This week we would like you to meet one of our Individual Creator Members, Lydia Bell.
1. What was the inspiration behind becoming a Professional Photographer?
I knew immediately upon having a child that every moment I had with my daughter was going to fly by and I didn’t want to forget a second of it. I always enjoyed photography as a hobby but I perfected it in the first few years of her life. My passion for chronicling life was a gift I wanted to share.
What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
Showing clients the moments I’ve captured when they weren’t expecting it and seeing their faces light up at the natural beauty they don’t realize they possess.
2. Can you take us through your process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
No, not everything I shoot makes money. Art is very subjective and you can shoot 100 photos and your client may like 5 and purchase 1. I focus a huge part of my business on giving back to my community and donate my services and time to organizations I feel are worthy of that and that’s better than a monetary check any day in my book.
It’s a much more intense process than most realize. Here’s a glance…
1. first contact- discussing a shoot with the client and what their goals and expectations are. Obtaining materials and equipment to complete the session professionally and efficiently. Scouting location. Contacting vendors. Coordinating schedules. Providing client with proper information for session.
2. The shoot! This is the fun and easiest part. Providing the right environment to capture the photographs desired while keeping the clients comfortable and safe.
3. Post processing- conversions, retouching, adjustments, uploading, downloading
4. Presenting the final product- revealing the finished images to the client either digitally or in person and offering a variety of products to allow them to keep these memories forever.
3. Have you experienced copyright infringement and if so how has it affected you personally and financially?
Yes. I have been battling a very grueling fight with a persistent infringer for a couple years now that has made my personal and professional life very difficult. Financially it has effected my ability to grow my company, and in turn profits, due to my fear of publicly releasing any of my works. Not only does copyright infringement hinder making money, but it is also very costly to pursue legally. The time and funds required to protect your intellectual property is detrimental to a freelancer’s career making it an almost impossible and certainly frustrating war.
4. What is your best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
Use your camera’s built in metadata!! Use your post processing software’s metadata embedding!! Use services like Image Rights!!! Learn about Copyright and take caution before you fall victim. Don’t put your work out there unprotected. It’s not worth it.
5. What is your biggest copyright-related challenge?
Social media! Once a photo has been posted on social media and screen shotted or downloaded from that platform, all metadata is scrambled. This in turn compromises the security of the copyright.
Are you one of our Individual Creator Members? Participate in our Creator Spotlight series! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you aren’t already a member of the Alliance, you can join today by completing our Individual Creator Members membership form!