How Credit Card Scam Targeting Wedding Photographers Work and How To Protect Yourself

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Businesses beware! There’s a scam targeting wedding photographers

It appears that there’s a credit card scam targeting wedding photographers making its way round the Internet. Over the past several months, I’ve been contacted by a number of unimaginably eager clients-to-be requesting to reserve my wedding photography services. These messages share several common elements:

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Getting Hired: 10 Tips from National Geographic, The Cut, Sports Illustrated & More

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What are photo editors really looking for from professional photographers? And how can you make connections with potential clients and land gigs? In The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers, get advice from Brad Smith, Elizabeth Krist, Emily Shornick, Brinson Banks, James Bellorini, Alexandre Buisse, Kate Osba, Lindsay Adler, Elizabeth Weinberg, and Jodi Cobb who share their best tips to getting hired.

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I’m Sorry, but I MUST Disagree

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I am not a female photographer.

I am a photographer…who happens to be female.

Together, in this industry, in the year 2015, we are simply “photographers.”

We are not defined by our gender.

I, for one, want to be defined by my talent and ability, not by the fact I have a uterus and my kids call me “Mama.”

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Photo Darwinism: Things Your Mother Never Told You

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They lost me at the “Cost of Doing Business” calculator.

You know, the formula everyone starts you out with: Your overhead expenses + desired salary = your total annual cost ÷ number of billable days = your CODB.

No matter how many times I played with it, the number of billable days that I desired was never as high as the number of days I actually worked. My desired salary never approached by my actual salary. So the calculator failed me. Lots of stuff they taught me in those photo business seminars failed me. I had to find a better way to price my work and survive as a new photographer.

I had a marketing and sales background that I could use as an advantage. If you don’t come to photography with my background, I suggest that you start by learning as much as you can from the established pro-photo business blogs and forums. Most are free and probably just as good as paying a lot of money to sit through a seminar. On the other hand, paying for a seminar might be worth it if you tend to drift into “multitasking” while reading at a computer.

In this series of short posts I’ll deconstruct what they tell you in those seminars and give you some of you guidance on how to survive as an independent freelance photographer in the 21st Century.

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15 Statements Poor Photographers Say that Rich Photographers Do Not

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My client Mark Victor Hansen has sold over 500 million books, more than almost anyone in history for non-fiction. While preparing to go on stage one day giving a motivational program with the legendary Tony Robbins, he asked Tony, “Tony…..How come you make so much more money than me?”

Tony Robbins then asked the question, “Who do you mastermind with?”

Mark replied, “Everyone I mastermind with makes at least one million dollars a year.”

Tony Robbins then replied, “Everyone I mastermind with makes at least one billion dollars a year!”

Who we surround ourselves with makes a huge difference. I have heard it said that if you tell me how much your five closest friends make, I’ll tell you how much you make.

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The Great Photography Debate: Gain experience without giving yourself away for free

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Every aspiring photographer who is just starting out will sooner or later run into a quirky conundrum:  How do I get paying work without prior experience?  I’ve been there, many of you have been there…it’s a sticky situation.  And, unfortunately, many of us, at one time or another, have opted to work for free in order to build that experience.

Ted Forbes is a firm believer in the Never-Free Doctrine, a term I just made up to define the belief system of never working for a client for free.  In the photography world, your sellability as an artist is primarily based on the images in your portfolio, and there are many ways to build that portfolio without having to undervalue yourself to the business world.

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Tough message if you wanna Make it in the Industry

Photo by: Michelle Fennel

Photo by: Michelle Fennel

When you are just starting out as a creative it can be pretty stressful and one of the main causes for that stress can be the shortage of money. Retoucher Pratik Naik of Solstice Retouch had a tough but very true message for ones looking to make it as full time creatives.

Being a full time creative is a mixing between passion and occupation. And mixing the two may not be easy when you start. Especially in the monetary sense. And Pratik gives the only real true definition of making it: “…success in this industry is being able to support yourself by creating. Everything after that is up for discussion

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Excuse Me? Why, Yes, My Camera DOES Take Great Pictures. Thank You For Noticing That

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“Excuse me?

Why, yes, my camera DOES take great pictures. Thank you for noticing that. You have a keen eye and a very good sense about these things-not everyone does. Well done!

But can I share something with you? I mean no disrespect to my camera but…it didn’t used to take great pictures. I mean, not at all.

I bought it because I’d heard how good these nicer cameras were, so I was expecting great things from mine, but when I got home and opened the box, it didn’t do anything. Nothing at all. For what I paid, I expected it to jump out of the box and work with people to get great expressions and select locations and create natural posing and compose images filled with warmth and beauty and light, but nope. Nada. Zip. Zilch. What a loser it was.

It simply refused to do anything. It just lay there, motionless, like me after my 5th margarita.

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Photographer Accused Of Charging For Album Cover Now Goes To Defamation Trial With The Client

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Remember that couple – the Moldovans – who said that their photographer – Andrea Polito – made them pay extra for an album cover? The photographer since came forward with her version of the story showing evidence that she suggested the couple a free cover (and actually went above and beyond for the couple). Many news outlets, though, did not follow up on the story to vindicate Polito. And sadly, even if they did, telling a story about a photographer that is doing good is not as exciting as a photographer who is mistreating their clients and the follow up did not get as much attention.

Obviously Polito’s business took a major hit during those event and now she is seeking justice with the Moldovans. In a filing made to Dallas county Polito is asking for a jury trial for a sum between $200,000 and $1,000,000.

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