Tag Archives: Photography

A Letter from the DigiLabs Pro CEO.

I am excited to let you know of the changes we’ve made to the DigiLabsPro service. I encourage you to take advantage of them to simplify your workflow, save time, and increase your earning. I am sure you will find them as useful as I do:

  1. True Turnkey – Say goodbye to CDs, FTP charges, human error, and long fulfillment delays. Upload your high-res images to your account admin panel and all your orders can be automatically fulfilled in 1-2 business days (and used as backup, see #3). You can even use the “semi-automatic” mode to review and correct each order before it sends to print. Click here to learn more.
  2. Increasing gallery sales – From your galleries, you can now offer the ability to buy real wedding albums, parents albums, or brag books. Let the gallery visitors design and order, while we fulfill it automatically. Set up the album pricing and let the users and us do the rest. You can take advantage of this service even if you fulfill your print orders yourself and you do not have to change your plan.
  3. Secure backup – Get secure cloud back up for your gallery images. All high-res files uploaded through the admin panel can be used for automatic fulfillment, as well as receiving free secure back up for a year. Powered by Amazon Cloud, you can retrieve them any time form anywhere. After a year, you can choose to remove them or keep them backed up for a small fee. Click here to learn more.

All of the above services are offered under your current plan. We’re happy to help you get started using any of the above features, so don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions at 1-866-DIGI-LAB.

Simplify your life, work less, and earn more.

Sincerely,

Chanan Steinhart

DigiLabs CEO

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

What Every Photographer Should Know About Sales Tax

Many photographers run their own businesses and as small business owners, it is important to be knowledgeable and current on rules and regulations, especially when it comes to taxes. Sales tax can be a tricky subject as it varies from state to state, as well as from product to product. In today’s digital age, the rules of sales taxes become even more important as we differentiate more and more between tangible and intangible goods, such as physical photos and digital downloads. We delve into the details behind the basics of sales tax and when it is applied.

Sales Tax 101

Sales taxes are taxes imposed by the state and local governments (and oftentimes counties) on sales of certain goods and services. Usually the laws require the seller to collect the tax from the consumer when the purchase occurs within the state and to submit the taxes to the local authority. The rates and laws of sales tax differ significantly between states and sometimes even counties and thus have to be carefully checked according to the local laws. The rate of sales tax range from zero in states like Oregon and New Hampshire to 7.5% in states like California. The actual final tax differs by county due to additional local sales tax which can bring the total sales tax rate up to 10% in parts of California and 11% in parts of Alabama.

In general, sales tax is imposed on the sale of tangible assets like toys and clothing. In some states, however, some tangible items are exempt from sales tax, such as certain food products and prescription medications. Items bought from an out-of-state retailer are subject to use tax in many states, which acts as the equivalent to the sales tax from a local merchant.

Even though historically sales taxes were imposed only on physical goods, over time many states have added rules to tax services as well. This occurred in two main ways:

  1. Imposing sales tax on some or all types of services.
  2. Limiting the service tax exemption to exclude services which can be perceived as an inherent part of the final product which is taxable.

In general, manufacturing of a product cannot be considered as “a service” exempt from tax, even if this activity is done for a specific customer. For example, Texas law states:

Persons who are engaged in the business of fabricating, manufacturing, processing, or custom manufacturing must collect sales tax on the total sales price of the manufactured item …The sales price includes the cost of materials, labor or service costs, and all expenses that are connected with production” Source: Texas Administrative Code

The idea behind this is that the labor is so closely connected and integrated with the product that trying to separate the labor from the final product and title it as a “service” is artificial, which comes only to serve a tax avoidance purpose, and thus is forbidden.

Sales Tax and Photography

Let’s go back to the days of film photography. A family steps into a studio of a portrait photographer and has a series of photos done, and after an hour or two they give $2 to the photographer and walk home with a package of portraits. Of course what they bought was the photos; taking the photos was just an inevitable part of the custom manufacturing process of the product. This is also known as “fabrication services.

Portrait photography- fabrication services which require sales tax

sales-tax-for-photographersPhoto Credit: Talent Historical Society

Sales Tax and Digital Photography

When digital photography came around, things started to become a little more complicated. All the work going into creating a physical product (for example a gallery wrap) will be considered taxable, including taking the photo which will be considered fabrication services. Therefore claiming that taking the photos was “a service” which shouldn’t be taxed will be rejected.

