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United States

Exposed: The Risks of Photographing on Railroad Tracks

  How many more news stories will we see before photographers stop the dangerous and illegal practice of photographing on railroad tracks? We’ve all likely seen some of these (or similar) headlines: “An Adventurous Life Cut Short on the Railroad Tracks” “Man Killed by Train During Photo Shoot in Downtown Fresno” “Another Person Killed by...
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Top 4 legal mistakes that every small business owner makes

Everyone makes mistakes. Every new small business owner makes mistakes. However, some of those mistakes can very easily be avoided with a little bit of knowledge. Help avoid some common pitfalls by learning from the four biggest legal mistakes that every small business owner makes.   #1 Wearing too many hats & not seeking legal...
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Street Photography and Model Releases

Street photography uniquely captures our world in a candid and artful way. In attempting to capture an un-manipulated scene, these photographs are often taken in public places with the subject unaware of the photographer’s presence. In our litigious society who appears in professional photographs and what is done with those photographs has become increasingly important...
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Model Releases versus Non-Disclosure Agreements – Which do I need?

When running a photography business there are situations that will arise, leaving you, the owner, at a loss for what to do. Many times these are simple legal questions that can trip you up if you aren’t prepared with the right information. In today’s Internet-age people get weird about the use of photographs you took of them...
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Driving the same car for business and personal use?

Ugh: tax season; never an easy time for freelance photographers. While paying your taxes in full and on time makes you a better citizen, it does not mean you should leave money on the table. Chances are that you do. Freelance photographers often drive their own car both for private and business. Many people know...
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7 Ways to love your photography business

When we get around Valentine’s Day everyone is thinking about love, flowers, and candy! But we often forget a very special aspect in our life that needs some love too.  Our businesses.   It’s no coincidence that Valentine’s is smack in the middle of the second month of the year.  It’s given you enough time to...
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What to do if someone violates your images: Copyright infringement for photographers

This article is a great place to learn about Copyright Infringement for Photographers.   It happens – A friend or client excitedly sends you a link to a page where they’ve seen one of your images or a copy of a magazine in which your work has been published in all its glossy glory. Maybe someone...
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Registering a Photography Business Trademark: What Can it Actually Cover?

Trademarks are a great way to protect your brand by name, logo and slogan.   Registering a trademark can provide intellectual property protection for these brand items so let us walk through what the protections you receive cover.   The first question you need to ask: Is the mark “trademarkable”? There are a few general...
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How long should I keep photography contracts?

Having photography contracts is critical to relay information to clients, to set expectations, to define the relationship and for the protection of your business – but what happens when you want to clean up your office or digital workspace?    At TheLawTog®, we spend an immense amount of time teaching photographers how to use contracts, provide contract templates...
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Trademarks: How Can I Protect My Photography Trademarks?

You’ve gone through the expensive and time consuming process to protect your photography business marks.  Now it is time to protect it! Here is the process for you to protect the trademarks you’ve registered for your photography business.   What can I do to protect my mark? Use it! Properly identify your mark’s status by...
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6 Insurance types photographers need

When you spend your time, money and energy into building a business – you need to make sure that you are protecting what you’ve built. While it may be super exciting and sexy to invest in marketing, equipment or props, protection should not be overlooked. Even though you may have the right contracts and business...
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Couple signs. Dad pays. Who is my client?

Couple meets you. Loves you. Signs the contract and model release. But what happens if a third-party pays? Or wants to sign? What then? It is important to understand who the actual [legal] client is so that your business keeps walking the straight and narrow by delivering to whom you owe a responsibility. Hang with...
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Discrimination in Photography: Do You HAVE to Shoot Every Client Request?

  What if a potential customer approaches you to do a type of photo shoot that you don’t normally do? Let’s say you’re a newborn photographer and someone wants you to do family portraits or professional headshots. Or you’re a wedding photographer and you are asked to take pictures of someone’s kids. What if you’re...
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4 Cardinal rules to business planning for photographers

You whip out a snazzy new planner. Crack the front page, and smell the freshly printed pages wafting in the office air. Or you fire up the laptop to electronically plan out the next year. Either way – planning for a new business year can be…Fun. Overwhelming. Exciting. But oftentimes, I find that many plans...
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The Ultimate Guide to Online Photography Management Systems

  There are so many management systems on the market now that WE get the benefit of picking and choosing based on our budget, needs and what works best for our individual workflow.  This article is the product of going through some of the biggest players in the entrepreneur management systems marketplace and evaluating for the...
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A photographer’s quick guide to photography copyright law

The unauthorized use, reproduction, or amendment of photographs…copyright infringement happens all the time, simply because many don’t understand what and how copyright infringement works. Copyright infringement is the use of photographs protected by copyright laws without permission of the copyright owner. Understanding what copyright is and the registration process is important to photography business owners to...
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Should clients initial every page of a photography contract?

Photography contracts can become quite lengthy as business owners discover new policies they want to implement and issues they desire to protect themselves against.   While it is best for quality over quantity when a lawyer drafts contracts, lengthy documents can lead to some potential issues and questions.  Specifically, whether clients should initial every page of...
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I challenge you this Small Business Saturday.

As business owners, it can be so easy to focus on the best deals and money savings you can get. But today – on Small Business Saturday – I challenge you to support local. [Tweet ” I challenge you to support local.”] Support other businesses who are trying to…. ….make ends meet (just like you)....
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More cash, no marketing: A photographer’s end of year business strategy

The end-of-the-year is probably one of my most favorite times for business – because I can make more cash with no marketing. Do what?  Yes, exactly what I said. I did the work. I wooed the clients. Made loyal customers. Facilitated the relationships. Got the referrals. But now, I can relatively “sit back” and “cash in”...
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10 Tips To A Kicking Facebook Ad

Facebook ads are a fantastic way to generate new leads and book clients.  However, you can waste a lot of money if your Facebook advertisement is confusing, cramming of info, and lacking critical elements.   Here is a good checklist to use that will promote buyer confidence and display professionalism for your photography business.  ...
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Have you protected your photography business against life?

Could you be in danger of losing it all? Absolutely. I worked hard to build my business—late nights, booking shoots on weekends, missing meals with my family. It would be a shame if all the sacrificing was for nothing. Do you ever think about what would happen to your business if there was an emergency?...
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