Posts by: A Photo Editor

David Alan Harvey Credibly Accused of Sexual Misconduct

- - Working

In late December a bombshell article by Kristen Chick for Columbia Journalism Review detailed 13 years of inappropriate behavior from Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey. Eleven women described a wide range of disturbing behavior that you can read about here:

It seems that his behavior is an open secret and many are questioning Magnum and fellow photographers for letting it slide over the years.

Personally I’m sickened by what is described in the article and the thought of young female photojournalists having to endure harassment from Harvey. We need to root this despicable behavior out of our industry and I support anyone who comes forward to help do it.

Additionally, a former assistant is saying he stages his photographs which follows along with his abuse of power as pointed out by Biz Herman in this excellent thread:

Finally, there’s this Statement calling for collective accountability against sexual harassment in photography that you should read that was signed by many in the industry:

Featured Promo – Stephen Ambrose

- - The Daily Promo

Stephen Ambrose

Who printed it?
It was printed by Push Print London.
The book was printed on the fuji jet press using a process that gives a wider gamut of colours than litho.
Format: 28pp self-cover.
Size: 396 X 297mm portrait.
Printing: 4 colour throughout wide gamut Jet press both sides.
Materials: Fedrigoni Arcoprint Milk 150gsm.
Finishing: Centre singer sew x 4 thread colours

Who designed it?
Paul Belford at Paul Belford Limited

Tell me about the images?
This project is from an historical sports event that’s fought every year in the Piazza Santa Croce, Florence, Italy on the third weekend of June with the final being played on the 24th June which is the Feast of John the Baptist. Four teams play and they represent the four districts of Florence. I first became aware of Calcio Storico after seeing a film that Vice magazine had shot a couple of years previously and having spent the best part of a year shooting footballers for Adidas I was inspired to turn my lens to other less well known sports. Something where no money was involved and it was about camaraderie and passion for the team game. The players live, work in, and represent the four districts of Florence. The objective was to make a project out of two 50 minute games which was going to be difficult as I needed portraits, action, violence, details and landscapes/overviews to make it a coherent body of work.

How did you gain access to the event?
I applied for a press pass from the Florentine government in January 2019 and didn’t hear anything back until 5 days before the first game, I’d been approved, I immediately booked a flight and hotel. Unfortunately, meanwhile I had just ruptured my main bicep tendon in my right arm which meant I couldn’t take any weight with my right arm/hand but I could operate the camera and with a long lens on you take the weight with your left hand. My last minute flight and hotel were non refundable and I didn’t know if I’d get this opportunity again so I had to go.

I got to Florence on the Friday afternoon and had to pick up the press pass from the press office. When I arrived they issued me with a press pass for the stands only. I pleaded for access all areas but to no avail. I knew I could not get the shots I wanted unless I could get right up to the barriers on the pitch. I needed the position to be up close and personal.

On game day I joined the procession through the streets but after a short while I headed off to the pitch. A security guard showed me to the stands and then I asked if I could walk around the pitch. He looked at my pass and said no. I explained my predicament but there was a language barrier. Undeterred I went to the gates. I introduced myself to another security guard and again tried to explain my plight. Again we had a language barrier, but amazingly he got his phone out and called his English speaking wife to translate. I explained about the press pass and my desire to get closer than the stands allowed and after a short conversation back with her husband she told me to ‘go in and stay in, get in against the barriers and it should be ok’. It was such a relief, that moment, that conversation was a real turning point that made the project what it is. So for two days and the two matches I did the same, wandered in and stayed in and nobody bothered me. Everyone else with fully visible ‘access all areas’ badges and me with mine turned over and tucked away. In the chaos that is Calcio Storico I’d got away with it.

How many did you make?
I had 250 printed with Paul Belfords initial idea being to have them stitched with cotton in the four colours of the teams but that turned out to be almost impossible so we opted to split the print run in to blue, green, white and red cotton that represented the four team colours, Azzuri, Verdi, Bianchi, Rossi. Which is also the wording we used for the front cover.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I usually send out postcards only once a year and this is the first book promo I’ve done.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes definitely, at the moment more so as I think clients appreciate something tactile. But generally it is a good introduction to getting through the door with your folio.

Featured Promo – James Hartley

- - The Daily Promo

James Hartley

Who printed it?
Cryptic Carousel in Brooklyn, NY.
They do cassette duplication and manufacturing, and could make a custom cover that functioned as a photo booklet.

Who designed it?
I did. It’s a mixtape, had to keep it hand-written and personal.

Tell me about the images?
Block Rockers is an ongoing portrait series of New Yorkers i’ve seen out on the street, playing music through their boomboxes and outdoor speakers. When the portraits are made, the song they’re playing is noted, and later mixed with field recordings I’ve made around the city. The images, songs & recordings combine to create a visual mixtape of the city.

Tell me about combining images with sound?
The booklet functioning as a visual tracklist is what brought the project together for me. Seeing who’s playing what song brings personality to the photos and the music, like you’re walking the city and these are the characters you meet. It’s a quintessential New York thing!

How many did you make?
100. I sent about 10 out as press/promo, and the rest sold at the launch or online.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’ll send stuff out whenever I release or self publish something. I’ll aim for one a year, but it varies.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I don’t think it’s essential, nor should anyone feel pressured to, but it can’t hurt. I think it’s good to see your work on different mediums, and I like having physical copies of personal projects I’ve done. Doesn’t hurt to share that…

Featured Promo – Michael Kleber

- - The Daily Promo

Michael Kleber

Who designed it?

