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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, November 08, 2005
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* SPOTLIGHT: BetterPhoto's Winter School: Educational, Inspirational ... and Fun
* BETTERPHOTO: Where Is Jim? Catch Him in the Seattle Area!
* BETTERPHOTO: New Book: Bryan Peterson's Understanding Digital Photography
* BETTERPHOTO: So Much Free Stuff at BetterPhoto!
* FEATURED GALLERY: Focusing on Photographers
* PHOTO TRIVIA QUESTION: Focusing on the Digital Era / A Vertical Way of Thinking
* THIS WEEK'S TIP: Graduated Neutral-Density Filters ... by Brenda Tharp
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 1: Monthly Theme
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 2: Best Lens for Studio Work
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 3: Photographing Large Groups of People
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 4: Employee Pics on Company Website: Releases Needed?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 5: Donating Time Vs. Donating Pictures
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 6: High School Reunion Question
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 7: Showing at an Art Exhibit
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 8: Question About the 20D - Obsolete Soon?
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 9: Pricing Commercial Jobs
* NEW PHOTO Q&A 10: Publishing Question about Local Magazine
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 1: When Getting a Model Release Is a Challenge
* CONTINUING PHOTO Q&A 2: Shooting Engagement Pictures


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - ADVERTISEMENT
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BetterPhoto's Winter School: Educational, Inspirational ... and Fun
The next session of BetterPhoto's online photo courses kicks off January 4th, and it promises to be our best lineup yet. So many terrific classes to choose from in so many different categories. Check them out at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/photocourses/categories.asp


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WHAT'S NEW AT BETTERPHOTO.COM
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Welcome to the 237th issue of SnapShot!

Hi {FirstName}

Lots of fine things happening at BetterPhoto.com™. First off, this message: Great job, BetterPhoto members - you raised over $3000 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina!

If you're looking for something very cool and educational to do in 2006, consider our exciting lineup of workshops. They combine the best of two worlds - online and on-location. And each workshop is led by one of BetterPhoto's expert instructor-photographers. See our new BetterWorkshops page at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/on-location-photography-workshops.asp

Interested in holiday gift ideas for your favorite photographer? Read our "Holiday Gift Ideas" article at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=105

Our Winter online photography school schedule has been posted, but if you aren't sure how these courses work, be sure to take an illustrated tour at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/tour-courses-01.asp

In this issue of SnapShot, learn all about some of the many free-and-instructional goings-on at BetterPhoto. These include BetterBlogs, the Photo of the Day, our Articles page, and, of course, my digital photo talks in the Seattle area. Also, don't miss Brenda Tharp's excellent photo tip, the gallery of images that focus on photographers, and the usual collection of great questions and equally great answers.

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


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Where Is Jim? Catch Him in the Seattle Area!
Join Photo founder/photographer Jim Miotke in Washington State's Puget Sound region this holiday season! The author of The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography is giving a lively, fun, and informative series of free talks titled "Top Tips for Digital Photography: Storytelling With Your Digital Camera". For the where-what-and-when details:
http://www.betterphoto.com/where-is-jim.asp


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New Book: Bryan Peterson's Understanding Digital Photography
Our online store showcases the fantastic books and DVDs from our staff of BetterPhoto instructors. For November, we put the spotlight on Bryan Peterson's awesome book, Understanding Digital Photography. If you buy this fine book before the end of November, you will receive free U.S. shipping. Best yet, it's autographed by Bryan! For all the book details, go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/product/ourProductDetailLg.asp?productID=1351

Bryan Peterson also teaches two excellent BetterPhoto.com courses: Understanding Exposure and Learning to See Creatively. For course information:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


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So Much Free Stuff at BetterPhoto!
- Web Logs of Tips and Thoughts: Just launched in May, our photography Blogs ("Instructor Insights", "Notes from Team BetterPhoto", and "The BetterPhoto Digital Photography Show") are going strong. Find the Better Blogs link on any BP page, or go to:
http://www.betterphoto.com/betterblogs.asp

