rapidly changing and at risk if we don’t adapt. I hear a lot about photographers losing projects because an amateur or new photographer was “good enough” and got the job. Some blame it on digital technology, but [...]

Amateur Competition

Posted: July 12th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] I hear photographers complain about amateurs cutting into the market. Here’s my advice: if your business is threatened by the work of amateurs, you need to work on your work. Technology has lowered the bar of entry in photography just as it has in writing, graphic design, fine art, advertising, product design, [...]

Creative Commons Licenses are Unnecessary and Dangerous

Posted: June 23rd, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] I hear lots of people say how CC makes “sharing” possible and promotes the “democratization” of creative culture. Really, it is the emperor’s new clothes of IP licensing–false, dangerous, and unneeded. For centuries (there is specific references to licensing in docs dating as far back as 1474!), traditional licensing has permitted creators [...]

Organizing Emails

Posted: June 16th, 2010

[by Paul Barholomew] Try organizing emails by creating folders that sort by keywords. An example is a folder setup to contain emails with the keyword “ASMP”. Reading through emails will be easier, especially if you subscribe to multiple forums. On Mac this can be setup in your mail preferences under “Rules”. Paul S. Bartholomew is [...]

It’s Quick Tip Week …

Posted: June 14th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] You’ve (hopefully) got an electronic “filing” system in place for your images. How about for your paperwork?

Road Trip

Posted: June 9th, 2010

[by Suzanne Sease and Amanda Sosa Stone] Summer time in an assignment world is thought of as the quietest time in the year, when in fact it could be some of the busiest. We think that since the European markets take a sabbatical, the American market does too – but we should all know better [...]

Marketing Doesn’t Take a Vacation

Posted: June 4th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] Where is your marketing going this summer? Is it going on a nice long vacation? When do you think it will be back? I hope it doesn’t have a vacation home somewhere in the South of France. You can, but your marketing shouldn’t. Your marketing should be consistent. People can get caught [...]

Summer Marketing

Posted: June 3rd, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] Often, summer means a slow-down in business. This is usually a function of client staff taking vacations and a general shift in working mentality during the warm days. The wonky economy hasn’t been too helpful either, but this year I am hearing more good news than bad from photogs across the country. [...]

Consider Becoming an LLC

Posted: May 4th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] Consider changing your business structure to an LLC for the liability protection it provides. Talk to a real attorney about this. A small investment in making the change now could save your personal assets down the road.

ASMP Specialty Groups

Posted: May 3rd, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] The specialty group forums and resources are a great benefit for ASMP members. Ask those who participate and you will find it’s a great resource that helps many of us with unique questions and issues within our specialties. Groups currently include architecture, food and fine art. See for yourself but remember to [...]

The Unexpected Profit from Personal Projects

Posted: April 26th, 2010

[by Paula Lerner] One thing I’ve learned in 25 years in business is that doing personal work that has meaning to me almost always leads to lucrative commercial assignments.  Although it is unpredictable beforehand how personal project A may lead to job B, in the end doing work that I am passionate about not only [...]

Reaching Out

Posted: April 16th, 2010

[by Paul Barholomew] Do you have any questions about business practices, techniques or fees? Try reaching out to other photographers within your specialty. If you feel uneasy about contacting your local competition then contact someone in another region. ASMP members find that communicating with others is a great benefit and it’s valuable to your growth!

Production Charges?

Posted: April 13th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] Double-check your production charges–are they priced correctly to give you a reasonable profit? Small financial leaks can sink your business.

What Is Your Leverage?

Posted: April 7th, 2010

[by Paul Barholomew] We can be cheap, we can be talented and we can offer something unique. These are just a few examples from a long list of features and abilities we can offer to our clients. Ask yourself, how do you wish to sell your services and how will you be portrayed? What makes [...]

