Why You Should Never ‘Hire’ a Photography Assistant For Free


There are countless discussions about working for free in the photo industry and many points both for and against the practice.  This is here is not a debate on the ethics of “hiring” someone for free or the dilemma of portfolio-building that most every newcomer faces.  This is about how bringing someone along on a shoot without pay can screw over your business.

While trolling Reddit, I stumbled across a post by a sincere photographer new to the game who was offering to work as a second shooter without pay.  At first, I was struck with admiration for someone who is so willing to “pay their dues.”  In today’s world of self-entitlement, it is refreshing to see humility like this.  However, my next thought overruled it:  “How dangerous could this be to me as a photography business owner?”

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5 Tips For Marketing Your Photography Business For Less Than $50


Self-employement can be great, but one of the worst parts about being in business for yourself is…well, being in business for yourself.  So much more responsibility rests directly on you, and you almost literally hold the key to your success or failure.  You are salesman, accountant, receptionist, customer service representative, coffee fetcher…and, somewhere way down the list is the actual service you provide.

Many of us dislike or perhaps loath some of the other hats we must wear.  We’d rather be shooting the covers of magazines than spending time cold-calling, trying to land that next magazine cover shoot.  But, one area where many well-meaning and driven photographers lack expertise is in actually marketing their services and bringing in new clients.  Sure, there are plenty of divas who simply think if they shoot what they love that the masses will blaze a trail to their door, but most photographers are simply intimidated by the prospect of marketing or at a loss as to where they should begin.

And then, there’s always the cost factor.  Many of us don’t have large marketing budgets.  We can’t afford to launch TV campaigns the are synchronized with print and online advertising pushes and reach tens of thousands of people in a short time.  We are stingy with our money, not because of a dark, miserly side, but simply because we know the value of the money we earn and always seem to have a million other areas to which we could apply it.  However, marketing your photography business doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Fashion and editorial photographer Jeff Rojas is based in New York City.  He has competition on every street corner and a budget that doesn’t come to close to rivaling the GDP of even the world’s poorest nations.  (I mean, which of us really does, right?)  So, with a little time and creativity, Jeff has done his best to maximize the budget that he does have.

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Automate your creative life with IFTTT Actions

We all love automation throughout our daily lives. Like, we LOVE automation…in everything. The less we have to actually do, the happier we tell ourselves we’ll be. (While I would love to digress into an ongoing monologue about human psychology, this is neither the time nor the place…) In the busy world of photographers, artists, and creative professionals, automation can, indeed, be a huge asset in allowing us to better manage our time, get more accomplished, and geek out a little along the way.

IFTTT.com (standing for “IF This, Then That”) is the perfect (and FREE) solution for a variety of facets in our lives, whether it’s just managing our day-to-day activities, streamlining our creative process, or super-charging our social media effectiveness. As the name suggests, IFTTT is a cause-and-effect, trigger-based platform for accomplishing more with less effort. [Read more…]

How To Invoice Photography Clients For Your Time

Last week, we took a look at how much should photographers charge per hour.  The next step is to explore how to actually invoice photography clients.

In this article, I will explain three billing methods commonly used in the photography industry: Time Plus Cost, Lump Sum and Upset Limit – and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

It might not seem important at first, but how you invoice photography clients can have a big impact on the success of a job, and your profit margin.

Retro Mad Men Business Man Business Woman In Office JP Danko Toronto Commercial Photographer blurMEDIA photography   [Read more…]