Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Get the Goods: Missed the free marketing telesummit?

Me too! And if you are like me, you are totally kicking yourself too, but I just couldn't find any time given my day job to tune in to the 16 free hours of the Master Photographer's Marketing Series Telesummit.

No worries. We still have until Oct. 2 to purchase an mp3 audio download plus pdf outlines of the entire series. Purchase today for the special $99 price. Apparently, after Oct. 2, the mp3 will no longer be available.

If you did happen to catch some of the summit and wanted more in depth information from specific speakers, the telesummit is offering special discounts on the speakers specialized workshops. I've got my eye on that Facebook Tutorial by Rod Evans. It explains how to gain more senior photo clients using the popular social media tool. I've had so much fun these past few months shooting senior sessions that I would love to learn how to secure more of this kind of clientele.

If you did "attend" the telesummit, I would love to hear what you thought about it, which speakers you found particularly helpful or any cool tips you learned. With more than 10,000 photogs participating, it will likely be held again next year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Get the Goods: Free webinar -- taking great black and white photos

I highly recommend carving out some time to participate in this free webinar series. A few weeks ago, I got some great tips on shooting back to school photos and autumn colors. The quick one-hour format was excellent and seeing photos examples from so many of the DPA instructors, including my own instructor Russ Burden, was inspiring.

Join Digital Photo Academy Advanced Instructor John Bentham, for a FREE webinar on how to create great Black & White images. John will be speaking about his images, and a selection of photos submitted by the 60 DPA instructors from around the country. Get behind the scenes anecdotes as well as tips to inspire you with your own photography. Register in advance to view the program at no cost. You may also submit questions live, John will answer as many as possible during the webinar.

Webinar Info: Today, September 29th, 8:00 to 9:00 PM, EST.
Sign up in advance to log on and view the broadcasting on your computer moniter. You do not need a webcam to attend this event.


SPONSORED BY: The Digital Photo Academy and Panasonic LivinginHD

Monday, September 28, 2009

Get the Goods: MP3 for marketing telesummit going up in price!

Last week, the complete mp3 download of the currently in-session Telesummit Marketing series was only $49. Now, just a few hours into the 16-hour event, and the price has increased to $69!

That's still a deal considering what you get if you aren't available to listen to all 16 hours of the conference for free Sept. 28-29. Sarah Petty's "The Joy of Marketing" is hosting the Master Photographers' Telesummit Marketing series. Look for her Twitter updates at @sarahpetty

The telesummit has a recording of the entire event available via an mp3 download. Purchase all 16 hours of the Master Photographer's Marketing available as an mp3 audio download plus pdf speaker outlines, regularly priced at $99.

You will be kicking yourselves if you wait until after the summit to purchase the mp3 because the price jumps again to $99 while it's available from Sept. 29 - Oct. 2.

Haven't registered yet? Use this code:

Get the Job Done: Terrell's Senior Session

Terrell's senior portrait session on Saturday was a lot of fun. He has been the first student to actually request to have his photos taken at his high school, the first public school he has ever attended. We were able to get inside and take shots in some of his favorite places to hang out. Terrell's favorite book is "The Life of Pi," so I made sure to get some photos of him with it. It was an honor to get to hear Terrell sing, so some of my favorite photos from the session were of him singing some of his favorites. Have a great year Terrell and good luck on making All State Choir!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

This Weekend: Senior portrait session and lots of editing

I thought another strange bought of rainy, chilly weather was going to force me to cancel yet another senior session. But thankfully the forecast calls for a sunny 75 degrees on Sunday. So that means my 11 a.m. session with Terrell is ago!

I booked this session with earlier in the week with Terrell, who lives in my neighborhood less than a few miles away from my home. Terrell said he had to get me to take his photos after he saw one of his high school buddies featured on my website. The lovely Aprille L., seen in the image below), is the sister of my friend and colleague Christine Tydingco. Earlier this year, Aprille modeled for me and several members of my Mile High DPS Social Photography Club, during a club meetup held at the North Denver Photography Studios.

It was very cool to get a direct phone call from the actual senior I would be shooting! Terrell is quite the student, taking on several IB classes, choir competitions and tennis. Plus, Terrell is the only senior I've shot so far who requested we take his shots at his high school! During the consultation, I asked him why he decided this, and I learned from he and his grandmother that it was the first public school Terrell had ever attended and that he had loved the four years he's spent there. I can't wait to try to sneak into the building for some shot ideas I had: namely getting Terrell up on a stage with a mic in his hand singing, maybe a shot with him juggling all those heavy IB books or of course something with him on the court. The possibilities are endless given how many different activities this senior is involved in. I hope to be able to capture several images that showcase who he is right now.

