Absolute Beginner's Guide to Digital Photography. Pages·· The Portrait Landscapes Photography Book and Landscapes Photography Book. For camera guides and other digital photography books, visit the Short. Courses fully searchable PDF eTexts™ that can be displayed on any computer using. ISBN: (PDF) by students of my Creative Digital Photography The book is intended for anyone interested in taking the next step in their.

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Photographer Julie Adair King is the author of several popular books about digital Her most recent titles include Digital Photography For. Dummies, Photo . Explore 吉如 林's board "The Digital Photography Book free pdf download" on Pinterest. | See more ideas about Digital Photography, Photography books and Pdf. [ iv ]. The Digital Photography Book, Part 1. Acknowledgments. Although only one name appears on the spine of this book, it takes a team of dedicated and.

I am a photographer who specializes in corporate photography and advertising, and I have been doing this work for several decades. I believe that my longevity and relative prosperity during these years are the re- Preface 5 sults of hard work, good marketing, and planning for a rainy day. The bottom line is that a successful photography business is all about the business.

There are many good resources available to photographers who need specific information about contracts and forms, business structures, and accounting. This book will concentrate on presenting an overview of the industry, coupled with real world experiences.

The spoils have always gone to the photographers who have built it, advertised it, sold it, and reinvented it. The earliest commercial photographers were those who mastered the nascent technology of the Daguerrotype one of the earliest forms of photography and sold them to a ready market of middle-class people who could not afford to have a painting of themselves or their loved ones done.

There was a pent-up demand for portraits and, in the era beginning in the s and extending to the s, many people learned the difficult craft and opened studios or traveled around the country making portraits.

Many made small fortunes, and others lost money. Most of the practitioners eventually died from the mercury poisoning they were exposed to while coating the small silver plates that would serve as the finished art in their practices. An interesting complication of the early years of commercial photography is that there was no way to duplicate a Daguerrotype.

If a client wanted two pictures of himself or his loved ones, they needed to be created, one at a time, in the camera. This made each photograph a very limited edition, one of a kind.

Commercial Photography Handbook: Business Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers

This made each plate more valuable, but it also limited any future income that a photographer could derive from each assignment. Toward the end of the s several processes were introduced that allowed for the duplication of images by contact printing.

This allowed photographers to create multiple editions of albums that could be sold to collectors. One of the most famous examples of this expansion of enterprise can be found in the success of the Sketchbooks of the Civil War—handmade albums filled with original images—by American photographer Mathew Brady.

Left—Daguerrotype from the mid 19th century. Right—Early photographer, circa , with a plate camera. Brady and his crew took tremendous risks documenting the American Civil War and photographed several of its famous battles. The resulting photographs were packaged as albums and sold to collectors. The ability to duplicate, reprint, and resell or relicense images continues to be the secret to profitability today. Though books and magazines were being produced in the time period, no one had mastered the technologies of half-tone printing that would enable the large-scale reproduction of photographs within them.

The invention that led to the widespread growth of the photographic industry was the flexible film created by the Eastman Kodak company. Until their introduction of dried silver gelatin film, delivered on an acetate base in the s , films consisted of glass plates of various sizes that had to be wet-coated in the dark right before they were exposed in the camera.

It required incredible patience and technical ability. It also required a horse-drawn wagon, as the glass plates were very heavy and delicate. The introduction of packaged film meant that, for the first time, photographers could go out without chemistry sets and sheets of glass and make images that could be developed hours or days later. This is the point at which photography, both as a hobby and a profession, began to take off. This led to a great demand for news, advertising, and Preface 7 Top—Late nineteenth-century paper print made by contact printing.

Bottom—Late ninetenth-century paper print portrait. For the first time in history a photograph could be disseminated rapidly to millions of readers.

Even with the advent of better films and equipment, photography required a fair amount of technical skill and know-how right up through the s. A well-rounded photographer working as a generalist in a major regional market might shoot a wide assortment of assignments during a typical week, including lots of portraits for families and for business use, prod- 8 Commercial Photography Handbook ucts and buildings for businesses, and images for use in ads.

