Wedding Photography–Professionals vs Part-timers


A wedding photographer skillfully backpedals as her clients walk down the aisle for the 1st time as a couple at the Edwards Mansion in Redlands, CA

Spend enough time  online and I’m sure you’ll notice the number of wedding and portrait photographers has increased exponentially because of the affordability of digital SLRs, the relatively-easy learning curve of photoshop and ease of setting up a website.

What this has done is enable some photography enthusiasts or hobbyists to make a some extra income shooting weddings on their weekends.

In our current economy, this is not a bad thing.

Not surprisingly many so-called professional wedding photographers are complaining that they can’t compete against the wanna-be’s who are charging $500 and giving all the digital files or negatives away as well.

The truth is, this is a business. The more successful photographers aren’t necessarily the best photographers.

It’s after all a perceived value.

I’ve been teaching Digital Wedding Photography through UC Riverside’s Extension program.

Most of my students are exploring this career very seriously.

My students are very motivated. Hey, they have to put up with me jabbering away for 4 consecutive Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm!

Since we’re nearing the end of our 4-session Saturday class, I’ll be concluding this class with some observations about which kind of wedding photographer to be:

  • the fulltime professional or
  • the occasional weekend shooter

uci4I impress on my students that both kinds require professionalism. Far too many photographers think themselves as artists only and that they never need to behave so.

Or worse, they short-change themselves by not educating themselves of their rights as an artist. Some of you might be thinking that it’s easy for me to criticize how a little one photographer charges. I’m not in the same shoes. My wife works, so I have that luxury.

What is important is that you shouldn’t sell yourself short. For instance, if you legally sign your rights away, you have no one else to blame but yourself.

One of my clients, a large educational institution, tried to get all the photography vendors to sign a work-for hire document last year.

I approached each and everyone one of my competitors on that list and discussed this. We all stood our ground. Needless to say, the educational institution  scrapped those plans  when we all said we weren’t going to agree to those terms.

I was one of those artists not too long ago. My photography instructor never once mentioned what my rights as an artist is.

Now that I’m mentoring others, I never let my students go out in their own photographic journey without touching on this subject.

There will always be a segment of professional wedding and portrait photographers who complain. These are the ones who don’t make a commitment to continuing education in their craft.

Many made the transition to digital grudgingly. If they didn’t see how much digital was saving their bottom-line, they’d still be shooting film. Not surprisingly many are also not very computer literate.

The successful wedding photographers of this generation should expect to be able to

  1. create multimedia slideshows with music which they pay a licensing fee to use,
  2. dabble with some video and audio
  3. understand how to create online proof galleries for their clients quickly
  4. learn how to use the web and social networking websites to promote themselves

Not knowing those skills means they will have to trust and pay a webmaster or someone else to do so on your behalf.

25 thoughts on “Wedding Photography–Professionals vs Part-timers”

  1. To be a part time photographer you need to have some knowledge on photography. Full time photographers are very professional with their work and complete their in a unique way apart from others. Cameras don’t make good photographer but photographers make cameras a good one.

  2. James,
    My apologies for not responding earlier. You took a great deal of time to write what such a long comment.

    I applaud your efforts to be able to get access to Obama and the big wigs. Now you’re able to parlay that to other things which many photographers would be envious of. At least you are aware that your “free” service is ruining the market. Not many will acknowledge that.

    But coming back to my original post, I think that many part-timers don’t realize that to be able to support their hobby/part timer career, they need to charge something realistic not $500.

    Cars need gas. Cars need to be maintained. Without reliable transportation, all the skill and gear in the world won’t do you any good. At $500 a wedding, even part-timers are shooting themselves in the foot.

    In the end, it’s entirely up to the bride and groom and how important they think their wedding is.

    James, thanks for taking the time and trouble to comment.

  3. Hey Pete,

    Great post and great discussion among so many people. All great points. I don’t charge for weddings as an amateur but have done about a dozen for good friends or family. After the last two, I have sworn off even that, since even friends and family can be “pains in the ***.”

    I mainly have done event photography for politicians and non-profits, again not charging since I don’t want to realize income for tax purposes, and when I shot in film I had them pay for the film and developing. I know the pros out there probably think the hobby shooters like me are the “devil” but I have continued to try to evangelize why people pay pros for their work, and only shoot for entities/people who at the time can’t afford a budget at all for photography, or … in a few instances just some neat opportunities (like photographing Barack Obama 3 times – in 2004, 2006, and 2007).

