Sustainable Prospects Week 2 / by Chris Chucas

This week with us to look at some of the issues surrounding professional photography. One of the first was that of copyright and particular example shown to us. 


There have been some notable art copyright cases in recent decades. One of the most significant is French photographer Patrick Cariou’s claim, suing Richard Prince and his gallery, Gagosian, for copyright infringement. Read more about the case here, or an even more detailed report here.

When asked to discuss this in formulating opinion this is what I wrote.
After reading through the article and familiarizing myself with it I feel pretty hopeless about in ethical appropriation of images. That being said the right to re use or re appropriate art is important and expecting that to be done by ethically responsible practitioners is a tough ask. I'd rather have the legal right for everyone to express themselves with reappropriated art with having a few people being unethical then striping the right away from everyone. I feel it's disrespectful what Prince did with Cariou's work. I don't really understand what his point was. If it was a critic of the original artist for sub par ethics or calling them out on a wrong doing I could maybe understand it. These instances are occurring all the time and I'm caring less and less about it each time. With the progression of the internet and file sharing everything is becoming closer to the point of no privacy and with that were unable to protect ip and uphold legal proceedings. So why bother? I think we should talk about the issues of unethical practices and try and make the main stream understand. If they do it'll probably decrease. If it doesn't let's not waste precious time and energy on it. It'll no doubt bring negative publicity to the Challenger . I expect anything I publish online to be stolen reused and potentially misused. We have the responsibility to try but ultimately we are powerless. I would have challenged it if my work was reappropriated. On a higher level with large financial gains involved I would let a legal team pursue it and release a statement to try and explain to the general public why, ( to protect the subjects in my work , and to calm out in ethical practices).

They seem to be very responsive but the majority of which all seem to side with the photographer being right to be annoyed if his image is being used without permission. As I mentioned in my post we're getting to a stage where images shared digitally and globally and we can't actually protect them from being reused without permission. Think the best if you can do as artists is explained that position and try and win the hearts and Minds of people doing the things we don't like and explain why but not to waste too much time on it because ultimately will never going to win.

Before she has to look at several behind the camera aspects of learning photography business. I've been operating as a freelance photographer and video producer for a few years now so I can talk about my journey and my experience with these aspects presently.

Production and account management

I don't want to go into too much detail but there a few key aspects to my precious. I think about home down within this area.

First impressions, it's always important to make Great first impressions which is why I like to have everything together and ready before it talk to anyone about work. I've learned this the hard way by being in situation and asked a question without having an answer thats definitely not good. I always Google weather and traffic reports as well as planned roadworks for any meetings or client shoots in advance. If possible I always try and do the journey beforehand if I'm going that way for any particular reason so that it's hard wired into my brain.

As for post production I'm constantly looking at blogs and other leaders in the Industry at techniques and workflows to make sure I've got the most streamlined possible version. Right now that includes Lightroom illustrator Premiere Pro Photoshop mainly and most other adobe products also.

I did have the signature style which I've saved in my presets which is packed my workflow for both video and photography using other pieces of software like lattice. I always shoot raw files this I think is important to have the breathing space to edit for a vareity of looks although I mainly focus on my own style and approach. Lightroom is definitely spelt my workflow tremendously and I couldn't think of not working with it now.

Backup strategy

It's so important to have an efficient backup strategy in place hard drives will fail it's not a question of if it's a question of when.

Everything around digitally lives on three separate hard drive one of those hard drives is off site from my main location. weekly backups to the off site hard drive and  I make sure their back off site the same day. This is in case of burglary  or a house fire that kind of thing. I used to write custom script which will run using apples os10 script functions built into it but now I use great software called carbon clone. It's important to have a fully clone version of your working desktop slash laptop computer. Carbon clone is great for this I have a fully cloned version of my working hard drive so that if anything happens to my working machine I can literally swap the hard drive and be working within an hour. On top of it is important to have regular time machine backups on a Mac user that way if there's any discrepancies between the cloned hard drive you swap in to your broken working machine you can simply updated to the latest time machine version. Nine times out of ten that would normally be a necessary but it could save you with autosave files for Premiere Pro projects and that kind of thing.


I've Designed my whole work process to be designed to be is hard drive failure proof as possible. So not only going to mentor the back of strategy the Bell but I have shared folders with project files Premiere Pro files Lightroom catalogues anything integral to working saved on Dropbox folder which is constantly in sync. As for action production of work if it's a large amount of data take a laptop and do on the fly back ups using red giant software called offload, and lastly my last line defence is actually shoots multiple cards during the shoot. These cards and not text until the information is on three separate desktop hard drive.

Marketing sales and PR

Most of my experience with these factors have been with wedding photography clients and small businesses hoping to learn and adapt what I already known to booking higher end clients with my editorial and documentary work. From what I've learnt from experience already online marketing is essential and within online marketing video is far better value for money period of use Google AdWords Facebook ads Instagram and Pinterest ads and Twitter ads. What I've learnt is that all of this useless without the correct SEO strategy and place. I've spent hours I'm hours playing video jukebox and online courses. It's important to be constantly aware of Google's changing algorithms so I sign up to all the latest SEO blogs to look out for news and updates. I'm not sure how important these factors would be with generating work for high end clients like newspapers magazines or other publications and I intend to find out new ways of generating business on this module.