For the rest of the weekend, I will be editing like crazy! I still have Mike's senior photos to finish (up see one of his unedited images above), as well as all the shots I took at the Bridal Workshop in Colorado Springs earlier this month. And Terrell's photos are due by Oct. 2, so I've got just a few days to get his done and turned in by the deadline.

This weekend I've also got to get some landscapes and cityscapes printed so I can get them up on the walls inside the Heidi's Deli. This time around, I want to beef up the display by having information under each photo explaining where the image was shot, etc. etc. Plus, I plan to have a separate area that showcases some of my favorite portraits to let potential clients know that I specialize in this type of photography. Whew....yep it's gonna be another busy one!

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Here is my favorite "What the Duck" comic from this week. Rock on Aaron! "What the Duck" is an online comic strip created by Aaron Johnson. I just love how Aaron's wry sense of humor reflects the current state of photography.

But the genius of his strip is the way viewers can interact with Aaron and his comic character. Folks are welcome to link, post, copy/paste, or save the strips to their own sites, blogs, forums, newsletters, etc. Aaron also allows viewers to suggest titles for his individual strips, and post photos of their own plushy and stuffed W.T. Duck working or hanging out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Get the Job Done: Lukas' senior portrait session

I just finished editing Lukas' chosen images from his senior portrait session, and I'm quite pleased with the results. Lukas was the first of my 2010 seniors to request a mountain, outdoor park area for his location shoot while other clients opted for more urban shoots around downtown Denver. It was great to be have a client introduce me to a spot I'd never visited before, and the scenery at the Lair o' the Bear park was gorgeous and filled with endless shooting possibilities.

Here is Lukas' choice for his yearbook picture. I love the bokeh, and the way the light warms up his skin and his eyes. Since Lukas side he liked some edgy postprocessing, I tried a few actions from my Totally Rad collection to create this mooding shot.

We were lucky enough to be shooting at a gorgeous time of the day, late in the afternoon with golden light warmed by a nearing sunset. We simply just walked around the hiking trails until we happened upon a spot that called out to either of us, or where my careful study of the light would net the best image. Lukas and his mom Sandy probably thought I was crazy because every few feet I would stop them and say, "Here! Right Here!" This image looks as though it were lit in studio, but it wasn't....just an area that I thought was precisely lit with a little pop of flash to light up his face. Lukas was such a trooper to jump into foilage whenever I saw something I liked, even though we both have a deathly fear of spiders!

I think having a different location made it easy for Lukas' images to stand out and showcase his personality. He told me that he loved the park because it helped him relax and feel at ease when he was troubled. I love how this shot framed by the tree leaves creates this sense of quiet and reflection for the senior.

I was so focused on getting this great shot of Lukas' smile while were sitting down in the tall field grass that I didn't even realize there were hundreds of ants crawling all over me! Hey, it's one of my favorite shots because his smile is so natural and unforced, so it was totally worth it for me. His mom was right behind me doing silly things to make her son laugh. And when I stood up, all of sudden they both started smacking at me. I thought to myself, "wow, they haven't even seen the pics yet and already they are beating me up?!" Then I found out they were trying to get the ants off me. Makes my skin crawl just thinking out it. I am such a city girl!

Here are a few more favorites:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Get the Job Done: Headshots for an award winner

Last night I had the pleasure of shooting professional head shots for long-time friend and colleague Alton Dillard. Alton will be honored on Saturday, October 10, 2009, as a Distinguished African American Alumni from the University of Northern Colorado. My amazing client Cheryl Carter is publicizing the event and hired me to take some updated shots of Alton.

The session with Alton was fun and quick, just as he requested. Alton's mother, Sandra Dillard, is a former Denver Post theater critic, and I worked with her for many years at the newspaper before she retired. I've also worked with Alton on several projects, including nominating winners for Colorado Association of Black Journalists college scholarships. Plus, Alton was almost always a shoe-in for attending my annual "Soul Food/Game Nights." His homestyle chili was dabomb.

