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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FAQ: So Your Company Has Been Found Using Alex’s Photographs Without Permission. What Next?

These are either Belizean Infringement Ants picking a poor photographer to death, or Belizean Lawyer Ants dismantling a copyright infringer. Take your pick

These are either Belizean Infringement Ants picking a poor photographer to death, or Belizean Lawyer Ants dismantling a copyright infringer. Take your pick

In August I hired ImageRights International, a reputable copyright enforcement agency, to assume the routine handling of commercial infringements of my professional work. There are a lot. Starting in September 2014, companies began receiving letters from ImageRights’ partner law firms seeking to resolve these infringements on my behalf.

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Who’s Killing Freelance as a Viable Career in the Creative Industry?

whos killing freelance as a viable career in the creative industry

In my recent article “Who’s Killing the Photography Industry?”, I made the argument that photographers who choose not to charge licensing fees for the commercial use of their work are destroying the viability of photography as a sustainable career.

In the discussion that followed, I was very surprised that many readers viewed licensing as some sort of cash grab at best, with many voicing the sentiment that licensing is a relic that is no longer relevant to the reality of today’s creative industry.

I couldn’t disagree more – so in this article, I am going to expand a little on the value of licensing, and on a wider scale, look at who’s killing freelance as a viable career in the creative industry.

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Dear Groupon Man

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Dear Groupon Man,

I was surprised when you called this morning. And on my cell phone, no less. I was in the middle of a really hectic morning but I had a few minutes so I decided to take the call.

And before we go any further, I just want to say thank you for being super friendly. I could hear all the other Groupon people in the back on their phones and I have no doubt that my name was but one in a long list of names you had to call today, but still, you were upbeat and nice. And it did not go unnoticed, so thank you. Really.

You said that you were looking to feature a photographer in my area and wanted to offer me that opportunity. Yowzers! I got real excited, like I had won something, and then I remembered this was Groupon and you wanted me to advertise with you. So, I allowed you a little of your spiel because nobody likes to be cut off mid-sentence. And then when you paused, I said, in my sweetest voice:

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Ten Things to Remember As You Begin Your Photography Odyssey

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[Editor’s note: When I asked Don Giannatti of Lighting Essentials to be a guest blogger, I knew that the piece would be good and honest (he tells it straight). I did not anticipate how honest he would tell it this time. If you are a long time photographer, I am sure you can relate to the writing below, if you are struggling now, it would be a great inspiration and if you are considering if a professional photography business is the thing for you, know that it is not always a rosy road, you may wanna wait with this post till you are further down the path. All Don from here…]

One day I simply stopped doing what I was doing and began to be a photographer. I had been around photographers, but I didn’t have any clue what being a “professional” really meant. I simply started out as a photographer, then learned that I needed to assist first, then hit it again as a photographer. I made a lot of mistakes. I went to the School of Hard Knocks for undergraduate and “Mean Streets, U” for upper grad work. I learned from the seat of my pants, and took a lot of risks… some paid off kinda good, some didn’t work out at all, and a few hit big time for me.

But when I talk to a lot of photographers who are starting out, they have a false idea of the business. They don’t understand the focus needed, or that it may be kinda damn tough for a while. Sacrifice means they may cut back on cable channels, or get a 15″ MacBookPro instead of a 17″.

Right.

I have ten principals that will keep you going when you start out. I wish I had known about them when I started out. I know they work for me now as I start yet another company in a down economy… heh.

Here we go…

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Ten Beliefs That Suck the Life out of Photographers

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What if I told you it was not the industry, the bad economy, where you live, what camera you shoot with, how many lights you have or how small your Facebook following is that is holding you back. None of those are truly capable of stopping you, they are only challenges for you to meet.

The same challenges everyone who creates art or starts a business has to meet and beat.

The things that are truly holding you back are your own beliefs. Belief that it IS one of those reasons above. Believing that it is a geography thing that keeps you from excelling, or what gear you use or how many lights you take with you is more damaging than any REAL challenge you will ever have to meet.

Because they have no substance, these limiting beliefs can grow to fit any size needed to keep you from moving forward.

If it was simply a wall in front of you, there would be many different ways to move on. Scale it, go around it, blow it up… all sorts of ways to get it done.

But if the wall is a creation inside your mind, there is no way around it, it will grow higher than any ladder you have and it becomes impervious to any and all attempts to blow it up. It does this insidiousness because we want it to. We control its size and power.

So lets look at ten beliefs and maybe offer a suggestion on how they may be more in our heads than in our reality.

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An Open Letter to the Artist Support System

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Support is a funny thing.

As an artist, 96% of our career is spent dealing with rejection. Rejection from friends, family, other artists and even the art world itself. Making a living from art can be a very long and lonely, misunderstood journey, especially in the beginning, and having a decent support system can help make that early journey a little more bearable.

But just as we’re often learning the ropes of how to be an artist, we also know that you’re learning the ropes of how to best support us. We need you, and here are the best ways you can help us out.

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Family Offers A One-In-A-Lifetime Free Portfolio Building To Any Photographer Willing To Work For Them

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Working for free has always been a touchy subject and while opinions may sway one way or another I think that working family events for free is not something you would do to ‘build a portfolio’.

Apparently one family from sun prairie, Wisconsin thinks differently. There are many ads asking for free photography service but this one made reddit for being especially presumptuous. (I agree) The family posted a work offer on craigslist, they offer the photographer to “use the photo’s to build portfolio“. What photos you ask? Those: “We have several occasions coming up this spring/summer and would like a photographer who would work with us“.

Here is the untouched craigslist ad (really, we did not touch it):

Hello, We are looking for someone who is building their portfolio or just starting out their business.
We have several occasions coming up this spring/summer and would like a photographer who would work with us. In exchange you may use the photo’s to build portfolio. A student would be fine with us. Please send some information about yourself and any examples of your work that you have. Experience working with kids and newborns would be excellent! This can take some patience to get the right shot!

And there is a little “compensation: no pay” at the bottom, just to keep things clear.

[Family photographer needed (sun prairie) via reddit]