The American Society of Media Photographers provides this forum to encourage the development of critical skills and to foster new ideas. Our goal is an informed and savvy professional photography community.

Expand Your Markets, Know Your Rights

Join us this Wednesday and the following Tuesday for two exciting webinars, then take advantage of ASMP’s great discounts on upcoming educational programs.  Full details below!

~ Judy Herrmann, Editor

BaU_logo4blogMarketing the One True You
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
1:00 – 2:00 pm eastern / 10:00 – 11:00 pacific
Plus additional Q&A on ASMP’s Facebook page

In an increasingly crowded marketplace, standing out and attracting the right audience are harder than ever. Our very own marketing maven, Colleen Wainwright, aka the Communicatrix, has long noted that the most effective marketing is less about yelling and selling, and more about “the truth of you translated into the language of them.” Join Colleen and host Judy Herrmann for a look at how to recognize and communicate the truth of you in your marketing efforts so you can reach and connect with the right audience for your work.
Register for this free webinar today!

 

PrintThe Expansion of Fair Use
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
1:00 – 2:00 pm eastern / 10:00 – 11:00 pacific

In recent years, the Fair Use Doctrine has been used to successfully defend an ever broadening array of unauthorized uses. This expanded application of Fair Use is rapidly becoming the biggest threat to the continuing monetization of photography. Join host Richard Kelly for a conversation with IP attorney Nancy Wolff, who will provide the creator’s perspective on this critical and controversial area of Copyright law.
Register for this free webinar today!

 

Speedlite_Logo

Need Light? Speedlite!
On Tour through May 29, 2014

 

The Need Light? Speedlite! Tour shows participants how to master the techniques and harness the possibilities of small strobes and how to create beautiful and dramatic photos in any situation using only Speedlites. Every attendee gets to shoot with their own camera during a 2-hour “free shoot” photo session with live models Find a list of tour stops and learn more at: speedlitepower.mzed.com.
ASMP Members: click here to save $10 off the daytime workshop.

 

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Palm Springs Photo Festival
April 27 – May 1, 2014
Palm Springs, CA
ASMP Members:
Click here to get the best discount available -  save 10% at PSPF 2014

The Palm Springs Photo Festival is dedicated to providing a rich program intended to inspire, educate and instill or reignite passion for the art and commerce of photography.  Enjoy portfolio reviews, workshops and seminars with some of the best and brightest in the industry, including our very own Peter Krogh and Colleen Wainwright!  Learn more at: 2014.palmspringsphotofestival.com.
ASMP Members: click here to get your 10% discount!

By Editor | Posted: April 21st, 2014 | No comments

A Well-Managed Team is Better than the Sum of its Parts

[by Gail Mooney]

Most still photographers are independent entrepreneurs. Some of us may employ a “studio manager” or a small staff, but many of us run the day-to-day operations by ourselves.  However, when working on large projects or assignments, we frequently need to build a team to help us carry these projects out.  This is especially true if you are producing motion projects.

It’s not that difficult to “build” a team, but managing a team is another story.  It requires a skillful balance of being able to manage a project AND manage people.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when managing a team:

  • Be confident – You need to “be in charge” and instill confidence in your team.  If they sense that you don’t have control, they will lose trust in you and the team will quickly fall apart.
  • Communicate – Be clear and specific in all your communications with your team. Make sure that everyone is informed and on the same page in terms of the overall project and also has a clear idea of what is expected of them, individually.
  • Don’t micro-manage – If you have assembled the right team with the smartest people you can find, then each person will bring their expertise and unique strengths to the project.  Give your team members specific tasks with goals and a deadline and let them do their jobs.
  • Be consistent – You will erode your team’s trust if you aren’t consistent in how you manage people.  This also holds true when making decisions. I always try to “take the face out” of any decisions that I make.
  • Listen – Leading a team isn’t all about relaying your perspective.  A good team is made up of people who have a variety of diverse perspectives and viewpoints.  What’s important is to be able to listen to each with an open mind.
  • Admit your mistakes – Everyone makes mistakes, even the guys at the top – especially the guys at the top, because if they are doing their jobs right, they are taking risks and facing challenges.  Own your mistakes, rather than throwing the blame elsewhere.  Your team will respect you more.
  • Remember – If you do your job right in managing your team – the team will be better than the sum of its parts.