For these shots, I used a very simple set up, including two Westcott Spiderlite TD5s, and a background light shining on some gray seamless paper to help separate Alton from the background. Even though Alton brought several changes of clothing, we both agreed that he looked amazing in his pinstriped suit. So we kept him in that and just had fun with different poses to accentuate his physique.

I never get tired of hearing clients say "Wow!" when I give them a sneak peak of my camera's LCD screen so they can view their shots. Since one of the first things he showed me when we started shooting was his class ring, you just know I had to have some fun with it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Instructor's Tip: Wide Angle Wow

Photo by Russ Burden

I hope you enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured the above image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

NOTE: There will be no Photo Tip of the next Monday as Russ be in the Tetons and Yellowstone leading his 10 day photo tour. If you really want to learn a ton about composition, depth of field, how to read the light, and so much more about the art of making great images, I strongly urge you to sign up for one of his photo tours. With over 30 years of teaching experience and Russ' passion for photography, you'll come home a much better photographer in addition to bringing home lifetime memories.

Whether you photograph landscapes, people, photo journalism, travel, macro, or just about anything else, one way to take your image making to the next level is to attach a wide angle lens to your camera. To really introduce you to the world of wide angle, I’m referring to lenses 24mm and shorter based on film cameras. If you’re a digital shooter, you’ll need to allow for the magnification factor and get a super wide, 12-24mm digital lens. Whether you shoot film or digitally, these lenses allow you to take advantage of wide angle perspectives. In this world of wide angle, there are many advantages and a few pitfalls. I share with you four that I call, “GET IT / ALERT / CAUTION / TIGHTEN UP.”

GET IT: Depth of Field - Inherent in a wide angle lens is greater depth of field. This allows the photographer to get everything from the foreground to the farthest point in the background in focus. Given enough light to stop down to f22, many will provide the ability to focus from within inches from the front of the lens out to infinity.

ALERT: In Your Face Foreground - When I run my nature photo tours and I bring the participants to a location where the beauty starts at our feet and runs as far as the eye can see, I have them get down low. This is the first step in producing what I call an “in your face foreground” shot. I want to create a photo where the foreground element is so close to the camera, it’s “in my face.” This creates a dominant foreground which is critical in making a great scenic.

CAUTION: Filter Vignetting - As its name implies, a wide angle lens has a wide field of view. With this in mind, if you add more than one filter to it, it begins to “see” the filter ring and puts dark corners in your image. The more you stop down the lens, the greater the chance of increasing the area of darkness. This is why it’s important to limit the number of filters you attach to a wide angle.

TIGHTEN UP: Close Quarters Shooting - wide angle lenses are synonymous with shooting in cramped spaces. They allow you to include everything in the composition. The wider the lens, the greater the picture area. When I photograph a wedding, ninety five per cent of the shots I take at the reception are made with a wide angle.

Take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Get Out There: Google Map Results

I just noticed something on Friday: When you type in "event photographers denver" in a Google Map result, Picture Your World Photography comes up on a prominent list of local businesses.

I'm not sure how that happened. I remember signing up for free account with Google's Local Business Center, but I haven't really looked it since then. had know idea what happened after that. One thing I also noticed though is that I'm the only business listed in my area in far Northeast Denver, so it could be something that's based on having diversity in locations around the city. I'm number I on the list. Either way, I think that's pretty darn cool!

Want to write a review about your experience with Picture Your World Photography? Sign into your Google account, look up your business and then push the "More" or you can leave it here.

Congratulations Jim Turley from Sweetwater Images for having his name in the number one A spot on that list as well. Hey Jim, if you read this post, how did you do that?

I would love to know what you need to do so that my studio pops up when you search under "Denver photographers" or "Denver portrait photographers," etc. etc. I've been spending some time adding my studio to just about every photography directory or networking list I can find online. Can anyone share any information on how to accomplish this?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Here is my favorite "What the Duck" comic from this week. Rock on Aaron! "What the Duck" is an online comic strip created by Aaron Johnson. I just love how Aaron's wry sense of humor reflects the current state of photography.

But the genius of his strip is the way viewers can interact with Aaron and his comic character. Folks are welcome to link, post, copy/paste, or save the strips to their own sites, blogs, forums, newsletters, etc. Aaron also allows viewers to suggest titles for his individual strips, and post photos of their own plushy and stuffed W.T. Duck working or hanging out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Get the Job Done: Big Prints Commissioned!

Two of my cityscapes will be used as background scenes for the Metro State News Room where the "The Met Report" is broadcast.

