Good ethics is good business

Episode #142: Weekend Wisdom with Skip Cohen, interview with Joan Whitman Hoff (44 minutes)

Discussion Topics

  1. Code of Ethics
  2. moral dimensions of photography
  3. defining professional
  4. rights and responsibilities

Joan Whitman Hoff

Professional Educator and Author

Dr. Joan Whitman Hoff is a professional educator whose primary focus is on professional and applied ethics and aesthetics. She earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from The American University and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Rhode Island. Her B.A. and A.A. are also in Philosophy, from Roger Williams College. She also holds a Certificate in African Studies, which she earned in 1973 during her summer study in East Africa.

Dr. Hoff leads workshops on leadership and professional ethics for all professionals including, but not limited to, those in health care, business, and photography. She is a trained arbitrator and mediator, and she is also actively engaged in her husband’s photography business.

Summary of Discussion Topics:

  • The importance of having a code of ethics in your photography business.
  • Photography as a relatively new “profession”.
  • How we learn to relate to people, to market ourselves, and to charge for what we do involves being aware of who we are, what we want, and where we want to go, etc.
  • Overcoming the fear of not knowing the answer to every question.
  • Ethics regarding the commitment to the profession, and being there to provide a service to your clients.
  • The moral dimension of being a professional photographer.
  • Defining the term “professional” photographer.
  • The ethical and moral dangers of using social media.
  • A photographer’s real contribution to society.
  • Building trust as a photographer and accepting the responsibility given to you by your clients.
  • Ego of the customer vs. the ego of the photographer.
  • The multiple faces of professional photography.
  • Moral responsibility as a photographer in building trust and truthfulness as it relates to the way a situation/client is portrayed in your photography.
  • Photographer rights and responsibilities.
  • Having a vision and mission statement for your business.

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