Thursday, March 31, 2005

I found some Beaumont bloggers

Today I looked for Beaumont bloggers and found some active sites. I wanted to send them a "howdy" note and let them know we're heading their way. Many were kind enough to send me some warm welcomes and even gave me some news tips and contacts.

Enough for now,

UPDATE: 2 April 2005
Instead of posting all the blogs here, I made a new blog for Beaumont. It's titled "Beaumont Events & Blogs" and located at It's a gathering place for special event listings plus links to local blogs, media and useful information for the residents and visitors of Beaumont, Texas.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

We're back

Fayrouz and I are back in Dallas after hunting for a perfect home in Beaumont. We secured an excellent condo in such a convenient location it's still hard to believe. Every store we frequent in Dallas has a branch located literally across the street. It takes less time to walk than drive to Barnes & Noble or the Wal-Mart super center. We might drive to the mall, but we can see it from the condo. So cool. :-)

Enough for now,

Friday, March 25, 2005

Theater mural

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Rachel Obranovich works on a mural in the lobby of the Arts District Theater in Dallas on Friday, March 25, 2005. The mural is for the theater's final production before the building is demolished to make room for a new theater.

Dallas house fire

A house blazes as Dallas firefighters begin to attack the fire. The home's wooden shingles allowed the flames to spread faster than firefighters could contain.

© Mark M. Hancock

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Clayton Dabney Foundation parents

Scott (left) and Shelby Dabney (right) prepare to be interviewed for a promotional video for the Clayton Dabney Foundation. The foundation was named after their son, who died of cancer. The foundation provides emergency funds to help families with terminally ill children. The funds help families avoid eviction or keep utilities working while the family spends their final time with the children.

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

One in the gut

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Highland Park High School's Addison Seifert (No. 20, left) takes a shot in the stomach from Flower Mound High School's offense during a hockey game at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Duncanville on Thursday, March 24, 2005. Highland Park won the game 3-2.

Textbook hook

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Highland Park High School's Preston Dowdall (No. 17, right) dumps Flower Mound High School's Zach Mielke (No. 9, bottom) onto the ice during a hockey game at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Duncanville on Thursday, March 24, 2005. Highland Park won the game 3-2.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The hunt is over

Well folks, Fayrouz and I are moving to Beaumont, Texas and The Beaumont Enterprise within the month. The daily news site is located at for sneak peeks.

Thanks to everyone for your support and help through this search for a new home. It looks like we found a nice one. Beaumont is located between Houston (one hour) and the Louisiana border (30 minutes) near the Gulf Coast. It's also located 90 minutes from Galveston and four hours from New Orleans.

The city's population is 114,000 and the newspaper covers an area with a population of 350,000. The area is known for its shipping/sea life, timber, oil and cultural fusion. So, I should be able to make lots of interesting images, and Fay will eat great food. :-)

The paper was founded in 1880 and is the oldest business institution in southeast Texas. For the last six years, it has won either first or second place for Best Mid-sized Daily Newspaper in Texas. Now owned by The Hearst Corporation, it has a 55,000 daily and 65,000 Sunday circulation. They also publish five weekly newspapers and are affiliated with several national magazines.

We negotiated some cool contract riders, so this blog will continue and has access to images I make for the newspaper.

We should be there and settled within the month. In the meantime, I'm still freelancing for The Dallas Morning News until we're ready to change locations. Consequently, I probably won't write much this month. I'll still try to post images daily until I unplug from here. I'll resume the text posts in addition to the images as soon as I become accustomed to my new schedule.

Enough for now,

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Central CareFlite

© Mark M. Hancock

Deputy Fire Chief Tommy Eaton inspects a demolished vehicle after an accident on Central Expressway. The driver, a 28-year-old Dallas man, was listed in serious but stable condition after he swerved to avoid debris and his car went under a dump truck.

BoP names some winners

NPPA has started announcing the winners of the Best Of Photojournalism 2005. So far, it's the normal suspects: James Nachtwey, Rick Loomis and Carol Guzy. Surprisingly, Ami Vitale hasn't won anything yet. They still need to get to the photo stories though. Stay tuned.

Louis DeLuca won honorable mention in team sports (it should have done better IMHO). I had to skip a paintball game with him on Saturday to cover a funeral. But we'll hope he grabs a few more this week.

Speaking of paintball, another of my teammates has been selected as the director of photography for the DMN. William Snyder was officially named as the DoP according to NPPA. He's a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and a good guy. I wish him and the department all the best.

Enough for now,

Photobloggies change plans

My hit counter had a spike today. Instead of a Spam attack, this blog made the finalist cut for the 2005 Photobloggies in the Photojournalism category (actually quite a shock and honor).

I think the organizers reconsidered the chances of each photo blog finalist looking through a year's worth of posts for 255 blogs by March 28 (next Monday). So, now it's a popularity contest again. Which also means ... I'll lose.

If anyone is willing to vote for this site under Best Photojournalism, I'd appreciate it. If all four of us vote, well ... I'll still lose, but that's how popularity contests work. I'm just happy to have been a finalist. Pretty cool.

BTW, to view images on this blog it's easiest to navigate with the scroll bar. Click on any image to see a larger version. I write too much technical stuff, so this isn't your typical photo-a-day site. I've also been posting lots of archive images since November, so those images were rolled back into the archive by date shot. Drag.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other quality photoblogs on the list to choose in different categories. I'm rooting for Kosoof in Best Middle Eastern/Africa. He's posted some quality images this week although I think the judging is supposedly for last year.

Other photoblogs I keep on my Photoblogs favorites list are: A Walk Through Durham Township, Daily Dose of Imigery, Jinky Art and the narrative. Matt's blog, the narrative, is in four categories (including Photojournalism). Feel free to vote for Matt in the other three. ;-}

I've visited most of the other blogs before, but not consistently enough during the year to have an opinion. Thanks again to the folks at and anyone who nominated me for this honor. You made my day. :-)

Enough for now,

UPDATE:   March 30, 2005
I knew I was in trouble when it became a popularity contest. ;-}

Congratuations to A Walk Through Durham Township for winning Photo of the Year. Daily Dose of Imigery won a slew of awards including Photoblog of the Year, Best Canadian and Best Street Photography. Also cheers go out to Kosoof and Jinky Art for their wins.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Behold "The Beast"

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

"The Beast" fires from the press box during a soccer game at The Colony High School in The Colony on Tuesday, February 15, 2005. The Colony won the game in a shoot out.

