What do I charge and how do I word something with a client?

This is the most useful software package I own for my business. While I have Adobe Creative Cloud Suite which I use Lightroom, PhotoShop and Premier Pro regularly, it is fotoBiz X that runs the business side of my work. Here is a link to the software. I am a affiliate of their program. This is an affiliate link which means that I receive a commission from any purchases made using the affiliate link. This is at no additional cost to you.

Now for years I knew about the software, but I didn’t use it. I couldn’t figure out the advantages of the software.

Now many years later I regret having not purchased this earlier. Experience started to teach me that I needed help.

When you first open the program you should go to setup and put in your information and if you have a logo put that in as well.

They show you examples of what it will look like on a #10 envelop or on a invoice.

One thing you will need early on is a model release.

Under “Forms and Releases” you will find five difference templates. There is one for:

Adult Model Release
Minor Model Release
Photographer’s Portfolio Release
Property Release
Simplified Adult Release

It will drop your name or company name into the form and then you can just print it out.

Another problem I was always running into was how do you word your cover letters, late payment letters and even a copyright violation letter? Well the software comes with a lot of email templates that you can use and modify for your correspondence uses.

A question I often had early on and continue today having is what to charge for certain uses. The fotoBiz comes with fotoQuote which will help you with knowing what you should charge not only for a stock use, but also in assignment work. Here is a link to just buy fotoQuote.

fotoQuote was just updated to version 7. This includes social media use now in the latest version.

It has also video and all the possible ways you might want to use it. Now while you may not always get the prices they recommend, these are the prices many are getting in the industry.

By having this information of prices you now have a better idea of the range of a job and what you can quote. I have learned that fotoQuote has helped me more than anything in getting a better idea of a low medium and high price for a job. I just give clients three prices most of the time.

The low, medium and high price quote is based on uses that the client can get as well as how long they may use the images. Without fotoQuote I really didn’t have any idea on how to offer three different prices.

fotoBiz also helps you with creating estimates which then can easily be transformed into the invoice with just a click. You can always just create the invoice as well.

When you sell a stock image the software lets you embed a thumbnail into the invoice with all the information about the sale. It will ask if you want a reminder on your calendar when the usage is up. This way you can then write a letter not to remind the people time is up, but to write a letter asking if they want to extend it with estimates for extending the usage.

You can download the demo and try it for 14 days free of charge. fotoBiz is just $299. This is not a subscription based software. You own it and can use it forever.

I can tell you that this is a software that will help empower the freelancer to know what to charge and help you communicate with your prospects and clients in putting together estimates, invoices and even email correspondence.

FotoBiz® has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so what do you have to lose?

Here is a video showing you how it works.


My resources for living with Aspergers

Great book for those wanting to learn more about Aspergers.

Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants posted on this blog may be an affiliate link which means that I may receive a commission from any purchases made using the affiliate link. This is at no additional cost to you.

This past week I have talked with a few people about Aspergers. I have been transparent through the years about my Aspergers. I have found that this has helped others understand me better and made my interactions with people more productive.

Anytime I speak to workshops I like to tell my story and I am surprised that almost every time that I do someone comes up saying they have it or have a family member with Aspergers.

I have been asked to talk to family members and help them understand Aspergers a little better.

This is just some of the books I have on Aspergers and recommend that anyone wanting to learn more get some of these books.

Asperger syndrome is a condition on the autism spectrum, with generally higher functioning. People with this condition may be socially awkward and have an all-absorbing interest in specific topics. Communication training and behavioral therapy can help people with the syndrome learn to socialize more successfully.

I believe that Teddy Roosevelt’s quote is one that is key for those with Aspergers to understand as key to their success in living with Aspergers.

“People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

The turning point for me to start what I call the path to improved social skills was when I realized I wanted relationships with people and was able to acknowledge it wasn’t so much the other person’s responsibility to understand me as it was for me to understand them.

I believe that most people with Aspergers have a subject interest that when overlapped with people can be the place where social skills are best developed.

For me that subject was photography. To get better I sought out experts. I just happened to stumble upon a subject and mentors that would help me more than I would ever realize with Aspergers.

My mentor Don Rutledge and my uncle Knolan Benfield told me how to improve my photos of people required me to understand body language. Lucky for me I had majored in Social Work which was my first real introduction to learning how to read people.

In Social Work I had to be trained in interview skills. We were video taped and analyzed ourselves with the help of teachers and classmates as to if we were not just listening with our ears, but our eyes.

I do not remember all the videos I saw on the topic while in college, but it was a good number. Then many of the professors I had would also demonstrate and help us learn to pay attention to the nuances.

