ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

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Richard Harrington

Rates keep going down…so change the competition.

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This past year, there was increased downward pressure to lower rates.  More and more, my company was being underbid by our “competition.”  I use competition in quotes because the companies we’d generally lose to would not play by the rules. They didn’t carry insurance, they weren’t properly charging, they flew by night using Craigslist and avoiding taxes. In short they ran businesses that were unsustainable as they underbid and didn’t perform the steps necessary to…

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TAP! 2013 – eBooks, Apps, Savings & more

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A lot of clients are getting interested in building electronic books and apps.  Did you know that you might already own (or could easily get) the tools you need? You can start creating ebooks and tablet apps without ever needing to learn how to code. Create interactive annual reports and marketing materials for clients Build a dynamic portfolio to share your work Write that book you’ve always wanted to share your images with the world…

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Negative Lighting with the Lenskirt

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I just came across a new piece of gear that’s specifically designed to remove light, and I love it.  The Lenskirt is essentially a portable lighting hood designed for when you need to shoot through glass, but don’t want reflections. This makes it the ideal tool for shooting time-lapse or video from behind glass. It was designed by cinematographer Frank Glencairn and is sold byLetusDirect.   You attach one end to the camera with a…

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Getting the InBox Under Control

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Missed messages, slow responses, lack of courtesy.  All of these lead to a loss of business and a hit on our professionalism.  But the deluge of email is overwhelming and keeping up on it (plus all the social media messages) seems like a full-time job. Here’s a few tricks I use to keep things manageable. Make Rules – Your email application should have a function called rules. You can now have messages flagged, colored, bolded…

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Amplify Your Social Media with HootSuite

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These days you’ll hear a lot about the “miracles” of social media.  My take is that this is simply a new name for a practice that’s existed since the start of the Internet. I remember being in college and belonging to online bulletin boards and groups about some of my favorite hobbies and interests. I shared photos and video and interacted with others (and this was the early 90’s). So if it’s not new… why…

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Progress Billing

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Billing is one of those subjects that can often be an uncomfortable conversation.  While you may not be comfortable talking about money, your client will be a lot happier if there are clear expectations that define the business terms. Every video or photo project should be split into progress payments. The benefits of progress payments are many. First, it gives your client confidence that you have motivation to complete the work and show progress.  Second,…

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Do You Have Klout?

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One of the hardest parts about being diligent in your social media efforts is the feeling that you aren’t really accomplishing anything.  Sure a few Likes or Retweets may give you a temporary belief that you “matter”.  But it’s really hard to know if you’re making any real progress. Fortunately there’s Klout.com which you can track your progress.  The service is totally free to use and has been around since 2008.  Essentially you can connect…

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Easy Tip to Avoid Accidently Erasing Memory Cards

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I have a tendency to carry a lot (and I mean A LOT) of memory cards on a shoot.  Between shooting panoramic photos, time-lapse sequences, and HD video, I burn through memory cards faster than most.  I find myself needing to be certain that I avoid accidentally erasing data. Here’s my strategy for safety: Make sure that all memory cards are erased BEFORE going into the field.  Don’t bring cards with data or you’ll sit…

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Recommended Reading

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I know a lot of photographers are thinking about motion and video. This is a complex subject with many interdependent skills.  I recommend here several books that I personally use (or wrote) to keep my business running smoothly. The Visual Story, Second Edition: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media by Bruce Block A great book that helps newcomers learn about composition, color, sequencing and more taught by an actual Hollywood film…

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Build a Relationship with Your Readers

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While writing a viral blog post may seem important, long-term success comes from maintaining the readers (and clients) you already have. To do this, you must build a meaningful relationship with your audience. Here are a few ways to initially connect and  then build on that connection. Stay Focused What is your blog all about? Perhaps you should write it down “for the record.” Many bloggers struggle to come up with new posts. As such,…

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