Many folks have asked what kind of lights I use for indoor sports and portraits. I call it "The Beast," but everyone else calls it a Norman P2000D studio flash system (since replaced by the Norman D24R Series 900, a 2400WS studio flash system with built-in Pocket Wizard reciever).

Technically, it's incorrect to call a studio flash system a "strobe." I do so for brevity and to distinguish between a hand-held flash/speedlight and a studio flash system. Therefore, when talking outside the PJ world, it's accurate to call a studio flash system as such and a hand-held flash as such, but inside our little world it's fine to say flash and strobe.

My plan was to have everyone understand lighting, guide numbers and all, but more readers were interested in the biz side. So, I caved to reader pressure. Consequently, if you don't understand what follows, I'll clear it up in the next month or so.

For the shots above and below, I used two heads and set the power for 800 Watt Seconds (WS) instead of 1200WS to avoid frightening people or getting in trouble with game officials. Incidentally, it has a single combined-output plug for 2000WS output with a suggested guide number of 168. I don't use it. It's spooky.

In Texas, the standard rule is flash must be above the 13th row of gym bleachers during sanctioned high school games. I place mine on the top row unless it's a really large coliseum.

For hoops, I typically use one head at 800WS bounced off a neutral wall or ceiling. For hockey, I either bounce it off the wall behind the penalty box or I use two heads and bounce them off the wall toward the ceiling and onto the ice (basically over the stands). For volleyball, I use one head set at 400WS with a softbox.

Last month I had a soccer assignment without a tight deadline, so I lit it. I wouldn't suggest this for most people, but it turned out OK. It fell into the "must try" category since it supposedly can't or shouldn't be done. It would've really rocked if the game was more violent. I could see it being major cool for night track events.

The nice stadium officials let me put my strobes on the filming deck of the press box at a standard high school stadium. With all these variables mentioned above, I could have gotten f/4 at 1/500 on the field at 800iso. I didn't really trust how it looked on the LCD, so I chose a setting on the safe side (f/2.8 at 1/250th). In retrospect, I wish I had at least increased the speed because the highlights (Zone VII) are still hot and there was a little more ambient light blur than I wanted.

In the end, I learned a few things. I learned it's possible to light an entire playing field from the press box resulting in better light than available. I learned that Pocket Wizards are good for at least 150 yards, and I learned the strobes at this setting and height can kick out enough light for 150 yards plus tip-in. I suppose I should test the 2000WS one day to get an absolute range on it.

Some day, I'll sweet talk my wife into getting me a second power pack and another Pocket Wizard to cross-light events. Imagine the tribal sounds I'll make in the scanning room when I shoot football or light an entire gym at f/22. :-}

I admit the shot below isn't great. I posted it to show the difference between the available light shadows and the strobe shadow (the darkest one). In other words, at much less than full power and at great distance, "The Beast" is still more powerful (for milliseconds) than the banks of lights at most high school stadiums.

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Flower Mound High School's Richard Oliva (No. 16, left) tries to get past The Colony's Jake Oldham (No. 11, right) during a soccer game at The Colony High School in The Colony on Tuesday, February 15, 2005. The Colony won the game in a shoot out.

Enough for now,

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A father's grief

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Calvin Dean Smith sings along with the choir during the funeral of his daughter Ingrid Gabrielle Smith, 15, at the Prayer Tower Church of God In Christ in Grand Prairie on Saturday March 19, 2005. Ingrid Smith, a Mansfield Timberview High School sophomore, died on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 from a slashed throat. Calvin Smith found the body of his daughter in the family's Arlington home.

Anyone with knowledge about the murder is urged to contact the Arlington Police Department. Please read the related story.

Read the Big Picture interview

Dennis Dunleavy is an assistant professor of visual communication, digital technology, rhetorical and semiotic analysis of images at San Jose State University. He and I had an e-mail interview. He posted this interview on his blog, The Big Picture, as well.

How long have you been a photojournalist?

I've been a professional photojournalist slightly more than a decade (full-time since 1995).

What should photojournalism teachers teach photojournalism students?

1)   Give students a solid background is photography. If students don't know proper exposure, focus, timing and lighting techniques as well as digital pre-press workflow, they'll be crushed like little bugs.

2)   Teach them to understand compositional rules before allowing students to break them. If the student cannot defend the decision, it's not valid. Of particular interest are clean backgrounds, entry points, eye flow, layers, juxtaposition, and framing.

3)   Teach them to write great, bulletproof cutlines. Photojournalists must be able to manage two complete, accurate sentences. It's best if they know how to write complete news and feature stories to accompany their images (especially magazine photojournalists).

4)   Almost all photojournalists have difficulties with the business side of this profession. From seasoned pros down to high schoolers, few understand how to maximize potential income from their talents.

I think part of this problem stems from the art side of our profession. The other part relates to apathy or ignorance about the realities photojournalism students face upon graduation.

Many universities are happy to teach business administrators how to generate and maximize profit while minimizing expenses, but absolutely refuse to teach this simple principle to photojournalism students. It sets them up for almost certain failure against adequately prepared competitors.

The old paradigm of steady jobs at stable newspapers no longer applies. The vast majority of recently-graduated photojournalism students become freelancers. If they know how to run a business as well as make solid images, they might survive. If they can't do either, they will fail.

Personally, I would favor making income part of the course grade or at least a means of gaining extra points. Many photojournalists have high GPAs. However, they do not focus on generating income while in college because it's not part of the curriculum. Give them one extra bonus point toward their final grade for each $100 earned via photography during the semester.

I thoroughly believe a student who generates $9,000 through photography in one semester deserves an "A" because the student obviously learned a great deal about photography, photojournalism, business and the industry.

5)   Time and space restrictions have made photo stories and essays in many newspapers almost obsolete. However, even though these are a minor part of the day-to-day existence of most working photojournalists, it's an important part of landing a staff job.

Photojournalists are expected to have five to 10 strong stories in their portfolio. Students should understand what they are, how they are coordinated and shot as well as how they are arranged.

I'm acutely aware of this as my current portfolio is lacking in this regard and my old photo stories are not up to my current standard.

What do young photojournalists need to know about breaking into this highly
competitive field?

