Correspondence with an up and coming photographer.

I’m a senior in high school, I do Hair and Photography as well. I am doing a project and it involves researching what I want to do for a career. My question was ” How can I successfully own my own hair and photography Business” I Googleed it to see what I got and your name showed. I was wondering if by any chance I could ask you a few questions about it? It would be greatly appreciated. And help me a great deal with my project.
Thanks for your time.
Lexie Bennett 

Do you want to email me or drop by the studio? Scott

Ha ha, I live in Washington. I could just e-mail some questions if that’s not to much trouble?

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 10:22 PM, Lexie Bennett wrote:

Ok, thank you SO much!! I have to do a ten page paper on this to graduate. The more you write the better. You don’t have to finish it right now if your to busy. Thank you so much again!

1) Tell me what your profession is: Photographer

2) What made you want to start this particular career: I enjoyed Photography, but I was schooled in graphic arts, old school, so I needed to do something else when old school graphics became out dated.

3) What are the benefits of owning your own business: Just being my own boss, but you really need a business background or payout allot for someone else to do your business, and you concentrate on the creative end. 

4) What were some of the biggest challenges: Getting the word out, getting clients in front of your camera, sales, taxes, advertising, etc.,   ( you need to shoot, to create the income, to support your career…)

5) How is it financially ( does it support you well ) : Currently all photographers are having a tough time for several reasons, economy for one, everyone is being more cautious about spending money, being that this is a luxury, we suffer.  Plus allot of ernest individuals think they are photographers because they just got a 10 megapixel camera and go shoot their cousins wedding… sorry if this is sounding disappointing but with your natural energy and desire you can sway people to use you services, I have had a very successful career its just slower now.

6) Did you set up a business plan: A basic plan with allot of desire and getup and go!

7) Did you take any class for hair, photography or business: I was in the graphic arts industry and so I studied the master painters from the past, learning about light and design, etc., photography was a required course in graphic arts back then, not now,  Thank goodness for my sake.

8) What is the best way to get started: Passion and shoot allot. Study your work and set the goal of higher percentage rate of successful, salable image content, every time you shoot. study and plagiarizer all the great photographers. Something really helpful is become friends with photographers on Facebook. Allot of good work at your finger tips to view and study…

9) Would you recommend this career why or why not : Only if you have a passion, I, at this time, can’t think of anything else I would want to do except my passions, I like the creation aspect of anything.

I wouldn’t recommend this to a novice as a trade, unless their passion is really strong. but if you can’t see the shot when you look through the lens, then don’t go into this as a trade, get a job to survive and do this as a weekend warrior photographer (just my partial opinion).

10) How long did it take you to start it up: It took 5 years to break even, but I was an upholsterer at the time and was able to sustain myself for that period and then I quit and went full time as a photographer but during that time I honed my craft to be more readily acceptable to the masses (you know, those who have money).  🙂

11) Is it home-based or do you own a separate building: Its a turn of the century federal styled house, converted to a studio and is currently on the national historical registry, and See #5 above.

12) Is it just you or your family too: My wife is the main business operator and everything that she needs to be to keep the studio going, we also have a part time employee. we booth rent our salon, with four chairs.

13) What would be your biggest suggestion for someone who wanted to do this: Again, passion and additional income (job) to support your desire of getting you career going, or someone who believes in you and are willing to financially support you while you get going.

14) Is the studio and salon set up kinda close (what’s the set up of the location): Click for a studio tour

15) Why do you prefer owning your own business over working for someone else: I don’t know, My Dad owned his own business, but shadowing someone (established photographer) will give you an edge, I have student come to my studio every semester from the nearby colleges and high schools to mentor.

My question is “How can I successfully own a entrepreneurial business combining my skills in hair and photography?” It will all fall in to place, start shooting your clients as portfolio pieces to shoe hair clients and then expand and have them as photo clients as well! Offer your hair and do makeup to photographer for opportunity to shoot with them and pick their brain, etc…

If you can think of anything else to help me answer this question it would be great! I’m not so sure of what the first steps that I would need to take like financially or anything so any help would be greatly appreciated. =)

Lexie Bennett

I hope this is some what helpful, all this was off the cuff, May I add this to my blog?


GOOD LUCK!!!!!! 🙂
Scott Hancock

Very helpful, pass it along!!

Debit card skimming scams

When you use a debit card, the money is immediately taken from your checking account. While using debit guarantees that you pay as you go, these cards have downsides, including a growing appeal to thieves. “As economic conditions have worsened, there’s been a noticeable increase in all types of card fraud,” says Avivah Litan, an analyst specializing in fraud detection and prevention at Gartner Research in Stamford, Conn. “But ATM and debit-card fraud is the top area of concern we’re hearing about from banks all over the world.”