- Photo of the Day: This showcase of creativity has provided a daily showcase of outstanding pictures! To subscribe, visit:
http://www.betterphoto.com/subscribe.asp

- Lots and Lots of Articles: BetterPhoto's awesome instructors have written many articles. Read them at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/allAbout.asp

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FEATURED GALLERY
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Focusing on Photographers
Self-portraits, shooters in action, formal portraits, shadow shots, and striking silhouettes. These are just some of the ways that creative BetterPhoto members have captured photographers. See this awesome gallery at:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=327

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PHOTO TRIVIA QUIZ OF THE WEEK
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Last week, we asked:
Who is credited with shooting the first digital image?

The first, best answer - entered by BetterPhoto member Robert Bradshaw is:
Steven Sasson - in 1975 at a Kodak lab in Rochester, NY.

Editor's Note: Right you are, Robert! And engineer Sasson still works for the company. That first picture, by the way, was of a lab assistant, and according to the Associated Press: The camera was an "8-pound, toaster-size contraption, which captured a black-and-white image on a digital cassette tape at a resolution of .01 megapixel."

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 - A Vertical Way of Thinking - entered by BetterPhoto member Kerry Drager

What photographer is well-known for saying the following? "When is the best time to shoot a vertical? Right after you finish shooting the horizontal!"

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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Graduated Neutral-Density Filters ... by Brenda Tharp

When you use a graduated ND filter, it's often difficult to see where the line between density material and clear filter is landing in your composition. Pressing the depth of field button helps, but the image becomes dark and, if the filter is a soft-step, or softly graduated, the line still may not be easy to see. The solution? Take a piece of white card stock and cut it to fit so that when you bend over the card, the edge of it matches up with the gradation line of the filter. Place the filter in the holder, with the card stock folded over it, and when you pull the filter up and down, you will be blocking out the dark part of the filter with the card. This will obliterate the image in that area and you'll see exactly where that line is being placed in the composition. Once set in place where you want it, take the cardstock off the filter and you're ready to shoot!

Check out Brenda Tharp's online photo courses:



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
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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: Monthly Theme
Does anyone know where to find out what the monthly theme is? It used to be on the homepage, but I don't see it anymore. Thanks.
- Brian A. Wolter

See Brian's Premium BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20436

Answer this question:
http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20436

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NEW QUESTION 2: Best Lens for Studio Work
I plan to invest in a better lens, and wanted to know what suggestions there are for which lens works good for the studio. Should I use a general purpose or a zoom?
- Jennifer Kinsler

ANSWER 1:
It depends on the camera/format you are using, size of the studio, and your intended subjects. Macro? Product? Table-top or very large? Fashion? Portraits? Head shots? Full length? Babies, singles, couples, families, groups? Each would require different focal lengths and/or shooting distances. Zooms (even pro-level f/2.8) are not quite as good as prime lenses, but would be a good choice for convenience if shooting a wide variety of subjects. A lens with IS (Canon, VR for Nikon, OS for Sigma) might be preferred if much work is without a tripod.
- Jon Close

ANSWER 2:
Being in studio, let's say you're doing people work (and this depends on the size of your studio): I'd say a 50 for full length, 85 for 3/4, and 105/135 for tight head shots. I'd say primes, since they are by far extremely sharper and, being in the studio, you don't really need the luxury of fast reframing (zoom). Your 85 is too close? Take a step back, you have the time.
- Justin D. Goeden

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=20414

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http://www.betterphoto.com/QnAredirect.asp?threadID=20414

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NEW QUESTION 3: Photographing Large Groups of People
It seems that when I am photographing large groups of people. I am getting the ones in front in focus, and the ones just a little behind them are slightly out of focus. I know about the depth of field and everything, and on my camera, I am using my AV mode and setting my own aperture. However, the lighting outdoors is a slight problem. When I move it up to a smaller aperture - such as f/11 instead of f/5.6 - my shutter speed drops down to 20th or 30th sec., sometimes 40th. What else do I need to be doing?
- MEGAN L. BREESAWITZ