Be trustworthy, curious, honest, dependable, accurate, friendly, open-minded, unassuming and smile a lot. These aren't the first things most consider, but they are the pillars of the profession.

Beyond this, young photojournalists need talent, tenacity and endurance. Although few professions are waiting on students to fill open positions, this industry reserves no slots for most new grads. They are immediately thrown into an empty ocean. If they can swim to safety, fine. If not, nobody loses sleep.

Currently, new graduates compete for jobs against experienced pros with many years of experience and an armload of professional awards. Mediocre pro photojournalists have already surrendered and quit.

However, quality internships give young photojournalists an edge. Some newspapers offer staff jobs to retain gifted interns upon completion, but it's entirely dependent on the market conditions and staff level on the day of internship completion.

New grads should expect 20-hour days and six-day work weeks. They should expect to augment freelance income with other, less-desirable camera work. They should be prepared to be innovative entrepreneurs of visual services.

They should know media law (access and obligations) as it applies to the profession.

They should also know how image ownership and contract negotiations work.

Finally, they must own and be completely competent with the proper equipment before being thrown into the shark pool. Digital convergence happened long ago.

Do you have photojournalists that have influenced your work and style?

This should be an easy question, but it's not. I differentiate images by genre. I see images as either sacrosanct news/sports/features/stories/nature (verbs) or creative illustrations/studio/portraits/art (nouns). The two are completely different, but photojournalists are called upon to create both.

I'm not strongly influenced by the traditional masters of photography. Most of my influences are contemporary. Obviously my strongest influences are my former co-workers at The Dallas Morning News. Most of them are part of the modern photojournalism landscape. Others are seriously underappreciated (particularly Jim Mahoney and Richard Michael Pruitt).

I additionally love the work of James Nachtwey, Carol Guzy, Carolyn Cole and Ami Vitale.

I prefer highly technical and sophisticated images of living creatures where split-second timing often plays a major role. I appreciate the photographic foundation, logistics, access and thought behind the image as much as the final image itself.

Aside from traditional news photojournalism, I'm also influenced by unexpected sources such as music videos, movies, music album covers (Pink Floyd rocks) as well as some commercial photographers, blog photographers and other modern visual works. Many techniques from these sources can be applied to various aspects of photojournalism.

What does it mean to have a photojournalistic style?

By definition, photojournalism is the act of reporting news stories through the use of factual photography with supporting text (cutlines). In the old days, it meant “f/8 and be there” with a notebook. Although this is still a major factor, it has been refined and stylized since then.

In its most simple form, photojournalism tells stories. I prefer to describe photojournalism as the difference between nouns and verbs. Photographs show nouns (people, places and things). Photojournalism is about the actions (verbs) surrounding those nouns. Because photojournalism requires cutlines, images must contain a verb otherwise cutlines as well as the images are passive.

I'd further suggest most photojournalism is about the human condition. Photojournalists capture the emotions and the essence of life. It's a generally non-intrusive look at what people do and their reactions to their surroundings and circumstances. This takes time, patience and some degree of stealth.

Although some might contend the hardware creates the style (particularly 35mm format and wide-angle lenses), I believe it's the approach.

What do you enjoy about blogging?

Humans are capable of learning through shared information and the successes or failures of others. We need not dip our hand into a vat of molten steel to understand the consequence. This is what blogging is to me.

Blogs allow us to describe and debate successes and mistakes. The knowledge shared through blogs propels us forward without redundancy. We aren't required to make mistakes if we have plans for success.

I understand the scientific process requires confirmation of theory. After a thousand people say, “Don't do it dude” on blogs, veracity is fairly well established. The learning process and humankind's accumulated wealth of knowledge is accelerated.

Hyperlinks allow immediate continuation of research and confirmation of theory. The constant threat of, “I'm going to fact-check your butt,” keeps it honest. Omissions of fact are discovered and corrections are immediate.

At the same time, it's a historical record of this same progress.

Barring a huge electromagnetic pulse or asteroid collision, our generation has the opportunity to leave a valid legacy of information upon which the next generation can rapidly build.

Are your peers supportive of you and blogging?

Photojournalists support other photojournalists. We are fierce competitors until deadline, but we are a small supportive family once the papers are put to bed.

Several of my peers don't fully understand what a blog is. This isn't a disparagement against them, it's a reality of the busy and chaotic lifestyle of most working photojournalists. They barely have time to research and arrange the logistics of most daily shoots. After the day is done, they attend to their families, work on side projects (photographic or otherwise) and continue their professional education with any remaining time.

Most understand the basic premise of blogs. Some view them as diaries or message boards and others see them as a way to display extra images. Very few see them as a different form of communication and a potential revenue source to advance our cause.

I see them as a means of independence for future photojournalists. With a blog, a photojournalist (or two reporters and a photojournalist) can perform the same mission as a small-town newspaper without many of the overhead expenses.

Obviously, the goal is not to crush small-town newspapers. The goal is to provide this service where no such service currently exists.

A legitimate blog creates an outlet of acquired information (visual, text, audio and multi-media) from diverse sources. As soon as advertisers can understand this reality, photojournalists could easily make an independent living doing what they are driven to do without being beholden to others.

Staff photojournalists could augment their income to finance large personal projects or upgrade equipment to supply newspaper and blog readers with higher quality images. Would staffers serve a newspaper's readers better if they could afford small motor homes with satellite uplinks to transmit breaking news? You bet they would.

Is this a threat to the newspaper? No. It's a benefit.

I'll use my blog as an example of this model and then expand. XYZ Camera Corporation could easily spend $3k per month and place a small ad on my photojournalism-related blog. Readers of my blog are interested in camera products.

Does this mean I'm promoting their product? No. It only means I'm allowing the company to lease space on my blog - the same way they lease time on RTV networks or space in print publications.

Does this mean I'm taking money from these other outlets? No. It means I'm providing a way for product manufacturers to disperse their message and reach a highly specialized audience.

Three such ads per month (camera, lighting and computer manufacturers) would allow me sufficient income and time to research and write my entries as well as acquire meaningful images for my readers (instead of shooting weddings for example). These images could also translate into future stock sales to finance larger projects or secure a stable retirement.

