Pricing & Negotiating: Ambassador Portraits For An Apparel Company


Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Studio portraits of four brand ambassadors for an apparel company

Licensing: Web Advertising, Web Collateral, OOH (out-of-home), and POS (point-of-sale) use in the US and Canada of up to 24 images for one year from first use.

Photographer: Portraiture specialist

Agency: Medium-size, full service

Client: Apparel company

The client had four brand ambassadors that they wanted to photograph in a studio on one shoot day, and we were provided a creative brief showing them interacting with a few props while dressed in the apparel company’s clothing. They needed two looks with three poses each for all four talent, which would yield 24 images.


While the licensing could be limited to one year, they did have broad usage plans, including potential placement on large out-of-home displays and within the retail environments (POS) where the apparel would be sold. Even though they wanted multiple looks and poses for each talent, it was clear from the brief that they’d likely use one final image per subject. I decided to price the usage by the subject, and included $4,500 for each, totaling $18,000, and then added a $2,500 creative fee on top of that. While we typically combine creative and licensing fees into one line item, we were specifically asked by the agency to break these two line items out on our estimate. In addition to these two fees, I also added a pre-light/fit day fee for the photographer at $1,000, which included one day in the studio prior to the shoot — to set up lights and for the styling team to assess wardrobe with the talent.


We included a producer to help line up all aspects of the production, along with two assistants, all of which would attend the pre-light day as well. Additionally, we included a digital tech and a production assistant. Typically, I don’t include half days for crew members, but the photographer had crew at the ready who could jump in for a half-day to help set up lights on the pre-light day, and I based these numbers on local knowledge of rates in this specific market.


While the client would provide all of the apparel, we included a wardrobe stylist for both the pre-light day and the shoot day to manage inventory, prep the outfits, and help the talent try on and ensure proper fitting. We also included a hair/makeup stylist and a prop stylist to acquire a few minor items. We anticipated the prop stylist could procure these supplemental items and just drop them off at the studio, rather than needing multiple shop and return days.

Health and Safety

We included a covid compliance officer and testing as requested by the agency. As a cost-saving measure, they asked us if we could include PCR tests just for the subjects (two of which would have parents in attendance who would also be tested) as well as the two clients attending. Everyone else was approved to just use rapid tests prior to the shoot.


The photographer had a studio in mind that offered a flat $2,000 fee for a half-day pre-light and a full shoot day.


We included an adequate fee for both the pre-light and shoot day for cameras, grip and lighting equipment, plus a fee for the digital tech’s workstation on the shoot day.


I included $60 per person for a light breakfast and lunch on the shoot day.


I added a bit of a buffer for unforeseen minor expenses and also a nominal fee for insurance to contribute to the photographer’s existing policy.

Post Production

We included $500 for the photographer to perform basic color correction of the content and delivery of a gallery, plus $300 for a hard drive. The agency would provide further retouching on the selects.


The photographer was awarded the job.

Featured Promo – Justin Cook

Justin Cook

Who printed it?
I work with Smartpress in Minnesota. Their ordering process is super simple, and they have file prep and print guides.

Who designed it?
I did! One of my best friends, photographer Jared Soares inspired me to make these zines. He makes some killer zine promos too.

Tell me about the images.
The images are a collection of my photos that I made in 2021 while on assignment, and from on-going personal projects, such as my work in Princeville, North Carolina, the oldest town in America founded by Black people, and its complicated relationship with the Tar River and climate change.

I love making zines because print is not dead, and my annual zine is a way to reflect on the year and celebrate my work and the people who helped me make it. Also, I often end up making images while on assignment that are never published, so it’s a way for those images to have life, and to see how my photographs speak to one another.

I am an avid fossil hunter, so at the end of the zine are photos from my fossil hunts in waterways of eastern North Carolina, where you can find the remains of prehistoric sharks and whales from when the eastern part of the state was an ocean millions of years ago.

For the cover, I chose a portrait of a huge old tree that is growing out of the Tar River. My friend and fellow photographer, Megan May, helped me light it as I waded out into chest deep water to make the photograph. I love making lit portraits of old trees using the same techniques I’d use to make a portrait of a person. The name “Old Growth” is a mantra for how I want to work and grow: slow and steady, like that tree.

How many did you make?
This is an edition of 25.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Once a year. I send them to editors I love and editors I’d love to work with. I made my own imprint called Tiburon, so I also sell them in my online store so everyone has access to my printed work. I also keep extra copies so I can give them to people I am photographing on long term projects so they can understand my work and see themselves in it.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I hope so! I often don’t hear back from editors, and many editors were not working in their offices during the pandemic so I have no idea if they see the zines. But I still make them because it’s a fun exercise.

Featured Promo – Eric Thompson

Eric Thompson

Who printed it?
The folded poster promo and packaging was printed by Paper Chase Press in Los Angeles, and the book was printed by Small Editions in Brooklyn, NY. Custom printed washi tape by Continental Tape in Deer Park, NY.

Who designed it?
They were both designed by me.

Tell me about the images.
The images in the folded poster are from a few projects, some personal, and some commercial – They are intended to portray a glimpse into what I do as a photographer, for hire or otherwise. They were chosen to give a good sense of color, energy, and variety in subject matter that I feel is important to represent in my work.

The photobook [Nearest Neighbor] is entirely personal, released as a book and as a gallery show as well. The work in it speaks most honestly to my personal style and viewpoint, and is very close to my heart. It was a tough project to take on from the ground up – learning how to publish and lay it out on my own while trying to retain the integrity and quality of something more bespoke and custom was a huge challenge. It features photos taken around the world while travelling for work mostly, using either a 55mm Voigtlander Bessa III 667W or an 80mm Fuji GF670, which I scanned myself on a Nikon Coolscan 8000/9000. As a project that spanned several years, my gear either changed or broke down, but 6×7 film became the only format I used for quite some time. The photos are meant to explore other peoples spaces + environments, how they are inhabited, shaped, and how often they seem so strange and peculiar from a foreign persons’ eye.

How many did you make?
For the folded posters, I believe it was 150, and for Nearest Neighbor, an edition of 300.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is the first set that I have sent out, and I have just completed a printed portfolio with an edition of 50 for 2022. I plan on doing one photobook/lookbook style portfolio per year and two folded posters per year, with the intention of finding specific creatives and art producers to direct them towards as opposed to casting a wide net.

Bookmaking and designing materials [when it comes to my work] has become something I really enjoy, I currently have several books that I would love to make – they end up coming from the strangest places, I kind of feel my way through them. It’s the one thing aside from shooting that continually gives me joy, it’s a bit narcissistic but I love looking through my own photos and creating cohesive collections. I have a deep relationship with them and the stories they evoke in me, so I feel like they’re better in a printed form, out in the world rather than on a hard drive.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
We will see! I have found that having a variety of printed material makes it more likely for something to land in the hands of creatives, when they may not want to take a full book, they are likely to take a small folded poster. My personal photobook has been effective, especially seeing as i’ve done a piss poor job of getting it out there. It has gotten me some work over the years, and for me is really great way to spark a conversation on why I love photography – also something I can speak to at length very easily.

Featured Promo – Paul Treacy

Paul Treacy

Can you tell me about your promo?

No one else is involved in this endeavour. Nor is it a promo piece. Rather it’s an exercise in focusing my mind.

I’ve been a contributor to Millennium Images here in London since 2003. However, I’ve not always been consistent in supplying material for curation, particularly during a period when I was primarily a carer to my two sons. So in an effort to produce work I needed some kind of facility.

Between 2008 and 2020 I had been making work in my neighbourhood of South East London which I put out as a handmade book called Hinterland. I sold about 40 of these and received copious encouragement from my peers. But I didn’t know how to follow it up.

