Online Presence for Photographers

Being a photographer affords us with a wealth of great content to share online – our own photos.

Look at the statistics for social media, particularly Facebook, and the posts with the greatest number of views and shares will have images or videos attached. As photographers we can take advantage of this and build a captive audience if we use social media strategically.

First we need to understand our audience, who they are, what they like to look at and when. We also need to know their demographic and interests.

If you are a wedding photographer then your ideal audience is somebody (probably the bride to be) aged 20-30, looking to organise her wedding. She wants to now she will look beautiful in her wedding photos and be photographed in beautiful locations and everything will be perfect and she won’t have a worry in the world on that special day!

How do you use social media and your online presence to show her that?

Here is a great resource from PhotoShelter, a US business specialising in websites for photographers and creative people. Link to

The photographers-guide-to-facebook provides lots of great information on Facebook for photographers.

Here are two photographers I think use their online presence really well. They use to build and maintain an audience, as well as increase their work opportunities through ‘sharing’.

Chris Crisman

Sue Bryce

Can you name two photographers whose work inspires you and who are using their online presence effectively?


Contracts and Model Release for Photographers

Working to a clients brief is part and parcel of commercial photography but what happens to the images after the shoot?

Can you use them to get more work via your website, Facebook page or Instagram page?

How do you ensure your models are aware their image may appear online promoting your business?

Contracts and model release forms are key here.

What is a contract? The Law Society of NSW has some great information on contracts.

Did you know verbal contracts are usually enforceable? It is often best to have a written contract to avoid misunderstanding.

What is a model release? A document that forms an agreement between you and your model generally stating that they (the model) are aware that their image may be used by you (the photographer) to promote your services via advertising, website or social media etc.

Here is an example of a model release form from the AIPP.


Starting a Photography Business

There are specific steps you are required to take to establish your own photography business.

Not least of which is to register your business with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission ASIC.

Here you can register your business name.

Once you have your ABN and business name sorted you can secure a domain name for your business website.

To search for the availability of your website name try this search.

Now you have your ABN, registered your business name with ASIC and secured your domain name, you should think about a business plan. has many great resources for new businesses, including business plans, marketing and social media plans. There you can get info on intellectual property, tax and selling your work.

Jump over to the site for more info.

A business plan gives you the opportunity to examine your ideas and look at your competitors. You can then form some realistic plans about how you will develop your products and services to compete in the market. All of this is great for a new business as it creates a written document of your intentions and gives you something to work toward.

Exercise 4 – Having read through the above information and links, search for your proposed business name and domain name and report the availability or not of both.

Briefly describe the steps involved in establishing your own photography business. What do you need to do?

Copyright for Photographers

As a working photographer it is important to be aware of copyright laws as they relate to you and your work.

Here is a link to The Australian Copyright Council, a great resource for creators and users of copyrighted material.

This session we look at the issues related to copyright.

Did you know that if somebody commissions you to take portrait of them, they may own the copyright to that image?

Did you know you cannot copyright an idea?

Do you know if adding © to your images makes them copyright?

You can find lots of great information about copyright from the Copyright Council of Australia. Click here to go to their website.

Here is a fact sheet from the Copyright Council giving an introduction to the  Copyright Act in Australia.

Here is another fact sheet on Ownership of Copyright.

Please answer these questions about copyright and post your answers on your blog.

  1. The Copyright Act dates back to what year?
  2. What are some of the things that the Act protects?
  3. Generally speaking who is the owner of copyright?
  4. What are some of the exceptions?
  5. What is not protected by Copyright?
  6. What do you have to do to have copyright applied to your work?
  7. Should you use your business name in the Copyright notice you apply to your images or your own name? Why?
  8. How long does Copyright last? How has this changed between 2005 and now?
  9. If you were employed by a newspaper or magazine to produce images for publication, would you own copyright of the images you create?
  10. How old do you need to be to own copyright?
  11. You have been commissioned to take some family portraits for a client. Who owns the copyright to those images?
  12. If you place a copyright stamp on your photograph does that automatically mean you are the copyright owner?
  13. What do you understand copyright to mean?

Lets look at some special circumstances. 

You want to use somebody else’s images on your blog. Is that ok?

There are some special exemptions when it comes to using other peoples work (written or artistic). In the case of using photographs, there are some exemptions, known as Fair Dealing.

Here is an information sheet from the Copyright Council of Australia on Fair Dealing.

What does Fair Dealing mean?

What are some of the Fair Dealing exemptions that might apply to you and your blog?

Helpful links.

Copyright Council of Australia

Arts Law Centre of Australia

Is it ok for Me to Photograph You?

This week we look at the Rights of photographers to capture images of people.

Here is a great article by a Blue Mountains photographer and former Sydney solicitor Andrew Nemeth.

Andrew Nemeth talks about the lack of a right to privacy in this country and how this effects a persons ability to protect their ‘image’. There is discussion on when you as a photographer have a right to protect your images and when you must delete them. Further discussion about what is private and public space and how that effects your rights as a photographer.

This article makes for great discussion and should prompt answers to the following questions.

  1. Can you legally take photos of people in public?
  2. What restrictions, if any, are there to taking photographs of people in public?
  3. When can police stop you from taking photographs?
  4. Can you take photographs in Westfield or other shopping centers?
  5. Can you take pictures of your neighbour’s children playing in their front yard?
  6. What can you do with these images? Can you publish them?
  7. Can you take photographs on Sydney trains or train stations?
  8. Is Sydney Harbour Foreshore public land and can you take photographs there?
  9. What part of Lunar Park are you allowed to photograph?
  10. Can security guards force you to delete your files or hand over your memory card/film?
  11. When can you be forced to delete files?
  12. Do you require special permission to photograph children?
  13. What do you understand “Commercial Use” to mean?