    What I think your contributors are spot on is the reality of event photography (including weddings) and the lack of value that often people provide it. Often photographers will charge $500 or less for the event (and often general professionals will charge this), but often are not up front with the reprint costs. I think while pros need to definitely charge what they value their work at (and calculating the hours needed pre-, during, and post-production and dividing accordingly), which is essential to protect the art form. However, I think I would encourage all photographers to be upfront with the reprint costs and not simply shoot the event/wedding without fully disclosing those rates. One photographer I know charged $300 for a 5 hour event, and when someone wanted reprints (about 10), the rate he was going to charge was $1500 (the rates were never disclosed to anyone – although no one asked). Again, I don’t think there is a problem charging whatever, but people tend to dislike the profession when those rates are not up front.

    In contrast, I personally think that what all photographers who are charging anything need to do is help educate their clients on the costs – both for shooting, any other costs associated … and as importantly, why those rates are being charged. If a client is looking to pay less upfront, then maybe the rate can be recovered (openly) by reprint costs to those that want them. Given my day job is “attorney” – often hard feelings can be avoided simply by having direct and upfront communications.

    What I do think the public/consumers of photography don’t understand is why the price is so high. Wedding photographers deserve whatever they charge and “you get what you pay for.” I try to educate the consumers that with a highly skilled pro, you will have a low “casaulty rate” on those important images and it will flow better at the event, and have greater outcome on average afterwards. There is a increasing risk with equipment failure, etc. the less experience you buy. I also use the 1 hour shooting to 3-4 hours post-production as a guide as well, and make sure they see the math on the rate they are paying. I also make sure they appreciate the value of the copyrights and knowing who owns those, and who does not. These are all issues that people need to be clear and understand prior to determining the best photographer for their situation.

    One extreme high-end photographer I know in LA used to do cinematography in hollywood and is a good example. He was going to wedding shows trying to compete with every school photographer (no offense) who wants to do weddings and was getting bid down. Sean is awesome and I suggested he ought to network high-end areas, rather than working wedding shows where everyone wants a deal. Go for the people who have $10K to spend on a wedding (hollywood types) and are willing to pay for it. While there are definitely fewer of those people around these days, I think it is worth everyone asking “are you well matched to your client base?” and if not, where is your base and how do you connect to them. And by “well-matched” I don’t mean the hotties you want, but the hotties you and your work can get. The west coast photographers have found that for some, it is less expensive to fly someone into LA from Texas and shoot the wedding, then hire someone in LA. However, for LA, high end photographers might be well suited to network LA elite wealthy and get paid to fly to the Bahamas for a weddding. Again, who is your market and how can you find them?

    Last think I might stress as crucial to all photographers, again as an attorney speaking here … is do you maintain the trust of your clients? That is first by direct and honest communication that I mentioned above. However, as importantly to that, it is also maintaining the trust of your subjects. Part of the reason I was able to photograph Obama was that they knew I could only use the images in a way that he was ok with. I also was able to photograph Sen. Clinton in the bubble of the secret service for 3 hours, because they knew my images would only reflect well on Clinton – and they did. With high-end weddings, are you as a photographer going to abuse the trust you are given, particularly with shots that could have value to tabloids? If you are really GOOD at weddings and think you are being undercut by the weekend warriors, then maybe create a great reputation for trustworthiness and compete for the elite wealthy weddings – where they need to know you will guard those images (even if you do own the copyrights).

    For my part, I have sworn off events even for non-profits. Most don’t value the service (I know I am in part to blame) and often I have to fight even to get credited for “sponsorship” at the $1000 level for the event photography (after 10 years of experience at that – all donated). I definitely qualify as the “burn out” some of the comments spoke. Now, I only photograph sparingly – mainly for pets and animals in great need, and children with non-profits that value the service.

    Good luck to you, and hope my input is worthwhile to some.

  4. Hi Daniel,
    I don’t think I would adjust my packages for our economic woes, but then again, as I said, everyone has their own unique situations financially.

    I don’t derive my full income from weddings fortunately.

    If you drop your prices, when do you propose to increase it?

    As a photographer, maybe it might be more productive for you to venture into senior portraits?

    It’s actually less time consuming and pays better!

  5. Pixel Pete,

    Having written such an honest and open view of “photography enthusiasts or hobbyists” and pro photographers, what do you charge for weddings and should in you mind, are you adjusting any packages or pricing gearing towards the economic state of things and the “new” competition? Are you staying as busy as you did last year?


