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.

Mastering Tethered Photography

Cover_Art-150pxFor the past several months, ASMP and Tether Tools have been hard at work creating The Ultimate Tethering Guide, a FREE 8 chapter PDF covering everything you need to know to master wired and wireless tethering with dSLRs and medium format cameras.  Having your images pop up on a big screen or tablet as they’re captured helps you and your assistants, stylists, clients and subjects see what you’ve got, what should be adjusted and when it’s time to move on ’cause you nailed the shot!  This week, we’re featuring excerpts from the Guide. Download your copy today from ~Judy Herrmann, Editor

By Editor | Posted: October 6th, 2015 | No comments

Join ASMP at PPE!

Oct. 21 – 24, 2015 at the Javits Center, NYC

Join us at Photo Plus Expo in New York City, October 21 – 24 where you can learn from industry experts, test drive the latest gear, catch up with old friends, network with fellow ASMP members and more!

Don’t miss these great opportunities to connect with ASMP:

ASMP Booth & Networking
FREE Portfolio Consultations at the ASMP booth (Members Only)
ASMP Member Meet Up
ASMP Sponsored Seminars
ASMP Member Discounts:
•   Save $150 on a Full Conference Pass
•   Take 20% off Day Passes and a la carte seminars
•   Save 7.5% on the Official Portfolio Reviews at PPE.

ASMP Booth & Networking
Visit ASMP in Booth #980 (see map) to meet members of the ASMP New York and New Jersey chapters, catch up on the latest about ASMP’s activities, learn more about all ASMP has to offer and grab your ASMP ID sticker so you can spot and network with fellow members throughout the show.

Right next door in Booth #978, you can meet with representatives from PLUS (the Picture Licensing Universal System) and learn more about their image and license registries, which help people who want to use your images find you.

FREE Portfolio Consultations at the ASMP booth
(Limit one per member.)  Once again at PhotoPlus Expo, ASMP is offering members a free consultation/portfolio review with a leading business and creative consultant. This year’s featured consultants are:

  • Elaine Totten Davis – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • Katherine Hennessy – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • JP Perlmutter* – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • Kristy Hopper* – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • Andrea Maurio* – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy
  • Thomas Werner – Fine Art Portfolio Review
  • Louisa Curtis – Portfolio & Marketing Strategy

* Courtesy of Agency Access

These spots fill early so sign up now!  Be sure to read the consultant bios so you can pick the person with the best background for the feedback you’re looking for.

ASMP Member Meet Up
Get to know fellow ASMP members at our Member Meet-Up on Friday, October 23rd from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at Rocky’s Pizza Bar and Restaurant, 460 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001. ASMP Director Frank Rocco, Executive Director Tom Kennedy and Director of Content Strategy Judy Herrmann will be on hand to answer your questions and get your feedback. [map it]

ASMP Sponsored Seminars
This year, ASMP is offering two great programs:

This informative seminar is included in Full Conference and Day Passes or it can be purchased a la carte:

Judy Herrmann
© Herrmann+Starke

Thursday, October 22 from 10:15 — 12:15 pm
Your Roadmap to Success
with Judy Herrmann

Most of us become professional photographers because we want to earn a living doing work we love. Achieving that dream, though, takes more than basic business skills. In this energizing and informative seminar, Judy Herrmann, provides real world strategies for building a working business plan that will help you build the business of your dreams. Unlike formal business plans that are designed to satisfy lenders, your working plan will help you set and achieve your creative and financial goals, identify and assess business opportunities, compete more successfully and attract the right clients for your business. Whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience, the tools and techniques shared in this program will help you earn more money doing work you love.

Get critically important insights on copyright reform FREE in the show floor theater:

Tom Kennedy
© CJ Walker

Thursday, October 22 from 2:45 — 3:15 pm
21st Century Copyright and You
with Tom Kennedy

There is no legislative act that has a greater impact on your ability to earn a living as a creator than copyright. For the first time since 1976, Congress and the Copyright Office have made a public commitment to significantly modernize the Copyright Act. Global corporations with deep pockets have already aligned against the interests of independent creators. Only our numbers and a strong unified voice can counter their lobbyists and their messaging. In this critically important seminar, ASMP Executive Director Tom Kennedy will give you a solid understanding of what’s at play and how you can contribute to the process to ensure that you’ll be able to earn a living in this new era of copyright.

ASMP Members Save $150 on a Full Conference Pass, which includes:

  • Access to over 60 seminars of your choosing between 10/21 and 10/24
  • Admission to the #trending panel discussion at Test Drive – an event dedicated to letting photographers and media get exclusive first-looks at new products
  • PPE keynotes delivered by Lauren Greenfield, who will introduce her latest work, WEALTH: The Influence of Affluence, a 25-year examination of how the ideas of wealth and the American Dream have been productized, exported, and manifested around the globe, and Dennis Keeley, current co-founder/publisher of Acuity Press, who will moderate a panel of remarkable talent to explore one of the more fascinating and enduring documents in photography — the “Street Photograph.”

