Posts by: A Photo Editor

Pricing & Negotiating: A Large Production Cancelled by Covid-19

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Stills and video content featuring seven athletes participating in various sports, as well as images of each athlete posed with product.

Licensing: Unlimited use of all images captured for 2 months from first use.

Photographer: Sports and portraiture specialist

Agency: Canadian office of large international group

Client: Large telecommunications company

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing Fees: The scope of the project included stills and video to capture seven athletes participating in five unique sports over four shoot days in two different cities. Each athlete had unique needs in terms of gyms/facilities where they would need to be captured, and the need for posed shots on white led to some unique scouting and location needs. Some of them could entirely be captured in a studio, and others were a combination of them at a facility where a seamless background would be set up.

The creative needs called for a specialist who was technically savvy and could photograph/direct athletes who had limited time. These needs, along with the large agency/client, put upward pressure on a creative fee (which they asked us to break out from a licensing fee, as opposed to combining the two numbers), and we landed on $5,000/day for each of the four shoot days. While the high exposure and request for all images captured put upward pressure on the licensing fee, we knew that they had hoped to get about 30 total images, and would likely use just two for each athlete. Additionally, while they asked for unlimited use, the duration was very limited with a request for just two months. With those factors in mind, and based on previous experience, I thought that around $3,000 per subject or less than $1,000 per image for 30 shots would likely be appropriate. We initially settled on $19,500 for a licensing fee, which broke down to $650/image for the 30 shots we had been discussing, and just under $1,400/image for the 14 shots they were likely to use (7 athletes X 2 shots each).

On top of the creative and licensing fees, we included two travel days and two tech scout days based on an itinerary we detailed in the job description.

Producer Day(s): While the talent would be provided and the styling would be minimal, this project had a ton of moving pieces, and the logistics required a seasoned producer to lend a hand. We included six prep days prior to the travel/tech/scout/shoot days plus a wrap day.

Production Assistant Day(s): We included 10 days, two of which would be prep days to lend a hand with whatever tasks arose, plus the travel and shoot days.

Assistant Day(s): We included four assistants in total, two of which would travel with the team to both locations, and the other two would be locals and just be needed on the individual shoot days. Given how fast the team would have to move, the multiple setups/scenarios that would be needed, and the equipment requirements, we needed a lot of hands-on deck.

Digital Tech Day(s): We’d hire a digital tech locally in each city, and this accounted for each of the four shoot days.

DP/Camera Operator Day(s): We included $3,500/day for each of the four shoot days, and $1,500 for two travel days. While the photographer would be capturing stills and directing the video, we felt it was important to have a separate person actually capturing and focusing on the video content.

Grip and Gaffer Day(s): To assist the DP/Camera Operator, we included a grip and a gaffer to help with equipment and electrical needs, hired locally for each shoot day.

Hair/Makeup and Wardrobe Stylist Day(s): The subjects would be providing their own wardrobe and would have minimal hair/makeup needs, so we just included a single hair/makeup stylist and a single wardrobe stylist, hired locally in each city, just for the shoot days without any prep/wrap time or expenses.

Location Fees: This was a big TBD, since we were told that that the athletes might be able to leverage relationships with various training facilities for scouting purposes, but we needed to account for the payment of those facilities in our budget. We ballparked some numbers here, and also added $2,000 for the day where we’d just rent a studio instead of shooting on location.

Equipment: We included $8k for both photography equipment and video equipment, based on $2,000/day for four shoot days.

Catering: We anticipated about 22 mouths to feed each day and included $90 per person to include breakfast, lunch, craft and additional meals to support a long day with overtime.

Travel Expenses: I based this on the schedule detailed in the job description and the number of people that would be traveling to each of the locations. The cities were within driving distance, which eliminated the need for airfare.

Parking, Expendables, Additional Meals, Misc: I included $1,500 here, truly as a buffer for unforeseen expenses that might arise throughout the production.

Insurance: A loose rule of thumb I use to calculate insurance is to base it on 2% of the expenses. In this case that was closer to $3k, but I wanted to come down a bit as it was feeling a bit excessive, so I included $2k.

Post Production: We included $2,000 to handle basic processing of 30 selects. The agency would handle most of the retouching, and this just included both color correction and file cleanup but would still take a decent amount of time to sift through the images and perform those tasks.

Overtime: On three out of the four shoot days, we anticipated 14-hour days rather than a typical 10-hour day. It’s customary to bill for crew at time and a half for up to 12 hours, and double time after 12 hours. So, in this case, we had two hours per day at time and a half, and two hours per day at double time, for three shoot days.

Once the photographer and I finished collaborating on these numbers, we looped in a local producer to further tweak the fees/expenses based on local knowledge and preferred logistical approaches. Overall, she bumped up the estimate by about $12k, bringing the bottom line just under $200k.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project…but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This led to a lengthy process of uncertainty regarding how to tackle the project. Since the dates for each part of the project were spread out, they had discussed canceling some dates but just postponing others, and each day brought a new update on how it might shake out. Surprisingly, given the size of the agency, their purchase order didn’t detail any sort of cancellation policy, so we stuck to the cancellation policy in our terms/conditions. At the time when they asked us to formalize what a cancellation agreement might look like, we were a few days out from the first shoot date, with the next trip schedule just over a week away. They asked us to focus our cancellation fees/expenses on just these first two projects for now, hoping to just push the later shoots/dates. Here is what we came up with:

I noted that the out of pocket expenses would be billed at 100% and handed this off to the photographer’s producer to help detail what those exact expenses were, and she tackled it from that point on. Ultimately, they cancelled the entire project. The photographer was able to charge part of his creative fees, half of his licensing fees, and all out of pocket expenses based on how our terms/conditions were worded.

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 – Noah Webb

- - The Daily Promo

Noah Webb

Tell me about your promo.
The one I sent you is book #6 in an ongoing series of books. The first book was created after an editorial assignment from Monocle magazine back in 2007. The magazine had sent me to travel throughout Ecuador and cover the status of events in the country at that time. Being that it was 2007 I brought both my film camera and digital camera to shoot. Upon returning I was going through my film proof sheets and started to cut out specific frames I really liked. It came to me then that I needed a way to tell my story of this adventure with these small proof prints. My first passport was fairly simple with a craft brown color passport size book with the words “Ecuador, February 2007” “Noah Webb” embossed on the front. I hand adhered the proof prints into the pages and made a total of 30 books. They idea clicked and people responded in a way I knew I needed to continue the idea. Subsequent books became more fine tuned in the design and feel of the passport. Each book different colors and overall cover design to match the travels abroad. I hire different designer friends to collaborate on the cover design and have a local print shop do the foil embossing. I increased the quantity of books as I progressed since I was getting more demand. The latest book is and edition of 250 and I am still in the process of printing, cutting out and adhering the rest of the books. It’s a great pandemic project. One born out of my love of travel, a physical memento to hold onto which seems appropriate right now. Ecuador 2007, France & Switzerland 2008, Italy 2009, Berlin 2012, Rotterdam & Brasilia 2017, Seoul & Hong Kong 2019.

These books take a lot of time and energy but I love making them. I’m fairly certain some jobs opened up to me specifically from these books.

They have had coverage over the years, being included in “No Plastic Sleeves” book in 2010.

And last year PDN did a cover story on my passport books:

Featured Promo – Fred Mitchell

- - The Daily Promo

Fred Mitchell

Tell me about this promo.

I had it printed in Los Angeles at a place called Nonstop Printing. I actually found them when I was doing my wedding invitations last year and they were really pleasant to work with. So when I was looking at making these promos, I asked a friend who works with Curran Hatleberg for his maquettes with TBW books and he ended up pointing me back to Nonstop Printing for cost efficiency & quality. With them I did an ed. of 25, which I mostly used for marketing at photo fairs and conferences, but once the pandemic hit I had about 12 leftover and so I decided to offload the rest of them. I designed the book myself and did all the typography, layout and sequencing. This is actually the first time I have ever sent any printed media out blindly, but during the pandemic I started sending a digital PDF of recent work which includes this project (which is ongoing) along with some other ongoing personal work. If you’d like to check that one out, here is the link to that.