But what if there are no physical goods, but just images on a DVD or flash drive as so many wedding photographers do these days? Here things become a little tricky conceptually but not in the eyes of the sales tax man. According to most sales tax authorities this transaction is clearly still within the realms of selling a physical good. The small 1 inch flash drive is the tangible asset that triggers the sales tax liability. Furthermore an attempt to split the fee between the photography “service” (let’s say $1500) and the tangible good ($500 for the drive) will probably be rejected as well, due to the photography being an inevitable part of the custom manufacturing process and fabrication services of the physical good (the drive in this case).

Now with the development of the “cloud,” there are simple solutions to deliver digital files without a need for a tangible good. Does this change anything?  Does such a transaction still require sales tax?

Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Do’s and Dont’s on Facebook as a Photographer

Facebook for photographers

Photo Source: Independent Skies

Facebook is a wonderful way for photographers to connect with the public, whether its customers who are already enthusiastic fans, or whether it is to spread the word to those who may not already know about your photographic services. No matter what your motive is for putting your photography business on the social media site, there are some things that you should be aware of before you start posting your work.

Make Your Page Professional

If your Facebook page is going to be the main way that you advertise your photography service online, it must look as professional as possible. To get an idea of what a professional page should look like, you can always look up your favorite celebrities, companies and brands to see how they can created their pages. That way, you will get an idea of what your customers may like or dislike with your own page.

Don’t Combine Your Personal and Professional Pages

Even if you have a personal Facebook page and have been promoting your business from there for some time, it is important not to make the pages one and the same. With your professional page, you will want to keep it strictly public information, so it’s best not to share anything personal on it. With your personal page, you will want to point your friends and family to the business page rather than sharing photos here and there that would be a better fit on your public page.

Spread the Word

While it may be easy to start with your friends and family, you will eventually want to branch out to find more people to like your Facebook page. To do that, you will want to make sure that everyone you meet knows about your Facebook page. You can include the URL to it on your business cards, advertisements and in your biography if it appears on any photography-related websites.

Don’t Spam Your Friends and Family

They can be a great help when you are just getting started, but constantly spamming your friends and family to get them to share your page can get annoying. Be respectful, and if they are not interested in sharing your page with their friends, find someone else who is interested in doing so.

Upload Your Best Work

Just like your clients may not want every single shot that you took of them, your Facebook fans will probably not want to see ten pictures of the exact same pose with little variety. For each session that you want to post to your wall or add to your photo album, choose only the best shots to include. On average, this can range from five to ten good photos, depending on how long and how varied the session had been.

Don’t Upload Anything You Don’t Own

While this may seem like an obvious tip, it is not wise to upload any photos in which you do not hold the copyright. So, if you admire a photo by another photographer or are interested in sharing that photo with your fans, it is much easier and will get you in less hot water to include a link to the original photo rather than uploading it onto your own page.

Encourage Customers to Tag Their Photos

If your customers are already fans of your Facebook page, don’t forget to tell them they can tag themselves in your photos. It benefits you and your customer both, because it gives them a way to share the new photos with friends and family while giving you the word-of-mouth exposure that all business owners want.

Don’t Forget to Ask Permission

It is true that the photos you take belong to you. You hold the copyright. However, it is always good business practice to ask your clients permission to post some of your work from their session on your Facebook page. You may also want to include it in any photo waivers you may have your clients sign. If someone says they don’t want their photos included on your page, it does more for your brand to honor their wishes than to go against them just to show a great photo.

Add Watermarks for Protection

If you are concerned about theft with your photos, it is not in your best interest to just keep them off of your profile page. Instead, you can add a watermark to the photo in a place that cannot be easily cropped out if people want to use your photos without permission. You can also encourage people to acquire your permission by making that information readily available on your Facebook page.

For photographers, Facebook is an essential advertising tool. Your page can serve as your virtual portfolio to show potential clients your range of work and the options that you can provide when they are looking to have their photo taken.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

How to Get Your Photography Business Noticed on Twitter

As a photographer, you spend your working life behind a lens taking gorgeous pictures that you develop and sell. But, sometimes it seems that the selling side of that equation is the most difficult part. You may have heard that Twitter can be a greatly valuable online marketing source, but how can you use it? How can you market your photography 140 characters at a time? Keep reading for answers to these and other questions pertaining to using Twitter to further your photography business.

Why Should You Have a Twitter Account?

