Dec 072012

by Paul Mozell—

I just finished the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of copyright protection, model releases, and invoices for photographers.

The authors, Edward Greenberg and Jack Reznicki are a dynamic duo composed of an experienced copyright attorney and a veteran New York commercial photographer. Photographers and artists are generally not the best business people. Rather than make you feel stupid for neglecting getting essential protection for your work, they will spur you to action with humor, anecdotes and enough  legaleeze to make you feel empowered. Continue reading »

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Nov 202012

© Paul Mozell
A friend who manages a farmers market referred a photographer to me who is thinking about renting a space and selling some photographs. Although I have never made this sort of commitment myself, I have done a lot of research. Here is what I shared with that photographer—everything I can think of about successful selling in this kind of environment

Indoor fountains with lasers and synced music.

  • Do a thorough analysis of your costs, including the time you put into preparing, shipping, mounting, and packaging your work. Only then can you decide how to price your work. This holds true for any photographic business venture.
  • Study the competition’s pricing. I run into a lot of photographers and artists who are selling their work at prices that seem far too low.
  • Decide if you want to sell bare prints (shrink-wrapped, or bagged, with a backing board included), matted and mounted; or; matted, mounted, and framed.
  • Figure out what you are going to do with your excess inventory. Do you have the space to store the product in your home? I think you’ll find out very soon that you can’t sell at just one arts and crafts event. It’s just not worth the trouble and the expense. But if you do want to jump in, plan on doing 4, 6, or 10 shows per season. That’s how you’ll make some real money.
  • This is a business. Don’t do it just to feel good – although I hope you will! Continue reading »
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Sep 262012

© Paul Mozell 2012

Do you ever find yourself taking the same photographs again and again? Are you strolling through your favorite downtown neighborhood hoping to be struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration? Are you gliding through a vacation paradise without raising your camera to your eye? This happens to everyone in a creative field and it strikes the rich and famous, the middle-of-the-roaders, and quiet amateurs. To restart your creative engine consider trying one or more of the following:

  1. Visit an art museum, and after roaming the obvious choice of photography galleries, visit European Art and study the portrait lighting of the Dutch Masters. Check out the European, Asian, and American landscapes of the 18th and 19th centuries. And, be sure to open your mind to Abstract Impressionism, Pop Art, Op Art,  and Cubism. Finally, be amazed by the large three-dimensional installation pieces. For each artwork that catches your eye try to answer the questions: “How does this work make me feel?”, “What was the artist hoping to communicate to the viewer—if anything?”, and “Could I be as seemingly uninhibited as these artists?” The answer to the last question should be, “yes”.
  2. Go to your local bookstore or library and explore the art and photography books. Get inspired!
  3. Post your work Continue reading »
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Feb 062012
Lowepro Messenger AW 180

The mid sized bag in the series

by Paul Mozell

I recently field tested two new camera bags from Lowepro, both on the trail and on the street. The Lowepro Pro Messenger AW 180 is a mid-sized shoulder bag that will haul a surprising amount of gear discretely and comfortably. It’s not exactly a messenger bag in the traditional sense—a large floppy shoulder bag first used by bicycle messengers to carry packages and envelopes. Rather, this bag is more like a hefty laptop case than anything else. Most importantly, it has a very generic and ordinary look; important attributes for a camera bag if you don’t wish to attract the eyes of thieves, or alert wary photographic subjects. Continue reading »

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Jan 112012

© Paul Mozell

Induro 313 alloy tripod

The tripod is still one of the most essential, universal, and adaptable tools for photographers of all ability levels. The tripod may be the most overlooked accessory among photographers just starting out. This applies to users of small point-and-shoot models and bulkier DSLRs. The tripod helps you fix the position of your camera, make incremental adjustments to its position, communicate  easily with portrait subjects, and create panoramic images. Although image stabilization technology in today’s cameras does make it easier to shoot at slower shutter speeds, the low-tech tripod is still essential. Continue reading »

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Jul 122011

© Paul Mozell 2011

Focal Press, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc., has published a number of books by pro photographers, about photography, within the past year. These slim volumes will appeal to both new and experienced shooters. Thumbing through the stack of books for the first time, I was impressed with the quality of graphic design as well as the attention to detail from page to page. The books are printed on heavy stock, and both monochrome and color images really pop. Even the software screen captures are clearly visible.  The Focus On series parses the most important teaching points of feature-rich software products to a very manageable level. Volumes in the Field Guide series are compact enough (4.5 x 6 inches) to toss in a camera backpack for reference or inspiration when photographing on location. Continue reading »

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Jul 042011

© Paul Mozell 2011

Photographers and most creative people I know, whether full or part-time professionals, are not good business people. We would prefer to devote as little time as possible to marketing, invoicing, record-keeping, social networking, and tax preparation. Photographers want to be behind the viewfinder and not in front of a screen full of pie charts and prospecting lists. Good software can go a long way towards easing the burden. Continue reading »

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