Can’t stay for all 3 days?
ASMP still has you covered with a 20% discount on all single day passes and a la carte seminars.

ASMP Members Save 7.5% on the Official Portfolio Reviews at PPE

The Official Portfolio Review at PhotoPlus Expo is America’s premier review event for emerging and professional photographers. You choose the influencers you want to see. They do the rest.

Organized by the Palm Springs Photo Festival in conjunction with Photo District News and The Photo Group, this event offers a fabulous opportunity to meet and present your work for critique, feedback and advice. At no other time can a photographer see such a cross-section of potential clients/representatives from both the commercial and fine art arenas in a four-day period.

By Editor | Posted: October 5th, 2015 | No comments
Get Connected

What the Market Will Bear

[by Kat Dalager]

It’s essential to agree to all terms prior to clicking the shutter. There’s nothing worse than having to clear up misunderstandings during or after a shoot. Misunderstandings may not only taint an otherwise great shoot relationship-wise, they can also delay payment.

If the project specifications you receive do not clearly outline what you are responsible for or do not clearly outline the usage terms, then it’s up to you to outline those terms in your estimate and give the client something to respond to – sometimes to the point of forcing a response.

Just because a client asks for something doesn’t necessarily mean that those terms aren’t negotiable. Adjusting an approach or altering usage could save the client money and might be mutually beneficial for you.

For example, if a client is asking for a “buyout,” perhaps what they really need is “unlimited exclusive global use for an unlimited time of all images” but they’re not aware of the correct terminology. (“Buyout” implies purchase of the copyright, which is something you would specifically negotiate to transfer and tends to carry a higher price unless it’s Work For Hire – meaning you are acting as an agent for your client rather than as an independent artist.) Complicated!

Or maybe they want you to incur all expenses without giving you an advance payment so you would in essence bankroll your client. In your estimate, you could include terms for “50% of total estimate due prior to shoot production” or “100% of expenses due prior to shoot production.” There are ways of professionally stating what you need without seeming like you are militant.

Most importantly, you need to decide what your business and the market will bear. Are you independently wealthy? Then it won’t matter if you receive an advance or not. Is everyone in the world giving away unlimited use as standard and you want to charge an additional 200% of fee? You may have problems competing. Keeping current with trends in the marketplace is crucial to successful negotiating.

If you are not good at negotiating contracts or aren’t able to stay current with trends, I highly recommend hiring a producer to help you outline terms and create an estimate for you based on what the market will bear. When in doubt, ask your trusted resources what others are doing.

Kat Dalager knows when to hold ‘em and knows when to fold ‘em when it comes to negotiating contract terms.

By Kat Dalager | Posted: October 2nd, 2015 | 1 comment

Contracts — Five Tips For What To Do When The Fine Print Doesn’t Look So Fine

[by Francis Zera]

Contract law is powerful — you ‘re able to sign away legal rights that you otherwise automatically have (along with the opposite situation, depending on which side of the contract you’re on), so it’s no wonder that contract negotiations often feel precarious and sometimes downright frightening.

Here are a some tips to help smooth the process:

  1. Include either the agreed-upon usage terms (or your default terms) in your initial bid. Also include the finalized terms on your invoice as well as in your delivery memo/license document. This practice provides opportunities for other people in the client’s company to see and understand the license terms. In my experience, lack of internal communications regarding photo licensing is the most common reason behind inadvertent rights violations.
  2. If you discover a discrepancy between the licensing terms as you understand them and what the client presents to you on paper, raise your questions immediately. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of a client’s paperwork containing boilerplate language that someone “forgot” to change. We’re the professionals, and professionals sometimes need to explain the intricacies of our business practices, particularly licensing. Be an educator, not a dictator, and everyone will more likely be happy and get what they want.
  3. Be careful not to assume that your client will be as well versed in intellectual property laws as you are, especially when doing client-direct work. Be diplomatic and explain the consequences of the troublesome clause, rather than immediately going on the defensive. You’ll be surprised how well this approach works.
  4. If a contract looks particularly problematic or has so much legalese as to be unreadable, it may be worthwhile to pay an attorney to review it. Be sure to let the attorney know what sorts of issues you’re concerned about. I’ve only done that a couple of times, but it was definitely money well spent as the attorney also provided alternate language for a couple of problematic clauses that the clients ultimately agreed to.
  5. Contract discussions are not a good place to let emotions color your decisions. I’m not suggesting you should ignore the emotions that can come into play when it comes to licensing and the perceived value of your work — pay attention to when you’re starting to feel slighted or taken advantage of and try not to let those feelings affect your approach to the conversation. If you’re feeling particularly distressed, try looking for a way to delay the negotiations, even for a few minutes — “There’s a UPS driver at the door waving a signature pad at me; may I call you back in 10 minutes?” — then use the time to regain your composure before jumping back in.

Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural and commercial photographer. He currently serves as education chair at ASMP Seattle/NW, teaches architectural photography and business at the Art Institute of Seattle, and holds an M.A. Ed. in adult education and training. You can check out his work at and follow him on twitter and on instagram.

By Francis Zera | Posted: October 1st, 2015 | No comments

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