I believe in the printed object within the photo community, but I am also a strong advocate for photobooks. Most of my personal work is project/series based so a lot of it has turned into book projects. I actually have a book coming out through Yoffy Press that was set to be released this fall, but with the pandemic, it may get pushed back slightly. (Here is a link to that one) With my small bit of experience talking with commercial clients/agents, I have found mixed emotions on printed vs. digital portfolios. But a general consensus seems to be that if a project is intended as a book or zine people do seem to react positively to it rather than a digital portfolio. That being said, I try to have multiple tailored portfolios for different forms of marketing. So when I have done meetings, if it is with a photo editor, I try to lead with giving them a printed object they can keep and I let them know that they don’t have to look at that with me because it is for them to take away. Then I segue into a digital portfolio on an ipad which I also let them flip through at their own pace. When I was doing meetings with publishers to try to find a home for my upcoming book I also brought with me the hand-bound maquette of that project as well, but I have only a few copies of that one. That being said, people also responded positively to that and every now and then I will bring that with me to set if I am working with a client that I have a relationship with to let them check it out because it is a rather unusual project where the tactility and physicality are part of the concept.

I suppose for my work, if there is a reason the project should be printed then I try to do it, but I always want to make it something special. I have another project I am currently developing with my partner and fellow photographer, Alan Nakkash, that is also going to be a physical magazine/promotion tool. Part of our thinking was this is a special opportunity to make something different that gives us a reason to reach out to photo editors and potential clients. Additionally, our intention is for this to be a long term project where with each issue we create a visual dialog & narrative between two new featured artists. At this stage, a large part of this project highlights photographers similarities and differences in their artistic processes. This results in something truly collaborative because one artist takes the other artist’s work and they build the layout based on their interpretation of said work. So when this is printed it will continually evolve with each issue, thus giving a reason for us to frequently send these promos, and also hopefully help under-represented artists get their names out into the world. Sorry for such a long-winded explanation of my enthusiasm for printed matter haha!

Finally, the stories behind the images in Sweetwater. Inevitably, each image tells a story of its own, so I will try to give general context and then highlight my favorites so I hopefully don’t bore you!

I grew up skating and that largely shaped my life as a young adult. California was a dream to me because it always appeared that this was where all the best skating happened. But as I grew up and eventually moved out west (first to Las Vegas where I did my MFA and taught college for about 3 years) I was terrified to visit this place I had dreamed of. When I finally did come out here it was just as incredible as I had imagined it would be. But I didn’t move here as quickly as I would have hoped. At the time when I had the opportunity to make the move, my (now) ex-girlfriend’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer, so we instead moved back to Alabama to be close to her family. The relationship didn’t last, and I ended up leaving the academic world when I was offered an in-house photographer job at a fashion brand. After three years of working in fashion as what turned out to be an art director, I met my now wife who lived in CA and I drove west. That first few months was tumultuous to say the least. I sold my camera equipment to have enough money to buy food. I lived in my car for the first 5 months or so, then I found a room share on Craigslist where I slept on a massage table. And finally I got my own apartment. Because I had spent the past three years learning the ins and outs of the fashion world, I found a place working as an unpaid intern at Milk Studios. I think it was the week that I was finally hired that I found out my father passed away. For fear of losing my financial security, I was unable to go to the funeral. Then my mother ended up undergoing brain surgery to remove a tumor (which turned out to be benign) but I was also unable to visit her because I would have lost my job. My coworkers became my surrogate family. We worked overnight from 3pm-8/9am, doing backbreaking work (literally, one of my coworkers broke his back on the job). Another person nearly lost a toe, and I fractured or broke my heel when it was run over.

It was at this job that I began meeting many people transplanted from the midwest great lakes area. I didn’t know much about surfing but it always felt similar to the skating world. As I got to know these new friends they boasted of the surfing on the great lakes. Specifically how incredible but brutal the peak surfing season could be. I spent about 9 months researching this before my first trip to Lake Superior. I suppose my mentioning all the difficulties leading up to this because it informed where I was mentally & emotionally when I started this work. Essentially, I was broken and unsure about life, let alone making photographs. I had been fired from my position as night-time equipment manager at the studio and still without a camera, I told myself that if I got a flight and rented gear, I had to do it. I was photo assisting full time so I worked extra to save enough money for this trip and suddenly I was thrust into the frigid mid-western winter. I treated it as I had treated skating trips as a kid. I contacted friends of friends who introduced me to other people and I began making my way around the upper peninsula of Michigan. Across the Wisconsin Coastline on Lake Michigan. Over the Mackinac Bridge (terrifying to drive over in a white out). All over the Mitten that is Michigan. Whenever I encountered new people, they would always ask where I was staying and offer me a couch to sleep on or a spare bedroom. Literally the opposite of my experience in California when I was homeless. And then there is the surfing. I wanted to craft a narrative that was true to the experience and community. An experience consisting of days we would go out and find nothing but ice. Other times there were long fantastic sessions ending with long frozen ice beards and hair. All of these days, filled with incredible people in a foreign frozen tundra.

The day that stands out most to me can be seen in the image of the girl with the bloody lip. Her name is Jaime, and we had corresponded through text messages for about a week or so before meeting. On the day we were finally set to meet she told me that she was uncomfortable meeting with me alone because for all she knew I could be a crazy person. So I told her that I totally understood and if she wanted to bring someone along with her to feel more safe that would be more than fine. So Jaime agreed to meet and arrived with her springer spaniel Murph. We talked and snapped a few photos while Murph ran around the frozen beach. Eventually, while we were talking we realized Murph had made his way onto the icy break. He couldn’t figure out how to get back and he was more than comfortable swimming in the cold water. But instead of jumping into the side with open water, he leaped into the side of the break that was mostly chunks of ice. As Murph began to panic and try to get onto the ice we ran toward him. Jaime was in her wetsuit, but hadn’t put on her gloves yet. She entered the water and began to try to help her dog from drowning. I was close behind her but I had fallen making my way across the icy break. As I made it to the ladder Murph was pushing Jaime underwater and her hands were beginning to freeze. I threw the camera aside and climbed down the ladder as Jaime pushed Murph toward me. I grabbed him and helped him back onto the land but Jaime’s hands weren’t working anymore. We linked our arms at the elbows and I pulled her up and as I did blood streamed down her face. As Murph trotted back to the beach I first asked her if she was okay and she said she was alright, just glad Murph was safe. Then I told her that her lip was bleeding, and she asked “how bad?” I told her it was okay probably. Immediately she responded, “well, do you wanna take a picture of it?”

Honestly, most of these photographs are stories like this. Rental cars having blowouts in the middle of the night. There was a time some friends accidentally blew up a propane heater inside of a van (photograph of the orange wetsuit next to the van tires). Falling asleep inside camper vans in sub-zero temperatures (boards storage photograph with the plywood room). Late-night talks of philosophy in relationship to surfing while drinking freshly harvested chaga tea. Moments that felt like I was talking to Gary Busey’s character in point break when he jumps on the desk (someone literally did this haha). I could go on but I don’t want to bore, and if I have, then I apologize. It’s all really fun to discuss and relive for me.

Featured Promo – Eric Forberger

- - The Daily Promo

Eric Forberger

Who printed it?
Newspaper Club in the UK printed it after a design friend recommended using them. They even have an interface for you to layout your newspaper if you don’t have a designer.

Who designed it?
A client of mine named Wendy Sheaffer designed it. She takes on her own design work on the side as she works full time as a Director of Creative Services for a College. I knew she would be the perfect person to put it together as she has years of experience creating, printing, and mailing promo pieces of all sizes for higher education.

Tell me about the images?
Once lockdown started due to Covid-19, I knew I had to stay busy creating so the time not taking assignments wasn’t wasted. It started out as me experimenting with techniques and styles I wasn’t normally doing so I could expand my abilities and once I got it down, then I could add that lighting style or photo technique to my toolbox to offer to clients once they were tested. I only had access to one person the whole time which was my wife Gina. I thought making different portraits of the same person was an awesome challenge to take on its own, then adding experimenting with new techniques would really force me to be creative. Once I started sharing these shots every week and they started picking up steam, I thought it would make a great project to feature as a gallery on my website. But then, an even bigger idea came, to take the project and present it as a promo piece to agencies and clients I was trying to get in front of. So additionally, I ordered seamfoam green envelopes with my logo in pink from to really make the piece stand out on the desks of Creatives. I was super happy with how the print job and the envelopes came out.