ANSWER 1:
Use a tripod and take four or five shots. One of them is bound to have little or no discernable movement.
Walrath Photographic Imaging
http://home.comcast.net/~flash19901/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html
- Christopher A. Walrath

ANSWER 2:
Megan,
When shooting under less than perfect lighting conditions, compensate with your camera's controls. To get a faster shutter time with an aperture that allows sufficient DOF, you can increase the ISO setting until the shutter speed is fast enough if you must handhold the camera. The best solution, as Christopher said, is to use a tripod and a shutter release (electronic or cable).
- John R. Rhodes

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Visit backbayscenes.com - John's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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NEW QUESTION 4: Employee Pics on Company Website: Releases Needed?
If a company has a Web site and uses pictures of their employees in various places, should the company have signed model releases from the individual employees? Or is the company, as an employer, allowed to use their employees images with only a verbal or implied (I took your picture, you know it's being used) consent? Just curious.
- Joyce S. Bowley

See Joyce's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 1:
I'm not positive, but I think it is a case of: "Sure, you can still get your paycheck. We'll use this image we have of you. Thanks." If it is being used to promote the business and it is of the business's employees in the business's setting, then I think they do not need releases.
- Christopher A. Walrath

ANSWER 2:
For the most part, the photos are in the business setting. But there are extracurricular activities with photos that also get used. I'm trying to make sure we AREN'T doing anything wrong!
- Joyce S. Bowley

See Joyce's Premium BetterPholio™

ANSWER 3:
I think most photographers take this model release business too seriously. Business contracts for such things as weddings and paying commercial or industrial shoots are one thing, but model releases for amateur or semi-professional shooting are really unnecessary, in my opinion. I have model shoots every week and never ask for model releases. I had one occasion where a mother did not like the body profile of her young daughter (mom was present at the shoot) so I simply removed it from my website.
If any image I shoot is being considered for print or magazine insertion, it's a simple matter of contacting the model and making arrangements for compensation before authorizing the print production. It's at this stage of the workflow that I or the publication would ask for a release of some sort. I dislike unnecessary paperwork ... I'd rather shoot.
Regards
Gary.
- Gary Berger

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ANSWER 4:
I agree with Gary. Besides by law, a company can videotape you, etc. So most likely they would be within their rights, as long as it is within the realm of the company or at a company-organized event. I have photographed for a few different companies, and the only release they have ever needed is one from me to release my work. I do hope this helps.
- Debby Tabb

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Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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NEW QUESTION 5: Donating Time Vs. Donating Pictures
Hi Everyone,
I am in the very first stages of starting a small photography business, and was recently asked to do candid shots at a local philanthropy event. I would be "donating my time", which I am happy to do for the organization. I am actually quite happy to give them the digital files for their use as well. (They are providing me a great marketing experience.) My question is this: The event is taking place at a local mall, and the coordinator from the organization mentioned that the mall might want some pictures for advertising purposes. Now, there is no contract (yet), and wouldn't that mean that I get into the whole realm of model releases? And would it be wrong for me to charge the mall for digital files when I'm giving them to the organization for free? I don't want to be rude, but I also don't want to be taken. Any suggestions? Thanks.
- Amy R. Jones

ANSWER 1:
Hi, Amy.
Don't ya hate it when this happens? lol. Well, I'd look at the advertising opportunity before I'd look at the cash reward. The mall - and the club, for that matter - may result in numerous people learning of your talents. At this point in your business, it should be easy to determine what is more important ... advertising and word of mouth promotion or $$$$.
Regards
Gary
- Gary Berger

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Visit atwdigital.com - Gary 's Deluxe BetterPholio™