Unlike credit-card thieves, who usually charge merchandise and then resell it to come up with money, people who create counterfeit ATM or debit cards by stealing your PIN and other account data can simply pull cold cash from your bank account. Using a technique known as skimming, they set up equipment that captures magnetic stripe and keypad information when you input your PIN at ATM machines, gas pumps, restaurants, or retailers.

Here’s how you can protect yourself:

Don’t Type in Your Pin at the Pump

Be especially vigilant at gas stations, Litan says. “Gas pumps are notorious for skimming because they’re produced by only a couple of different manufacturers, and if someone gets the key to one from a disgruntled employee, they can insert a skimming device inside the pump where it can’t be seen,” she says. She recommends using a credit card rather than a debit card when you fill your tank.

If you must use a debit card at the gas pump, choose the screen prompt that identifies it as a credit card so that you do not have to type in your PIN. The purchase amount will still be deducted from your bank account, but it will be processed through a credit-card network, which will give you greater protection from liability if fraud does occur. This is because card issuers typically have “zero liability” policies for both debit and credit cards, but sometimes exclude PIN-based transactions from that protection.

Stick With ATMs Located at Banks

To reduce your risk at ATMs, use machines at banks rather than in convenience stores, airports, or any isolated locations, advises Darrin Blackford, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates financial crimes involving interstate commerce. “A thief has to be able to attach and retrieve a skimming device to use the data it’s gathered,” he says. “And that’s more likely to happen in nonbank settings where there’s less traffic and no surveillance cameras.”

That doesn’t mean that bank ATMs are immune, however. In August 2008, Wachovia Bank reported that several debit-card “identities” were stolen when a skimming device was placed on an ATM at a branch in Cape Coral, Fla.

“It’s often hard to spot skimmers,” Blackford says. “But if you notice a change at an ATM you use routinely, such as a color difference in the card reader or a gap where something appears to be glued onto the slot where you insert your card, that’s a warning sign you’d want to report to the bank that owns the machine.”

Closely Monitor Your Bank Accounts

Check them regularly—preferably online rather than waiting for monthly statements to arrive in the mail. Federal law limits your liability for fraudulent debit-card charges to $50, but only if you report the theft or loss of your card or PIN within two business days of discovering the problem. If you fail to report unauthorized charges within 60 days of the date the statement listing those charges was mailed, you could be liable for any unauthorized withdrawals afterward, including the full value of credit lines or savings accounts linked to your account for overdraft protection.

Visa and MasterCard have zero liability policies that go beyond federal law by exempting debit cardholders from liability in most circumstances when a bank investigation confirms that a transaction is fraudulent. But dealing with debit-card fraud can have a greater impact on your finances than credit-card fraud.

When you’re a victim of unauthorized charges on a credit card, you won’t be out any money while the disputed charges are being investigated. But when a thief steals money from your bank account using a counterfeit debit or ATM card, that cash won’t be restored to your account until the bank conducts its investigation and classifies it as a case of fraud. Some victims of debit-card skimming scams who have contacted the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, about their experiences report that while banks in most cases replenished the stolen funds, some of them had no access to the money for several weeks while bank investigations were conducted.



Recently this happened to me, become familiar with it so you can spot it when it happens to you…


GOGGLE THE NAME: Misty Daniel and OR Anderson Williams YOU WILL BE SURPRISED..  

My name is Misty Daniel,i live in pleasant Grove, UT(USA).I am presently in London(UK)but probably will be moving back home soon and i’ll be getting married shortly after my arrival in the states to my fiance Anderson Williams.We will need a wedding/party Photographer to help us in making up our ceremony from the church to the hotel reception.We will like to find out what your plans are for May 29th,2010.This is the date of our wedding so kindly let us know your availability for this day.We’ll take responsibility for your expenses regarding our plans.we might not be able to meet you soon as planned,due to our unavailability in the states but,we are willing to retain the date, that’s to make deposit for booking prior we to our arrival to be sure we are interested in your service,if we really are.Waiting to get your response.
Misty Daniel and Anderson Williams



Thank you for your interest. We are available on May 29, 2010. We have several packages to choose from and they are all listed on our website at

We would need a deposit to secure the date for you but we could take that via credit card.

When would you be coming back to Pleasant Grove? We would be happy to help you out with anything that you need. Let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you.