How many did you make?
I had 200 printed of the 32-page project

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I was just wrapping up with a 15-month promo project with Agency Access. Together we had sent out 4 mailers in that 15-month span. I think every quarter is a good average.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
That’s always been my question. I think regular directed promo mailings help keep your name in the forefront of clients’ minds. I’ve always loved seeing “project” based promos. Multi-page print pieces that together show a cohesive project that a photographer put together vs. many strong portfolio images that aren’t associated. It is one of the reasons I added small snippets of info about the shoots throughout this piece and even behind the scenes images at the end of the publication and lastly, a paragraph on the back page wrapping it all up for an ending. I have to say, that even with the limited numbers I have already mailed since not everyone is back in their offices yet from COVID, I’ve received a lot of email from prospective clients thanking me for sending it and giving great feedback about how much they enjoyed the mailer.

The willingness of my wife to help me out with this project is just one of the reasons she is such a great person. She was able to continue working her job from home, and because she knew how excited I was to try new things and keep creating, she was just ask excited as I was to shoot nights and weekends. She even helped me source props and wardrobe and I could not have made the best of the lockdown without her.

Featured Promo – Joe Giacomet

- - The Daily Promo

Joe Giacomet

Tell Me about the images.
Notvery Athletic is a joint collaboration between myself and art director Mark Denton. Mark and I have worked together numerous times and the idea for this started as a tiny element to drop into a commercial job we were pitching on. The thought of a funny soccer card in the back of an advert- this was the idea that started it all.

A few months later, Mark and I decided to shoot a comedy soccer player. From there, we thought we should do a few more and then two years down the line, we’ve got 9 teams, a tonne of images and a full sticker album.

The images are designed to both satirise and evoke memories of a bygone era of soccer when the hairdo was almost as important as understanding the offside rule.

We had great fun shooting these, with myself even getting in front of the camera. Mark persuaded me to try on a wig. Initially thinking it would make a funny profile pic, I turned out to be one of the star players. (a.k.a Baqov De Nette).

A central part of these images was getting the hair right. We worked with expert hairstylist Anna Longaretti whose skill with wigs and 70’s hair creations are second to none.

The attention to detail that went into creating these is staggering, from casting to designing and creating teams, kits, backgrounds, lighting, and an exhaustive post-production process to authentically age the images.

Who Printed it?
The actual Zine is printed by a mid-level printing company called, because in emulating soccer zines, a premium glossy print job wouldn’t have felt right.

It was printed digitally (as opposed to litho) which meant we could try out multiple paper stocks. We tried a number of uncoated and coated stocks of different weights and settled on 170gsm matt coated for the outside and 140gsm uncoated for the inside.

Although the print was better on coated stock, it had better colour repro and dynamic range. The uncoated felt more authentic for the images.

We ran a number of other print processes in order to create this unique look. All the cards were risographed once retouched, scanned back in, and then retouched again.
Although time-consuming, this analogue stage really made a difference.

One image was poster printed – we then creased it and rephotographed it to make it look like a pull out poster. The centre spread is also a photograph of a physical page we created. The cards were printed actual size and stuck to a print out of the background image and then rephotographed. Same with the inside front and inside back covers. A lot of extra processes overall, but all part of the endeavour to make it authentic and unique.

Who designed it?
It was designed by Mark Denton Esq. with the help of Kate Henderson and Tivy Jones.

How many did you make?
There are a few iterations knocking around with subtle changes to the print stock, images, and design but in total around 500 copies.

How many times a year do you send out printed promos?
Previously about 4 times a year, but in recent busy periods, it has been a lot less. This is the first thing I’ve sent out in 18 months.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
It’s really hard to say. In the past, I’ve been saddened by the lack of response but then equally, jobs come out of nowhere which could be down to printed promos.

This promo, however, has been a different experience altogether.

Being in lockdown, I sent this out all my existing mailing lists. It turned out a lot of these were no longer valid which meant I individually reach out to everyone I wanted to send it to. This turned out to be a fantastic opportunity to re-connect with old contacts, it helped me make new contacts and I believe this made the mailer more effective than usual.

Scam Alert: Freelance/Independent Photographer Needed For a Fashion Shoot

- - Scam

This scam is making the rounds again. You can see how determined they are to making it work if you check out the thread below. If anyone wants to pay you an advance and have you send part of the money to someone else (who you don’t know) DON’T DO IT!




Inquiry for your photography services


I’m Adam, a beauty, fashion and lifestyle writer and editor at I saw your profile on which led me to some of your work online and after going through your portfolio, I would like to learn more about your services.

I am working on a new project and I’m compiling shots for “fashion page” segment and would love to collaborate with an experienced photographer on genres such as beauty, fashion, vintage, art, lifestyle, and outdoor.

As the photographer on this project, you will concept, shoot, and produce 36 images, featuring 3 models. You will be required to work with a recommended hair/makeup artist and a wardrobe stylist, and bring a smart, fun approach and distinct style.

Please check the link below for some samples of my previous work and the attached PDF for a full job description and let me know if you find the project interesting and would like to know more.




Warm regards,

Adam Bartlett

Job Title: Freelance/Independent Photographer Needed For a Fashion Shoot

Job Type: Contract/Freelance

The Basement, one of the world’s fastest growing fashion and lifestyle media brands, is looking for a professional model/fashion photographer to produce an independent outdoor/indoor fashion photo shoot for the magazine’s fashion and style contents (Web, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube). The Photographer will shoot with our wardrobe stylist, three models and H/MUA.

To be considered you should be experienced on genres such as beauty, fashion, portrait, culture, art, lifestyle, and music.

Job details:

  1. You will be required to work with 3 models (a male & 2 female), H/MUA and a wardrobe stylist. 2. There will be 3 outfits per model, 4 images for each model and outfit, which totals 36 images
  2. Outfits/Wardrobe will be supplied by us
  3. Shoot budget: $9,200
  4. Photographer’s compensation: $3,000 ($1,500 upfront; and $1,500 balance payment).
  5. Talents’ compensation: $6,200
  6. You will hold full image right (Licensor)
  7. Images will be posted as an editorial content on for 12 months


  1. We want 36 professionally taken pictures in High Res Digital Copies
  2. Editorial Web Large images: 1080p
  3. Image type: JPG
  4. Transfer method: Fileshare or Dropbox
  5. Images delivery deadline: July 24th, 2020.


  1. Photograph six to eight hours fashion shoot
  2. Produce focused images for use online.
  3. You will evaluate and pick your Location, date, and shoot time
  4. All editing/post production will be handled by photographer (little retouching)
  5. After the shoot, photographer will upload the top 40-45 photos for the client to choose from
  6. Contact and work with a recommended talents’ agent for the shoot

As the photographer we want you to handle other aspect of the gig and dictate the creative direction.

If this seems like a project you would like to work on, please reply for more details.


Hello ________,

Thanks for the reply and the interest to work with us on this project. The details of the gig include an agency which will be providing three fashion models, makeup and hair stylists. The total budget for the project is $9200 (photographer gets $3000 and $6200 for the talents). You will be paid 50% ($1500) upfront plus the talents budget while your balance payment of $1500 will be paid after sending us proof that the job has been done; usually watermarked images.

Wardrobe will be picked by our in-house stylist but styling will be handled on location by the talent agency and their stylist; the outfit will be sent to them.  I’m a writer and an editor for Basement Approved and I handle most of their content for North America. Images are guaranteed to feature as an editorial on for 12 months and you will be credited for the images.

We want a gritty outdoor look with a clean product focused image; I’m attaching some pictures as samples. I will advise you to use 2 to 3 locations, doesn’t have to be city centre but must be urban; one could be very natural/parks while the other is gritty/old bricks/streets but clean. You will have to do little retouching if pictures can be taken with natural lighting. Final images will be 300dpi or larger, to be delivered via dropbox.