The Met Report is an Emmy award-winning student television and internet newscast at Metropolitan State College of Denver. It's mission is to cover breaking news throughout the Auraria Campus that interest Metro State students. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 11:30 a.m. the Met Report’s newscast produces a 20-minute news segment, which can be viewed on the Internet using this link, on campus channel 20, or on Denver cable channel 54.

Denver in the Dark: Capitol Building

Cheryl Carter, my client with the Auraria Campus Student Auxilliary Services, said the students wanted some local artwork of Denver night scenes to serve as the backdrop during the broadcasts or as the final screen image while credits are running. In the screen shot above, you can see the gorgeous aerial photograph of the campus right behind the anchors that now serves as their backdrop.

I think it's another great way to gain exposure for my business, especially since I will be credited as the photographer. But I have to admit being a little nervous too...I've been asked to supply digital files that are large enough to print canvases that are 42x72. I've never seen one of my images blown up to such a commanding size. Talk about letting it all hang out!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Breaking News! New Heidi's owner wants my photos back up, displayed at two additional eateries

This morning while walking into the Denver Post building downtown, a security guard stopped me in my tracks when she told me this: "The new owner of the Heidi's Deli said she loved your photos and wants them back up ASAP! She wants to meet you and talk to you about your work right now."

I was so shocked you could have knocked me over with a feather. But the news only gets better. Rosa, who not only now owns the downtown Heidi's location, but two others in the metro area, wants me to hang up my photos in ALL THREE LOCATIONS!

The first thing Rosa said she noticed yesterday when she took over business at the downtown deli was my photos missing from the walls. When the previous owners told me they were leaving (all of the workers walked out yesterday), I was told it would be prudent if I took my photo display down as well because they weren't sure if the space would be maintained as a deli or permanently closed. But Rosa said the deli will remain and she thought the photos gave the deli "extra life, color and beauty."

"It's why I brought flowers in today to brighten everything up! My husband was asking everybody before they left who the photographer was who had taken all the photos so he could convince them to put them back up again!"

Rosa explained her love of photography to me, adding that her father was a photographer for 30 years before he passed away. She misses having photography in her life. Plus, the other stores she owns in Brighton and Broomfield, have even more display space and are in desperate need of livening up.

Rosa told me I could hang up whatever I wanted, including portraits and landscapes, to help gain more exposure for my business! That's a good thing too, since I don't have very many landscapes and my business specializes in portraiture! She wants to put a larger advertisement in front of each store letting people know the art is available for sale, as well as information and details about each shot. And she wants to do it all for free -- meaning no commission fees and I get 100 percent of the profits.

This is an amazing opportunity! I could do different monthy displays to hold customer interest and ask my photography colleagues to showcase some of their work too! I can't wait to put up new images in the downtown Denver Heidi's since those clients have probably gotten tired of seeing the same thing since last August.

What a great day and a great blessing for Picture Your World Photography.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get the Goods: 16 hours of free marketing education for photographers

Yep, that's right. I said FREE! Sarah Petty's "The Joy of Marketing" is hosting the Master Photographers' Telesummit Marketing series at no charge. The event starts on Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. CDT and continues every hour with presentations until Sept. 29. Besides the information being free, a telesummit (unlike a conference) allows you to stay at home or the office and get info from numerous experts.

Just register here at and you'll receive an email with your dial-in number for the event. Then, pick up the phone and get exclusive information from 15 photography marketing gurus who used the skills they will be sharing to boost your business.

View the speaker's list here. Presentations I'm really looking forward to "sitting in on" include Facebook Marketing with Rod Evans, brand development with Kevin Kubota and creating high-ticket sales with David Ziser.

So what if your schedule doesn't allow you to make it to the phone that day or you miss a speaker's presentation? I'm right there with you since I have a day job that's not photography related.

No worries....the telesummit has a recording of the entire event available via an mp3 download. Purchase all 16 hours of the Master Photographer's Marketing available as an mp3 audio download plus pdf outlines for $49 (reg. price $99). If you wait until after the telesummit, the price jumps back up to $99. While the live event occurs September 28 & 29, the downloadable recording will be offered from September 29 - October 2.

When it comes down to it, my mantra for all things photography related this year has been: "if it's free, I'm there!" The poor economy has made it tough to set aside money for the kind of seminars and classes I enjoyed going to last year. So I've kept a good look out for access to free or inexpensive training opportunities such as the Will Crocket presentation held in April, and a David Tejada workshop held in February.

