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By Lisa Sharer

In 30 or 40 years, how will you remember the most important moments of your life? It's a question that the print industry is asking during this technological age. According to a nationwide survey conducted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA), consumers are printing significantly less than the generations before them.

In some homes, photo albums do not exist. For some people, printing photos is not even on their radar. People are leaving everything in the cloud, and assuming their coveted images will be safe forever there. But if there's anything we know, it's that technology has the potential to crash, delete images and possibly even wipe files off the face of the earth.

This infographic illustrates the very scary truth about consumers' relationship with printing photography products. While we would like to believe that everything will be fine on a computer or in the cloud, we can never really be sure. Even if they are safe, are consumers planning to share their family photos from a desktop? Will people walk into each other's homes and bypass blank walls to head directly to the computer?

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Tangible, visible, printed images are the only thing that can really tell the story of our most precious moments. Generally speaking, don't you see children more fascinated by the family photos throughout the home folders on a computer screen? And as adults, will they wonder why their parents aren't proudly displaying their special moments? Will that one photo make as much of an impact to the newlyweds that choose only to share via their social media?

These are all valid concerns, and they start with the photographer. As photography professionals, it is our obligation to give the full scope of a photo session, including the printed works that follow. This infographic shows the awe-inducing effects of the technological age as well as the importance of bringing home a printed image that will let the subjects beam with love and pride, and that they will be able to share with generations to come.

To learn more about The Print Movement and how printing can help reinforce the photographic industry, visit PRINTmovement.org. You'll find an array of statistics, valuable information, as well as resources to help you sell print products from your own studio. It's time to start the (re)evolution of print!

Editor's note: This post was originally published September 2017. It has been updated for relevance and precision.

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About the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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By Lisa Sharer

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It's happened to all of us. Probably more than once. Someone asks you what your rate is, and when they hear it, they are appalled. You start to feel a little flush. You start to think, maybe I went too high. You start to want to back into the nearest bush.

We're here to tell you to kick that bush to the curb! Part of becoming a professional photographer starts with confidence. If every photographer folds, then no one gets paid. By demanding a solid rate, you're not only helping yourself, you're helping all the photographers that come after you.

Here's a recent, completely real, interaction that we applaud:

A photographer is out and about taking pictures. He is approached by a gentleman who notices him:

Gentleman: You take pictures? 

Photographer: Yes

Gentleman: How much do you charge?

Photographer: It really depends on what you want.

Gentleman: Just walking around downtown with you taking pictures of me.

Photographer: My portrait sessions start at $$.

Gentleman: (Laughs) Oh, come on, man.

Photographer: (Without hesitation) This is my full-time job, and I'm really good at it. Here's my card. Check out my portfolio, and let me know if you're interested.

If you believe in yourself, your clients will believe in you. Set your prices, stick by them, and above all, do NOT be embarrassed by them. Remember that you spend many hours--collective portions of your life--perfecting your craft and building a business. You have every right to charge fairly for your service, and you should never be ashamed of it.

"Listen up photographers. Know what you're worth. State it with conviction. Know when to bend, but know that bending should be the exception. There will be clients that will see your worth and pay your fee." -Aaron Coury, Photographer.

If you would like more help on how to sell yourself and your service, check out PPA's See The Difference® resources. PPA members have access to a plethora of sales and marketing tools to assist in promotion and in-person sales. If you're not a member, you should join today!


Photography is best enjoyed in Print. You know that, but do your clients? Are you struggling with exactly how to explain the process of print photography to clients? Here are a few ways you can show them why the efforts and services of this art form can't be matched.

