Responsible Social Media Posting for Photographers- Image Rights on Facebook

What are your image rights as a pro photographer after posting to Facebook?

Unfortunately, not much. There is a false sense of control over images posted to Facebook. Many people don’t know there is a download button under each photo which can be used without the original content owner’s permission or knowledge. If you don’t want someone downloading or otherwise using your photo, it doesn’t belong on Facebook. Remember, its primary purpose is to share photos and stories with your friends and family.

A large frustration comes from educated photographers who know that Facebook is arguably a fantastic marketing tool, but in exchange for using it they must sell their soul (or at least give up exclusive rights to the images posted).

We recommend the following advice when pro photographers post images to Facebook

  1. Post a url on fb (not actual image) to link to the images on your own website. This does NOT give fb nor anyone else rights to use your images.
  2. Use to share images on fb. This app was created for photographers to protect images shared to fb. Images actually go to the MorePhotos App servers, not Facebook, and therefore the photographer retains full rights to images posted. There is no download button (unless of course they purchase the digital image from you), an auto watermark option is available, and photographers can post up to 1 GB of images for no monthly fee.
  3. Only post watermarked images that are already purchased. This way you know you already have money for that photo and now you are just gaining marketing attention.
  4. Know that once posted to Facebook, you have very limited control over the image. Its not the way we want it, its just the way it is.

In the words of business blogger Seth Godin, “Once it’s free (such as Facebook), you’re not the customer any more, you’re the product.”

Your professional images are valuable, treat them as such. Facebook is not evil and you don’t have to delete your account. Just use common sense before you post and you can gain valuable marketing exposure without losing image rights.

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Your Photography Niche

What is your photography specialty? What do you do so awesome that makes people feel so great when you create their images?

If I had to guess for you, I’d say it has something to do with your passionate customer service, attention to detail and the brand you create every day. Great brands don’t just happen, they are crafted every single day. Passionate customer service is about smashing expectations so much that people talk about it.

What this boils down to is that your time is valuable. What you do when you are “On the clock” should be as focused on your niche as possible. If you spend 8 hours a day behind the computer editing, who is taking care of your clients and building your brand?

There often a guilt trip associated with outsourcing, but if it allows you to run your business better, take care of your clients better and help your make more money, you should feel great about it.

All nighters are for naive college kids. Here are some ways to outsource:

  • Online Sales can be directed to one of our integrated labs (you decide per order)
  • Album Design by rebooku or Zookbinders
  • Image retouch by Pro Image Editors (MorePhotos clients receive discount)
  • Marathon Press can really help with your branding, they have tons of services





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Understanding Hyper-Focal Distance

What is hyperfocal Distance? This is certainly NOT an easy concept to grab! It is the distance between camera lens and the closest subject that is in focus whilst focussed on infinity.

Hyper-Focal Distance

Hyper-Focal Distance

Should one decide to focus closer, you will experience an unexpected soft effect in the infinity area. Opposite also true, should you decide to focus further, the closer point will also be of no good.

The best option is to do this manually. Focus on the most distant object, then manually change focal distance to as close as possible while still keeping an acceptably sharp background.

Also try to set the focus to one-third distance into the scene at very small f-stop. However to obtain maximum depth of Field, hyperfocal distance should be calculated.
Normal to shorter lenses are great to use this technique such as 50mm or 35mm
With longer lenses, hyperfocal distances are not great (very distant) so these are normally not used for Landscape photography. In Landscape photography you require subjects close also to be sharp which cannot be achieved with longer lenses.

Please share your experience on this “not-talked-about-often”- subject

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How to get reviews for your Photography Studio site


Ok, it is a little more involved than that, but not much. The key is to make it easy for your clients to help you out. If they can write a review or two in a couple of minutes , they are likely to do it.

Be sure to have a few places set up for them to write reviews, then send your clients an email after their portraits or events.  Email is key because the links are hyper-linked, requiring only a click. The letter could look something like this:

Hey “Awesome Client”

I just created some online profiles and really need your help.
If you’re super happy with the work we did for you, please consider writing an online review for my studio.
This will help other people in search of great images.

Below are a few places where we are listed. Please pick one or two a write a quick review.
YelpGoogle, Yahoo, ETC, ETC, ETC

It only takes a few minutes, and Karma is a wonderful thing.

You Rock, we can’t wait to get you back in the studio!
Zack Wessels, Photographer

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Photography Trade Shows are Here! Top 8 reasons to attend:

Whether you plan to attend your local state shows or the national trade shows such as WPPI, Imaging USA, or Pro Photo Expo, time is running out to find, schedule, and attend photography trade shows. We know this is your time to relax, so what is the big deal anyway? Well here are 8 big reasons to pack your bags, or a least go for a drive.

1. Get Motivated. Let’s face it, we all get burned out. There is nothing like being surrounded by success to motivate yourself to try new things and get excited again about what you do.

2. Talk to Peers. What are they up to? How are they making money? You mean there are other people out there like me, that can share my hate with Pinterest? etc. etc.

3. Low Cost. Nothing is free, but typically you go to warmer places, get discounted hotels and food, and the whole thing is an educational write off.

