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SNAPSHOT - PHOTO NEWS FROM BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to SnapShot, the weekly newsletter on
the art of photography from
BetterPhoto.com


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IN THIS ISSUE - Tuesday, September 14, 2004
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* SPOTLIGHT: Learn to Master Macro Photography ... with Brenda Tharp!
* BETTERPHOTO: ARTICLE: Jim Zuckerman Takes on Color Temperature!
* BETTERPHOTO: Learn to Capture Great Digital Pictures with Jim Miotke's DVD
* BETTERPHOTO: Photo of the Day: A Daily Showcase of Creativity
* FEATURED GALLERY: Ocean's Options: Stopping Action Or Showing Motion
* FEATURED PLACE: Putting the Creative Spotlight on India
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: First Cover / The Immortal Bard
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Model Releases: When Do You Need Them? ... By Charlie Borland
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Digital Flash Vs. Conventional Flash
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Senior Project: Photography!
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: How to Store Images on CD
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Where do I Find Photoshop 7?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Using a Remote Release Cable
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: Shooting with Aperture as Priority
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Equipment for Starting Out
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Setting Up My Studio for Portraits
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Camera Lens Adapters
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Shooting Glass and Metal Architecture
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: Selling Photos and Income Taxes


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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Learn to Master Macro Photography ... with Brenda Tharp!
In BetterPhoto's newest 4-week online Short Course, instructor and author Brenda Tharp opens the door to the magical world of close-up photography. Brenda shows you how to turn backyards, local gardens, forests, or rocky beaches into settings that provide hours of macro fun. For all the specifics on "Mastering Macro Photography," visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/BRN03.asp

In addition to the new Short Courses, BetterPhoto also offers an incredible range of eight-week online classes on all sorts of subjects. For all the details, go to our courses page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 177th issue of SnapShot!

Hi

Another week of exciting news at BetterPhoto! First, I'm thrilled about the upcoming release of my new DVD, "Digital Photography Unleashed: Capturing Wildly Great Photos." The process of making of this DVD was really incredible - and I'm so happy to share the dynamic result with BetterPhoto members! With the help of Triple "D", we explore the universal tips and techniques while photographing wildlife models, cowboys, colorful horses, and Yosemite Valley. This DVD is due out in late October, but you can pre-order it at a special discounted price. For details, see:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1256

What's more, the August contest finalists are now posted! As always, these images are fantastic. Review these awe-inspiring finalist photos at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=4171

In this issue of SnapShot, instructor Jim Zuckerman offers an excellent article on color temperature and its importance in photography. A topic that comes up frequently in BetterPhoto discussions - model releases - is discussed in a photo tip by instructor Charlie Borland. Also, don't miss the Featured Gallery (ocean) and the Featured Place (India), plus our usual excellent collection of questions and answers.

That's it for now. Have a great week!
Jim Miotke
http://www.betterphoto.com/MG.asp?ID=124


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ARTICLE: Jim Zuckerman Takes on Color Temperature!
The concept of color temperature, says instructor and author Jim Zuckerman, is an integral part of photography. Yet, he says, many photographers are not really sure what it means. Jim teaches a number of excellent online courses here at BetterPhoto, and in his article - "What Is Color Temperature?" - he shares his thoughts and tips. Read all about it at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=24


*****
Learn to Capture Great Digital Pictures with Jim Miotke's DVD
Learn the basics of digital photography in Jim Miotke's new DVD, "Digital Photography Unleashed: Capturing Wildly Great Photos." This dramatic and helpful DVD is divided into four shows and is packed with creative details and technical advice. This DVD is due out in late October. As a special offer to BetterPhoto members, we are taking pre-orders at a discounted price of $19.95. Order multiple copies for your friends and family ... it makes a great gift and will help anyone interested in exploring digital picture-taking. Get on the list for a special, signed copy today at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1256


*****
Photo of the Day: A Daily Showcase of Creativity
Our new daily newsletter, Photo of the Day, has been up and running for a week now, and has provided a daily showcase of outstanding pictures! The images are selected from either our monthly photo contest or from the excellent work of our online course instructors. In addition to being inspired by awe-inspiring images each day, subscribers receive brief announcements and occasional photo tips from our team of instructors. To learn more or to subscribe, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribe.asp

