On Vertical Lines, Graphic Art and Photography

My first day at L’ècole Des Beaux Arts in Montreal was quite memorable. Aside from compulsively staring at a very pretty blonde by the name of Josette, I eagerly awaited the arrival of the drawing teacher for my first class.

It’s Time for Pro Photographers and Hobbyists to Call a Truce

I’m a professional photographer. I also recognize that, increasingly, this designation seems to be losing its impact.

Besides being able to deduct equipment purchases on your taxes, what else does the title bring you?

Get Local Publicity for Your Wedding Photography Business

In this video in my series on wedding photography marketing, I share advice on how to get exposure in local media to build awareness and earn new clients for your wedding photography business.

Is It OK for Photographers to “Write for Free” for Black Star Rising?

A lot of photographers — pros and semipros alike — are angry these days.

Pros are angry because good-paying work is harder to find than it used to be; much of this anger is directed at semipros and amateurs, who are blamed for the oversupply of images in the marketplace.

Why Is a Photojournalist’s Gender Relevant to Their Work?

I’ve never been able to identify a photojournalist’s gender from the photos she takes. Have you?

When Margaret Bourke-White photographed the Nazi death camps for Life magazine, no one cared if she was a woman or not. Her images told the story and that was that.

If You Want the Best from Your Designer, Don’t Criticize Their Work — Critique It

(The following is adapted from the book Everyone’s Guide to Designers, by designer Clarence Bowman.)

One of the trickiest arts in world is the art of critique. But learning it is important to clients who wish to have good working relationships with their graphic and Web designers.

Action, Not Anger, Is Photographers’ Best Response to Getty

Stock photographers are up in arms. They’re angry — and understandably so.

But they’re not right about everything, and rage only gets you so far. As the photography industry continues to struggle with heightened competition, reduced demand and lower prices, photographers must learn to take action, both for themselves and for their industry, with the same energy with which they voice their complaints.

Wedding Photographers: Be Yourself to Be a Bride Magnet

Before hiring you to document their wedding, most couples want to know more about you than the quality of your work and how many ceremonies you’ve shot in the past. They want to get to know you as a person.

Ask the Photo Business Coach: What’s the Truth About Photo Contests?

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I answer the question, “What’s the truth about photography contests?”

The Best Photos Make You Stop to Look Twice

“When you look into your camera, if you see an image you have ever seen before, don’t click the shutter.”

— Alexey Brodovitch

Based on my recent blog posts criticizing the tyranny of the new and the idiocy of artist statements in photography, you might have me pegged as a “grumpy old photographer,” as one commenter put it.

For Photographers, It’s Not What You Look at — It’s What You See

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

— Henry David Thoreau

This is one of my favorite quotes. While Thoreau did not say this about photography, it’s about the best advice you can give to someone in our profession.

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom for Photojournalism Students

Photojournalism students, as well as those in other mass communication programs, are worried there won’t be jobs for them when they graduate. The news media, trade journals, and even educators are forecasting the collapse of newspapers and downsizing of jobs in other media.

Too Much Work? Stop Complaining and Start Growing Your Photography Business

If you’re stressed out because of all the work you have to do, you may be missing an opportunity. Perhaps it’s time to grow your photography business. Even if you’re unable to pay for help at first, you do have options. This video can help you get started.

At the End of the Day, You’ve Just Got to Laugh

Slowly, I sank up to my knees, the mud sucking me in deeper and deeper.

I was standing on a riverbank near the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh, photographing villages that had been flooded. Thinking I’d have a better angle if I got closer to the river, I took a flying leap into what I quickly realized was sludge. Each time I moved, the mud pulled me down further.

GreyScale: Apparently, It’s Color for the Rest of Us

Throw $41 million at a photo-sharing app and it’s bound to lure competitors. One week after the much-ballyhooed debut of Color, a rival developer has introduced an app called GreyScale — at least according to this press release that hit our inbox just after midnight on April 1:

Wedding Photographers, Go Beyond Facebook and Twitter in Your Social Media Strategy

More and more wedding photographers are using Facebook and Twitter today, but relatively few are taking advantage of other useful social networking sites, such as Digg and StumbleUpon. In this video, I look at ways that you can leverage these sites to market your business.

Social Media for Wedding Photographers Starts with Getting Social

Did you know that Facebook is the No. 1 way that many wedding photographers are reaching brides today? If you’ve been reluctant to include social media in your marketing strategy, watch this video. Getting started is not as difficult as you think.

Is Getting Your Photography Organized Worth the Effort? You’re DAM Right It Is!

The other night, I was looking through some old files to find a low-light photo to illustrate a book I’m working on. While doing this, I happened upon two folders of pictures I had shot of jazz great Sonny Rollins.

Why I Don’t Like Artist Statements

Look at the pictures. It’s not that complicated.

That’s what I want to say to photographers, curators and others who insist that exhibition-worthy photography requires artist statements.

Explaining the Obvious

Ask the Photo Business Coach: What’s the Next Big Thing?

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I answer the question, “What are the most promising new opportunities for photographers?”

Chasing the “New” Saps the Passion from Photography

Not too long ago, a friend of mine showed his portfolio to a curator at a local museum. After sifting through his photographs rather quickly, she handed them back to him and said she saw “nothing new” in his work.

It’s Time for Independent Photographers to Consider Subscription Pricing

From Netflix to Pandora, Zipcar to cell phone plans, more and more businesses are offering subscription or membership service plans — and consumers are embracing them as a way of simplifying their lives and budgets.

Creating a Wedding Photography Website That Sells: Closing the Deal

In this video in my series on creating a wedding photography website that sells, I share tips on how to turn traffic to your site into bookings.

Photographers, Don’t Listen to Harvard Professors — or Anyone Else — Who Asks You to Give Up Your Rights

People who want you to forfeit your intellectual property rights like to point out the enormous creativity of those who would use your work without compensating you.

They’re not stealing your work. They’re “remixing” it. “Transforming” it. “Mashing” it up.

Creating a Wedding Photography Website That Sells: Testimonials and Packages

In this video in my series on creating a website that sells, I discuss how to make customer testimonials work harder for you, how to organize and display your wedding packages, and more.