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Photographers Financial Fiasco

on Monday,September 28,2009 17:09

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Annie Leibovitz, the jet-setting photographer whose recent financial troubles forced her to put up her four New York houses and –perhaps more notably – her entire body of work as collateral, has successfully retained control of her photographs and homes thanks to renegotiations of her loan terms.

The 59-year-old shutterbug''s financial tailspin stems from a series of bad investments, law suits and tax problems, though the cost of professional photography might itself be sometimes overwhelming.

Personal finance management and marketing have become mandatory classes in many photography programs across the country and -seemingly - with good reason.

CollegeGrad.com reports that more than half of professional photographers are self-employed - some working on contract to magazines or fashion agencies, others operating their own portrait studios or freelancing. "Because most freelance and portrait photographers purchase their own equipment, they incur considerable expense acquiring and maintaining cameras and accessories," they declare on their photography information page.

Leibovitz, herself a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, rose to prominence as the cover photographer for Rolling Stone magazine – famously shooting the iconic image of a nude embrace between John Lennon and then-wife Yoko Ono in 1980.

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