Small Business Start Up & Tax Tips for Photographers and Videographers

Small Business Start Up & Tax Tips for Photographers and Videographers

Get a jump start on the impending tax season! If you are considering taking your photography/videography to the next level and becoming a business, you will need to know a few things about taxes. Below is a brief list of things to consider, followed by some links to more in-depth guides. • Determine if your photography/videography officially counts as a hobby or a for-profit endeavor. Here is a guide from the IRS to help you. • If your work is more than a hobby, determine if you should be a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), an S Corp, or a Corporation. • Get your EIN number. You can apply for one here. • Find a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with existing clients who are photographers/videographers. • Have ready a tally of income, expenses (travel, equipment, props, software, domain costs, and advertising). Even rentals are potentially tax deductible so save your BorrowLenses receipts! • For any independent contractor you hire for more than $600 in one year, you’ll need to fill out a 1099 form for both that person and the government. For more information, check out the following articles: Special Tax Advice: How Photographers Can Get The Right Look From The I.R.S. Photographer’s Corner: Tips for Tax Time The 7 Common Tax Mistakes Made by Photographers 5 Super Simple Accounting Tips for Photographers Wedding Photographer Tax Tips Also check out 5 Important Photography Business Tips to Start the Year Off Right. Disclaimer: The information contained on this post is provided for reference purposes only and is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional tax planner or financial...
Creative Jump Start: Shooting with Fisheye and Ultra Wide-Angle Lenses

Creative Jump Start: Shooting with Fisheye and Ultra Wide-Angle Lenses

Seán Duggan is a fine art photographer, author, educator, and an Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert with extensive experience in both the traditional and digital darkroom. His Jump Start series provides photographers with the informative ideas to effectively experiment with alternative photographic equipment. Creative Jump Start: Shooting with Fisheye and Ultra Wide-Angle Lenses by Seán Duggan On my recent Autumn & Aurora Discoveries workshop in Iceland, I decided to step outside my usual focal length comfort zone and do some experimenting with a 15mm fisheye lens on my full-frame Canon DSLR. BorrowLenses.com is a great resource that makes it easy to take different gear for a test drive and I really appreciate the large selection they have. Sometimes a lens is needed for a very specific purpose but at other times I’ll try out a lens simply because it offers such a different perspective from the lenses I normally use. This was the case with the 15mm f/2.8 lens. Most of my wide-angle shots are made at the 24mm focal length, with occasional images made with a 16–35mm. I knew, however, that the 15mm would offer a much different perspective than the 16mm. It is technically only one millimeter of focal length difference but the level of distortion is significantly more with the 15mm lens. Although the super wide angle-of-view was quite useful for some shots, it was actually the distortion that I was most interested in. Shooting straight at the horizon yielded an image that was very wide with not too much distortion but tilting the camera either up or down yielded a very pronounced curvature of the horizon. Tilting up...
1 Easy Way to Guarantee Your Photography Will Improve

1 Easy Way to Guarantee Your Photography Will Improve

How do you make every day count as a photographer? How do you make every day count for yourself? There is 1 major project that thousands of people start every January 1st that improves their lives and it has nothing to do with going to the gym. Photo-a-Day, or 365 Projects, is the secret to success for many photographers of every level. They are fun, challenging, sometimes mundane, sometimes exhilarating, and always a great teacher. Why do people commit to taking a photograph every day for a year – rain or shine, sickness or heath, inspired or not? I will explain the main reasons why Photo-a-Day goals are healthy, what you can do with the results, and how to get started. 3 Reasons to Start Taking 1 Photo Every Day: Presence, Practice, and Purpose Your only requirement for starting a Photo-a-Day project is the desire to participate. There are 3 main reasons photographers make this commitment: Presence, Practice, and Purpose. Let’s look at each one in detail. Presence In art and in life we’re thinking about the next big thing. A Photo-a-Day goal makes you think about right now. Looking for something meaningful, interesting, or even funny to photograph every single day helps to slow down time. Mindfulness gives you heightened awareness of your surroundings and you start seeing the photogenic in everything. Over time, your eye gets better and more discerning which allows you to walk away from every situation with more winning shots than duds. Your everyday environment may look very different to you at the end of the year than it does today. Practice The daily discipline...
Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