Ideas are Welcome

Posted: March 24th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] The business, as if you didn’t know, is changing and that means that your business model needs to change as well. This is true for all sorts of creative-based businesses so at least photographers can know they are not alone. The impact of the shifting technologies has, in a very, very short [...]

One Project and Three Interpretations

Posted: March 11th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] We deal with all kinds of potential clients and some give more information than others when it comes to projects they have in mind. We have the highly organized person who provides layouts, usage, digital specs and all sorts of very helpful information.  Then we have the person who calls and asks [...]

Killer Contradictions

Posted: March 1st, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] You can’t be a high-value (and thus higher priced) photographer if you are cheap and disrespectful to other creatives. Sadly, far too many photographers behave like this. Some squeeze a penny until Lincoln screams and their vendors cringe. They do this under the guise of being wise businesspeople, and while saving money [...]

Equipment Backups

Posted: February 24th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] It kind of goes without saying that having a backup camera is very important. The chances are high that you will eventually run into equipment malfunctions. Try to have a plan B in place. Did you think about a backup tripod? If your work is mostly accomplished on a tripod, everything will [...]

Save Time Getting Paid

Posted: February 17th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] Sometimes an invoice payment is delayed because a W-9 form may be required by the client.  Whenever working with new clients you can send a filled out W-9 form along with the invoice or you can check with their accounts payable if one is required. This can also reduce the hassle of [...]

Taking A Personal Day

Posted: February 9th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] I tend to feel guilty on non-shoot days if I’m not in the studio working on something.  Maybe I’m afraid of missing that important call or email, but then again that’s what an iPhone is for isn’t it?  On the other hand, maybe I’m missing the point if I’m not concentrating on [...]

Factors in Pricing Multimedia Projects

Posted: February 2nd, 2010

[by Paula Lerner] Pricing a multimedia project is not unlike pricing a still photography shoot:  usage is the key factor.  As a parallel example for a stills only assignment, I would price a shoot for photo usage in a hospital brochure or a university view book quite differently than I would price a print ad [...]

Fake It

Posted: January 28th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] One of the biggest problems many, many photographers face in their businesses is being and acting confident. Just today I was speaking with a client who said, essentially, that he’d rather have scalding coffee poured in his lap than have to talk about himself. That’s pretty typical. Most photographers (and all creatives) [...]

Having Confidence

Posted: January 25th, 2010

[by Paula Lerner] There’s a story I sometimes tell about myself when I speak to student groups. Many years ago at the beginning of my career, my husband walked into the room we then shared as an office to find me under my desk. Surprised and bemused, he asked “What are you doing under there??” [...]

Follow the Lawyers

Posted: January 22nd, 2010

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in law school has been to look at both sides of every issue and to negotiate solutions–not as antagonists, but as two “sides” with a common goal. If lawyers can do this successfully, leaving the venom and aggression out of it, photographers and clients can.

Spending Your Money Wisely on Digital Image Storage

Posted: January 14th, 2010

[by Richard Anderson] With every New Year, digital photographers, (which is pretty much all of us now), face decisions about how to make room for a new years worth of image files. Most of us have been shooting digitally long enough to know approximately how many gigabytes we create in a year’s time. It has [...]

Investing In Efficiency

Posted: January 13th, 2010

[by Paul Bartholomew] Most of us try to cut back on expenses, but when does it affect our productivity and time? We often decide on the bigger monitor, the faster computer, the better camera and the list goes on.  Sure, this all costs money but think positively about the investment if it saves you time. [...]

Memories of Futures Past

Posted: January 7th, 2010

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] This term in law school, I am taking Entertainment Law, which will involve exploring many of the issues photographers face. My very first reading for that class was a series of articles about what might happen in the near future in movies, TV, music, and book publishing. The articles were fascinating–a series [...]

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Posted: December 21st, 2009

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] Sometimes, when you feel completely overwhelmed and out of control, a day off is not only a good idea, it is absolutely necessary. The piles of things to be done will still be there, but you’ll be in a better place to deal with them.


