Why The Non-Refundable Photography Deposit Is A Myth

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About a year ago I received an email with some bad news from a client.

“Dear Jeff– I just wanted to let you know that Gwen and Peter have called off their engagement and will not be getting married in September. The news comes as quite a shock to us, but Gwen claims it’s for the best and we’ve always trusted her judgment. I apologize for the short notice, but we just found out less than 48 hours ago. I would like to stop by later this week and pick up a refund of our deposit…”

There was a bit more after that, but it was just a blur. My attention was focused squarely on four words– “refund of our deposit.”

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This Infographic Shows You What It Really Means To Be A Wedding Photographer

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If you’ve been considering taking the plunge into the world of professional, or even semi-professional, photography you may want to take a look at this clever infographic designed by a professional wedding photographer in Italy, Francesco Spighi. Though it is aimed at brides to be, shedding some light on the realities of being a wedding photographer, it’s also serves as a reality check for anyone considering starting their own photography business.
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Wedding Photographer Loses Over 2000 Photos After Car Was Broken Into – What Would You Do?

Screenshot of one of the bride's Facebook pages asking for help locating the photos.

Screenshot of one of the bride’s Facebook pages asking for help locating the photos.

A Vancouver based wedding photographer, name removed – see update below, suffered a devastating blow this week. While photographing a wedding the photographer’s car was broken into and the thief made off with her bag which contained her laptop, the sole keeper of a heap of wedding photos. Of course the laptop is replaceable, but the 2,000 bridal photographs housed on it are not.

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Why It Sucks To Be A Mid-Level Wedding Photographer

Most photographers have been there at some point in their career – wedding photography.

Some of us move on to other things, like commercial photography.  Some actually enjoy wedding photography and make a career out of it.

But too many photographers are lured into wedding photography under the illusion of quick money, only to get stuck in the evil clutches of the mid-level wedding photography market forever (or until they give up and find a real job).

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Lets be honest here.  Wedding photography can be fun with the right clients  – but it is always a colossal amount of hard work.

And life as a mid-level wedding photographer sucks.

In this article I am going to share the wedding photography business plan that is followed by the overwhelming majority of wedding photographers on the planet – and why it is not a sustainable way to make a living.

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How to Tell Clients They Can’t Have the RAW Files

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It’s been a while since I’ve received “The E-Mail,” so I guess it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise when it came today. I must have been living a charmed life, because it hadn’t reared its ugly head in quite a while. Yet there it was. Staring me in the face. Cursor blinking in the “reply” box as I contemplated my impending level of sarcasm. Sometimes it’s actually a phone call. Occasionally they come right out and ask in person. More often than not, though, it’s an email. I prefer the emails because they help mask my frustration in a way that actual conversations can’t. You know the email I’m talking about. Names and locations have been changed for obvious reasons.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Using Double Exposure in Photoshop

Last month, we shared some work by Alon Avissar, where he implemented double exposure photography by putting together different models with different seasons. The results were both colorful and incredibly eye-catching.

So how did it all get put together? Photographer Andrew Klokow sat down and made a quick, easy to follow tutorial for us, and it’ll show you exactly that. Though it doesn’t involve the seasonal aspect of the project, this video basically guides us along with a picture of a a woman and a bouquet of flowers. If you’re a wedding photographer, the tutorial might actually hold some extra interest for you.

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Posing, Light And Selective Composition – Getting The Best Out Of A “Nowhere” Location

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Today we are hosting a tip from Neil van Niekerk who also runs the excellent tangents blog.

Framing very selectively in-camera, you can very often pull out quite a surprising image out of “nowhere”.

With Julia and Luis’ wedding, I roamed around the reception venue – a bed & breakfast on the Jersey shore, for interesting spots. There were interesting nooks and crannies that would work for the romantic portrait session. But I also like adding variety, especially unexpected variety.

I went through a back-gate, and into a parking lot behind the venue. This gate was the delivery entrance for the venue’s kitchen, and the parking lot was, well, just a parking lot.

But, I loved the texture of tye wooden fence and gate, and the late afternoon sun really brought out the texture. I hurried back inside and asked Julia and Luis to join me – I think I may have a great idea! I shot it using the following settings: 1/250 @ f/5.6 @ 200 ISO – available light only Nikon D4: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. [Read more...]

How To Become A Wedding Photographer In 10 Easy Steps – Photographers Hate This

Starting a career as a wedding photographer is EASY – all you have to do is follow these 10 EASY STEPS TO BECOME A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER!

If you have ever wanted to start a fun, glamorous and profitable ($$$$!!!) career as a wedding photographer, I will share the secret to success that professional wedding photographers don’t want you to know.

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The best part is that you don’t even need to know how to use a camera – or even have a camera to get started!

And you can learn it all FOR FREE – just read the rest of this article (and then be sure to buy our eBook*)!!! [Read more...]

Please, Trash The Dress Responsibly

I saw this photo on Tal Zigdon‘s facebook page and at first I was wondering if it was an April 1st photo. The first thing I was looking for when seeing this shot was the fire squad and a bunch of support crew. Titled trash the dress, the context seemed obvious, but I wanted to know more.

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Not really understanding what I was seeing, I contacted Tal and asked him about the photo. Tal told me that he has worked on the concept for months and had many, many tests before bringing a live person to the shoot. On the shoot day there were 2 pre-tested fire extinguishers and two ready-to-jump assistants (Daniel & Shiran  Zigdon), and the location was near the sea and there was lots of sand.

Of course not every couple will be willing to assume the risk, and there were a lot of ‘dry rehearsals’ done before the first match was lit.

Still, from my point of view, the bride being an untrained stunt lady, there is so much that could have gone wrong, and even for the epic shot that this stunt produced, I still think it is not worth risking your skin or your life. As the bride / groom / photographer, how would you tackle the situation?

Avoiding the Non-Disparagement Clause in Photography Contracts

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I’m often intrigued when my worlds collide. When I left my career as a lawyer behind, I never realized just how often it would encroach on– if not occasionally take over– my photography career. And yet, when it comes to model releases, client contracts, licensing agreements, protecting my copyright, and a host of other issues, I shouldn’t be at all surprised that my arsenal of legal knowledge and expertise still continues to pay dividends– even now, ten years since I’ve seen the inside of a courtroom. I usually see the legal issues coming a mile away, but a recent meeting with a new wedding client caught me completely off guard. She’d been referred to me by a mutual friend, but I was not the first photographer she’d interviewed. For the most part, it had been a very typical meeting. We talked about her venue, where she’d met her fiance, what she was looking for in a photographer– the standard stuff. She was flipping through a portfolio, though, when she looked up and asked a question that was anything but standard.

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