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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NEW QUESTION 6: High School Reunion Question
This may be an odd question, but I have someone who wants to know what I would charge to take pictures at a high school reunion. They want to know about a flat fee and also a fee if people would like to order photos. What in the world would you charge for that? Thanks, Mandy Hank
- Mandy Hank

ANSWER 1:
I don't know what you should charge for taking shots at the reunion ... but if you plan to make any money off the pictures, make sure you have a way to print them on-site and have them available right then. I wouldn't bank on Internet sales after the fact.
- Jay A. Grantham

ANSWER 2:
Mandy, I have only done one and I found that in my area you don't get paid a flat fee, just a per-order charge. I sold 8x10s for $10.00 and brought them to a local 1 hour photo lab and had them back to them before their evening ended. It was the quickest and easiest $280.00 I've ever made. The folks were thrilled, everyone paid in cash, and I was outta there. No orders to have to deal with after the fact. I did make two extras, which were sold on the spot when I got back.
- Liza M. Franco

ANSWER 3:
You will make the most money if you print on-site, or at least can have them delivered that evening. After waiting a month or two for proofs, the novelty of the evening wore off, and we didn't order any. I had a friend do photos at my reunion. We contracted her to do keychain viewers (like at amusement parks), and paid her $3 each for 120 (the number of people attending). The price was worked into the ticket price for the attendees. Then when everyone had their photos taken, they were able to order reprints. Most of the time, people paid extra to have group photos done, and then you sell multiples of the same shot. She made another $300 that evening, in addition to what we paid her. That's pretty good for a small reunion.
If you want to make it worth your time, I would charge a set fee, and include one print, a 5x7 or even 3x5 at least in a paper frame. That way they get something, and you at least know you'll get paid, and won't spend hours at a reunion and get paid $50. Prices are up to you - what is your time worth?
If you can't print on-site, and you're only taking pictures one shot at a time as people arrive, you probably won't be there more than a couple hours. I would charge a fee of at least $50 an hour, but it depends on your experience. If you're shooting digital, maybe you can preview the shots and at least have people order at the party. Hope this helps.
- Michelle Ochoa

ANSWER 4:
I once charged the reunion committee $100.00 to show up and $10.00 per person to have their pictures taken and I was there for two hours in a corner of the room with a chair and some plants. The patrons were then provided with print costs and were told how to contact me separately so that if they wanted any prints I could show them the proofs and they would order what photos they wished. I charge about double cost on prints and if I use my medium format, I add $10.00 per customer as this covers the shop's cost of scanning the image.
So get to know your local shop. Get a price list for ALL services and go over with them which services might be needed in particular for a specific job. They want your money and they want you happy enough to come back again.
How much do you want to be paid for this? Then charge it or as close as you can and still be reasonable. Test the market and see what you're worth and then act like the professional photographer you are. If you have any questions or need encouragement, post here again or visit my Web site. Thank you.
Walrath Photographic Imaging
http://home.comcast.net/~flash19901/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html
- Christopher A. Walrath

Read this Q&A at BetterPhoto.com:
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NEW QUESTION 7: Showing at an Art Exhibit
I was recently invited to bring two of my pieces to an art exhibit and sale on November 10th, 2005. I am just wondering: What kinds of pictures are best to bring to that?
- Jessica Rae Hardy

ANSWER 1:
Your absolute finest. And it all depends on if there's a theme to the show.
- Justin D. Goeden

ANSWER 2:
Don't skimp on framing ... show your best!
- Debbie Del Tejo

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ANSWER 3:
I agree with both. In my experience, with juried art shows, they seem to like BIG prints. And they don't seem to like images of people. (Although, to be fair, the "best" show I ever got accepted to was with a 5x7 shot of my niece, in a frame from Target, so go figure!) One thing I would strongly suggest is that, if you have the option of selling your image, go for it. Often the sponsoring organization will get a cut of the sale price, which is good. You get the rest, which is very sweet, especially when you're new to it. Don't go overboard with framing. Simple but done right. (The new owners often like to redo the framing, to their taste). Well, anyway, best of luck to you. It's just really so much fun to have your work in a show! Please let us know how it works out for you.
- shannon casey