Posted: December 8th, 2009

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] When was the last time you updated your insurance? I mean sat down with your agent and looked to see what you really need, and planned for the future, too? Don’t keep putting it off.

It is Quick Tip Week …

Posted: December 7th, 2009

[by Paul Bartholomew] With so many online accounts these days we become very vulnerable to hackers. I had my blog hacked this past year and decided on an easy solution. I created a much longer password that’s easy to remember by combining two passwords together. So far it’s been working.

Great Idea for Your Holiday Promo

Posted: December 4th, 2009

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] As we head into the holidays, photographers are trying to think of holiday promos. I have the perfect solution: next year plan ahead and decide what to do in, say, July or August. Sorry. I know that sounds harsh, but the reality is, if you haven’t planned out your promo by now, [...]

No Time to Lose

Posted: November 20th, 2009

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] A common complaint I hear from photographers is that they do not have the time to do everything. Welcome to modern life. We all are over-committed… but you can manage it if you do two things: use a schedule and say “no.” The schedule is simply required. Find a calendar tool you [...]

Introducing dpBestflow

Posted: November 9th, 2009

[by Richard Anderson] dpBestflow is short for Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow. In August of 2007, the Library of Congress, through its National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), awarded eight private-sector organizations funds to conduct research into the preservation of commercial digital artwork. The American Society of Media Photographers received a major [...]

Make It Your Own

Posted: November 5th, 2009

[by Paul Bartholomew] I think most photographers struggle with direction and style from time to time especially when starting out. It’s a never ending process, at least in my opinion because I think artists are constantly striving and moving in different directions. This constant striving is very fluid, you may try to predict where you’ll [...]

Start Pounding the Pavement

Posted: October 29th, 2009

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] Jump start your marketing by calling three targets every day for the next two weeks. Not the same three, of course. If local, try to get a meeting. If not, ask if you can send your book. (you can keep doing this after two weeks, but commit to that time to start) [...]

Dealing With Security

Posted: October 12th, 2009

[by Paul Bartholomew] This is one of those situations you can never be too prepared for. I often do commercial architectural photography projects that involve public locations. Security or police may be notified or notice photography going on and may become suspicious. People tend to feel uneasy when someone is photographing certain areas. I wish [...]

Your Blog As A Client Resource

Posted: October 7th, 2009

[By Paul S. Bartholomew] Blogs are a great extension to a website. They keep people updated on recent activities and are a great way to bring up some constructive discussion. Another great way to use a blog is to educate and inform. For me it comes down to the topic of the week and what’s [...]

Don’t Blog

Posted: October 5th, 2009

[By Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua] Here’s the thing about blogs: I don’t think you should do one. Don’t do one if it is a chore. Don’t do one if you have nothing of yourself to offer to others. Don’t do one if you wont update it. Don’t do one if it is nothing more than links to [...]

Change Order Forms

Posted: September 29th, 2009

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] Make sure you always have blank Change Orders in your kit and use them. A change to a project during the shoot absolutely requires new numbers, but some clients try to get more for nothing by changing the project while on-set. Make sure also that the person signing it has the authority [...]

Quick Tip for Creativity

Posted: September 28th, 2009

[by Paul Bartholomew] Most of us heard about getting outside opinions when it comes to our portfolios. What about our creative ideas and notes we keep? Try finding a creative partner to share your ideas. You never know what someone else can bring to the table and perhaps you can help them too.

The One Thing

Posted: September 25th, 2009

[by Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] I love to ask this question of successful photographers: What one marketing thing has contributed the most to your success? I ask it because I know it is what other photographers want to know and expect me to ask, but I also know what the answer will be. Successful photographers always answer [...]

A Personal Presence – Taking the Extra Step

Posted: September 22nd, 2009

[by Paul Bartholomew] Photographers are always are thinking about ways to get that extra edge. Sometimes it’s difficult to seal the deal especially during slower times. Think about the process you go through when a potential client contacts you. What can you do to get that edge and be remembered? How about setting up a [...]