I continued making work during the pandemic which was featured on the BBC. Someone who had moved overseas years earlier had seen this work and it made them homesick. They contacted me and asked me to make work in their old neighbourhood for them over a period of time. I had no idea how to go about this. Their old haunts overlap with mine so I figured I would just keep doing what I was doing where I was doing it. So the Passerby Zine project emerged from all of these influences.

As I love the craft side of self-publishing and have some design chops having studied graphics in art school, I figured I would use the tools I already have to shoot, make and promote a periodical. I’ve been a serious street photographer since the late 80s and have a camera on me all the time so it seemed like an obvious thing to do.

The plan is to gather a handful of decent images every 4-6 weeks then edit and sequence them into a tiny home printed zine. From each edit there should be some strong photographs that can then be submitted to my agency for curation and consideration for editorial and commercial licensing.

As I settle into this project I am already thinking of spinoff projects, including timed print sales and an annual best of book.

Niall O’leary, Creative Director at Millennium Images, said of my work the I “like to find mystery and menace in the everyday”. He’s right. And that’s what Passerby is all about.

Pricing & Negotiating: Photography Retainer For Social Media

by Craig Oppenheimer Wonderful Machine

Concept: Still life and lifestyle images featuring beverages and products

Licensing: Collateral use of up to 10 images per shoot

Photographer: Still life and portraiture specialist

Client: Beverage company

Here is the estimate:


A photographer came to me looking for help with developing a retainer agreement for a beverage company. The photographer had a previous working relationship with this brand, and they required a consistent stream of content for use on their social media channels. Additionally, the company operated multiple brands, and they had the same need for each brand. Each shoot would be similar and would involve a mix of still life images of the beverages, and possibly lifestyle images of people enjoying or interacting with the products as well. The location for each shoot would be provided by the client, and having done this multiple times, the photographer had a good sense of the limited production footprint the client wanted, and a rough sense of what they might be comfortable paying upfront as a retainer.

Pros and Cons of Negotiating A Retainer

Negotiating a retainer agreement can be a bit tricky, but there can be major benefits for both the photographer and the client. For a photographer, the benefit of a retainer is that a client is willing to commit to a large amount of money and multiple shoots upfront. For a client, a retainer allows them to offload finances in one lump sum, rather than having to pay for each individual assignment, and this often alleviates accounting headaches.

However, retainers do sometimes come with downsides. A photographer will need to be able to keep track of how a retainer is being applied, and will ideally be ready to present these numbers to a client when asked. Also, sometimes clients feel that after a retainer is paid, they can control the photographer’s calendar, and that can sometimes become problematic if a photographer has other clients they would like to shoot for as well. A retainer also typically works best if each shoot that is to take place is more or less the same in terms of creative direction, deliverables, and usage. A retainer can be a win/win if the right set of circumstances present themselves, as they did in this case.

Building A Retainer Agreement

The first step was to determine how much to charge for photography fees and expenses and outline the needs of the project. Based on pricing for previous projects, we knew the client was willing to spend about $5,000 for a shoot, inclusive of a $1,500 fee for the photographer, plus expenses. They also anticipated walking away with 10 images to use for collateral purposes (mainly social media). Based on that, and knowing they hoped to do one shoot a month for a year, we came up with a retainer fee of $60,000 ($5,000 x 12 shoots). Below is a breakdown of the expenses we detailed in the agreement.

  • Photographer Fees: We noted that the photographer’s creative/licensing fee would be $1,500/day and include collateral use of 10 images in perpetuity. If a pre-pro day was needed, that would be $500/day.
  • Crew: Most of the projects would just require one assistant, but I listed the fees per day for both a first assistant and a digital tech. I considered adding a producer line item and additional assistants/crew if the projects ever expanded to include talent and a higher production level, but ultimately based the crew list on what was included on previous projects. Additionally, if more crew became necessary with increased project scope, the photographer would still have an opportunity to estimate each project ahead of time and add those elements in at that point.
  • Post Production: We noted that retouching would be $50 per hour, but purposefully didn’t list a total amount of time, with the intention of that it would be quoted with each job.
  • Casting and Talent: Since this could vary wildly, we noted that this was TBD and would be based on the creative direction for each shoot.
  • Equipment: We anticipated $500 per day would cover basic equipment, and the photographer would plan to bring their own gear. If more elaborate lighting setups were needed, that could be quoted on each estimate ahead of time.
  • Styling: We noted appropriate stylist rates for this particular market and noted wardrobe and props would be based on the creative needs of each shoot.
  • Miscellaneous: We simply note that there could be items such as mileage, parking, and meals and that those would be TBD until a specific project scope came to light.

The Fine Print

To ensure the pricing accounted for actual costs, we noted that the expenses were not firm costs and that for each shoot the photographer would create an estimate showing the exact expenses based on the creative needs and each project scope. We also included a clause that stated that after each production, the photographer would provide an invoice that showed how much was being deducted from the $60,000 retainer and clearly show the balance remaining. The agreement states that if the fees and expenses go over the retainer amount, it would be brought to their attention throughout this process and that those funds would be billed on top of this retainer.


The photographer shared the estimate with the client and they agreed to the retainer fee.

Need help estimating or producing a project? Please reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs, from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

NFTs Part 4 – Michael Yamashita Interview

Part of an ongoing series where I explore the world of NFTs (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

Michael Yamashita, a far-east specialist, has been making pictures for National Geographic for over 40 years, and up until 2008, he was the only regularly contributing photographer of color. In addition to over 30 Natgeo magazine assignments over the years, Michael has sold stock, lectured, given workshops, and has made 16 books. In April of last year, Michael started selling his photography as NFTs and is currently listed on as #25 in all-time sales for photography. As someone with such a storied career that has found great success in NFTs, I reached out for an interview.

aPhotoEditor: Let’s start with Instagram. You have 1.8 million followers there. That must help promote any projects you are working on.

Michael Yamashita: It’s great having that many followers from all over the world, but since they changed the algorithm last year, if you are not posting video, you’re not getting any new followers, so Instagram is not as fun anymore for a still photographer. A year ago, I could see 100,000 likes on a post, and now a good post is maybe twenty thousand. And only a small percentage of your followers see all your posts as the formula chooses to send to maybe one-fifth of them. But what we’ve found with Instagram, and this is across the board with my colleagues, is that Instagram people are mostly bucket listers or aspirational travelers. It’s important to be visible on Instagram, but it’s never been a key way to sell anything. We have an occasional book or print sale, but you’d think you’d have more.

When I got involved with NFTs, everyone thought I would pick up sales from my 1.8 million followers, but that didn’t really happen because it’s a very different audience.

aPE: Can you tell me how you got started with NFTs?

MY: Two Harvard MBA grads approached me last year because of my large social media following. And as you know, it’s daunting getting into it; there’s a lot to learn with the vocabulary, dealing with the technical side, and all the Twitter stuff.

The big Beeple sale had just happened, and a bunch of us photographers, all well-known names in the industry, were sitting around trying to figure out how to get into NFTs, and I was the only one who made the leap, and that was mainly because these guys I met were ready to go ahead and help me promote and do what’s necessary to make it happen. We set it up like a photo agency, I chose the photographs, and they handled the technical aspects, and my job was to introduce myself on twitter spaces and get to know the community. It helped that many were already following me on Instagram. Because of that exposure, we got invited into several groups and had several whales who began collecting my work.

We were told initially that photographs would never sell as Nfts, so we teamed up with an NFT artist who for example took one of my best-known pictures – of Tibetan monks and, using AI, added motion and changing facial expressions to the individual monks and that was my first sale. It was bought by a collector, Drew Marshall, who goes by “hydrate.” He loves photography and happens to live close by, so we became friends. He is now part of my team as a consultant and is involved in our strategy.

aPE: Then didn’t you have a very successful sale on, where you are listed near the top of the sales chart?