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*****


NEW QUESTION 8: Question About the 20D - Obsolete Soon?
I currently have the Canon Rebel 2000. I'd like to upgrade to a 20D, because I've really gotten into photography over the past couple of years. In fact, some people are starting to ask for me to take various pics for them. I also have a baby due in February, which would enable me to make lots of pics, and probably save money in the long run with film and development. Plus, I hope to get more business from folks once they see my baby pics. Anyway, my question is: Has anyone heard of a 30D coming out anytime soon? I know the 20D has been out for a while. I'm concerned that as soon as I buy the 20D, and better model will come out and the prices will drop like rocks. I keep going back and forth with the purchase because of the price, so I'm trying to look at all the angles. Thanks for your help.
- Brandon Currey

ANSWER 1:
There is no way to assure that your camera will not become obsolete once you make your purchase. That problem has existed since companies began selling their cameras and increased as photography has move to digital.
A camera body is a tool; there's nothing magical about it - in that a good photographer will take great pictures regardless of the camera body. Moving into digital (and in the Canon "mode"), you could consider a Digital Rebel, which is cheaper than the Canon 20D.
Since you're concerned about a 30D, which hasn't/may not be announced, I'm concerned that you're worrying way too much about the body of the camera. To me, it makes little sense to buy anything now (playing the "come that people might buy your pictures"). Rather, I'd make sure you develop the demand with what you currently use - that means "hone your skills" Once a real demand appears, justify the body based on need, not manufacturer's literature. But, if you're playing the come, why not go all the way to the Mark IID?
Too many people purchase too much camera and spend way too much money for features they'll never use. But, there's the ego-trip issue -"Hey, I've got the latest, most expensive photographic computer!"
I spent ~$900 for my Canon EOS 3 body six years ago. Yes, it's film based. I just can't see spending $1300 for a 20D, because it just won't assure me that I'll take better pictures. I scan my slides, negatives and prints, so I'm in the "editing mode." You know I can buy a lot of film for $1300.
You indicate the digital you buy will let you take lots of pictures. I sure hope that's not the reason you want a digital. Remember, the more pictures you take, the more you'll have to review, edit, print, etc. That takes time and money. And, remember, just because you'll be able to take a lot of pictures, that's no reason that you should. Rather, you should carefully plan, compose, check lighting, use photographic rules, adjust exposures, use on-camera features, etc. That being said, merely pressing the shutter to take a larger number of essentially-the-same pictures is the way to go.
- John Sandstedt

ANSWER 2:
Brandon,
The "next step up" from the 20D has already been released as the 5D. It is a significant step up, though. It is not meant to replace the 20D. The body goes for about $3300. The 20D currently goes for about $1300 without a lens. I think that price has already come down some from when it was released. Good luck.
- Chris A. Vedros

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NEW QUESTION 9: Pricing Commercial Jobs
How do you determine how to charge for the work you do? I just recently graduated from college, and have had a few job offers shooting for some local magazines, and I'm not sure how to set my rates. Any suggestions?
- Kati Aleman

ANSWER 1:
More than likely, the magazines you may shoot for will be versed in what the rates are. So ask them. What is the going rate? What kind of usage might the photos be used for? What photos do you need? Mail is best and you should address the letter to whoever you determine is in charge of photo or art editing with a phone call to the magazine. Act like you know what you're doing, because you do. You are the photographer. They just don't have to know that you have never done this for a magazine before. Let them tell you what they want, how they want it, when they want it, how much you'll get for it. They're the boss. And the more you do this, the more you'll get the hang of it. And if you're worried about getting hung out to dry, don't. 99 times out of 100, when dealing with a magazine they are up-front. They have to be or else the pages would have nothing but text.
Walrath Photographic Imaging
http://home.comcast.net/~flash19901/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html
- Christopher A. Walrath

