There’s No Crying in Finances: 8 Tips to Help You Get Ahead

As a working photographer, how do you figure out your cost of doing business, determine your tax write-offs, and develop a profitable pricing structure? And should you ever work for free? In our guide The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazersget advice from Zack Arias, Matt Whatley, Ken Kaminesky, Gary Crabbe, Bill Cramer, Corey Rich, Jennifer Chaney, and Jody MacDonald.
1. Bill Cramer, CEO & Founder, Wonderful Machine “When you’re getting started as a freelance photographer, it’s impossible to know what fees, expenses, and licensing are “fair,” without understanding what other publications offer and what other photographers accept. As you gain experience, what other people do will become less important as you begin to understand your own value more and more.”
2. Corey Rich, Adventure Sports and Outdoor Lifestyle Visual Storyteller 
Photo by Corey Rich

Photo by Corey Rich

“When considering the budget, you have to also consider insurance, including
Rainbow and storm clouds at sunrise over old wooden barn, near Susanville, Lassen County, California
Photo by Ken Kameinsky
Photo by Jennifer Chaney
Photo by Jody MacDonald
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Bruce Gilden & the Absence of Empathy

I used to believe that photojournalism represented a platonic ideal of veracity, but this naïve notion has eroded. The cause of this loss of innocence isn’t limited to the high profile manipulation that has dogged the industry, but also the realization that the camera is nothing more than a point of view. Aim it in one direction or another. Take a photo now or later. Select one image over another to display to an audience. There is a fundamental “truthiness” to photojournalism that is inescapable. Yet, one thing that hasn’t changed for me is the belief that the photojournalist and photojournalism should strive to practice and convey empathy. While the casual observer might believe that photojournalism’s raison d’etre is to display the news, I would disagree. News, when not being salacious, informs of us the human condition, and should ideally strike a chord of empathy within us. A typhoon in Saipan
Instagram Photo
Photo by Bruce Gilden
Photo by Andrea Morales
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What Unlimited Storage Really Looks Like for Professional Photographers

We’ve just made a pretty major change to PhotoShelter Pro – our top level account for pro photographers. It now includes unlimited photo storage. PhotoShelter Pro members may now upload as many photos as you’d like, with virtually any file type of your choice (including RAW, JPG, TIFF, PSD, DNG, PDF), and any file size is OK with us.

PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman

This is huge news for our photographers and their archives. It’s about saving money on storage, and it’s most certainly about so much more. Unlimited storage plus the power of PhotoShelter’s tools just may change the way many photographers work. Imagine the things you can do with a fully searchable archive of every photo you’ve ever taken, available to you and your clients anytime, anywhere, in it’s original file type and size. Sure, there are plenty of other services boasting “unlimited storage” options, but ours provides some Continue reading "What Unlimited Storage Really Looks Like for Professional Photographers"

Is your business on track? Check in with The 2015 Photo Business Plan Workbook

Are you on track to make 2015 your best year yet?

It’s more than halfway through 2015 and that means time to check in with your photo business. Download The 2015 Photo Business Plan Workbook to help assess where your business stands today and identify real opportunities for growth.

Inside the workbook, get strategies and examples to help you:

  1. Define your products & services
  2. Determine your audience and addressable market
  3. Create a marketing plan
  4. Fix your finances
  5. Tune-up your website
  6. Build your Search Engine Optimization
  7. Get social
  8. Create an advisory group
  9. Follow up with old clients

Rev up your strategy so you can target the photo clients you want and land more gigs before the year is up.

Download your copy today!

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7 Essential Marketing Tips from Rich Clarkson, Alison Zavos, Ben Lowy & More

What’s the best way to get the word out about your photography and attract your ideal client? In our guide, The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazersget advice from Rich Clarkson, Hamidah Glasgow, Emiliano Granado, Alison Zavos, Ben Lowy, and John Keatley on how to market you business better once and for all.
1. Rich Clarkson, NCAA Sports Photographer 
Photo by Rich Clarkson

Photo by Rich Clarkson

“There were times in the past when, to market your photos, you needed an agency or someone to do it for you. But today, you don’t need that nearly as much. Instead, you need to attract potential buyers and commissioners of your photography directly to you. And that’s a matter of introducing yourself. But more than anything else, the best way to market your business is through word of mouth and having other people recom- mend you. And that’s something you can accumulate
Photo by Emiliano Granado
Photo by Ben Lowy
Photo by John Keatley
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Are Personal Projects Worth It? Why David Burnett, Ami Vitale & David duChemin Say Yes