MY: The Four Seasons of Jiuzhaigou, my second drop – all straight, non-AI manipulated photographs, took about four months to sell out. It was listed as #24 of the most traded NFT photography collections on OpenSea. And then my 3rd drop of photographs from Tibet was on Nifty Gateway in January, and that sold out in 30 seconds.

aPE: How important is marketing the work and selling out vs. the actual photography?

MY: For the NFT crowd, what makes a great photograph is not necessarily what you would choose as a picture editor who is used to seeing a lot of great photography. It’s more like what appeals to an Instagram crowd, people who just love the picture for whatever reason, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be something critical. There is some crossover between Instagram fans and NFT enthusiasts. I often use Instagram as a measure of how an audience is going to react to a particular photograph; when you see one on Instagram getting huge numbers, you can tell it’s something that grabs the attention of a large crowd, who are reacting emotionally to it.

About half the buyers are in this largely for the investment – they want to resell the work on the secondary market. Your value is often determined by the prices on the secondary market. I’ve had the good fortune that some whales have liked and supported my work. But the quality of the photograph still greatly matters – the cream rises to the top. You look at the big players, and they’re good photographers. You may not have heard of them before, but these guys are good. I have personal favorites, Billy Dinh, John Knoph, Dave Krugman, Reuben Wu. There’s some great photography talent out there. They are primarily a younger crowd; I’m easily the oldest guy in the room. But as I’ve gotten to know them, many have become my friends. The community is extremely enthusiastic and supportive.

aPE: You’ve done assignments for National Geographic, lectures, workshops, sold stock, sold prints, sold books and now NFTs. Can you talk about that progression?

MY: The magazine and photojournalism world has changed dramatically. Stock dried up years ago, and what few magazines are left are not at all the same. The covid years were terrible for photography; even with the PPP loans, I don’t know how anyone made it through the year. I had three assignments and no travel. If I didn’t get involved in the NFT sales, which I began as basically an experiment, I don’t know how I would have made ends meet. But at the same time, I got lucky that covid happened and I was not traveling; otherwise, I don’t think I would even have gotten involved. Being home afforded me the time to travel through my archive, finding the photographs to market as NFTs and getting involved with the community. Things are turning around now, and I’m traveling again, but NFTs are a bright spot for photography right now.

aPE: What advice can you give photographers who want to get involved with NFTs?

MY: I’m fielding many calls from my colleagues, and everybody wants in, but It’s a volatile market so you’ve got to embrace the entire experience and be in it for the long haul. The business is constantly morphing. Starting from ground zero is even more difficult now as many more photographers enter the space. Anyone can do NFT 101, but you’ve got to do the work to get your name out there in front of the community. And that is the issue, the marketing, without any recognition, nobody’s going to look at your stuff. Most big names in photography are not necessarily well known in the NFT space. The market is a community, and they expect NFT creators to be accessible and approachable. You’ve really got to network to get your stuff out there in front of this new group. The events where you can go and meet people are important; the Twitter talks, engaging followers on Twitter and discord, all of which can be a lot of fun. Getting your work on a platform like Super Rare is a big deal because some of the whales only go on a platform which is curated and the highest quality.

There’s been discussion about holding back your best work till you become recognized in the space as you can only mint a photograph one time, but I don’t think you can do that. You’ve got to put your best stuff forward which you can afford to do since remember, you’re not giving up your copyright. Once you become a commodity, you become a safe bet; buyers know your work will go for a certain price, and they know further down the line, they can resell it and make money back on their initial investment.

aPE: And are you ok with a market that is not image driven?

MY: The quality of the work is still the most important for me, and I make sure that my NFTs reflect my best work. Most everyone wants to make money in the space; that’s the name of the game if you’re in there as a photographer. We’ve always been in the business of making pictures and selling them. And if you get down to the basics with professionals, you need to make money in order to do what you love to do. NFTs are just another medium to continue that process; this is their moment. Some young photographers who did not have a showcase to sell their work, went into NFTs and found acceptance there and built these groups around them in which they encouraged each other. And when nobody else was buying, they were buying each other’s stuff. The amazing thing is how open and friendly these groups are to newcomers. A lot of the major money has been made by a small number of people and many have become friends.

aPE: What do you see in the future for NFTs?

MY: It’s not going away. When you’re in the twitter spaces, you meet people from all over the world who are getting into this stuff. I went to the Venice Biennale, and they devoted a whole pavilion to NFTs. Sotheby’s and Christies are involved, and galleries displaying NFTs are popping up in cities and art fairs around the world. The potential is huge, assuming the market is going to come roaring back, which everybody predicts. And it’s a big deal that photographers get 10% in perpetuity every time your work sells. That’s another major motivation for photographers to get into it. There’s not a photographer out there that’s not paying attention to NFTs.

As for the future, it’s likely that the bar will be raised collectively within digital art. Meaning, early adopters may have gotten notoriety and sales simply for showing up and making an effort. With many traditional artists and photographers using NFTs as a medium to sell their work, the overall quality of the work in the top sales category should improve.

Featured Promo – Samantha Wolov

Samantha Wolov

Who printed it?
Agency Access, sometime in 2021. Due to a massive mailing hiccup and “a series of unfortunate events”, the booklets weren’t actually sent out until this spring, around six months after their first mailing (thankfully I had extras and could mail out a second batch). Full disclosure: to my knowledge, Agency Access is no longer designing and mailing print promos, but I could be mistaken.

Who designed it?
I can’t actually remember specifics (design and production started in Spring 2021), but this was also with Agency Access. My website is organized by Standards and Deviations—more traditional, classic styling vs. more left-of-center—and the booklet was designed to reflect that division. I know their sister site, Found, produces booklets a few times a year, and I had asked if they could make one specifically for me. When I approached them, I explained I was hoping the booklet would be my “Alan Rickman moment”: before Die Hard, Rickman was working, but not as often as he liked, and only in smaller projects, but was consistently receiving positive reviews and feedback from that work. Then he shot Die Hard, and the rest is history. I see a lot of overlap between my career trajectory and his earlier experiences: under-employed, but fantastic response. I’m just looking for my Die Hard.

Tell me about the images.
I have a fairly unusual background, [feminist, modern] art history and studio art, and I’m a self-taught photographer who learned about making images from painters, not other photographers, so the work itself feels somehow simultaneously extremely niche, and yet, can’t fully be categorized. My general understanding is that people enjoy and respond to my work, but they don’t know what to actually do with me; “I desperately want to hire you, but I don’t know if I actually can”. It’s tremendously flattering but understandably frustrating. That’s why I divide my work into Standards and Deviations, I want to offer some guidance as to how to look at my work. I’m a photographer who can shoot more classic, approachable imagery, but I’m also a photographer who isn’t afraid to experiment and really lean into that studio art background; I’ve made mixed media pieces with my prints, silkscreens using makeup instead of paint, and physically altered the composition of beauty products to use them as art supplies. I can’t have one without the other, I would feel incomplete otherwise.

Tell me more about the images in the Deviations category.
I have Sensory Processing Sensitivity, but what that means for my work is that nothing is purely visual, they appeal to at least one other sense, usually touch. For me, I need to be able to feel an image, not just look at it. I didn’t even realize it was a part of my work until I showed my work at a portfolio review, and someone said he could imagine the smell of one of my images (it featured copious amounts of sunscreen). Since then, I’ve come to understand how unique my SPS is and moving forward, I’d like to print and design booklets that feature images that better represent my mental process, not just my artistic identity.