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NEW QUESTION 10: Publishing Question about Local Magazine
I am new at the market of photography, and I saw an ad for "Portland City Streets" magazine out of Portland, Maine, and they are asking for photographers and writers to submit their work. I would love to submit some of my pictures, but I have a few questions before I contact them.
- They provided a basis of the pay 1/4 of a page or smaller=$25, 1/4-1/2=$50, 1/2- full page=$75, full page=$100, cover shot= $200. Is this a reasonable pay or should I not bother.
- I know that I need to make sure my work is copyrighted and I have to submit the image via e-mail but how would I know that it is truely copyrighted?
Any other information as to my decision would also help, I am new to this and would like to see my work in a magazine or somewhere, but I don't really want to devote my life to the profession; it's more of a passionate hobby of mine. Thanks!
- Will Wohler

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ANSWER 1:
That pay rate is pretty standard for local publications. (Getting published in local magazines has helped to launch many successful careers.) Just like the "majors", though, the editors like to have a story to go along with the photographs so some writing skills are recommended. A professionally presented text-photo package is more likely to be accepted than just a bunch of photos.
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 2:
Would you recommend that I write something up about the photo and put it in the e-mail with the photo? Or should I present a print with a printed write-up?
- Will Wohler

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ANSWER 3:
Get a recent copy of the magazine and study it. You will see what they have have published in the past. By a "text-photo package", I was referring to submitting an article, with photos to augment and support it. The theme of your submissions should fit in with their target readership.
- Bob Cammarata

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ANSWER 4:
Thanks for the info, would I present this package in person or would it be all right to just e-mail it?
- Will Wohler

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ANSWER 5:
That's a question for them to answer. You can request "Submission Guidelines" by mail or e-mail. All of those details will be spelled out for you. Correspondence via the Postal Service has always been my preference when submitting queries or material. An enclosed SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) is generally required for return of your photos and/or manuscripts. IMHO, a professional-looking MAILED submission shows that you are truly committed and proud of what you are sending them. (Anyone can send an e-mail, and editors might get turned off if they get bombarded on a daily basis.) But again, their Guidelines will verify this ... along with the format they prefer.
- Bob Cammarata

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PHOTOGRAPHY Q&A - CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CONTINUING QUESTION 1: When Getting a Model Release Is a Challenge
How do I go about getting a "model release" from someone on public property that can neither read nor write (for example, in a village located in rural China)? What laws apply to photos taken in international settings?
- Adam S. Oliver

ANSWER 1:
Hi Adam,
Good questions! It just so happens that BetterPhoto instructor/photographer Jim Zuckerman recently wrote an excellent article on a very similar situation that he encountered. Check it out at:
Photographic Model Release Forms: Third World Perspective

Hope this article gives you some ideas, Adam. In any case, though, it's a verrrry interesting read!
Kerry
- Kerry Drager

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ANSWER 2:
Get a translator who can write and read to explain that you need their permission to show the picture back home. Then get the person to make a mark (old way of signing with an X) and get the translator to sign as a witness. Don't know what the article says, but this is one way.
- Gregory La Grange

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CONTINUING QUESTION 2: Shooting Engagement Pictures
I am taking my first set of engagement pictures and I was wondering if anyone had some tips for me ... to tell you the truth I'm nervous so I could use any help! I am using a 35mm camera with 400 ISO color film, and than I am using a 4mexa pixel digital camera. If you have any good poses or lighting things, let me know - any help would be greatly appreciated! Also, what are some ways to get everyone comfortable around each other?
- Sarah B. Wittman

