Whose bank account pays for productions now?

Yesterday’s article in AdAge “Agencies Duck Liability for Clients’ Production Costs” reported on a growing trend that is placing more of the financial risk of production on the side of photographers and production companies.

Many art buying departments are issuing “heads up” emails to photographers letting them know that the policy of issuing advances on big productions in many cases will cease. Simply put, if the ad agency hires you,  but the client they’re working for stiffs them, you have to go after their client to recover your money. Unfortunately, the PO you get from the agency won’t be giving you contact info of the person on the client side to call if you don’t get paid.

While I understand that the ad agency doesn’t want to get left holding the bag if their client (e.g., General Motors or AIG) doesn’t pay them for 120 days–or more– but can you imagine the photographer  having to call the GM switchboard asking to speak to the person in A/P at GM who can issue a check for an outstanding $85, 000 unpaid invoice originally submitted to the ad agency who issued them the PO for the assignment?

I think that if photographers are to accept that enormous financial risk, the quid pro quo for accepting those pay terms should be to at the very least have the contact information of the ad agency’s client clearly stated in the Purchase Order.

See “ReBooting Your Business Brain” in Detroit area on 3/19/09

The Michigan chapter of the ASMP will be hosting my photo marketing talk: “ReBooting Your Business Brain…” In this talk I focus on how the business of photography –particularly as it applies to marketing– has changed for those who grew up in an all-film photo business.

The event will be on Thursday evening 3/19/09 at Foto/Life Studios, 9709 Joseph Campau, Loft #3 (Between Edwin and Evaline, enter via alley) ?Hamtramck, MI
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Register here
I’ll be discussing how these changes have particularly affected photographers who’ve been shooting for over 15 years. These  photographers are the ones most deeply concerned that in this economy, they can’t afford to “not know what they don’t know.” They suspect that things are different when it comes to promoting their work in the digital age, but are not sure which things they should implement and which things they can ignore.

Nothing changes faster than online promotion. What worked great last year is not what works the best this year. At this event I’ll provide some tips, guidelines and resources, on how to stay current.

Read more

“Rebooting…” will be in Union, NJ Thurs. evening 2/12/09 on Lincoln’s & Darwin’s birthdays.

I’ll be presenting my “ReBooting Your Business Brain…”  talk which focuses on the  changes and evolution of the photography business–particularly as it applies to marketing— to ASMP NJ on Thursday evening 2/12/09 at Kean University in Union, NJ.

I’ll be discussing how those changes have particularly affected photographers who’ve been shooting for over 15 years on the birthday of two of the biggest names in history connected with change and evolution: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. What a nice bit of synchronicity…..

The event will be held at 7:30pm to 10:00 pm at the Little Theater of University Center – Kean University 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083 map Registration info is here.

In uncertain times, what a comfort a good compass is. And you can build one.

When seeking help in your career direction, you must first
CLEARLY know where you want to go.

I had a great email exchange with one of the young and
talented photographers I met last Saturday when I was
participating as a reviewer at an APA LA portfolio review day.

We both shared our enthusiasm about the fact that we had
created a “Mission Statement” that guides our career
choices. It’s been such a comfort in this confusing
economy. Read more

My Bi-coastal Event schedule

My next event is this Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009 in Los Angeles.

I’ve been invited to participate in the APA LA’s portfolio development program. If you’re in the LA area, sign up for a free portfolio review. If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter it’d be great to meet you in person.

More info is available on the APA LA website.

Building a Successful Book: Portfolio & Website Consultations

Saturday January 31, 2009
Registration begins at 8:00am
Reviews begin at 9:00am
Helms DayLight Studio, 3221 Hutchison Ave., Los Angeles 90034

*Parking is Located on the North Side of Venice Ave and Helms Ave.


On Thursday, Feb. 12th, I’ll be presenting the latest version of my talk:

“ReBooting Your Business Brain: 21st-Century Marketing Tips for Photographers Who Weren’t Born Yesterday”

to the New Jersey chapter of the ASMP.

The event will be held at 7:30pm to 10:00 pm at the Little Theater of University Center – Kean University 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083  map   Registration info is here.

The event sponsors are providing some GREAT door prizes: Agency Access is providing a Tri-State membership to their list service with a retail value of $595 and it is for a full year. LiveBooks is providing an $800 credit towards one of their web site packages. BlinkBid is providing a copy of their estimating software.

I will be doing a limited number of private 1-hour review sessions on the days surrounding the evening event. Invest in your career and find out if your current presentation is helping or hurting you in today’s radically changed assignment market.

Call me directly for details and to take advantage of

a 20% early-bird discount that is available until Feb. 10th.


“Rebooting Your Business Brain” is headed “down under.”

I’m getting ready to head to New Zealand and Australia!
I’ve been invited to deliver “Rebooting your Business Brain” to the Auckland chapter of the AIPA. Modern marketing practices need to take into account that a visitor can come to one’s site from ANYWHERE in the world. Being more cognizant of local buyers’ preferences and expectations is important when developing a broad vision marketing plan.

I love having the chance to talk to creative image makers in other parts of the world. Both sides of the conversation are immeasurably enriched by sharing what it’s like in our own backyards. We’ll see our differences… but more importantly, we’ll get to see how much we’re all the same; we all share so many similar concerns and aspirations.

I hope to be able to post from the road.

Watch this space!