Photographers we hire usually take on the responsibilities of coordinating the shoot, selecting location, and disbursing fees. Your upfront fee will be issued prior to the shoot; this covers your upfront and extra for talents’ fee payable in advance to their manager.

Please confirm if you are comfortable with this arrangement by providing the name and address to be written on the contract as well as for your check then I can work on the contract and the mood boards.

Regards, Adam


Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Hello ________,

Thanks for clarifying things. I believe there must have been a misunderstanding. What I meant to say during our call was that the $3,000 budget covers stuffs like retouching/editing and parking fees but not EQ rentals and assistant’s fees, that was why I asked for your assistants fees so I can bring it up with my team head. I sincerely apologize for the mix up. We’ll be able to cover fees for both assistants, EQ rentals and refreshments for the crew in a new budget. I’ll get back to you with more info on this when I hear back from my team head.

Warm Regards, Adam


Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Good Morning ______,

That sounds good. I’ll let you know as soon as the new budget is approved. Thanks for accepting to take the job. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you with the mood boards and talents info. We just rounded up discussions with the talent agency yesterday.

The agency providing models, stylist, and H/MUA is Keele & Barton Talent Management and I will want you to discuss possible dates and locations with the agent (Andrew Barton) while I work on getting your upfront and the contract; you can contact Andrew on or text on 631-770-7240.

I have attached the wardrobe mood boards to this mail for your review, I hope this helps with the creative direction. Let me know what you think.


Adam Bartlett.



Thanks for getting back to me.

I have to ask: why doesn’t this talent agency have a working website?



Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Hi ————,

Thanks for your email. I believe they mentioned during one of our many meetings that their website is currently under maintenance and should be back up shortly before a shoot date is finalized. You could reach out for a better explanation on their side.

Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett


Hi Adam,

I just tried calling you, but I got your voicemail. Not sure if you are already on holiday…

I have a few questions for you;

– When can you send the contract to me?

– Can you put in the contract what expenses you are paying for.

– When will I receive the advance payment?

– I heard from your contact Andrew at the agency. I’m a bit confused by some things in his email….

– I would prefer that Basement Approved pays his agency directly. He seems to think I am paying him?

– You mentioned in our conversation that you wanted “real people” models for this shoot. However, Andrew is showing me “beginner” models.

– He is also only showing me three models. Did you want me to look at more people before we decide?

– Andrew at the agency is asking to see location scouting images. Why? I have never had an model/hmu agency ask for location shots. Does he need to approve them? Just curious. :)

– You, and Andrew have said you will pay for “refreshments” for the crew. I assume that means snacks only?

I feel that since we are shooting a full day, that we should also provide lunch for all crew members. If we only provide snacks then people will be hungry. And hungry people don’t work very hard. :)

Let me know on the above. I am going to be working on the shoot today, before the holiday weekend.



Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

to me

Hi ————-,

Happy 4th of July. Sorry i missed your call yesterday, had to go be with the family for the holidays. Please find the answers to your questions below;

– When can you send the contract to me?

By Tuesday (7/7) or Wednesday (7/8), it should be fully drafted by then.

– Can you put in the contract what expenses you are paying for.

Yes sure.

– When will I receive the advance payment?

Once we receive the signed contract.

– I would prefer that Basement Approved pays his agency directly. He seems to think I am paying him?

We normally let photographers handle all aspects of the shoot including selecting talent agencies, casting of models and paying models but as i mentioned to you during our call, due to time constraints for the deadline, our clients who is also the sponsor of the shoot recommended an agency to source for the talents based on their specifications.


I haven’t worked with Andrew personally before but i’m told he’s good. I have had some bad experiences with talent agents in the past where they end up not being professional on shoot day because i wasn’t there to coordinate the shoot. This is why I thought being paid by the photographer who would be present for the shoot would be a better idea. Let me know your thoughts and if this is a deal breaker for you.

– You mentioned in our conversation that you wanted “real people” models for this shoot. However, Andrew is showing me “beginner” models.

We selected three models out of a total of six that were brought up that met the specifications of the project. However, I’ll suggest to Andrew to send com cards of the remaining three models so we can get your thoughts on them.

– He is also only showing me three models. Did you want me to look at more people before we decide?

Yes, I’ll let him know to send you the remaining three models to make a decision

– Andrew at the agency is asking to see location scouting images. Why? I have never had an model/hmu agency ask for location shots. Does he need to approve them? Just curious. :)

I was cc’d on the email. His responsibility isn’t to approve locations, I believe he wanted to know the locations selected in order to coordinate the logistics of getting his team there.

– You, and Andrew have said you will pay for “refreshments” for the crew. I assume that means snacks only?

I feel that since we are shooting a full day, that we should also provide lunch for all crew members. If we only provide snacks then people will be hungry. And hungry people don’t work very hard. :)

Yes I understand. Light refreshment in the morning and lunch would be provided for the whole crew. (No one needs to shoot while hungry )

Please let me know your thoughts on the answers and if everything looks good and i’ll send over the contract early next week. Have a lovely day and enjoy the holidays.

Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett


Hello Adam,

I hope you had an amazing weekend.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

I am fine with all you have responded with, except for the issue around paying the agency. For tax reasons I do not want to have the responsibility of paying the agency fees. Thanks so much for understanding.

I spent a portion of my weekend looking at potential locations for your shoot. I have narrowed them down to two very strong locations. I think you are really going to like them.

I will send the location shots to you in a separate email on Monday.

I look forward to receiving your contract, and moving forward!

Best regards,


 Re: Upcoming Basement Approved Shoot


Inbox x

Andrew Barton <

to me, adambartlett70

Hi ————,

I’m trying to touch base regarding the upcoming Basement Approved shoot. Adam and team informed me you’ll be creatively directing the shoot and requested we decided on dates, locations and details. We’re to provide 3 models, a Hair/MUA, stylist and a mini van for the shoot you will be coordinating.

Our total fee for the entire services is $6,200 including refreshment for the crew.

My team will be available to shoot any of the days from July 8th to July 19th, but I will be waiting for you to pick a date that best suits you. Also what are your thoughts on shoot location and will i be getting some scouting shots before the shoot day?

If you have any question, please feel free to email me or call on (631) 770-7240. is presently undergoing maintenance for a 2020 new look and is offline at the moment but should be back up in no time. So I have attached the models’ com cards; Ray, Tory and Hannah fits into the profile Basement Approved are looking for.

Looking forward to a great shoot with you.





Andrew Barton

(631) 770-7240


dam Bartlett

Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Good Morning Guys,


How are you today? ———-, thank you for sending in the scouting photos, I must say they look excellent and I do like them especially the graffiti walls and the combination of waterside, rail tracks and hills make for a good shot. These should work well for the urban theme we’re trying to achieve. Well done! I’m excited to see how the images turn out at these locations.

One question though. How far apart are these locations?

Regarding your questions; Yes the clothings would be sent from NY to the stylist in California and i’ll make sure to add some cool face masks as well. I’m attaching our Covid-19 safety plan currently implemented in our studios and offices, maybe you might find some safety features you’d like to incorporate for the shoot. I believe Andrew should be able to provide the model releases for the shoot.


I’m glad and satisfied with the production plan so far. I’ll finish the contract draft today with all the expenses being covered stated inside and send to you either at the end of business day or first thing tomorrow morning. 

Thanks once again for the photos, I’ll share that and other details with my team head to keep him in the know.


Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett


Andrew Barton <

to me, Adam

Hello —————- and Adam,


Thanks for the detailed brief. I will let the talents know of this and get them geared up and working towards it. Also, shoot on the 17th sounds good but i’ll suggest we have a back up date as well just to be safe. I agree with Adam, the locations images look great. Awesome choice.


Please find attached com cards of some of our female models of African descent (Esme, Taylor and Mzahni) as requested. I took the opportunity to include Gabe and Eric who i believe also meet up with the BA specifications and have been approved by Adam and his team. Let me know your thoughts on them so we can decide which to use for the shoot.


Adam is right, i’ll provide the model releases and send them over. Yes we’re also providing a van for easy movement between locations and I would be driving the van on the day of the shoot and handling the insurance. My brother in-law is based in Oakland (Adams Point) so i plan on travelling down from LA a day before the shoot. Maybe we could meet up over coffee to go through the shoot plans for the next day.