Effectively marketing your business could be a full-time job all of it's own. So get a leg up on the competition by attending the telesummit and ordering the download now!

An Aside: Heidi's Deli photo display comes down

Today, I'm mourning the imminent loss of friendship gained at a Heidi's Deli where several of my photos have been on display since August.

A lot of changes have taken place at the deli, and not all of them happy ones. Marty, the store owner, is fighting cancer for the second time. Marty requested I hang landscape photos in the deli to get exposure for my business and add life to the shop. Oddly enough though, the only sales I made was of my top portrait seller, "Teri's Rose." If you remember, a Heidi's crew member bought a print as a present for her husband who couldn't stop drooling over it every time he came into shop. Then, the editor of the Denver Post surprised me when he purchased a framed print as well and hung it up in his office in the newsroom. When Marty became ill, I donated one of my framed images to a charitable event to help raise money for Marty and his family. Sadly, the Heidi's deli is being sold to new owners, and new managers will be taking over on Friday.

I can't thank Marty enough for his kindness and faith in my abilities. He took a big risk to display my work, even to the extent of possibly angering his higher ups. Over the months, I noticed that many other artists asked Marty to allow them to do the same (and I even tried to hang up several photos shot by friends and members of my Mile High DPS social group!) but Marty always shied away from those offers, saying that he was doing this for me and my business. The experience and confidence gained is immeasurable. Hearing customers comment about my photos, watching all of my business cards disappear, getting accolades from my colleagues at the Denver Post and just having my work out there for people to see and know about was fabulous! Many of the deli staff are going to be leaving on Friday, and I'm so sad to see them go. They've become like family too me, constantly offering support and encouragement.

I pray that Marty and his family are strengthened during this time of need and that the staff will find work and new direction. Thank you to all of you for what you've given to me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Instructor's Tip: Step away from the car

Photo by Russ Burden.

I hope you enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured the above image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.


Over the years I’ve been photographing nature, I’ve accumulated my fair share of images made close to the car. The only problem is they look like everyone else’s shots. Unless the light is doing something very dramatic, these shots are a dime a dozen. There is satisfaction knowing I have them in my files, but past that, I don’t do much with them. To me, the real satisfaction is getting away from the road and capturing the gems that can only be had by walking, looking for, and finding the shot no one else has.

Getting away from your car ensures you’ll get pictures that are different from most other photographers. Even if you wander short distances, you’ll be amazed how the landscape changes. For instance, rather than shoot toward a fall colored stand of aspens, get inside it with a wide angle lens and shoot up toward a blue sky emphasizing the grandeur of the trunks and leaves. Find a roadside stream and then walk up or down it looking for mini rapids, wildlife, or a unique plant that my not be growing at the pullout.

A great tool to have if you wander far is a GPS especially if there are no trails and you need to find your way back to your vehicle in the dark. When I lead my photo tour to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, its use is indispensable. There are no trails and it’s very easy to get lost. Before we go out on a sunset shoot, I mark the car as a way point and we wander around the dunes looking for great ripples or classic yuccas. Once the sun sets behind the mountains, it’s essential we get back to the car with as much efficiency as possible in that the gates close at darkness and my clients wouldn’t appreciate getting locked in. By performing a GO TO on the GPS, a direct path back to the car is created allowing the group as much time as possible to shoot and still get back to the vehicle in time to exit the monument.

Take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This Weekend: Bridal workshop and senior portrait session

This weekend, I have two shoots scheduled, a bridal workshop in Colorado Springs on Saturday and a senior portrait session at the Lair 'O the Bear Park in Jefferson County.

The bridal workshop will feature several photographers from the Mile High Photography group shooting about three brides who will be modeling their dresses for us in a park in downtown Colorado Springs. My new friend and photography colleague Kristi Crosson said she was so inspired by a similar workshop I organized last month photographing engagement couples that she wanted to do the same thing with brides! I'm glad to be able to concentrate on shooting during the workshop whether than run and manage it. I think I did more directing than I did shooting!

It can be easy for photographers to get into a rut when they shoot session after session of clients. But being able to see what posing, lighting and editing techniques other photographers use while shooting the same subjects is extremely motivational and educational, helping to keep all our ideas and our imagery fresh. Plus, it should be fun to work with a model who is relaxed whether than overwhelmed (which is usually the case on an actual wedding day). I can't wait to experiment and try using my Speedlights again.

