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Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition 2nd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 126 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: 7.3 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on November 15, 2006
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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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.
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