New Copyright Guide Explains Photographer’s Rights

PHOTOGRAPHERS. For a clear explanation of how U.S. copyright law applies to photographers, download “The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright.”  The free, 37-page educational guide was produced jointly by PhotoShelter and The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). The guide lists the six exclusive rights associated with copyright and how to:

  • Safeguard your photos and avoid infringement.
  • Register your work through the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Take action if you discover that your copyrighted work has been infringed.

PhotoShelterCopyrightGuideThrough interviews with photographers and ASMP experts, the guide addresses topics such as major trends in copyright today, how to incorporate copyright registration into a daily workflow, and the risks of joining social networks.

The book points out that “Understanding the ins and outs of copyright is an asset to your business. As the world of professional photography continues to move online and photographers delve into motion or multimedia projects, it will become increasingly important to understand what rights your creations are granted and what options you have in defending those rights.”

In one of the featured profiles, architecture and interior design photographer Liz Ordoñez explains what it takes to bring an infringement case to court and the best way to avoid it. Because our lives are pretty much ruled by online markets, Ordoñez says at some point your work is going to be used without your permission. She recommends having a strategy in place before it ever happens: “Filing a case should be the absolute last thing you should do.”

“The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright” also demystifies what counts as “fair use” and discusses copyright for video and motion pictures.

“ASMP is a leader in copyright education, and we have continually stressed the importance of persistent attribution and registries,” explained ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik. “We are pleased that our work with PhotoShelter has produced this important resource which is available to the entire imaging community.” In addition to the guide, ASMP’s website offers a wide range of downloadable information and videos on the subject of copyright, licensing, releases and more.

“Professional photographers rely on a strong online presence to grow their business and attract new clients, which is why it’s vital to proactively register and protect images from infringement,” said PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman. “We’re excited to partner with ASMP to provide a robust resource that will help photographers break down U.S. copyright law and understand their creative rights.”

The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes 25+ educational guides including topics such as social media, email marketing, and starting a photography business.

PhotoShelter is a worldwide leader in photography portfolio websites and sales and marketing tools for photographers. More than 77,000 photographers use PhotoShelter’s websites, social and SEO tools to show their work and attract new clients. Many also use PhotoShelter’s e-commerce tools to sell their photography easily and securely.

ASMP is a premier trade association for imaging professionals.  A well-known leader on current issues, ASMP regularly represents the imaging industry on legislative matters nationally and internationally and provides its members with state-of-the-art information and education.


The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright

PhotoShelter Business Guides



ASMP Helps Imaging Pros Create Sustainable Business Models

PHOTOGRAPHERS. The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) wants to help imaging professionals update their business models to meet the changing requirements of buyers of photography and video services. On September 27, ASMP will hold a symposium entitled “Sustainable Business Models: Issues and Trends Facing Visual Artists.” This fall, they will also release a book entitled, “The ASMP Guide to New Markets in Photography.”

Sustainable Business Symposium

The Sustainable Business Models Symposium will be held from 9 am to 3:30 pm at The TimesCenter in New York. The symposium is free of charge to all interested parties who pre-register. (Attendance may be limited, so register early!) The day’s events will be streamed live and available for viewing afterward.

The symposium organizers note that the rules of the photography business have changed: “As clients revise their marketing strategies to keep up with new outlets and technologies, imaging professionals are responding by adapting their own business models and evolving from the old ‘shoot and sell’ prototype.” ASMP believes that creatives can succeed if they understand the options and are willing to make the commitment to develop new approaches.

“At this critical time in our industry, we believe that bringing together experts with various perspectives will stimulate important conversation about the options and opportunities for those who produce and use visual works,” said ASMP President Shawn Henry.

