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Commercial Photography Handbook: Business Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers Paperback – September 21, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Kirk has changed gears a bit to outline for photographers of all levels of skill and ambition what commercial photography is all about—what the important principles are, how commercial photographers work, and, last but not least, how you can make money in these 'down' times."  —theonlinephotographer.typepad.com



"Gives you nothing but real world 'stuff' that author Kirk Tuck has learned in making a successful business out of his photography for more than 20 years."  —sacramentoreviewofbooks.com



"An outstanding primer on starting and running a photography business."  — Prophotoresource.com



"The guide includes numerous color images (shots of food are prominent), and resources; a companion blog is available."  —SciTech Book News

About the Author

Kirk Tuck is an award-winning advertising photographer whose clients include Dell, Elle magazine, IBM, Motorola, Pharmaco, and Time Warner. He is the author of Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Amherst Media (September 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584282606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584282600
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was looking for a book that would give me a smart introduction to the field of commercial photography. There are a ton of books in the market about wedding and portrait photography but fewer that aim to cover Architectural, Product, Corporate, Food and other subjects. This book explains pricing, goes into good detail about marketing and is a very well written and informative look at a market that lots of people would like to get into.

My favorite part of the book is about Marketing. Tuck explains what has worked for him and why. The other thing I like about the book is that the author is very straightforward about his position in the market. He lives in what he calls a "second tier" market which means he's not in New York or Los Angeles or Chicago. He doesn't pretend that all of his clients are national, Fortune 100 clients. Kinda nice to see advice aimed at the kind of markets that the majority of people in the US work in.

While many "business" books are really dry and full of forms and stuff about accounting this book is more like talking to a good friend over coffee about getting your photo business off the ground. Only in this case your "friend" has about 25 years of really good experience, admits he's learned some stuff the hard way and comes from the same town you do.

While the cover design is cludgy and disconcerting the guts of the book are very well designed and the images are quite nice. The author also left his ego at the door in one more regard: He's brought in work by other photographers who are very gifted in order to break up sections and show off different levels of ability.

Books like this are a simple decision. With Amazon's pricing it's just a bit more than some magazines. If you are starting out in the business you'll need to know a lot. This book covers a great overview.
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Format: Paperback
Even if you are an established professional photographer working in the national markets you will still find this book very worthwhile. The sections on marketing and business practices are great reading and well worth the cover price. I find Kirk's writing easy to read. It has a nice, almost narrative flow. But it's the information that you will find valuable. I'm finding it to be a great resource.

In the interest of full disclosure I must mention that I am profiled in the book along with two other central Texas photographers, Wyatt McSpadden and Paul Bardagjy.

If you are just starting out in photography this book could save you years of expensive trial and error.
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Format: Paperback
Kirk Tuck is a natural teacher and storyteller. He's a man who loves what he does and is willing to cheerfully share what he's learned in the whacky world of commercial photography. His book has something for everyone from beginners to grumpy old pros like myself. Kirk was kind enough to include me as one of three photographers profiled in the book along with Will van Overbeek and Paul Bardagjy, good company indeed. This is a book you'll want to have handy when you're puzzling over the mysteries of professional photography.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish this book had been around when I started down the "digital road" years ago. Its an easy read that should prompt you to ask what it is you really like to shoot and then consider how to organize the business side, marketing, etc.

In a photographic world filled with what sometimes seems like aimless shooters (shoot everything and shoot it a lot) Mr. Tuck's book asks us to examine our talents and drive in a more cogent manner. Perhaps just as importantly his voice of experience told me a lot about handling essentials such as model releases, property releases, contracts for paid jobs, tax planning and insurance. All things a lot of us overlook in our rush to shoot, shoot, shoot.

Consider this book a "What Color is My Parachute" for photographers with a lot of other solid advice thrown in for good measure.

Another consideration he covers at length is to carefully consider managing the rights to our images. Do we give clients originals or not for example? You may not agree with his outlook on it, but regardless of how you do it this should thought through. Do you have a business model that separates you from competitors? Another thing worth considering before you hang out a shingle.

More questions to consider. Should I go to a photo school? Become an apprentice to someone? Join professional associations?

Kirk Tuck obviously speaks with his experience and shares it in this book. After reading it I'm considering a lot more essential areas that could have caused me issues down the line, and that alone is worth the price many times over. His writing style is down to earth and spending a day combing his thoughts would be invaluable to both beginners and a lot of professionals as well. Good stuff.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great overview. This book has been extremely helpful in evaluating what I can do with what I have - since I don't have unlimited financial resources for a start up business. I like the way Kirk details needed equipment, working environment and client expectations in the various fields of photography. I think it'll be a time saver for where I put my focus rather than casting about by trial and error and losing precious time.

This book has also helped me think through and find a niche market to get started without needing the most expensive equipment available. Really an excellent overview to understand and then focus on this business - followed by references for further study.

The photo business can be a daunting and overwhelming business to get started in. This book brings it to a comprehensible level of understanding that is encouraging and exciting.
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