How many did you make?
I printed 200 booklets, I believe. This was an experiment, so I didn’t want to invest too heavily, but I also wanted to make sure the booklets had a chance to make the impact I was hoping they’d have. This was also all done during COVID, and very few people are returning to offices, so my plan had been to personally reach out to every potential recipient (500+ individualized emails), explain what I was trying to do, and hoped they felt comfortable sharing the appropriate mailing address with me (I recognized most of those addresses would be personal, and I didn’t want to overstep a boundary). Miraculously, people replied. I knew statistically I would only get a small number of responses, but it was enough. I’m thankful I printed as many as I did since as best as I can tell, no one received the original booklets, mailed in November 2021. After waiting until after the holidays (thinking there might have been a massive seasonal issue), I had to mail out a second batch.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to send out email promos once every two months, and in the “before times”, I sent out a printed postcard version of the same images to anyone who might not have received the email due to server blocks and whatnot. Now that RTO is hit or miss across the industry, there’s no effective way to send out printed material, but I think print mailers still have their place. Despite all the mailing issues and delays, I’d like to try this again, maybe make a new booklet once a year. I’ve always maintained that a photographer should always present their work in any medium in which it could be consumed, and for me, that includes print.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
The booklets themselves? I’m not sure yet, I haven’t actually heard much about them. Oddly enough, I think what had a bigger impact was the email I would send to a potential recipient asking for a mailing address. Those were personal. I think it’s easy to forget that the names on one’s mailing list are actual people, and those people surely get bombarded on a daily basis by photographers demanding their attention, even if only for a few minutes. I take tremendous pride in being warm and personable, attributes that are nearly impossible to communicate digitally, and the emails I sent asking for addresses were a chance for me to connect with another human being, not a title. I could essentially say, “I admire the work your company produces, and I would love to work with you, but I also recognize that times are weird, and I’m a stranger asking for your address, but maybe we can meet each other halfway, and you can set a boundary for yourself while I attempt to do a somewhat awkward part of my job.” Marketing feels so anonymous, and honestly, it makes me uncomfortable. Before COVID, I attended in-person portfolio reviews religiously, and at least 75% of my jobs came from those meetings—I got booked because they liked me (which is such a wonderful compliment and never ceases to floor me). It’s much harder to make that connection with a person now, and if we’re being honest, I’m struggling with that. But with these booklets and the emails, I was able to approach someone and say, “I made a thing. I worked hard on it. I didn’t make that many. And I want you, you specifically, to have one, because I want you to have one.”

Featured Promo – Jason Willheim

Jason Willheim

Who printed it?
I print all my promos thru Newspaper Club. I just love the Digital Mini I feel its a beautiful presentation of your work

Who designed it?
I have Lisa Thackaberry design my promos. Lisa is my portfolio advisor so, its fun for her to help create these booklets. Plus, she knows my work. We are up to seven booklets and each one gets better. Carsten Steinhausen my retoucher also helps put this together and helps with the fine tuning

Tell me about the images.
The photos for this promo are from The Race of Gentlemen, which is one of the coolest events. Drag Racing on the beach in New Jersey. And I also have photographs, From when they raced in Santa Barbara. The Hot Rods are all pre 1934, thou the engines Can be no later than 1954. The motorcycles are all 1947 and older. Everyone is out to have a fun time, but they get serious about racing. I have realized that all my personal projects are of people that do something because they have a passion for it. It’s not about money. Its for the love of, in this case, being the fastest on the beach

How many did you make?
I usually print out 50, but its super easy and super fast to have more printed if I need them, as I tend to hand them out when I meet with people. I use to mail them, but since Covid and people working at home and not wanting to give out their home address, I also have this set as an email version and then when we meet, they get the hard copy.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
It varies how many promos I create each year. Each promo relates to a portfolio on my web site I am waiting to make three promos, but one will happen, when its finished being retouched and two will happen when the film they are related to is released.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
With more people working from home, I feel email versions of these booklets have been more effective these last two years, but I will continue to create these booklets, as I love to give these Away to clients. I feel that the Digital Mini is a beautiful way to show your work and its not really that expensive and everyone loves them. And after giving this promo to a client, they asked if I would show eight prints in the Agency gallery. And everyone in the agency has been really excited about seeing my work and a few in the agency are looking forward to going to the next Race of Gentlemen.

Featured Promo – Clay Cook

Clay Cook

Who printed it?
Fireball printed the interior pages and Bindery Partners printed the cover as well as assembled and bound the books in a cloth-wrapped, while foil-stamped o-ring bind. We originally had several of the pages die-cut to resemble “ripped paper” which was incredible, but ultimately we had to change printers due to the quality of the cover.

Who designed it?
While I came up with the idea, most of the credit goes to Lindsay Thompson with Wonderful Machine who designed the book. Honore Brown developed the edit of images.

Tell me about the images.
This project was for a start-up tequila brand “Celaya Tequila”. The project took our team to Jalisco, Mexico and Los Angeles, California. Celaya is a startup spirit brand that unites brothers and retired NFL athletes Ryan & Matt Kalil. The goal of the tequila brand is to pay homage to their Mexican ancestry. It all began with their grandmother and the stories of her grandfather, Jose Celaya, who crafted his own homemade tequila on his Sonora Ranch in the late 1800s. Our job was to document Ryan and Matt on the ground as they walk through the process of harvesting and distilling agave in Tequila. They not only needed portrait and documentary photography of their experience, but also still life photography of their final product.

How many did you make?
We printed 125 sketchbooks. All were sent to advertising agencies in the United States.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
It depends on the promo, but I tend to send out one big promo a year. However, this year I intend to send out two. We are already working on the new promo: a full-size poster scroll.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do, but it can be a shot in the dark without and analytical data. That said, I’ve received many calls over the years with compliments about the promos. I think it can be an excellent way to stick into peoples minds and find a VIP spot in their rolodex. I have converted leads from a big promo push to actual awarded bids.

Featured Promo – David Burlacu

David Burlacu

Tell me about the promo.

Lindsay Bevington who’s an amazing friend and supporter started a printing company about a year ago and we’ve been flirting with the idea of printing a book for this project. I made two other books before this using Blurb but they weren’t really mail friendly (totally my fault, blurb does a good job at printing materials) – the first one was 12in x 12in and the second one was over 100 pages. Neither of these attributes make them ‘promo’ friendly. The printing company wasn’t going in a right direction so she decided to close it down. But before that she really wanted to make something for me. That was the catalyst to put this thing together.

I did the design myself – I wanted it to feel punk and ziney so I used 4×6 white cards, printed the images on my Canon Selphy printer, wrote the copy with a label maker and put it all together with tape. Won’t spend too much time talking about the carpal tunnel I got from the label maker haha. But as the first promo I ever made I wanted it to be as personal as it can get. I’m basically introducing myself to a bunch of people and I want to be as authentic as possible.
Which leads us to the images – when I was in the process of selecting which images will make the cut and which won’t I had my friend Alessia over to help with the process – anyone can tell you it’s not fun to axe your own creations by yourself. So we had 2 walls filled with images, green and red stickers and some negronis. A few hours in she looks at me and says ‘you know I think this is the most comprehensive self portrait I’ve ever seen’. I knew then we were on the right track.

I started shooting these portraits a few years ago mostly because work was slow and I needed to do something to keep me from going nuts. I was living in this place that I still doubt was zoned for residential living. But it did have a private terrace which in New York is basically unheard of. To be fair you had to jump out of my window to get on it. Still not sure if I was supposed to be there. If my landlord is reading this – sorry not sorry.

Most of these guys are people I’ve met in my years living in New York. As the project grew more people were asking to be shot which gave me an opportunity to meet and swap stories with interesting characters. You get pretty chummy when you realize you have to jump out my bedroom window to ‘get to set’.

