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What to do when a client enters your professional photo in a contest or submits to a magazine or newspaper

Sometimes, you have a client who is so excited and proud of the work you have created capturing them, their family, or their life, that they submit your images to a contest or to a magazine or newspaper for publication. They may not have ill intent, but nevertheless, you open a publication only to find...
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What happens to the commercial license of my images if that business is sold?

A situation that is more common than you might expect occurs when a business is bought or sold. A question that arises in this situation is as follows: If I license commercial use of my photographs to a business & the business is sold, is that commercial use license part of the business sale? Businesses...
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Can I design and print an album for a client with another photographer’s photos if the client has print release?

The legality of designing and printing an album for a client with another photographer’s photos depends on the express terms of the licenses granted by the copyright owner. Like other third party services like editing, it is essential that the appropriate licenses are granted by the copyright owner, rather than just the client (who may...
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How do you pay yourself as the business owner? Learn 4 ways to get paid!

Let’s face it. We may love what we do and relish being business owners, but ultimately it’s about getting paid. Basically, “Show me the money!” right? Well, being a business owner can be a little different from back in the employee days when you didn’t have to think about all of the extra details that...
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How does implied license and quantum meruit affect how clients use my photos?

Before you give up and go find something else to read, we need to talk about a couple of concepts that come up time and time again in the context of copyright conflicts, especially in digital media. These concepts are “implied license” and Quantum Meruit.   Implied License The “implied license” doctrine is relatively limited...
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Piercing the corporate veil: what does it mean for photographers and how to prevent it

“The corporate veil” is the term used to describe the way that the liability of shareholders of a company is limited to their ownership in the company and does not extend to their personal assets. In one sense the “corporate veil” is a way of affirming that a corporation is a legally distinct entity, capable...
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X used my images without asking, now what?

X used my images without asking, now what? In our large, but totally awesome, Facebook community – this is the #1 question that we get repeatedly.  Why? Unfortunately, it’s because people don’t give a damn about respecting others intellectual property.  Whether it is images, logos, music..you name it.   Now yes, I understand that many simply...
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Now Available: Copyright Infringement Kit for Photographers

  Someone stole your images, now what?! Stop! Breathe! No rushing to blast anyone on the internet, or sending a take down notice.  Take your steps and make sure you have a properly drafted letter and settlement agreement ready.  Snag TheLawTog’s now available Copyright Infringement Kit for Photographers. Protecting intellectual property is a real and...
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Should photography contracts be signed with your name or business name?

Running a successful business is not always easy and it requires you to have a good balance of personal touch and necessary formality. Don’t let personal relationships cause you to avoid necessary business practices. How you sign your business contracts is extremely important because you need to show your clients and the world that your...
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5 Reasons to NOT be a sole proprietorship

Many times people start out in the creative field part time or with great uncertainty as to whether they are going to “make it” in business.  For these reasons, many of you may be sitting on a dangerous risk pile of sole proprietorship (SP) formation. Yes, because I will undoubtedly get emails saying there is...
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What to know when hiring a CPA or attorney for your photography business

Outsourcing some of the more technical components of your business to another professional such as a certified public accountant or attorney can be daunting for many reasons including cost, trust, and even loss of control. For most small business owners, however, it signifies the growth and success of your business up to this point and...
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Making the most of tax deductions for donated products and services

  As a Photographer, or as part of your Photography business, you may be asked to participate in any of the above by donating goods and services. It may even be part of your marketing or operating plan to give back to your community in some or all of these ways. How do you best...
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7 Ways photographers can utilize online forms for efficiency

If you’re like most photographers, you’ve long ago figured out that the best part of being a professional isn’t trying to find new clients or manage requests; it’s taking pictures. But still, you can’t be a successful photographer without dirtying your hands with the everyday operational aspects of running a business. So consider an online...
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Top 10 Tools for Your Photography Business

I’ve searched high and low, near and far…okay…so I haven’t. I just sat down on my monthly admin day and made a list of some of my absolute favorite, must-have tools to help my business run smoothly. Besides having a (shameless plug) lawyer-drafted, photographer-approved photography contract from TheLawTog®, I recommend these for your business in...
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Is It Okay To Use Other People’s Photos for Educational Purposes

It has probably happened to every single one of us.  You wake up one morning, open your Facebook feed or Instagram and see an amazing photograph that someone has posted. Sometimes, the photograph is a share and you can trace it back to the original source.  Other times, someone has just copied someone else’s photograph...
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8 tools TheLawTog has that you didn’t know you need

Choosing what you need to protect and grow your business is overwhelming. At TheLawTog® we have TONS Of tools from contracts to tax tools and business guides. I want to share with you some business tools that were created just for photographers…but many of you don’t know about.   These are items that have arisen...
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How to build business affiliations for your photography business

Have you ever noticed when you’re out in public that crowds tend to gather?  Traffic backs up for no reason in certain spots? This is because humans are creatures who naturally want and gravitate towards companionship. To be around the group and others – even if subconsciously. If you look around the world you’ll see natural pairings and companionships in...
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The Ultimate Tax Deduction Purchase Guide for Photographers

As the year end approaches all small business owners should start thinking about tax deductions!   Depending on the business structure and tax liability some income taxes may already have been paid, for others they haven’t paid a dime. This is where your business savings and tax deductions come in! Take a gander at the...
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Why photographers should require a “Deposit” Or “Retainer” & which word to use

It is best practice as a photographer to clearly establish your deposit/retainer policy within the terms and conditions of your contract. In fact, a deposit/retainer policy is an essential contract policy for a successful photography business.  Before we talk about the terms “deposit” and “retainer”, let’s first talk about why you should be requiring an...
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How using photography contract templates can save you money

Using photography contract templates can save you time and money. Starting up any business is a costly endeavor; this is especially true in the photography industry. Startup costs can be astronomical due to having to secure the correct equipment and ensuring it is of professional quality. Also, a startup has a lot of moving parts which have to...
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Top 10 reasons to have a photography contract

So you’ve set up a photography business, but now what? Facebook page? Maybe. Twitter handle? Could happen. But most important, besides skill and dedication are the contracts that will safeguard your business.     Here are the top ten reasons to have a photography contract in place.     1. Outlines client expectations Clients do not...
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