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Is Photography a Dangerous Career?

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words but the photographers behind each image often have more to say about how they managed to capture that perfect shot. For every stunning photograph, there’s a backstory involving a person going to great lengths to snap it. Viewers see the final product, not the process.


Photographers often take pictures from great heights and great depths; they may wander out into the world to capture real-time photographs of people, animals, disasters, large events and more. Photography can be a dangerous career, depending on the nature of the subject, location and conditions. That’s exactly why business insurance for photographers exists; to mitigate many of the potential risks, from equipment damage to lawsuits and beyond.



Depending on their subject, professional photographers face different risks. For example, a wedding and family portrait specialist's day-to-day logistics will look very different from a wildlife photographer’s. With that in mind, here are a few risks and dangers photographers face.


Theft and Mugging


Part of taking relevant photographs is being wherever the action is, but this can also attract negative attention and heap on extra risk. One photographer in Rio for the 2016 Olympics learned this the hard way when he had $40,000 worth of photography equipment stolen in seconds.


Besides carrying adequate insurance coverage for your photography gear, it’s important for photographers to take safety precautions and remain aware of their surroundings. Something as simple as turning your back on an unattended camera or wearing flashy equipment can tempt thieves to steal from you, damaging your livelihood.


Dangerous Surroundings


Some of the most iconic photographs of our time were snapped in extreme conditions. Be it an up-close-and-personal encounter with a wild animal or an immersive shot of a natural disaster. Shooting on location means planning for and accommodating changing conditions. In one viral video example, a photographer encountered a combative elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that got so close it repeatedly head-butted him as he tried to take pictures and protect himself against the attack.


Besides personal danger, your surrounding environment can contribute to damaged equipment and lost shots. It’s vitally important to waterproof your equipment, avoid hazards in scenery and structure (like falling rocks, torrential downpour, high winds, openings that could “swallow” your equipment, unsafe vehicle use, etc.) and ensure safe transportation containers.


Health Hazards


The abstract of one study archived in the U.S. National Library of Medicine sums up a few of the “chemical, physical and psychological hazards” associated with photography: “Photojournalists are at physical risk from motor vehicle crashes and work in war zones. Ergonomic risk comes from handling heavy equipment as well as work in awkward postures in dangerous positions. Psychological problems come from chaotic work organization.”


As a photographer, it’s important to look out for yourself, your subjects, your equipment and your employees. Photography can be a dangerous career with a lot of unknowns and spontaneous events. Business insurance for photographers helps professionals insure their equipment and livelihood against accidents, damages and lawsuits. Visit CoverHound for free quotes today!

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