I kept the project going when I moved from that apartment to the new one & now I moved somewhere else with a killer courtyard that is off limits but I’m hoping I can weasel myself into shooting there as well.

I made about 80 copies and sent out about 30-40 so far.

This is a new endeavor for me so I can’t really tell if it’s going to work or not. I have gotten good feedback from the book and I hope it leads to some jobs but I’m still in the ‘planting seeds’ part of the journey. As a rule of thumb, and this is a direct quote from all my friends that have been working in the industry for years ‘ any way you can get eyeballs on your work is important’. You kind of have to do it all, man – social, print, linkedin, instagram, shouting it from the rooftops whatever is considered a platform. Survival of the loudest, right?!

Featured Promo – Jim Sullivan

Jim Sullivan

Who printed it?
Smartpress printed it.

Who designed it?
Steve Secviar at Less + More in San Diego.

Tell me about the images.
The images I chose to print were ones that I thought might capture my audience within the food and beverage industry. My audience being art directors, editors and even specific restaurants.

How many did you make?
I ended up printing 100 promos based on cost.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to send out twice a year. I will be mailing out promos again towards the fall of this year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
In terms of feedback/response from using printed promos, I’ve yet to determine if it’s beneficial. I mean I guess it would be hard to qualitatively determine if the printed promos are helpful, especially with such a strong social media presence these days. But I think most people like having something tangible so I’m hoping that someone who sees it will take into consideration the time and effort that went into making them.

NFTs Part 3 – The 10k Project

(Part 2 is here)

If you barely dip your toes in the NFT community, you will encounter Punks and Apes. You will see many influential people using them as their PFP (profile picture or picture for proof), and there’s a never-ending discussion about their floor price and utility. The Punks are 10,000 computer-generated pixel art pictures of… punks. They were created by larva labs in 2017 and given away for free to anyone who wanted to claim one. The lowest price to buy a punk right now is $122,808 (floor price) and the total lifetime sales of punks changing hands are nearly 2 billion dollars. Apes are BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club), another 10,000-piece NFT collection of computer-generated cartoon primates created in 2021 that initially sold for 0.08 ETH ($190 at the time) and are now worth $233,209. The Apes are famous for their utility which means owners get perks (coins, dogs, mutants, land), and they own the IP (Intellectual property) to their drawing. These extremely successful NFT projects have spawned thousands of copycats, and this is also where you will find most of the scams taking place. Projects where the founder disappears with all the money or just pump-and-dump behavior are rampant with 10k and PFP.

In January of this year, @fellowshiptrust announced they were bringing the world’s first-ever 10K+ photography NFT collection (Note: when this tweet first appeared, the link did not have the photographer’s name) to the blockchain.

Given the action around Punks and Apes, this looked like an excellent idea for the photography community. Fellowship seemed to know this was an opportunity to make history, and project information was filled with hype: “The release of this project will mark a turning point in the history of photography.” In addition to the hyperbolic writing, there is a process for selling the NFTs to achieve maximum FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), where VIPs were given the opportunity to pre-mint the NFT (this is called a whitelist) before the artist behind the project was even revealed. It’s common for 10k NFT projects to work with VIPs and create whitelists for early access because it all generates a feeling of exclusivity. When a project is popular and sells out, this guarantees an increase in price once it becomes available to the public, similar to what happens with IPOs on the stock market (oversubscribed). The people who got in early can flip the NFT for a profit.

If that weren’t enough, project creators taking a cue from Punks, build rarity into the NFTs and withhold revealing what you minted until a project has a chance to sell out. You have a one in ten thousand chance of getting something rare at the reveal, and that lottery-like feeling drives the floor price of collections. Photography archives have this already built-in because a small percentage of images are popular or appear in important collections or books.

So, once Fellowship assembled the whitelists and images were pre-minted (with a placeholder) it was revealed that the photographer was August Sander, and the public was allowed to mint any remaining images. The entire collection sold out in minutes. A big reason for the project’s popularity had to do with the price. It was offered for free “just gas”. This means you don’t pay a fee to mint, just the gas fee for the NFT to be written to the Ethereum blockchain (usually around $20).

As soon as I found out it was August Sander, I went to the project website and read up on the collection. August’s great-grandson Julian Sander had put the project together to create a permanent archive on the blockchain where I was told information about the images could be added by the community. I liked the idea of utility and owning a piece of the archive and the possibility that I could interact with other photography fans and even the estate because of my ownership. I also thought about winning a valuable August Sander NFT that I could flip for a premium.

So I went on and bought one, paying the lowest available price of 0.042 ETH ($98 at the time plus $50 for gas).

Then the reveal happened, and not only did I not get a famous image mine was this terrible scan:

Whoever got the well-known bricklayer image flipped it for 3 ETH ($10,000).

The secondary sales continued to climb and surpassed 400 ETH.

Then in mid-march, the entire collection was taken down from At first, people thought it was a glitch of some type. Then on March 19, Julian Sander released a statement confirming what many were already discovering with simple google searches: “It was suspended because a third party, which claims to have certain rights in August Sanders’ photographs, submitted a complaint to OpenSea. I believe the complaint is not valid, and I am liaising with my legal advisors to get this resolved as soon as possible, and for the collection to be reinstated on the platform. This is my top priority right now.”

That 3rd party is SK Stiftung Kultur, and if you google “August Sander Estate,” you will see that back in 2017 Julian and SK Stiftung Kultur clashed over ownership of the archive.

How is it possible nobody mentioned this? Many well-known people championed this NFT release, including Christie’s own Darius Himes, who was reportedly involved in bringing the project to @fellowshiptrust and interviewed Julian on his Instagram page ( Still, nobody thought to bring up who owns the actual copyright to the estate?

And this is the nut of the problem with NFTs and this project in particular. Nobody seems to give a shit about copyright. When the project was removed from everyone involved simply said the project is still on the blockchain and is visible on marketplaces like, where DMCA takedown notices have no effect. A central tenet behind NFTs is decentralization, so there’s nobody to complain to when your images are stolen. In one of the twitter spaces, I listened to Julian say that photographers have too much power and the DMCA is a problem. He went on to say that placing the collection on the blockchain was fair use arguing that owning a print gives you the right to sell it as an NFT (this changes the nature of NFTs from artist issued originals to eBay for anything in your possession). The members of Fellowship seem to agree with this sentiment as nobody is concerned that this is a legitimate copyright violation and they shouldn’t have put the project to live forever on the blockchain in the first place.

One other aspect of the project being glossed over is the claim that the NFTs were given away for free. Yes, you could mint one with no fee given to Julian or Fellowship, but when I asked Alejandro Cartagena, founding member of Fellowship Trust specifics of the project, I was told that they kept 4.5% of the 10,395 images. Also, 10% of the secondary sales (over $1,000,000) go to Julian (7.5%) and Fellowship (2.5%). In online conversations, I’ve listened to Julian talk about wanting to profit from the work and that the money will determine its value. Anyone saying the project was given away for free is being disingenuous. Not to mention that involvement in a historic project like this has enormous value beyond simply making money off it.

Finally, one aspect of NFTs that I absolutely loathe is the idea that as Alejandro put it to me, everything is “publicly accessible on the blockchain for anyone to read and verify.” When I asked him about randomization process or people minting then selling the NFT’s on the secondary market, I’m told it’s all visible online. The truth is that most people own multiple wallets where they move NFTs and ETH around so you can’t track them. Finding out who owns all the different wallets and following the path from one to another to the marketplace is quite tricky to verify. There are bots buying and selling, people selling to themselves, and money being traded behind the scenes, making it impossible to know what’s real. The transparency of NFTs is a joke.