When later after I had graduated from college and was working with Don Rutledge it was his instruction that really helped me take this to a different level.

We were shooting film when I worked with Don. He would take my contact sheets and his to go frame by frame to explore body language and helping me to see how to find the moments that had the most emotion and impact. Little did I know I was being taught what was my largest struggle up to this time. I had struggled all my life with reading situations and knowing that people were sending me visual cues in our interactions.

I do not know many subjects that will let you get to the core issues of what a person with Aspergers struggles with more than one that requires you to not just recognize body language but also to predict it than photojournalism.

If you have Aspergers or your friend and family member does and you want to learn more here are some books I have read that all helped me learn more. Each one comes from a different perspective. Some are not about Aspergers but about reading people and body language. Those books will help you as well.

I love a few TV Shows where the main characters in my opinion exhibit Aspergers. The Big Bang Theory with the character Sheldon is a great show to watch a person struggling with relationships.

I just came across a Netflix show from the BBC Doc Martin that the main character has extremely poor social skills.

This is a great movie about Aspergers. By the way all these links are to Amazon and I get a small percentage of the sale, but the costs are no different for you.

Here are the books I recommend.

With all these resources I still struggle. While I do care for others I am not always moved to empathy as quickly as I should be. Often my empathy is too mechanical in the way it plays out.

My biggest supporter is my wife Dorie who has helped me grow way beyond where I was when we first met. I have many friends today that know that after getting to know me I am caring.

My greatest wish is to one day be known as a compassionate person that is always looking for ways to serve people.

How about you? Do you want to known for what you know or for how much you care?

Today’s Photos of Memorial Day – Georgia National Cemetery

I saw many who would just sit and stay for a while near their loved ones resting place at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 250, ƒ/16, 1/100]
Today I went again to the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA. The flags were at all the graves. Family and friends had left flowers for all those who been buried at the cemetery.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/250

Visiting the Georgia National Cemetery is a time for families to tell the stories of their family and close friends who gave of their lives for our freedoms to their children, so that they too will understand what Memorial Day is all about.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 140, ƒ/14, 1/100

Many headstones had multiple flower arrangements. This one also had a Challenge Coin. A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion (usually military), bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members. In practice, challenge coins are normally presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 140, ƒ/13, 1/100

Flower, coins, military airborne patches, an American flag and hand drawn art adorn this grave. This is where you see the impact of service that it has on the whole community. Comrades leave the patches. Coins for those to remember whom also served with them. Flowers left by the family or friends and drawings from the children to say how much they miss their soldier.

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 220, ƒ/1.8, 1/8000

Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which some 620,000 soldiers on both sides died. The loss of life and its effect on communities throughout the country led to spontaneous commemorations of the dead.

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 220, ƒ/1.8, 1/8000

In 1971, the Monday Holiday Law shifted Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday of the month.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/250

This is what Memorial Day is all about. Taking the time to remember the sacrifices of those who gave of their lives in service to our country so that we might enjoy the freedoms of our democracy.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/320

On May 30, 1868, President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery—which, until 1864, was Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s plantation.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 100, ƒ/7.1, 1/250

Families all from all over the country came to pay respects to their loved ones this Memorial Day at the Georgia National Cemetery.

Monday Devotional – created in Christ Jesus to do good works

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 100, ƒ/4.5, 1/320

Romans 12:6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Everyone is unique and yet we are all called. We have been given talents and gifts that are to be used and when we do bless the communities in which we live.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Sometimes I think we have an idea that to be called we must have some supernatural talent and be one of the Marvel characters we see on the big screen.

Nikon D100, 70-200mm, ISO 800, ƒ/2.8, 1/125

Often our calling is one of just being a friend and listening to another person who has something they need to share.

Nikon D3, 85mm, ISO 560, ƒ/1.6, 1/100

Today you may just be preparing for what is to come tomorrow. Studying is an act of serving. You are sharpening those skills so that when you are called to act you can do so with quality of work.

Nikon D2X, 18-125mm, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/125

Sometimes our jobs are just to tend to the flock, like this shepherd. Whatever our role is today we need to embrace that role.

Nikon D3S, 28-300mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/3.8, 1/1600

Most of my days are filled with listening to clients and spending my time trying to understand their needs. Once that is understood I then look for ways to help tell their stories using visuals and words to capture moments that engage their audience.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/2.8, 1/6

Isaiah 40:31

but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Nikon D4, 120-300mm w/ 2X, ISO 6400, ƒ/10, 1/2000

Want to get better – Get Critiqued!

