Best Business Practices For Photographers, by John Harrington

If chapter titles like…

_Working with Reps, Assistants, Employees, and Contractors: The Pitfalls and Benefits, or
_Transitioning to Freelance, or
_Licensing Your Work, or
_Setting Your Photographer’s Fees, or
_Releases: Model, Property, and Others

..don’t get you to buy this book, perhaps my assessment of the book will:

I think Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition is essential reading for anyone even thinking about licensing an image, starting a business in photography, or dreaming of taking their photo game “pro”.

Long time photographer, author, and blogger John Harrington today delivers his 2nd edition of this book in epic detail. The thought of creating this book makes my head explode because it’s so loaded with details, facts, and examples. It’s dry reading – but a lot of this stuff mission critical, or at least sets the stage for your understanding. John is a vocal advocate of photographer’s rights. And while things in our industry are on the move, John’s got a smart, conservative, and worthwhile voice for dotting your business i’s and crossing your business t’s. We should be thankful that he’s done the work to assemble a strong reference guide. Consider thanking him and informing yourself by spending the $23 on Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition right now.

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I’m a teenager and I heard that you can actually get paid for things like this. I’m experienced with computers and have good literature skills and I’m sure I can write successful blogs/articles.. . On a different (sort of) topic, would I be able to join affiliate programs?.

Nick Bicanic says:

Hey Chase.

Just finished this book and I have to thank you fro recommending it. It definitely is one I will be referring back and forth too but awesome recommendation. Any others?


Amy Ralston says:

Chase, I'm glad you recommended this book. I was researching a photography buz book a while ago and came across the first edition. I just saw on Strobist that David Hobby also recommended John Harrington. I will definitely get it! Thanks for the suggestion …it was heard all the way in France.

This Book is solid GOLD!!! I received in the mail… opened it up, and within minutes of reading the purchase was justified!

thanks for the suggestion Chase!

Sinareo says:

Funny how you mentioned this at this time – I JUST got the second edition sent to me the day after this post! It's been a tremendously wonderful read and I recommend it to anyone! It's been my reference for so much! Thanks for getting the word out there about this must-have book!

Just ordered it. Thanks so much for the heads up :)

mobile says:

I've considered buying this.

Chase Jarvis says:

@matthew: t'was the d300s. i promise ;)

Thank you, Chase.

Bought it at B&N; in PDX.

thanks for the heads up, I just received mine today from amazon…

marc says:

$23 US on
$42 CDN on

so much for the 0.96 exchange rate

Matthew says:

Now you can tell us Chase – were you shooting with a D3s when you were doing your Sandisk gig?

Me says:

The ASMP Business Practices book is also an invaluable resource.

Jeux says:

Nice pictures!
I believe that a good photographer has different point of view from others to observe an object. He can shoot only special features of natures things. I think John is one of them. Thank you so much for telling about his book. It will be very useful to professional photographer.

just got the ASMP pro biz practices book, this one is next. thanks for the suggestion :) Much Love for your work!

@John Harrington – Thanks for that. The business side of things is my weakest point, so I went ahead and placed an order.

James B. says:

I had just picked up the first edition, too.

If only this had been released a few weeks ago.

car blog says:

That is a worthy read foe everyone, super stuff.

Ghislain says:

42 $ in Canada… a rip off!!! I really wish I was living in the US. :)
it's what 20-25$? Grr…

tcphoto1 says:

After years of assisting and asking countless questions on pricing and paperwork, I finally found concrete answers in my third edition of Pricing Photography. I will be buying the new book and look forward to learning new techniques to grow my business.


I'm a capable photographer but an entirely shit businessman. Perhaps a book like this could help me get my act together.

thanks for the review chase. i have wanted to buy this book for some time, now that the second edition is out, its more reason to jump on the opportunity. never hurts to keep your business flowing smoothly.

Scott says:

I have the 1st edition and it was money well spent.

Anton Nelson says:

Nice post, always great to see stuff on the business side to balance the creative insights!

I can already think of a few friends who are going to be getting this for christmas…

Adam says:

Do you sleep?

Becky says:

Photography is easy for me however learning how to do it as a business was the challenge. I recently read a book titled, "What You Don’t Know You Know: Our Hidden Motives in Life, Business, and Everything Else," by Kenneth Eisold. The book Offered me many examples that I was able to think use to help boost my business. It is amazing what a good business book will do. I am going to have to check this book. Thanks for this suggesting it!

Great suggestion, thanks.

Chase – thanks for the kind words!

@Craig – I am a big proponent of the ASMP book, and think that you should actually own both! When their most recent edition came out, I posted on my blog and encouraged folks to get it and I still am. There is a lot of good info in their book to be sure!

@Matthew – on my blog, Photo Business News I posted a lengthy list of the added information. The first edition is just over 300 pages, and the second edition is just over 500 pages, so there's a lot of new info in there.

@Matt – while the copyright "how to" is US specific, much of the business advice applies wherever you're doing business. I would submit that maybe 10-15% of the book would be US-specific.

Here's the MOST IMPORTANT message I want those of you who have the first edition to take away – take the book you have and follow the advice that ends in the last chapter of the book – the last three words – "pay it forward." Take the book you have and give it to someone you think could benefit from it. Jott down your name on the inside front cover, and the date. I want to see how many people those books make it around to! Just like the front of an old library book with the names of the past readers, I think it would be cool to know whom else has read through it.

— John

Harvey says:

Right on, I am going to order this right now.

Thanks for sharing Chase.

Fotografi says:

The first edition was really superb. It was really focused on the business side of photography. really a must for every photographer that wanto to stay in the business. I will check the 2 edition thanks for the link.

@Scott – Thanks. I've got an Amazon order that's waiting a couple of weeks for a release, so I might add this to it.

Scott says:

@ Craig F.

I also have the ASMP book and I feel that they are both good to have. Yes there is some overlap, but there is unique content in both that make them a good pair of books to own.

Matt Carty says:


this book looks great and I am about to embark on running my business full time.

I am however based in Australia, does this book have a large amount of content specific to the US only or is it generic for photographers everywhere?


matt Carty

Alvaro says:

anybody knows the difference (in content) between first edition and this one?

Kris Stone says:

I ordered! Thanks for the review!

Matthew Kerr says:

First edition was great, I'm curious to see what the second edition has changed. Thanks for the link Chase!

I've considered buying this. I already have the most recent edition of the ASMP Prof. Business Practices book. Is it worth owning both?

Scott says:

I have the first edition of the book and it was well worth it!

Going to buy the second edition very soon!

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