  1. Thumbnail image for book 1080x1080.jpgChoose the Right Printing Material and Product Treatment
    Determining the type of printing material, as well as the kind of product treatment needed for a client's image, is crucial to the quality of the final product.  The quality of the material used will determine the image's lifespan. It's up to you as a professional to encourage them to use a paper that will last a lifetime.
  2. Frame Their Photograph so it Enhances Their Image
    Any professional photographer knows framing does not fall under "a walk in the park." Remind clients that you're trained to do this. And remember: You're offering them quality service that they can only experience when they hire an expert like you. The rich conversations between you and your client will help you produce every fine detail they hope for, the perfect encasing for their image, the best frame to fit with their home décor. You have the knowledge to guide your client through the purchasing decision, and you can help give them a great experience by prepping and showcasing the best frames for their image.
  3. Package and Deliver with Care
    Taking the time out of your day to package your client's photograph is a small gesture that will go a long way. They know you care about the image, but you personally packaging their photograph and delivering it to them yourself will signify, "Wow, they care about me." Speaking of which, whenever you have the choice and resources for shipping versus personal delivery, always go with the latter because quality customer service only enriches the entire customer experience. Going the extra mile acts as the icing on the cake. It further solidifies your relationship, and that mutual feeling of gratitude will last long after the project is complete. Clients will never have this kind of experience - namely a considerate, human touch to their customer service - if they simply stick with digital. Show them why they'll want to partner with you a second, third, twentieth time.
  4. Hang It Up Professionally, and Play Up "The Reveal"
    People are always eager for the reveal, and you can make it a very special occasion by hand-placing the image for your clients. Because mounting and hanging for visual impact is second nature to you, they can relax while you place the piece in an agreed-upon space. After you secure the image with utmost precision, everyone's favorite moment finally arrives: the long-awaited reveal! Ask your clients to close their eyes. As you guide them into the room, you let them take a breath, and once you finally give the "okay," that first heartwarming gasp happens. When it does, the realization hits them: "This was so worth it." They know one of their most cherished moments has become immortalized for generations to enjoy every single day.  

That's what you strive for, and that's what sticks in your client's mind. No matter how you chose to take your clients through the reveal, take advantage of this highly-touching moment to make it even more special, and tie it to your brand and your service.

In the end, it's always the client's experience that will set you apart as a professional print photographer. See the bliss that falls on your clients' faces when they are able to see their story come to life. They will feel the caring and consideration because you took their priceless moment as seriously as they did. Each and every meticulous step of creating beautiful print photography can't help but proclaim a valuable truth: There is no substitute for excellent, customized service from a pro. People don't become repeat clients simply because of the products... they come back because of the experience!

When it comes to professionally printing photography, people tend to focus on the end result and rarely the process. But if you can show them you hold their satisfaction as the highest priority, they will not only cherish your art in a timeless format but will also cherish your efforts, too. To learn more about print photography and to find resources that can help you market and sell your prints, visit Printmovement.org.


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By Mayo Lawal

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You've got impeccable photography skills and you work hard, so you aren't really sure why your business isn't as profitable as you would like it to be. Have you considered joining PPA's Business Challenge?

The Business Challenge is free to PPA members and provides photographers with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes. 

"PPA's business advice is based on years of experience and successful business mentoring," said Angela Kurkian, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and Director of Education at PPA. "The Business Challenge helps our members be more business-confident. It helps them think and strategize as a savvy business person."  

We know that the definition of success differs from person to person. This is why the Business Challenge is designed to help you work on your personalized success path. 

"PPA's Business Challenge has already helped me increase our sales averages a little, which is encouraging," said Wes Roberts, one of the participants. "It's helping me see the direction to get to my goals, which is awesome!" 

The Business Challenge is a fun, interactive way for PPA members to integrate as much business acumen as they can in one year's time. There is work involved, as this "challenge" is meant for photographers who are serious about wanting to take their business to the next level. Participants will have tasks to complete and the opportunity to be active members of accountability groups and peer-to-peer mentoring.

New Business Challenge groups begin every quarter. Sign up today at PPA.com/Challenge to enroll in the next Challenge Group, which begins on February 1st, 2018. Remember, the Business Challenge is free to PPA members. Not a member? Join PPA today!

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If photography is how you make a living, as a business owner you face a whole new set of challenges. How do you get your name and business information out there? What is the best way to approach marketing for your photography business? Where are the most effective places to advertise in order to create the buzz about your business? 

All of these questions can be tricky to answer and can be answered a number of ways. Here are some basic ways to boost the impact of your photography business, so you can get the most out of your marketing efforts. 
 
Alphabet Soup - SEO, CTA, and CTR's

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These days, one of the largest advertising tools is the internet. With websites, social media, online reviews and such, it is an avenue too large for any business owner not to take advantage of. The first step when it comes to marketing on the web is understanding the meaning behind the acronyms. There are plenty of blogs about how to effectively market online, and many of them use the same language, or in this case, letters.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of getting as much 'organic' (non-paid) traffic to your website. With the use of keywords, tags, metadata, and many other factors, you can generate traffic to your website for free, just from simple search engine searches. You can track what works and what doesn't, and tweak all the meaningful data required to put your site on the top of the search page.

Calls To Action (CTA) are those little buttons placed all through a blog, or website. They are on the top, in the middle, on the bottom, and sometimes they pop out at you, but all of them have one purpose... to call you to action! They are strategically placed clickable links to your website, asking customers to go to your page and check out your stuff. And if you have any control over the placement, there is some scientific research as to where is the best place to put them. Don't be shy about your Calls To Actions: Book Today / Request a Quote / Meet the Photographer / etc. Almost every page of your website should have a call to action!

Click Through Rate (CTR) is another group of letters you will see, and this is something that anyone who uses the internet to market and sell should be aware of. It is the rate at which your Calls To Actions and search engine searches generate clicks through to your website. Using SEO data points to increase your CTR is crucial, as once you know what sections of your website or what pieces of content generate more clicks, then you'll have the key to  generate more website traffic,  more qualified leads, and more business!

Know Your Demographic

Often times, people think that to catch a lot of fish, you need to cast a wide net. This is true, but it is also true that this approach does not always bring the best prospective clients. This is why there is something to be said about professional photographers fishing in very specific pools. For example, if your specialty is weddings, you're probably not going to generate a lot of business advertising on auto supply websites. Find out where your clients spend their time, what social media outlets they are most drawn to, what groups they belong to and trust,and focus on marketing on those sites. Target the right audience to get more meaningful and productive prospects.

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Become An Exhibitionist

No, we don't mean run around in public naked (!), although that will probably attract attention as well. We mean exhibit your art. Get the word out there by putting on a show in a small local gallery, cafés or even local restaurants and bars. Not only will it get your work out there for the public to see, and possibly generate some print sales, but it is a feather in the cap of any photographer to say that they had a showing or an exhibition. Additionally, clients always get pride in knowing that their photographer is getting well known. This gives them the prime insider's feeling and elevates your brand and value in their eye. So advertise about your showing, and invite friends and customers, as well as critics and reviewers.

The Magic of Social Media

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Thanks to sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, getting your pictures out there to be seen, is as easy as clicking a share button. These avenues can't be ignored for photographers to market themselves. Create an artist page, put links to your website where your contact information is in your bio's and start sharing yourself. Connect with your followers on a personal level, by responding to questions or comments on your work. Create buzz by posting about showings and exhibitions, or contests you've won along with other accomplishments. Share, and share again. Also keep in mind that these sites have options for paid advertisements, which can be affordable even if you don't have a huge marketing budget.

Word of Mouth

This has been, and will always be an effective marketing tool. People tend to choose a business more often if someone they trust recommends it, or if there are a lot of people who have good things to say about you or your work. Allowing for reviews on your social media page is one way to create feedback. Also creating a testimonial page on your business website, and asking people to review their experience and your work is an excellent way to get your word of mouth machine running.

Create a Connection

When we say create a connection, we don't just mean choosing to showcase your most emotion-provoking work. We mean connect with your clients, and other photographers, on a personal level. Put a personal bio on your website and social media pages, respond to questions and comments personally and in a friendly manner. Using emotional trigger words can be an effective marketing tool, can help to create relationships with clients, and can also generate more positive word of mouth action. Networking with other professional photographers through PPA.com can also be invaluable. Getting advice, or referrals from other professionals is something that every business owner needs. Because in the end, people always do business with people they like. This is valid for clients to do repeat business with you, for them to refer you, or for other vendors to refer you. Connections will help your business soar on its own.