I also had some questions/suggestions i’ll like your thoughts on so as to be fully prepared for the shoot.


  1. I know you mentioned hair/mu to start from 9-11. I’m thinking that the models should come to the shoot all set on hair and make up with just little touch up left so as to save time. What is your thought on this?


  1. If you’ll be handling the meals/refreshments for the crew, is it ok to let you know the refreshment preferences of my team so you can factor that in as well. My team would consist of just myself, three models, a Hair/MUA and wardrobe stylist.


Let me know your thoughts on the questions and i’ll work on it. I’ll also look forward to receiving the call sheet once we finalized the shoot details and be sure to be at the photo studio meeting point on time


Myself and the team are all excited about the shoot and look forward to working with you and your team soon.




Andrew Barton

(631) 770-7240



to Adam

Hullo again Adam,

You are already proposing a $1500 advance that would cover 50% of my final fee. I would like to ask you for 50% of my estimated expenses as well. I generally always ask for both before any shoot.

Are you ok with that?

I would then, after the shoot, provide you with receipts showing what my actual expenses are.

So, in advance of our shoot, here are my estimated expenses:

Digital Tech Assistant: $450

Grip Assistant: $300

Crew Lunch and Snacks/Water/Coffee x9 people @ $20 per person: $180

Covid Precautions – Gloves, Masks, and Hand Sanitizer: $40

Equipment Rental: $375

Total Estimated Expenses: $1,345.00

50% of Estimated Expenses due before shoot: $672.50


Adam Bartlett

to me

Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Hi ———–,

Thanks for working tirelessly on this project and being proactive with the production plans. You make working with you so easy and I appreciate that. I received your request for 50% upfront for the estimated expenses and will submit that to the accounting department so they begin working on it.

Also, I spoke with my team head today regarding your concerns about possible tax issues arising from paying the agency as you mentioned in your email, with that he reached out to Andrew to let him know about the situation of things and Andrew agreed to provide an invoice, W9 and any other tax documents when required. I hope this resolves the issue. LMK.

The contract is done being drafted and it just got signed on our end so i’ll be sending it over to you first thing tomorrow morning. Hope to hear back from you soon. All the best.

Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett


to Adam, bcc: H


Thank you so much for your kind words. It is my pleasure.

And thank you for making arrangements for the payment for estimated expenses.

Regarding my being in charge of paying Andrew. I try to stay away from having any W-9s when it comes to tax time. It gets complicated as a freelancer. As well, I really would prefer not to have the responsibility. I hope for those reasons you will allow him to invoice you directly. Thank you so much.

I look forward to receiving the contract from you – and to your response to my emails today. I’m so enjoying this process with you!

Warmest Regards,


Adam Bartlett

to me

Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Hi ——–,

Sorry I couldn’t send over the contract yesterday as promised. This is due to the fact that although all estimated expenses have been included in it, the clause about having coordinate payments and plans with the agency was still in it. I had spoken to my team head regarding getting this edited but it seems like that might prove a bit difficult as a similar contract was signed with the talent agency which states that the photographer would be responsible for coordinating talent fees and directing the production of the shoot.

As it stands, i’ll have to refer the issue up the chain of commands to find a resolution which I fear might take a little longer than I hope for. I’ll be doing this today and letting you know. Once again, I apologize for the mix up and delay. Talk soon.

Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett


to Adam



Hi Adam,

Am I in danger of losing this shoot over this issue?

I hope not. Please let me know.



Adam Bartlett

Adam Bartlett <> wrote:
to me

Hi _______,

Not atall. Sorry if my last email startled you a bit. You aren’t losing the shoot, just that we might have to put it on a temporary hold and possibly push the delivery date till we’re able to sort out the issue. What i’m not sure of is the time in between it might take to resolve this (you know how it is sometimes with office bureaucracy). Whichever way it goes, I’ll do my best to keep you updated. Thanks.

Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett


to Adam

Hi Adam,

Hope you had a good weekend.

I’d really love to know where we are with the shoot.

I have crew and equipment on hold for this coming Saturday, our shoot date.

Will I have the contract today or tomorrow?

Please let me know.

Warmest Regards,


Adam Bartlett

to me

Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Hi ______________,

I had a great weekend, thank you for asking. I hope you had one as well. I have sent out a situation report to my senior editor already and just waiting to get a reply and how best to proceed from here. I’ll get back to you before the end of the day.

Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett


Adam Bartlett

to me, Andrew, H

Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Hi _________,

Here are the answers to the remaining questions for my part:

**I would like to change the tentative shoot date to Saturday, July 18th. Our back-up day will be Sunday, July 19th.*
Does this work for everybody?

If it works for you and the talents then i’m fine with it.

Adam: What do you think of Mzahni as our second female model? Are you ok with her piercings, or would we have to ask her to remove them?

She was originally one of the shortlisted models we looked at and I believe she looks great. She can also have her piercings on, we’re totally open to them.

Adam: Are you ok with Ray as our male model?


Regarding Hannah, the second female model you sent over – She is awfully thin. Adam, would you be ok with me asking Andrew to send over more female/white models? Or have you decided on Hannah?

I think we can go on with Hannah as our client has approved her.


to Adam, bcc: H

Hullo again Adam,

Thanks so much for answering my questions.

One more question: you refer in your email to “our client”.

I thought Basement Approved was the client? 



Adam Bartlett

to me

Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Hi _______,

Basement Approved is the magazine I work for which will be publishing the images together with the article “Fashion In The Time of A Pandemic” on it’s website. The client however (Rag & Bone), like i mentioned in a couple of my emails to you is the sponsor of the project. Have you heard of them before? They are a clothing company based in New York and have been on the scene since 2002 and currently donate proceeds of each mask sold to health care workers across the country and those most affected by Covid-19 through the Center For Disaster Philanthropy.

I just heard back from my senior editor and she advised that since the contract with the agency had been signed already, we’ll need to negotiate new terms with them. I fear this might take a longer time. Would you be willing to go on with the original plan of coordinating payments with the talent agency or would you rather wait for a renegotiation?

If you decide to go on with the original plans, I’ll advise Andrew to provide all necessary documents like he promised. Also, if you’d prefer not to handle the payment and rather wait for the renegotiation, I’ll keep you in the know as things go. Please let me know your thoughts and we can go from there. Hope to hear back from you soon.

Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett


to Adam

Hi Adam,

Can you let me know where we are with a contract?

Thanks so much.


Adam Bartlett

Adam Bartlett <> wrote:

Hi _________,

Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get the renegotiation with Andrew going yet as he’s been on a trip to Maui for a shoot out there and communication is rather sporadic but he promised to reach out today so I’m waiting on that. Would you by any way be open to going on with the original arrangement so as to save time and avoid possible delays? I can have the contract which has been drafted already sent out to you today. Let me know.

Warm Regards

Adam Bartlett

Featured Promo – Pascale Weber

Pascale Weber

Who printed it?
I printed it at “Wir machen Druck” –

Who designed it?
Graphic designer Lena Thomaka –

Tell me about the images?
The chair picture was an editorial for the “SI Grün Magazine” in Switzerland. The story was for summer issue in May. And also the picture with the vase. The keychain was designed by Julian Zigerli – The cosmetic pictures were a personal editorial with stylist Victoria Steiner – and also the picture with the cat. And the bag picture was created in collaboration with the designer RAËLLE ZURICH –

How many did you make?
I made just 50 prints but I need to print more they almost finished. :)

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to send a newsletter every two months. And I am also at Gosee and always send them my latest projects.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, of course. I always have a few cards or this new promotional flyer with me. It is always nice to leave a printed card after a meeting. And I also think people like to have a printed version in their hand.

Featured Promo – Alex Troesch

Who printed it?
I did it myself with an Epson printer and a lot of patience.

Who designed it?
I submitted 6 different versions to 3 different photographers I am close with and whose work inspires me and essentially adapted the design accordingly. I usually work with designers for this kind of promos but I felt the times were so special that I needed to make things differently this time. I also took a class with Susie Cushner at the ICP few years ago on how to promote your work and build promo cards which helped me a lot.