Before , only national ads and editorial work were typically published in color. Commercial photographers at the time did not charge a day rate for advertising photography; rather, they charged a fee to produce the photographs and a usage fee that represented the value of the use for that image.

In the major markets it was typical for advertising photographers to charge a percentage of the total ad placement budget for their work.

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As the ad placement budgets grew so too did their fees! Editorial photographers charged for their work in a different way. This was a guarantee against a space rate. They were paid a certain amount for each photograph used in the final story, and these rates were based on the size of the image in the final magazine layout.

In this way the photographers whose talent shone brightest were rewarded in direct proportion to their skills. If a story was killed, they were still paid their day rate—their guarantee. From the s till the dawn of digital photography, commercial and editorial photographers worked consistently and profitably because, even though films got better and better, development more consistent, and testing methods more foolproof, photography still required a broad range of technical skills and large investments in cameras and lighting equipment.

These were sufficient barriers to entry to ensure that the middle and higher levels of the market were protected from the encroachment of casual hobbyists and rank amateurs. As corporations grew dramatically, so did their global reach and their budgets. During the last thirty years of the twentieth century, the American economy was largely strong, robust, and growing, and commercial photography went along for the ride.

During this time, the tools became more refined, and reproduction in major glossy magazines was much improved. By the middle of the s, most pros were shooting with medium format cameras and banks of very consistent and well-engineered studio electronic flash equipment in order to take full advantage of the improvements in the media. Most worked in their own studios.

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Even though there were ups and downs in the economy, the overall market for most commercial photographers was positive. Then the paradigm shifted. The advent of readily available digital cameras and low-cost computers seemed to change the whole market.

The apparent quality of digital files and the ease of their production almost immediately decimated the bottom end of the commercial markets starting in as businesses realized that a lot of their advertising and communications materials and messages were moving to the Internet.

The files needed for good reproduction at small sizes on the Web could be of much lower quality than the images required for high quality, four-color press printing. Now a business could produce its own photographs, inexpensively, inhouse. Basic ID head shots, photographs of houses for sale, simple product shots, and more moved from a practice that nurtured entry-level photographers to extinction.

Prior to the digital revolution, stock agencies held and maintained huge physical libraries of color slides and larger transparency films. Requests for images would come from clients who would pay for both the research to find the right picture and the FedEx charges for shipping the images. Fees were based on usage and could range from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for a single use.

Now the clients could do their own online searches for images, retrieve the images as a web download, and pay the very low fees with a credit card at the end of the transaction. Not only has this change roiled the waters for commercial photographers, but the very agencies that engineered the original web-based stock photography market, Corbis and Getty Images, are quickly being eaten by their own offspring.

Top—The Canon G2 was one of the early digital cameras that created files which competed with 35mm film. Preface 9 With the supporting foundations of entry-level photography decimated, and with clients moving their marketing predominately to the Web, many are wondering whether photography as a profession will disappear entirely to be replaced by an amalgam of part-time practitioners, cheap stock, and homemade content.

So, what does the market look like today? The dollar is at an all-time low. The bank industry is on the brink of failure. At this writing, inflation is at its worst in twenty-nine years. The shortterm prognosis from the federal government is grim. And amateur photographers are crowding into the market and begging to work for free!

So, what does a commercial photographer do when confronted with all this bad news? Hopefully you will do the same. Because, going forward, there are no guarantees. Because in the real estate market the people who make money reliably are the ones who build or download good rental properties and lease out the use of these rental properties, year after year—always at a profit.

If you sell the house, you make a one-time profit. If you lease the house, you make a profit year after year, and at the end of your career you have a portfolio full of appreciating properties assets. Photographers can and should apply the same model to their businesses. They should get paid to create an image which the photographer owns and then license that image for additional fees for specific uses and specific lengths of time.

Any additional uses or extensions of time should be paid for just like the rental of a house. Before you roll your eyes and assume that clients will demand ownership of all the images and all the rights, be aware that the above description is just the way the bulk of the advertising photography market has worked for decades and decades.