Ask For The Sale!

In the midst of all these marketing strategies, networking tips, and promotion tactics, one thing we can't forget is to ask for the sale! It can be one of the hardest things to do for salesmen. They can talk to people, create rapport, and build a solid relationship with their customers all day long, but when push comes to shove, they are unable to simply ask for the sale. Sometimes that can mean the difference between creating an income and watching customers walk away.

All in all, marketing for professional photographers is similar to marketing many other types of services. Just track the results of your efforts, and be willing to change and acclimate to do what brings in the amount of business you want to see for yourself.

For more information and help to take your photography business to the next level, check out PPA's See The Difference® campaign. Not currently a member of PPA? Then, use the nonprofit that helps photographers be more profitable with a vast array of benefits and join today!


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By Chris Brennaman

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It's not an understatement to say that digital photography has fundamentally changed our industry. Not only can we snap hundreds of images without ever having to stop to change a roll of film but we also have what seems like an infinite amount of storage.

But there's just one problem with that: instead of handing a client a physical framed print or a quality album, we hand over a CD or USB flash drive and call it a day.

The general public may not understand-and some photographers for that matter- but most successful and profitable professionals absolutely do! Rather than existing in some digital ether, print photographs give memories a sense of permanence. So if you're looking to create images that are worthy of printing and selling to your clients to cherish forever, then keep these things in mind!

Plan Your Image With the Finished Product In Mind
Once upon a time, it wasn't enough to just snap away and hope to find an image in the mix that was "good enough." Rather, a photographer had to plan his or her vision.

Think about where the photo will hang and what emotions you'll want it to trigger with your work. Think about how your subjects will be framed. Think about lighting and how it will contribute¬ to- or detract from¬- your image. Think about all the things that will work in tandem to make your image one worth printing and putting on display.

Then start creating with that finished product in mind!

DO Sweat the Technique
About craft, about use of equipment, about product choices, about finishing or presentation touches- sweat the technique about everything! It's easy to forget about the latter, but it makes the biggest difference. Know what distinguishes each product and how they contribute to making the experience of having hired you one that's worth their while and then some.

Technology changes, but best techniques never go out of style. 

Be Picky About Your Images as Much as About Your Brand
After you've finished capturing your image, it's time to choose the one that will have the honor of being printed. Only then pick the ones that you're sure you'll be happy your client might select and showcase in print! 

Why be so picky? Because the images you choose to show your client will be the ones that speak for you and your business. "Image is everything" isn't just a saying; it's a fact. Bottom line: never present images you do not want to reflect as your brand...because any visible image of yours will contribute to building your personal and business' image.

Appearance Drives Everything 
Your session is over. You and your client have picked the very best photos. Now it's time to produce the final product, right? Well, no, not yet. Now it's time to take into account how you want this image presented.

It's easy to neglect this part of the process, and too often photographers go for a one-size-fits-all approach to printing. But every image is different and needs to be printed as such. 

Remember how we said image is everything? Well, that isn't limited to just the print. It relates to the total experience you provide your clients, too. Every detail, from largest to smallest, will go towards meeting and exceeding expectations and creating an experience that justifies your prices. 

Here are some examples of things you might not always think about as areas of opportunity to enhance the experience you provide but that you might want to consider :
What size print would best suit the image?
What paper stock is most appropriate?
What frame will best accentuate the image?
How will the image be lit?
If shipped, how will your packaging contribute to a reveal that delights the client?
If hand-delivered, how will you deliver the product and how will the reveal take place to delight the client?

Show Your Clients That Prints Are Relevant
Technology has made a lot of consumers think that prints are a thing of the past. Sure, they share their photos to sites like Facebook and Instagram, but beyond that, photos are often forgotten. They're left to sit on hard drives and CDs tucked away in some drawer that's never opened.

And when that happens it's like losing the memory itself. Having a physical print creates a tangible connection to one special moment in time. How many of us have been overcome with waves of nostalgia from holding a print? How many of us have felt like we've been pulled back in time just by being able to physically interact with a print? We all have. 