  6. Hi Bertilla,
    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

    I make it a point not to be so judgmental about what a wedding photographer charges. It is always a matter of how much your time is worth.

    If you break down the actual number of hours involved including the initial consultation, the 5-hour, for example, that you cited for actual shooting and who knows how many hours of post-production, you will be very surprised to see that it can easily take up to 40 hours.

    That number of hours easily increases if you need to meet clients to approve and revise the various thank-you-cards, slideshow with music, artistically enhanced photoshop pictures before you send it out to print.

    My estimate of 40 hours is realistic, so that if anyone is charging $500, it breaks down to $12.50 an hour minus the cost of any printing and physical DVDs, ink for printing labels and so on.

    In the end, you need to ask yourself what you enjoy more–shooting or doing post-production.

    Many “photographers” don’t even take into account the wear and tear of the work on their equipment, both the camera and their computers.

    Since machines don’t last forever and need to be replaced, who is going to pay for that? When you don’t mark up and just charge $500, you are short-changing yourself.

    Sure you might be able to find lots of clients, but that also means your gear will need to be replaced sooner.

    Obviously these are considerations that many part-timers or weekend shooters never factor in.

    And that’s not their fault, they have another line of income and they’re just doing this as a side income.

    Finally I haven’t even mentioned sales tax and income tax on that. You might be able to “fly under the radar,” but watch out if you get audited on your income tax, there’ll be a lump sum of taxes you’ll be responsible for.

    Like many, I knew nothing about these matters until I went out on my own.

    It is my hope that even part-time wedding photographers consider these things when they quote a bride.

    Great to see I have at least one reader from the Netherlands!

  7. Dear Pete,
    Interesting article. And refreshing that many photographers out there wish to share their experiences with us. Normally I find it to be a very closed and supicious market.
    Although at the Photo Academy I attended, wedding pictures were considered below board, I decided to focus on this anyway, simply because I like it.
    I have succeeded in making weddings more profitable by:
    1. Presenting potential clients with three different style portfolio’s. This convinces them of your quality and experience.
    2. Presenting them with a list of possibilities, with prices, so that they have a broad choice in using the pictures in an alternative way. For instance, thank-you-cards, website gallery with ordering possibilities, slideshow with music on a site, dvd with slideshow combined with video, al sorts of prints, artistically photoshop enhanced pictures etc..

    There are so many things to offer nowadays. Get informed and get good prices from suppliers and printers. Couples pay a basic price for the shoot, but it soon mounts with all the extra’s which cost me only a little bit more work.

    And 500,- for a wedding, well it can be done, but only if the whole shoot is not more than 5 hours and without an album.

    Good luck to you all!

  8. Hi Shilpi,
    Thanks for reading my blog. Unfortunately I don’t have such a class set up. I have been exploring that option actually given how so much of learning can be done online.

    If you’re on a Mac running Leopard (10.5) with an Intel processors, it’s a reality since we can share screens. Let me know if that’s the case and we can go from there.


  9. Hi Joel,
    Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. It’s nice to hear from someone who’s done this a while, who’s made the transition from to digital, who’s had to adjust to the changing landscape of the business.

    I have a friend who shoots weddings but he doesn’t do the “sorting” of images. He sends all his unedited images to the clients and tell them to choose the ones they want.

    He gets his money upfront, so the doesn’t care if the client doesn’t get it back to him with their choices, he has been paid already for the entire job.

    If they don’t get back to him with his choices by a time frame, then his obligations to build a wedding album and DVD slideshow is done.

    As a little background, shooting weddings is a weekend thing for him and he does quite well.

    Personally I can’t imagine doing that. Allowing all my mistakes to be seen and all, but he’s getting work, so it must satisfy his clients this way.

  10. QuaChee,
    It’s a business or a service. Some take more pride in it than others but they don’t charge enough.

    All those actuations on the digital cameras (number of times the shutter has been tripped on the camera) means wear and tear.

    Like most things, digital cameras eventually break. The cost to replace it is very high, so part-timers need to factor in that as well as the wear and tear on their computers.

    As a comparison, Quachee, would you mind giving me an idea what a high-end wedding photographer charges in Malaysia & Singapore? I’m sure others visiting and reading this blog would be curious as I am.

    Hope all is well over there. Thanks again for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

  11. nice take pete. btw i agree on the freelancers/ part timers bringing the price down. if not wrong in some other countries where camera is still considered expensive, the pros still charge high 🙂

  12. You make a lot of valid points, your followers may be interested in an article that I wrote for this month’s Studio Photography Magazine.

