This week we look at business basics and business plans. We also briefly touch on copyright law.
There have been some notable art copyright cases in recent decades. One of the most significant is French photographer Patrick Cariou’s claim, suing Richard Prince and his gallery, Gagosian, for copyright infringement. Read more about the case here (Links to an external site.), or an even more detailed report here (Links to an external site.).
Please post in the forum below whether you agree or disagree with the court’s final decision, and why. Comment and discuss with your peers.
I have to disagree, copyright is copyright doesn’t matter if you stick a few alterations on it. I have had run ins with media companies, broadcasting companies and newspapers who all think it’s ok to use my images in their publications or broadcasts. I win everytime, pay up or remove it’s simple and most know the law they just think I’ll be happy to see my images on the tv or in print. One company selling broadcasting rights around the world using my images were flabbergasted I still wanted paying even though in their words, ‘but we have removed them’.
Thank you for confirming you did use them here is my invoice again, have a nice day. They paid eventually.
This week’s topic is how photographers mix art and commerce in different ways, and the ever-growing importance of having your own vision and visual language.
In the forum below, please reflect upon your current practice and how well you are managing to work within both realms, while staying true to your own vision and style. If you are currently not doing any commercial work, please share how you can see yourself moving into this area of the photography industry and who your preferred clients would be. Also include three photographers whose work you admire and who, in your eyes, manage to move from art to commercial in a way that resonates with you.
It’s weird really, last week’s subject touched on copyright and how an ‘artist’ can prey on a ‘photographer’s’ ‘work’ and turn it into his ‘art’ and receive no consequences, financially or otherwise. I found it difficult to understand how any photographer could agree with the judge’s ruling. But then photographers have for years undervalued what they create. Our work is even harder now with the actual volume of photographs and images produced. My work has always been commercial regardless of the subject. My clients know me and my brand and what i do. This course gives my an opportunity to create a new brand, call it art if you wish, but it will have the direct consequence of making money from my clients, existing and new. I make no excuses for this.
New York based Rachel has created a brand and style in the New york dance scene and is seen by many to be a master of her art. A former dancer she is well aware of what it takes in shape and form to produce the classic dance pose. I love her studio work.
Also New York based, Kevin has created his fabulous Dance As Art series around the streets and districts of New York City and State. His classic flash lit poses are supplemented with the famous buildings and landmarks around the city. He has had books published and many exhibitions.
The prolific documentary photographer and 2020 Portrait of Britain winner has been the master of social media using Twitter to highlight his own and other historical photographer’s work to create his own brand. Self taught, he has documented many of the political and street demonstrations all over the Uk @marcdavenant
For this week’s forum discussion, think about your current market and audience: Are they the same?
Then think about who you would like to call your market and audience in five years time: How do you plan to get there?
Provide all of us with an insight into where you stand commercially and where you would like to see yourself in the future.
Before lockdown, I had a very good business, a niche market, lots of loyal customers built up over the years. The pandemic saw my business along with most of the theatre and arts world disappear overnight. The initial lockdown gave me time to take stock and think. I would walk for miles each day which gave me time to think about change, a change in attitude and also a longing to open up and try something different. I applied last minute to join this cohort and began the journey into the world of learning once more after a break of er, not years but decades.
Initially, I was a bit lost, photography (and some video) is all I do but I realised very quickly this virus is here for to stay for a while and looked at ways to use my studio to open up to my customer base. Since late summer, I have worked with existing customers to create photoshoot days with dancers from all over the UK. Luckily my studio is big enough to be able to socially distance and with the opening up of travel, it has allowed me to use the studio to experiment and try new ideas with my clients.
It could be that next year, we will be able to go back to the way we were before but I very much doubt it. Perhaps that’s a good thing as it allowed me to take that step back from business and the stress that comes with it to see some new career directions.
In 5 years, I will be living on the beach with my partner watching sunsets but in the meantime my plans are pretty much in place. I rarely like the limelight and do not see exhibitions and publishing as my route. The world is now pretty much online and it is a most powerful tool which will allow me to open up an online based photography teaching programme using my experience and knowledge to teach everything from the basics of light, colour temperature or white balance to the art of dance using shape, light and form to create beautiful lasting images.
Gym surviving under Covid 19 restrictions with Social Distanced Instructions, cleanliness and workout demonstrations
Imagine you are being commissioned by a newspaper to tell a story in five to seven images. It can be about anything – ideally something local – but it must have a beginning, middle and end. It can be about a person, a place or a thing. Keep your focus narrow. What matters in this exercise is to make sure each photograph gets to the essence of what the narrative wants to express – without needing copy or anything else.
The haulage and coach building company next to my studio went into liquidation last month making 800 people redundant just before Christmas. The usually busy workshops were quiet, the carparks empty, the yards and compounds padlocked. Already up for sale or rent, the area has a surreal atmosphere.
In our present time, your online presence is as important as your physical portfolio. A good website is crucial and will often be the one thing, a gallery director or a client will see even before they see your physical portfolio or meet you.
Please share your own website, alongside three photographer’s websites you particularly like, that you think work extremely well and would resonate well with clients.
my site www.funkyfoto.co.uk It’s a selling site providing roughly about 50% of my income or at least it did before lockdown. The site itself is just a portal for people to buy their images and works extremely well. My provider, Theimagefile.com , is looking at updating the back office so i expect some changes soon.
For marketing I use my facebook page , @funkyfotoUK (16000 followers) and instagram (6000 followers) and I’m starting with tik tok as it’s huge with the age bracket of my potential customers in the dance world.
I always look at websites as a shop window, it should be aimed at your target market. I don’t see the point in buying analytics or traffic when there is free social media available, just my opinion.
3 websites I admire
Week 9 was the live brief Challenge where along with my fellow students we created a video to promote Contrapol and ourselves as a global collective of image creators, video makers and musicians.