If you need analogies and examples from other industries you need look no further than a good ole American business called Microsoft. This image was shot in and has been sold many times since. If I had signed away all rights I would have gotten a one-time fee that would have been a fraction of its real value! Shot on 4x5 inch color transparency film. You have been licensed the right to use the software on your personal machine only.

It is illegal to share it or even load it on another machine concurrently unless you download additional licenses. This is the model that most truly successful photographers have adapted.

They license specific rights while keeping the copyright. Their images are their intellectual property. You are wrong. Pricing for the short term will be hazardous to your long-term business health.

You deserve a decent house, a reliable car, health insurance, vacations, and all the other things that make life comfortable.

The goal is not to make some money from selling your photography but to make lots of money licensing your images again and again. Every client has a potential use for your images. Understand what the inclusion of your photo into a project brings to the table. Preface 1. Many in the creative industries routinely couch the relationship between clients and themselves as an ad- versarial one. They describe their negotiations as heated battles where each side attempts to conquer the other.

Some photographers even seem convinced that clients are out to squelch their creative output and force photographers to create staid and boring work instead. So, what does this adversarial point of view download you? Generally ulcers, migraines, early death, and little else. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but clients are the most important single thing in your whole business. Your customers are more important than the latest cameras and lenses and much more important than that brewing debate about lighting styles on your favorite blog.

They are even more important than the overall economy. They are your sole financial resource. They make everything you eventually do in your business possible. Knowledge is profit. Here are the four most important things I do to build my relationship with clients: 1. Understand their industry and their position within that industry.

Build my relationship with the person I collaborate with. This can be as simple as sending interesting articles about intersections between our industries articles in Photo District News or Advertising Age , clipping newspaper comics that are relevant to their industries, or pointing them to interesting webcasts. It can escalate to monthly lunches where you meet and discuss big issues, present fun new work, and generally get to know your client as an individual. Anthropological research has shown time and time again that sharing food creates bonds between humans.

This can be especially important with clients who are constrained by their companies to solicit competitive bids.

In a surprising number of cases you will build genuine friendships that will last over the long course of your career. Go into every negotiation looking for ways to sell your vision or style without alienating those you should be collaborating with.

If you feel you are always right or that you always have the best solution for every project, you need to take a few moments to consider that you may be wrong! In the past, I would have vehemently argued my position in many instances.

I have since learned to listen first for all the details. I have a little note attached to my computer. It has helped me retain many clients over the years and has helped me to generate more profits. The most important single thing you need to get across to your clients is that you bring a unique vision and a unique set of attributes to your projects. If you compete just on price and you offer the same styles and types of images as everyone else, your potential clients will be inclined to look at all photographers as commodities.

When a product or service becomes a commodity an interchangeable product like wheat or machine screws the clients immediately reduce the parameters of their selection process to price. You must have powerful differentiators that add value to your photography for clients. Only then will you succeed financially. You might even make some nice friends. Shot for a story on BBQ that ran in Tribeza magazine. Editorial photography provides the opportunity to try new creative approaches.

This was done with two offcamera, battery-powered flashes. Selling Images or Licensing Usage Rights? Take the example of the wedding photographer. His choices are much like the difference between an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant and a fine dining establishment.

In the first restaurant your customers pay a fixed price at the door and then pile their plates high. Every return through the buffet line is money down the drain for you. When you consider that most allyou-can-eat restaurants exist near the bottom of the restaurant food chain and that their profit margins are painfully thin, you can see that this pricing model can be quite precarious.

Each product is priced separately. Each product comes with its own profit margin. At each point in the dinner experience the fine dining restaurant has the potential to increase sales and generate profit.

The fine dining restaurant has to consistently make a much more compelling creative product, and it has to communicate the extra value of the creative product to the correct target market of consumers.

The easiest way to stay in business?