Tell me about the images and the promo.
At the beginning of 2020 I received an inquiry from Felix Rähmer an athlete from Berlin to accompany him to the triathlon 70,3 in Graz, Austria. I was intrigued by the idea, and we decided to work together right away.

My original concept was to document not only his participation in the triathlon itself but also to feature his preparation process prior to the event. We wanted to shoot a series of photos showcasing his daily routines, running, cycling and swimming as well as a performance test at the hospital.

Then came February and the Corona pandemic hit the world at full force. As restrictions came crushing down on us all cultural and sports events got cancelled. Graz triathlon was no exception.

At this point we had already started our documentation process and were quite frustrated to see the whole thing falling apart.

But every setback is a chance in disguise. As social contacts were heavily restricted at the time. Felix and I began a one on one sports routine and went biking together on a regular basis.

During a two month period my „urban cycling“ series came to be, was finalized soon after and finished of with wonderful retouches from vividgrey. This project was also the first time that I used “back on track“ as a slogan for the backside of my cards. I like to give my promos a personal touch, something a little more tangible and handcrafted. So I decided to write it by hand instead of just printing it.

How many did you make?
I made 500 sets with 3 cards each.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
At least two times a year. I send out postcards and booklets highlighting certain aspects of my work. Alongside with my digital newsletters you this will give you a good overview to the work I do.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
For sure. Even though printed promos make up for just a small fraction of my marketing, they are a vital asset.

Especially at times were in person meetings with my clients are very limited I still like to have a way to get through to them on a personal level. A postcard is a nice way to achieve that.

In my experience, a print on paper is appreciated so much more than another email getting lost in the infinite flood of messages.

Pricing & Negotiating: Last Minute Automotive/Portraiture Assignment

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Portraits of a community leader posing with a vehicle

Licensing: One-time Print Advertising use of one image in a single publication, as well as Web Collateral use for 6 months.

Photographer: Portraiture and lifestyle specialist

Agency: Medium in size, based in the Northeast

Client: Large automotive brand

Here is the estimate:

Redacted estimate for an automotive/portrait shoot

Fees: The agency reached out about a shoot that was to take place within a few days of the initial correspondence and needed the project to be pulled together quickly. The project revolved around a major sporting event taking place elsewhere, and the creative assets to be generated at that event were driving the creative approach and the timeline for this project. The scope was relatively simple, and they needed portraits of a person who was heavily involved in their local community photographed in front of a vehicle. The subjects and vehicle would be provided, no styling was needed, the client/agency did not plan to attend, nor would they need remote approval as the shoot unfolded. Those factors made the project very straightforward. For usage, we were told that they only needed one final image, and the licensing would be very limited and include placement one-time in a single publication, and the image would live online for 6 months. Given the straightforward nature of the project and limited licensing, I decided to include $3,500 as a creative/licensing fee. Additionally, I included $500 as a fee for the photographer to go scout the provided location ahead of time.

Crew: I included two assistants for the shoot day, based on local rates

Equipment: This was to be shot in an editorial style without any major lighting setups, and I included $800 to cover the photographer’s own camera, lenses, lighting, and grip.

Health and Safety: On most shoots these days, I’m typically including fees and expenses for a COVID Compliance Office to be on set to ensure that everyone is complying with COVID prevention protocols. In this case, considering the very limited amount of people on-site, the lack of items/areas that would need continuous cleaning, and the fact that they’d be outside the entire time, we decided to omit a compliance officer.

Misc.: While we anticipated the shoot would only take about a half day to accomplish, I included a few hundred dollars to cover a quick meal, mileage, and a bit of extra money for unforeseen items.

Post Production: I included $500 for the photographer’s time to batch process all of the images and provide a web gallery for the client to review. I added $300 to cover the retouching of one image and noted that this included up to 2 hours of retouching time.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 or reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs

Featured Promo – Daniel Hearn

- - The Daily Promo

Daniel Hearn

Who printed it?
I went with for this one. In the past, I’ve tried elaborate folding creations which I get custom made by ExWhyZed in the UK, but Moo’s premium postcards are actually pretty good straight off the shelf, as long as you do a couple of test runs to get the colours looking right.

Who designed it?
I designed it myself, which is why the design elements are all pretty minimal. My partner is a designer and always provides some guidance, but this time I just got a straight thumbs up.

Tell me about the images?
Ever since I started studying photography I was drawn to extremely concise images that contain a burst of visual information in as minimal a composition as possible. I remember walking into the photo dept at my college on my first day and seeing a framed print of a red handbag that looked unmistakably like a lobster. I always wanted to make something like that and I think I achieved it with my shaver/owl image.

It’s taken me a while to take my work in that direction and to hone my style, but I’m starting to get there. I actually wish I had the imagination and attention span to make more complex work, but it’s never as effective as I’d like it to be. But simplicity is a real challenge in itself, so I’m going to continue to focus my efforts in that direction.