Happiness, love, comfort, fellowship, even sadness- prints make us feel. Those feelings are contagious. Show prints and have existing clients talk about how important prints are to them. So much of what you do is about connecting with people and bringing them something special. Do it in PRINT.

As a professional photographer, you understand just how important prints are. It's time you make your clients understand it too. It's easier than you think. Join the PRINT movement and learn more about pricing, selling and the many other benefits of prints so you too can become a Print Artist.

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By Lisa Sharer

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As a photographer, your main job is creating images that make your clients happy. However, if you don't have clients, how can you do your main job? Check out Marketing 101 for Photographers to learn some basics. But for an easy, go-to strategy, Facebook is where it's at. Here are 5 reasons why you should start advertising on Facebook right now!

1. It's Cheap and You Can Cap Your Spending
If you don't have a high budget or a next to nothing budget, Facebook allows for low-cost ad buys. You could spend as little as $1 a day, or go as high as you want. This is great for starting out your advertising, as you can test to see what works and for how much.

2. Reach an Audience Actively Looking for Photography
With Facebook, you can pick and choose the type of audience you want to reach. You can target local clients, set ads with keywords like "portrait photography" or "wedding photography," choose demographics, and so much more. The advertising is set up so that you can reach the perfect audience for your specialty.

3. You Can Customize Your Advertising Campaigns 
Facebook allows you to make your ad campaign do the most for you. You can change your campaign objective, as in are you looking for site traffic or engagement with your Facebook posts? You can change up the amount you want to bid on your advertising. So if you started cheap, you're feeling more confident, and now you want to add more, then you can just add more! And these ads can also be optimized so that they are more likely to be seen by your target audience.

4. The Tools to Set Up Ads Are Actually Easy to Use
If you've never created an advertisement in your life, Facebook has a very intuitive platform. (For a little more help you can always check their FAQs.) It's easy to navigate, and you can always change things should you decide that you chose the wrong target, campaign, or design.

5. You'll Get Quick results
Analytics come free with your advertisement. You can quickly see how many views, clicks, likes, etc. that your ad receives. And again, if you're not seeing the results you want, it's very easy to change up what you're doing and test a new strategy.

Traffic and engagement from your Facebook advertisements will help to make you Be More Visible- which, in the long run, will help you to Be More Profitable.  With all the reasons above, it's hard to figure out why you wouldn't use Facebook as part of your marketing strategy

If you are looking for more ways and resources to help with marketing and advertising for your photography business, check out PPA's See The Difference® campaign. If you're not yet a member of PPA, find out more about how you can take advantage of all of the member benefits and join PPA today!

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About the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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If you are a professional photographer, you are a business owner, and as such you need to protect your work, and also ensure your clients are getting what they need. Here are 10 'need to know' guidelines to think about specifically for contracts between a client and a professional photographer. 

1. Have One! Always Sign a Contract!

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The first rule of thumb for protecting your work is have a contract and have it signed. You may think that you don't have to worry about contracts -- that stating everything clearly and upfront is enough. Unfortunately, that's  never enough. People will forget what you say, and some people can even be unscrupulous when it comes to things like this. You need to protect yourself and your work. The best way is to get it all down in writing. This might seem like a daunting task, but don't worry! There are many options as to contract templates for any type of event or situation, you just need to choose the one that best works for you.

Professional Photographers of America provides lots of useful contract and model release templates for free! Consider joining today for a lot more resources that will help you be more protected and more profitable. 

2. Keep Your Contract Simple and Clear!

If you can't find a template that has everything you need on it, or you're just not satisfied with the wording, you can always edit them or create your own. If you create your own, it's always good practice to have a licensed attorney take a look, especially since laws differ from state to state. When you do this, make things as simple and clear as you can. It can seem a bit intimidating, but it doesn't need to be. Start by making a list of everything you need to include, like pricing, timeframes, revisions, and payment methods. You can add other things depending on the situation or event, just cover all the pertinent information, and make sure that both you and your client are covered. The best contracts cover all the bases clearly so that the artist and the client both feel comfortable with signing it.

