- How to Protect Your Photography Business: Get Insured
- How to Protect Your Photography Business: Backup Your Files
- How to Protect Your Photography Business: Get Help With Contracts
- Liability insurance covers you in the event you cause damage to a client, their property, or a third party entity. For example, if one of the light stands you set up in the reception hall of a wedding falls over and damages the marble floor, liability insurance will cover the expense of repairing the damage.
- Equipment insurance is a must-have to protect you against accidents (i.e., dropping your camera and damaging the lens), theft, and fire or water damage. Many of these policies offer replacement cost coverage, which means it provides you with the funds to replace the broken gear at today’s cost, not what you originally paid for it.
- Errors & omissions insurance, also called “professional liability insurance,” protects you in the event that you commit some sort of error. For example, if you lose the memory cards from a family portrait shoot, this kind of policy will often foot the bill to do a re-shoot, and if the error or omission is significant enough that you’re sued, this kind of coverage will pay attorney’s fees and other legal expenses.
photo by Oliver Knight via iStock
I don’t know about you, but as I go about my daily routine, I’m not overcome with thoughts of what might go wrong.
And while our day-to-day activities as photographers typically don’t involve disaster, there is always the chance that something catastrophic could happen and derail our pursuit of building a solid business.
From simply dropping your camera to experiencing a natural disaster to not having a proper contract drawn up, there are many different ways that things can go wrong.
The important thing is that you take steps to protect yourself from occurrences such as this, that way when - not if - something goes wrong, your business can withstand it.
Table of Contents
How to Protect Your Photography Business: Get Insured
photo by Kameleon007 via iStock
It’s simply photography 101 to have insurance for your business. If you operate without it, you’re putting yourself at huge risk for disaster.
There are all kinds of insurance that you might get as a photographer, ranging from liability insurance to insurance for your gear to errors and omissions policies. As shown below, each of these types of policies have significant benefits:
photo by BrianAJackson via iStock
None of us set out to drop our gear or get robbed or commit an error that can endanger our livelihoods. Yet, these things happen, so it’s best to be prepared ahead of time with the proper insurance coverage rather than waiting for disaster to strike!
How to Protect Your Photography Business: Backup Your Files
photo by cnythzl via iStock
It’s just good practice to have multiple copies of your photos, business documents, and other files.
But it’s important that you not only have multiple backups, but that those backups take different forms. As the 3-2-1 backup strategy states, you need to:
Have at least three backups
Use at least two different storage medias
Have one copy offsite
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I get in a rush and just click save on the photos I’ve been editing for hours on end and that’s where the process ends until a few hours (or days) later I go back and properly back everything up.
That’s a dangerous game to play, though. One hard drive malfunction and all that work could be lost!
photo by MattGush via iStock
More serious issues can arise that put your data in danger if you don’t have it backed up.
It seems like every time I watch the news, there’s another kind of natural disaster happening somewhere in the world.
As a resident of California, earthquakes are always a possibility, and in recent years, wildfires have become an increasing problem, too.
Though you don’t like to think that you could find yourself in the middle of a disaster, they can and do happen.
I follow the 3-2-1 backup plan so if something does happen, I have all my images and other files at hand.
A central component of that is my Synology Diskstation DS1019+.
This network attached storage (NAS) device is small enough to sit on top of my desk without taking up precious work space. It has five hot-swappable bays that can accommodate either 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives, so there is plenty of storage capacity for all my digital files.
It’s loaded with an Intel Celeron J3455 1.5GHz quad-core processor that’s capable of burst speed of 2.3Ghz.
The combination of this processor and 8GB of RAM (2x4GB DDR3L 1866 SO-DIMM) means that the DS1019+ can deliver read/write speeds of up to 225MB per second. That speed can be achieved even with the data encryption feature enabled!
Perhaps best of all, this NAS is easy to use - the Synology DSM operating system is intuitive and well put together, and setup takes just a few minutes, even if you have zero experience working with NAS devices.
It’s simply a smart choice to have a product like this as part of your backup plan!
Get all the details on this device in my Synology Diskstation DS1019+ review.
How to Protect Your Photography Business: Get Help With Contracts
photo by skynesher via iStock
I don’t know about you, but I’m no legal expert. That’s a problem for photographers because we work in an industry in which we need a rock-solid contract to protect us from scams.
In the past, I got burned a few times because I either tried to rely on a verbal agreement with a client or because I threw together a quick contract thinking that I could hack my way through it and create a legally-binding document.
Needless to say, I finally got sick of not being able to enforce the contracts I was making and sought the help of an attorney to create a good, solid business contract.
photo by AndreyPopov via iStock
And while it can be expensive to hire an attorney to do this work for you, in the end, it will represent a much smaller output of money than if you continue to allow clients to get out of paying you because you don’t have a contract!
Like having proper insurance and taking the time to properly backup your images and other files, sitting down with an attorney to draw up a contract is a simple task that can have a profound impact on your ability to make money and stay in business long-term.