After three years, the second edition of Best Business Practices for Photographers is now out. Over 10,000 copies of "BBP1" have been sold, through multiple printings, and the book has remained a multiple-category best-seller on Amazon for three years. All I can say, is "thank you" to the readers!
So, with well over 10,000 photographers who already own BBP1, the question that will inevitably pop up is "what do I do with BBP1 if I get BBP2?" I submit that the answer is found in the last three words of both books - "Pay It Forward." There is a lot of information in BBP1, and I encourage you to pay it forward to someone you think will benefit from it. Ask that that person do the same when they have finished it. I'd really like to see people jott down their name in the book - like a library card - and let's see how many people the book gets passed on to as subsequent people benefit from the solid practices put forth the first time around. Now is the time to pay forward BBP1, and enjoy BBP2!
So, what's new in this edition, and what do those who have had an advance look at it have to say about it?
As to sheer volume, the previous book was 352 pages, and this one weighs in at over 500 pages, and jumps from 26 chapters to 32 chapters. That said, a quality book does not survive on volume alone. What's actually been added/updated?
Chapter 2: Transitioning to Freelance
In BBP1, this subject was addressed in just over a single page. Because of the significant changes that so many staff photographers have been subjected to, this subject spans an entire chapter. Of the utmost importance here, for you current staffers and non-staffers is information on how to assist the new-found freelancer entering into the community in a positive way.
Chapter 5: Working with Reps, Assistants, Employees, and Contractors: The Pitfalls and Benefits
In BBP1, the subject of working with others was just about assistants and contractors. In BBP2, we expand the chapter to include working with talent that will help you shape your marketing efforts, handle your negotiations, prepare your bids/estimates, and otherwise make your life easier all around. If you've ever said "I want a rep, how do I get one"; or "I have no idea how to prepare this estimate and handle the negotiations, nor do I ever want to", this chapter will be of great insight to you.
Chapter 6: Setting Your Photographer’s Fees
In BBP1, Chapter 5 was devoted to "Pricing Your Work To Stay in Business", but that just wasn't enough. While that chapter remains, and can be seen more as an overview now, Chapter 6 helps you through the process of setting your own fees - fees that are right for you and your community. Yes, some numbers are presented, however since the cost of doing business in a small town in Iowa isn't the same as New York City, these are tools to help you determine your own best figures.
Chapter 10: Insurance: Why It's Not Just Health-Related, and How Your Should Protect Yourself
In BBP1, We talked about health, life, disability, and business insurance. BBP2 includes explanations about errors and omissions insurance and umbrella policies.
Chapter 12: Insights into an IRS Audit
Sadly, my suffering is fodder for not just your entertainment, but also insights that might make your own audit experience less painful than mine. Though this chapter, you'll learn about some of the pitfalls I fortunately avoided, so that if you ever do get audited, you'll be the one being owed money (as I was).
Chapter 18: The Realities of an Infringement: Copyrights and Federal Court
As the ideas and plans or BBP1 were underway, one of the case studies I wanted to include was about how to send an official notice to get someone who is infringing your images taken down from a website. It slipped through the cracks, and I couldn't sneak it in at the last minute (I tried.) In BBP2, step by step, you'll see how to send that takedown notice (known as a DMCA takedown notice) and realize that it's actually easier than you thought.
Chapter 19: Releases: Model, Property, and Others
Search the index of BBP1 and the words "Model Release", or even "releases" don't appear. Last time around, I was so focused on the rest of the really important issues, that this one just slipped past me. This time, all different types of releases are discussed, including issues like trademarks and logos that appear in your photographs, that you thought you didn't have to worry about. (Hint: you do.) We even include a case study of one photographer who was sued because of the issues of releases when the subject was less than happy about how the photograph he signed a release for was used.
Chapter 26: Licensing Your Work
Just as with the addition of Chapter 6, the subject of this chapter was just a few pages in BBP1 Chapter 5, as a "licensing primer". Now, we've devoted over 40 pages to the very important issue of licensing, including tools to make licensing easier, more clear, and more concise. Software examples are shown that write licenses for you (free or for cheap), and even the wedding or family portrait photographer can benefit from clear "personal use" licenses, so clients don't think they can do whatever they want with the images (like sell their images as stock or make multiple prints at the local photo lab.)
Chapter 27: Stock Solutions: Charting Your Own Course without the Need for a “Big Fish” Agency
The field of solutions has narrowed since BBP1, and we've expanded on our thoughts since that edition. Further, BBP2 readers have a special offer from one of the solutions that is a part of this chapter.
Chapter 31: Expanding Into Other Areas of Creativity
In BB1 we didn't discuss the possibility that you would be expanding your creative offerings to include video or working on a book deal. Yet, many photographers are finding these profitable ancillary avenues of both revenue and client service. As such, we've included discussions and suggestions on these topics in their own chapter.
I am extremely excited about the extensive addition on matters like licensing your work, and establishing your fees. In addition, with the economy the way it is right now, and has been for some time, the chapter on transitioning to freelance is essential not just for the new-found freelancer, but also a good prep for the current staffer, so they are prepared in case things change for them.
Chase Jarvis, over on his blog, posted a review where he, in part wrote:
"I think Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition is essential reading for anyone even thinking about licensing an image, starting a business in photography, or dreaming of taking their photo game 'pro'."
If, in truth, BBP1 has made a difference in your career/approach/longevity in your career, I encourage you to take up David Hume Kennerly's offer to write him and share with him the difference the first edition of the book has made. I didn't ask David to put that out, and was pleasantly surprised when he did. So, send him a note, and CC me on it. Knowing that good things are coming from these books is what makes them worth doing.
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