Attract highly affluent clients who crave a unique and creative approach to the product or service in question and allow them to add more and more products to create more and more profit. It is exactly the same in photography. The top of the list for products is design, followed by features. Design and features are the reasons people paid a premium for products such as iPhones and iPods from Apple. Style and reputation are the reasons people flock to wedding photographers like Denis Reggie and Hanson Fong.

Consumers want, and are willing to pay for, the styles they like. Once you market based on just about anything else, like price, you become a commodity. When you become a commodity the con- Below—This image series was used in print ads and mailers for a high-end lakefront condominium project.

The creative director and I scouted the project beforehand and planned each shot in detail. Developers depend on great photography to help sell multimillion-dollar properties. Getting good food shots during regular dinner service requires making quick decisions as well as an ability to previsualize the effects of your lighting.

The successful wedding photographer charges a fee for the creation of his images and extra fees for the various uses of his images. An album filled with photographs commands a certain price. Prints command an additional price. The same images can be sold over and over again to guests and families online via Pictage, Photo Reflect, or Smugmug. Over time the passive income from additional products usages can be like the passive income of stock dividends, with fat checks arriving regularly. I often meet for coffee with a professional portrait photographer.

His sitting fees are around the average for our market in Austin, but his print prices which 16 Commercial Photography Handbook reflect his Photoshop skills and his skilled use of very high resolution cameras, as well as his social connections and location are quite a bit higher.

His average sitting lasts an hour or two. At the other end of the spectrum is a local photographer who sells his work by taking images with his modest digital camera and then putting JPEGs on a disc. He wants to give the images to the client and never see that pesky client again. What a difference.

In the advertising business there is a great deal of pressure to sign work-for-hire agreements, which give a client all the photographs you create and an unrestricted right to use them wherever he or she wants, with no additional payment to you. The client would even have the right to sell the images as stock to anyone in the market. Think philosophically about the ramifications of your business creating content for the business model that makes yours irrelevant!

For more information about pricing and licensing models you should look at the materials on the subject that are available on the American Society of Media Photographers ASMP web site: www. Also, check the books recommended in the resource chapter at the end of this book. There are a number of protocols that transcend every industry.

Most of these should be basic common sense. The problem is that these kinds of best practices are taught in business schools but not in many photography programs.

Here are the three best practices as they relate to photography as a business: Have a Signed Contract. First, always have a signed contract between photographer and client before you start any project. A contract is not an adversarial document; rather, it is a summary of all the things you covered in your negotiations leading up to being offered a project. It should cover the basics: What is the service you will be delivering?

What are Below—These two images were shot as part of a campaign for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in preparation for a high-tech trade show. The images were used in a multi-panel mailer and also for large display panels.

What rights are you licensing? How much will you be paid for your production and for the rights you are licensing? When and how will you be paid? Every time there is a change to the project e. These forms need not be complex. In fact, most problems that arise between clients and suppliers have nothing to do with dishonesty or failure to perform; they arise because, by the very nature of most verbal agreements, each party remembers the agreement differently.

A good, simple contract keeps everyone on the same page and gives you a reference to return to time and again. So, with a contract issued, every parameter of the job and the expectations of both parties are spelled out in enough detail to prevent ambiguity, and both parties get a signed copy.

In the United States, all people have the right to control the use of their own likeness in any and all commercial applications. This guarantees that every noncelebrity has a solid right to privacy. There are exceptions. If you work for a newspaper, magazine, or other editorial outlet that informs the public, you can use a newsworthy photo in that outlet without a release.

There are exceptions to the editorial exemption. If you take a photograph of someone in a place where they have reasonable expectation of privacy, you might not be able to make the editorial argument stick. Example: A stripper slapping the mayor of your city at a restaurant open to the public is fair game.

A stripper in the stall of a bathroom is not fair game! The basic rule of thumb is always unless you are covering hard news to get a model release. A model release can be a simple document like the one on the facing page you can pick these up in most photography stores , or it can be very complex. Most professional models and actors who are represented by agencies will provide their own releases, which carefully explain what rights are being licensed and for how long.

If a model or actor is professionally represented, they will generally refuse to sign any release other than one prepared by their agent. This protects them from unanticipated uses that might damage their careers either by overexposing them or from competing uses.