Am I willing to lease space for fractions of a penny or some pay-per-click arrangement? Absolutely not. I need a predictable income to concern myself with content instead of existence. The advertisers' front-end investment in my content creates potential back-end sales of their products to readers of my blog. However, their sales are entirely up to the quality of their product - not my endorsement.

Now, let's broaden this theory to new photojournalism graduates. Realistically, they could move to any rural location of their pleasing. In this location, they could quickly and easily visit the monthly chamber of commerce meeting and acquire local ads to support their local reportage of significant community events. Possibly they would need to get $99.98 for daily ads from local restaurants, CPAs, insurance agents, etc. instead of monthly ads I would consider. However, these local ads would be acted upon by the blog's local readers.

Again, did this affect the large media corporations? No. These local ads wouldn't have been placed in large metro newspaper and certainly not on the TV or radio stations. However, the photojournalist, the community and the advertisers all benefit from this arrangement.

If anything, it might save us all from unwanted junk mail or silly brochures on our cars and doorknobs.

I believe when my peers realize this potential, they would be far more supportive of blogs.

Where are we headed as a field?

It's a rough call. Between the former newspaper wars, recent corporate mergers and loss of classified ad revenue to Internet outlets as well as the rising cost of raw materials (primarily paper), the industry has been hit hard in the last two decades.

I'll start with traditional still photojournalists and work my way to cross-platform visual journalists.

Community newspapers (small circulation and semi-weeklies) will continue to be the primary entry point (both as freelancers and staff) for most young photojournalists. The starting annual salary range is in the high teens to the low twenties. These outlets allow photojournalists to hone their craft. Those who excel and win multiple awards could be recruited by larger newspapers. Those who languish will realize there are easier ways to make a living.

Many small magazines lean too heavily on corporate hand-out art and pre-packaged clip art in my opinion. This is great for public relations firms, commercial photographers and clip-art stock photo producers, but not good for working photojournalists nor particularly good for the magazine's readers. However, if the magazines continue to sell, this process will continue because there's no incentive to risk a successful production model.

Large magazines with high visual standards also appear to feel the crush of the marketplace. However, they understand the visual aspect of the medium is the driving force behind their sales and reputation. These magazines typically contract with VII, Magnum and the other visual freelance agency power-houses. There are few opportunities for new talent to get a foot in the door other than through incredibly compelling and unique breaking news images.

In the last few years, there has been a fusion of corporate structure between sections of media companies. Large corporations with both newspaper and television outlets have started to use their total workforce to augment each other's content. Although this is helpful to consumers in many ways, I can see future problems.

The history of newspapers is unregulated and adversarial. The history of television (RTV) is regulated and entertainment-based. For brevity, I'll defer the significance of these facts to media instructors.

When the two houses are deeply integrated, it opens a door for newspapers to become regulated through their ties to RTV outlets. Because television is regulated and subject to governmental fines, these aggregate media structures could conceivably be fined for the legitimate work of newspaper reporters while it would be laughable if the two divisions were held separate.

Many organizations use unregulated interactive (Web) and cable divisions as go-betweens. Both RTV and newspaper staff feed into the interactive division. This adds a layer of security between the regulated and unregulated sides of the house.

This structure foretells the future for many photojournalists. In the near future, it's very likely photojournalists will use lightweight digital video/still cameras with onboard cellular or satellite transmission capabilities to visually report from the scene to newspaper, Internet and television outlets.

Although these functions would be primarily behind the camera, it might be logical for some particularly attractive photojournalists to additionally concentrate on writing, speech and makeup.

Enough for now,

Monday, March 14, 2005

POYi winners announced

Congratulations to this year’s Pictures of the Year International winners. Michael Macor of The San Francisco Chronicle won Newspaper Photographer of the Year. Marcus Bleasdale of IPG won the Magazine Photographer of the year.

From the blogosphere, Thomas Boyd of The Register-Guard got an award of excellence in Sports Action for "Steeple Dunk."

Also congratulations for Rick Gershon for getting an Award of Excellence in Newspaper Photographer of the Year. Damon Winter, who is now with The Los Angeles Times took 1st place in Sports Picture Story, Sequence or Series. Smiley N. Pool got 2nd place for Olympics Picture Story, Sequence or Series.

The magazine division was liberally sprinkled with the names of James Nachtwey and Ami Vitale.

Enough for now,

Something happened at the fair

© Mark M. Hancock / NewsEagles

I made this image while Fayrouz and I were on the Texas Star Ferris wheel in October of 2000. She stopped by for a few hours on her way from Detroit to Sydney. The entry below will let you know why I made the image.

Back before there were blogs, I would occasionally create a hidden page on my website for friends and family. In retrospect, these were a precursor to a blog. I wrote a special entry in October 2000. Since Fayrouz and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary this week, I thought I’d share the entry with y’all.

Dear friends,

Fay returned to Dallas on Saturday for one more evening before her return to Sydney, Australia. As I write this, Fay is flying over the Pacific. I hope she is sleeping soundly as she has a long flight from L.A. to Australia.

This was opening weekend at the Texas State Fair. The weather was perfect and the smells and sounds of the midway and the food courts danced through the air. From the top of the Texas Star Ferris wheel, we could see the Dallas skyline glowing in vibrant neon colors as the sun blazed farewell through the western sky beyond the city.

Fay didn’t understand why I was so insistent on being at the fair, on this ride at this specific time when she would only be in town for a few hours. The answer was simple. I told her a hokey little poem, “I want you to be my love, I want you to be my life, I want you to be my hopes and dreams, and I want you to be my wife.”

Then, I opened the ring box and showed her the ring. After some shock, she said, “Yes.”

The ring is a sapphire with diamonds. It is small but perfect for Fay and sparkles like her laughter and the light in her eyes. Her full name, Fayrouz, means turquoise in Arabic. Her favorite color is blue. So, the sapphire is right for us.

With the ring upon her finger, we got off the ride and got some wine coolers and soft pretzels and dipped them in nacho cheese while listening to the country-band-of-the-hour sing love songs in the shadow of the Cotton Bowl.

BTW, Fay didn’t know what any of these things were until the moment she experienced them - as it’s been for many of the moments we’ve shared together. I don’t recall being that happy during my life. It was simple and silly, but just right for us.

We left the fair as quickly as we arrived. Fay will one day get to visit the fair and know where she was. However, from now on, when I see the Texas Star on television or in person and feel the excitement of fall and fair season, I may hold my breath at sunset and remember the one magic moment we shared before we start the next part of our lives.

