ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

All Posts By

Bruce Katz

A Tale of Two Infringements

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• •The magazine art director was on the phone, he told me that that my photo he licensed for the cover last month is now in an ad running in the magazine–just a friendly heads up… Yikes! • • My wife looked up from her laptop and casually mentioned that my photograph of the cute seal sunning itself on a Manhattan dock is now being featured on one of the big “news” aggregator sites – …

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Staying Fresh

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One of the hallmarks of being a professional photographer is being able to produce creatively under almost any circumstance.  There are many times, however, when that creative muse becomes elusive or stale.  How can you jumpstart or keep that creative muse working? Here are a couple ideas that might help kick you back into gear. Simplify your thinking. Reduce your ideas to their simplest elements and goals.  Shoot for a laugh only. Choose a compositional…

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Getting the Most From a Structured Portfolio Review

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Structured portfolio reviews are set up to provide feedback, constructive criticism, and networking for the attendees. Reviewers come from all across the photography spectrum – editorial, commercial, advertising and art worlds. Here are a few thoughts about getting the most from attending an event: Read the bios and select your primary reviewer(s) based on who is doing work in your field. For example, find the art buyer at an agency that does still life if…

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Looking Back to Move Forward

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When I’m asked to give career advice to emerging photographers or my students that are just starting out in the business I try to take stock of my 30+ year career and distill my experiences down to some basic advice that is still relevant in today’s market. Early in my career I was most interested in being a magazine photojournalist. While I had some modest success shooting, I was never able to get traction cracking…

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A Productive No

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There are times when saying no is a powerful tool for negotiation. It’s also a great way to get answers quickly. Here are some examples of using “no” productively. One caveat – you have to be sincere about using “no” and be able to walk away from the deal if needed. A friend called for advice. The TV show Law and Order sent him an email seeking a signed release for a photograph of his…

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Blending the Personal with the Professional

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Shooting personal work is essential to keeping myself fresh and allows me to explore photographic ideas without outside deadlines, compromise or fear. I also find it is an essential tool to incorporate into my commercial business plan. The benefits have been much better than I could have ever expected especially (and surprisingly) from a business and marketing perspective. Here are a few things to help you add the personal factor to your business plan. Take…

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Is Diversification Right for You?

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When I first started out over 30 years ago the common refrain I heard when I sought advice for establishing my photo career was to specialize. I took that advice to heart. Is this still good advice in 2014? Well maybe not nearly as good as it was years ago. The real question is can you take all that hard work and effort that was put into building and establishing a photographic specialty and still…

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Phone it In

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So, how can you be smart about the mobile phone/social media revolution and make your way through the almost infinite sea of snapshots and selfies on the web? Is it a useful tool for business, marketing and/or just getting a laugh from friends? I have found that it is a wonderful tool for all of the above. I’ve come to love using my smartphone and sharing the work. Here’s a few thoughts on how to…

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(Un)Resolving Conflicts with your Clients

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What happens when your client fails to communicate properly with you? What can be done with someone who is vague, disorganized or even misleading about their needs for a job? These problems can be a recipe for disaster… The project was flower shots on seamless for a start-up web business selling bouquets online. My prospective client indicated a realistic budget for photography so I set up a follow-up meeting after our initial phone conversation. The…

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Bill Collecting

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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, or a collection agency. First up is your attitude – once the shoot is finished and delivered I consider the unpaid invoice money…

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