Friday, January 14, 2011

Louder Than Hell Is Also Copyright Hell...

I was forwarded an email with this info in it recently. Do I suggest you submit images to the book. Heck no!!! They should be able to pay for images they use, plain and simple. I've only given one photo to a book for free, and it was because my friend wrote it. Sure, he got paid to write it, and I should've charged for that photo, too. However, I'm not so black and white, like some photogs are. I think there are gray (or grey, if you are British) areas, when you CAN allow use of a photo for free. This "contest" is NOT one of those times, in my opinion. Read the info below and see if you can spot the numerous reasons you shouldn't submit your images...


Authors of upcoming Harper Collins heavy metal history seek amateur concert shots and candid photos of metal bands for possible publication in groundbreaking book

(January 10 – NYC) – The upcoming Harper Collins book "Louder Than Hell: The Unflinching Oral History of Metal," by seasoned journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman, is a comprehensive chronicle of metal told by the people who created it and features thousands of facts, anecdotes and jaw-dropping stories that exemplify the power and insanity of one of rock most long-lived music genres. Each chapter will be accompanied by exclusive portraits and concert photos, many shot by experienced professionals. But since some of the best metal moments are captured by fans, not magazine staffers, we’re giving amateur photographers a chance to have their pictures published in this one-of-a-kind book.

The “Photos from Hell” contest is our way of recognizing the contributions of the fans and reward their efforts on the Web site and possibly in the book. Anyone with quintessential metal images, killer crowd shots or pictures of recognizable bands rocking onstage or raging behind the scenes is encouraged to contribute. The winners of the contest will have their shots published in the book with photo credits, and many others will be featured on

We’re not just looking for great onstage pictures of Ozzy and Metallica (though we’ll take those, too!) We’re interested in images of bands from all genres: (classic metal, NWOBHM, thrash, crossover, death, black, grunge, industrial, metalcore, deathcore, etc…). The top five entries in the “Photos From Hell” contest will also receive a copy of “Louder Than Hell: The Unflinching Oral History of Metal” and memorabilia signed by Alice Cooper.

This is a rare opportunity for aspiring photographers to have their work featured and credited in a book by a major publishing company.

The photos MUST be of hard rock/metal bands (i.e., Jonas Brothers concert pics won’t be looked at), audiences or metal scenes. They must be digital and you MUST own them). For more information and to submit your greatest shots, go to The contest will run through March 1and winners will be notified by email. In addition, winners will be announced on the book website and published in 2011/2012 in “Louder Than Hell: The Unflinching Oral History of Metal."

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finally, Some Photos...

I know my last several posts have not included any photos. They've either been links to interesting videos or posts filled with text and nothing else. Well, hopefully this will make up for it. It's just some random shots I took during a gig, extra images that didn't run from a story, etc...

These two shots are from a Misfits concert at Trees in Deep Ellum. The crowd was wild that night!

This is Bob. He's a Deep Ellum regular. If you go down there at all, chances are that you've met him before.

This is me and musician Ben Kweller backstage at The Granada Theater. He's a real nice guy.

These two shots are from a concert at The Granada. The top one is Rhett Miller and the one below is Ben Kweller.

This band is The Phuss performing at the recently re-opened Club Dada.

That's me with Jordin Sparks from American Idol after a shoot. She was very nice!


Sales Tax Questions?!?

I charge state sales tax to out-of-state clients with retail stores in Texas, and you should, too. I wanted to post about the subject on my blog, since my other sales tax posts seem to be some of my most-read posts (even more popular than my celebrity photo shoot posts). Many photogs are confused about when to collect and when not to. While researching for information on this topic, I ran across this statement from an online user named Santa Fe CPA.

According to the "Quill" decision by the Supreme Court of the US of several years ago, unless you have some sort of a physical presence in that State you do not have to collect or pay the sales tax there. Your customer may have a local use tax issue to contend with though.
Mailing a catalog or having a sales rep travel through there does not constitute a physical presence.

Though he is obviously based in New Mexico, I believe his statement refers to a federal tax law that affects all states and how/when they can collect? With this in mind, I'll tell you some advice an old photo studio owner gave me once. He said, "I charge sales tax on each and every sale I make, regardless of whether they should or shouldn't pay it. Unless the client specifically brings it up and hands me the state sales tax exemption form completely filled out, I'm not going to bother asking. They will be paying it."

This is more of a no-brainer for retail studio shooters. Ninety nine percent of your clients are end-users... they are the consumer. People like me who shoot a ton of stuff for newspapers and magazines, events for non-profits and out-of-state corporate clients... well, it's a lot less cut and dry for us. However, I still take that old studio photographer's core lesson to heart.

Plain and simple, make sure you are charging sales tax to your photo clients, if you are ever in doubt. The government won't go after you for collecting sales tax on a non-taxable sale - they get you when you don't collect it on a sale where you should've.

Now for the tricky part. Let's say you shot for a corporate client based out-of-state that only has franchisees in Texas. They don't actually own those retail locations, so are you required to charge state sales tax?!? Hmmm... I'll have to call my CPA, if I ever run into that situation.


New Years Eve...

Photos from around the world, documenting the last twenty five years of New Years Eve celebrations. Jill Waterman sure went to a lot of different New Years Eve parties for this project!


Digital Army Camo Lens?!?

This is sweet! It's pretty pricey for a lens cover, but if you need to protect your lens...


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's My House...

Behind the scenes of a photo shoot for the television show House...


Shooting Old Buildings...

Someone at a photo-related forum that I frequent told me about this show called PhotoXplorers. Yeah, I know... ignore the stupid name and just watch the clip below. The show follows these shooters into old abandoned buildings. There are a lot of shooters like this in Dallas, so maybe the show will give you some ideas for some non-Texas locations to visit and shoot?