How to have a successful photo business without the state to enforce copyright

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  • Bud Johnson

    Let’s kick this off! How are you able to have a successful photography company without the state to enforce copyright and/or IP laws?

    I personally have a very successful wedding photography company and one of my biggest selling points is my philosophy on intellectual property. I’d love to hear other’s successes, or problems, and will happily explain how I do it!

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  • Dustin Olson

    Hi Bud! I don’t do a lot of portrait work, but when I do, I have no problem handing over the license to the client. It seems to me it is more of an issue with landscape photographers, but I tend to like the way Trey Ratcliff thinks. He still registers his images with the copyright office, but generally he believes in openness and sharing. For those interested in his thoughts:

    http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2013/06/25/why-i-dont-use-watermarks/
    http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2012/03/01/go-ahead-steal-this-photo-and-make-prints/

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      Bud Johnson

      Hey that’s pretty cool! I used to read that blog a ton – didn’t realize Trey was so open!

      I’d love to see some of your work, Dustin!

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    Ron Walter

    I don’t do as much photography as I do videography, namely for small businesses and organizations, but I try and apply the same thoughts on IP towards my work.

    I always try and be open with my clients about how they should use the photos/video I take for them. I always try and stress openness: don’t be bashful about hiding this all on the internet. In fact, put it everywhere to help increase traffic back to your business (which I also usually help them develop strategies on how to do).

    I’d love to hear about how you can develop that further with having a successful photography business though.

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      Bud Johnson

      Hey Ron – I like your thoughts about openness.

      That’s really what it’s all about – setting expectations with your clients. I’ll definitely follow up tomorrow with how it works in my business, but I just wanted to jump in here and say thanks for bringing some discussion!

      I shoot predominantly weddings – what do you shoot? Where can I find some video work?

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    Pierre LaFromboise

    Would the lack of copyright enforcement really be that detrimental to a photography business? I guess it would depend on the type of work you’re doing. However, I’ve never really viewed it as an issue. I’d love to hear from others how it would effect them.

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