Home » Articles

Category: Articles


fFpp09 Ceiling Ruin, Colorado Plateau
Ceiling Ruin, Colorado Plateau by Ray McSavaney, © Ray McSavaney Archive

How FFPP Works

After more than a year of meetings and informal discussions with Al Weber and a few other photographers who shared his concern for what might happen to the archives of an aging population of career photographers, the Foundation for Photographic Preservation (FfPP) was organized as a California non-profit corporation in August 2006. We subsequently qualified for tax-deductible status under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). The specific purpose of the corporation is to facilitate the preservation of the works of photographers, or of photographic collections, that have artistic, historical or social merit.

Read more

Getting Started

This page discusses defining the physical nature of a collection, makes suggestions about an inventory, and provides links to more detailed information about specific issues.

In order to interest potential institutions in your collection, all parties need to know its content and condition. You could start with the provenance of what you have, how and why it exists, and who collected or compiled it. The collection must be surveyed and counted, making sure to register any identification and dating found on the negatives, prints, or other types of photographs.

Read more

Notes from an Archivist: Finding a Home for Your Body of Work

As an archivist/curator, my job is two-fold. First, I have to make a recommendation to my Board about making room in my archive for donations and second, I have to find the time and money to organize the collection for storage and display.

I recently had the experience of placing the archive of my late father-in-law, M. H. Halberstadt in the archive of Special Collections at the University of California-Davis. It was an interesting exercise since I was on the other side of the exchange in this situation and I was trying to make our donation as attractive as possible. So I would like to share a few insights from my experiences as both an archivist and a donor.

Read more

I’m Not Dead Yet!

My good friend Al Weber has been rescuing photographs for many years. If you’ve hung out with Al, you may be familiar with the story of Steve Crouch. The life work of this preeminent west coast photographer was literally in a pickup truck headed for the dump when Al saved it from destruction. After Steve’s death, the family was cleaning out the darkroom and had no idea that anyone would be interested in all that “junk.” If Al had hesitated and arrived a few minutes too late, none of Steve’s impressive black and white and color work would have survived.

Read more

Reflections from the Trenches

Here are some of the lessons learned in the course of working with photographers and their estates for the placement of their archives over the past eight years.

Read more

Estate Planning for Photographers

If you desire your archives to have a permanent home and not end up in someone’s attic, you need to do some prior planning. Specifically, you need to investigate who may be interested in acquiring your archives, or portions of them. Unless the acquirer is an institution that wants the “whole photographer” for teaching or research purposes, you may find that it makes sense to place different elements of your archives with different recipients.…

Read more

Making a Photo Book Using an On-Line Publisher

Throughout my career I have had several books published by traditional publishers as well as self-publishing a half-dozen through the on-line process. I have found numerous advantages and disadvantages to each method, but I will restrain my comments to the on-line version in this article.

One of the principle advantages of on-line publishing is that you choose to do it without the necessity of convincing a traditional publisher that your work is worthy of their investment of time and money.…

Read more

Copyright Law Basics for Photography: United States Perspective

The basis for copyright protection in the United States is the Copyright Act ---Title 17 of the United States Code. Section 102 of the Act protects “original works of authorship” that are “fixed in a tangible medium.” Photographs and other forms of visual images are protected under Section 102(5) of the Act, which refers to “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.” A copyright holder in a photograph is afforded a package of exclusive rights under Section 106 including reproduction rights, adaptation (derivative) rights, distribution rights and public performance and display rights.

Read more