The symposium will feature three panel discussions. The two morning sessions will be moderated by photographer Jay Kinghorn. The afternoon session will be moderated by photographer Richard Dale Kelly

9:15 to 10:15 am
A Candid Discussion with Working Pros.
Leading advertising, commercial, editorial, and journalism photographers will discuss necessary and successful business transitions. Panelists include:

 10:45 to 11:45 am
Current Distribution Models that Offer Compensation to Creators
Learn about  new distribution models for selling your work. Panelists include:

1:15 to 3:30 pm
The Challenge: Sustainable and Ongoing Creator Compensation
Hear what some photography thought leaders regard as the most pressing needs of the industry and how they should be addressed. Do the answers lie in technology, the Internet, high-end content, or something else entirely? Panelists include:


ASMP Symposium: Sustainable Business Models: Issues and Trends Facing Visual Artists

About ASMP

Book: ASMP Guide to New Markets in Photography

Copies of the new book, “The ASMP Guide to New Markets in Photography,” will be available at the symposium. Co-published by ASMP and Allworth Press, the book is a pragmatic guide that explains how photographers can successfully exploit new trends to build successful businesses.

You’ll see where the industry is headed and how to build a career tailored to your talents, interests, and business style.

Edited by ASMP Education Director Susan Carr, the book features insights from eight industry experts.  Some of the topics covered include:

  • New visual needs created by the economy
  • The changing definition of what it means to be a photographer
  • The shifting distribution of clients
  • The impact of ongoing changes in technology
  • Issues related to copyright, licensing, compensation, and contracts.

To give you an idea of the many directions a photography career can take today, the book also includes concise business biographies of 50 visual artists who have successfully found new markets for their work. Scheduled for public release in October, the book can be pre-ordered on Amazon now.


Book: ASMP Guide to Guide to New Markets in Photography


Find Practical Advice for Digital Imaging Workflows at

PHOTOGRAPHERS. If your digital imaging workflow involves more work than flow, check out the website produced by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).  The term dpBestflow is shorthand for Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow.

The site features dozens of practical ideas for developing a workflow that can make your work more efficient, effective, and profitable. The dpBestflow site recommends best practices for cameras, computers, color management, image editing, metadata, file management, data validation, file delivery, and copyright registration.

A lot of the advice will be useful to any creative professional who wants to streamline and improve the processing, production, and preservation of digital artwork.

For example, if you don’t understand why investing in a good monitor matters, read some of the detailed information in the site’s section on Monitor Calibration and Profiling. Not only does Project Director Richard Anderson clarify the difference between calibration and profiling, but he also explains different types of monitors, including spec-sheet terms such as illumination type, DDC-enabled, bit depth, pixel-response time, and gamut.

At last year’s WPPI Conference, I saw two experts involved in the dpBestflow project give a two-hour presentation entitled “I Need a Workflow that Works for Me.” The presenters, Judy Hermann and Jay Kinghorn, reminded newcomers to professional photography that their profitability and future business growth can depend on the type of workflow practices they establish now. Essentially, they said the less time you waste tracking down the files you need, the more time you can devote to learning new skills or pursuing new business.  Plus, some of the images you shoot and save today might have historical value later in your career.

In the presentation, Hermann and Klinghorn highlighted “good, better, and best” practices at all stages of a workflow including:

  • capture and ingestion:
  • image editing and organization;
  • image correction, printing, or output;
  • file delivery;
  • archiving and storage; and
  • finding archived images.

 To scan the type of practical advice on the site, download the dpBestflow Quick Reference sheet.  This two-page PDF condenses a lot of the best advice presented in more detail elsewhere throughout the site.

At the site, you can also download the handouts from the two-hour and four-hour presentations that resprentatives from the dpBestflow project presented.  

If you find digital-imaging and archiving terminology and acronyms confusing, check out the excellent glossary in the Resources section of the dpBestflow site.

Personally, I really admire this website because I know just how much work can be involved in condensing complex subjects into concise, easy-to-comprehend explanations—particularly in fields in which the technology is continuing to evolve.

Another thing I like about this site is that it includes links to several longer white papers that can provide greater insight and context than the get-straight-to-the-point content we’ve grown accustomed to.

For example, you can link to white papers that discuss raw file processing and print rendering, non-destructive image editing, preparing files for delivery, and using a digital camera as a film scanner.

Part of the funding for the dpBestflow project came from the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress wants to ensure that many of the images being digitally captured today will be properly preserved for future generations and historical records.

Senior Project Manager Peter Krogh explains that, “dpBestflow helps translate the intricacies of preserving digital images into useful information that can be incorporated into everyday working habits.”


dpBestflow Quick Reference
American Society of Media Photographers