Then on Sunday, I will be shooting Lukas, another senior from Dakota Ridge High School and close buddy of Jordan, whose senior portraits I shot last month. Lukas and I were suppose to have this session late in August, but storms rained out out plans and forced a rescheduled. So far, Lukas has been the only senior this year to request an outdoor "green" session rather than an urban/cityscape one, so it will be fun to try out a new locale with my friend and colleague Sean Donnelly who will be my second shooter/assistant for the day.

Since Jordan referred Lukas to my studio, he received a coupon for $25 off additional prints or his next photo session. Turns out that Jordan's mom took the coupon so she can use it off a family portrait session she has scheduled for this fall! Who doesn't love happy, repeat customers!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Get the Goods: Free Adobe and Canon training webinars for PPA members

It's going to be especially great to be a PPA member for the rest of this year thanks to an impressive member exclusive benefit: an ongoing series of free webinars from Adobe and Canon designed to provide inspiration and tips on photographic art, technique, and workflow.

Mark your calendars:

The Art of Facial Retouching
September 21, 12pm - Adobe Series

Photographing Children
October 5, 12pm - Canon Series

Studio Management Services Orientation
October 14, 12pm

Streamlined Post-Processing with Lightroom
October 19, 12pm - Adobe Series

New Ways of Working and Seeing to Win Clients
November 11, 12pm - Canon Series

Dynamic Camera Raw Processing
November 16, 12pm - Adobe Series

FONG Shui: Harmony with the Art of Posing and Lighting
November 30, 12pm - Canon Series

Shaping Master Prints Using Photoshop CS4
December 12, 12pm - Adobe Series

Canon's “Explorers of Light” photographers, including Michele Celentano, Ken Sklute and Hanson Fong, will be sharing their imagery, techniques and insights. The four-part Adobe-sponsored series will offer tips and tricks for each step of your digital imaging workflow, from dynamic raw processing to flawless retouching. Presented live on Mondays, these webinars will also be archived for on-demand viewing showcasing direction from Jane Conner-Ziser, Nathan Holritz, Katrin Eismann and Greg Gibson.

If you've been thinking about joining PPA, now is the time to do it! Hope to "see" you at the webinar! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Growing Pains: Client can't print their senior portraits!

This week my business had to deal with an issue I've never confronted before as a growing professional photographer: copyright and reprint permissions. When the mother of one of my recent senior portrait clients tried to get several images printed at a local Walgreens from a CD I had given her, the photo clerk refused to let her make the prints!

This has never happened to me before. In the past, numerous clients have received CDs/DVDs of photos taken during their session with me as part of our contract agreement and have had no issues printing the photos. The contract clearly states that I and the client have dual ownership of the images allowing them to reproduce them on a limited basis (ie for personal use only).

Now it seems to me as if there are two concerns here: Walgreen's attempt to protect my creative rights as a photographer and my client's ability to have convenient access to products she has purchased from me. Here is a link to the Walgreen's copyright policy. Note this statement: "If we believe a photo order includes images that do not belong to the person ordering them, or that may have been taken by a professional photographer, we will not make prints or other products from them until we have written permission or other evidence confirming their ownership in our files."

While, I completely understand and appreciate Walgreen's stand to not reproduce photos without expressed permission from a photographer, I think the way they currently have things set up is problematic for clients. Not only was my verbal confirmation not accepted over the phone, but the store did not have a fax machine or an email address where I could send written permission (other than to drive more than minutes to take the signed note myself). The photo clerk explained to me that she herself had ordered senior portraits from a photographer, but the photographer gave her the prints instead. This reply is meaningless for today's savvy photography client who often want access to printing their own images at their leisure. While many of my clients ask for me to make prints for them, others want the convenience of keeping a disk for themselves for future use. I can only imagine the disappointment my client must have felt when she left the store, and I hope that this situation doesn't prevent her from working with me in the future.

To prevent this issue from happening in the future, I will be implementing some new changes to my workflow based on suggestions from other photographers who have dealt with this problem:

1) I will make a jpg and pdf version of a permission to print release and include it on the disk so it's easily available to anyone. Thanks for this idea Jenn LeBlanc!