How many did you make?
I made 200, but I can never distribute as many as that.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to do one per year, but there’s no particular schedule. Usually, they come about during a lull between projects. One day I’ll open up Illustrator and get started. Then a few weeks later I’ll work on it a little more. Finally, several months down the line, it’ll be ready to go having undergone many revisions and image swaps.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Occasionally they can be. They always pay for themselves, but it’s unlikely that they justify the time spent on their design and creation, for me at least. I think really what they provide is an opportunity to look back at some recent projects, reflect on the images, consider them together as a body of work, and figure out where exactly you are with your photography. If the images select themselves, then it’s a good sign.

Featured Promo – Stephen Denton

- - The Daily Promo

Stephen Denton

Who printed it?
The Promo was printed at Newspaper Club – I have used them a couple of times over the years and really like the service they offer.

Who designed it?
I designed the piece myself with image sequencing help from my friend and amazing photographer, Jesse Rieser.

Tell me about the images?
The images are from a personal project of mine called “Handmade by MannMade.” They tell the story of the unique process used by two guys who share a small workshop in Fountain Hills, Arizona where they create completely custom and handmade putters. Each step of their process is done with such care, attention to detail, and deliberate intent from start to finish. Right away I thought their story was special and it was something that I would like to capture. In an industry that is fascinated by giving lengthily scientific explanations for club design, it was incredible to watch them both make putters by hand, without any CNC milling, simply “eyeballing” each part of their creations, and in the end creating top-rated, completely custom putters.

How many did you make?
I had 50 promos made. I created a more targeted list of people for this promo due to the cost of the piece and somewhat niche content of the promo.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to send out at least three promos a year showing new personal work.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do think that printed promos are effective for marketing my work. I don’t always get responses to print promos, but when I do the recipients are often very thankful to have received one. To me, they seem more meaningful and thoughtful than sending out email promos. I have no idea if they’re received that way but a dear friend and longtime mentor of mine, Jeff Williams has always tried to instill in me the importance of print promotions and how effective they can be if done correctly

Featured Promo – Attila Janes

- - The Daily Promo

Attila Janes

Who printed it?
It was printed by Cric Print, a small printing company in Switzerland. I stage and photograph their portfolio from time to time and in return they print some editions for me. It’s a win-win situation! This one is offset printed on a special paper called Blocker, a paper with a super-opaque quality. It enables 100% opacity at 100 g/m². So I was able to use a thin paper without having the problem of the images shining through.

Who designed it?
That was me! I am a former graphic designer and art director, but I asked my nerdy design friends for their opinion. They are always up to date! Last year I founded Studio Attila Janes in order to separate my commissioned work from my art projects. Now my male Alter Ego stands for all commissioned work, while the art projects are grouped together under my name For the photographs on the promo I decided to have a strong layout grid, which starts generously and ends up smaller and smaller. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and let the pictures talk for themselves. However, I like to add a handwritten note, because it makes it more personal.

Tell me about the images?
The images show what happened over the last couple of years. I set my focus on conceptual work and still life photography. I want to interface photography with visual ideas and stories – inspired by everyday life. Most of the time I start from an idea or a hand drawn sketch. Then I do a material research and try to find the right objects. When I start to photograph I always have two or three set designs to shoot and then I look out for coincidences.

How many did you make?
Something around 200 in total. The half was folded twice into a A4, the other half was folded three times into a A5. Personally I prefer the smaller version. It just works better for me and, not to forget, it’s cheaper send by mail.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
An elaborative promo like this one I would send out every three years. It’s always a big effort, and there a postage cost as well. The first official promo I did when I started as a self-employed photographer seven years ago. Currently I am working on something to add to my invoices, like a bunch of different stickers and cards.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I believe so. I still think people prefer to hold something in their hands instead of just looking at it on a screen. It is a fluid and digital world for pictures, and it seems they disappear so fast if I don’t print them. Besides I really love to edit images, to group and re-group them and to see what happens!

Featured Promo – Erin Borzellino

- - The Daily Edit

Erin Borzellino

Who printed and designed it?
Peter Dennen of Pedro & Jackie (@pedroandjackie) did the bulk of the work choosing the photos and designing the layout. He really was a master at finding photos I forgot I created and organizing them to tell a story of childhood. The cover and title page were designed by Cody Cirillo (@codycir) using a couple of my double exposure images.

Having Peter’s eye on my work was invaluable. It naturally progressed to an editing and reorganization of my website, which I feel now better represents my strengths.

The booklet was printed by Smartpress. And I actually ended up having them re-print a small batch after I sent yours to fix a couple of problems and change to a thicker cover before sending to certain clients. Live and learn. I’m happy to send you a new one so you can see the difference.

Tell me about the images?
The bulk of my business and passion is photographing children and families. These images are a mixture of personal work of my own kids and commissioned work for families. I really wanted it to be full of images that were not over-produced and felt like true moments.

How many did you make?
The promo was meant to serve a dual purpose of beginning to market my style of shooting to a more commercial audience but still be appropriate for my existing retail clients. I printed 100 and have so far just mailed to about 70 of my retail and prospective corporate clients. I also made it into a digital flip book using Flip Snack and it resides on my website – which I plan to link to in an e-promo to a larger mailing list.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is my first printed promo and the experience was great working with Peter, so I think 2 a year would be realistic for me. I would gear the next one to a slightly different audience and will probably use either images from an upcoming corporate shoot or a personal project.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I believe this has been very effective for getting my name out and making an impression in the NYC/Westchester area. I’ve heard they have been passed around and shared and that clients are hoping that a photo of their kids will make the cut in the next edition. Even in a year with so many challenges, this has been my most successful fall season.