Still Only Still?

Posted: September 18th, 2009

[By Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] Do you shoot motion or have you already decided to define yourself only as a still photographer? If you aren’t doing motion, why aren’t you? Self-defining as still only, without even trying on the new medium, seems like stifling your creativity. It’s a new world and the technological barriers are dropping. You [...]

In Multimedia, Audio Comes Before Pictures

Posted: September 14th, 2009

[by Paula Lerner] One thing that many still photographers may not realize when creating a narrative audio slide show is that the audio comes before the pictures.  I recently had the opportunity to spend time with friends and colleagues at the annual meeting of Aurora Photos, my agency, where I had many interesting conversations about [...]

Resurrect Your Blog

Posted: September 9th, 2009

[By Paul S. Bartholomew] Did you jump on the blog bandwagon and fall off? So many blogs are out there and some are getting stale. Consider keeping a regular schedule for updates such as weekly or monthly. Whatever you do, get to it! It not a good thing when someone visits your blog with the [...]

It’s Quick Tip Week – Pick Up Your Camera

Posted: September 8th, 2009

[By Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua] Go shoot for yourself. This is always the best thing you can do for your marketing — making your own images. Your work will define your vision and your vision is your marketing starting point.

Social Media – One Step at a Time

Posted: September 4th, 2009

[By Jack Hollingsworth] A lot of photographers seem to focus more on the risks of change. But I would argue that the risk of not making-over your business is far, far greater. The rules have changed. Almost overnight. A totally different mind set to shooting and selling photography is required. Whether it’s assignment or stock, [...]

Don’t Be A Spectator Be Social

Posted: September 3rd, 2009

[By Paul Bartholomew] Social media is the hot topic lately. Some think it’s great and some think it wastes valuable time. Yes, it can be both and it may not be for everyone. However, don’t expect the world to come right to you without some dedication on your end. It won’t work if it’s not [...]

Using Social Media for your Photographer Makeover

Posted: August 31st, 2009

Most of you know me as a stock guy.  And rightly so.  Since that’s where I’ve spent the last couple of decades.  Shooting commercial, travel and lifestyle imagery for every major stock house in the business.  I saw record highs in 2005-2006.  Then record lows in the beginning of 2007 to the present.  Because of [...]

Marketing Quick Tip from Leslie

Posted: August 21st, 2009

Plan a trip to show your book in another city. This doesn’t have to cost a lot–for example, if you are in Cincinnati, drive to Columbus or Lexington for the day. When you call the targets, make sure they know you are coming from out of town because that will often open doors.

Following Through

Posted: August 19th, 2009

We tend to put great effort into our marketing and trying to get new clients, but what about after the photo shoot? How are you presenting the final images? Think about what the packaging and presentation look like and follow through with your branding. It’s another opportunity to make a great and lasting impression.

Website Solutions You Can Plug Into Quickly

Posted: August 13th, 2009

If you don’t have a website yet and need one, or want to get a portfolio or body of work onto the web quickly, you might consider using a template kind of web hosting service. These providers generally offer some kind of predesigned model that you can plug your work into quickly that will give [...]

Optimization Vs. Presentation

Posted: August 12th, 2009

This is one of those difficult decisions when designing a new website. You want your work to look it’s best and be presented in an impressive manner, but you also want your work to be found through search engines. Wouldn’t it be nice to have both? Unfortunately in many cases a compromise may be required. [...]

Does Your Website Wow?

Posted: August 11th, 2009

Your website is your most important marketing tool. Are you investing in it (both in money and thought) to make it the best it can possibly be? Too often photographers try to cut corners and save money on their sites, but if you have to limit your budget, this is not the place to trim. [...]

Multimedia Made (Relatively) Easy

Posted: August 4th, 2009

If you’re looking for a way to produce a simple audio slide show (stills combined with either music or an ambient sound/interview track) that is fairly straightforward and does not require extensive training, look into a program called SoundSlides.  Labeling itself as “Ridiculously Simple Storytelling,” it is just that.  I have been producing multimedia for [...]