3. Make it Easy to Read

Your contract doesn't need to be a convoluted mess of big words and phrases. You shouldn't need to include a dictionary when you present it to prospective clients. Don't get too wordy with legal jargon, and make sure that the people signing it understand exactly what you are proposing for the potential job. It's always a good idea to be mindful of the fact that if you aren't a lawyer, and you can read it and understand what it's saying, then the client probably can, too. Still, make sure they know it's okay to clarify things if they need to. Just make it easy for them to ask you.

4. Make it Yours - Adapt the Language to Your Services 

Your work is unique and stands out; that's why you are marketable. Your contracts should be as uniquely yours as your work is. There are several ways to make a contract "yours." Here are a few:

  • Create a unique letterhead
  • Include your pricing, payment options and timeframes
  • Make your own schedule and timeline based on your work habits
  • Create different contracts based on events or client needs
All of these things, when added in, will help make the contract unique to you and your client's requirements.

5. Document Changes (Make Sure You Have a Paper/Email Trail)

No matter how thorough you are about writing your contract, there will be times when the unexpected happens. Life, nature, and even equipment can all be a factor in things changing at a moment's notice. When these things affect you to the point that changes need to be made in the contract, things can get tricky. But you can still keep everything under control if you just document every change that has been made. Changes that should be well documented include:

  • Changes in deadlines
  • Pay schedules
  • Any modifications made to the original contract
Avoid unnecessary stress by keeping things organized from the start. For example, there are times when changes have to be made and agreed upon via email. When this happens, keep all emails relating to revisions in a unique, label each client's folder clearly so they can be accessed easily, and not accidently deleted. If possible, also have your client sign off on changes (electronic signatures will suffice).

6. Discuss Payment/Pricing and Terms of Your Services

Pricing and payment can be a difficult subject, especially if you haven't clearly defined your brand's worth, but it is one of the most important parts of the conhttp://bemore.ppa.com/free-release/tract. It can't be overlooked, or glossed over. Pricing and payment terms need to be laid out clearly. Once you have decided how much your work and particular brand is worth, you need to cover how you will get paid in the contract. It can be broken down so you get a percentage of the payment up front, and some full payment after all work is completed, or in steps throughout the process. It's up to you, but make sure it is stated clearly. Some things to consider when covering pricing are:

  • How much is to be paid
  • When it is to be paid (include the terms and payment over time options, if applicable)
  • How payment will be accepted
  • If there is a grace period on any payment due date
  • Consider if money paid upfront is a retainer or a deposit (varies by state, most are retainer)

7. Have a Model Release

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Often times, photographers work with models. This adds an entirely different element to the process. Whenever you are photographing a live subject, have them sign a release. If you don't, it may come back and bite you in the end. People can be very particular about having their images or likeness spread around. But if you have a model release clearly stating that you own the copyright for your work, also include purposes the image may be used for (marketing/social media/competitions, etc.). Phrases like "including, but not limited to" also help, within reason.

For customizable model releases and access to plenty of copyright resources, consider becoming a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

8. Copyright and Release

When covering copyright and licensing laws it can be confusing, and a little tricky to navigate. This is where it would be prudent for you to do some research. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want to be able to do with your art, and what you will allow others to do with it. It's important to establish that you own the copyright for your work, and that you decide how it will be shared. There are many resources published by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) where copyright laws are covered. Knowing and understanding the laws will ensure that you and your work are covered as well. A quick visit to PPA's copyright resources can be helpful (and free!), but when it doubt, it's always prudent to check with a local copyright attorney for a contract review. 

9. Get. Your. Contract. Signed!

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We cannot emphasize enough how pointless it is to have a contract if it is not signed. Until you have signatures from your clients showing they agree to the terms and conditions, your contract is just a piece of paper. A signature from your client shows you are hired, and a signature from you commits you to the job, and confirms that you are the righteous copyright owner. So... GET. IT. SIGNED!

10. Jointly Review the Contract, and Update It as Needed

As a final step, make sure you review all the important details of the contract with your clients, and update anything that needs to be updated. Make sure that all the bases are covered to avoid any conflicts or confusion later. For any updates that need to be made, refer back to point number 5, document them, and keep those updates well organized and accessible.

