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Commercial Photography Handbook: Business Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers Paperback – September 21, 2009
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"Kirk has changed gears a bit to outline for photographers of all levels of skill and ambition what commercial photography is all aboutwhat 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
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book does not have a good section on how to shoot food or stock photography. It was purchased for teaching at a community college and it is not a book I would recommend.Published 16 months ago by Jim Grant
The book is nice enough and pleasantly written but does not really give a lot of new ideas or good insights, most of the content is of a nature that I had long figured out by... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Cornelis Van Es a.k.a. Binkie
This book was very helpful especially the mantra charge for what you know not what you do. Lots to digest and put into use... A worthwhile read.Published on April 19, 2014 by Marketing Holistics
Not sure why the author used what he did on the cover but the info inside is priceless. Definitely recommend this read!Published on March 11, 2014 by Mioara Dragan
An excellent guide for the novice and professional photographers in the art of commercial photography. This book will help you to be "on top of your game."Published on February 1, 2013 by Nancy Jean Rose
This book is interesting and very informative. I couldn't put it down! A great book to reference if you want to get started in Commercial Photography. Read morePublished on October 24, 2012 by fotogirl