We don’t know where we will live (U.S. or Australia) or what jobs we will have or when any of this will occur, but we are both preparing to move from one side of the planet to the other. We will assess what options we have at the end of October. But for now, both of our job opportunities are strongest in Dallas. The latest that we could be together would be April. If she gets an offer in Dallas this month, she will be here. As soon as I have my new passport, I could move there. We are simply letting the wind decide which way we should fly together.

Thank you to all who have given us words of encouragement through the last few months. I can see happiness in my future now, and I wish the same love and laughter to everyone I know.

Bless the present,
Trust yourself,
Expect the best,

As you can tell, she came to Dallas on March 11, 2001. Since then we've gone to the Texas State Fair several times. We had our official JP wedding on March 16, 2001, followed by three more church and spiritual ceremonies. After this many weddings, we are really married – and really happy with our life together.

On the anniversary of her arrival to America each year, the trees begin to blossom and life begins it's cycle anew. By Wednesday, the bluebonnets should begin to bloom as well. As we wait and prepare to move to a new city, it seems strange how we have come back to the beginning again.

Enough for now,

Stop using AOL

Photographers should stop using all AOL services immediately. Time Warner Inc., formerly AOL Time Warner Inc., has changed its terms of service to automatically have free, unlimited perpetual use of any information posted to "public areas" of AOL Instant Messenger network.

Luckily they have a Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement, which places the onus on the PJ. Instead, just send them a certified mail invoice at punitive damages rate for one month's use. Make sure to compound it monthly until they get around to it.

If they balk, and your copyright is registered, you and a lawyer of your choosing can own a piece of this huge publishing company.

See some of the key terms on Break'n out the Big Glass.

Enough for now,

Sunday, March 13, 2005

St. Pat's terriers

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Bull terriers walk down Ross Avenue with their owners during the 2005 Downtown Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade along in Dallas on Sunday, March 13, 2005.

The image above was made a few minutes after this image.

Surreal St. Pat's

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Riders of the US Marshals Posse of Texas wait in front of a parking garage mural for the beginning of the 2005 Downtown Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dallas on Sunday, March 13, 2005.

In one frame, this is Dallas. We have high art and symphony, but we also have posses of horse riders running around. And if you look real close there is one guy with bright green hair to make things extra weird.

I thought the green-haired guy would leave the scene after a few minutes, but he kept hanging out with the riders. Then, the parade started to line up, so I had to get the shot before they left the staging area.

I wish the finger of the symphony conductor didn't go tangent with the hat of the nearest rider, but what the heck.

Enough for now,

Photobloggies 2005 Awards accepts nominations

The Photobloggies 2005 Awards committee is accepting nominations until Wednesday, March 16, 2005 for honorees. The awards are organized by Brandon Stone, Jake Dobkin, and Rannie Turingan of fame. Nominations are based on the blogs' existence during 2004. Each person can nominate up to three sites in each of the categories listed below. Some awards have prize sponsors, but I'm sure everyone would be happy enough to be recognized.

The interesting part of this contest is how they decide the winners. The first part looks like the standard popularity contest (you can nominate your own site). The organizers then notify the finalists. Once notified, the finalists determine the actual winners of the contest. Wouldn't it be a fun to see this level of logistics at one of the international PJ photo competitions? :-)

The photoblog regional categories are:   American, Canadian, Latin American, European / British / Irish, Australian / New Zealand, Chinese, Japanese, South East Asian / Indian, and African / Middle Eastern.

There are also awards for specific photography genres including:   B&W, animal, abstract, studio, photojournalism, landscape, toy camera, street, and portrait.

The photoblog general categories are:   writing, best kept secret, photoblog design, under-18 photoblog, and new (must have started in 2004).

The two big categories (although the prizes don't necessarily reflect the titles) are Photo of the Year (although I'm not sure how they handle archive images posted during 2004) and Photoblog of the Year. All winners will be announced on March 30, 2005.

Take a look through to find some nominees and make sure to check out some of the ones on my sidebar (at the bottom). Then go make someone's day with a nomination.

Enough for now,

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Tired kicker

Daniella McGinn, 4, has her fill of kicking a mannequin during a Kick-A-Thon at Cross Training Martial Arts in Flower Mound on Saturday, March 12, 2005. Young karate students raised funds per kick for KickStart, a foundation established by Chuck Norris designed to promote martial arts instead of drugs, gangs and other negative influences.

© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Friday, March 11, 2005


© Mark M. Hancock and The Dallas Morning News

Wendell Holden, Jr. (left) and Natalie King (right) perform "Legalize My Name" during Lyric Stage's performance of Dallas Divas! 2005 in the Carpenter Performance Hall at the Irving Arts Center in Irving on Friday, March 11, 2005. All the songs performed are by Harold Arlen or Jule Styne.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Apply the minimum fee

We talked about the minimum price for photojournalism. We determined $269.95 is the minimum fee we should charge for any shoot because this number actually translates to $0 income. Commercial photographers have understood this for years.

Judging from the lack of comments, some people must have done some math and realized some problems with their own price structures. Don't give up yet. Let's look at the whole game rather than one play.

Most freelance editorial and sports shooters don't make this minimum on most assignments. They work on a hybrid back-end billing schedule. Consequently, they must make up the difference elsewhere. If they own the images they make, it's not a problem to make up the difference. They can re-sell images to other publications, museum patrons, etc. or simply place the images with stock agencies.

If they are in a work-for-hire contract with an assigning organization and not making the minimum, they are simply losing money each time they shoot.

An exception would be editorial shooters who use the credit line as leverage to create additional, higher-paying gigs. A wedding PJ may do editorial assignments for a wire service or large publication to maintain name recognition. This translates to say $100 to cover some of the shooting cost and $169.95 per shoot as de facto advertising. It also fills out the week between weekend weddings.

If it works, stick with it. If the wedding PJ isn't getting enough bridal gigs by using this system, it might not be the best approach.

Art photographers also use editorial and commercial work for name recognition. This approach bolsters their biography and credits. Typically, they also shoot for a breadth of markets to maximize their credit list rather than to make a living from the editorial shoots.