Pricing & Negotiating: Combining Food Still Life Projects

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Still life images of food products

Licensing: Trade Advertising, Trade Collateral, Publicity, and Internal use of up to seven images in perpetuity.

Photographer: Food specialist

Agency: Medium in size, exclusively works with food and beverage clients

Client: Food manufacturer

Here is the estimate:
Pricing and Negotiating estimate for still life of food products

Creative/Licensing Fees: The initial project scope included seven still life images of multiple products for a single food brand. Some of the shots would be individual products on a white background, and others would be multiple products in a single image with environmental elements/props. After discussing the requested usage with the agency, I learned that this project was definitely not consumer oriented, and the images would primarily be used to promote the products within the food/beverage industry. There was a chance the images could be used in trade advertisements, but mostly they would be used for collateral, internal and publicity purposes. While they requested perpetual use, many of the products would be seasonal and have a short lifespan, therefore naturally limiting how long they would be useful for the client. This information coupled with the straightforward nature of the assignment and a discussed budget of less than 10k put significant downward pressure on a creative/licensing fee. Since each shot featured a different product or group or products, I decided to put equal value on each image, rather than coming up with a tiered pricing model, and I landed on $500/image totaling $3,500. I had wanted to add a few thousand dollars as a creative fee to this, however based on a conversation with the agency, I knew they hoped to keep this under $10k, and I knew the photographer would be comfortable with this rate considering the circumstances.

Assistant and Digital Tech: I included an assistant to help with grip/lighting and a digital tech to help display the images to the client as they were being captured on the shoot day.

Prop Styling: At the onset of the project, the creative direction was a bit too loose to dial in exact prop styling needs, so they asked us to detail the rate of a stylist should one be needed, but to hold off on including it in the bottom line. I noted that a prop stylist would be $900/day plus prop expenses and marked it as TBD.

Studio Rental: This included one day at moderately sized studio

Shoot Processing for Client Review: This covered the photographer’s time to do an initial edit of the images and provide a web gallery for the client to review

Color Correction, File Cleanup and Delivery of 7 Selects by FTP: This was based on $150/image for the basic post production.

Mileage, Parking, Shipping, Misc.: The photographer was likely to have $100 in mileage/parking for the day, and the additional $200 provided a bit of buffer and would cover unforeseen expenses.

Lunch Catering: This was based on $50 per person, and in addition to the photographer and their crew, we anticipated 4-5 people from the client/agency attending.

Feedback: The estimate was well received, and we were told that there were three additional projects for other brands (all owned by the same parent company/client) that they hoped we could bid on. While each one was slightly different in terms of shot count and styling/production needs, they all shared a simple creative direction, and the images would all be used in a similar manner. We developed three additional estimates, with fees fluctuating only slightly, and with expenses based on the individual needs of each assignment. To incentivize the client to work with the same photographer on all four projects, we told them that we’d offer a 15% discount on fees and find as many production efficiencies as possible if they were able to commit to all four projects at the same time. They asked us if we could formalize all of the estimates together and detail the discount/efficiencies, and we submitted an estimate that included a cover page with an overview of all four projects, followed by each individual estimate for reference. In addition to the 15% discount, we noted that two pre-production days were removed, and a prep day for both a food and prop stylist were also removed as a result of efficient pre-production.

Pricing and Negotiating estimate for still life of food products

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.


If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 or reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs — from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Featured Promo – Kara Brodgesell

- - The Daily Promo

Kara Brodgesell

Who printed it?
Newspaper Club I decided on them after diving into the archive of newspaper promo information on your website and was very happy with the results. I especially appreciated the informative samples they sent over before I submitted my order.

Who designed it?
My husband Noah, who works as a public programming director, but his InDesign skills are far superior to mine. We had a number of discussions about what I was hoping to achieve and which businesses should be featured, and then he helped me select the final images and he crafted the layout. I’d wanted to do a promo of this project for a few years and always stalled once it came to deciding how to format it, so his participation was invaluable.

Tell me about the images?
This was the classic personal project in that I pursued it all in my free time because I wanted to be hired to create photographs like this. I also loved having the chance to shoot such a wide variety of types of images. I lived in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco when I shot it, which has a unique patchwork of small businesses and manufacturing. It felt like I was surrounded by people making things and spaces and I wanted to celebrate that. It now also feels like a memorial for businesses that once were, as many have closed or moved out of the area.

How many did you make?

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This was my first one. I’ve been fortunate to be freelancing in the Bay Area for 9 years and I set a bunch of goals in early 2020 about how I wanted to grow my businesses and find new clients – all of my work thus far has been through references. A significant printed promo was a big part of that plan. The shipment arrived in early March and I was going to send them out by the end of the month, and continue with two more over the year. Instead, we went into lockdown days later, everyone is working from home indefinitely, and the box of promos is sitting in the corner of my office. It’s a bit heartbreaking.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I’ll let you know! I’ve listened to so many panels, read interviews, and talked to other photographers about how to promote your work and I feel like, in the end, it comes down to: do it all, as much as you can. Social media, emails, printed promos… whatever may keep you in people’s minds. I certainly value printed pieces. I save promos and magazine/newspaper features that I respond to. And I thought that this body of work lent itself better to a newspaper-like format with many spreads, rather than an email or post with just a few small images.

