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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Business
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...
Published on November 15, 2006 by Conrad J. Obregon

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dated, dated, dated
I tend to buy a lot of books, and made the mistake to trust the rave reviews for this one without paying attention to the table of content. Ouch!

This book needs to be completely revised for today's market and reality. It is filled with anecdotes that do not apply in today's world. Oddly, the author focuses way too much on problems: from getting audited by the...
Published 10 months ago by Guillaume Wolf "Prof. G"


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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Business, November 15, 2006
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.

He finishes the book with chapters on care and feeding of clients (literally), training yourself and others, and a discussion of your obligations to your family and community.

A theme that keeps coming through is the importance of protecting your work by making sure you keep your ownership interest in your images and that you charge enough for their use. I agree with Harrington, but he certainly is a little strident on the subject.

I do have bones to pick. He covers the IRS's 20 factors that determine if a person is an employee or a contractor, which is important if you don't want to be responsible for paying that person's Social Security and income taxes. He suggests ways of avoiding the characterization of a person working for you as an employee. However, if you follow his suggestions and comply with federal regulations, you may find yourself paying someone who can't be made useful to you, or alternatively paying those taxes at a later date. Read this section with care so that you understand the regulations, but then discuss it with your lawyer.

There is also a discussion of negotiating indemnity agreements in contracts. I suspect many readers don't even know the consequences of an indemnity agreement, which will make it difficult to negotiate these provisions. Hopefully this will be explained in the next edition.

Finally, Harrington is sometimes hardnosed in his advice for dealing with clients. If you follow his advice, you better make sure your diplomacy skills are also in place.

Photographers who are just getting started in business would probably benefit from reading books like "Starting Your Career As a Freelance Photographer" by Tad Crawford or "American Society of Media Photographers Professional Business Practices in Photography". However, once you are on the road as a professional, this is certainly a must-read book
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extremely Valuable Book, October 3, 2009
By 
Kent Kobersteen (Washington, DC area) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition (Paperback)
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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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for photographers, October 3, 2009
By 
Bob Carey (Boiling Springs, NC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition (Paperback)
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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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Edition Adds Much -- Even an IRS Audit Walk-Thru, October 4, 2009
This review is from: Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition (Paperback)
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
[...]
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Rules" for photographic relationships, September 1, 2009
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This review is from: Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition (Paperback)
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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Photo Biz Reference Book, October 13, 2009
By 
Richard D. Kelly (Pittsburgh, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition (Paperback)
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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just for Professionals, April 14, 2012
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This review is from: Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition (Paperback)
I am an amateur photographer. I bought, read, and enjoyed John Harrington's Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition. I believe John wrote both his first and second editions with professional photographers in mind. Every professional photographer should own this book.

If you are an amateur like me, you should buy this book, and let me tell you why. If your photography is good, sooner or later, a friend or family member will ask you to photograph something and offer to pay you for it. As soon as you decide to accept money for your time, sell your photographs at a show, or sell your photos over the Internet, you are in business. Even if you are giving your craft away to a non-profit, you will want some control over your work and some assurance that your work will not be used to harm. You will need to know when you and your work need protection and how to do it.

If money changes hands you are in business, and in every municipality in the US being in business means something. The moment money changes hands you are required to register your business as an entity; adhere to all local licensing and zoning laws; and pay federal, state and local taxes including sales tax. Once your business has value - enough that someone would pay you for your time and work - then you will want to protect your business, your work, and yourself from harm resulting from your business activity.

So amateurs should buy this book too. As an amateur you may someday be faced with the prospect of selling your time and work. You should know what that means and be prepared for that decision. I hope John will view my review as affirmation for his work and embrace this perhaps unintended consequence of his book in the marketplace. On a lighter note I would like to report that this book is well written, accurate, and very up to date. I would highly recommend that every photographer purchase and read this book, cover to cover.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent in many dimensions, November 3, 2009
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This review is from: Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition (Paperback)
I'll confess to having finished only 1/5 of the book. If the rest are blank pages it's still worth the ~$25 I paid for it. The most important lesson is the idea of photography as a sustainable _business_. From his early tales John Harrington clearly had to sink or swim and learned the hard way; he offers the reader who wishes to make a business of photography the mindset that will allow success. Including suggestions to help other photographer friends succeed and not undermine the profession.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a fine book, but..., January 5, 2007
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...don't be confused. This book IS NOT for people who want to start a photography business. This book is for people who already run a photography business.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dated, dated, dated, March 5, 2014
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This review is from: Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition (Paperback)
I tend to buy a lot of books, and made the mistake to trust the rave reviews for this one without paying attention to the table of content. Ouch!

This book needs to be completely revised for today's market and reality. It is filled with anecdotes that do not apply in today's world. Oddly, the author focuses way too much on problems: from getting audited by the IRS (call your accountant), to dealing with delinquent clients (call a Collection Agency), ... He portraits a very hostile world where everything needs to be in writing... (which is actually good advice btw, hence the 2 stars). I think it's great that the author is honest and shares his struggles... But the ENTIRE book has this negative, very rigid undertone.

Here's the catch: while I agree that it's vital to know what to do when things turn bad, starting a career with this sole focus might not be such a good idea... It's incomplete, and frankly very uninspiring.

But unfortunately that's not all–here I'm just stating personal preferences as a reader.

Here's the real problem... the book is lacking in "business best practices" that actually matter in today's world:

- nothing on social media
- nothing on marketing
- nothing on promotional strategies
- nothing on website creation
- nothing about personal branding
- nothing about understanding the culture of your specific market
- nothing on how to approach a new client
- nothing on self-generated projects
- nothing on success stories of today's photographers sharing insights on the way they work
Etc, etc,...

These elements are obviously vital, and the author avoid them altogether. In addition, the book is filled with weird screencaptures from the 90's–no user interface looks like that anymore.

Come on! No Pinterest? No Instagram? No Facebook? Nothing on email marketing? Nothing on dealing with ad agencies?

Please visit the author's website, (that uses Flash!!!), there's no Social Media link whatsoever on the homepage...

I buy tons of books related to creative professions because I teach.

I was hoping to discover something I could share with my students; but unfortunately this book is way too dated. If you've never heard of model releases, basic contract writing, you might find it useful (but again, this information can be found online for free). The title is misleading, it is not about "best practices" in today's world. It should be called instead "Dealing with the legal and administrative aspects of photography" that would be more accurate. Very disappointing.
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Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition
Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition by John Harrington (Paperback - September 28, 2009)
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