In other words, if they shoot a mug shot for a specific magazine or corporation, that business' nameplate goes on the credit list. The art photographer doesn't necessarily need to shoot for the business again. Again, the income lost on the front end translates to de facto advertising for name recognition (via nameplate recognition). I wouldn't suggest this approach unless it's creating income elsewhere for the photographer.

Note: Some commercial agreements specifically exclude this arrangement. For example, many years ago, I shot for "a major car manufacturer." I can't say which one because the contract excludes my use of their name. They hired me with a good front-end payment, I produced and shipped the film. I was paid fairly, and they got their images. Our business was complete.

Invest in yourself
I'll admit the minimum fee is a steep slope for many editorial and sports shooters. The difference again goes back to our billing schedule. Freelance editorial shooters cut costs by incurring front-end equipment expenses and turn the difference into profit. Simply stated, they invest in themselves.

Although a rare assignment requires extremely specialized equipment such as a 600mm lens or a cherry picker, most assignments can be handled with a normal shooting rig.

Most PJs purchase the rig outright in the expectation of generating income from the equipment and rent specialty equipment as needed. We understand this costs about $20k. From the $0 example, we understand this investment would save about $59,200 annually ($79,200 - $20k). This is potential profit for PJs NOT a discount for clients.

A minor amount can additionally be turned into profit through the ownership or lease of a reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle. In both cases, maintenance will eat into profits, but it's part of the overall cost of doing business, which we'll discuss in more detail soon.

With good maintenance and a lot of luck, this savings can be stretched to about five years (saving PJs hundreds of thousands of dollars). However, expect to pay about $20k every five years to upgrade or replace the entire shooting rig.

Dealing with these facts
Most PJs hate the money side of this biz. We only want to shoot, be paid fairly and get a tasty treat when we have a good day (BTW, Krispy Kreme no longer makes key lime pie doughnuts – Grrrr!). To do this, we must understand how to accomplish this balancing act.

To be paid fairly, we must charge at least what the clients would pay to do it themselves. At this amount, it's fair to maintain rights to aftermarket sales. Below the minimum, it's obligatory we maintain all rights and negotiate use to make up the difference. These aftermarket sales and leases are how we cover the remainder of our business expenses and create a fair profit.

To get to a profitable position sooner, we invest in our own equipment to cut our overhead expenses. This is a front-end investment in our biz. It is not a way to make our services cheaper for the clients. That's a one-way road to disaster because we still have the $100k gorilla to feed.

Both publishing and photojournalism have suffered seismic changes in the last 10 years. I could list the problems, but the result is both staff and freelance PJs are now forced to fend for themselves and their future.

Now, staffers must work hard and loyally for readers and publishers and then work additional hours in the evenings or on days off to build a retirement archive. Freelancers must work to pay for the past and build for the future each day. If PJs understand this reality, they can adapt and survive.

Enough for now,

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Consider a PJ's minimum price

We've discussed billing schedules, and how they determine whether the PJ or client is taking the greatest financial risk. We need to understand how to convert this assessment into income through price structures. But first, we must understand how much we invest each day we wake up and make images - even non-professionals.

What is the minimum price?
Getting paid $0

What is the minimum price?
We've already established a PJ has invested $60k to more than $100k by the time they get booted out of college and into the cold world (not including the lost income for those four or five years). The PJ, or more likely a bank, wants to make this money back in the next few years. Otherwise, the PJ is just another sad person living in the park and clutching a box of camera parts, rocks and twigs.

Let's suspend this fact for a moment and consider how much it takes to get paid $0.00 for a shoot. This would be the absolute minimum price for any shoot. Otherwise, we're paying to shoot and heaping more money onto an already smoldering pile.

In college (and this blog), aspiring PJs are warned repeatedly about how this industry devours them. We warn that only the most talented and tenacious PJs survive. We warn about how little money PJs earn for the amount of work demanded of them. Yet, young PJs continue because they know they'll be the one who survives. It becomes a badge of courage to outlast the hunger and poverty.

Consequently, many young PJs are almost afraid to get paid anything for their work. OK, let's see how much it costs to make nothing.

Getting paid $0
Each time a PJ picks up a camera it cost money. Each time a PJ goes to an assignment it costs money. It also costs money to get an assignment. Then, it costs more money to do anything with the completed assignment. These are the costs of doing business. We'll get to this total soon. Today, we'll only consider the equipment.

If something goes wrong before or during an assignment, PJs must rent or borrow equipment to temporarily replace damaged equipment because they accepted the assignment, and their reputation is on the line.

Instead of getting crushed by this reality, let's factor this cost into our $0 of income. Let's also ignore quantity of time invested and knowledge the PJ has acquired about photography. We'll only consider how much it would cost to equip a PJ for one day to make images for $0.

To make publishable images, we need to rent a camera, a flash, some lenses and some flash cards. This is the first digital camera rental company that popped up on a Google search, so we'll use their prices (which are on the low side).

For a minimum shooting rig - a body, 3 flash cards, lenses (17~35mm, 50mm and 80~200mm) and a flash - the cost for one day's rental is $220. A small SUV rents for about $49.95 per day plus mileage.

Already, PJs must make $269.95 per day to earn $0. This is ignoring insurance, deposits, wasted time getting the equipment and all the other factors involved.

For this money, PJs have no camera bag, tripod, synch chords, etc. This is the minimum clients would pay to shoot any event themselves.

If clients did it themselves, they could count on missed shots, out-of-focus frames and bad exposures. Possibly the whole day would be a waste of time and money. There might be one publishable image, but it wouldn't be something most PJs would place in their portfolios.

In a worst-case situation (the carload of equipment bursts into flames the morning of the shoot), $269.95 is also the minimum the PJ pays to complete an assignment. If a PJ's starting price is below this amount, they threw more money onto the burning pile. If this was considered for 360 days of the year (I admit it's unrealistic), the PJ would need to make and spend $97,182 to earn NOTHING.

Again, we aren't even considering the self-employment tax or any of the other multiple factors against this annual figure. Now can everyone smell the smoke from selling images too cheap?

Please absorb this harsh fact before we continue.

Enough for now,

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Digital photo mosaic process works

This is the initial test of the new photo mosaic platform on Saturday, March 5, 2005.

