Being a professional photographer, whether you specialize in personal photography or commercial, means that to be successful you have to abide to certain standards of quality. Your customer is your boss, and your job is to give them what they want. Sometimes, your task is simple, and sometimes it’s not.
Unfortunately we live in very litigious world. To file a claim in small claims court costs very little – as little as $100 – and deals with claims up to $25,000 in damages. It’s becoming an easy and more acceptable means of recourse for Canadians who can’t pay a lawyer, but who feel they’ve been wronged and have suffered financially. What that means for you, as a Canadian photographer, is that it’s easier to be sued, even if you’re not working for big corporations. So no matter how skilled you may be, you are not immune to the risks.
EasyCover has compiled a list of three of the most important advice that every professional photographer should follow. While you can’t stop someone from suing you, there are things you can do to minimize your risk.
- Understanding the what, who, how, and why of the photo shoot is critical. What will the photo’s be used for? How does the client envision the shoot; are there special props, locations etc. the client wants incorporated? Does the client have concerns – maybe there is something they very definitely don’t want in the pictures? But of course as a professional you know all this. What you may not realize is the importance of DOCUMENTING these parameters and expectations and have the client SIGN their agreement. This not only makes your job easier, but can be used in court in your defense if they change their story later.
- Know the copyright laws and privacy laws, which can be very strict depending on what you are photographing, who, and where. If you don’t know, make an effort to find out before you agree to the shoot. Your client is relying on you as a professional to do whatever due diligence is warranted in the situation. And pleading ignorance will not stand up in court.
- Be properly covered. Again, you can’t stop someone from filing a lawsuit against you, but you can further mitigate your risk by buying the right insurance. As a professional photographer, we highly encourage you to purchase a professional liability insurance policy for photographers. The first protects you from liability arising from your professional services, and the second protects you against bodily injury or property damage you may inadvertently cause to a third party.
The EasyCover process is simple, and affordable. Get a quote now and see for yourself.