All negatives and positives, together with the prints, shall constitute your property, solely and completely. Down the road she is discovered for the incredible talent that she is, and a large company decides to use her as a spokesperson.

Therefore, they pass on the first model and start the search all over again. I think blanket releases without very healthy financial compensation are morally wrong, though models and photographers use them all the time. I go back to the idea of a creative team being a collaborative model. I like to have models sign releases for specific uses. If new uses arise, I think models and other talent should have the right to share in the results of our collaborative efforts.

Mine is not a mainstream viewpoint. Most photographers insist on a blanket release. But whether you agree with me or not about the exploitation of models, you should be certain about one thing: If you ever intend to sell any usages to a photograph with an identifiable person, you must get a signed model release.

In the same vein, any identifiable property house, office, farm, distinct wagon, etc. This applies if you are using a single property as a part of your composition. If you have included the skyline of a city you are okay without a release. She lived just a few blocks from the Whole Foods flagship store and we secured permission to photograph her there shopping.

Keep Your Copyright. The third holy rule is this: Only sell your copyright or sign a work-for-hire agreement if the client offers you so much money that you might never have to work again. It is based on the idea, ratified by the U.

The owner may decide exactly how he or she wants to profit from the products of their brilliant creative work. The fairest way is to decide what value each use of an image has and to price those uses accordingly. Obviously, a local, one-shop retailer placing an ad in a local newspaper will derive a smaller amount of value than the same ad in a national or international news- paper or magazine.

Go ahead, download them! You can get more free photography eBooks on our sister website Photzy. You can find eBooks on everything photography — fundamentals of photography, landscapes, portraits, post-processing, lighting, composition and much more — literally everything.

Do check it out here. This guide by National Geographic can be a serious resource for a beginner in photography as it covers almost every aspect of the basics of photography. From explaining camera settings to tips on composition and perspective, everything is nicely explained. It can also serve as a handy reference guide to refresh your basics. This is an inspiring compilation of essays by photographer Scott Bourne. Coming from his personal experiences, the essays touch upon his insights on topics like storytelling, seeing, creativity, and vision.

The wide variety of tips scattered across the eBook are sure to help you grow as a photographer. Do check it out. This eBook is also available for the site on site. Light will no longer be your excuse for bad photos.

Street photographer Alex Coghe shares everything he has learned through these years in this eBook. In this eBook, photographer Scott Bourne gives you tips to get sharper images and avoid blur. You should check this out. Photographer Neil Ta has been involved in urban exploration photography for quite some time now and through this eBook, he shares everything he has learned over the years.

If you are fascinated by urban exploration and looking to learn the ropes, this can be a valuable resource. So, grab your camera and start exploring your city for abandoned spaces! Street photographer Chris Weeks shares with you why street photography is easy and difficult at the same time. Filled with lots of fantastic images and insights on the craft, this eBook will give you a lot to think about and offer you plenty of ways to improve your street photography.

If you like cycling and photography, you are going to love this one.


This is a very concise guide on external flash photography. The book is barely 9 pages long and it gets straight to the point. It has dedicated sections on explaining the use of flash outdoors and how to achieve great results, all in an easy to understand language.

If you like food photography, this eBook will prove to be a valuable resource for you. From lighting considerations to composition suggestions, a lot has been covered in this book to get you started. According to the book, there are essentially two things that make a stunning food photo — appropriate exposure and a thoughtful composition.

For more tips, download the eBook!It might be tougher going in Des Moines or Tulsa. Set your camera at this setting, do this, do that, and there you go. There are a number of protocols that transcend every industry.

It has helped me retain many clients over the years and has helped me to generate more profits. Left—Paul Bardagjy is not your ordinary architectural photographer. To stay employed you have to stay current. Design and features are the reasons people paid a premium for products such as iPhones and iPods from Apple.

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I do enjoy reading novels enthusiastically . Please check my other articles. I have always been a very creative person and find it relaxing to indulge in draughts.