I’m not sure why everyone involved in this project fumbled so hard. People associated with it refuse to admit they knew about SK Stiftung Kultur before the takedown notice was issued, and all seem perfectly complacent with the idea that the blockchain doesn’t care either. Overall, I’m just disappointed that my NFT purchase doesn’t give me access to the actual August Sander Estate, and instead I’m stuck with Julian, who, as the Great Grandson of the famous photographer, seems bitter about where the archive ended up.

Supporting Photographers With NFTs

Part 2 – Buying an NFT

Once you are up to speed on the terminology, licensing and have converted fiat (government-issued currency) into ETH, you can purchase your first NFT (Part 1 of my NFT series is here).

If you spend a few seconds on Twitter anymore, you will see streams of tweets from photographers in various stages of promoting their work in the NFT marketplace. From what I’ve seen, there’s a progression to how most photographers get involved for the first time and continue to promote their work on Twitter:

  1. Talking about your work and posting images on Twitter. Engaging with collectors and influential photographers by retweeting and commenting on their tweets.
  2. Getting an invite to a platform like and setting up your profile.
  3. Creating a collection and “minting” a number of pieces inside that collection.
  4. Tweeting out the availability, then doing a long thread on the collection or each piece to let collectors know the history behind it or your motivations for creating it.
  5. Starting a twitter spaces to talk about the work.
  6. When someone places a bid letting everyone know an auction has begun (when and NFT is bought there’s a 24 hour period where someone can outbid you to encourage a bidding war).
  7. Tweeting out a sale!
  8. Buying NFT’s from other photographers with your proceeds.
  9. Congratulating other photographers on a sale.
  10. Periodic tweeting of the number left in the collection or secondary sales that happen.
  11. Tweeting out a list of photographers you admire, have collected, or interact with.

So I was scrolling when I saw this:

Thought it was a fantastic image so I started following Adam and a week later this popped up on my feed:

I decided immediately that this was the photo I wanted to collect, and after I got my wallet and ETH situated (which took a week), I bought my first NFT. The beauty of the whole transaction was that I was able to find a photographer whose work I liked (I did visit his website several times, and he had a project and image that spoke to me, and I could support that photographer with cash immediately. In exchange, I got a photo for my digital wallet that I can also display in an online gallery or digital picture frame. The ease with which it happened (once I had a wallet loaded with ETH)  made me think this is a pretty great way to support photographers.

Adam reached out to me after the sale to see if I wanted to know more about his work, so I asked if I could interview him for this article:

Adam moved to Brooklyn, NY, from East London 6 years ago and started wandering the streets every day, taking pictures with a film camera his dad gifted him. He immersed himself in the street photography scene and was a part of the collective NYCSPC for a while, but then the pandemic hit, and suddenly, there was nobody on the street to make pictures of.

Influenced by the subculture documentary work of Louis Theroux, notably his series Weird Weekends, Adam had visited various niche subculture events and conventions, beginning to explore the stranger sides of the American culture. Adam said, “at some point, a lot of street photography started to look the same to me, and I wanted to reestablish my photographic Identity. I moved away from the well-trodden paths of midtown Manhattan and began making work that reflects how weird the world is in small moments hidden in the every day, right under our noses, in NYC and across the USA”.”

Adam started sharing his work on Instagram, posting regularly, and at first found a lot of community there, but he says, “it started doing terrible things to my mental health.” The number of likes a photo got warped his view of his work, but he said, “it’s a load of shit because an algorithm that doesn’t understand photography controls what gets likes and what doesn’t.”

Sometime in 2020, his friend Zak Krevitt told him he should be making NFTs. Adam had invested a bit in crypto and saw the headlines of artists like Beepel selling work for millions of dollars, then Zach sold a trans liberation march piece (all for charity) for 17 ETH. Around the same time, Adam photographed the capital riot and took these crazy photos that he thought he could sell for a lot of ETH, but when he uploaded the images as NFTs, nothing happened. He told me that at the time, he didn’t realize how much work goes on behind the scenes to make these big sales, so he logged off.

Six months later, Adam had coffee with David Brandon Geeting, who was starting to get some traction in the NFT space and thought there might be some longevity to this now that artists like David, whose work he liked, had collectors buying it. So around the holidays, he dove back in and said he found Twitter to be “a very good place to be, very very supportive where Instagram is just a click world, Twitter is more engaging.”

Adam decided to start with his “6 favorite photos from 2021, the best photos I took that year.” The first photo he minted out of that group sold the same day. He thought, “this is going to be easy,” and slowly minted five more over the course of a few months, and even though a pretty prominent collector bought another one, he didn’t sell any more from that group.

Initially, Foundation, the marketplace where he minted his images into NFTs allowed you to sell individual images, but they changed the policy only to allow collections going forward, so Adam decided the next project would be “Enjoy Your Stay!” which is where I collected my first NFT. No others have sold since I bought my piece, and Adam says he doesn’t know why. The posts he made got good engagement, but the collectors and DAOs he DM’d said the work did not line up with their personal taste, which Adam says is ok because “this is an experiment; I’m not relying on it to make a living.” He says, “If it had sold out, maybe I would not be as motivated to continue to build the work. It invigorated me more.”

Adam told me this winter when he minted the pieces, he had a lot more time on his hands to promote the work and spend time on Twitter engaging with people, but now he’s seeing consistent assignments and doesn’t have time to promote his work. He says the assignment work “will always be number one for me because that’s how I get access to subjects.” He says he’s “worked very hard to get where I am professionally” and “creating personal work is the most important part of my photographic practice” and doesn’t want to give that up to spend more time promoting his NFTs.

I asked Adam about all the work required in the NFT space to promote yourself to collectors, and he said, “it’s not exclusive to NFT; you have to play the game” in every aspect of professional photography. He said, “the people doing well right now are really good at community building and promoting their work/brand; when collectors see that, they see people trying to grow the NFT space.” He thinks one aspect of the space that needs more attention is that it’s becoming a “criticism-free zone.” Adam says, “for good art to exist; criticism is an absolute must so photographers can improve their practice.” Adam thinks the fear of criticism comes from a fear of “offending the collectors and prominent artists.”

Adam says that buying an NFT from an artist is “one of the more impactful ways that someone can work with a photographer.” As someone who’s still establishing themselves, you cannot command much for a print, and the day rates for photojournalism are not high, but “.5 ETH is $1600 and can make a huge difference for a photographer.”

I asked him why he chose to price his work at .5 ETH, and he said, “Firstly, because it seemed on par with others whose work I like in the space, and then a lot of work I see being bought on Foundation is sold at the same price.”

If Adam had been offering prints or a Patreon to support his work, I would not have done either, but purchasing a 1 of 1 NFT seems like a good match to me. I can certainly imagine some future world where I have a digital gallery online displaying the original works I’ve collected over the years. I have stacks of books and prints lying around my house that I never look at, and I feel like I’m more apt to take a quick look at my digital collection than pull out some dusty book I’ve long forgotten. And as a person who collects to support photographers and have something to enjoy, this fits my model well. I do not believe NFTs will ever go away, and it’s something photographers can easily add to their business model right now if they are not relying on it as the primary income source. Many people are seeing outsized success or even defining their careers through NFT sales now, but for 99.9% of photographers, what’s happening with Adam will be more the norm.

Save The Date: ASMP Colorado Presents A Day With Wonderful Machine

Wonderful Machine has a fantastic event planned that you should check out:

The Business of Photography

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Wonderful Machine is teaming up with ASMP Colorado for a fun and informative virtual event covering the business of photography. You’ll learn about current trends in branding, marketing, social media, SEO, estimating, and shoot production from our photo editors, marketing specialists, and producers!