Tell me about the images?
It’s a collection of portraits I did recently and other which are part of my archives. Some were published (editorials) while others are simple portrait session I like to build around musicians, artists and actors I meet and whose work touches me. The B/W cover is from Engels the Artist who recently had a show at the Neuberger Museum of Art and whose studio is very close to mine. It also gave me the idea of using my printer because I had a very precise idea on how I wanted the shadows to be on this promo and had a feeling it would have been more complicated using a different printer or method. Maybe I am wrong… The idea of the back side is based on several other photograph I take when I edit and sequence small prints and stick them on the wall.

How many did you make?

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Last time was 3 years ago…I wish I could do more but it just depends on the time I have in front of me, which new images I have and also who is new out there.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes definitely. I get quite good responses, including this one which I rarely get with emails. I love printing, paper, the attention to detail and the slow pace it requires sometimes to get to a good result. And I do believe Art Directors and Photo Editors are also very sensitive to this.

Pricing & Negotiating: Corporate Lifestyle Shoot for a Tech Company

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Employees at work in an office space

Licensing: Web Advertising and Web Collateral use of up to six images for one year

Photographer: Portraiture and lifestyle specialist

Agency: Small, based on the West Coast

Client: Large technology company

Here is the estimate:

Initial quote of expenses for corporate lifestyle photoshoot.

Creative/Licensing Fees: The original project scope included corporate lifestyle images of six employees at work, and they hoped to license one shot of each employee for use on web ads and placement on their website for one year. Based on a conversation with the agency, I knew this would be a low-profile project for them and therefore have a tight budget. I started at $500/image, and while I wanted to add at least $2,000 as a creative fee, we decided to cut that in half and go with $4,000 as a combined creative/licensing fee.

Pre-Production/Scout Day: We included $1,000 to account for the photographer’s time to line up his crew and briefly visit the office to see the space beforehand.

Assistant: We included $500 for an experienced assistant to help lend a hand for the shoot day.

Hair/Makeup Stylist: $900 was an appropriate rate in this market for a stylist to make sure each subject was presentable and camera ready.

Equipment and Digital Workstation Rental: The photographer would have minimal equipment, and this accounted for his cameras, lenses, grip, lighting and a laptop for the client to review the images as they were being captured.

First Edit for Client Review: This accounted for the photographer’s time to do an initial edit and provide the client a web gallery of images to review, as well as delivery of six images by FTP.

Retouching: We were asked to detail a rate for retouching as an option, but not include it in the bottom line, so we noted a fee of $200/image should the client decide to outsource the post-production to the photographer.

Mileage, Parking, Misc.: This included a light lunch for the photographer and his two crew members, as well as some buffer funds for unforeseen expenses.

Feedback: A week later we were asked to revise the estimate and reduce the number of subjects from six to three while maintaining six shots (two per subject). Additionally, they requested perpetual use, rather than usage for just one year. I considered that perhaps the second shot per subject was less valuable than the first, but ultimately decided to base this new request on a per image fee of $1,500 each ($9,000 total). Prorated, the original $4,000 fee broke down to just over $650/image, so more than double this amount per image felt reasonable as a fee for perpetual use. While I might typically triple (at least) the price to go from one year to perpetual use, I felt that the shelf life of these images was just about a year or so as the subjects would primarily be working with technology in the images, which would quickly become out of date.

Here was the revised estimate:

Second estimate for corporate lifestyle shoot.

Feedback: We were told a few days later that the project scope was being tightened up to include just two subjects, and they wanted two images per subject. We were also told that they were hoping to keep everything under $10k. Based on $1,500/image, we included $6,000 as a creative/licensing fee. They also asked us to include basic post-processing for these images, and we added $150/image for the light retouching.

Here was the revised estimate:

Third revision of the estimate for the corporate lifestyle shoot.

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 1 610 260 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.

Pricing & Negotiating: Point of Sale and Collateral Content for a Wine Brand

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Wine and food pairings with lifestyle and cooking images in an outdoor environment

Licensing: Point-of-sale and collateral use of up to 26 images in perpetuity

Photographer: Portraiture and home/garden specialist

Agency: N/A

Client: Large wine brand

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing Fees: The client presented a shot list that included six food/wine pairings, each with two variations: one featuring the owner of the company and one without. Additionally, they asked for one hero shot featuring the same subject preparing food. For each of these 13 images, they asked for a vertical and a horizontal option, totaling 26 shots. The primary purpose of the shoot was to create point-of-sale content to accompany the bottles in stores, and they anticipated using some of the shots on their website and for other collateral purposes. I priced the first image (the hero shot) at $2,500, images 2-7 (the first six food/wine pairings) at $1,000 each, images 8-13 (the next six food/wine pairings) at $500 each, and images 14-26 (the second orientation of each shot) at $300 each. That totaled $15,400, which I rounded down to an even $15,000. While I wanted this number to reflect a fee for a one-year license, and then double or triple it to account for the perpetual duration, based on my experience I knew that aiming higher than $15k for a one day shoot would likely put this photographer out of the running for this particular project, so we stuck with this number.

Tech Scout, Pre-Production and Travel Days: We included one day for the photographer to scout the location ahead of time and another day to line up their crew and work out logistics/scheduling with the client. We detailed that two travel days were waived because the photographer was willing to work as a local.

Assistants: We included a first and a second assistant for the shoot day to help with lighting/grip and to be extra sets of hands on set.

Digital Tech: We included a digital tech to help display the images to the client as they were being captured.

Equipment: This included the photographer’s cameras and lenses, as well as their grip and lighting equipment and workstation for the digital tech.

Airfare, Lodging, Transportation: We detailed that these expenses were waived as the photographer was willing to work as a local.

Mileage, Parking, Additional Meals, Expendables, Misc.: This included about $250 for mileage and supplemental meals and another $250 for a bit of buffer and to cover unforeseen expenses.

First Edit for Client Review: This covered the photographers time to do an initial edit of the content, and provide the client a gallery of content to review.

Retouching: We included $200 for each of the 26 shots, and noted that this included up to 2 hours or retouching per image.

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 1 610 260 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 – Maya Visnyei

Maya Visnyei

Who printed it?
Printer: Flash Reproductions //

Who designed it?
Designer: Awake Studio // //

Tell me about the images?
Light in the Dark is built around a distinct and refined palette—black and gold. I created two types of imagery: food as sculpture, texture, and shape which contrast with the scenic images conveying time and place. This project comprises a booklet in two parts, bound together in a way that allows the viewer to experience both simultaneously. There is a push and pull between the images so that they interact with each other regardless of what sequence or pairings they are viewed in. Its unique binding and collection of images encourage active engagement and open interpretation on the part of the viewer.

In addition to its function as a marketing tool, I also used the promo piece as an opportunity to push myself creatively. I chose to go beyond seeing the project as a collection of stand-alone images, but instead to craft a unique piece where the images worked in-tandem with the design. Working on the project over the course of a year, I focused on the mood and feeling that I wanted to create, tailoring each of the images to best highlight the black and gold aesthetic.

How many did you make?
1000 pieces

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send out promos once a year

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes definitely. I have seen a direct correlation between sending out my promo pieces and getting noticed + hired by new clients. Which makes the time and financial investment worth it. It’s an opportunity to get people to stop for a moment during their busy day at the office and look at my work. Perhaps they will tear out an image that speaks to them or they will go to my website, either way it’s an opportunity for me to make an impression. It is also a great way to continue a conversation with a client, reaching out to them through email after they’ve received the promo.

Black Photographers Matter

- - The Future, Working

Guest post by Amy V. Cooper

This past week has provided a huge swell of excitement about the potential for change not just in our country, but in the photography community. It has been amazing to see so many
businesses not only supporting Black Lives Matter, but also pledging to review their own
practices and biases, launching internal reviews and initiatives, and, for a few, publicly
announcing the steps that they will be taking to address racism and the lack of diversity within their companies.

We have seen white photographers create a database for finding Black photographers; photo editors, designers, consultants and agents offering pro bono services and mentorships to Black photographers. Resources for finding Black photographers like Authority Collective, Diversify Photo, Color Positive and others are being amplified.