ANSWER 1:
I'm not a professional photographer, but I took some engagement photos last year. What I did for getting comfortable shots was to have the couple just interact with each other while I was far away with my telephoto lens. I just snapped candids for quite a while and slowly got closer and closer to them. By the time I was up close, they were comfortable with having their picture taken.
- Jennifer Wytmans

ANSWER 2:
A glass of wine always does the trick. Don't have them look at the camera. Photojounalism is the hot item right now. Traditional is just traditional.
- Craig Paulsen

ANSWER 3:
I would say do a mix of candid and traditional. You never know what the couple is looking for, so give them variety. They will definitely want a more traditional pose for their newspaper picture. Try a google search for engagement pictures. Compile a contact sheet of them and take them with you in case you draw a blank during the session. Relax, have fun, and once you get started it will become more comfortable for you!
Best Wishes!
- Jill Lenkowski

ANSWER 4:
Sarah,
You didn't indicate whether you are shooting indoors or outdoors. This would not affect your posing so much as lighting. Give your couple a variety - full length and close-up images. Make sure not to have every shot with them looking at the camera - have them looking at each other in a number of images (very romantic). If you have them kiss in any shots, remind them to close their eyes as they kiss - otherwise, they probably won't and it will look dumb! If you want some posing ideas, feel free to visit my studio Web site and just click on my Wedding/Engagement gallery. Be relaxed, you'll do fine!
God Bless,
Greg
- Greg McCroskery

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ANSWER 5:
Great advice from Greg, Jill and Craig. Given that we shoot over 50+ weddings a year and an equal number of engagements, my advice is to try and feel those emotive moments and let that shutter go! I prefer fast lenses and films as opposed to flash myself, but then I strongly try to use mood in my work. Good luck !!!
- John L. Webb

ANSWER 6:
When I take portraits outside, I try to schedule them for when the sun is going down ... to catch the warm rays. Other times of day a little fill flash is nice and I always shoot some 100 black and white TX film. Yes, candids are the best! One idea for a pose is to have him put her on his back.
- Linda K. McDonald

ANSWER 7:
I assume you'll be outside for these? Pick a cloudy day or if really sunny, places where you can get fully in the shade (i.e., sides of old buildings or trees). For ideas on poses, google engagement pics and see what other photographers have captured. They are some amazing photogs out there. Also, maybe suggest they wear neutral clothing (nothing busy). If you do use a flash, try to get a bouncer (midi bouncer) to soften the light and fill shadows. Remember to try to be relaxed, and then your subjects will too. I always try to make them laugh, or ask questions about how they met. I also like to shoot some photos where I do NO POSING, and then you seem to capture them at their natural best ... Also try filling your frame with them, or part of his shoulder and her face ... have fun and be creative!!!
- Cayde Johnson

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ANSWER 8:
Check out my engagement section of my Web site for ideas and suggestions on clothing. I always tell them I want them to be themselves and have fun together and I will just catch the moments. Usually start out with a little posing and as things go along, they will relax and be more candid. When you are through, leave a few shots on the camera, because they always relax and do fun things and you want to be able to catch it - no problem if you're using digital. Some of my favorite shots were doing this. Have fun,
laura
- Laura M. Ingold

ANSWER 9:
oops. It's Ingoldphotography.com
Laura
- Laura M. Ingold

ANSWER 10:
I've found in the past that if you allow the couple to be themselves you can get some good poses and expressions. By the way you will be using digital and this allows you to shoot several photos and yo also have the liberty to erase any that you don't like. So shoot plenty of your poses and plenty of theirs.
- Tony L. Avery

ANSWER 11:
Have the future groom sit on the ground with his legs forward and knees bent, and have the future bride kneel behind him and hugging him. She should be to your right so that her engagement ring shows. Couples love this shot, and this is one of several poses I sell the most of. Another one is to have them both stand up, have him behind her, hugging her from the back, and her hands on his forearms. Regarding kissing, I don't do kissing photos for engagement shoots. I save the kissing for the wedding day.
- Maria Melnyk

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