Category Archives: Photography

Ethics Still Exist In The Photography Business

Ethics Still Exist In The Photography BusinessI recently came across an article talking about the lack of ethics in the photography industry and as I read it I kept thinking to myself… “Is this person serious?”

The article talked specifically about a group of photographers that I know personally. These photographers aren’t just full-time shooters. In fact, many of them put aside their photography (shooting) business to teach other photographers instead.

For example, one person mentioned in the article is a very successful photographer who had many clients when her only job was photography sessions. At one point the photographer started to write a blog that educated other photographers about business and marketing. When that website picked up the photographer slowly downsized her photographer business with the intentions of educating photographers as her full-time job.

Now the photographer has a second website which is an online course for photographers to learn how to improve their photographs businesses.

Does that make her less of a photographer? Less of a person? Less of a business person? No. It makes her smarter. The photographer took what was obviously doing very well and went with it. Improved it, and is making a good living from it.

Does being a part-time professional photographer who make it unethical to teach other photographers?

Let’s move on to me now.

I’m a freelance professional photographer. I don’t have tons of clients and don’t take on every photo job that comes my way. Instead I work for Photocrati teaching other photographers about photography, about their business, SEO, marketing and websites. Does that make me less of a photographer? Heck, I’d prefer making photographs because I love it rather than accept money for it. But I also have bills to pay so I went with a job which I also love (working at Photocrati was the 2nd best decision of my life) and still take on paid photography work here and there.

I’ll ask again, does being a part-time professional photographer who make it unethical to teach other photographers?

What about the rest?

There are tons of photography and photo business educators that will host in-person classes only to leave important information out. That’s unethical as people are paying to learn. However, to say having a sales pitch at the end of a free webinar (on the Internet mind you) is unethical is just flat out wrong. It’s part of marketing and business.

So when someone says there is no ethics in the photography industry because someone is teaching someone else about the photography business and not shooting full-time… well – it just makes no sense.   Wouldn’t you want a teacher who has time to teach you?

I think the bigger question is where the ethics are when someone has to complain about another photographer finding his/her area of expertise and succeeding at it. Where’s the sense of community and support? Stop the jealousy. Stop the hatred and move on.

If you would like to learn from some of my favorite photo business educators, please check out the following online courses:

Each of these courses include all the information you want and leave nothing hidden. I work the same way with my education. So of course please also join me at the Photocrati blog for articles that I write about the photography business.

Thanks for reading and happy learning,

Scott

The Nitz Strap – Wrist & Shoulder Straps

Nitz StrapOne day my friend Chris Nitz decided to start a camera strap brand.  He documented the entire process through Facebook and I really wanted to be a part of such an amazing mission.

So I reached out to Chris to become a beta tester and to help him get set up with the website.

A few months later and the first products are ready.  At the moment you can buy a Nitz Strap with paracord but eventually they will also be available with nylon rope, which is also really neat.

Nitz Strap Wrist Strap

Each of the straps are woven and crafted by Chris, by hand.  The materials are sourced in the United States which makes him one of few camera accessory companies 100% US based.

I am not one for shoulder straps all the time, so I have used the wrist strap.  The beauty of the paracord Chris uses is that it’s soft and breaks in more overtime.  There are tons of color combinations to choose from, although he is only offering select colors through the website to make it easier on himself.

Nitz Strap Holding

The goal is to eventually offer any color option, and in the meantime he does take custom orders. For example, The Photo Frontier has their own line of straps specific to their branding colors.

In addition to colors, the Nitz Strap is available in multiple weave styles, including the The Thin Line which you see in my sample photos.

There are also multiple hardware choices so whether you want the strongest or lightest connectors or semi-permanent versus quick release.  For mine I went with the Push Clip so I can quickly remove the strap when my camera is on the tripod.

Nitz Strap

As you can see, the strap very stylish but it’s also extremely lightweight and has multiple functions.  One of the beauties of paracord is that if you were hiking somewhere and an accident happened where you needed rope, you could theoretically un-wrap the strap and use the rope for whatever you need. Paracord is extremely strong and is meant to hold bodyweight.

My friend Gevon wrote up a great review of the strap for The Phoblographer, so please give that a read.  Gevon also provided the photos of me you see in this article.

Definitely check out the Nitz Strap website to learn more about the straps and to pick one up for yourself, or as a gift for your favorite photographer.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

How Lenstag Can Help Identify Non Permitted Photo Use

I’m a big fan of Lenstag for multiple reasons.  For one, it’s a fantastic way to keep track of your equipment.  For another, it helps you find stolen equipment, find missing equipment and even helps sell equipment by transferring from one account another.

At one point Lenstag launched mobile apps to monitor your gear.  Then came something that was even more brilliant.  Because Lenstag has a huge database of gear and serial numbers, they launched a monitoring tool.  This tool is a free extension for Google Chrome.  It monitors your Internet browsing and others also using the extension.  As people browse the web, the extension is looking at the metadata of every image it comes across.  It then searches the Lenstag database and notifies the photographer if a photograph is found with the camera’s serial number.

Of course, this tool improves with every new user, so please install it and let it help you find your photographs used without permission.

The screenshot below is the email I received from Lenstag showing a bunch of domains using my photographs.  Some are mine, some are test sites for work, some are guest blog articles I’ve done and of course, some are content scrapers.  The ones that worry me are content scrapers.

How Lenstag Can Help Identify Non Permitted Photo Use

The next screenshot is the user interface you see when logged into Lenstag.  It allows you to see each URL that includes an image of yours.  As you can see, I pinpointed which domains/URLs are the content scrapers.

Lenstag

When you click on a domain, the expanded view shows some info on the photograph in addition to the URL of the photograph in use and the URL of the page in question.

Lenstag URLs

From here you can take the information provided from Lenstag and either let it be or take action, like using a DMCA letter.  Of course everyone has their own idea of which is good and bad.  My concerns are with photographs used without permission, so I take action against content scrapers.

I hope you find this helpful and head over to Lenstag to get your account setup.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott