James Douglas: How to Fire a Client

This is a syndicated blog post from photographer James Douglas. It and the images here are being used with permission.

There’s a long held belief that we as photographers are constantly running around desperately chasing clients like Pepe Le Pew after that damn cat; who miraculously somehow always manages to get a stripe of white paint on her back every single episode. This is simply not the case.  Sure there’s a time in every photographer’s career where they’d give up their first and probably their second born just to take a shot for a crappy local magazine but that quickly passes, or at least it should.

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You Are Not a Photographer


This is a syndicated blog post from James Douglas. The text and the images are being used with permission.

Please allow me to explain the above factual statement in slightly more depth before you roll your eyes and go back to redesigning your logo which is sure to solve all of your photography business problems.

This statement has been one that I’ve said to myself over and over again throughout the years. Sometimes in the form of me doubting myself artistically, sometimes it’s because I’m acting as an art director on set, or consulting on a big time project for a large agency. There’s a reason the degree I received from University of Delaware doesn’t say “Photographer” on it… although I haven’t seen it since graduation day but I’m 97% sure that’s not on it. It says Bachelor of Fine Arts on it… FINE ARTS!!! I’m probably going to go on a bit of a rant here but it makes me sad and hurts my brain when I meet with a budding new photographer and they have never heard of Imogen Cunningham or Yousuf Karsh. It’s nearly impossible to explain how Annie Leibovitz employs Rembrandt style lighting in her work when all too often theplaid clad individual I’m sitting across from thinks that’s a brand of fucking toothpaste.  Ok rant over…

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1 + 1 = 4: A Lesson in Team Work


Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published on the blog of photographer James Douglas. It and the images in the post are being syndicated with permission.

Clearly the title of this blog post is false, but the meaning behind the equation could not be more true.  The term 1+1=4 is often said around the studio and most commonly refers to our desire to collaborate with other artists. Huge benefits come with working in such a fashion.  The notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is not new by any means, but I will argue that it is an incredibly rare and even potentially controversial notion in today’s creative society.  The idea that anyone can build something that will last on its own, (and I mean last longer than it takes you to skim through the rest of this blog post), is naive, juvenile, and quite honestly, stupid. Working together is one of humanity’s strongest selling points, yet far too often we in the creative industry think of ourselves as renaissance men/ladies, able to do it all. Well I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re not a solo act… you are only as talented as the team of artists you entrust to help bring your creative vision to life.

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Sharing is Caring: The Proper Way to Credit Photographers


Image by photographer James Douglas.

Editor’s Note: This is a syndicated blog post from Photographer James Douglas. It is being used with permission, as are all images in this post.

Here at TJDS, we have some pretty strict guidelines for utilizing and sharing the images that we create; the literature to explain our guidelines looks pretty daunting attached to an email, but we hope it isn’t taken that way. Our goal at the studio as well as around town is to educate everyone from artists just getting started to our clients (since one can be just as misinformed as the other on many issues) on the proper ways to credit and distribute creative work.

One of the most important, yet frequently overlooked aspects of the creative process is providing appropriate credit to the artist(s) who create. Another overlooked aspect is the need to respect artistic vision and not altering the art from it’s original form. Hopefully this post will mitigate a lot of unpleasant conversations about why an individual, company, celebrity, organization, etc. would need to give credit to the artist they are working with when utilizing original artwork. Why so much emphasis on artistic credit? Because there are so many ways proper credit can benefit our business and literally no way it could negatively impact a client’s. As a photographer the following points will largely apply to my chosen medium but what I’ll attempt to explain(without pissing too many people off) is fairly universal across the artistic spectrum.

So here goes.

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