2) Here is sample wording of the print release form that I have added to both my photography agreement and as a separate form on the disk as well as a .pdf or .doc file on disc. Thanks for this information Sean Donnelly:

To Whom It May Concern:

The bearer of this notice (“Bearer”) has purchased high-resolution digital files from his/her photography session with YOUR COMPANY NAME. Bearer is hereby granted permission by to reproduce the images and make an unlimited number of prints, for personal use only. This permission applies worldwide.

Bearer agrees that he/she may not use any YOUR COMPANY NAME images for commercial or editorial purposes, or enter any YOUR COMPANY NAME images into competition without the express written permission of YOUR COMPANY NAME.

YOUR COMPANY NAME retains the copyright to all images, per USC Title 17 (US Copyright Law).

Sean also suggested that I print this on the DVD face using Lightscribe or InkJet printable CD/DVD media. My client hasn't tried to get the photos reprinted at the Walgreens again. But I will report back the details of what happened when she does.

Do you have any other suggestions? If so, please share because I appreciate the help.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Instructor's Tip: Wildlife

Photo by Russ Burden

I hope you enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured the above image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

Wildlife photography is an art, a sport, a pursuit, patience challenger, persistence tester, an effort in research, a bit of luck, and many other concepts all bundled together. Some days offer a plethora of image making while others end with the camera never raised to the eye. Weather, animal activity, time of day, right place right time, and more all help determine the success of the shoot. Lots of variables with which to deal. This is what makes coming home with a trophy shot worth the hunt. The difference of as little as one second can take an image from being a winner to a run of the mill animal photo. Found below are some ideas to help you capture a great wildlife shot.

SHOW THE BEHAVIOR: To separate your wildlife images from the majority of most animal photos, wait for the animal to display some sort of behavior. If the animal is not doing anything, the image becomes a record shot. This type of image is not as exciting. It lacks impact, action and intrigue.

STOLEN MOMENTS: Whether you’re shooting animals, people, sports, dramatic light, etc., there’s always going to be a decisive moment where the action, expression, or gesture reaches a peak. It may be the glance of an eye, a compelling smile, or a run in full stride, but at some point, a specific moment reaches its climax.

TELL A STORY: Rather than simply document what the animal looks like, tell a story about how it lives, what it does, how it hunts, its mating behavior, etc. The challenge is to do this in a single frame. All aspects must come together to depict the behavior you choose to portray.

Take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Here is my favorite "What the Duck" comic from this week. Rock on Aaron! "What the Duck" is an online comic strip created by Aaron Johnson. Viewers are welcome to link, post, copy/paste, or save the strips to their own sites, blogs, forums, newsletters, etc. Aaron also allows viewers to suggest titles for his individual strips, which I think is a great way to interact with his blog readers.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Breaking News: Enter drawing to win "Teri's Rose"

Now that I've reached a milepost of 100 fans on my studio's Facebook fan page, the public now has a new way to stay in touch with Picture Your World Photography online! My Facebook page now has its very own vanity url!

Just type in this new username/url address at and be the first to know about free giveaways of digital downloads of my top print sellers and exclusive discounts on sessions available only to fans.

As promised, I will be giving away a free digital download of an 8x10 print of "Teri's Rose" to one lucky fan. I will use a random number generator to choose the winner. To be eligible, you must leave a numbered comment on the Fan Page explaining what you think about this image. The number generator will draw your number and I will email you the download!

You have until midnight mountain standard time to enter. Good luck!

For example:

1) Sheba Wheeler: I like the use of selective coloring in the image, leaving the rose in color while the rest is monotone.

2) John Smith: The image is sensual but elegant...

Enter to win "Teri's Rose" today. You have until midnight Mountain Time on Sept. 11 to leave a comment on the Fan Page.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Get the Goods: Win a $1,000 shopping spree at Aaron Brothers!

Aaron Brothers in Denver is one of my favorite places to shop for supplies, including mats, frames and presentation materials such as easels. I was drooling by the time I finished reading this email about Aaron Brother's first annual "Show Us Your America" photo and art contest.

Aaron Brothers, America's art and framing experts, is looking for the next great American artist. Could it be one of my readers?

Have you taken a winning photograph of what makes America great or created a piece of artwork that captures the American spirit? Then enter Aaron Brothers "Show Us Your America" photo and art contest and win a chance for a $1,000 shopping spree at an Aaron Brothers store.

Aaron Brothers will award one winner for best photography and one winner for best art. Visit the contest page to enter, rate and help judge winning entries. Contest entries will be accepted online only through Sept. 15, 2009.

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