The holiday season is in full swing and for many of us it is a time to spend with friends and family, some of whom we may not get to see often. Is it great to have that group shot of long lost friends or 3 generations of family in one frame? YES! But why not test your skills this year at telling a photographic story. Follow these simple steps to communicate just how beautiful, exciting, or sentimental your time was spent over the holidays. Doing so just might jog those memories ever more clearly in the years to come and leave you with something to always cherish. The Checklist A good way to start is by considering what your story or angle will be before you even pick up a camera. Plan ahead the shots which will be most critical, whether they are portraits or wide angle landscapes, that best tell your story. Having a loosely memorized shot list will increase your chances of capturing those key moments as they arise, since there will be many distractions while you shoot. Follow the Same Rules as Writing Whether you are blogging, sharing on social media, making a scrapbook, or submitting for publication your viewers will need to understand the context of your pictures. As you shoot, remember the who, what, when, where, and why. Your goal is to explain to viewers the reasons for your subject’s actions. Variety is the Spice of Life To tell a bigger more compelling story, shoot the subject or event from a range of viewpoints. Understanding beforehand how you would like your photographs to be read...
7 Tips You’ll Want to Know Before Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking

7 Tips You’ll Want to Know Before Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking

Dean J. Tatooles specializes in fine art panoramic landscape photography, wildlife photography, and indigenous portraiture from remote locations around the world. He also works with top-rated travel companies and fellow professional photographers to lead photographic safaris in India, Kenya, Iceland and more. Fresh off a trip to Uganda, Tatooles uncovered a few helpful tips for future trekkers to capture the best images possible and ensure a gratifying experience. In his pack, Dean carried Nikon D3s and D800E digital SLR bodies with Nikkor AFS 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6 ED VR and 70-200mm f2.8 G AF-S ED VRII lenses. Continue reading to find out what 7 recommendations Tatooles adamantly encourages trekkers to consider before departing. 7 Tips You’ll Want to Know Before Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking by Dean J. Tatooles No. 1:  Be Mindful of Moisture For those of you who have seen Gorillas in the Mist, in Uganda the vision of sweeping mountains and dense jungle masked in a coat of soft mist is very real. The indigenous people have aptly named the gorilla’s home the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Impenetrable is, at times, an understatement. If you have ever photographed in rainforests or jungles, you have undoubtedly encountered moisture problems. The majority of fellow wildlife photographers know too well about the annoying spot of condensation that appears deep inside the confines of a lens right as the lens cap is removed, often happening at the most inopportune times. One way to deter moisture is to avoid removing your lens from your camera body and leaving it out of your pack as much as possible in the open air. Utilizing one lens may be difficult for those...
The Four Best Places to Post Photo Essays

The Four Best Places to Post Photo Essays

There’s no shortage of apps and services out there these days that help you manage and share your photos online. No matter what your needs are, you’ll likely find something that fits them well. The art of the photo essay, however, hasn’t had the best time finding a home. Most photo sharing sites lean towards large, full-screen images that look great, but leave little room for accompanying text. In this article, we’ll look at four services that are actually good places to post long-form photo essays. First, let’s talk about what makes for a good photo essay sharing site. I’ve got three basic criteria. I should be able to intersperse images with text. The site should still support the display large images. There ought to be a community to share with. Almost all content management systems and web hosting providers like Squarespace and WordPress allow me to do #1 and #2, but unless you already have a large following on your own website or blog, you’re mostly posting into a big echo chamber. With those three criteria in mind, let’s look at what we have. 1. Ello.co Ello.co is the much-ballyhooed new social network that has positioned itself as the anti-Facebook. Whether it’s actually going to succeed at deposing Facebook is something that’s a bit dubious, but in the process it’s turning into an ideal space for photo essays. Ello allows you to post images and text in a very linear fashion. There are no advanced tools available for layout; what you get is a basic image–text–image–text layout. This satisfies the basics of what it takes to post a...