First, I must apologize if I haven’t gotten to your questions quickly this week. Usually I answer them on Wednesdays in a video blog of ‘Coffee Talk,’ but the schedule’s been a bit crazy – not to mention my hair. No one needs to see this bird’s nest documented.
I’ve had some awesome questions messaged, emailed, etc. to me this week and I think the questions and answers are so beneficial for everyone to read. So without further adieu…
What all you disclose to your clients, such as, blogging about your goals on where you want to take your bunsiness and how many shoots and weddings you want to have in the books for the year? Is that appropriate?
Everyone is going to take a different route on this one depending on their comfort zone. Personally, I think it’s great for your clients and customers to view you as a real person. It’s difficult for me to present myself any other way than just myself. Clients want to be able to trust and relate to you and seeing that you have goals, strengths, and even weaknesses is human nature. You can’t expect to present yourself as perfect all the time. Being relatable as a business owner is a huge deal and it’s part of what my clients love most. They can relate to you wanting to be more successful and achieve certain things in your career – as I’m sure most of them want the same!
I am creating a contract for “Event” coverage. I am struggling with how to word the model release part. In the case I would be using this (a golf tournament with over 280 people being photographed) there is no way to get releases from each person. I am not sure the sponsoring company can even sign on their behalf (that can’t be legal can it?). I would most likely not use any of these photos for marketing, advertising, etc…but who knows, it could happen I suppose. Any ideas on wording and what needs to be included?
No one can sign on anyone’s behalf for a model release unless it is a parent signing for a minor. In this case, I would include a model release in the contract and the company can sign it. It’s impossible to collect model releases for this many people at an event, just like at a wedding. When it comes to this sort of thing with weddings I just stick to ye olde tune of asking for forgiveness later. I would never use the photographs of anyone without a signed model release to put in a magazine, newspaper, or any major sales ad that will be shown to the public. But occasionally I do include photos of some wedding guests on my personal website. If anyone ever asked me to remove a photo of them I’d happily do it, but until that time I’ll go with the flow. Although, usually, I don’t share too many photos of other guests to begin with. I try to stick to just the bride and groom and the wedding party who are usually fairly aware the photos will end up online.
Hi I am just starting my photography business I am in dire need of some help with marketing and was wondering on if you know any wonderful ways to market.
My main marketing tool when I was just beginning my business was Facebook. I had to face the fact (haha pun) that I wouldn’t be immediately making any money off my sessions, especially when I felt like I still had so much to learn. I asked my friends and relatives that lived in the area through Facebook if they wouldn’t mind doing free photoshoots for me as long as I could use them in my portfolio. I sent messages to anyone, even if I thought they might not be interested, and this is how I started. Then with my Facebook business page I would edit the photos, share them, and most importantly – tag my friends in them. It wasn’t long before their friends’ friends and so on would see them tagged in my photos and they started asking to do sessions. I also used Craigslist to offer free sessions and build my portfolio. Then I would friend the clients I met through there on my personal Facebook page so I could tag them in my business one. Using Facebook this way has allowed me to build most of my business through referrals. It takes some work and when you don’t have a photo session booked in awhile it’s always good to do some free work to practice.
I was just asked who has the rights to their wedding pictures, which I would think be both the client and photographer. Can you help answer this question?
This is a great question. You, as the photographer, are the creator of the photos and thus you own the photos and have the rights to them. A client is merely paying you for the service of photographing, production of the photographs and then possibly selling them prints, products, or a CD with photos. If you give a CD or any digital images to your clients you can potentially release the entire copyright to them if you chose to do so. You cannot both (client and photographer) hold full copyright to the photos at the same time. I retain the full copyright to all of my photos I produce. I never give a full copyright to my clients because that would mean I’m giving them the rights to sell and make money off of my hard work. What you want to do is give your clients a Limited Print Release. This gives them essentially a “personal use copyright” to share the photos as they wish and get prints made from them. It will restrict your clients from selling your images or using them for any sort of personal gain. So in the end, you have the full copyright to the photos because you produced them and you can decide how much of a copyright (print release) you want to give your clients. Clients should be happy with a print release that allows them to share and use their photos for personal use. What else do they need to do with them anyway?
I’m interested in getting a new camera because I love photography. I’m wondering what your suggestion would be for a camera and lens?
This entirely depends on how you intend to use the camera and if you’re going to be doing professional work and taking photos of others or if you just want a nice camera to take photos of landscapes, family, fun, etc. Without knowing what prior cameras you have and experience it’s difficult to recommend one. If you’re going the professional route and you want to take photos of weddings, babies, etc. I’d recommend the Canon 5D Mark ii (or Mark iii). Both of these are obviously the more expensive options, but they are the best full frame cameras Canon offers in my opinion. If you need to save a bit the Canon 60D is a great choice as well and I would recommend this one for anyone starting a photography business, or looking to do some nice photographs of friends, families, etc. Unfortunately I don’t know much of anything about Nikon so it’s difficult for me to recommend any of their cameras since I haven’t used them personally, but I’ve heard their D90 is a good starter camera.
As always guys, I love helping you and answering your questions. You can ask a question on the website, leave me a question in the comments, message me one on Facebook, email a question or whatever. I’m all ears!
If you haven’t already seen it, we have a new ebook released this week. A Wedding Pose Guide! Be sure to check it out – you won’t want to miss it!
Remember to sign up for next Monday’s FREE live online photography business class!