Skip to main content


Video Motion Business


As I’ve entered the video motion business, I see how clients sometimes need help figuring out what they need. I’ve started asking them questions to help break down what they need and how I can help, Too often, I can’t get their answer, so I tend to make decisions for them. How do other people handle this? Any advice?


I like the clever proactive strategy you’ve developed to see where you can make yourself useful, helping to bring in more work. The best resource I know of for this type of sales approach is by one of the best educational leaders of our time – Chris Do if the Futur. He interviewed me, and we breakdown sales methods. Check out all of his YouTube and website info, as asking those questions to set yourself up for success is how he made it big!

Photographers Are The Package Deal

Photographers are the package deal of stills/video/motion. 

All are one and the same, treating each with equal importance as we raise our area of expertise to fulfill our client’s needs. 

Motion and Stills


Along with shooting stills, does it make sense to create a short 15-45 second motion spec for a product? Would that take away the title of “photographer” from us?


Interesting, I received this request- “We are looking for a photographer who shoots motion or a DP/director with…”. Clients look for photographers’ motion reels, especially when they have a tight budget for a project vs. the larger footprint of production companies. The title of “photographer” now means all of the above.

Video Usage

Be Aware: A usage term getting overlooked right now is VIDEO usage. It’s standard to see “no broadcast usage,” but we cannot assume that means no video or motion usage. 

The two are no longer interchangeable. Price accordingly.

How to Set Up Your Instagram to Bring in Jobs

When done right, Instagram is a free marketing platform that can consistently get your work in front of the right clients and help you grow your business. This Webinar will not be about turning you into an Influencer. We highlight practical strategies that every commercial photographer can deploy to shape their creative presence and optimize Instagram to build an audience that can help create a sustainable business. Originally aired as part of APA Chicago’s workshop, “Industry Experts Talk Photography Growth Strategies for 2022”.

Co-host: Photographer + SternRep/AskSternRep/ASRsocial Creative Director Ranee Vespi

Apply now to ASRsocial→

Protect Yourself

Protect yourself on bids by preparing for the client to respond by handling some of the line items themselves. 

For example, if they had contemplated supplying the props, expect your prop cost to eventually be removed from your total. If you know their budget or have one in mind, place those prop costs over the final amount you want to come in at. You cannot add to your bid once you submit it, so strategically place your numbers with this in mind.

There are line items on your bid that the client may turn around and say no we’ll cover that overtime, retouching, or food. But be careful on those items because once they take it out, your budget is stuck there. Even if they said they have a budget of 20 grand and you now come in at 15 grand with those items removed, they’ve now seen your budget and you can’t change it at that point. Be careful with those items. Talk to them about it with them if you think they might take those out. Have that in mind.

Recognizable Art

Just like companies cannot make money off of photographer’s art without their permission, the same goes for any recognizable art that we may not even realize has copyright ownership. I was on a call discussing casting, and we were warned against using talent with tattoos because we would need permission from the artist. Recognizable public artwork on buildings or bodies without usage agreements has caused legal problems that we don’t want to get entangled with.

Take Note

We are in business that requires a continuous flow of fresh vibes! Clients hire you for your IDEAS skillset; show them you are a non-stop source generating new ideas. Take note of how your ideas come alive, pinpoint what works, and schedule more of this into your routine.

Social Media Usage

Be specific about which SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE you are licensing to the client.

  1. PAID is for their ads.
  2. OWNED is on their social media.
  3. You posting it on YOUR FEED (Influencer Posts) which is a separate fee.

Cover Yourself

Make sure you are clear and cover yourself with all crew and talent on a photoshoot that you own the images, and no one is allowed to grant usage to anyone on Instagram without your permission. 

Don’t assume they know the copyright laws; that is your job.