Bill Bangham gives one-on-one reviews to the students in School of Photography at the University of Nations located in Kona, Hawaii. [Nikon Coolpix P7000]
How would you like for me to go over your work with you and give you some feedback?

Professional photographers seek out portfolio reviews to learn what they can do better and also to hopefully get work.

National Geographic Photographer Joanna Pinneo reviews a portfolio during the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference. [Nikon Coolpix P7000]
Getting your photos reviewed is probably one of the best ways to learn and grow.

Tiare Nuualiitia (foreground) and Maile Powell listen to some of Stanley’s instructions for lighting project for School of Photography 1 in Kona, Hawaii. Photo by Dennis Fahringer

Having your work reviewed can be a real nail biter for sure. While I was teaching in Kona, Hawaii Dennis Fahringer took this photo of the students listening to me.

Each one of the students would be talking to me later about how difficult the assignments were, but now on the other side of them are grateful for the assignment.

Stanley’s Tips for a Portfolio Review

Let your work speak for itself. Please don’t tell people all about the photos, if the photo doesn’t do a good job of that on it’s own then maybe it shouldn’t be in the portfolio. If the person looking at the photos wants to know more they will ask.

Listen for what is not said as much as what is said. Often when reviewing a new photographer’s work I am looking desperately for something good in the midst of snapshots. I want to encourage you, but I don’t want you to think everything is great either. If I don’t say anything about a photo, believe me it is because I am not impressed. If you ask me I might try to find something good to say, however, if you are fishing for compliments your work isn’t that good.

Portfolio review isn’t about praise of your work. If your work is the greatest of all time then maybe you will get a WOW and I wish I had your portfolio comment. You should be looking for pointers on what to do next time to make the photo better.

Millimeters are critical for great photos. One example of how a millimeter can make or break a photo is just the difference in the camera’s point of view and the subject’s eyes. Just tad bit high and you look down at the subject. Eye level with the subject is something quite different than just a little lower and looking up. As you get better this is what you are looking for the little things to improve your work.

There are stages of growth in photography. Early in your career you may need some really basic tips to help improve your photography. At this point someone talking to you about a millimeter of difference will not help you. You have a lot of work to do before they can talk to you about those differences.

Establish a relationship if possible. You need to pick people to review your work that you can go back to later and show them again. They will be able to then see your growth and frankly if you paid attention.

Ask always if you can follow up and how. Plan to go out and shoot as soon as you can after your review. Work on the tips they pointed out to you and then somehow get them to see your revisions in that portfolio. You might just need to show them one project you are working on and get their feedback.

You never arrive at the top. There is always room for growth. Always seek out feedback on your work for the rest of your career. If you are not growing then you are dying.

Anacleto Rapping (far left) and Joanna Pinneo (far right) review a student’s work at the workshop. [Nikon P7000]
If you want me to review your work we can do this a few ways. We can meet in person and I look over your work or we can do it by Skype or by phone. I just need you to share a link of photos with me if we are not in person.

Just contact me. Cost is $125 an hour. Maybe you want to get a friend to do it with you and split the cost. That is fine with me as well.

Travel Photography Tip First Things First

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/1000

This week while teaching in the Storytellers Abroad Workshop here in Togo, West Africa I have noticed some trends that most students make.

Every day we assess the trends of common errors and address those each day. One of the most common themes that almost every day starts with is taking care of the technical before trying to capture the content.

Allison Waller, a student in the Storytellers Abroad Workshop, has all these Togo children fascinated with her camera.  [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens,, ISO 3600, ƒ/4, 1/100]

Before you start shooting pictures or capturing video you need to take care of the settings on your camera.

Here is a short list of things that I recommend that a person check before capturing the content.

  1. Set the camera resolution. 
    1. Stills – I use RAW, but just be sure you have made a conscience choice.
    2. Video – I often shoot today in 1920×1280 24 fps. Again be aware what settings you use. With video you need to be sure all the cameras you use are on the same resolution or editing will be a problem.
  2. Set ISO – Use the lowest ISO possible to still get a sharp image and well exposed
  3. Set Aperture
  4. Set Shutter Speed
    1. Stills – Pick shutter speed that works with the focal length
    2. Video – Use shutter speed double the fps.
  5. White Balance – I recommend always using a Custom White balance
  6. Video Sound 
    1. Microphone close as possible to the person 
    2. Set Audio Recording level
    3. Always use closed headphones to listen for sound issues

Once you take care of those technical settings then when you start shooting the content you are collecting will be useable.

Pat Davison, professor from UNC School of Media/Journalism, is teaching interviewing techniques using a translator during our workshop in Togo, West Africa.  [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 1800, ƒ/8, 1/100]
[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]