If you’re looking at social media outlets from the perspective of a photographer, you’re likely drawn to places like Pinterest and Facebook, and rightly so. Twitter, on the other hand, might not have jumped on your radar as an extremely valuable tool, but it is. So why should you have a twitter account? Here are a few reasons that Twitter is a great idea for your photography business.

  • Extra! Extra!- You can easily update your followers regarding art show dates, new uploads to your online shop, what you’re working on, contests you might be having, and a number of other things. In short, easy to read snippets, your followers can be kept in the loop of what you’re doing, and this can result in sales, new followers, or both.
  • Bragging Post – Were you just honored with an amazing award from a magazine? Twitter is a fast and easy way to update your followers about it. This not only helps earn you credibility, but it automatically piques the interest of your followers.
  • Human Nature – You’re not just a business owner and photographer, you’re a living, breathing human being with a soul, a personality, and a sense of humor. Getting that across on your website or in a professional interview might be difficult, but on Twitter, you can start to relate to your audience one witty 140-character tweet at a time.

While there are other reasons that Twitter is a good idea for marketing your photography business, these are the top three. Putting yourself out there as a person and showing people that you’re an active and engaged part of the online community makes you approachable, and that’s everything for a small business owner.

You’re Here, Now What? How to Get Noticed

So, Twitter can do all of these amazing things for your photography business, but how do you get noticed so all of these things can happen? Getting noticed on Twitter is sometimes a difficult thing, but if you know which cards to play you can often gain a lot of attention in a relatively short amount of time. Getting noticed on Twitter has a lot to do with knowing what not to do. These tips can help.

  • Don’t Get Follow Happy – Some new twerps (that’s Twitter slang for people on Twitter) want to follow everyone and their mother from day one to get more followers in return. But, it’s not necessarily about having people in general follow you, it’s about having the right people follow you. Be selective.
  • Don’t Stalk Your Competition – It can be tempting to jump on Twitter, follow every celebrity photographer in the book, and start stalking their Twitter feed. While you should follow your competition, don’t get too wrapped up in cyber-stalking their tweets. Not only does it take valuable time away from your business, but you start comparing your very unique business to others, and that can be dangerous. Learn, yes, but don’t spend too much time dwelling on it.
  • Don’t Forget Professionalism – You’re going to want to be personable on Twitter, yes, but this isn’t your private page, so don’t start telling the details of your love life on your professional Twitter feed. Make sure that most of what you post is related to your business, and that the posts that aren’t related to photography are mild and aimed at making you relate-able.

Follow us | Twitter for photographers

Photo Credit: Rusheygreengp.org

Follow Me! Getting People to Follow You

Getting people to follow you is a matter of knowing who to follow. Try doing a search for hashtags like #photography, #iloveart, and so on. Anyone talking about how much they love photography and art is right in your wheelhouse. Follow your customers, vendors, and those who seem genuinely interested in what you have to offer. People who love photography will share photography and that helps you.

 How to Use Hashtags On Twitter: #Importantstuff:

Hashtags have been the brunt of a lot of jokes recently, but they’re quite effective when it comes to marketing. Were you featured in Well-Known Photography Magazine? Then make sure you note it when you post about it by saying something like “Thanks #WellKnownPhotographyMagazine for honoring me for the #AwardName.”

hashtags for photographers

Photo Credit: lightspacetime.com

Hashtags are not as complicated as they seem to be. Essentially, they’re just a way to flag keywords. Any keyword, business name, person, or topic that is relevant to your business and post should get a hashtag in front of it. And make sure you note which hashtags are trending, as well. Using Twitter to your advantage can help you make new friends, gain new customers, and keep up to date on industry news. With practice, it’s extremely easy to get used to, and pretty soon you’ll start growing your business 140 characters at a time.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

DigiLabs Pro Photographer Web Gallery Plans Updated

DigiLabs Pro is committed to photographers, providing professional services for photographers to show & sell their work. We take care of the hosting and the selling; you get more time to create images that make a difference.

Our web gallery plans include:

  • 15% commissions (down from 17%)
  • Unlimited image storage
  • Unlimited customer support
  • Free Amazon Cloud Drive backup

We also offer sophisticated, stylish, photo albums and flush mount albums with maximum design flexibility. The album design software is free and part of your DigiLabs Pro software.

For any questions related to web galleries, plan options or our flush mount albums, contact us at support@digiLabspro.com

professional photography products

Enhanced by Zemanta

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS