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Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition 2nd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1435454293
ISBN-10: 1435454294
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Editorial Reviews


Introduction. Part I Nuts and Bolts of Your Business. Chapter 1 You Are a Business Now Lets Get to Work! Chapter 2 Professional Equipment for Professional Photographers. Chapter 3 Planning and Logistics: Why a Thirty-Minute Shoot Can Take Three Days to Plan. Part II Financial and Personnel Considerations. Chapter 4 Working with Assistants, Employees, and Contractors: The Pitfalls and Benefits. Chapter 5 Pricing Your Work to Stay in Business. Chapter 6 Overhead: Why What You Charge a Client Must Be More Than You Paid for It. Chapter 7 Whos Paying Your Salary and 401K? Chapter 8 Insurance: Why Its Not Just Health-Related, and How You Should Protect Yourself. Chapter 9 Accounting: How We Do It Ourselves and What We Turn Over to an Accountant. Part III Legal Issues. Chapter 10 Contracts for Editorial Clients. Chapter 11 Contracts for Corporate and Commercial Clients. Chapter 12 Contracts for Weddings and Rites of Passage. Chapter 13 Negotiations: Signing Up or Saying No. Chapter 14 Protecting Your Work: How and Why. Chapter 15 The Realities of an Infringement: Copyrights and Federal Court. Chapter 16 Handling a Breach of Contract: Small Claims and Civil Court. Chapter 17 Resolving Slow- and Non-Paying Clients. Chapter 18 Letters, Letters, Letters: Writing Like a Professional Can Solve Many Problems. Chapter 19 Attorneys: When You Need Them, Theyre Your Best Friend (or at Least Your Advocate). Part IV Storage and Archiving. Chapter 20 Office and On-Location Systems: Redundancy and Security Beget Peace of Mind. Chapter 21 Digital and Analog Asset Management: Leveraging Your Images to Their Maximum Potential. Chapter 22 Stock Solutions: Charting Your Own Course without the Need for a Big Fish Agency. Part V The Human Aspect. Chapter 23 Care and Feeding of Clients (Hint: Its Not about Starbucks and a Fast-Food Burger). Chapter 24 Education, an Ongoing and Critical Practice: Dont Rest on Your Laurels. Chapter 25 Striking a Balance between Photography and Family: How What You Love to Do Can Coexist with Your Spouse, Children, Parents, and Siblings if You Just Think a Little about It. Chapter 26 Charity, Community, and Your Colleagues: Giving Back is Good Karma. Chapter 27: Why License Your Work? Chapter 28: Model Releases and Trademark Releases. Chapter 29: Invoices, Purchase Orders, and Receipts. Chapter 30: Fine Art Photography. Chapter 31: Expanding into Video Services. Chapter 32: Surviving the IRS Audit.

About the Author

John Harrington has worked for more than 16 years as an active photographer in Washington DC and around the world, working with both editorial and commercial clients. His photography business has been successful, with income rising ten-fold since he started. He has spoken at courses and meetings of The NPPA's Northern Short Course, The White House News Photographers Association, Smithsonian Institution, Corcoran School of Art and Design, American Society of Media Photographers Capital Region, University of Maryland, Northern Virginia Community College, Trinity College, and the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. Editorially, his credits have included the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, The National Geographic Society, USA Today, People, MTV, and Life. For corporate and public relations clients, John has successfully placed images with the wire services (Associated Press, Reuters, Gannett, Agence France Presse, and UPI) over three hundred times. Commercially, John has worked with well over half of the top fortune 50 companies, and even more of the top 500. Ad campaigns for Seimens, Coca Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Freddie Mac, to name a few, have been seen worldwide.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 2 edition (September 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435454294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435454293
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For over two decades, John Harrington, an award-winning photographer and best-selling author has traveled the world creating visual stories of every day lives and history-making events through his camera. His work has appeared in Life, Time, Newsweek, and Rolling Stone. His images from the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001 are a part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Images from his work as a part of the team documenting the historic inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 are also a part of that same Smithsonian collection.

Harrington is a San Francisco Bay area native and came to Washington, DC in the mid 1980s as a student at Catholic University of America. He graduate in 1990 with a political science degree , then hired for on as a with The World & I, where he routinely covered the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon. Soon after, he was signed under contract by the Black Star picture agency exclusively licensing his stock images and to fulfill assignments in Washington, DC.

While maintaining Washington, DC as his home base, his assignments took him to Mexico shooting bullfights and ruins; the Caribbean's lush rain forests and colorful artisans; Bermuda's postcard-famous pink beaches and haunting lighthouses; Cuba's isolation-induced poverty and despair; and California's flow of immigrants crossing the border. Harrington says, "I believe my photographs, usually taken under strenuous conditions and on tight deadlines, captured the flavor and personality of the location while also emphasizing the highest level of photographic detail and expertise."

