Choosing a photographer
Vintage Photo Books

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Of course all that garages in town are another prospect for a group photograph. And of course do not forget all the other service organizations like the Fire Brigade, St Johns, the Police, the Traffic Department, the Social Welfare, the Post Office, local branch of your Insurance Companies, Banks, as I said the list is endless.

You can finish these photographs in the normal team type of mount or alternatively have a line negative made and produce prints with all the names underneath.

REASONS
Some of the reasons you can give the various companies for having photographs done is perhaps if their Engineer is tendering for a job they can send a photograph of the size of their staff.  Perhaps if it is a Motor Garage when they are selling a car they can show a prospective customer the size of their service staff, if it is large, look how many we have to look after you, if it is small, imagine the personal service you will get.

The workplace is the place where most people spend the majority of their daylight hours.

It is often where they make friendships that last the rest of their lives and the employer can bond this relationship by regularly recording his staff from year to year which will of course let the newcomers see just how long various people have been with the company and if it is done on a yearly basis they will be able to trace the progress of a person from office boy through to Managing Director.

It is a tremendous record of the company being able to see how the staff fluctuates over the years, see that apprentices move on through to trades people and then move on towards retirement.

What a wonderful talking point, remember when Margaret or George was working for us, we only had three staff then and look Sam is still with us and he is now supervisor to 50 people.

What a small price to pay for such a valuable record.

BUSINESS CARDS
I still find it incredible that the majority of photographers who openly admit they are looking for more business or could do more business or admit that they are selling photographs, do not have colour business cards.

Instead they are paying a printer to come up with some creation, good, bad or otherwise, which they pass out to their public knowing full well that unless it is a personal contact that is regularly made, the card will be thrown away in a very short time.

GERMAN BUSINESS CARDS
I picked up a German hitch-hiker who was appalled at the standard of business cards that he had seen at a Pizza shop somewhere in New Zealand.  He said on this wall there were about 200 cards, he said about 10% of them would have been acceptable in Germany and he was seriously coming to New Zealand to set up a card doing creative business cards, I showed him the colour business cards and he said well of course what can I do to compete with that.

CHRISTMAS CARDS
I am surprised at the number of photographers that do not use a photograph as part and partial of their Christmas Cards.

Here we are talking of two different cards, one to their customers and one to their friends.

Unless you start showing people that Christmas Cards are available, how do you expect people to think about them.

Unless you talk to your customers and at the time you do the sitting, tell them about all the marvellous things they can do with photographs, how do you expect them to know.

DUMB CUSTOMERS
One of the photographers I called upon was complaining about how dumb his customers were for not knowing all the things that he does.

What does he thinks he has for customers, mind readers ?

Every time you point your finger at somebody else there is three pointing right back at you.

So you are the cause as to why you do not have sufficient business, you are the cause as to why people do not know how they can use photographs, you are the cause because you do not speak to your customers and they do not know what is available, they do not know how to use the photographs, they do not know what is acceptable, they know nothing so they keep their money and they go down the road and spend it on a refrigerator, washing machine, stereo or something else unnecessary instead of spending the money with you, the photographer.

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Several spoke of their commercial work dying down, none of them were able to tell me what they were doing to find new business, none of them had even considered loading up a 35 mm camera with a wide angle lens and visiting small business for a few minutes to do a few photographs selling 7 x 5 or 10 x 8 from these and thereby increasing their turnover, their list of clients, their exposure to the population, the possibility of getting family groups, all the possibilities of letting the public know what you are doing.

PHOTOGRAPHS BEING COPIED
Several clients spoke about being a fraction concerned about their photographs being copied.

A couple who were thought they owned the copyright (see explanation about copyright later) merely stamped copyright on the back of their photographs without telling their clients what the word copyright meant and what they were entitled to do with the photograph and were not entitled to do.

None of them that owned the copyright had sent a letter to all the Develop and Process houses in town making them aware that they the photographer owned the copyright, why they owned the copyright and that they were prepared to back up their copyright in Court.

Yet they complain about their customers copying their photographs, they blame their customers and the people that do the copying when it is in actual fact themselves that need to inform the client, need to set up a PR exercise and need to keep their customers informed.

All these things I am mentioning are the difference between making money and not making money, it should be of vital concern to every photographer.

