Friday, June 5, 2009

artists aren't businessmen...

I hate the contract negotiation part of photography... especially when thousands and thousands of dollars are being discussed.  I'm not a great businessman, I'm an artist.  I want to make moving, emotional images.  I don't want to negotiate rights and figures.  

Unfortunately, I have to.  If I don't play hardball as a business professional, I'll get walked all over...  I'll get taken advantage of.  Even when I try my hardest, it can be difficult getting what I deserve for my craft.  Only the biggest nationally and internationally known photographers can really push the major record labels around.  The rest of us have to cross our fingers and brace for impact, if you know what I mean.  

Luckily, there are several people at these huge corporations that actually have a heart and seem like genuinely nice people.  Even though they are watching the company's bottom line, they don't want to screw anyone over.  I've had one or two clients a long time ago that were really looking to bleed me dry; but, quite often I deal with real people who understand we are all trying to make a decent living.  

I guess I'm just venting to relieve some stress right now.  I always get worried when a LOT of money is on the line for a shoot.  I have a family to feed and don't want to mess anything up.  This is really the hardest part of a photography business.  

At this level of the game, the picture taking is easy.  I've been doing it since the mid-1990's and have learned what needs to be done to take a great photo.  But man, that whole contract/money/rights negotiation thing never seems to get any easier or less stressful.  I wish it would.



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