How important are personal photography projects to distinguishing your voice? And will a project on the side help catch the eye of your dream client? In our guide, The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers, we got advice from David Burnett, Ami Vitale, David duChemin, Dixie Dixon, Scott Strazzante, Dianne Debicella, and Jonathan Gayman who share why personal projects really matter. 1. David Burnett, Photojournalist 
Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett

“As an emerging photojournalist in the early 70s, my focus was on trying to create stories for magazines to the exclusion of almost everything else. I wish someone had told me then that the most personally important pictures you’ll ever make are those about you and your life. I’m glad I had the chance to work for some great magazines, but I re- ally miss those little everyday images, the ones that take place in and around your own
Copyright Dixie Dixon, Disney, Lifestyle, band, dallas string quartet
The Macrobiotic Lunch Tray
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Getting Hired: 10 Tips from National Geographic, The Cut, Sports Illustrated & More

What are photo editors really looking for from professional photographers? And how can you make connections with potential clients and land gigs? In The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers, get advice from Brad Smith, Elizabeth Krist, Emily Shornick, Brinson Banks, James Bellorini, Alexandre Buisse, Kate Osba, Lindsay Adler, Elizabeth Weinberg, and Jodi Cobb who share their best tips to getting hired.
1. Brad Smith, Director of Photography, Sports Illustrated  “I am exceptionally interested in a photographer with original story ideas. That’s one thing you can’t put value on. Some ideas might be cliche and have already been done, but I remind photographers that when you pitch an idea, the worst thing that can happen is someone says no. Don’t be shy about sharing.” 2. Elizabeth Krist, Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic “The most important feature I look for in a photographer is dedication to long-term projects. Another
PARIS - SEP 25: Rick Owens. Scenes from day 3 of Paris Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2015, on Thursday, September 25, 2014, in Paris, France. (Photo by Landon Nordeman)
Rebel Angels (Angela -1 for blog
Alexandre Buisse-1
Brick Slaves, India, 2002
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Taylor Swift Makes Photo Contract Concessions | I Love Photography | Ep. 58

Taylor Swift makes photo contract concessions, Joni Sternbach creates beautiful tin types of surfers on the beach, and old photos of Penn Station will break your heart. We cover it all in this week’s I Love Photography podcast. Download the podcast Our weekly look at all things photographic with Fernando Gomes and PhotoShelter co-founder Allen Murabayashi. Get the podcast:
Watch the broadcast: 0:44 Taylor Swift makes concessions on photography contract
2:20 Sylvie Robert’s Tippi: My Book of Africa
5:39 Joni Sternbach’s Surf Site Tin Type
8:58 The Art of the Ocean
11:49 71-year old Jeffrey Milstein hangs out of helicopters to take pictures
14:15 Sergey Ponomarev’s gripping photos of human trafficking
17:46 National Archive releases 9/11 photos
20:20 Forever 21 unveils a display made from thread for your Instagram photos
22:20 Beme’s problem: Authenticity is boring
25:16 Sus Ito’s WWII photos from a hidden camera
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Growing Your Photo Business: 10 Tips From Joe McNally, Jeremy Cowart, Peter Yang & More

What’s the secret to breaking into the photo industry, developing your style, and making great connections? In our guide, The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers, we compiled advice from 10 photographers succeeding in their fields, including Ryan Pfluger, Gregory Heisler, Jasmine DeFoore, Joe McNally, Jeremy Cowart, Art Wolfe, Christian Oth, Peter Yang, Winnie Au and Jade Beall. 1. Ryan Pfluger, Editorial & Celebrity Photographer

Photo by Ryan Pfluger

“I think the key to being successful is not losing yourself at the cost of trying to be proactive. Staying true to who you are as an artist and human being goes a long way. When it comes down to it, the most important thing is to constantly challenge yourself and don’t get complacent. No matter how successful you are, nothing is ever due to you and the experience and learning never stops. You have to
No use of image is allowed without Photographer’s permission, prior to use, and subject to compensation. The licensing usage agreed upon with Joe McNally, or an authorized member of his staff, is the only usage granted. Photographer retains ownership and all copyrights in the work. This is not a work-for-hire. Photographer is in no way responsible for the implications, legal or otherwise, of any unlicensed usage of the artwork by the Agency, its Client, its Successors, Assignees or Transferees.
Jeremy Cowart1
Ultima Thule Everest Expedition members in front of the North Face of Mount Everest, Tibet
Christian Oth
Winnie Au
Peter Yang_edited-1
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Product Update: PhotoShelter Publish Service for Adobe Lightroom

