Sunday, July 27, 2008

Growing Pains: Business Briefs


My friend and photography colleague Jason Peckovitch shared with me some recent troubles he has had in getting a client he met on Craigslist to pay him for his services. This "client beware" tale is the reason why so many photographers, including myself, now require their clients to pay a deposit and the rest of the full payment BEFORE the day of the assignment, even before the shooting actual begins. And get everything squared away in a contract.

I asked Jason to write up something for my readers explaining how he got into this situation and what he plans to do to get his payment. To see the full explanation, read the entry on his myspace page:

"Here it is, a month and a half later (event was at end of May) and I have only seen HALF of what he has promised me. For the last 3-4 weeks he kept telling me, oh it’s in the mail and then finally last week told me that he lost my address and if I got it to him that day, he would mail it out that day, so I sent it to him again. A week after that, and I have yet to see anything.

I have yet to hear back from him, so I doubt I will ever get paid. Pro-bono stuff is OK, from time to time, but if you are going to get paid, make sure you get it in a signed contract form, or at least in writing of some sort. I’m at the point in my “photographic career”, that I should be getting paid for all the time spent behind the camera or in front of the computer for someone else. But this kind of thing puts a sour taste in my mouth and tells me to quit."

The above shot is an example of the images Jason shot for this client. To see more check out his website with these links. Show Jason some love and share some comments on how he should proceed here or on his Myspace page! Hang in there, my friend. I know jujitsu if it comes to that! :)



I received my first credit card payment for a photo this past week through my online PayPal account. I blogged about setting up my PayPal "PayFlow" Account. My bank serves as my merchant account services while Paypal acts as my gateway for accepting payments.

Up until this week, I had been having second thoughts about this service. I had been paying monthly service and transactions fees even though no one was using the service, continuing to choose to pay me with checks or cash. But I'm glad I decided to keep it---for now----because the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently paid for an image through their company credit card. The Paypal service includes a Virtual Terminal to accept a client's credit card information securely via your web browser and get a transaction number and confirmation code right away.

But I am considering switching my credit card processing solution to QuickBooks Merchant Service, which doesn't include "common hidden costs" such as annual fees, payment gateway fees, or statement fees among others. I will do some more research and see if Quickbooks offers a similar or even better programs than Quickbooks. For now, download your copy of Quickbook's "Guide to Maximizing Profits with Credit Cards."

1) Watch out for hidden costs.
2) Just say "no" to forced equipment leases
3) Don't waste valuable hours on double data entry.
4) Speed up cash flow.
5) Think outside the box.
6) Step up to automated billing.
7) Expand your business online.
8) Consider offering gift cards to boost your bottom line.
9) Get paid even when you're on the road.
10) Make sure you get all the support you need.



The latest issue of Entrepreneur has a great article on how top entreprenuers from different industry sectors and regions "not only survived but thrived" through two recessions. While none of the people profiled were photographers, I still think we all can take advantage of the strategies they used to cope with slow economic times. Pick up the the August 2008 "8th Annual VC100" issue and start reading on page 19.

1) Overhaul the business model
2) Don't stop marketing
3) Cut expenses
4) Keep the cash flowing
5) Find the Upside.

Find out more tips for sailing through tough economic waters at



I received a link for this free download of's new ebook "Earn Extra Income In a Snap: Selling Your Digital Photography Online & Offline."

It's a great resource and includes practical insider tips for selling your images on stock photography sites, at art photography sales sites, art fairs, public events, online photography stores and on consignment. Also get tips for marketing your photography through business cards, post cards, a website/blog, email marketing, online forums and communities.

Thank you Pet Leopard for providing this information.



Marathon Press has announced its roster of webinars running in August. For a complete list of webinars and descriptions, click here.

A Brand New World: Building Your Brand
with Monica Sigmon
Monday, August 4 - 12 Noon CT
Pin-Point Targeted Marketing-Getting a Huge Return on Your Marketing Investment
with Bruce Hudson
Thursday, August 7 - 7PM CT

Wrapped in Richness
with Greg Stangl
Friday, August 7 - 12 Noon CT

Creating an AMAZING Client Experience
with Tim and Beverly Walden
Monday, August 11 - 12 Noon CT

Partnership Marketing
with Mary Fisk-Taylor
Wednesday, August 13 - 7PM CT

Expanding Portrait Lines With Technology
with Jane Conner-ziser
Monday, August 18 - 12 Noon CT

25 Tips, Suggestions, and Just Plain Good Ideas for Building Your Business
with David Ziser
Wednesday, August 20 - 7PM CT

Pricing Your Work for Profit...and MORE Profit
with Bruce Hudson
Thursday, August 21 - 7PM CT

Finding Great Clients in Any Market Area
with Michael Redford
Monday, August 25 - 12 Noon CT



Anne Geddes will be a featured speaker at Imaging USA January 11-13, 2009 in Phoenix, AR.

At over 500,000 square feet, Imaging USA ‘09 features the largest, most vibrant photography EXPO in North America with the most tradeshow booths ever. You’ll be amazed when you see all the latest products, essential tools and software at the cutting edge of technology.

Mingle with more than 8,600 industry professionals. Catch up with old friends. Make new friends. Celebrate at two of the largest parties in the industry. Find that perfect product at the Imaging EXPO. Discover the breathtaking photo ops under Phoenix’s desert sky. What are you waiting for? Register today!

Attend three conferences or workshops in five program tracks, including Business First, Essentials, Spotlight, Wedding & Portrait and Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

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