So, you’re a “professional photographer” now, you take money from people and supply them with a product. Namely, photographs.
It’s a big day, you’re shooting a wedding for a client, fantastic! You’re all set, bodies, lenses, memory cards etc etc.
It’s an opportunity for your business to become better known, handing out those business cards, talking to people.
It’s all going fabulously well, you’re getting some great shots. Then, you’re backing off from the happy couple as they walk along arm in arm, suddenly, BUMP, you’ve backed into someone and accidently knocked them on the ground.
Oh no! It’s that sweet little old lady who you chatted to earlier. She’s unconscious; hit her head on the pavement.
Ambulance, hospital. Not good.
You finish the day off. Clients seem happy…little old lady, well, you’re worried, but they’re friends your shooting for so it’ll be fine won’t it?
A week later, you’ve delivered the photos but then, a phone call. That little old lady (who turned out to be the Bride’s Grandmother) has suffered permanent brain damage as a result of hitting her head.
You’re going to be sued for damages. It’s going to cost you three million euros, because she’ll need permanent care for the rest of her life.
Did you have public liability insurance?
Yes? Well, it’ll all be ok then! Glad you thought about that before you took the job aren’t you?!
Try another scenario, you’re doing a studio shoot and a lightstand gets knocked over and the modelling lamp in the flash you’re using burns your client’s arm.
You’ll end up in court and possibly out of business if you didn’t have insurance.
The moment you accept money for a shoot, you need to make sure that you and your clients are covered for accidents when you’re working.
It’s also a good idea to get a professional indemnity insurance.
What happens if your hard drive cooks itself, or your memory cards get lost/ damaged/ whatever, you can’t read them?
You’ll have to stage the shoot again. Ouch! Expensive!
If it’s a wedding it’s going to cost you, the photographer, lots of money. LOTS!
It’s the same for any client you’re working for, be it portrait, editorial, advertising etc.
Think about getting all your gear covered for theft and damage too. Your home insurers are very unlikely to pay out for it, if it’s in a studio or out of the house.
I would hate to see or hear of anyone ending up in this position, but, I can’t help wondering how many people are working out there without insurance or adopting the “it won’t happen to me” mentality.
It does happen, it can happen.
Remember, first and foremost, you’re running a business. Stay in business by doing things correctly!
Plan for the worst, but hope for the best; it’s called professionalism.
Here’s a picture to cheer you up after all that!!