Scott Hancock Photography


Hello Once Again Sandy,
Thanks for keeping in touch with us.Here is the service we will like you to render to us,we will want you to send us your price for just three hours with high quality images on 1CD and a parent album each because we will be sending some of the pictures to our relatives,we will also need high quality pictures for future references and i’m sure we could browse through your website for more prints in future after the wedding event.Also,we want you to know that we are having two locations for the wedding, that’s from the church to the reception,as soon as we have the wedding locations we will have the full information sent to you for future referance.Get back to us here with the price for your service(three hours) so that we can have further discussions in calculation.The city where the wedding ceremony is taking place is pleasant Grove, UT and the ceremony starts by 12pm
Best Regards
Misty Daniel and Anderson Williams


We have a wedding coverage that includes 3 hours of shooting and the CD for $785. It also includes the following:
2 location wedding coverage, 1 photographer shooting over 300 images in color, black-and-white, sepia and digitally enhanced. with a full resolution digital negatives of the wedding day on CD and complimentary bridal and engagement sessions. For the parent albums we could add them on individually or price the photos separately. A basic traditional album added on to the cost of the coverage would be $495 for the first one and $295 for the duplicate.
Thank you again for your interest. Please let us know if you have any further questions.



Everything sounds good to us,we are comfortable with the requested amount($785) to do the photography job for three hours,i and my fiance have now concluded to deal and pay for the albums immediately after our wedding,we’ll be able to select the size and style of albums we want that way.Please keep in close contact to your email as we will always keep you updated as plan goes and this is the most convenient way we can contact you now until we speak on the phone when we return home

Payment will be made to you inform of US Cashier’s Check,we will need you to e-mail your full information(name,address and phone number) and my fiance will instruct his office to make out the payment to you.We hope this message gets to you in good health.Take care
Misty Daniel and Anderson Williams


Attached you will find the wedding contracts (2 pages). Please fill these out and mail back to us with the $300 deposit. You will find all the mailing information listed on the contracts. As soon as we receive the deposit and contracts we will be able to secure May 29th for shooting your wedding.

We look forward to working with you on your special day.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!

Scott Hancock Photography

We dont know what’s the problem with our computer,we are finding it difficult to down load the attachment you sent.I will be coming home soon,i will contact you when i get there and i will provide you our mailing address where you will mail the contract to and it will be filled,signed and return to your address. You can E-mail us your mailing address now for the Deposit and my fiance will instruct his office to make out the payment to you as soon as possible to secure that date.Stay blessed

Misty Daniel and Anderson Williams


Sorry to hear you are having trouble with the attachments. Please send the deposit to Scott Hancock Photography at 214 South Main Street in Pleasant Grove, UT 84062. We will reserve your day as soon as we receive the funds.

Thank you and please contact us with any concerns at (801) 785-8317.



We have your name and address here with us,my fiance will instruct his office to make out the payment to you in order to secure that day and we will let you know immediately he hears from his office saying the payment has been sent,we’ll keep you updated as plan goes.Stay blessed

Misty Daniel and Anderson Williams


My fiance’s office contacted him now saying the payment has been sent out to you this morning.There was a big mistake made by the remiter in my fiance’s office,he was told that it was the whole of his money that was mistakenly issued out to you. He actually instructed his office to make out payment to you and the band boys that will perform on that day,but the remiter in his office went ahead and issued the whole money to you only.

We’ll mostly need your help at the moment when you receive the payment,Kindly take out the whole of your money for the Photography on our wedding day and forward the remaining to the band,the band boys information where you will forward the balance of the money shall be given to you after you have confirmed that you receive payment.Pls,e-mail us immedaitely you received the payment for confirmation purpose.Stay blessed
Misty Daniel andAnderson Williams


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 5:34 AM
Did you receive our message concerning the payment my fiance’s office had sent out to you?


In answer to your email, we have NOT received any payment from your fiance’s office. We suggest you just stop payment on the check and resubmit the correct amount. You need to fire your remiter! (its funny you being from here and you use the term remiter.) We are sorry, but please note that you have not sent the contracts back to us that we sent you, its as if you ignored this step. Without the contracts we will be unable to promise you our services. I am so sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you. if you can send them today, we could reserve your day for you. Also we have been unable to find record of you anywhere in Pleasant Grove is it just your parents home, what are their names? Thank you for your correspondence and interest in our photography.


Facebook impersonation

Published earlier March 26, 2010

Facebook is no longer a Web site —

it’s a full-fledged platform, rapidly approaching the scale of the Internet itself. Many young users spend more time on Facebook than on e-mail, and actually use Facebook as their e-mail service. That means scammers are now crawling all over the service, since they always go where the people go. There are hundreds of Facebook scams, such as phishing e-mails, Trojan horse infections, misleading advertisements and so on.

But the crime you should most worry about is Facebook impersonation. A criminal who hacks into your Facebook account can learn a staggering amount of information about you. Worse yet, he or she can gain trusted access to friends and family. We’ve seen plenty of stories that show Facebook friends can easily be tricked into sending money in response to believable pleas for help.

For this reason, it’s time to upgrade your Facebook password. Treat it like an online banking site, because it’s not a stretch to say that a criminal who hacks your Facebook account is only one small step away from stealing your money (“Hello, First National Bank, I’ve lost my password. But my high school mascot is the Owl and my mother’s maiden name is Smith. Oh, and my first girlfriend’s name was Mary. Can you reset the password now?”)