My Sketchbook

Posted: July 28th, 2009

When studying fine arts in college my professors always emphasized the importance of carrying a sketchbook at all times. Ideas can pop up randomly when I least expect them, so to keep them from escaping me, I need to get them captured somehow before forgetting. The best part about a sketchbook is that I can [...]

Quick Tip Week Starts With a Party

Posted: July 27th, 2009

Consider throwing a casual party for local clients. It’s a great way to connect and get to know each other.

My Greatest Hits for Understanding Social Media, Recession Marketing and Branding

Posted: July 22nd, 2009

Here are a few books that I’ve read and re-read.  None of them specifically address the photography industry, per se. But it shouldn’t be too hard to connect the dots.  They serve as an excellent starting point for understanding the migration happening in social media, recession marketing and branding. Small is the New Big by [...]

5 Things You Can Do to Jump-start Your Creativity

Posted: July 15th, 2009

1) Shoot film. Because you won’t get the instant feedback of digital, you’ll have to use bits of your brain that have probably been dormant for a while. 2) Go look at other art. Museums, galleries, wherever you can find art. Think about the process of these other artists and compare it with your own. [...]

Another Really Quick Tip From Leslie

Posted: July 9th, 2009

Check your records to see if any licenses are about to expire. Contact those clients to see if they’d like to renew.

Twitter – A New Way Of Sharing Ideas and Your Work

Posted: July 2nd, 2009

Twitter has grabbed a lot of attention recently and many of you may have tried it out. Some may just roll their eyes when someone even mentions the word Twitter or some may just be overwhelmed with such a means of communication that requires 140 characters or less. I admit that I was bit hesitant [...]

Registering Your Copyright – Just Do It

Posted: July 1st, 2009

While registering the copyright of your photos affords photographers a variety of benefits and protections, very few of us actually do it.  What most don’t seem to realize is that once you get into the regular habit of registering, its just not that big of a deal.  Registration should be like any other part of [...]

Marketing Quick Hit from Leslie

Posted: June 17th, 2009

Call and email to try to get portfolio shows. Offer to bring food (lunch?) and make it an “event” not just a one-on-one.

You Can’t Do It All

Posted: June 5th, 2009

Have you ever noticed how photographers try to do everything themselves? I think more so than any other creative profession, photographers still, today, insist on doing everything they possibly can on their own. Sure, you’ll hire an assistant here and there or maybe get a studio manager if things get really good, but overall, it’s [...]

The Hat Trick

Posted: May 12th, 2009

When you get overwhelmed with marketing and/or business things and you don’t know where to begin because there is so much to do, try this: 1) make a list of tasks you want/need to accomplish–these should be very specific like “pay outstanding A/P” or “research 10 new potential targets” or “shoot something for myself” 2) [...]

Fear and Failure

Posted: May 8th, 2009

Most of us are terrified of screwing up in our businesses–of failing. On one level, this seems rational–we have bills to pay, responsibilities to uphold (families, employees, etc.) so failing sounds like a really, really bad thing. But on the other hand, it isn’t. Failure is rationally rather a very good thing. Why? Because it [...]

Stop Trying to Win

Posted: April 13th, 2009

The other day, in CivPro class (in case you didn’t know, I’m in law school), one of the students couldn’t seem to understand why the professor wouldn’t help him find a way around a basic rule of discovery. The student couldn’t accept that he should give up anything that might hurt his case! He might [...]

What can you do today, in this business climate, to get work now?

Posted: March 27th, 2009

Nothing. I know that sounds harsh, but anything you could do that might possibly bring in business now will, in the long run, hurt your business. Things like lowering your price, offering unlimited rights for the price of a year of web use, or shooting (heaven forbid!) on spec, might possibly get someone in your [...]