Photos © Mark M. Hancock /

Here's what I've been doing for the last two weeks. It's the first digital photo mosaic test. I had to recalibrate everything from 35mm to digital and work out some other mathematical crud. I must say thanks to John, my brother-in-law, for helping me with some complicated mechanical issues.

After this image, the photo mosaics should have their startling, overlapping look again. This one was a quick test to make sure my calculations were working somewhere near correct. They are. If I (or an art director with a hefty budget) wanted, I could make them line up perfectly including the 1/10th inch gap. However, I like the overlap better. I'll start introducing random variables after I get some final bugs worked out.

This image shows some of the detail of the initial test of the new photo mosaic platform on Saturday, March 5, 2005.

The huge images I'm planning will be computer killers. The actual image above (before I scaled it to post here) is 111 Meg. It was set for fine JPG, you can do the math to figure the size on a RAW file. I've included an actual pixel size image (92 ppi) to the left. Because this is shot from four feet away, I couldn't see the lint on the statue's beard. It should get really crazy when I do some heavy macro work.

Enough for now,

UPDATE: Immediately after I posted this entry, my monitor freaked out and may be dying. Everything was pink. It's better right now. I said these were computer killers.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Tornado season is coming

Mark M. Hancock / © The Dallas Morning News

Eliza Cook looks through her home at 6159 Ramey Ave. in East Fort Worth where a tornado tore through her neighborhood on Tuesday, April 16, 2002. She said she was praying on the bed when the tornado touched down across the street and destroyed the neighbors home (seen through the window). The tornado shattered every window in Cook's home as well as pulling off much of her roof. Cook has lived in the home since 1957. Her family said she had no insurance to cover the damage.

The flowers are blooming, fresh leaves are budding after a long winter nap, ladybugs have returned to brighten our day. In most of the country, this is called spring. In Texas and the Midwest, it's called tornado season.

As I've said before, tornados are challenging. Typically, PJs are the first responders (because we were sent into the tornado itself). As a result, we must have some answers and offer help to the traumatized.

Although it's important to get the shots and make deadline, please ask people if they have insurance to cover the damage. If they don't, they need help from your readers. Newspaper readers have big hearts and will help their neighbors. Tell them how to help and they will.

After big natural disasters, large organizations call for donations and handle distribution. After smaller disasters, it's up to the community to establish bank account for donations for the affected. Let the neighborhood know they need to create such an account and give them the telephone number to the newsroom to get the information published.

Carry plenty of Federal Disaster Relief forms (PDF file) for anyone who looks lost. It's not much, but it gives them some hope in the face of instantaneous, overwhelming tragedy. Although some journalists might object to my sense of mission, PJs are at the scene to show what happened and to mobilize the readers into action. PJs are there to visually document the situation, then our readers understand the need for their help.

I'll add one shooting tip though. Find the highest bridge or other overlook of the scene. The natural tendency is to go into the middle of the situation. Tornadoes flatten everything. There's not much to shoot on the trail of a tornado because everything is gone. By shooting from a nearby bridge or other high position (helicopters are best), viewers can comprehend the path and damage of the tornado better from the unaffected homes nearby. The overall image normally runs 1A while images such as above run secondary.

Enough for now,

BOP entries online

BTW, the 2005 Best Of Photojournalism entries are posted on the NPPA site. PJs who kept their entry number can verify their entries posted. Otherwise, it's open to browse by category.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Understand billing schedules

PJs must understand the difference between price structures and billing schedules. Price structures determine fees for various PJ services and image rights. These are relatively stable. We'll discuss them in more detail on another day. More importantly to PJs are the billing schedules because these directly affect the price structures.

Billing schedules determine when a client pays for various services and rights offered by PJs. The schedules determine the time of payment and set the price structure.

One of the luxuries of being a staff PJ is the ability to front-end bill most clients. Well-established freelance PJs can do the same with their regular editorial and commercial clients.

Meanwhile, most new clients and profit-driven PJs actually prefer back-end billing schedules.

The difference between pay schedules is a matter of who wants to take the greatest financial risk. Most publications and large commercial clients, understand the risks, trust most of their regular image providers and want a certain level of editing and reproduction rights.

Meanwhile, clients who've never hired a pro PJ aren't confident in the process. Consequently, they'd rather have a low price up front and purchase rights and/or prints later a' la carte.

The choice depends on the initial mindset of the client. If the client seeks the lowest initial price, PJs must use back-end billing schedules to break even or make a profit. If the client understands photography and seeks various rights, front-end billing schedules are the best option.

I prefer front-end billing, but I realize most freelance clients prefer back-end schedules. The reason I prefer front-end schedules is to save the client money and my paperwork time. I prefer to charge a fair price for my services and give clients wider latitude with rights.

If the client prefers to pay more and have fewer rights, I can also accommodate their needs. I suppose somehow it's easier for many clients to budget expenses based on back-end fee schedules because the amounts are smaller although they add up to a much larger total fee for the client (and far more paperwork for the PJ).

Pure front end
Pure front-end billing schedules involve a verbal or contractual agreement between PJs and clients about both rights and pay. The client takes all the financial risk. They pay a lump sum for PJs' time, talents and specific rights to the work.

If something goes wrong mechanically, with the subject or otherwise, PJs are still paid the agreed fee. Even if no images are made for reasons outside the PJ's control, PJs are paid for the assignment because time and cost was involved.

In exchange for this financial agreement, the client is given the right to first edit and agreed reproduction rights (normally one-time or first).

On a typical pure front-end shoot, the PJ is paid by the client or invoices the client before the shoot begins. Once paid or in concert with payment, the PJ makes the images and presents or ships the images to the client. The client edits the whole take, selects images for reproduction, and returns the originals to the PJ after production images are selected and prepared.

After production or delivery (depends on agreement and image format), PJs are often free to make additional income from the images (i.e. new stock images).

Pure front-end billing structures are extremely rare and often reserved for only the most sought-after editorial PJs and many wedding PJs.

Pure back end
Pure back-end billing involves a verbal or contractual agreement between PJs and clients about access and solicitation of images. The PJ takes all the financial risk. The PJ's time and talents are unpaid unless images or rights are purchased. The PJ retains all rights until the client(s) decides to purchase some.

If something goes wrong mechanically, with the subject or otherwise, PJs are left holding the bag. If no images are made for reasons outside the PJ's control, the PJ loses the time and income.

