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Recommended Digital Contract Signing Tools

Digital contracts are everything now.  They can be life. They can give you back your life.  They provide efficiency, safety, and prevention. How so?  Why use digital contracts? #1 Efficiency – Ditching the hum-drum of requiring your clients to download a large PDF, get to their printer, unjam their printer, go buy more ink, come...
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Legalities of photo restoration services – Is it a copyright violation?

  Your client brought you an old, water-damaged photo of her Great-Grandma Mabel that she found in her mom’s attic.  She wants you to restore the photo.  But, is it legal?  Is it a copyright violation?  These are questions you should ask before you agree to restore any pictures. Copyright law is a confusing area...
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What if your client wants to alter your contract?

Have you ever heard the phrase “doctors make terrible patients”?  The same goes for lawyers—sometimes they make for difficult clients (in any field, especially where contracts are concerned!)  Of course, you want clients to ask questions if they feel like something isn’t right or are confused, but sometimes lawyers can be a little pushy when...
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What do I do if someone makes an illustration or painting based on my photograph?

As we know, only a copyright holder has the exclusive rights to a creative work, and only they can grant a person a license to use their image or work. So what if you believe someone has imitated or copied one of your photographic images? The short answer: If an artist makes an illustration or...
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Do Memes Violate Copyright Law?

An Internet Meme is in legal terms, a derivative work, and usually copyright owner is the only party with the legal right to create a derivative work. However, the rights of the copyright owner are not exhaustive or absolute. If the person who makes the “derivative work” makes “fair use” of the copyrighted image, this...
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Legalities of using popular music in slideshows and videos

Music is one of the most regulated and restricted areas of copyright law, so you need to be careful using it in your business. You’re creating a video of your client’s special day, and she wants their song to be on it. Or maybe you want to include a popular song on your website. Music...
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Do I have to use “LLC” in my photography marketing?

Everything in life is black or white, wrong or right, delicious or disgusting, no? Well, maybe if you are my five-year old son. As adults however, we are reminded almost daily that the solution to so many of the issues we encounter falls somewhere in that oft referred to gray area. This so called gray...
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Legalities of running a business when you are not yet 18 years old

I have a brilliant friend who started a baking business back in junior high school. She would take orders from classmates at school and bake cakes for birthdays or other special occasions. She would bring the cakes to school for her classmate to give as gifts to other students. She had a true entrepreneurial gift...
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How to open a business bank account for your photography LLC

Now that you’ve taken the plunge and created your photography LLC, you’ll need a place to keep all those dollar bills that will be rolling in!  It’s important that you open a bank account for your LLC separate from your personal accounts and use the new bank account solely for the business.  Setting up a...
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Should my photography business be an LLC?

You’ve got mad skills with your camera and you’re ready to start your own photography business. How hard can it be?  Just start charging a fee for pictures right?  Not so fast.  The formation of a business has liability and tax consequences that continue for years to come.  It pays to be thoughtful about your...
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The Fallacy of Balancing It All

Every entrepreneur is familiar with the failure of trying to balance it all.  Inevitably, something falls off the plate.   But why is this? Are we trying to manage too much? Are we just not good enough? Sometimes.  But I think it’s because we haven’t adjusted our perspective about time.   In order for something...
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Walking Through The Store (Why Your Business May Be Failing)

Walking through the store – all of a sudden I heard my five-year-old SCREAM.  One of those blood curdling and toe curling screams. Your heart sinks and plummets to the floor. I look over to see her tear-stained face, lip quivering.  She then says “I lost cupcake.” My jaw dropped. What? All of this over...
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Can I use music in a client slideshow or marketing?

Understanding copyright law and music licensing can be about as clear as mud.  When you are creating marketing materials or client products, you must have an understanding of what is proper or isn’t. Some examples include: slideshows for business promotion use of music during a sales presentation background music in a client slideshow for purchase music...
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Photography Marketing Is Much Like Holiday Traffic

  Holiday traffic is a bummer. Especially when you live in large metro areas with lots of cars.    Living on the 95 corridor is an experience – to say the least.  You have to gauge even your trip the mall based on rush hour traffic, but when holiday/summer traffic comes along – watch out. You...
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5 Free Marketing Ideas for Your Photography Business

  Marketing your photography business can be difficult and overwhelming when you feel like you’re slamming money and time into actions that aren’t working.  I grew my photography business from a corner of my bedroom into multiple studios and an all referral business.  I did this by bootstrapping as I didn’t have a lot of money...
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What if my client asks for copyright?

“My client emailed and wants me to release copyrights of my work! What do I do?”   This is a super simple process that we should walk through so that you understand the best method to evaluation, your rights, and help you to make a better decision.   I don’t recommend jumping on the “I...
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When is a Crowd Release Notice Needed?

Photographing in a public venue can seem like fair game for photographers, but it gets tricky when there could be potential claims by the individuals photographed EVEN IF they had no expectation of privacy in the area. What happens when you’re using commercially or the individual wants to be compensated? This is where crowd release...
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5 Legal potholes photographers can avoid (but don’t!)

Don’t hit that pothole. Trust me, I did it a few weeks ago. Ended up with two flat tires, two broken rims, and my car in the shop for a week. This led to not only the stress of being on the side of the road with three kids trying to call a tow truck,...
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Newly Released: Floral Designer Contract

This lawyer-drafted contract is for use by floral designers when booking clients under a floral design services contract. This contract covers terms including:  position and services retainer and booking (monies) payment schedule payment method payment timeline pricing (current, estimate and changes) rentals of items tear down of items wedding day services cancellation of event rescheduling...
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Exposing Risky Behavior on Railroad Tracks

  As a professional photographer, safety for you and your clients is your top priority. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t be conducting portrait sessions on or near railroad tracks.  You can view our previous Rail Safety for Photographers post outlining those reasons here. These six “must-know” facts for photographers, from Operation Lifesaver, offer...
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Styled Shoot Legalities 101

  Styled shoots are great ways for photographers, wedding/event planners, florists, calligraphers and other vendors to come together for networking, artistic development and creation of materials for use in promotional marketing. Unfortunately, like many other areas of business when dealing with humans, issues may arise from lack of proper communication and omission of legal protection measures....
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