ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

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Richard Kelly

A Five Step Program for Producers

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A good producer listens, stays organized and communicates well. A great producer does those things and predicts the future, moves a ton of atoms with ease and shifts time on demand. I was a producer for many years often pairing up my skills as a first assistant and later as a photographer. Although I started working New York City, I now live and produce in a small to medium sized market and on most projects…

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Always be Reinventing

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Plotting my career in the early 80’s I never imagined my career today.  Photography industry insider Stephen Mayes describes my current lifestyle as having a “portfolio career” essentially one that includes multiple income streams from a variety of services over a range of industry sectors. What my mother calls having a lot of irons in different fires. Although not what I envisioned, this is really good for me. My single most valuable character trait is…

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When in Rome, Dress Like a Chameleon.

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When I am working on an environmental portrait assignment, I like to start off knowing as much about a subject as I possibly can.  I begin with a simple web search to learn something about them, where they work, what they like to do. I usually try to meet with the subject during a pre-scout of the location or at least have a phone conversation with them but if neither of those options is available,…

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For the Class of 2015 and Beyond

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Six recommendations for living a Creative Life: 1. Have something to say and develop that into a lifelong vision. If you don’t know what you want to say yet, then follow your curiosity – dabble in everything. 2. Be open-minded about your career and income stream. Look for unmet needs and follow those opportunities while looking ahead knowing that you will need to adapt sooner than you think. 3. Don’t define yourself by the tool…

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What I learned in Directing Actors Class

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My practice requires me to work with professional actors and models as well as working with non professionals, sometimes on the same project or in the same scene. I learned a long time ago that each person may require different types of direction. The trick is to have a few directing tools in your toolbox and to execute them as needed. Rarely is directing taught in photography classes so a few years ago I sought…

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Where Copyright Law Fails Photographers

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When I speak to photographers about copyright, I often use a variation of William Patry’s metaphor from his book Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars: Picture a copyright battlefield. On the right-side are the traditional Copyright aggregators – publishers, record companies, and the licensing monoliths – including the artists that they represent. Beside them are the trade organizations that represent them – ASMP included. On the left-side are the libraries, nonprofits, technology companies and free culture…

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A Delicate Balance: The Mashup of the Art and Business of Photography

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I discovered photography, when I was around ten years old. I was in the process of reading my way around the Ellwood City Public Library when I stumbled upon the Time-Life series, you know that collection of books – silver and black. From that day forward, books have guided me and my photography. It’s my vice, almost to the point of sneaking books into the house in brown paper sacks so as not to draw…

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I Got a Phone in My Pocket

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In September of 2009 I took out my iPhone and using the camera app made a photograph. I made a few adjustments to color and contrast and uploaded it to Facebook. By the time I walked about 100 yards, I had “likes” on my Facebook page and I was seeing comments from my friends back home. What made this ordinary experience somewhat extraordinary was the fact that I was standing on the Great Wall in…

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The Only Way is Forward.

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I have had numerous conversations with creative’s of all types contemplating when “things” (meaning business) are going to get back to normal.  I have been a part of these conversations for quite a while, and even started a few myself.  I’ve come to realize that the only way to the new normal is to move forward. No more looking back. Throughout the past decade or so, there has been tremendous disruption in all media, especially…

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Photographers It’s Time to Pivot, or #iwantpaid

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For many years, professional photography was commissioned and paid for based on time or pages with no residual income going to the artist. The 1976 copyright act promised a new business model that shifted the ownership of commissioned work to the artist/creator. Licensing photography based on usage, when successfully executed was beneficial to both the commissioning client/licensee and to the photographer/licensor. Licensing usage worked reasonably well when advertising use was “known” and limited – by…

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