If you haven't yet subscribed, then go to the POTD archives and check out the first issue. You can get to it via the newsletter subscription page, but here's the direct link:
http://www.betterphoto.com/Photo-of-the-Day.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Ocean's Options: Stopping Action Or Showing Motion
When it comes to shooting the sea, light and movement are two of the most important ingredients to stunning photography. As BetterPhoto members have shown, the shore and surf provide excellent opportunities to freeze big waves and daring surfers - you'll need a fast shutter speed. But when the light gets low, there's no need to ramp up the ISO and go with a wide-open aperture. Instead, use a low ISO and/or small aperture (high f/stop number) to obtain a slow shutter speed, which records moving water with a soft-and-silky sense of flowing movement. Another benefit of early or late day: beautiful colors in beautiful light! For shooting ideas and inspiration, check out BetterPhoto's "Ocean Waves" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=122

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FEATURED PLACE
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Putting the Creative Spotlight on India
India may be known for its people and culture, but it also offers so much picture potential. In fact, a check of the outstanding work by BetterPhoto members and instructors shows vibrant imagery that includes architecture, landscapes, and wildlife. Most striking, though, are the incredible shots that spotlight the wonderful people of this South Asian nation. Check out BetterPhoto's "India Pictures" gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=191

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
What was the subject of Margaret Bourke-White's photo that made the first Life magazine cover in 1936?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Gadi Eidelheit is:
The photo is of Fort Peck Dam in Montana.

To see all answers to this question, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp?stat=PRV

And Now... This Week's Photo Trivia Question - The Immortal Bard - entered by BetterPhoto member Jim Miotke

When art critic Sadakichi Hartmann criticized photographer Edward Steichen (1879-1973) with the phrase, "To paint or to photograph - that is the question," what play was he parodying?

Submit your own answer to this question by visiting:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/trivia.asp

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THIS WEEK'S PHOTO TIP
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Model Releases: When Do You Need Them? ... By Charlie Borland
My advice on model releases: Get them Ö period! If you want to avoid expensive and disastrous consequences, get a model release for every picture you take of any person. No matter whether it is just their fingers, feet, an unrecognizable view from behind, or even silhouettes, you must have a model release.

It is correct that when a person appears in a photo that is newsworthy and running in the paper, no release is required. Does that prevent a lawsuit over that picture? Absolutely not, but having a jury decide is expensive. If you hope to sign with a stock photo agency, they will require them ... period. They donít want any hassles with possible lawsuits. There is also an element in society that seeks to exploit photos of unrecognizable people by claiming that the photo is of them and they did not give permission to use it. It will cost you to prove it isnít them. A model release helps you do that.

Take Charlie Borland's online course:
Stock Photography

Top Ten Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp

All Tips:
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/allTips.asp

Add Your Own Tip:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/login.asp?category=tip&inputType=tip

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ADVERTISEMENT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Great Photos
My new book guides you away from the point-and-pray method of taking pictures to shooting with confidence. In this simple and clear how-to book, you will learn:

  • How to compose your picture with a more artful eye
  • The top qualities that winning photos exhibit
  • Tips and secrets for consistently getting better results... and much more.
You can order this book online, call our toll-free order processing number 1-888-927-9992, or simply send a check or money order for USD $16.90 (or USD$18.90 if shipping to Canada or USD$24.90 to other international addresses) to:

BetterPhoto.com
P.O. Box 2781
Redmond, WA 98073-2781 USA

To order online, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetail.asp?productID=1096


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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - NEW THIS WEEK
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NEW QUESTION 1: Digital Flash Vs. Conventional Flash
Is a digital flash different to a conventional flash using digital cameras? Do both sync at the same speed or different speed? When using slaves off a digital flash to a conventional studio flash, do they sync?
- Mithra M.S. Weerakone

ANSWER 1:
It depends on the specific model of digital camera. On some point-and-shoots, the sensor is constantly recording and the "shutter" is just electronically recording the image for a set length of time. These cameras can sync with built-in or external flashes at all shutter speeds. Other point-and-shoots and all digital SLRs use conventional/mechanical focal plane shutters and can only sync up to 1/200 or 1/250 second. Even with these, the manufacturer's speedlights may incorporate a high-speed sync mode that flickers the flash and allows "sync" at all shutter speeds.