In addition to location assignments, Harrington has taken his editorial magazine eye and applied it to corporate clients including Coca-Cola, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Lockheed Martin, and the National Geographic Society, to name just a few. His ability to blend his photographic skills and creativity with an organization's specific goals and directives has made him a sought after professional meeting worldwide deadlines and maximize exposure for clients.
Harrington has a true love for his art and takes time to satisfy his artistic whims. His original images have been purchased as art on both coasts. One particularly striking image has been printed as an inspirational poster by the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum. Harrington is also a Native-American and has put his skills to use for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. He believes in being a role model and mentor, educating influential businesspeople about the art and science of photography. Additionally, he offers an internship program for aspiring photographers.

Harrington has lectured across the United States for the North American Nature Photographers Association, American Society of Media Photographers, Advertising Photographers of America (now American Photographic Artists), Professional Photographers of America, and the National Press Photographers Association.

He is an ex-officio President Emeritus of the White House News Photographers Association having finished his second term in 2011. Currently, Harrington is actively involved in his profession sitting on the boards of four photographic trade associations. He also serves as a National Director on the board of the American Society of Media Photographers, on the board of the National Press Photographers Association, and the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Harrington has produced three commissioned books for the Smithsonian and the second edition of his book Best Business Practices for Photographers, remains a bestseller. His latest book, MORE Best Business Practices for Photographers was released in 2014.

Harrington lives in Washington, DC with his three daughters - the most amazing subjects he has ever captured.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Here's a well written photography book that most photographers will not want to read. That's because it's aimed at professional photographers who already have at least a little business experience under their belt. Moreover, it's aimed at assignment photographers, rather than studio or fine arts photographers, although some of the people who shoot in these genres may benefit from discussions of things like rights, pricing and insurance. It's all business, with no photographic technique or vision (although Harrington certainly does describe business techniques and vision). Finally, even though it's an excellent book, it does not deal with every aspect of the business of photography.

The author begins by reminding the professional photographer that he is in business. There is a brief discussion of equipment in which the author urges the readers to get the best equipment he or she can afford, and a warning that the professional had better consider the logistics of every job.

In another part Harrington discusses working with assistants, employees and contractors as well as pricing, including consideration of factors like retirement accounts and insurance. He discusses hiring accountants and lawyers. To me, the meat of the book is in the discussion of contracts. Besides furnishing the reader with samples of his own documents, he explains essential provisions. There are also chapters on infringement and enforcing contractual rights. There's a brief tour through archiving images, although the essence of Harrington's message is, read Peter Krogh's "The DAM Book", a point with which I heartily agree. The author also touches on the market for stock photographs.
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I just finished reading "Best Business Practices..." and I must say, from my perspective of 40-plus years in the business -- as shooter, picture editor and director of photography -- the book is fantastic. I've recommended it to several colleagues, and suggested to a friend who teaches at Brooks Institute that it be required reading for every one of his students. I'll certainly also recommend the book to students at workshops I teach. Harrington deserves thanks for putting such balanced and varied wisdom on paper. It's a great service to photographers and everyone in the business -- all the more necessary in today's extremely volatile photography market. -- Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine
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John Harrington has added so much information in his second edition that is relevant to the business climate of photography today. The new edition will be especially helpful to photojournalists who need to be prepared for the future in a changing profession. This needs to be on the bookshelf of every student and photographer.

As a college professor, I require this book for all my upper level photo classes. It should be required reading for every student who wants to be a photographer. Harrington has provided a valuable insight at how to be successful in the business of photography.

I own the first edition, and couldn't wait for this new edition. When I got the second edition, I was pleased to see how much Harrington has added. Even if you own the first edition, you'll want this if you are making your living as a photographer or are even thinking about it.
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Pricing, contracts, copyright -- even IRS audits: If you are going to walk through the minefield that is the business of being a professional photographer, you'll want a good map. And "Best Business Practices..." is exactly that.

David Hobby
1 Comment 54 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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As a former client of John's (as head of a PR team at a major agency, I hired him), I want to comment on the reviewer (of the first edition) who said that if you implement his approach, you need to have good diplomacy skills. Interestingly, he is so professional, buttoned up and clear about the value of and rights to his work, that he seems even MORE attractive than photographers who aren't so demanding. First you assume his work is really really good if he can be that adamant about protecting its rights, and second you know for sure he won't be late, sloppy, embarrass you in front of a client, charge you for add-ons you weren't expecting, etc. While he is a very good photographer, there are others around. The combination of being a good photographer and a good businessman, however, puts his business up a few levels from competitors.

Just as "The Rules" was correct in its rather annoying assumption that playing hard to get seems to get people wanting you more, Harrington's rules for photographers will make any professional photographer more attractive to his/her clients.
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John Harrington's revised edition of his Best Business Practices for Photographers goes beyond a few timely updates. Using his own business experiences John has adjusted his business practices to the changing photography industry. Addressing topics such as "Pricing your work to stay in business", the first hand - "Insights into am IRS audit", and the timely "transitioning to Freelance", for the newspaper staffers entering the self-employed business world. This book delivers the business information many of us have learned at the "school of hard knocks" and most photo schools don't even offer, but with this book readers can learn how to build a successful career."

~ Richard Kelly, Photographer, Educator & President ASMP
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