Creatives and the Law

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Business of Photography: Forming Your Business Entity

Congratulations on your decision to start your own photography business. You are embarking upon an exciting adventure that I am sure you will not regret. Well, now that you have made the decision to go out on your own you need to set up a business. While starting a business might seem like a daunting task, it is actually relatively simple -- if you know what you need to do.

Now, a quick disclaimer, this article is for general information purposes only. While I am an attorney, I am not your attorney and nothing in this article should be or is intended to be taken as legal advice. The receipt or viewing of this information is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Most Valuable Photography Accessories

Whether you are just starting out with photography or simply looking to improve your setup, you will quickly realize that the right gear can definitely make your life easier. However, identifying the right gear can be a bit exhausting. Now, when I use the word "gear" I am referring specifically to camera accessories. Why the focus on accessories? Well, I do not believe purchasing new cameras and lenses should be a regular occurrence. Instead, I believe you should focus on taking care of your equipment. However, as with lenses, there are so many different accessories available on the market that you can easily find yourself purchasing equipment that you really do not need. Well, have no fear, I am here! Below is a list of the top 5 accessories I believe will be most valuable to you as a photographer and factors to consider when purchasing these items.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Become A Better Photographer: Go Look At Pretty Pictures

Yesterday evening I attended an event at National Geographic's Headquarters titled "Pope Francis and the New Vatican." As you may (or may not) have heard, National Geographic was granted special access to the pope and permission to document his daily life inside the Vatican. The images and story behind the experience grace the cover of the magazine's August 2015 issue. The event I attended consisted of a panel discussion, moderated by National Geographic's editor in chief, with writer Robert Draper, photographer Dave Yoder and Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Weurl. The magazine has also published a book with the same title as the event, which you can view or purchase here. The panel discussion was fascinating and the images were amazing. The event was the perfect end to what was an incredibly stressful day. As I left Nat Geo with more-than-a-little pep in my step I had the urgent need to go pick up my camera and start shooting. During my walk home, I realized that simply viewing great photography inspires me to BE a better photographer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Business of Photography: Do I Need Insurance?

I recently submitted an article to Fstoppers that touched upon the legal issues you need to consider before starting a photography business. Naturally, my Fstoppers article was not all-inclusive so I wanted to take the time to touch upon another subject that many people often ask about -- insurance.

Do You Need Insurance?

Before diving into the different types of insurance available, I think it best if we take a moment to think about whether you even need insurance. Start by asking yourself two questions (1) what type of photography do I do and (2) is this my primary source of income. Once you have answered those two questions, make a list of your risks and potential liabilities. For example, a general portrait photographer likely has a smaller risk of loss than a wedding photographer. Wedding photography poses a unique set of challenges since the photographer is shooting once-in-a-lifetime events with large numbers of people. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Photographers and all their (un)necessary gear

I have not posted at all this week as I have been enjoying a much needed vacation at the U.S. Open. I have been fortunate enough to see many great tennis matches, however I have also seen a lot of photographers and all of their gear. As I watched the guy next to me take out a very fancy and (admittedly) pretty cool dust blower for his camera lens in the middle of one great tennis match, I started to wonder why it is photographers always have so much gear.

If we really take a step back and think about it, my guess is most of us would realize that we likely do not need all of the gear we have. One of my friends recently purchased his first DSLR camera and within the first few weeks of acquiring his new toy, the two of us have already had multiple conversations about the various lenses he needs. During our first conversation I calmly and politely tried to steer him from investing his money in new lenses until he knew his camera and had mastered his current lens. At the end I jokingly said "are you suffering from G.A.S?" "Huh?" he replied. "G.A.S. = gear acquisition syndrome" I quickly responded. We both laughed and he assured me he was not in fact suffering from G.A.S. but I still could not help but wonder a little.