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United States

Quick Legal Checklist: How to start a photography business- the right way!

Starting a photography business is exciting, but setting up business is so super important! We need to make sure you’re on the right path!   This high-level checklist is great EVERYONE.  The hobbyist considering going legal The newbie wanting a guide The advanced photographer running their yearly audit These are the steps you need to...
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Can I charge my client for not signing a model release?

Engaging a client for a photography session is awesome as you’re able to execute your skills, create some art, provide images and make some money in the process.   However, something else comes out of sessions that is arguably as important as the money made from the transaction: the use of images for marketing and...
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Tax Tools for Photographers

  This list is a combined list of recommended and used products by TheLawTog® team. If you have any others you recommend, feel free to put them in the comments!     Organizational Tools Having a good organizational system can maximize your deductions, ease your tax anxiety and run your business more smoothly!   Online systems...
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Legalities of using quotations from published works that are in the public domain

Oh, you really want to use that cute quote to accompany one of your photographs? Or you’re looking to create a product for your studio or your e-commerce store? But can you just use any quote you like? Is it okay if you make sure you attribute the quote to the person who said it...
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5 Things Small Biz Owners Can Learn From Hurricane Harvey

The devastation that Hurricane Harvey has left on south Texas has not gone unnoticed in the eyes and hearts of everyone.   Along with the fires on the west coast, and now Irma hitting Florida. It particularly has hurt small business owners, many of whom no longer have their business.  In the blink of an...
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Work Does Not Make You Free

New York City recently made steps to ensure that the City That Never Sleeps won’t also be known as the City That Cheats Freelancers Out of Their Hard-Earned Money when it passed the Freelance Isn’t Free Act in May 2017. This first-of-its-kind Act makes some big changes in how freelancers are supposed to work, so...
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Best Business Practices from Start to Finish with Iris Works

Starting and running a photography business will always be challenging. But having a strong foundation of smoothly operating practices for yourself can make it much easier. By having a standard set for every aspect of your business – from getting clients to keeping them – you’ll be setting yourself up for growth and success.  ...
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Can I play music during a photo shoot?

Whether inside or outside, sometimes you just want to help your clients relax and allow their personalities to shine. One way some photographers do this is to play some music before or during the photoshoot. It makes sense, music has a wonderful ability to evoke positive emotions and to encourage people to drop some of...
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What do you do when a client asks you to edit photos from another photographer?

For many photographers the knee jerk answer to a client asking you to edit photographs taken by another photographer is no, or no way. But, no might not always need be your answer. Now, just hang with us for a couple of minutes while I explain.  Let’s talk first about the questions you need to...
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Legalities of birth and maternity photography with surrogates and adoptive parents

Navigating the relationships of clients can be one of the most challenging parts of a photographer’s work. If you are a birth, newborn, or maternity photographer, working with surrogates, first families and adoptive parents, you may have some additional opportunities to develop sound policies and ensure you are covering yourself legally.   Let’s start with...
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Photography Business Decisions and Human Rights

The oft-repeated standard that business owners are able to refuse service to anyone for any reason is not as clear cut as many photographers might desire. Social, political, and personal values can complicate your business relationships, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. The key questions are: When does impingement on your rights or even...
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Review: FotoStrap

This review is on Fotostrap’s personalized camera strap.  This is not a paid advertisement, however, they did send me the strap to test out.  My review is fully honest and is not swayed by the receipt of this item, as you’ll see below.     From the product description section on the FotoStrap website:  Vintage...
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Are you killing it in your photography business?

It’s such a bummer to see so many photographers killing it with camera skills, but then (bad) killing it with lack of business skills.  They are bad-killing it by falling into this “it’ll never happen to me” mentality. This sentiment is shared almost daily in our online community and through legal inquiries.  There is this...
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Should you sign your contract before sending to a client for their signature?

Let’s cut to the chase on the question of whether you should sign your contract BEFORE sending to a client for their signature? Legally it does not matter who signs the contract first as long as both parties agree to it. Practically speaking, it might be better to sign second. One reason for why it...
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Pregnant and Underage – Who Signs The Contract?

When mom and dad are both minors (under 18) and they have a newborn it can make for a potentially confusing situation when it comes to who signs contracts and model releases for a newborn session. One important legal reality to note is that having a baby does not mean minor is automatically emancipated. This...
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Can I write off my family vacation if I do paid sessions at my vacation destination?

Heading to some fabulous destination and wondering if you can write off your vacation? Watched other photographers travel the globe and wonder if they are writing off these travels? So can you write off your family vacation if you do paid sessions at your vacation destination? The answer is Yes, but…. If you follow the...
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Senior Photo Sessions & Underage Clients

Senior Sessions: Client was under 18 at the time of session but is now over 18. Commercial client wants to purchase usage rights of images of the senior. Is a new model release required? The answer to the questions of whether a new model release is required with a client who was under 18, but...
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Free photography contract

Want to download a free photography contract that works for your business? Instant download. Lawyer-drafted. Go here.
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Are oral agreements for second shooters legit?

Do you make oral agreements for second shooters? Second shooters can be of great help to event photographers, particularly wedding photographers; they can help you capture parts of the event that you just wouldn’t get to otherwise. They are also the place many photographers begin if they are interested in specializing in wedding or event...
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To Pay or Not To Pay: That is the (Internship) Question

In the last few years, internships have been growing in popularity… and so have the number of unpaid-intern lawsuits. Last month, fashion designers and actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen settled a lawsuit for over $180,000. The problem? The twins refused to pay interns at their fashion label, The Row. Former interns claimed that they had...
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Outsourcing Editing & Other Legal Considerations

When considering outsourcing your editing or offering photo editing services to other photographers there are some legal issues to consider and things you may want to think about before you enter into a contract involved outsourced editing services. Let’s start with some questions to help frame our discussion and provoke you as you consider, reflect,...
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