With respect to TTL control of the flash output, no digitals can use older designs meant for film cameras. These relied on an in-camera sensor that read the light reflected off-the-film while the shutter was open. Digital sensors do not reflect consistently/evenly like film and cannot utilize this system. Digital TTL flash exposure relies on a low-power pre-flash that is measured by the meter before the shutter opens, after which the main flash fires when the shutter opens. Canon's system is called E-TTL, Nikon's are i-TTL and D-TTL. However, digital cameras can use the simpler non-dedicated non-TTL auto flashes, such as Vivitar 283.

When using optically-triggered slaves, the pre-flash from a digital TTL speedlight will often set these off before the shutter opens.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11529

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11529

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*****


NEW QUESTION 2: Senior Project: Photography!
I'm currently a senior and I'm doing my senior project on photography. I plan on putting together a scrapbook of senior pictures that I have done for my friends. But I need to somehow broaden my range of photographs. Does anyone have CHEAP - key word here - ideas that I can for indoor shots and anything other portrait type shots?
- Becky J. Blackburn

ANSWER 1:
I hope I'm getting this right: You're looking for pictures you can take indoors that are inexpensive to put together?
One of the first portrait pictures I did for a class was using window light. For a back drop, you can use a sheet (any fabric too), shower curtain, etc. I shoot mostly black and white, so color doesn't matter too much. I usually do something with no pattern on it, though. Depending on where indoors you are shooting, see if there are any neat textured walls you can put your subject up against.
Hope this helps!
- Shauna

ANSWER 2:
Buy 2 yards of material that you like. I'm told that stretchy velour is great because it doesn't wrinkle much. Shower curtains or sheets are also good. Set up near a window. Or go outdoors to a park and set up near (but not too near) a green leafy bush. Good luck!
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
So do I put the sheet directly in front of a window or just near it? Thanks for the input!
- Becky J. Blackburn

ANSWER 4:
It depends how much light you want in the picture and how much light is coming in the window. I usually set up next to a window that does not have direct sunlight pouring in but is bright because of the daylight. If you put the sheet in front of the window then you will have a glowing background and you'll need flash or other light for your subject.
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11514

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11514

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NEW QUESTION 3: How to Store Images on CD
After years of shooting film I have begun to shoot some of images with a digital camera. I recently purchased Photoshop Album, and I love its organizational features. I am a bit confused over the best method to back them up on CD or CDRW. As an old floppy guy, I like the ability to add new files whenever I desire. There appears to be no way to do this with any CD format. You have one shot or must erase everything and copy the old files over again on CDRW. Am I missing something?
- Michael A. Dreese

ANSWER 1:
I ended up using external drives and zip disk to solve this problem. We also installed removable drives in all three computers, so that exchanging material from one computer to the other is a snap.
- Dee E. Strellner

ANSWER 2:
An external hard drive is a good option, as are CDs or DVDs. However, CD-RWs don't last nearly as long as CDs, so I wouldn't use those. I feel like I've heard that zip disks don't last that long either, especially since they have moving parts. I'm looking into getting a large external hard drive myself.
- Nancy Grace Chen

See Nancy's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11512

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11512

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NEW QUESTION 4: Where do I Find Photoshop 7?
Does anyone know where to find Photoshop 7 for a decent price? I keep finding people on ebay either wanting 500 bucks for it (CS isn't much more) or people trying to scam you for 50. Thanks in advance.
- Daniel

ANSWER 1:
Hi Daniel,
I'm sorry I can't answer your question. But if money is tight, why not try Photoshop Elements? It is under $100 and has the same look and layout as the real thing, and is super easy to use. Check it out at adobe.com I think they have a free trial version.
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopel/main.html
- Diane L. Dupuis-Kallos

See Diane's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
Hi Daniel,
If you are in education or a student, you can purchase Photoshop for about 1/2 price at an academic software store. Just type "academic software" into Google and it will give you a couple of sites where you can buy discounted software. Or try this one:
http://www.studentdiscounts.com/
Good luck, Sharon
- Sharon S. Day