Photo courtesy of Alexis Hunley

It’s not breaking news that the photography, media and advertising industries in the U.S.have a great deal of work ahead to further diversify. “I can’t find them” is no longer an excuse for not hiring and representing Black creatives.

It’s time to get to work.

With input from Black photographers, I’m offering these suggestions toward becoming a more inclusive and diverse industry. We are not suggesting that photographers be hired solely on the basis of race – nobody is asking for or wanting this. But Black photographers need to be seen and feel seen.

This is not about handouts. It’s about opportunity.

I am proposing that we work harder to include Black perspectives in our spaces and offer more opportunities for them to be seen, supported, educated, mentored, empowered, amplified, celebrated and paid.

I am proposing that we hire Black photographers to shoot more than race-related reportage and subjects or experiences that we think are germane to theirs.

I am challenging us to consider more Black photographers for shoots and triple bids, give them more of our time and invite them into our networks.

As a former editor and art buyer, I know that it feels risky to take a chance on someone when their current portfolio might fall short of our explicit expectations, but now is the time to start taking some risks so that more Black photographers have the opportunity to gain the experience that they need in order to compete with non-Black photographers.

Here are actions we can all take:

  • Offer scholarships, mentorships and/or paid internships to Black people.
  • Intentionally network and ask for meetings with Black creatives.
  • Accept meetings and respond to emails and DMs from Black people.
  • Do our homework to research and discover more Black creatives within our industry.
  • Hold others accountable for inclusion, ask questions and take inventory of diversity
    within our spaces. This is going to be uncomfortable and hard—do it anyway.
  • Create policies and diversity initiatives with practices to maintain momentum and
    responsibility beyond periods of protest.
  • Ask your friends and colleagues what they are doing to expand the diversity in their
  • Amplify Black voices and issues in ways that are not self-serving.
  • Reach out to schools and colleges that have more, or majority Black students, or are in more diverse neighborhoods. Volunteer your time, expertise or money.
  • Listen to Black people. Make them feel welcome. 

Photo courtesy of Cedric Terrell

More Specifically:


  • Find, hire and/or mentor Black assistants, producers and stylists.
  • Cast Black talent, including those with darker skin and natural hair.
  • Find hairstylists who can properly style natural hair.
  • When joining organizations or directories and signing up for festivals, competitions and conferences, ask about diversity policies and pay attention to diversity in panels and reviews. If diversity is missing, speak up and invest your money elsewhere if not addressed.
  • Offer your services to Black-owned businesses and amplify their products, over-
    delivering to those clients when possible.
  • Take stock of the diversity in your own portfolio. Explore more diverse subjects,
    locations, cuisines, etc.

Photo Editors, Creative Directors & Art Buyers:

  • Add more Black photographers to your bookmarks and personal directories then utilize those directories.
  • Follow Black creatives on social media; invite them to your office or virtual office for portfolio reviews. Teach them about the process of working with your company and in your industry.
  • Initiate conversations and standards for reviewing and hiring more Black photographers and vendors within your company.
  • Feature Black creatives on the contributor’s page or bold the bylines. Advocate for them and amplify their work to other editors and buyers. If they are not ready, help them grow, introduce them to other photographers, crew and resources.
  • Mentor Blacks who want to be photo editors, creative directors and art buyers.
    We need a lot more of those. 

Photography Producers:

  • Add more Black people to your crew and vendor list.
  • Mentor or provide paid internships to Black creatives.
  • If you haven’t already, start building more diverse crews – before your clients start asking for them.
  • Find hair stylists who can work well with natural hair styles.
  • Talk to your vendors, casting and location scouts about their diversity initiatives.
  • Create production guidelines to address discrimination on set.
  • Ensure equal pay for Black crew and talent.
  • Offer to produce test shoots for Black photographers.


  • Find, hire and/or mentor Black assistants and stylists.
  • Source products from Black-owned businesses and designers.
  • Educate yourselves on Black hair, skin care, and products. Refer a more experienced stylist for a job if you are not qualified.
  • Offer your services for test shoots with Black photographers.

Photography Reps & Agents:

  • Understanding that less than 10% of major agency rosters are made up of BIPOC, work harder to diversify who you represent.
  • Mentor and introduce less experienced photographers to more experienced photographers, producers, stylists and consultants who can help them elevate their portfolios.
  • Offer portfolio reviews and more thorough responses to Black photographers’ inquiries.
  • Take Black photographers with you on agency visits and consider offering paid internships.
  • Consider creating an informative auto-reply or FAQ page to educate younger photographers or refer them to consultants.


  • Introduce Black photographers to editors and art buyers. Amplify their work.
  • Encourage your white clients to diversify their portfolios and networks.
  • Connect with schools and colleges that are more predominately Black.
  • When you are asked to teach, review or be on a panel, evaluate the diversity of that panel or event. Speak up and ask for accountability if diversity is missing. Offer suggestions to include more Black creatives in the event or program. If diversity is not addressed, decline to collaborate until it is.

Photography Associations & Clubs: 

  • Diversify your boards, teachers, members, speakers and mission statements.
  • Amplify Black creatives on your platforms and in your newsletters, webinars and podcasts.

Directories & Sourcebooks: Pay to play directly affects diversity in all industries.

  • Amplify Black photographers and offer scholarships.
  • Diversify the decision makers who accept or reject applicants.
  • Diversify your webinars, podcasts and newsletters, and ensure the initiative
    continues after periods of protest
  • Promote Black photographers to your network of art buyers.

Photography Festivals & Competitions:

  • Diversify your panels, judges, instructors, speakers and featured photographers.
  • Offer more attendee scholarships and ask sponsors to be a part of that.
  • Question the diversity of your sponsors’ ambassadorships, representatives and
    mission statements.

Technical Equipment Companies (Cameras, Lighting, etc.):

  • Diversify your ambassadorships and branding.
  • Sponsor Black photographers, offer scholarships and mentorships, provide teaching and training opportunities.
  • Donate equipment to, and volunteer in schools with majority Black students.


  • Invite more diverse guests and Black creatives into your classrooms.
  • Hire more diverse instructors.
  • Invite Black students to audit your classes.
  • Teach about Black photographers and give your students assignments to report on more diverse photographers. Show them that not all successful photographers are white men.

Galleries & Museums:

  • Diversify your collections and amplify Black artists.
  • Offer mentorships, reviews and other access to Black photographers and

Advertising Agencies: 

  • Update and clarify your diversity policies to your employees as well as your
  • Advocate for better representation in front of and behind the camera.
  • Hire more Black employees, creative directors, art buyers, producers and writers,

Photo courtesy of Martine Severin

I understand that hiring, charging and offering discounts on the basis of race or ethnicity will require attention to legal guidelines. I am aware that we are going to have to uncomfortably navigate the complicated waters of tokenism and exploitation. And I realize that some of these suggestions may sound discriminatory in the exclusion of non-Blacks. That is certainly not my intention.

I am asking all of us, including myself, to work harder to empower and amplify Black artists so that we may have more balanced, consistent and truthful visual representations in our media and lives.

Let us remember that it was in fact an image, a video of George Perry Floyd Jr., that woke up so many people in our country to finally call for change. The photography industry will no doubt be a powerful agent in this revolution. It’s up to us to make it happen. Let’s get to work.

Amy V. Cooper is a Photography Consultant and Editor offering mentorships to Black photographers and to BIPOC interested in becoming photo editors or art buyers.

The Daily Promo – Lucy-Ruth Hathaway

Lucy-Ruth Hathaway

Who printed it?
It was printed by Dayfold, who are based in the UK.

Who designed it?
I came up with the concept of The Food Styling Encyclopaedia, along with the accompanying titles. The graphic design is by Wildish & Co.

Tell me about the images?
All the images are taken from my collaborations with set designers and photographers; they are almost entirely made up of personal projects. The process began by thinking of all of the words for the Encyclopaedia, which took about 3 months. I then either matched the words to existing personal work imagery, or conceptualised images to illustrate each title.

How many did you make?
I did a first print of 100, which I then made some amendments to and printed a further 250.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I got such a good response from the first promo I sent out in early 2019 that I decided to make the next one into a small book that people would want to keep.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
As a food stylist, I have had a huge amount of publicity and also commercial exposure from The Food Styling Encyclopaedia.

