JezzWarren.com

2012

Photography Contract

Protecting yourself and your work as a photographer should be at the forefront of any photographer’s mind. Yet, many of us often overlook this facet of running a business. Contacting and working with a lawyer who specialises in business law can help you protect yourself from dishonest and disagreeable clients should a problem arise. Despite which genre of photography your work happens to fall in–perhaps you are a multi-faceted photographer–having a solid contract that is suited to your specific needs will take the guess work out of a job for both you and your client. Below, you can find an assortment of pre-made contracts which are available for use, free of charge.

Portrait Photography Contract – A plain language contract suitable for use when you will be taking portraits of clients either in the studio or at an event. Includes payment, copyright, and creative license terms.

Contract for the Sale of Fine Art Photography – Covers the sellers terms involved in the sale of a piece of fine art photography including but not limited to price, insurance, framing, and a section for an in-depth description of the piece to eliminate any confusion.

Gallery Contract for Sale of Photography - This contract is useful for the consignment of photography to a professional gallery and includes sections for sale and payment procedures as well as loss of risk terms.

Model Release – A necessary document if you’re working with models and talent. Protects the photographer from potential remuneration claims made by talent.

Minor Model Release – Essential model release for working with minors. To be signed by the minors parents or guardian.

Licensing Contract to Merchandise Images – Useful for when you wish to sell your images to clients for merchandising rights.

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While having contracts made specifically for your business by a lawyer is ultimately the safest route to protect yourself, the contracts listed above are an excellent starting point. They can be altered to meet your needs and are available for use free of charge. Feel free to download and use the contracts as needed; however, these contracts may not be all inclusive for every type of situation, so you can adapt them to have your own personalised contract requirements.
It is that peace of mind of a well written contract that will give you piece of mind. I have been using a models release form now for several years and for me, that little additional upfront cost has saved me not only problems that I have seen arise with other fellow photographers, but also the heart ache I have seen when photographers go to sell their work, as no company in their right mind will buy work from you without the consent of those in your work and as harsh as that may sound, it is a very true reality that faces everyone who wants to sell their work, be it images or digital art work.

It's Not All Black And White

Black and white photos are unquestionably much more artistic, emotional, and timeless; its simplicity moving away the attention from the colour and enhancing the photo’s visceral aspects and design. They can be used in practically any shot from the laughter of a child, to a serene winter morn. Black and white photos are not, strictly speaking, black and white; they are photos subject to the grey scale a range of colours from the darkest black to the lightest light, and therefore everything in between. Hence, the common perception that black and white photos limit a photographer’s creativity by limiting the colour range is false; there is a wide array of grey to choose from, one of which would best suit the photographer’s needs. Looking at it, black and white photos require a surprising amount of skill and here are some tips on how to make it as perfect as possible.
It would seem ironic that to create a good monochromatic photo, one would have to take the photo itself in colour.

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However, such is the case as setting the camera in its black and white mode denies the photographer the freedom of choosing the perfect grey scale blend for the photo. Nonetheless, if your camera has a RAW format (which is only available in more upscale devices), the camera takes two photos – one in the original, coloured form and another in the automatic black and white format. This gives the photographer more creative liberty.
The double-edged sword of monochromatic photos is its lack of colour. It cannot grab the attention of a viewer from point to point with its vibrant colours. But because of this, a viewer can then focus on points of interest that is normally pushed aside in coloured pictures. Some examples are shadows, which emphasise structure and shape; textures, which enrich a photo; and patterns, where most of the eyes will be focusing on without any colour to distract.
There is always a right time for everything, even in photography. In days where the clouds block a lot of the sun, or a storm looms just above the horizon, these are days that are absolutely awful for coloured photographs but are inversely so for black and white photos. The low levels of natural light allow for a smoother contrast between shadow and subject, and if you feel that the photo needs more contrast, it can easily be added in post-production, and like the noise, is challenging when done the other way around.
Black and white photos have a way of bringing a more sensitive experience to a picture. Photographers must bear this in mind when picking the perfect subject, as viewers will be focused more on the graphic elements rather than the overall look, without the colours to shine through. The most common choice of subject is a single one; like a flower, a cloud, or a face. It allows the viewer to zoom in on a single object, which is made more intense by the grey colours. Another subject that is perfect for monochromatic photos are moving ones, which is much more difficult. However, dynamic objects allow for movement in a typically ‘dead’ black and white photo.