Gail Mooney produced and directed Opening Our Eyes, a film about individuals creating positive change in the world.  More tips from Gail can be found here.

By Gail Mooney | Posted: April 18th, 2014 | No comments
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Developing Talent

[by Tom Kennedy]

Among other things, team management is about alignment, coordination, and developing the strengths of those around you by understanding individual aspirations.

A wise manager ignites personal passions and makes developing team chemistry a high priority.  This starts with having a vision for each person’s role on the team, and making that vision a jointly shared responsibility.  A manager who is passionate about developing the skills of others on the team is more likely to gain useful support than one who is solely focused on achieving results for clients.  While the latter is essential, it can only be accomplished if people contributing to a group effort feel good about their own position.

It is important to put people on a team in a position to succeed individually by understanding their own view of their talents and career goals.  Those can be very important as clues when trying to gain maximum creative effort from others.  Ideally, a good manager is able at every moment to reflect back to a team member how he or she is performing and how individual skills might be further developed.

Inevitably, team management requires the alignment of individual efforts to accomplish a group goal.  To do that effectively, one needs to be able to understand the business objective being sought by a client and the why behind “the ask.” If that isn’t clear to all on the team at the outset of any project, it will be very difficult to harness everyone’s full efforts.   The team leader must be able to articulate the objective to be accomplished, as well as explain how each team member’s efforts will contribute to the total effort.   It is also important to make each team member feel valued for his or her contribution.

To do that effectively, a good manager asks for input, particularly at the outset of a project or assignment, and then examines fully the “why” behind what is being brought to the table by all team members.  All inputs need to be considered as variables and understood for their meaning.  For example, if someone is negative because they are anxious about their individual performance contribution, that needs to be understood.  Surfacing underlying issues and varying perspectives is crucial to full communication. Listening purposefully and paying attention to underlying meaning builds trust in a team.

In turn, trust and confidence produce the optimal performance that makes a team and a manager successful.

Tom Kennedy is an independent consultant coaching and mentoring individual photographers, while also working with various organizations to train individuals and teams on multimedia story creation, production, publication and distribution strategies for digital platforms, and enhancing creativity. He also regularly teaches at Universities and multimedia conferences. He has created, directed, and edited visual journalism projects that have earned Pulitzer Prizes, as well as EMMY, Peabody, and Edward R. Murrow awards.  He can be reached at kennedymedia@gmail.com

By Tom Kennedy | Posted: April 17th, 2014 | No comments

Managing a Creative Team

[by Thomas Werner]

Building a strong, unified, and reliable team is essential to a photographer’s success. Professional images depend upon a team of experts, each applying their specific skills toward one goal. At its core this team may include; photographer’s assistants, hair and make-up stylists, and a wardrobe stylist. For larger scale shoots you may hire a producer to handle all of the details surrounding shoot preparation, as well as a location scout, prop stylist, digital technician, and construction crew may be part of your team. Finding a team of reliable collaborators who work well together and understand your and your client’s vision is important, but if you want to build a truly successful team you need to consider a few other things.

Being paid may be what brings everyone to the shoot, but turning someone from a participant into a positive collaborator will mean fulfilling other needs, as everyone has different goals. People will want to work on your set for any number of reasons, to; work with you, learn technical skills, develop business skills, build a portfolio, be respected creatively, network, develop their career, or simply to be part of something. Your job is to understand each team member’s deeper motivation and help him or her achieve their goal without undermining the success of the shoot. Once your team understands that you have their success in mind, as well as your own, you will find that you have a far more dedicated, and energized crew.

Thomas Werner; Lecturer, Educator, Curator, Consultant.
Thomas Werner Projects on Facebook.
Launching soon: Thomaswernerprojects.com
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By Thomas Werner | Posted: April 16th, 2014 | No comments

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