    The article, Digital & It’s Effects on “The Business” is in the March ‘09 issue of Studio Photography Magazine.

    go to the URL below, Select CURRENT ISSUE, and then go to page 44.

    I’d be interested in anyone comments.

  13. Pete,

    Good article. I am sort of like Jonathan except I shot film for years, I just didn’t get paid to shoot until I went digital. If I never shoot another wedding again it will be too soon. Dealing with Bridezilla and her evil stepmother is enough for me to charge very high prices.

    I have a business background and I know my value. I am not a Joe McNally or Helmut Newton but I am a above average shooter. I found that the amount of work involved in a wedding is astronomical compared to any other type of event. The time spent before the wedding alone is worth the minimum of $3000 I charge for a wedding. Do I turn down the work, not in this economy. but I charge for all of my time and all of my effort.

    A shooter that charges $500 for a wedding is both working for free (if not paying the bride and groom to shoot) AND giving reputable photographers a bad rap. Carrie is right in that she should be a 2nd or third. Its called apprentice. Whatever happened to those gigs? You remember, the time you ran around setting lights, setting up sets and cleaning up afterward. That was what I did, and as an intern you probably did too.

    Many photographers today, at least the wannabes, don’t have interns or apprentices. To learn any trade this is a good course to take. Then when you make it and you are self sufficient if not actually successful, you pas on what you know. You teach the whys and whats of lighting and aperture and everything else.

    Those people that don’t want to put the time into the trade will fall out eventually. Those of us that learned it and teach it will survive and we will be the old timers that pass on the knowledge. As times change we will change with it. In time we will be saying/hearing things like, “Well back in the old days, you only had 5 types of whit balance”, and “I remember when ISO 3200 produces so much grain/noise” like those that taught us. Of course it was ISO 400 and wasting film because you had the wrong thing in the camera.

    God I miss the smell of fixer…

    Thanks! Good article.

  14. Kevin,
    I’m so pleased you stopped in and commented. I tell my students unlike being a hairstylist or a dental hygienist, a photographer doesn’t need a formal degree except maybe those who are in journalism like I was.

    As soon as I said that, I realize how untrue that last sentence is. When I left the newspaper, I was replaced by a high school graduate!

    Even if you went to Brooks Institute, it doesn’t guarantee you of a job. Photography is a trade after all.

    There are some down sides to going to a specialized school which many people don’t realize.

    While I was in college at Kent State, and was vying for internships at newspapers, inevitably I would have to compete against students from Ohio University in Athens.

    Back then that institution was a one photojournalist-making machine. Their curriculum was so structured that all their seniors had very similar looking portfolios–right down to the same subjects in some of their pictures at times.

    I can’t say that it’s true anymore since it’s been many years since I left Ohio.

    It’s really the work when it’s all said and done that will rise to the top. Throw in some marketing savvy and luck.

    Folks without formal training shouldn’t feel that inferior to those who claim to have attended formal classes and college degrees.

    I get students who have taken lots of classes but their work doesn’t show it because they don’t want to put in the time shooting the assignments.

    Instead they dig out a picture from their archives. Some are in there for their egos to show their classmates how much they know, believe it or not!

    Then every now and then, I’ll come across someone who has just a point-and-shoot and they just knock my socks off! These are the ones that energize and excite me when I teach.

  15. Carrie,
    It’s actually a lot more fun being 2nd photographer than lead photographer. No pressure and you can take lots of risks and chances.

    So what if you blow the exposure or the focus? Important thing is you learn next time not to be standing a certain spot with the wrong lens.

    Even if you get burned because you’re not at the door of the church at the conclusion of the ceremony when the happy couple comes down the aisle for the 1st time, it’s not the end of the world.

    I don’t mean to make light of these situations, but from my experience as a former newspaper photographer where few things get to be staged, it really isn’t that big a deal.

    Far too many inexperienced photographers don’t realize that a good 65% or more of this work is public relations.

    When you’re the lead, it’s all on you. You feel compelled to get everything especially the boring posed pictures.

    Also as the 2nd photographer, you often get better pictures because you are looking around for something different as opposed to what the bride and groom wants.

    I highly recommend shooting as a 2nd photographer to get a feel of how quickly things happen.

    After 4 or 5 weddings, sometimes less depending on how well you know your camera, you will calm down and anticipate better.

    It’s a great opportunity to see if you might like it. It’s not for everyone. Just be sure to keep all copies of your work before handing them over to the lead photographer.