Why did you choose a personal project for a promo?
My favorite way to photograph is to take a documentary approach with minimal equipment, in a place I may never get access to otherwise. This project afforded me that so many times, and it was a great exercise in finding shots quickly in new environments – there were no scout days or pre-production meetings. I’m also deeply grateful to the number of artists and business owners who let me wander around their spaces and ask a lot of questions. It’s one of the many things I’ve missed during this pandemic, not being able to explore and be inspired in this way.

Expert Advice: Insurance for Photographers

- - Expert Advice

Aimee Baldridge, Wondeful Machine

Want to rent some gear, get a permit to shoot in the park, or hire an assistant as an employee?

You’ll need to get insurance for that — equipment, general liability, and worker’s compensation, to be exact. While you’re at it, pick up some coverage for the gear you own (equipment again), any studio equipment you have (business personal property), and the medical bills for anyone who might ever take a spill on set (general liability).

But don’t stop there. Getting a data loss policy to help you recover work you’ve done might be smart. Covering the work you haven’t done is prudent too, since unhappy clients sometimes sue for errors and omissions. If something goes sideways and you can’t do any work at all, it’s great to have a business interruption policy that covers loss of income. And if things go sideways abroad, you’ll be glad to have an international liability policy, a non-owned and hired auto liability policy, or an emergency medical evacuation policy, as the case may be.

You get the idea. Insurance is available for just about everything and everyone you can have, use, do, or interact with as a photographer, and you’ll need some of it to be in business. Fortunately, by tailoring the types of coverage you purchase to the kind of photography you do (and finding a provider who can package it for you at a reasonable price), you can avoid being bankrupted by either losses or premium costs.


Types of Insurance


What it covers: Gear that you own or rent. Each item you own must be listed in the policy in order to be covered. Make sure to include both photo/video and computer gear. If you use a rental house, you will usually need to provide a certificate of insurance from your insurance provider that covers the full replacement value of rented gear and names the rental house as the Certificate Holder or Loss Payee.

How much you need: A policy that covers the full replacement cost of your gear is best. Some policies pay out only what the insurer determines the lost or damaged gear was worth after depreciation.

The fine print: Make sure your policy covers every cause of equipment loss and damage you might encounter, from theft and accidental damage to weather and environmental conditions. An all-risk policy will cover all causes except for those named as exclusions, whereas a named-risk policy will cover only the causes that are explicitly named in the policy. Also check the locations covered. Worldwide coverage is obviously best. Look for a policy that covers gear stolen from vehicles, too. And use a provider that can supply certificates of insurance quickly.

Look out for: Policy exclusions. These are uses or items that make a loss ineligible for coverage under the policy. Examples include things like shooting near water, with gear mounted to a vehicle, or with a drone.


What it covers: The contents of your studio or office space, including things like furniture, electronics, set elements, wardrobe items, and props.

How much you need: A policy that covers the full replacement cost of your property is best. Some policies pay out only what the insurer determines the lost or damaged property was worth after depreciation.

The fine print: Business personal property can be covered under its own policy, as part of a commercial property insurance policy that also covers the facility that you own or rent or as part of a business owner’s policy that also includes equipment and liability coverage. Look at different providers to find the best package for your situation.

Look out for: Policy exclusions. These are causes for loss or damage that make property ineligible for coverage under the policy. Flooding is a typical example. You should purchase flood insurance separately if that’s a risk.



What it covers: A dissatisfied client can sue you for “errors and omissions” in the work you produce, which can mean anything from missing a deadline to shooting out of focus to flubbing a key shot. Professional liability insurance will cover the cost of legal fees, settlements, and judgments.

How much you need: $1,000,000 or more. Getting sued can be pricey, even if you win.

The fine print: Coverage is offered with either a “claims-made” or an “occurrence-based” policy. An occurrence-based policy will cover any liability incurred when the policy was active, even if you don’t have the policy anymore when you get sued and have to make the claim. A claims-made policy will only cover a liability if the policy is still active when you make the claim. 

Look out for: Make sure you understand your coverage limits, which can be listed per incident or as a total for all claims.


What it covers: Your legal and court fees, defense costs, settlement, and judgment amounts, and other costs in the event that someone sues you for property damage or bodily injury occurring at your studio or on location, defamation, slander, or libel. Locations and venues may require you to be insured to shoot there.

How much you need: $1,000,000 or more. Again, getting sued can be pricey, even if you win, and locations that request a certificate of insurance will usually require a $1,000,000 policy minimum.

The fine print: Make sure your policy covers the types of locations where you’ll shoot outside of your studio. Also use a provider that can supply certificates of insurance quickly.

Look out for: If you work in international markets, consider an international liability policy. If you have employees or hire independent contractors, you may need worker’s compensation insurance to cover liabilities incurred through the actions of people working for you.



What it covers: Income lost due to an interruption in your ability to do business, as well as costs for temporary relocations and operating costs due to the interruption. The interruption can be an incident such as a blackout, fire, or weather event.

How much you need: The limit of your coverage will be based on an estimate of your future earnings. Your policy should cover up to a year of costs and losses related to a business interruption.

The fine print: Business income interruption insurance generally doesn’t cover income lost due to personal illness or injury. Short-term or long-term disability insurance can be purchased separately.

Look out for: Coinsurance penalties. If you purchase less insurance than your provider determines would be required for you to recover from a total loss—say, if your studio and everything in it was destroyed by a fire—you may not receive full coverage in the event of any claim. Ask about the details on coinsurance penalties before you pay for a policy.


What it covers: Medical care abroad, where your usual medical insurance can’t be used; and emergency medical evacuation, which generally means a flight home on a plane with medical staff and equipment.

How much you need: This depends on how often you travel for work, where you go, and how much risk of illness or injury you expect to encounter there. Purchasing insurance for each trip as needed can be an affordable route for infrequent travelers. Emergency medical evacuation insurance can be purchased on its own to cover only the most serious situations.

The fine print: Medical evacuation isn’t the same as general evacuation insurance. If you’ll be working in a conflict zone where you might need evacuation for non-medical reasons, look for a general evacuation policy.

Look out for: Policy exclusions. These are conditions that disqualify you for coverage. Things like being a combatant or the victim of a weapon of mass destruction are typical exclusions that you probably don’t have to worry about, but make sure the conditions you expect to encounter aren’t on the list.



What it covers: The medical expenses and some part of the lost wages of an employee who is injured while working for you.

How much you need: This will depend on your location and the specifics of your business.

The fine print: Look for a policy that also protects you from lawsuits related to injuries.

Look out for: Workers’ compensation is often required by law. Get up to speed on state and local requirements before hiring anyone or purchasing a policy.



What it covers: Auto liability for rented and employee vehicles that you use for work.

How much you need: This type of insurance is very affordable, especially as an addition to a business owner’s policy, so opt for the maximum available.

The fine print: This type of insurance generally covers only liability and not physical damage to vehicles. Make sure physical damage to the vehicles you use is covered by other policies.

Look out for: If an employee rents a vehicle under his or her own name for use on a shoot, has an incident, and gets sued for it, the liability may not be covered. If this might be an issue for you, ask about adding an Employee-Hired Auto endorsement to your policy.


Force Majeure

One very serious and timely consideration involves the famous “force majeure” clauses appending most insurance policies. Although at this point COVID-19 may no longer be considered force majeure, you will want to look into how this clause can affect the policy you are purchasing.

Ways to Save

Choosing insurance is always a question of balancing cost with risk. You want to protect yourself from financial disaster without spending more than your budget permits on premiums.  If you’re at high risk for a loss or liability, it may make sense to pay a higher premium with a lower deductible.

There are a few ways you can reduce costs:

Join an association that offers discounted insurance to members. Many offer a range of options, from short-term insurance to packages of different types of insurance.

Purchase short-term insurance. If you can’t afford all the insurance you’d like year-round, you can find inexpensive policies for short periods when you’re on a riskier shoot.

Rent your gear through a peer-to-peer service that lets you purchase insurance with each rental instead of requiring you to have your own policy and insurance certificate.

Look for a Business Owner’s Policy. These policies bundle equipment, general liability, business personal property, and sometimes other types of insurance relevant to photographers in an affordable package.




If you just need to insure a small amount of gear that you own, you can look into adding it to your renter’s or homeowner’s policy with a rider that lists each item and its value. Beyond that, companies that specialize in insurance for photographers will give you a better deal and packages that meet all of your needs. Here are a few:

TCP & Co.



Package Choice

Heffernan Insurance Brokers

Athos Insurance 



Professional associations for photographers often offer insurance packages at discounted rates, and some include certain types of insurance coverage in the cost of membership. Look for an organization geared toward the specific type of photography you do. Here are a few:

American Society of Media Photographers

American Photographic Artists

Professional Photographers of America 



Organizations that are not specifically geared toward photographers may still offer insurance discounts and benefits that will cover some or all of your needs, depending on the type of photography you do. Here are a few associations that offer insurance packages of interest to photographers:

Freelancers Union 



You’ll usually need to have equipment insurance and present a certificate of insurance in order to rent gear from a rental house. However, peer-to-peer gear rental sites like KitSplit and ShareGrid offer an alternative by allowing you to purchase short-term insurance when paying for the rental. ShareGrid also offers members annual insurance options.




Further reading:

Featured Promo – Catherine Losing

- - The Daily Promo

Catherine Losing

Who printed it?
I was super trashy and went through Vistaprint.

Who designed it?
I did.

Tell me about the images?
They are my favourite images from my portfolio over the past 3 years. A combination of editorial, personal projects, and commissions for names such as Vogue and MoMA. I’m always keen to include technical examples of my still life work with a variety of products as this is important to my commercial clients. However, I like to balance it out with more fun and creative shots as I often get hired to put my own spin on commissions.

How many did you make?
Only 10. I’ve been super selective about who I’ve sent them to, just a few art directors and creative producers at ad agencies, and you!

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’ve never done a promo before. It’s a result of my London photography rep closing down and Covid. I’m usually lugging my portfolio around London meeting people at agencies face to face. I thought mailing out a mini-portfolio could be a good way to bridge the gap.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, I’ve only sent out 6 so far and had 3 advertising enquiries.

Featured Promo – Ryan Duclos

- - The Daily Promo

Ryan Duclos

Who printed it?

Who designed it?
I designed the cards with help from my partner.

