Author Archive

Dear Graduating Class of 2015

Posted: May 20th, 2015

[by Jim Cavanaugh] I am writing this to you from a perspective of having sat where you are sitting 40 years ago this month. You have completed your formal education and are looking forward to building a career as a professional photographer and image maker. You are full of enthusiasm and optimism as well as uncertainty [...]

Providing Structure for You and Your Clients

Posted: January 13th, 2015

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Many small businesses consider policies the province of big business. They also often feel that policies restrict the flexibility and innovation necessary in entrepreneurial businesses. Poor policies can have a detrimental effect, but having a reasonable number of clear, well-crafted policies adds structure to your business, helps resolve client disputes and automates [...]

Staying Out of Coast Mode

Posted: January 8th, 2015

[by Jim Cavanaugh] I put an aggressive marketing program into action at the beginning of 2011. Like many other photographers, I suffered through a dramatic decrease in business from the economic downturn that began in 2008. I developed a new portfolio, a new web site, increased social media presence, a new e-mail campaign and most [...]

Resolving Conflict

Posted: July 22nd, 2014

[by Jim Cavanaugh] As a business owner, some level of conflict with a small number of your clients is inevitable. The conflict can be over price, change orders, ownership & use, quality, deliverables, deadlines and more. The first key to resolve these types of conflicts is to endeavor to prevent them from happening. Most often, [...]

Keep Up To Date and In Front Of Clients

Posted: June 25th, 2013

[by Jim Cavanaugh] I have been deeply involved in social media for about three years. I use social media for two primary reasons. The first is a mix of personal and professional. I use it to keep connected to hundreds of people I have met through my association with ASMP. Not only do I see [...]

Just Five a Day

Posted: April 4th, 2011

[by Jim Cavanaugh] If you set aside a half-hour aside every business day to call just five new client contacts, at the end of the year you will have made contact with over 1,250 new potential clients. Jim Cavanaugh is an architectural and aerial photographer based in Buffalo, NY. He is President of ASMP.

LinkedIn – A Powerful Client Research Tool

Posted: March 16th, 2011

[by Jim Cavanaugh] LinkedIn has become my most important tool for identifying new clients. While not as popular or user friendly as facebook, LinkedIn has a different culture and is much more about business. Every time I have a new person “link in” with me in LinkedIn, I will add their e-mail address to my [...]

The Business of Facebook

Posted: March 15th, 2011

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Facebook has grown to be one of my most important business resources.  Once you move beyond Farmville, horoscopes and what your long lost high school friend had for lunch, there can be a wealth of information and the ability to reach out to and build relationships with current and prospective clients. If [...]

Creative Commons, Friend or Foe?

Posted: June 22nd, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Ask most photographers about Creative Commons and they will likely respond that it is just a tool for people to use images without having to pay for them. At first glance this may seem true. Creative Commons allows people to use photographs and other intellectual property created by others in several broad [...]

Sleep On It

Posted: April 2nd, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Part of being a business owner is dealing with occasional disputes that will develop with clients, suppliers and assistants. Often times the problem will pop up unexpectedly in the form of a terse e-mail, pointed letter or angry phone call. Human nature has us tend to react defensibly to the situation, especially [...]

You Probably Didn’t Know, but …

Posted: March 29th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] I can’t tell you how many of my photographs I have seen used without a license or permission from me. When I find one or more of my images infringed I take immediate action. My first step is to contact the company or person in writing. I lightheartedly call this letter “You [...]

Making Copyright Part of Your Workflow

Posted: March 15th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Photographers often cite one of the barriers to regular copyright registration is assembling the submission of images. In the old film days, it was a significant challenge to get physical copies of all your work in an acceptable form for registration. In today’s digital world it is much easier to assemble a [...]

I’m Gonna Sue!

Posted: February 26th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] When I was a Chapter President, I would often get calls from angry members who found that one of their photographs had been infringed. They wanted the name of a copyright attorney so they could sue the infringer. I was always stunned when I asked about what the person said after they [...]

Private Disability Insurance

Posted: February 22nd, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Insurance statistics tell us that we are seven times more likely to become disabled than die during our work life. Many folks have life insurance but far fewer independent photographers have private disability insurance. Many assume, if they become disabled, that they will be taken care of by Workers Comp or State [...]

Do You Have a Voice Mail Problem?

Posted: February 18th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] How many times have you heard people lament “I can’t get a hold of anybody. All I ever get is voice mail”. It can be frustrating until you realize that voice mail is really a perfect way for you to get your message to a client in a clear, concise manner. Just [...]

Are You Communicating With Your Key Business Partners?

Posted: January 27th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Most photographers spend countless hours developing and implementing marketing programs, direct mail campaigns, e-mail, web communications and social networking all designed to make clients aware of them and their work. But clients are only part of your business. What about other key support people like your banker  or your CPA? What about [...]

Building a Cash Reserve

Posted: January 19th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Are you building a cash reserve to get you through future financial tough times? Seems like a crazy question to ask in a tight economy. But it’s something you need to do. It’s simple. Just set aside a small percentage of your fees in an interest bearing checking or money market account [...]

Are You Planning for the Future?

Posted: January 12th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] In challenging economic times, our business focus often becomes one of survival. How will we pay the bills due at the end of this month?  How can I get that next job in the door? While getting work and paying current bills are urgent issues, they are not the most important issue. [...]