    Let’s be honest. Not everyone has the patience and temerity to deal with difficult brides.

    Thanks so much for your input!

  16. Great article. I seem to be in the middle of the road a bit. I am a self-taught photographer that took up the profession less than 3 years ago. I did my best to not severly undercut the competition because of the potential to devalue something that is actually quite a bit of work and worth quite a bit of money. I was certain to offer the same quality and quantity for just under those that have been in the industry for years. needless to say, it worked out quite well for me. that was until about 4 months ago when the economy finally started to effect Santa Fe, NM. Now, it seems that weddings are being scaled back suffeciently and clients care more about how much they are going to spend on the wedding photographer so much more so than the photographers cabability to capture the event accurately and professionally. Not such a big deal if the client isnt concerned about the end result. They might as well just purchase lots of disposable cameras and pass them out to the guests to shoot the wedding. the end result will be similar.

    All that to say that the photographers trying to break into the industry (like i was 3 years ago) need to realize that they are not only doing established photographers a diservice by devaluing the craft, but they are also severly hurting themselves because they will never be able to recoop their expenses and time by giving their product away for so little, nor will they be able to raise their rates from something so low to something more along the lines of what it is worth.

    I truly believe that good business survives on referrals anyway. so no matter how good the cheap photographers website is or how well they have placed themselves in search engines, a good photographers business will survive this overwhelming amount of cheap competition because people know they will get great results and professional care from a photographer that stakes their entire life on what they do as oppossed to someone who is simply trying to make a few extra bucks on the weekend.

  17. Hi Peter!

    Great article. I’ve been contemplating getting into weekend wedding photography for the smaller weddings for some time now. Difficult to break into as I’ve no direct experience.

    I’ve contacted wedding photographers about being a 2nd (even 3rd) shooter (as I’m pretty detail oriented and things like, shoes, rings, flowers etc would be great subjects for me to shoot) and at an insanely low rate. I would be using that opportunity as a way to get more experience as well as pieces for my portfolio. And of course the shots would go to the photographer. And in an instance like that I just wanted the experience and wasn’t thinking about the copyright or intellectual property side of it. I was willing to just throw that all in the pot in exchange for the chance to shoot when I would have otherwise not been given the chance. But now I know I still need to keep that in mind and not throw out all my rights even if it’s working for next to nothing just for experience. Thank you for the reminder of the importance of keeping copyright and such in mind!

    Great points brought up by all (you and your readers). Thank you for taking the time to write the article.

    work hard. work smart.


  18. Karen,
    You made some very good points especially the part about brides not caring if their photographer has shot hundreds or just 10 weddings.

    A good friend of mine who doesn’t do weddings anymore likens weddings to being the Bill Murray character in Groundhog Day.

    I find that observation funny, accurate but sad at the same time.

    Truthfully, after doing 10 or 20 weddings, do you need to do another one to “get it”? I know a lot of seasoned pros wear those numbers as if they’re medals on their chest.

    This is an extremely touchy subject as Kevin Charlie correctly points out because this is someone’s livelihood. Anytime you “poo-poo” someone’s livelihood, it’s tantamount to a personal attack.

    I’m doing my part teaching my students to be legit, professional (using contracts and licensed music) and to charge something that’s fair to them even if they plan on doing this on weekends only.

    If they’re only making $10 an hour when it’s all said and done, they’ll burnout. They may continue doing them but once they get a life, their other half will surely demand that they raise their prices or else spend more time with them.

    Shooting too many weddings can sometimes spoil the fun of being a guest to one as we’re all aware of.

    I’m pleasantly surprised by the comments I’ve received. Obviously, it’s on a lot of photographer’s minds.

  19. This subject reminds of the ole’ photo competitions and the beating ‘digital’ photographers were given by ‘film’ photographers. Right down to their belief that digital photographers were not artists because their images may/most likely were being digital enhanced. That being said, where are the ole’ film users today…eating a bit of crow I would say.

    Although, my passion is children and pets, I understand the infusion of cash Event Photography can bring into your business. We would be remiss to hold ourselves to the conviction that Brides on budget are more concerned about, or even thinking about if their photographer is a ‘weekend’ or ‘pro’ photographer. With today’s global downturn…the whole ‘all about me and my wedding’ generation and Daddy’s deep wallet days may be simply days gone by. The ‘Pros’ I believe will have to adjust to the changing demand. The ‘Part-Timers’ and ‘Weekenders’ will just be skipping along very happy to take your business for a meek $500.00. To try and rationalize otherwise may not be the most prudent approach to managing your business. You wouldn’t want to eat the same crow…would you?