iPhoneography

I will be the first to admit that an iPhone does not have the features that you will have in a top end DSLR. That being said, I am also a firm believer in the old saying that the best camera is the one that you have with you. Let’s face it, as much as I would love to walk around wielding a fancy DSLR at all times, sometimes it is only me and my phone. Plus, it is just plain fun to break out the iPhone for a spontaneous shot-from-the hip photo adventure every once in while. If an iPhone is all we have to work with, then we may as well fine-tune our craft to using one.
I am finding more and more times that I use my iPhone to take my creations that step further than if I had my DSLR.
One of the beautiful things about the iPhone is all the applications that are available for it. Photography junkies everywhere will rejoice in knowing that there are 1,000′s of photography related applications in the app store, many of them being free. Of course, all those choices will also make it more difficult to decide between them.
I have found how easy it is easy to fill up your device with applications, sometimes only using that app that week of download and never again. So experimenting with new applications is good, but I am finding that I need to get into the habit to clear out the ones I do not use, the advantage to that is that it will leave you more storage space for actual photos.
I have come to change my ways in taking photos when I use my iPhone and just merely holding my iPhone and setting up the frame has changed. Holding firmly in both hands for stability is a starting point and I try to refrain from holding my arms out like a zombie and fighting to see the screen from arms length. If I just bend my elbows and bring the screen closer to my face so I can more easily see all the details. I am sometimes amazed at what a difference this makes in my composition.
One thing I do find with the iPhone, is that you do need to avoid using the zoom tool. It drains the resolution and sends any hope for a decent picture quality out the door. If at all possible I physically move closer to my subject if you need a close-up.

Work In Progress

I have been out and about from location to location using my iPhone and Hipstamatic along with Instagram and slowly working on my still life and landscape photography skills, sometimes seeing what happens and other times planning a shot.
So far all is looking good and I think next month some happy accents might come to light and produce some nice results.

Instagram Vs Hipstamic

When it comes to iPhoneography, the vintage look seems to be the fad that is not going away. Everybody is obsessed with having their iPhone photos look like old school photos from the sixties and seventies. There are a lot of applications out there that will apply filters to your shots, but there are two clear front runners when it comes to the vintage look Hipstamatic and Instagram. So which is better? The truth is these applications have quite different focusses, with a small overlap.
Hipstamatic has been around since 2009 and is extremely an extremely popular app Apple even named it app of the year for 2010. Hipstamatic is a camera application in the most traditional sense possible, when you launch the application the interface emulates a camera the creators of Hipstamatic claim it was inspired by an actual plastic camera with changeable lenses, but this may have in fact been clever marketing and completely made up.

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With Hipstamatic you cannot edit photos that were not taken using the app while some find this to be a limiting feature, I think part of the charm of the app is the integrity with which they stick to the camera metaphor. Because of the strict metaphor you take your shot and you get a result your choices are made prior to shooting, there is no post production to be done and the results are often great.
What really sets Hipstamatic apart from the myriads of lesser vintage look apps is the quality of the filters. The app has several ‘lenses’ available, each one giving a different vintage look, with some ‘films’ and ‘flashes’ also available to tweak the effects. You can see a comparison chart of all the combinations here.
I have yet to find an application with a better set of filters than Hipstamatic, and although I have a fair few photography applications at this stage, Hipstamatic remains an application I return to frequently. Hipstamatic costs £1.28 and comes with 3 lenses, 2 films and 3 flashes. You can buy more “Hipstapacks” from £0.69
You can also order great quality prints from within the app, and share your prints to FaceBook, Flickr or Tumblr.
The application is beautifully designed, but does take a little bit of getting used to and because there are plenty of features accessed through the visual metaphor of a vintage camera it can be a little fiddly to use just like the real deal. I love to use this application in a random mode so I never quite know what type of images I am going to get until I see them in my photo stream or camera role. It is so nice to just shake the iPhone to get a random, film, flash or lens.