Tell me about the images?
I’ll start in the order that is posted on IG. The first image is a self-portrait I took in the Alaskan tundra on a 2-week moose hunt that I documented. The second image is a shot of our guide in Valdez Alaska on a 1-week Heli-snowbaord trip with Valdez Heli-Guides. The third image is the 2020 APA First place awards for Sports/Adventure. This was shot in the backcountry at Mt. Baker ski area. The peak in the background is Mt. Shuksan. One of my most favorite places on earth. The fourth image is of my good friend and pro snowboarder Johnny in the backcountry of Mt. Baker Skin area. The fifth image is a shot of our helicopter on a helicopter snowboard trip in the Canadian Rockies. The sixth and final image is of Mt.Hess and Mt. Dorothy in the Alaska Mountain Range. Both mountains sit at 11 thousand feet.

How many did you make?
I made 200. There are 4 different sets with 5 cards per set.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try and send out a new mailer twice a year. But to add to the mail out marketing, I started a monthly zine that I email out. The zine has new content that I shoot the month prior. This way clients can see new work and I stay on their minds constantly.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do feel that printed materials are effective marketing pieces. More now than ever. I have had a great response this year over previous years.

Featured Promo – Jackie Dives

- - The Daily Promo

Jackie Dives

Who printed it?
East Van Graphics in Vancouver, B.C., which is where I am based.

Who designed it?
I did most of the layout design but my designer, Alicia Carvalho made it all happen.

Tell me about the images?
The images were all taken during the first three months of the recommended quarantine in British Columbia. I was living alone and spent most of the time in my apartment with my cat. Taking photographs is a tool for me to cope with whatever is happening in my life so it just made sense for me to keep taking photos, even if it was just the mundanity of living during that weird time. I find photography to be incredibly healing, and it has helped me deal with a lot of things over the years. The other books I made this year included a book about my solo cycling trip across South Korea, and my choice not to become a mother.

How many did you make?

How many times a year do you send out promos?
It’s pretty random. In 2020 I made 3 of these book/zine things and only sent them to very select people. I usually sell them through Instagram and my website as well. Before that, I have only sent out paper promos two other times.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
My personal experience is that the promos I have made have not brought me any work. I’m not entirely sure why. It could be that I’m sending them to the wrong people or that they aren’t very good. I don’t know!

Pricing & Negotiating: Real Families for a Technology Client

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Lifestyle images of real families interacting with technology

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 60 images for two years from first use

Photographer: Reportage and Portrait Specialist

Agency: Large, specializing in digital campaigns

Client: Large technology company


Here is the estimate:
Pricing and Negotiating Real Families for Technology Client

Creative/Licensing Fees: The photographer came to me having never done a commercial assignment with an ad agency or a client of this size before. His previous work focused on family portraits and reportage, and that was exactly the kind of content this campaign called for. The agency hoped that the photographer could present options of real families to them using his personal connections, rather than working with a casting director or talent agency. These families would be photographed in their actual homes interacting in staged setups, that would ideally look as authentic as possible considering they were real family members. The shoot would take place over two shoot days, with two families, each in their own homes. While the shot list was a bit of a collaborative effort, we settled on 60 final deliverables for unlimited use for two years. Based on previous similar projects I’ve estimated, I had a sense that this client would want to end up paying a few hundred dollars per image if broken down that way, and likely around 10-15k/day for a creative/licensing fee. We were asked to break out the creative fee from the licensing, and I landed on $3,000/day plus $20,000 in licensing fees. There would also be two pre-pro days added in, which I included $1,500/day for. As we approached $30,000 for these items collectively, I felt confident that we were in the right ballpark, especially considering this would be the photographer’s first assignment like this.

Crew: I included a first assistant and a digital tech, each for the two shoot days

Styling: The families would wear their own clothes, so we didn’t need a wardrobe stylist, but there was definitely a need for specific props based on the creative brief and the situations being prescribed by the shot list. I therefore included a prop stylist with an assistant and the appropriate expenses, but marked the prop costs as TBD since we were still sorting out the exact prop needs.

Casting and Talent: Based on previous projects we decided that $3,000 per family would be appropriate to cover each family and their property.

Equipment: While we initially started much lower due to the photographer’s style and lighting approach, the agency specifically asked us to include $3,500/day for equipment.

Health and Safety:  On all shoots now, we are considering PPE and cleaning supplies at a minimum, and on some shoots we include a health/wellness officer. In this case, since we were still sorting out the exact families and their comfort level with a minimal production, we marked this at $1,000 while bidding. At most, we anticipated hiring a cleaning company to come clean the location after the shoot.

Misc.: I included $250/day for each day to cover miscellaneious and unforeseen expenses that might arise.

Post Production: I included $1,500 for what I anticipate would likely be about a day of post, just to organize the assets and delivery them, even though the agency would be handling the heavy lifting on the retouching.

Feedback: The first item the agency wanted to discuss was the licensing. Rather than select 60 images after the shoot and have the usage period start when the first image was used, they wanted to be able to make selects over the course of the two year licensing period, and have each image start a two year licensing period when each image was used. It seemed odd to me, but regardless, I wanted to account for the potential lengthier usage term that would be possible, and the work that the photographer would have to do each time more files were requested throughout the two years. I had a very frank conversation with the art buyer about this request, and they suggested that they had $15,000 potentially available to put towards this licensing request. That seemed like an excellent deal, so we ran with it and adjust our estimate. Additionally, we learned that the production company involved with this project planned to pay the crew, styling team and talent directly via a payroll company, and that they’d handle any cleaning fees directly as well. They therefor asked us to revise our estimate to reflect that.