For these agreements, the client(s) must purchase individual rights and must often pay fees. Until payment is received, the client has no access or rights to any of the images. The agreement merely grants the PJ access to the event and grants clients an opportunity to have subjects or an event photographed. Few additional terms exist.

On a typical shoot, the PJ fronts the money and time to make the images and contact is later made between the client(s) and the PJ to establish interest in the images.

Often, clients are allowed to view selected images online. However, the PJ is free to open the images to any potential clients.

Pure back-end billing structures are most common with standardized, volume portrait photographers (mostly school or team photos). Often, part of this agreement involves the right of the PJ to distribute sales order forms or promote the PJ's business through the client's Web site or "donor" displays and brochures.

It's very uncommon for PJs to agree to pure back-end agreements with clients. However, they may get into de facto pure back-end agreements for photo stories or essays of personal interest.

There are some rare wedding and event PJs who prefer this arrangement to glean maximum profit from the sale of images afterward. These PJs charge a premium fee for the images and immediately make them available for stock sales.

Standard PJ front-end
Standard PJ front-end schedules involve a verbal or contractual agreement between PJs and clients about both rights and pay. The client takes the majority of the financial risk. They pay a lump sum for PJs' time, talents and specific rights to the work.

If something goes wrong mechanically, with the subject or otherwise, PJs are still paid the agreed fee. Even if no images are made for reasons outside the PJ's control, PJs are paid for the assignment because time and cost was involved. Occasionally a "kill fee" may be negotiated in lieu of complete payment for problematic assignments.

In exchange for this financial agreement, the client is given the right to first edit and agreed reproduction rights (normally one-time or first).

On a typical shoot, the PJ makes the images, presents or ships the images to the client, and then bills the client. The client looks at the whole take, selects images for reproduction, and returns the originals to the PJ either after production or before.

If the agreement is "on acceptance," a check is cut to PJs shortly after the images are received. If the agreement is "on production," PJs get their check after the images are published.

For the PJ, it's always better to have "on acceptance" agreements with publishers because "on production" is determined by space and aesthetics rather than by job.

After production or delivery (depends on agreement), PJs are often free to make additional income from the images (i.e. new stock images).

Standard PJ front-end billing structures are almost always arranged for editorial clients and some wedding clients.

Standard PJ back end
Standard PJ back-end billing schedules involve a verbal or contractual agreement between PJs and clients about both rights and pay. The PJ takes the majority of the financial risk. The PJs' time and talents are unpaid unless "acceptable" images are presented. The PJ retains all rights until the client decides to purchase some.

If something goes wrong mechanically, with the subject or otherwise, PJs are left holding the bag. Even if no images are made for reasons outside the PJ's control, PJs have lost the time and income and occasionally expenses.

On a typical shoot, PJs make the images and contact is later made between clients and PJs to establish interest in the images. The review is often tied to a set of cost-covering fees. Frequently, these agreements consider the PJ's out-of-pocket costs or fees. These are often covered before or after the job by agreement.

In exchange for this agreement, the client must purchase individual rights and must often pay fees related to the images. Until some payment is received, the client often has only limited review of selected images.

For these agreements, clients must purchase individual rights even after paying PJs' basic fees. Until payment is received for reproduction, the client has no rights to any of the images. Upon payment, clients are granted limited use. However, the PJ is free to open the images to any potential clients after initial contact.

As expected, this is the most expensive for the client as well as time- and paperwork-intensive for or PJ. Frequently model releases are required (by the PJ) to ensure a potential profit from the shoot. Likewise, each individual print or licensed use requires additional work for the PJ and expense for the client.

PJs must control all images throughout this process to ensure adequate income from the assignment. If the client has access to full-scale digital images, there is no need for the client to contact the PJ to order additional prints or reproduction rights. Although there is redress for illegally used images, PJs would not know about many of the in-house infringements or illegal use on an organization's restricted Web site.

Standard PJ back-end billing structures are frequently arranged for commercial clients, new editorial clients (spec clients) and rarely for wedding clients. Often, part of this agreement involves the right of the PJ to promote the PJ's business through the client's Web site or "donor" displays or brochures.

Hybrid billing structures
As most folks should have guessed by now, there isn't a black-and-white billing schedule for most PJs and clients. Rather, it's a continuum of arrangements based on each partner's willingness to accept risk. Whoever assumes the most risk reaps the greatest reward.

Most PJs find a few structures to accommodate most of their customers. PJs who work for multiple freelance clients may find back-end arrangements more profitable. PJs who work frequently, but for fewer clients, may find front-end arrangements more beneficial.

In these arrangements, initial rights, fees and payment schedules are agreed upon before the shoot begins. In other words, if the client wants 1st review, an additional fee is agreed to be paid upon delivery and review.

Hybrid editorial
PJs may shoot and grant rights to a frequent, well-paying client and bill afterward to ensure repeat business by accommodating the business' accounts payable department.

New (unproven) PJs may shoot "on speculation" for a preferred editorial client to establish the situation mentioned above. In such case, if the editorial client opts not to purchase assigned images, the PJ is free to sell the images elsewhere.

The latter agreement is not suggested for PJs unless they can see a secondary potential income from the images produced (i.e. a professional sports team, a well-known or promising musical group, a large social function, etc.). If a 2nd grade "invention day" program is offered as a spec assignment, it's not worth the trouble. Walk away and don't look back.

Hybrid commercial
PJs may require basic fees or expenses are paid by the client before the shoot to secure the PJ's time for a scheduled back-end structure. Upon review, the client pays the remainder of pre-established or a' la carte fees to secure reproduction rights.

Under this arrangement, if the client – for any reason - doesn't accept the images, the PJ's expense fees have been covered, and the PJ has secured model releases during the shoot to allow the PJ to resell the images in other markets to make up the difference. Again, the PJ grants no rights and leaves no images with the client because the client has refused the images. The PJ is free to create profit from the images elsewhere as all agreements of the hybrid back-end schedule are complete.

Hybrid wedding
PJs may demand half of the total cost to secure the wedding date and the remaining front-end fees before the wedding date to grant the couple typical access to the images and a pre-set package of images.

Another common schedule is all basic fees must be paid to secure the date and the remaining potential income is dependent on the clients' print requests at the time they review of PJ-selected images. This option has become more popular with online-review wedding PJs.

We'll discuss price structures next time.

Enough for now,