Event Schedule

Opening Conversation

10:30-11:00am ET / 8:30-9:00am MT

As our viewers settle in, moderators Rick Souders of Souders Studios and Bill Cramer of Wonderful Machine will share some thoughts about what they’ve learned in their combined 70 years in the photography business.

Rick Souders | LinkedIn | Website | Instagram
Bill Cramer | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Rick Souders
Souders Studios

Bill Cramer
CEO of Wonderful Machine

Building a Compelling Photography Website

11:00am-12:00pm ET / 9:00-10:00am MT

Join Senior Photo Editors Honore Brown and Deborah Dragon as they discuss what makes a great photographer’s website and share a few examples of successful sites. They’ll cover how to create a cohesive edit and how photographers can present their pictures effectively online to cater to their target audience.

Honore Brown | LinkedIn | Articles
Deborah Dragon | LinkedIn

Honore Brown
Senior Photo Editor

Deborah Dragon
Senior Photo Editor

Read More…
Expert Advice: Building A Functional Photography Website
Expert Advice: Web Design Basics For Photographers

Self-Published Photo Books

12:00-1:00pm ET / 10:00-11:00am MT

We’ll learn how two photographers turned their self-assigned projects into self-published books – and the impact on their photography business. Joining us will be photographers Muhammad Fadli and Tadd Myers. Wonderful Machine Creative Consultant and Daylight Books Cofounder Michael Itkoff moderates.

Michael Itkoff | LinkedIn | Website

Michael Itkoff
Senior Creative Consultant

Muhammad Fadli

Tadd Myers

Creating Memorable Marketing Materials

1:00-2:00pm ET / 11:00am-12:00pm MT

Senior Designer Lindsay Thompson provides us with a bird’s eye view of the many ways to share your photographs with clients (including emailers, print promos, print portfolios, promotional gifts, PDF presentations, Adobe Express, stationery & business cards).

Lindsay Thompson | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Lindsay Thompson
Senior Designer

Read More…
Expert Advice: Visual Identity For Photographers
Expert Advice: Photographer Logos

Email Marketing for Photographers

2:00-3:00pm ET / 12:00-1:00pm MT

Join Senior Project Manager Nicole Poulin as she breaks down how to identify your elevator pitch and target clients that match up with your goals (touching on client research, individual emails, email campaigns, and client meetings).

Nicole Poulin | LinkedIn

Nicole Poulin
Senior Project Manager

Read more…
Expert Advice: The Best CRM Apps For Photographers
Expert Advice: Why Photographers Need A CRM
Expert Advice: Email Marketing For Photographers
Expert Advice: Client Types: Brands
Expert Advice: Prospect List Services
DemandScience: Which EU Countries accept B2B Emails post-GDPR?
Komyoon: Liz Miller-Gershfeld, V.P Exec. Art Producer, BBDO on How to Show Your Portfolio

Instagram & TikTok for Photographers

3:00-4:00pm ET / 1:00-2:00pm MT

Project Manager Marianne Lee moderates a conversation with two photographers who are producing content for (as well as promoting their business with) Instagram and TikTok. Joining us will be Taylor Brumfield and Andre Rucker.

Marianne Lee | LinkedIn | Website

Marianne Lee
Senior Marketing Specialist

Taylor Brumfield

Andre Rucker

Read More…
Expert Advice: Instagram For Photographers
Expert Advice: Insight From Instagram Gurus

Top 7 SEO Tips for Photographers!

4:00-5:00pm ET / 2:00-3:00pm MT

SEO Specialist Ashley Vaught shares his thoughts on best practices for attracting organic web searches. He’ll also show how to track and understand the traffic coming to your site.

Ashley Vaught | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Ashley Vaught
SEO Specialist

Read more…
Expert Advice: Search Engine Optimization for Photographers
Expert Advice: Google Analytics Setup
Expert Advice: Google Analytics FAQ

Pricing & Negotiating Commercial Photography

5:00-6:00pm ET / 3:00-4:00pm MT

Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer explains the basics of creative briefs, estimates, terms & conditions, treatments, and creative calls. He’ll also provide insight on how to negotiate effectively with clients.

Craig Oppenheimer | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Craig Oppenheimer
Executive Producer

Read more…
aPhotoEditor: Pricing & Negotiating
Expert Advice: Treatments
Expert Advice: Terms & Conditions
Expert Advice: Estimate Worksheet

The Photographer & Producer Relationship

6:00-7:00pm ET / 4:00-5:00pm MT

Senior Producer Bryan Sheffield will explain his process of producing a big-budget photoshoot including crew, talent, styling, and location needs, how to manage a budget, and put together a comprehensive production book. Bryan will be joined by photographer Emily Andrews to discuss a recent project they worked on together.

Bryan Sheffield | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Bryan Sheffield
Senior Producer

Emily Andrews

Read More…
Expert Advice: How To Create A Production Book
Expert Advice: Hiring Crew

Closing Remarks

7:00-7:30pm ET / 5:00-5:30pm MT

Bill and Rick share their highlights from the day’s events and open the discussion up for anyone who wants to jump in!

Bill Cramer

Rick Souders

As this is an all-day event, please pop in and out of the sessions as needed. We hope to see you there!

Featured Promo – Charlotte Schreiber

Charlotte Schreiber

Who printed it?
Gutenberg Beuys Feindruckerei GmbH

I had worked with them on one of my books ’SUD’ ( before and was really pleased. I’m very particular when it comes to colors and handling paper and they did it very well.

Who designed it?
My dear friend and brilliant designer Max Weinland who I have been collaborating with for years.

Tell me about the images.
Over the years I have come to realize that my body of work is not easy to categorize so it was important to show a variety of what I do, still making sure they stay connected through what I would say is essential to my work: the warmth, the stillness, the colors, the light and atmosphere.

Except the portrait of my friend Bettina, who I have been photographing regularly over the years, it’s all commissioned work, and I like to show that as long as you want my way of seeing things, I can photograph anything. No matter if it’s a magazine story about a family and their allotment in the suburbs of Hamburg, a story about the new S-Class for Mercedes or a portrait of the relationship coach of a new established Dating Agency for Best Agers. The image it completely unfolds to is from a commissioned travel story that took me through a more rural part of Japan. I like the idea of making people stop and take a breath when they look at the greenness/freshness of that captured moment, and maybe even put it up in their office. When people ask me what I do, I always say, I get paid to tell you stories and make you dream about it, to make you long for and wonder. – That’s what all these images do.

How many did you make?
We ran a print of 300.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I used to send them out twice a year. They were mostly postcards in a bigger format, with one big image printed on thick matte paper.
I did a similar one to this here that also unfolded into a A3 poster a few years back. Max Weinland designed it as well: Since then mailings have become less regular and then the pandemic made me stop completely. This one is the first I’ve sent out since and I wanted it to shine bright.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes. The postcards began as something I would hand out after portfolio meetings and every time I came back I would see them hanging in offices, cubicles or on Instagram that they found a new place in an editor’s home/fridge/postcard wall, and these collections grew when I started sending them out regularly. I still find it a good way to be kept on their mind/eye.

Also while everything and everyone needs to be available on social media all the time, without pausing ever, I feel like people appreciate touching work once in a while. Seeing having someone put thought into layout, image selection, paper, into the feel, smell, the importance of that photographers work and simply the effort that went into making something. I believe the way you handle your work goes a long way and adds value to it, it also leads the way to how others, i.e. potential clients handle your work.

Supporting Photographers with NFT’s

Part 1 – Getting my feet wet

I decided to dive headfirst into the NFT world a few months back. I wanted to understand how it all worked, and I gotta say, it’s not really something you can dip your toe in… so I decided the only way to do it was to become a collector.