Having a contract does not just protect you and your work. It is every bit as important to your clients, making them feel that their investments are well protected. Your clients should be just as happy and comfortable with the arrangements as you are. Keep these 10 guidelines in mind to keep happy clients, while protecting yourself and your work as well.

Looking for a contract or model release template? PPA has created the basics to start you off. Give it a try! Interested in finding out about all the other benefits that PPA has to offer its members? Check out the photographers' bullet list of benefits, perks, and savings that come with being a part of Professional Photographers of America, and then consider joining today!

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By David Eun

Clients are the lifeblood of any business, and the same applies to you and your photography studio. Convincing them to do business with you, though, isn't as simple as it sounds. Whether you are veteran in the game or a brand-new photographer who just opened up a studio, everyone can use help in bringing new faces through their doors.

So, here are 7 ways to garner more clients:

1) Referrals
• This is the oldest/most practical method in the book. Referrals from loyal customers are cost-efficient ways to gain more clients fairly quickly. Offer incentives, such as punch cards or discounts, to encourage more referrals!

2) Customer Service
• The client experience needs to be top-notch. Not only will that further incentivize current clients to refer you to others positively, but it will also ensure they don't hate you. Even one nasty review on Yelp can tarnish your image.

3) Networking
• With the exception of direct competitors, networking with other photographers and vendors greatly increases your reach in regards to finding prospective clients. Shoot out some emails or leave business cards in person. Network! You can get started on theLoop, PPA's members-only social network.

4) SEO
• Search Engine Optimization plays a significant role in the amount of exposure businesses obtain in the digital realm, which virtually everyone uses. Take a quick - and cheap - SEO course online (there are several great PPAedu videos on the subject you can watch) or hire a professional. It helps a lot.

5) Live Feeds
• Social Media, such as Instagram and Facebook, allows you to host live videos with your followers. You can show your audience behind the scenes work in your next photo shoot or hold a Q&A session. People love connection!

6) Social Media Advertising
• You can run a business without social media presence, but doing so is ill-advised. The world is becoming more and more digital every year, so having a few advertisements on social media platforms gets your name out there immensely.

7) Magazine Advertising
• If you're going to advertise, investing in more traditional methods still works. Make sure to advertise in magazines that are related to your client's interests. Also, double check to see a lead list is also included!

PPA takes pride in seeing its photographers succeed in their business endeavors. People will come up with crazy, unorthodox marketing schemes, which do have their place. But, we believe by following at least these 7 tips, your path to a profitable profession looks clear and straight. Looking for additional ways to help get your name out there and increase business? Check out your FREE See The Difference resources. Not currently a PPA member? Find out more about all the benefits offered to PPA members and how you can join today!

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By Lisa Sharer

Just picture it. You're a young, excited kid. You're getting ready to dig up a time capsule that was placed underground a decade before you. You're excited to pop that bad boy open and go to town reading the letters, pulling out pictures, and toying with any other goodies you might find inside.

So you get out your shovel, you move that rock, and you start to dig. You feel a hard spot in the ground and you fall to your knees and start scooping out handfuls of dirt. You pull up a box, you tear it open, and you find this:

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No personal hand-written notes, no tangible photos, no goodies. A piece of hardware. A piece of hardware that may not have the correct cables to work with your current system, and no instructions on how to explore what's inside! Upon seeing an item named "Time Capsule," we thought, how disappointing this would be if our children found this below ground.

Yes, this hardware is important these days. So please, PLEASE, create backups of your data! But don't mistake this as the future of your photography legacy. Think about your inner child, and help your clients think about their inner child. Print is still as powerful as it was when the first photograph came to be. Photographers, we need to keep that moment of seeing a first printed photo of a wedding, that image of a newborn, the TIME CAPSULES, as special as it has always been.

If you feel the same way, it's time to join the movement! The Print Movement is a collection of photographers and print partners that are focused on saving and building up the print industry. It's important for photographers, it's important for your clients, it's important to our culture. So, join today!


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