  20. Well written article. I know that this is a touchy subject for a lot of photographers out there thinking that the ‘newbies’ to the industry are stealing business away from them – but a good point to remember is that we were all there at one point or another in our lives.

    There is definitely a huge difference from the pro wedding photographer and the part-time weekend shooter doing full day weddings for $500 with a disc of images – but at the end of the day and the level of service that you receive will be far greater from a pro wedding photographer and it will most definitely show in their work.

    Sure anyone can pick up a camera, press the shutter and create an image. Art is subjective – but really it all comes back to each person’s eye, what they see, how they see it and how they react to it by knowing their equipment and it’s capabilities inside and out.

    There is certainly the artistic side to wedding photography – but there is also the more important business side of photography which includes intellectual property, copyright and licensing of images and of course charging what you are worth for your time, education and knowledge. I’m glad that you touched on this subject and that you are educating your students about this. Another important thing to mention would be model releases or at lease some sort of clause in one’s contract stating that images from the wedding will be used for competition prints, portfolio’s and advertising of services to other potential clients.

    Another thing to mention may be time spent in regards to digital files. I understand that everyone has their own individual workflow, but a typical hour shooting at a wedding can turn into 1-3 extra hours post processing, archiving, artistic editing, catagorizing, sorting, burning and delivery of images. One 12 hour wedding can easily turn into a full work week when you add up all of those hours. It’s important for new people getting into the business to understand how to value their time and how to price for it accordingly. Aside from the actual wedding – there are also the costs of maintaining your data, purchasing disc’s, printer, computer systems, software, external hard drives, studio or office rent. This all adds up. Sure some may charge $500/wedding, but at the end of the day when they crunch the numbers they may not realize that they are actually making less than $10/hour.

    I think it is also important that clients are educated on the level of quality that they are going to get from certain photographers as well and ideally a client should be hiring you for your images and not the fact that you carry a camera. There is a difference in the ‘shoot and burn’ photographers and the pro wedding photographers – and the proof is in the images. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to wedding photography.

    Great article!

  21. Hi Bob,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I have the same version of Photoshop as you do. Mine is probably older. My point is that anyone with the application, some determination and time can learn it on their own either through a book or tutorial DVD fairly quickly.
    Unlike in the film days, someone had to really spend a lot on film whether shooting transparencies or print film.

    I know this first hand from my students,especially the younger ones, they get up to speed with the photoshop fairly quickly.

    But it’s the use of the camera which they struggle with. Opening up a lens aperture means turning a dial making a number either bigger or smaller with no physical change. In the analog days, you can see exactly what is meant by opening up the aperture, not so with digital. You have to take a picture first.

    Very nice looking work on your website Bob!

  22. About your comment, “…the relatively easy learning curve of Photoshop® …”, you must have a different version from Adobe that I do!

    I agree there will always be those “-er Photographers”: lower, higher, better, poorer.

    Each of us has a responsibility, as you suggest, to be the best professional we can be and not worry about what we cannot control; like $500 wedding shooters that give away the images on CD/DVD for whatever reason.

    As the technology that make this possible advances, this is only going to get worse.

    That said, there is [hopefully] a visible difference between your work and others’ – no matter what their proficiency level – which will earn the business you’re pursuing.

    After all the discussion, life is a competition.

  23. Michael,
    Music, like photographs are considered intellectual property. To use a piece of music with any type of slideshow is using it as a derivative work, so you must acquire a license to use that piece of music from its creator.

    Lots of photographers don’t understand or realize this when they create slideshows for their clients and can easily run afoul of the law.

    I can’t tell you the number of photographer’s websites which are made in flash that play music in the background which feature songs by very prominent artists.

    I am fairly certain they did not pay a licensing fee to use the music. A lot of folks think because they went to their local store to purchase a CD of songs, they are allowed to do whatever they want with that music.

    That is meant for their personal use and enjoyment not to be use as a derivative work. As to how much you have to pay to use a particular song, I’m sure you can look that up quite easily.

    I pay a fee and buy music from Sonicfire Pro which allows me to use their music for my videos and multimedia slideshows. They cost a lot more than others but their selection is very good.

  24. You mentioned “1.create multimedia slideshows with music which they pay a licensing fee to use”. Can you elaborate on where to determine the licensing fee and how to pay it.

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