Copyrighting, licensing, and business plans aren’t sexy but understanding them is crucial for success

Welcome back! Are you ready for the next round of information? I promised that this would be more fun, and it will be, but first we need to tackle one of the most important items in a photographer’s career: copyright ©. Copyright The Copyright Law of 1976 states that photographers own the rights to their photographs for their lifetime plus 70 years. Copyright protection exists from the time the work is created in fixed form. Basically that means when you push the shutter, you own the shot. The copyright in the work of author- ship immediately becomes the property of Read more »

So, You Want to Be a Professional Photographer?

written by: Bobbi Lane

This is the first of two parts covering the nuts and bolts, rules and regs, suggestions and good common sense distilled from my 30 years in the commercial photography business. Part one will deal with the practical: location and types of work, overhead and self-worth, financials, and business practices. The second part will cover marketing and self-promotion, identity and Web sites, copyright and licensing, estimating and invoicing. This series is derived from the Successful Emerging Photographer program that I created, along with Richard Radstone, as a member of Advertising Photographers of America (APA). APA brings this program for free to Read more »


Promoting Your Work Online

Web Site Options for Photographers– Your Needs and What Might Meet Them
written by: Steven H. Begleiter

Most photographers know they should be promoting their work online, but sorting through the vast number of options to f ind the right one is daunting. The idea for writing an article on this came out of my own need to find a good, editable Web site (where you can change photos and content anytime and from any computer). For me that meant finding a Web site vendor that would allow me to showcase the retail side of my wedding and portrait business. I soon realized I needed to be more specif ic about my objectives and narrowed my list to Read more »


The Tintype Today

written by: Paul Sergeant

The tintype is a 19th Century photographic process, in which a photograph is produced on a piece of lacquered iron. The process, also known as a melainotyope and ferrotype, was popularized in the mid 19th Century as a sort-of first version of the instant photograph. In recent years, as photographic technology continues to develop in alignment with the digital age, the tintype and other 19th Century processes have gone through a resurgence. Since starting The Tintype Studio this past summer, I’ve come to realize, through its history and social context, that the tintype process is as relevant today as it Read more »


Who Owns What?

Copyright & Model Releases
written by: David H. Wells

Model releases and copyright seem to be the source of more confusion than almost any other aspects of commercial photography. Though the law in both areas is quite well established (in the U.S.), all sorts of new and insidious ideas are being bandied about on the Internet, which are to the detriment of photographers (as well as morally and legally wrong). Most of what many people read (and say) about model releases and copyright on the Internet is dubious. I am not a lawyer. So do not consider this legal advice. But I am a photographer and a teacher. As Read more »


Introduction to Social Media

written by: Laurie Macomber

Networking has always been a key aspect of success in professional photography and visual art. Whether it’s schmoozing with gallery-owners and collectors, or meeting other photographers with whom to rub shoulders—people who are successful in the art world get around! That’s why social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are so important to emerging artists these days. Not too long ago, there were those skeptics who thought the ‘Facebook fad’ would go the way of bellbottoms and 8-track tapes. Now it’s clear that social media sites are here to stay. Facebook has 700 million users and counting. The exciting Read more »