It’s a struggle that every creative professional deals with all too often, especially early in your career: chasing invoices, non-responsive clients, unauthorized usage of assets, the list goes on. Here I’ve compiled some of my favorite links and videos that will help you light a fire to get paid for your work – and if nothing else, will inspire you to re-write those contracts so you never get yanked around again!
KH Asks: Can you explain how you handle copyright infringement across multiple platforms including social media? It seems incredibly easy for a business to steal work and use it for their gain. I noticed on your personal website there are no watermarks. On IG and anything I’ve seen on FB, no watermarks or copyright symbol within the post.
Instagram can be an incredibly powerful tool, but also a very annoying, almost disheartening thorn in your side. While it has great promotional value, the flipside is that it is rife with image theft, copyright infringement, enough vagaries to make your head spin, and the unavoidable irritation that comes with constantly comparing yourself to others.
When it comes to negotiations, as a photographer (or any freelance artist, for that matter) you’ve got to master the art of not being emotionally invested in the outcome – something that is nearly impossible to do. But without it, you’ll never be able to break free of difficult clients and underpaid gigs.
D Asks: How does one find out exactly who owns / manages a building? Ask your client if they know, or know someone who knows. Failing that, walk inside and speak to whoever is at the front desk. Make up a good story, or tell the truth, depending on the neighborhood you’re in, and get a business card of someone you can contact.
Any photographer who has tried to take pictures in any moderately urban environment is familiar: the security guard, keeping us safe from the “terrorists” with cameras, protecting the interests of “the man” from purported “liabilities,” and whatever other nonsense boogeyman they’ve dreamt up that doesn’t exist.
R asks: When trying to expand and grow your network and brand as a photographer, do you think “mailers” with a small handwritten note can work or what do you suggest to getting more clients to work with you?
In the past I think this worked, today, not so much. An email introduction done right and not done creepily is all you need.
Getting paid to travel is simultaneously the single most amazing thing and single most overrated thing about being a working photographer. On one hand – exposure to new cultures, places, food, languages, and photo subjects is incredible. On the other hand, when it goes wrong, it can go very, very, wrong and make you question why you even bothered saying yes to the job in the first place.
Over the past few weeks, APA has…grown…a little bit, into something I’m beginning to feel slightly proud of. In the background, I’ve gotten many questions about architectural photography from our small but fiercely interested reader base. Rather than let these questions slowly fall into the fires of Mount Doom, ah, I meant page two of our gmail account, I thought it would be great to begin to publicly answer them.
Darren Bradley: TED talker, Dwell cover boy, global traveller and book author. Not bad for an architectural photographer! I met Darren a few years ago at an AIA award ceremony and instantly found him fascinating; so I couldn’t be happier to make this interview happen. Darren has dodged alligators, run from security guards, and slept in Florida’s sketchiest hotels in his quest to be one of the world’s preeminent Mid Century Modern specialists.
A notorious sticking point for any photographer, the rush turnaround can be a great tool in your bag or it can turn into a living nightmare that threatens to create a rift between you and your client. Over the years I’ve been able to transition from the rush turnaround being a dreaded ‘ugh’ moment into something that is relatively effortless.
For some reason photographers are obsessed with being published, I am a photographer, ergo, am obsessed with being published. It feels good, it looks pretty, and it makes your photographs real, as in a tangible thing that other people hold and look at and say “wow” like Owen Wilson. Wowwww.
I saw this project by Singapore-based photographer Owen Raggett and immediately raised an eyebrow and mouthed “holy shi—“. It’s kind of mind-blowing from both an architecture and photography standpoint, and I couldn’t resist sharing Owen’s exemplary photographs of the project.
Brooke Holm has carved out a successful career for herself shooting exactly what she wants, where she wants, and the results are beautiful. She effortlessly blends personal fine art projects with interior and architectural commissioned works in a sublime and delicate style, becoming a highly sought-after photographer in markets around the world.
It’s a question I find myself explaining over and over again to aspiring photographers and it’s quite simply one of the most powerful tools available for improving the compositions and quality of your photography. It’s not even limited to architectural photography either, in fact artists and photographers alike benefit from taking advantage of the one point perspective.
Project of the Week for February 23rd comes to us out of Northern California. Named Granite Bay and set in a rolling California landscape, the project makes use of the site’s topography to soften its contemporary hard-edged appearance and reveal its size gracefully. Kat Alves, a photographer based in Nevada City, CA, captured it beautifully and we’ll break down where the photos succeed.
We’ve all been there and to deny it is just an outright lie. Whether it’s “can you just photoshop that” or “I promise the contractors will be gone by the time the shoot happens,” you’ve got to roll with the punches and over my career I’ve turned to humor to do so, otherwise someone would be scraping me off the floor of another five-over-one apartment somewhere.
There are really only two tripod heads to consider if you want to use the best of the best: the Arca Swiss D4 and the Arca Swiss C1 Cube. The worst thing about them is you’re spending over a thousand dollars on something that doesn’t actually make you a better photographer, but the best thing about them is that they make it so much easier to take pictures I don’t even know how I’d begin to go back to the cheaper options.
I’d love to pretend that this goes without saying, but it’s incredibly important to actually understand what our clients do in order to deliver the best possible images to them. There is so much more goes into interior design than just making a space “pretty,” especially when you are considering commercial, civic, and other large-scale projects.