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Instagram is a newer app, launched in October of 2010, but by December they already had over a million registered users.
Although Instagram allows you to take pictures, and apply vintage effects, if you visit the Instagram site you will see their tagline is “Fast beautiful photo sharing for your iPhone”. Instagram is primarily an application to integrate your photos with your social media presence.
Instagram is a community and photo sharing space in its own right, but currently they do not have a web profile for users your photos are viewed and accessed via the Instagram app by other iPhone users. It does look like web profiles are being developed, but the main feature of the application is that it is super easy to share photos to Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous, FaceBook and Foursquare.
The interface is clear and really easy to use, feels very zippy and is generally a pleasure to interact with.
Instagram allows you to find people to follow by looking through your friends on FaceBook or Twitter so you can very quickly have a stream of your friends photos to peruse, like and comment on.
The filters that come with Instagram are almost all vintage photo type filters, some of which are nice enough, but not nearly close to the same quality as Hipstamatic.
One thing to be aware of is that Instagram creates images that are 612pixels by 612pixels. You can pull higher res images from your camera roll into Instagram to share, but they will be converted to 612×612.
If you are using Instagram as a camera it is possible to choose to have the app save the original photo (as it would look if taken with the default camera app) as well as the Instagram 612×612 version but the photos shared via Instagram will always by 612×612.
612×612 is fine for fast sharing on the web, which is what Instagram is focussed on, but would not be great for printing. To give you a comparison Hipstamatic shots are 1536×1536.
Of course, the other big feature Instagram has on its side is that it is free.
If you are into photography on the iPhone you will want to own Hipstamatic, it gives you dependable results with a vintage feel at print quality.
Instagram is really more about social media and interaction, it gives you the ability to quickly share a moment with your online friends, but the image is screen quality only.
So there is no real verses between the two applications as in the right frame they compliment each other and I use both to get the right shot.

Caffeine

Today my work load seems to be spread right across the board, a little bit of actual photography is involved but mainly file management, so looks like I am going to be with my close friend, the coffee bean. On the up side I get to test out my array of Nespresso coffees and today may well be the decider to my favourite coffee strength and flavour.
Caffeine affects the central nervous system making people who consume it more alert and energetic. It is also known to make people feel better and improve their mood. Caffeine increases blood flow in the brain, so it is often used to help people stay awake or concentrate. A good intake of caffeine has been shown to improve your performance both in intellectual and in physical endeavours. Studies have shown that those who consume in excess of five cups of coffee in a day then start to stimulate other receptors in the brain and at this stage it is the creative side of the brain that gets the biggest kick from it.
People should stop looking at caffeine as a bad drug and realise caffeine’s benefits outweigh its downfalls. Ninety percent of people across the world have drunk caffeine for it’s stimulating effects and though tea is the highest consumed beverage, coffee however is the highest traded commodity.

malay_civet

Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world with prices reaching in excess of £50 for a single shot of the black stuff. It is frowned upon if you was thinking of adding milk or sugar to this exquisite cup of Joe. “Kopi” the Indonesian word for coffee along with “luwak” is local name of this animal which eats the raw red coffee beans. The civet digests the soft outer part of the coffee cherry, but does not digest the inner beans and excretes them.
So when it is said that coffee can give you the shits, in this case that is exactly what you are paying for.

Full Potential

For any designer, photographer or artists the tools of your trade are the next most important thing besides creativity and getting the right balance can really pull out your creativity to its full potential. I have for many years been using Adobe products and when I made the switch from PC to Mac I had the choice of sticking with that of what I had been taught to use, all be it mainly self taught or to take on a new approach. I already knew that there was a bitter battle between Adobe and Apple and installing something that might conflict with the Mac’s ethos of workflow I had my concerns. I noticed that the uniformity of Apple products stretched across all platforms and devices so it seemed right to make the transition from PC and Adobe to Mac and Apple developers. I am so glad that I took that risk as productivity has come on in leaps and bounds and the flexibility of creativity stretches from my Mac to my iPad and visa-versa.
I ditched Adobe Photoshop and replaced it with Pixelmator and the basics, layouts and principles of Pixelmator is no different to that of Photoshop, if anything Pixelmator is smoother to use and operations of certain tasks are quicker. Everything is totally customisable and after a day of fine tuning I have the pallets and docks just how I want them, PERFECT!
When I was a PC user I never saw the benefits of using Adobe Lightroom as Bridge pretty much done everything for me and having Lightroom as well was just another ploy from Adobe to get you to spend a few more bucks. On my Mac I have been using iPhoto as my light table and Aperture as my replacement to what would have been Bridge. I have barely scraped the surface of Aperture and already it has changed the way my creativity and productivity progresses, the two applications work in unison and switching from one to the other is a breeze to the point that I can browse all images of either in their built in photo browsers and as if that was the icing on the cake then the fully integration of iCloud would be the cherry on the top.