See Sharon's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11504

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11504

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*****


NEW QUESTION 5: Using a Remote Release Cable
I am thinking about getting one of these, to take pictures of my son and I. I'm thinking it would be easier than using the timer. What your thoughts? Would I really like and benefit from buying one? Thanks a bunch!
- Stephanie Moyer

ANSWER 1:
Hi Stephanie, I just bought one, and I wish I had bought it earlier. I think it works MUCH better than the timer, especially with people. When you set the timer when doing portraits, the subject's expression starts becoming stiff and unnatural while they're posing and waiting for the camera to actually take the pic. With the remote release, the expressions are more natural, and you can work a lot faster.
- Nancy Grace Chen

See Nancy's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 2:
For normal portraiture, your timer would probably be the most practical. The only drawback being that you never really know the exact moment to "smile".) The cable remotes work fine at short distances, but for portraits, you may have trouble hiding the wire.

One thing to keep in mind anytime you operate an SLR by remote cable - OR when using a timer - use a manual exposure setting or cover the eyepiece. When you use auto-exposure, stray light will filter in through the eyepiece and bounce off the mirror, throwing off your in-camera meter.
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11501

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11501

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*****


NEW QUESTION 6: Shooting with Aperture as Priority
I have a Nikon 4300. Reading the manual, I am supposed to hold down the exposure button and use the right/left arrows. But when I take pictures, I'm not getting blurriness. Can anyone help me with using aperture? I love this camera and would like to use to its full potential.
- Stephanie Moyer

ANSWER 1:
The focal length of the 4300's zoom lens is only 8mm - 24mm. Such short focal lengths have great depth of field, even at f/2.8. The only way to get a shallow depth of field - i.e., sharp subject and blurry background - is to set the aperture to f/2.8 and get very close to your subject.
- Jon Close

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11491

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11491

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*****


NEW QUESTION 7: Equipment for Starting Out
I am just starting out - mostly taking family portraits and weddings. Could somebody give me a list of the equipment that I will need? I have a Pentax mz7 with a telephoto lens, and I am looking at the Pentax istD Digital. Thank you.
- Rochelle K. Westgarde

ANSWER 1:
A decent tripod should be your first investment. That should be followed by a few backgrounds, light stands, flash units - along with some type of diffusion (for the portraits).
For weddings, a good flash unit, and a bracket to hold the flash off to the side. And some comfortable shoes! :)
- Bob Cammarata

Visit cammphoto.com - Bob's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11484

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11484

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Setting Up My Studio for Portraits
I have now purchased most of what I will need to set up a basic studio. I am really confused as to how to get the synch cord to work with my camera to get the strobes to go off. I feel intimidated by the whole process, any advice?
- Lisa

ANSWER 1:
The synch cord plugs into a PC terminal on the camera; the other plugs into the light. If you don't have a PC terminal on your camera, you need an adapter that fits into the hot shoe and has a thing the cord connects to on it.
- Gregory La Grange

Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11477

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11477

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*****


NEW QUESTION 9: Camera Lens Adapters
I have a Sigma 29-90mm lens for my film camera and am looking at buying a digital camera, but you need EOS lens' and my lens will not fit the digital I am looking at. Is there some sort of adapter for my lens?
- Josh Copley

ANSWER 1:
You didn't mention what film camera you have. Here's a rundown:

  • If your film camera is a Canon EOS, you can use your Sigma lens on an EOS digital SLR.
  • If your film camera is a Nikon, you can use your Sigma lens on a Nikon digital SLR.
  • If your film camera is a Pentax (or other brand utilizing Pentax's ubiquitous K-mount), you can use your Sigma lens on a Pentax digital SLR.
  • If your film camera is a Sigma, you can use your Sigma lens on a Sigma digital SLR.
  • If your film camera is a Minolta Maxxum/Dynax, Minolta has announced that they will soon introduce a digital SLR on which you can use your Sigma lens.
  • If your film camera is an old manual focus Canon, Minolta, or Olympus, there is no digital camera that can use your Sigma lens.