4. Industry Strength. The photography industry is going through some quickly changing times. How do we keep it healthy? Work together. Remember the Milk campaigns? That wasn’t one photographer purchasing ads, that was the industry working together.

5. Member Benefits. Equipment insurance, discounts on drive recovery services, legal representation if someone steals your images.

6. Fun. Parties, reasons to do crazy stuff with your images, parties, food, dancing, early mornings, late nights, its just fun.

7. Education. Almost too obvious to mention, but the classes are often taught by renowned photographers with a proven success track they are ready to share.

8. Survival. With all of the above said benefits, you will do better. A motivated you with more education, better ideas, with more contacts to bounce ideas off of, your photography company WILL DO BETTER.

If you are going to earn the income you deserve for your hard work and creativity, we must act now. We must educate ourselves and the public. We must stick together, and we must support each other and the companies that support your organization.

See you at the next show!


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PMA@CES 2013

2013 CES

It was a difficult task to try and navigate 1.9 million square feet of trade show, but we covered most of it. Here are some major observation points.

  • Steadicams, dollys, and many other video products
  • Utilize the powerful computer in your pocket (smartphone)
  • If you wanted to see 10K different iphone cases, you’re in luck!

The new video products show that photographers are breaking into that market. Call it fusion, or multimedia services, it is gaining speed. 4K TVs hit the market, but we won’t be able to consume any 4k media until this summer. As a photographer “projecting” images, this may help your sales process.

Countless products have enhanced their utility, while lowering their cost by utilizing your iPhone mostly. For example:

1. Cobra Radar detection: Sensor gives info to phone, phone alerts other users of cops.
2. Remote controlled anything: Use your iPhone to drive them. They don’t have to create the remote or batteries, etc.

3. iSmart Alarm: sensors send information to your iPhone via wireless network, you know stuff fast because your phone is always on you, they don’t have to employ an entire team to call your phone, so no monthly fees, win/win.
4. Sensus: The created a touch sensitive case, allowing you to do everything you want to do by touching the back of your case. This is really cool technology that don’t really see the application for, but its worth repeating, it is cool. (your finger doesn’t get in the way of your view of the screen.)

5. iXY and Rode: Created a high end mic for your iPhone.


6. Double Robotics: Turn your iPod into a walking you! You could attend trade shows from your bedroom.



7. Optrix: Who needs a GoPro? Optrix protects your iPhone and includes a great chest strap.



8. Koubachi: wifi plant scensor. Push notification to your phone if your plant is too dry or needs furtilizer.




9. 100′s of health products that utilize your phone monitor your activity, habits, etc.


Oh, and here’s a picture of over 200 laptops that make up a tree that interact with tablets on the floor and all interact with each other.



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Square vs PayPal for Photographers




A question we get asked a lot now is whether we recommend that our photographers use or to collect money from their clients. Until recently, we actually recommended both. PayPal was best for online orders, Square was best for in person orders when a check isn’t a good option.

Now that PayPal has its own credit card swiper, we are back to recommending just PayPal, which keeps all transactions on one account, making life much easier when it comes time to pay the tax man.

The fees when swiping a card are so similar that they are almost negligible. Square is 2.75%. PayPal is 2.7%.  On $2,000 of orders, this will be a difference of $1.

For online orders, PayPal is 2.9% + .30 cents and Square does not offer this service.

Of course, if you are doing larger amounts of online transactions (averaging over $1,500/month),we recommend using a pro merchant account such as

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Remove ads from your YouTube videos

There are a 100 reasons to post videos to your website. We recommend utilizing YouTube for various reasons, mostly the smoothness of playing for your clients and the huge SEO benefits.

YouTube will play advertisements on your video by default and your competitors may be on those ads, so follow these steps to not allow them to play.

Step 1: Log into your YouTube account.

Step 2: Go to YouTube settings as shown in picture below.



Step 3: Click “Do not allow advertisements to display….”

You’re all set! This is a global setting, so it does not need to be done for each video, just once!

Now, just make sure your video has some key words such as your location and business type (senior photography in Altoona, IA for example) and then put a link to your website. The key here is to use the http:// and it will automatically hyperlink.

Now go forth and make art!

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Should you upload Low or High Res images?

When uploading images to your site for sale, you have a few options. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons. There is no one size fits all perfect solution (or we wouldn’t give you options).

Option 1: Upload Low Res Images

  • Fast (1 or 2 seconds per image)
  • Cheap (do no pay for digital space)
  • No digital backup
  • Chance to enhance photos before fulfilling
  • Must use Order Manager to send orders to lab

Option 2: Upload Hi Res Images

  • Digital Fulfillment is instant
  • Send orders to labs from any location
  • Serves as off-site storage in emergency
  • Images should be ready to print as uploaded
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Inside the Studio- October 2012

Inside the Studio- We speak to photographers all day long, and get some great insights as to what they are doing to stay ahead of the competition. This month on Inside the Studio -John Robert Williams shows us his studio layout, some equipment and how he treats his clients. He has been around many years and is a well known photographer in the Traverse City area. Here’s a sneak peak inside the studio to see what he’s up to and what sets him apart from the competition. This photography studio tour is brought to you by



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