As for sales and PR, that's constantly that evolved from the beginning and I stuck with my current strategy which is the just being myself. I think with social media becoming more and more important people and more wary of businesses and formal language have always done better just being myself and talking to people like I would my friends should be interesting to know how I can implement that into my documentary editorial work I'm aussuming it'll be similar but they will be several nuances different

Customer service

Customer services something like I feel I have strong experience and run my own business and looking at the people I know I know how important is to have great customer service. I try and answer any enquiries within a couple of hours even if it's to say that I reply properly shortly. I feel the best way to deal with complaints for people that are an app with things to try at all costs to avoid them from happening in the first place. That sounds silly but if something bad happens to you once then really shouldn't happen to you again excluding rare occasions. That's generally down to things like a miscommunication for example of a client expecting 100 images instead of two hours of coverage with no specific in it count. As long as things are fully explain in writing and then we can all very good grief please or index in person or on the phone then there should be no one upset at the end as long as you do exactly what you can send it and said that you would do.


Have experimented with several different products over the years but I found the simplest way handler Kansas with a online studio account management tool called TAVE. This this is a great system and tracks Leeds jobs payments links with your Google Calendar and has automated responses that you can eat to greet. There are several other options are there but this is the one that feels the best and suits me perfectly having more than one brand. On top of this I keep a simple Google sheet and once a month I download my online banking statement and input all the payments in as well as expenditure out. It's very rare that I use cash to buy stuff but if I do I'll take a picture of the receipt with my phone and also keep the receipt inbox. Every month when I follow these I print the invoices from things like Amazon orders repairs and online invoices out and file them in a concertina file. And then when it's due which is after April and before December I will send that to my accountant and they will file my tax for me. I operate as a sole trader at the moment and decided not to operate as an intercompany because my tuna there is not enough to merit the benefits and is a lot more work in Keeping accounts.

Legal stuff, has been very few cases on my tripod to look into legal matters and that's primarily because I do a lot of research and Googling about potential issues that I could face to know everything I need to know for the arise. Very important to have contracts for every job and model release forms for anyone camera that you intend to use. He's a great app for the model release forms it's called easy release and uses the same form and language that major news organisations and Getty uses. On top of that I set an automation with a website called on IFTTT with an automation that looks for specific text in the subject line of an email and then add it to a Dropbox folder that way if I lose my phone I still got the information backed up on my email and Dropbox. I've read behind the lens and several recent developments with copyright challenges and uses rights. I'm confident in what I can do my energy and what other people can do with my nephews but also there's a legal right and wrong if someone has the wrong idea they can be a PR nightmare so I will see you in places where you still asking people to credit you and stop using images but sometimes depending on situation it's best not to do anything because of the negative attention that it will attract.

Human resources

As for hiring at the people in I try not to do that as much as possible because generally it is not the budget to pay people well. On a few occasions such as short films and other passion projects I have reached out for people to help out but nine times out of ten I've given them some money so that doesn't cost anything to reach me. I think it's important to really highlight exactly what you expecting people and what you are going to compensate them clearly from the beginning. I might occasion in hire a shooting for an olevent but it's very rare and I always pee more than the basic rate because I want to build a good relationship. On top of this it's very hard to trust someone you've never worked with because they could and will just not show up and then you've let your client down. My advice would be to pay well and higher people you know.


This week we were asked to look at our identity is a business and write 150 words on following subjects were mine…….

Financial plan

As I'm already working and apple running I have to amount I didn't really have a particular plan. I had majority of equipment already just from my normal life. I was looking and had an opportunity to lend some money which way did to upgrade my camera to something more durable and professional. I worked part-time sometimes 3 jobs at once and constantly upgrading kt and got new things I needed whilst slowly reaching out and making work for clients as I went. As time when I'm over the years I slowly worked those part-time jobs last and took on more clients. I've come to terms with freelance live that is very difficult and uncertain but if you're serious about doing it you just need to get your head down and get on with it.


It's very important to have insurance in place and I have public liability up to 5 million indemnity and employers insurance. Have used several people of the years and because of the nature of my work being photography and video it was a little tricky getting everything I needed from one provider. I'm currently with aaduki I spent a long time making sure they covered everything you need including international coverage. Is important to keep in contact with insurance company because sometimes he might need to know if you'd like risk assessments to make sure that you covered.

As for sustainability committee at the moment me and my wife talk about the situation that's happening all the time and that unfortunately she has full time employment as a teacher which makes it easier for me to be a Freelancer. I know that I'm very lucky in that regard is not everyone to do that

Most importantly I want to take all the skills and experience that have and apply it into the new areas of work that I want to gain more clients in I really hope this module will help me do that.