Last year, PhotoShelter took a big step forward in developing a publish service for Adobe Lightroom. It was a great start, but we knew it was only the beginning. Today we’re happy to reveal version 5.2, which is jam-packed with new features to help streamline your workflow even more and make uploading and edits as effortless as possible. For those of you who use Lightroom but tend to upload via one of our other methods, let me explain what makes the Lightroom publish service different. For starters, you can link your images in Lightroom with your images in PhotoShelter such that any change you make in Lightroom will automatically be reflected in your PhotoShelter archive. It’s a major time (and space) saver. You’re also able to make a lot of changes that you would otherwise need to do in your Image Browser, right from lightroom. Check out our last Continue reading "Product Update: PhotoShelter Publish Service for Adobe Lightroom"

PhotoShelter Members Share How They Use Our Mobile App to #MakeClientsHappy From Anywhere in the World

Since the launch of our new mobile app, we have heard from so many of our members about how the app has helped them save time, resolve problems, and #MakeClientsHappy. Bottom line, you don’t always have the luxury of being multiple places at once — until now. The PhotoShelter mobile app allows you to meet client needs wherever your business (or your life) takes you. Check out these real life stories of photographers who face tight deadlines, busy schedules, and limited wifi, but are still able to #MakeClientsHappy while on-the-go with our new app. gavingough“When a magazine editor called, asking for access to five images for a feature and with a deadline looming, I was able to create a custom gallery and allow access within a few minutes, even though I was traveling at the time. That kind of access allows me to serve my clients more effectively and increases
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Get the guide! 22 Organizations That Want To Fund Your Photo Project

Photo by Adam Reynolds

Photo by Adam Reynolds,  2014 recipient of the CENTER’s Project Launch Grant

You have a powerful idea for a photography project, but not all the funds you need to make it happen. Sound familiar?

The great news is there are many foundations, non-profits and private companies alike, who are willing to fund worthy photographers based on talent and project goals. Some offer grants for photojournalists who expose social injustices; others focus on editorial photographers who tell long-form stories.

To help you out, we’ve partnered up with G-Technology for our guide, 22 Organizations That Want to Fund Your Photo Project.

This guide gives you a rundown of 22 grants, monetary awards, and scholarships for fine art photographers, photojournalists, editorial, environmental, and adventure photographers, plus a look at past years’ winners. Download the guide and get inspired!

Get the guide

Quotable: I got the advice to pick 5 words…

In our guide, Breaking Into Commercial Photography, we asked photographer Chrissy Lynn how she honed her niche and developed a style in commercial photography. Here’s a quick look from her interview:
Photo by Chrissy Lynn

Photo by Chrissy Lynn

PS: How did you find your niche and discover your focus in commercial photography?  Chrissy Lynn: About five years ago, I looked at my website and realized I was really struggling to put together a cohesive body of work. I’d done some portraits here, a corporate job there, and nice interiors. I was under the impression that I had to put all my jobs up so that people could see who I’ve worked with and what I’ve done. There wasn’t a point of view at all. The work looked like five different photographers shot it. I wasn’t happy with that, but I didn’t know how to fix it.

Mark Seliger Shoots Amy Schumer as Princess Leia | I Love Photography | Ep. 57

New Horizons flies by Pluto for its close-up, a photo booth algorithm cuts off a bald guy’s head, and Mark Seliger photographs Amy Schumer as a wild Princess Leia. Lucasfilm is not impressed. Download the podcast Our weekly look at all things photographic with Fernando Gomes and PhotoShelter co-founder Allen Murabayashi. Get the podcast:
Watch the broadcast: 0:29 This is how Pluto photos have improved over the years
2:42 Julian Mauve’s Greetings from Mars
4:05 Luisa Dorr & Navin Kala’s The Self Promenade
7:30 The photo booth algorithm that didn’t factor in bald people
10:38 The 2015 Audubon Award Winners
12:59 Mark Seliger photographs Amy Schumer as Princess Leia for GQ
16:02 Mario Testino’s Royals Images are a lie
19:00 Newspaper sends illustrator to Foo Fighters to protest contract
22:03 What happened to the 9-year-old smoking in Mary Ellen Mark’s photo?
22:10 Charles H. Traub’s 1980s
Continue reading "Mark Seliger Shoots Amy Schumer as Princess Leia | I Love Photography | Ep. 57"

One Photographer’s Case for Large Format Film

Miller2 Greg Miller’s large format photography has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, TIME, Esquire, Fortune, LIFE, and more. In 2008, his enthralling portraiture earned him a Fellowship in photography from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. We recently interviewed Greg in out latest guide, Film Photography in a Digital Age to find out why he believes so strongly in film. As the majority of the world has shifted to digital (including much of the art photography world), you have held steadfast to shooting with film and 8×10. Why? Because it’s beautiful. If only I could answer the “why” question by sending you to my website but that is only 72 dots per inch! But do go to my website! It will give you a clue, but it won’t tell you why. The “why” is the sum total of all the parts. You begin to see
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#MakeClientsHappy: 5 Ideas to Help Solve Your Clients’ Problems

When the going gets tough, how do photographers solve problems for their clients and be one step ahead to prevent hiccups from even happening in the first place? We talked to photographers to find out exactly how they keep the waters calm and anticipate problems to #makeclientshappy.