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CANVAS = NEW BUSINESS
One of the Motels that I stayed at, I showed to owner of the Motel, as I was paying the account, the canvas print and the canvas stretched print that I carry around with me.

He was extremely interested, thought it was a beautiful finish, yes he could name three photographers in town, yes he did have photographs hanging on the wall, what were they of?  His ancestors, no he had not got around to having his family group photograph yet but ONE DAY he would ring up the photographer that had done the copies and arrange an appointment.

TIME STANDS STILL
I think most people think time stays still.  Most people put off what they can until tomorrow and some people are thinking of having a family group done sometime, but most people never get around to it, then there is a death in the family and no longer does it have the same meaning as the complete family.

INVITATIONAL SITTINGS
I remember Donald Jack saying that he used to dine out in the City that he lived every night and pass out invitation cards inviting people into the studio.

Now unfortunately we here in New Zealand live on a different scale, however there is still nothing to stop you passing out invitational sitting cards to the person that puts gas into your car, to the people that do your dry-cleaning, to the girl on the checkout counter.

SPREAD YOUR PURCHASES
Pass your business on around town, do not deal from the same service station all the time, if you have five service stations in town, deal from the whole five and in that way you will know five times as many people in that business.

YOU GIVE THEM BUSINESS EXPECT BUSINESS IN RETURN.
If you own a Ford motor car have you photographed to Ford agents family and if not why, whoever you do business with, they should have as a bare minimum, one of your photographs hanging on the wall and if they have not perhaps that is because they have not been asked.

AT WEDDINGS
If you are at a wedding and you see a girl with an engagement ring on, do you go over and introduce yourself, make yourself known to her, she may not know who you are, and better still she may come from your area and be planning to book another photographer, yet because you have spoken to her you get that extra wedding.

GRANDPARENTS
How many people accept bookings for family groups without checking to see whether the Grandparents live in town or accept appointments for child portraiture without checking whether their Grandparents live in town.

Where the parents do not want to be photographed with their children, but their parents (the Grandparents) are only too happy to have a photograph with their Grandchild and whilst the Grandparents are in being photographed with their Grandchildren you will naturally photograph the Grandparents by themselves and as a great number of New Zealand Grandparents do not know what to spend their money on.. .their house is paid for, their car is paid for, their kids are off their hands, they have got money sitting in the bank, so why not show them how to spend some money.  Why not show them what they can do with photographs, why not show them that it is not a bad thing to give photographs.

OPEN YOUR EYES
Another photographer was telling me that he never sells a certain product because he did not like it, others have told me that they never do photographs of a certain type because they do not like them.  Yet they talk of new ways of doing business or new ways of making money without maximizing every contact they have for making money, with their only excuse that they do not like that particular product.

WHY ARE YOU IN BUSINESS
Unfortunately when you go into business to a big degree, your likes and dislikes should have nothing to do with your business.

This is unless of course you are in a very large City, like Auckland, with sufficient population that you can get sufficient clients that have exactly the same taste as you and are prepared to pay you money to do just that narrow range of products that you like.

Most businesses in new Zealand and even most of those in Auckland can not afford to have blinkers on like so described.

You are in business for one reason only, and that is to make money, if you are not making money you are not in business, you are merely enjoying a hobby, I certainly hope that if this describes you that you have an independent income.

COPYRIGHT
To keep it very simple, the copyright, unless otherwise arranged belongs to the person that commissions the photography to be done.  Money does not have to change hands.  This means that if somebody approaches you and asks you to take their photograph, technically they own the copyright, if you approach them then you own the copyright.

This would then appear to me if you were knocking on peoples doors asking them to be photographed you would own the copyright.  If you were participating in a third party promotion where somebody gave a person a voucher to be photographed and then they came to you, the third party would own the copyright.

PURCHASE THE COPYRIGHT
The other way of course is to get the person to assign the copyright to you for a valuable consideration which of course means money, but if you sue in circumstances like that and you have not explained to your customer fully how it affects them fully by assigning the copyright to them you may have a hard job in arguing it in Court.

It could be a fairly hard thing to ask a person to sign there telling them they are assigning the copyright to you and this basically means that you are the only person that can reproduce this particular photograph under any circumstances and is they do disappear off and get it copied you will sue them,

I can not see many people putting pen to paper.  Of course if you ask them to sign it without telling them the full implications of the signature, will a Judge be sympathetic?

 

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