If you don’t know already, Twitter is the place where most of the NFT action takes place and you will hear lots of discussions about how the photography world on Twitter is so supportive and kind to photographers. After spending lots of time building an audience on Instagram, many are coming over and seem to be having a much better time of it.

I have been on Twitter for a long time and have to say it’s been refreshing to see all the photography discussions on there now. In the past, Twitter was dominated by news organizations, and during the Trump presidency, it was simply unbearable with all the breathless takes every 5 min. Once I started following more people engaged in the NFT photography world, my feed filled with photos.

Another aspect of photo NFT and crypto, in general, is that the slang and abbreviations make it difficult to understand what’s going on. If you are just getting started, you will spend lots of time googling terms and concepts. Here’s a glossary you can start with: Unfortunately, the terms people use make it difficult to follow along until you have memorized and studied a bit. At the root of all this is the blockchain and a token called Ethereum. It’s helpful to watch some videos or visit the official Ethereum site: to get familiar with the underlying tech. Many photographers would be happy to “onboard” you to this world as well.

As a collector, once you’ve identified an NFT you want to own, you need a wallet to buy it and store it, and before you get a wallet, you need some ETH to make the purchase in the first place. A quick note on Ethereum… the price is volatile, making messing around with this world difficult if you don’t have money you can afford to lose. Since I’ve been involved these last 3 months, I’ve seen the price of 1 ETH in USD go between $2,500 and $3,500. If you buy some ETH at the peak, you can easily lose thousands.

I opened an account at, linked my bank account and bought an ETH. Then I got a Rainbow wallet and tried to transfer the ETH over but soon found out that for your own safety, there are delays in purchasing crypto and transferring it out of your account which in my case took a week before I had it in a wallet where I could make a purchase. This is a good thing but be aware that moving between USD, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs can take time.

I should also mention that it’s somewhat trivial for someone to steal all your money (your wallet address is public, and everyone can see what’s inside the wallet). There’s a private key that only you have access to with a passphrase of 20 words that you have to store somewhere that gives anyone access to your wallet. You can put this in a file cabinet in your house (don’t lose it or the wallet is lost forever) but putting it on your computer or backing up to iCloud or google drive leaves you vulnerable to hacks. You can also accidentally click a link and authorize someone to wipe out your funds. If you are playing with lots of money here, you need to take security seriously and it’s not an easy topic to understand. Here’s a thread that explains it:

Are you still with me? Once you get all set up it’s very easy and fun but there’s a steep learning curve to get started.

Once I found an NFT, I wanted to buy… I realized I had no idea what I was buying, and further research was needed.

Without getting into the weeds too deep, my research revealed that most NFT transactions happen on the Ethereum blockchain because it’s where a contract can be written. You can start here if you want specifics: but what I was really interested in was the license associated with the image you are buying. Turns out there isn’t one. In very simple terms, an NFT is a digital receipt that points to an image. You own the digital receipt in the form of a token. I think it’s common knowledge that you do not own the image, but I don’t think most people know you don’t have any rights to the image either. ZERO. The erc-721 token, which most NFTs use, simply creates a unique digital receipt in the form of a token that points to an image.

But there must be rights associated with NFT photography because marketplaces, wallets, Twitter posts, and virtual galleries display images all the time. I discovered that these rights are given to you by the marketplace where you purchase the NFT. For example, a popular marketplace with photographers, states the following:

When you collect an NFT on Foundation: 
* You own the NFT that represents the artwork on the blockchain.
* You can display and share the piece.
* You can exhibit the piece on any platform or in any virtual space. 
* You can resell or trade it on a secondary market.

What you can’t do as a collector:
* You can’t claim legal ownership, copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights.
* You can’t use the artwork in a commercial context.
* You can’t make any changes to the artwork.
* You can’t share the work in a hateful, cruel, or intolerant context.
* You can’t create additional NFTs that represent the same artwork.

The actual terms of Service spells it out even further:

So what happens when you resell the NFT, or the marketplace disappears, or the NFT is delisted because of a copyright dispute? I don’t know, but I have experienced this firsthand and will address it in another article. Let’s just say that as a photo industry veteran, the whole licensing aspect of NFT is stupid. It’s such an afterthought right now, but I’m hopeful that this will change as more people who understand that licensing is everything get involved. We shall see.

I’m finally ready to buy my first NFT, which I will get to in Part 2. But there’s the elephant in the room I haven’t even addressed that makes NFTs a nonstarter for most people. Energy consumption. I believe this will be solved very soon with changes proposed many years ago that Ethereum seems to be on the verge of implementing. If these changes are not implemented, I don’t want to participate in the photography NFT world. Here’s an article that covers the changes This series of articles assume the wasteful energy consumption of doing things on the blockchain will be addressed.

Pricing & Negotiating: Industrial Images For Energy Company

By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine< Concept: Images of employees at work in industrial settings

Licensing: Collateral and Publicity use of all images captured in perpetuity

Photographer: Industrial and Lifestyle Specialist

Client: Energy company

Here is the estimate:



Fees: The client had three facilities across the country, and while the scope included one shoot day at each facility, the overall production including travel time would equate to a 10-day project. There wasn’t a defined shot list, but we knew the shoot would involve a combination of employee lifestyle images, and shots of the equipment within each facility as well. Rather than basing the fee on a certain number of setups/scenarios, I used previous knowledge of similar shoots to come up with a fee of $6,000 per shoot day, which felt right for the limited usage.

Crew: The load would be light, and the photographer only needed a first assistant for the production.

Equipment: We included $1,000 per shoot day for use of the photographer’s personal cameras, lenses, and grip.

Travel: I included appropriate rates based on local research for the 10-day production details in the job description

Misc.: This covered any unforeseen expenses that might arise during the production and while traveling.

Post Production: We anticipated about 20 images per location needing some basic processing, and we noted $100 per image, which would include up to 1 hour of retouching.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Featured Promo – Tracey Mammolito

Tracey Mammolito

Who printed it?
Being on a tight budget, I took a chance with this lower priced option. However, I did do a bunch of research and thankfully most printing companies will send a free sampler pack which is super helpful to see/feel the quality. I was impressed with the wide selection they have and was a fan of the Square orientation in multiple sizes. Unfortunately there was an initial printing issue on one of the cards but their customer service was great & very responsive.

Who designed it?
I did. Once again – on a tight budget, but my background in design came in handy. In a previous career making moodboards was my specialty so I took that ‘thoughtfully curated’ approach. I like how each card is a mini moodboard that could stand on their own or altogether. Having said that, I spent more hours, days, weeks, months on it than should be humanly allowed. Call it being a recovering perfectionist … or just terrible at editing down my own work. Probably both.

Tell me about the images.
Since this was my first promo card, I went with the “Overview Sampler” concept to introduce my work in three main categories. Mostly I selected images with a similar color scheme to further drive the curated idea. Also to illustrate a cohesive energy in the shooting angles, light+shadow. The images cover products, people, & places — all things I enjoy photographing and wish to offer a potential client. There’s action, stillness, texture, expression, directional lines… but overall a clean style. I aim to connect the dots across Fitness, Wellness, and Adventure whether it’s in the studio, out on the city streets, or out in rural nature spots.

How many did you make?
100 qty of each. Roughly half for mailing out and half for handing out in person.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is my first time so we’ll see how it goes. But I’d say once or twice a year seems sufficient.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Definitely. Perhaps because I’m old skool and started a design career when waiting for white-out to dry before re-faxing a sketch was a thing… HA! But seriously, I still believe in printed materials for the visual creative art world. It makes a more lasting impression and a more professional appearance. Beyond just snail mailing, I have found promos also helpful for physically handing out at tradeshows, meetings, etc. Especially now in such a saturated social media universe.