The list continues with part 2.

11.  Do not wait to enforce the terms of your licenses, invoices or copyright.  There are time limitation imposed by law which set specific time periods within which you must act to protect your rights and/or sue.  You snooze, you lose – literally.  A mere letter by you or your lawyer does not extend these time periods.   If you are owned money, waiting to get paid gives the deadbeat more time to play with your money or fold up shop.

12.  Do not assume that if your client threatens or actually files for protection under the Bankruptcy Act that you are “SOL”.  This is typically not the case if your paperwork and copyright registrations are in order. In such situations if your lawyer tells you that you have no recourse, make sure you see a bankruptcy and/or intellectual property specialist.  Many well-intentioned attorneys actually do not know the law in this regard.

13. If you are not in business to turn a profit, close your business and work for a charity of your choice. “Not for profit” is a tax status, not a business philosophy.

14. If you are told by anyone that something is “standard” in any deal remember that it (whatever “it” is) is not. This is a tactic to get you to shut up.  A tactic perceived is no tactic at all.There is no “standard” contract. Jack recently got that from a client. EVERYTHING is negotiable and nothing is “standard”.

15.  People lie.  Advertising is built on lying.  Your closest family members, spouses, loved ones have lied to you somewhere along the line. It should come as no surprise therefore, that your clients, reps, stock agents and so on will lie to you whilst looking right into your eyes. Remember there are people in the world who can slap you back with one hand and pick your pocket with the other.

16.   Trust, but verify. If your rep or agent does the invoicing, make sure you get a photocopy of the check from the client. May sound simple, but Jack suggested this to a friend who was a well-known photographer. Photographer soon separated from his agent after he asked for the photocopies. What a surprise. It also works both ways. Jack does his own invoices, but sends his rep a photocopy of the check.

17.  Pay little attention to those of your comrades or competitors who seem to have an endless amount of time to spend on chat rooms and blogs pontificating about all things photographic.  Our clients who are either actually working or actively looking for work, have no time for such activities.

18. Do not trust something just because you read it on the Internet. Present company excluded, of course!

19. If they say “You’ll never work in this town again” over an invoice, infringement, or any other issue, don’t panic. It’ll never happen. A lawyer once actually said that to Ed when he was negotiating a payment to a client. “You client will never get a job again”. Ed’s reply was a simple “Say what? Can you please repeat that?” which resulted in a big case of lawyer tap dancing and back tracking. Ed would love to quote that in front of a judge.

20. Last but not least – Register your work. Always. Oh, did we say that already? It’s worth repeating over and over and over.