It’s easy enough to snap a picture on a smartphone, slap a filter on it and post it to social media these days. But the art of photography is alive and well in digital and film media thanks to those creative souls who decide to make their passion a career. Being a professional photographer can be majorly rewarding: it’s often an action-packed job, full of new people and places. No two days are quite the same, whether you’re in the studio or shooting on location.
But working as a professional photographer comes with various risks and uncertainties. Consider these three risks and how business insurance for photographers protects against some of the worst financial consequences so you can focus on your art.
The growth projection for photographers is estimated to be 3 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Growth is always a good sign. But, as the organization also notes, “Salaried jobs may be more difficult to find as more companies contract with freelancers rather than hire their own photographers.”
Photographers know better than anyone how much behind-the-scenes work it takes to organize client contracts, photoshoots, editing and billing. Freelancers especially must maintain their professional websites, handle correspondence and be available at all hours of the day.
Despite all the work it takes to make the dream happen, there’s no guarantee of steady work. Some weeks may be impossibly busy while others are scant. Either way, the bills come due. Much of it depends on being proactive and leveraging networking opportunities.
Photography Life estimates the price tag for a complete beginner’s set of equipment to be over $2,000. As you move up the ranks and aim for more ambitious photo shoots, you’ll likely have to augment your collection with more specialty accessories. Equipment damage as a result of jostling, water leakage or falling is always a possibility. This is precisely why many photographers take out a property insurance policy for their business-related equipment so it’s covered against certain disasters and accidents.
Contracts are the lifeblood of any successful photography career. But sometimes contract disputes arise, resulting in legal battles (complete with potential court fees, damages and time spent away from accomplishing actual work). The best thing you can do up front is read every contract thoroughly before signing.
There’s also the safety net of professional liability insurance, which protects professionals in case they’re found liable for financial losses to clients. Whether a wedding session goes awry or a client accuses you of breaching your end of the contract, it’s reassuring to know your policy can step in to cover legal fees.
Photography has the potential to provide artists with a dynamic, self-directed career—but only if they have a good understanding of how to mitigate risks from the start. Avoiding financial pitfalls can be truly make or break for freelancers and salaried employees alike.
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