Here was the final estimate:
Pricing and Negotiating Real Families for Technology Client

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Hindsight: Given the extra $15k that magically appeared, I wonder if we started too low initially. Also, it seems many shoots in these strange Covid times revolve more around the resources that a photographer has available to them (family/friend talent and locations specifically) as opposed to the actual appropriateness of that photographer for the assignment, which is a bit disconcerting. I think the photographer was a great choice for this campaign, but I’ve seen other projects where seemingly perfect photographers drop out of the running because they don’t have that perfect talent/location at their fingertips.


If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 or reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Featured Promo – Robin Westfield

- - The Daily Promo

Robin Westfield

Who printed it?
Newspaper Club, based in the UK. I had read great reviews about the work they do, and the prints I received lived up to my expectations.

Who designed it?
I did… I am a fashion and beauty photographer by trade, but also comfortable as a graphic artist with Adobe InDesign.

Tell me about the images?
As with many of us that work in the creative field, I found myself with a lot of (unwanted) free time here in Montreal, waiting out the uncertainty of the lockdown during the late spring/early summer days of the pandemic, not knowing what would come of the rest of the year.

I gathered that there would be no better time than the present to put the finishing touches to a printed version of my portfolio. I had been working on it for a few months, but, before the lockdown, I was too busy to give it the time it needed to be completed. It is a collection of my favorite photos, from personal creatives to client briefs, that also included my personal travels. It starts with a fashion exhibition of Alexander McQueen in London, followed by shoots in Singapore and on the outskirts of Paris, and ends on a personal project done back home in Montreal. I also wanted to provide a short story for each shoot, which I edited with the help of my partner Sara. My main desire was to share either the inspiration or the circumstances that brought me to each personal photo essay.

How many did you make?

How many times a year do you send out promos?
It was my first time sending out physical copies to prospective clients.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Definitely. I was very happy with the reply rate to this portfolio (far better than any email blast). I feel that the process of creating it helped me to re-evaluate my archive and the direction I wanted to take with my photography moving forward. It was an invaluable tool to revisit my older work and to plan my future creative projects in the field

Featured Promo – Paul Dimalanta

- - The Daily Promo

Paul Dimalanta

Tell me about this promo.
At the beginning of the year, the marketing plan was to edit down my email list, go to more portfolio shows, and follow up with printed mailer follow-ups. After getting all my print collateral designed and printed the pandemic hit, and people could no longer meet and no one was at the office.

My initial reaction was to just wait. To pass the time I broke out some puzzles to complete with my wife that were saved from our yearly tradition spending time with friends in a cabin in Tahoe over New Years. We would snowboard in the day time, play drinking games, and dance into the night, but we always had a puzzle in the corner for a quiet semi-social activity whenever we needed to chill.

We quickly completed the few puzzles we had then ordered more of increasing difficulty. I fell in love with the flow state I would get into while finding pieces, analyzing textures, and subtle changes of color. It filled a void I had for visual problem solving, I felt like I was flexing similar muscles as when I retouch photos or mix colors when painting.

I was also fascinated by how I interacted with the image, and learn about the world piecing together. That interaction was what inspired me to create my own puzzle using images that meant a lot to me. It also made sense because so many people that I work with Art Director, Creative Buyers, Producers are visual problem solvers, and I thought sharing this gift would help people relax a little during these stressful times.

Who designed it?
I wanted the packaging to be simple and elegant like a coffee table book. I have just enough of a design background to use InDesign and Illustrator to take the style guide my designer, Joe Lee, created for my brand to create the packaging for these puzzles.

Who printed it?
I tried several companies, and in the process became a bit of a puzzle snob. The first company left a weird metallic residue on my fingers, another company had pieces that didn’t quite snap together the way I liked, another had a varnish that was too shiny. I also was looking for a place I could have total control over the design of the box.

I finally printed puzzles using
They had a nice blend of all the things I wanted, and they gave me full control to design my template in Adobe Illustrator.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Prior to Covid I would send out mailers 2-4 times a year. I would generally shortlist people I found that opened or clicked through my emailers. This year the only promos I sent out were in the form of these puzzles. I will get back to my regular schedule when people are back in the office.

How many did you make?
This first batch I had printed 25. The hard part was tracking down people I have worked or have met with because I had to ask for an address I could ship to outside of the office.

Tell me about the images.
The image I used was captured in Lake Como while on vacation with my wife. We had just finished our gelato in the town of Menaggio and took a walk along the lakeside. I chose this image because I wanted to share that calm and content feeling I had when took this photo.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Print promos are just another tool in the toolbox. The best thing about print promo is that you have so much control over how the viewer will see the final image — the size, the scale, the texture. It feels finished, tactile and real. Those attributes can hurt you if you aren’t thoughtful about the process, but when it comes together it can be a great extension of your brand.

How did the campaign go?
The response I got was great, I got a few selfies with the box, and a couple of people showed off how quickly they put it together. One person said they aren’t into puzzles, but thought it looked great on their coffee table. So between the response, and the follow-ups needed to get all the right addresses, it was a total success, and I plan to do another round after meeting more people in the various virtual meetings I have been able to attend.