The Daily Promo – June Kim

June Kim

Who printed it?
Magcloud – having used Blurb before (who I believe owns Magcloud), I trusted the quality and ease of their online interface.

Who designed it?
My friend David Jung who is an art director based out of LA. It helps so much to have someone who knows you and your work shape how others will see it. He finessed the typefaces and page layouts, creating a system for displaying the images and even the page numbers—all the details matter.

Tell me about the images?
I decided to call this “Selected Works” because the images span the gamut of collaborative projects (in particular with my good friend and closest collaborator Michelle Cho), editorial assignments, fashion shoots, and personal work. I wanted the images to flow from one type to another and exist under the umbrella of “June Kim” without having to label or categorize them.

How many did you make?
150 copies officially, and did an initial batch of proofs which turned out to be great too.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’ve been mulling on this first one for over a year, but going forward I’d love to make a promo yearly. In between, I’ll be putting my efforts into building a solid (and hopefully ever-evolving) website and promote that way.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I sure hope so. As timing had it, I printed these right before coronavirus hit the states hard, and then everything began to shut down. But I’ve sent some out, I’m holding on to some others, and we’ll see what happens!

The Daily Promo – Tarona Leonora

- - The Daily Promo

Tarona Leonora

Who printed it?
The work was printed by PrinterPro, a printing shop that has two locations in The Netherlands. They’re a fairly small company who do huge turnovers and I love their team.

Who designed it?
Originally, I designed every single aspect of the book from the cover to the simple layout and deciding what kind paper should be used. When I had done a test print, I showed it to my friend Franky Sticks. He mentioned that the (original) cover design didn’t match what was happening on the inside in terms of the work, so he offered to do a cover redesign. And that is the version that is out now. Thank you Franky!

Tell me about the images?
The nine images that you find in the zine are a combination of works I have shot between 2015 and 2020 in different places on the planet. I have always very much been attracted to colors, and it is also something that has always been very distinctive throughout my work. I love what colors can communicate and how you can use them to convey messages on a different level than what instantly meets the eye. I ended up having this enormous archive that I had collected all over the world from all different times and I decided to pick a few that resonated with me the most and that I believed could tell a story on their own. The hardest part in the process was finding the balance and rhythm between the images in terms of placement and which image would follow up which. I was also very aware of how the colors could possibly work on the retina when being viewed and how the next or previous images could be influenced by that.

How many did you make?
I printed an edition of 50.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This was actually the first time I did something like this in my entire timeline as a visual artist. All my work, so far, has only ever existed online. The idea for this thematic zine, came to me due to frustration of solely seeing my work in a digital space and never being able to hold it. I realised that I had a huge archive of images and I never knew what to do with it. So, this format makes it possible for me to work in themes that interest me and share them quickly in a tangible format. This also allows me to mix and match old archival work with freshly shot work and bind it all together according to theme. With that said, there are more themes to come.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think printed work is always something that people enjoy. We are, after all, tactile beings. Even while living in this digital age, I still find myself having love for objects that are tangible and I wanted to make something that I would like. I always thought that if I will like it, someone else will too. So far, some people have bought the zine as well, so I suppose it’s not only effective marketing in that sense, but it’s also something to collect.

The Daily Promo – Thomas Strand

- - The Daily Promo

Thomas Strand

Who printed and designed it?
Done by Brian Donahue of bedesign in Minneapolis. I worked with Brian for many years when he was an art director at Minnesota Monthly. I knew his amazing sense of magazine design would translate well. I gave Brian an archive of images and he ran with it.

Tell me about the images?
Images are a mix from my volunteer work for the rescue Secondhand Hounds, some Purina projects and a couple of test shots.

Several years ago I found myself an empty nester. I had one son who joined the Marines and another that left to study abroad. I said goodbye to my 16-year-old Golden Retriever just prior to that. I had extra time on my hands and decided to volunteer for the rescue. Volunteering has been amazing. It fueled a new direction in my work and granted me the chance to be involved in two things I love; animals and photography. Volunteering has nurtured me creatively, given me a sense of purpose outside myself and help create a new avenue of business.

How many did you make?
I printed 1500 but send out 800.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I plan on 2 of these types of promo per year. Previously I sent out postcards.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I am a believer in printed promos. If I was an AD I would want to receive printed pieces. I find email blasts incredibly disappointing. I am so sick of looking at Google analytics, clicks and opens. The promo landed on a couple of the AD’s desks at Checkmark Communications (Purina) the day they received sign-off on a great project. I did bid the job but sadly all shoots have been tabled due to the virus.

I printed this promo late last fall and spent many hours folding and packaging the promos. I decided it was not a good idea to send out over the holidays and then got mired in refining my mailing list again and updating my website with new images before sending out the promo. The consequence was that it landed on peoples laps shortly before the virus took hold. I am hoping it is not completely lost in all of this.

The Daily Promo – Kelly Allison

- - The Daily Promo

Kelly Allison

Who printed it?
Graphic Arts Studio,, a suburban print shop on the west side of Chicago. They’ve been printing my promos for years and I’m always so happy with their color.

Who designed it?
The piece was both art directed and designed by my friends at Letterform, a Chicago graphic design firm, They’re also the ones who created my entire business system, so it helps to have them a part of the conversation from the ground up. Since Letterform starts with a deep understanding of the end goal, we can align to make sure our content both relates to and expounds upon my studio’s brand voice.

Tell me about the images?
The inspiration behind Just Dig In stems from my experience of societal notions around food consumption as being duplicitous at best. Within our highly digital culture there’s an increased propensity to spend time ingesting images of rich, delicious, and seemingly ‘naughty’ food. Meanwhile we’re barraged with messages (often subversive or subliminal) that tout the importance of unrealistic body expectations, and food becomes evil. Food should bring enjoyment, energy, and nourishment for the soul and the body. Yet for many people in the US, especially women and girls, every interaction with food comes with a whole host of physical, emotional, and stress responses. The advertising world has a great amount of influence on how we relate to food as a culture. I see it as our communal responsibility to reclaim the beauty and power of food on all levels, and to promote messages of positivity around food and food enjoyment.

Our aim in developing this collection was to challenge the idea that food in any form is bad, as long as it adds goodness to the human experience. We wanted to create a collection of images that responsibly gives permission to the viewer to enjoy the experience of their taste buds, while sharing a message that ‘guilty’ pleasure doesn’t need to be so.

How many did you make?
There were 1,000 booklets produced in total, 500 of which were sent (like yours) with a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. For the past few years I’ve been inspired to send Girl Scout cookies with my promos for a couple of reasons: With so many amazing promotional pieces hitting the desks of creatives each day, it’s often hard to stand out. By aligning with a strong brand that’s deeply rooted in nostalgia, I’m pinning my name to an immediately recognizable entity (and one which happens to be one of those ‘guilty’ pleasure) in the hopes of creating a longer lasting impression. More importantly, the iconic nature of the annual cookie release gives me a great opportunity to support local troops in my neighborhood, and give back to an organization that is actively changing the way that girls see themselves and their potential. I believe strongly in the positioning of the Girl Scouts organization and their messages of solidarity, community, global citizenship, and sisterhood.

We have another 500 pieces (sans cookies) that were scheduled to ship at the end of March, but instead we are patiently awaiting a safer time to send them.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send one promo each year, usually in the spring or fall.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely. There is something powerful about the tactile experience of a well-designed and beautifully executed printed piece, especially when thoughtfully produced and well-strategized. With a mutual desire to both showcase my work and also limit our environmental footprint, we always try to create pieces that serve a useful purpose. I want each promo to live longer than a quick peruse, and toss into a pile (if you’re lucky) or the recycling bin. Timing also matters when planning to send a physical promo – if it’s a time of increased mail, like around the winter holidays, there may be more pieces that never reach their intended recipient, or get buried and overlooked. Despite the possible obstacles of sending promotional pieces, I’m confident that the benefit far outweighs the negative. There’s no way to accurately account for the impact of an individual promo, but we have definitely heard many stories (even years later) of clients who hire us because our promo ended up in their hands.