Archive for October, 2010


Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Deep in school stuff but I have a related question for you: What do you think about the published/unpublished distinction in © registration? That is, does it ever pose a problem for you? Have you ever not registered because of it (especially older unregistered images)? Have you ever fudged a submission because you just didn’t want to have to think about it? Any thoughts on the published/unpublished issue would be great. You can email me if you’d rather not share publicly.

I will not renew my ASMP membership

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

I finally have had enough of ASMP bending over for those who are most against the strongest copyright enforcement. Today, my gauge read “full” when I read Richard Kelly’s tweet encouraging photographers to read this ill-informed piece by Jonathan Bailey on the stupidly named* “Plagiarism Today” website:
(* stupidly named because anyone who knows anything about copyright knows that it has nothing to do with plagiarism)

So, finally fed up after the ASMP Lessig-filled copyright symposium and other accommodations for Creative Commons and the EFF, etc., and now this, I posted a calling out to my Facebook biz page:

It is incredibly hard to do this. I have liked so many of the people associated with ASMP and have worked with them for years. This is like a bad break-up. But I cannot continue to be supportive of the group as it goes down this path.

And sure, this tweeted link isn’t as bad as warmly welcoming Lessig to your table, but it was, for me, the final straw. Maybe it’s because I have been killing myself in law school working to learn all I can to defend the rights of creatives and seeing such an important group give in like this is painfully frustrating. As I’m in the middle of doing research on copyright law and new technologies for a paper, when I read things like how copyright is bad for small creatives, all I can think is “Son of a bitch… another one has bought into the anti-corporate shell game obfuscation spewed by people like Lessig and the EFF and others.”

I could sit on my hands. I’m going to make lots of people angry by posting this, but if I want to look in the mirror, if I want to be a person of honor, I cannot sit by any more and be a part of such a group.

I don’t like calling out an organization I have been a part of for years, but I cannot be a part of a group that claims to be pro-creative that simultaneously does not stand up exclusively for its members’ best interests

Therefore, I will not be renewing my ASMP membership when it expires at the end of the year. I do not believe that ASMP is doing right by its members. It would be hypocritical of me to continue my membership.

I quit.

Editorial? Maybe more!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

For those of you who have been signing away too many rights for editorial projects, look what Pepsi is doing. They are re-monetizing editorial images as apps. You read that right…they are taking editorial images and repurposing them.

The next person who says that it’s okay to just sign contracts because the images really won’t be used again (think about the old Boston Globe WFH fight, etc.) gets a (figurative) beating.

Stand up NOW

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Contact your senators and representatives now to tell them to support COICA, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. Here’s more about it from the Copyright Alliance. The anti-© forces are really fighting this so we need to get out there and get this information to people. Be positive, talk about the advantages economically for society, etc. Don’t just focus on your own issues but talk about the importance overall, that will help sway those who have been mislead by the anti-© forces.

Need contact info? Here’s how to find your senators’ info. And here is for your House reps.

Available on Amazon!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Finally! My 2d edition version of Business Basics for the Successful Commercial Photographer is available on Amazon.  You can get it here or by clicking on the image.

For those of you who have already purchased the book, I’d really appreciate it if you’d take the time to post a review on Amazon.

I’m very excited to have this out there especially before the holiday season. The last edition was a very popular gift to interns and assistants. I hope this one will be too.

Thanks for everyone’s patience!


Friday, October 1st, 2010

Everyone and every business has rules… rules that start off often as decisions but somehow morph into inviolable rules. What rules have you set up for yourself/your business, implicit and explicit? Have you taken a look at them lately? Maybe it’s time you do…

…with a big Sharpie in hand for editing.

This idea is particularly important for those of you who have been in business for a while. More than likely, you have rules that are holding you and your business back. They may be as simple as the choice of lights or lenses you always always use or more complex like how you define and charge usage.

Here’s a quick hint to help you identify the suspect rules: if you say “In my day…” or “That’s not the way it’s done…” you probably have some examinable rules.

I think you should break your rules… at least once in a while. Why? Because really it’s a form of testing to see if these inviolable dictates are helping or hindering you and/or your business. See, often we set up rules which sound logical but which are, in reality, just a way of playing it safe.

You can’t play it safe and be a successful businessperson. Hell, you can’t be a successful person either.

I’m writing from experience. Trust me, I love rules. Stephen Webster used to say when I worked with him that I was born with a red pen in my hand and that I was an idealist. Both are signs that I love order and regularity and, most of all, predictability. I want society to follow the rules and law school makes perfect sense with that mindset.

At the same time, that love of the rules has held me back in the past. Rigidity is not good. The buildings that fall in earthquakes are the rigid ones and, hoo boy, our industry is in the middle of a looooong temblor.

Experience has taught me to let go and challenge my rules and I have done more and been happier because of that. A simple example: just this year I rode on the back of a Harley in Los Angeles freeway traffic, lane sharing (that is, going in-between the cars already in lanes–legal in CA), for the first time. I hardly knew the man in control of the machine and I loathe LA traffic so much I’ll avoid driving there (in a car!) whenever possible. So, that act challenged all sorts of my beliefs and rules and tested my abilities. I thought I’d hate it, especially the lack of control, but instead it was fantastic. Now I feel like I can do things I never thought I could before. I got confidence in myself and a renewed ability to trust others which I have since applied to my studies and business.

Loosening your rules, challenging your long-held beliefs, trying something new, letting go of “in my day” thinking and external rules (“it’s not done that way” bah!), those will all help you to get through the bouncy business times we’re in.  So what if no one else has packaged usage the way you do or shot that kind of image with that lens or made a promo like that… do it anyway. Challenge the status quo if you want to be successful, and start that by challenging your own rules.