    Generally, it is not practical or worthwhile to use a lens built for one camera mount on a body with a different mount. While some exist, they do not enable autofocus nor auto-aperture operation, so they function only fully manual with stop-down metering only.
    - Jon Close

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11461

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11461

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    *****


    NEW QUESTION 10: Shooting Glass and Metal Architecture
    Hi all, I am researching a project that requires lots of shots of my home town. There is a lot of modern architecture consisting of mainly glass and metal structures. I would be grateful for any advice that can be given for taking shots in this environment. I want to be slightly abstract, lots of contrast but keep the geometry intact and still be recognizable as my home town. Not too specific!! Please, any advice would be wonderful. Many thanks.
    - Lee Kemp

    ANSWER 1:
    A C-PL filter (circular polarizer) is a must to reduce the reflection from glass and increase the contrast.
    - Tom Kwan

    ANSWER 2:
    Or use the reflections of the older buildings in the glass of the new for dramatic juxtaposition.
    - Jon Close

    ANSWER 3:
    Many thanks for your help, guys. I had a very successful days shooting.
    - Lee Kemp

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11459

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11459

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    PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
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    CONTINUING QUESTION 1: Selling Photos and Income Taxes
    If I'm lucky, I shoot a wedding a year and maybe one or two senior shoots. I can clear $300 for my time on the wedding and maybe $20 on the seniors. I want to increase my business, but I'm wondering at what point I need to keep track of income and expenses for the IRS. The correct answer is probably "always," but is there a sensible and reasonable answer as well?
    - Connie Niehaus

    ANSWER 1:
    Just do it and keep track of everything for your Schedule C. You can deduct anything you use photographically in the business - including part of your house/office to a point, and your travel expenses and overnight lodging and meals (even entertainment if it's the customer). Just make sure to charge enough. Rule of thumb is: The more gross, the more net.Charge commensurate with your skill
    - John C. Schwentner

    ANSWER 2:
    Better check real good on the home office deductions. I think there are some things about what really makes a home office - like if it's every used for any other reason, it nullifies it as a home office.
    - Gregory La Grange

    Visit gregorylagrange.org - Gregory's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    ANSWER 3:
    If this is all of the "business" you are generating at this time, it is allowable to consider it a hobby and thus you would not report it on your tax schedules at all. You are permitted to deduct hobby expenses on your income tax return, but the expenses cannot exceed your income AND you must pay taxes on the income. Essentially you would be paying the government taxes just to report the income. Again, call it a hobby (for which you are permitted to have "business cards") and keep the government out of the picture for now.
    - Stephanie McMillan

    ANSWER 4:
    Thank you, all! As I read Stephanie's response, my question is this: Is there a point when it is no longer a hobby in the eyes of the IRS?
    - Connie Niehaus

    ANSWER 5:
    An "in-home office" must be a space set aside for your business projects. I have a second bedroom I use only as an office. I get to use a percentage of gas, electric, taxes, payments. It helps out in the end. All for a little paperwork. With all of these deductions, you can show a paper loss. And paying into Social Security doesn't come into play until around $25,000 (I think, or higher) is made.
    - Etta

    ANSWER 6:
    Connie,
    Here's the IRS link for you to check out.
    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99239,00.html
    I'm presently in the same boat as you are with the number of "clients" that I have, but the income received would never begin to "support" me. $20, I'm sure, doesn't even begin to pose "profit" in your pocket when you compare it to the cost of your equipment. When you generate enough money to consider that it is supporting your livelihood, and it's money that you can't do without, that's "income".
    What Etta says is true, but the IRS will only let you run a business at a loss for so long ... they expect you to turn a profit at some point and not just use a "business" for a tax deduction.
    (I'd like to talk to you more about your fees ... maybe we can help each other out in this "starting a 'business'" thing. :o) Is there anyway to share email addresses with members?)
    - Stephanie McMillan

    ANSWER 7:
    Re: home office deduction: If you are going to deduct for a home office, my accountant told me to make sure that if in the case that I'm audited, to make sure that there is nothing in the office that is personal - i.e., the dog's water dish. I would advise anyone who is contemplating deducting expenses on tax returns to consult with your accountant or tax preparer.
    - Shari Morris

    Visit sharimorrisphotography.com - Shari's Deluxe BetterPholio™

    Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=11406

    Answer this question:
    http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=11406

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    Until next week, happy shooting!

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    Jim Miotke
    BetterPhoto.com

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