Remember, we’re also looking for your stories about how you’ve solved problems for your own clients. Tweet with #makeclientshappy or post a comment below and you’ll have a chance to get featured in an upcoming blog post this month.

1. Be flexible and accommodating

Commercial photographer and PhotoShelter member Michael Bageley makes a point to over deliver to stand out and keep his clients happy. When asked about his commitment to clients, Michael says, “From a business standpoint, I work very hard to be flexible and accommodate scheduling changes and challenges on set. I’m friendly, patient and kind no matter what circumstances arise. I also

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I Want this iPhone Camera Attachment to Succeed, But it Won’t

When Sony announced the QX-100, I jumped on Amazon and pre-ordered it immediately. It seemed to solve the most obvious problems I had with smartphone photography quality: a larger sensor, better low light performance, and better optics. But upon receiving it, the deficiencies quickly became apparent. The display-less design required you to use WiFi to pair it with your camera – a frustratingly slow experience. I tried shooting blind, but the lens barrel design gave you no indication of whether the image was straight. And finally, the thing wasn’t pocketable.
Sony QX100 attached to a phone

Sony QX100 attached to a phone

Recently, DxO announced the forthcoming “One” camera. With the same sensor as the Sony RX100 Mark 3 and a Lightning connector that automatically launches the accompanying app when inserted, it looks to solve the pairing issue. There’s nothing like a hard connection. And pre-production sample images suggest that the image quality from the 32mm f/1.8 lens
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A Region Blurring Past & Present

Landscape, travel and nature photographer Randall Roberts may be best known for his work photographing areas of Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, and New Mexico. Says Randall, “My goal is to capture moments in the outdoors that speak to the heart and renew our respect for wild places.” With a love for the outdoors and helping preserve links to our cultural past, Randall recently turned to Lattice, our new storytelling platform, to share his story on the Palouse region of Eastern Washington. Randall’s Lattice board, Palouse Country, shares his perspective of the region, which he describes as a blur between past and present. We caught up with Randall to learn more about the area, and why it was an important place for him to photograph.
A farmer pulls a tiller along a hill near Almota Grade, southwest of Colfax, Washington, in the Palouse Country. Farmers in the Palouse use dry land farming techniques and depend on only the rain to nourish their crops of wheat, barley, mustard, beans, canola and other grains.

Photo by Randall Roberts

What story about the Palouse region and its people did you want to tell through your Lattice Board? I wanted to tell
Wagon wheel fence at the Dahmen Barn, Uniontown, Washington, Palouse Country.  The fence is made from over 1,000 antique wagon and tractor wheels. The Dahmen barn was built in 1935 is now home to artists' space.
The ruins of a wooden grain elevator overlook the rolling hills of the Palouse region of Eastern Washington.
Sunrise warms the rolling hills of the Palouse Country in eastern Washington, USA
Abandoned farmhouse in farm field, Palouse Country, Washington
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Solving problems to #MakeClientsHappy? We want your stories!


With our launch of unlimited storage for Pro subscriptions, the Client Proofing Tool, and our new mobile app, we can’t help but keep buzzing about how to #makeclientshappy. This means we want to hear more of YOUR stories about how you’ve solved problems for your own clients. So please, don’t hold back! When you tweet with #makeclientshappy or post a comment below, you’ll have a chance to get featured in an upcoming blog post this month.

What kinds of problems have your clients brought to you to solve and how did you solve them? Where did you succeed, or not succeed, and what did you learn? How did you stay quick on your feet and maintain your commitment to overdelivering? Even improving your relationships?

There are two ways to participate:

  1. On Twitter, tell us how you have problem solved with your clients, and tweet with #makeclientshappy.
  2. OR add Continue reading "Solving problems to #MakeClientsHappy? We want your stories!"

The Last Photo

Ever since junior high school, I was the kid with the camera. And many years later, I’m still the guy who shows up to every life event with camera in hand to document the lives of my friends.

I used to carry around a hulking DSLR, but the weight bothers me, and the large size feels too intrusive for the everyday. I don’t want to interrupt life by taking photos, I simply want them to remember the fractions of a second that end up representing curated slices of life.

Within my archive of hundreds of thousands of photos, there are many that represent the last photo I will ever take of someone or some place. Some of these photos are inconsequential. They might capture a blurry stranger in the background, or perhaps a one-time friend forged through a glass of wine in a distant land.

Then there are the ones that matter.


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