6.17.2010

Out shooting some high tech gear but I wanted to remind the Austinites....

Taking advantage of the D7's fast frame rate.

That I'll be signing my books over at Precision Camera (3810 N. Lamar Blvd) from noon til 2pm on Saturday.  I'd love to see people.  I'd love to see you if you have time to drop by.  I won't care if you buy a book or not.

On another note, it looks like the economy is showing signs of life.  The phone is ringing again and people are talking about the nuts and bolts of new projects instead of immediately defaulting to the lowest possible budget.  I'm booked on a technical shoot tomorrow.  When I wrap up for the day I get to head over to my pool to shoot the mighty Rollingwood Waves on their last home meet of the season.  My new hobby is to get "dive sequences" of the kids.  The Canon 7D's fast shutter advance (8 fps?) makes it pretty easy.  All I have to worry about is exposure and focus timing and framing.

Next week I'll be in Ft. Worth and Dallas shooting projects and when I return I start on ads for two medical practices.  With the assorted headshot thrown in and a few projects for Zach Scott wedged in around the edges it's starting to feel more like 2000 than 2009.

I've been writing bids and contracts most of the week, and sitting in planning meetings.  I was reminded of Ronald Reagan's saying, "Trust but verify".  He was thinking of the Russian military's atomic stockpile but I was thinking about the army of lawyers brought to bear by most big corporations.  I kinda feel that they're hoping we're the kind of photographers who do work on a handshake or a quick e-mail.

I don't think so.  Even the long term clients really need to get a contract that outlines everyone's expectations and remedies.  That way everyone involved is using the same measuring stick.  The only push back I got this week was a request to pay in 15 days instead of on delivery.  I checked their credit.

We don't talk too much about the nuts and bolts of business on this blog and perhaps we should.  Most artists just want to be artists but I want to be an artist who gets paid.  On time.  So I write binding agreements and contracts and I make sure my clients understand my proposals and bids.  But the one magic bullet I want to share with you is the need to accept credit cards.  If a fee of 2% of your total invoice is too big a chunk I think your margins are too low.  I think all commercial photographers should not only accept credit cards but they should be the preferred way of accepting payment.  The transfer of money can happen in just a few days.  You get an instant approval.  The client gets to delay payment so they are more likely to be optimistic about their future profits and are more likely to either approve or even escalate the project with the rationale that, when the bill comes due the cash will be there to cover it.  It's the easiest tool with which to get a quick deposit. In short, credit cards are wonderful for merchants.  And in the selling situation we need to change from our art hat to our merchant hat.  Art brain might make the content but merchant brain provides a framework to make money from the artful content.  Not to be underestimated.

It's late, it's hot, we had a long dinner with many friends and many bottles of wine downtown and it's an early call time.  Hope you had a great weekend and you have great (photographic?) plans for the weekend.

Don't forget the booksigning.  I won't.......

Photographic Lighting Equipment: A Comprehensive Guide for Digital Photographers Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography Commercial Photography Handbook: Business Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography Ada; or, Ardor: a family chronicle [by] Vladimir NabokovNabokov's Ada: The Place of Consciousness   Nabokov: Novels, 1969-1974 (Library of America)  Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita